Ismael and Esmirna have planted a Spanish-speaking church in Holyoke, Colorado. Following their vision of planting seven new churches in northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska, they are planting another new church in Imperial, Nebraska. As part of their ministry, they work with many migrant workers who do not speak English, helping them with legal issues, housing and food distribution, teaching them English as a second language and caring for many other physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Ismael was born in Sinaloa, Mexico. At age 16 he wanted to be a teacher and moved to Navojoa, Sonora, to attend school. While there a relative invited him to a Baptist church, where he accepted Jesus into his life. He graduated from the Regional Center of Education in 1983. Esmirna, a nurse, grew up in a Christian home and became a Christian at age 13. Her father is a pastor in Mexico. In 1989 they moved to Nogales, Sonora, to study at Nogales Baptist Seminary. Following graduation from the seminary, Ismael pastored two churches in Mexico. He was appointed by Missions Door in 1997, and the Lopez family moved to Holyoke, Colorado, to start a Spanish-speaking church.
Ismael and Esmirna were married in 1984 and their children are: Eduardo, Keila, Misael, and Abigail.
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Learn more about where this ministry happens
In colorful communities and along scenic highways, diverse people and landscapes span coast to coast
Iconic American traditions include Thanksgiving dinner, jazz music and the Super Bowl. They meld with eclectic examples of multicultural heritage: numerous local Chinatowns, family-owned taquerias and even cowboy boots, which originated among the nomadic Huns of eastern Europe.
The nation's landscape shows just as many contrasts — sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, open plains and vast deserts, rugged mountains and winding canyons, and abundant rivers and lakes.
The ideals of life and liberty that founded the United States have made the country one of the world's most prosperous, though not without dark chapters and present troubles. Crime, discrimination and ethics violations make regular headlines, and many people live below the national poverty level.
Families view education as essential to the pursuit of happiness, if not also a path to wealth and power for the most ambitious. Yet Americans also demonstrate a charitable spirit of generosity toward neighbors and nations in need.
Freedom of religion grants opportunity for all faiths, but Christianity holds particular influence in country's history and daily life.
Your participation with Missions Door supports ministry in the United States among college students, including many international students, in collaboration local churches. It also enables social outreach, church planting and leadership development in a wide variety of communities — among Native Americans and other cultural groups, and in urban and suburban settings where growing and changing demographics create new opportunities for the Gospel.
Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans and their ancestors immigrated to the United States.
In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives” — a larger number than any other wealthy nation.
Population: 320 million
Major Religions: 47% Protestant, 23% unaffiliated, 21% Catholic, 6% other
Languages: 82% English, 11% Spanish, various others
Ministry service area:
Nebraska, United States