Baptists in El Salvador eagerly receive Missouri input
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador—A trip of building relationships and encouragement in ministry is how Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Associate Executive Director Roy Spannagel described his most recent journey to El Salvador that he and his wife, Weida, took from Jan. 2-5.
“Rather than working with individual churches, on ‘the cutting edge,’ it was more about building relationships with the leadership of the El Salvador Baptist Convention, and the responsibility Missouri Baptists had at their national convention,” Spannagel said.
Spannagel was able to meet with the leadership and was asked to preach on three different occasions.
“My trip was more about meeting with the leadership, specifically the president of the El Salvador Baptist Convention, Manuel Rivas, and the pastors, celebrating the tremendous victories we have seen in El Salvador. In part due to church-to-church partnerships, God has really blessed the churches in El Salvador by our churches in Missouri.”
Spannagel was encouraged to see a very good response to his preaching, which focused on three key topics. Those topics were the Lord’s Prayer, how you deal with difficulties, and being partners together with God.
“Their excitement about our partnership with them and the effectiveness of Missouri Baptists in helping them reach their people for Christ was very strong,” Spannagel said.
Not only did Spannagel have the blessing of speaking to the men of the El Salvador Baptist Convention, but Weida had the honor of speaking to the pastors’ wives, which is a vital ministry.
“Some of us don’t take into consideration the huge tasks that pastors’ wives have,” Spannagel said. “They not only provide for their husbands and children, but they also have responsibilities and expectations in the church.”
The topic that Weida Spannagel spoke on was prayer, particularly as it relates to praying for their husbands, children, and their grandchildren. There have been encouraging talks given to the men of the El Salvador Baptist Convention about what they should focus on and depend on the Lord for in ministry; but the women, while greatly appreciated and dearly loved, can get overlooked at times because of their behind-the-scenes ministry which is not physically seen, but equally as important.
“They were so appreciative,” said Weida. “There were no classes that were taught specifically for them, so as I spoke I put it in specific, easy ways that they could understand, and they were so encouraged.”
One of the aspects of gratitude in the El Salvador setting was simply tied to someone taking the time to share with them.
Not having the conveniences that we have here in America, Baptists in El Salvador must put in a great amount of effort to be able to even come to such a conference and still be able to take care of things at home. They do laundry by hand. Some do not even have stoves to cook with, so in many ways, women in El Salvador have it much harder than American women.
“One little boy came with his grandmother, (and) he was representative of what the women were praying for,” Weida said, “It was an awesome experience. Sometimes we think that we don’t know enough to speak to anybody about the Lord, but it’s not what we know, it’s Who we know.”
The men of El Salvador were just as encouraged when Weida took time to speak with their wives. They requested that more ladies from the churches in Missouri would come and minister to the women in El Salvador.
“It is very evident that Missouri Baptist churches are making a huge impact with the local pastors of El Salvador, and the churches, and I would encourage more Missouri Baptist churches to get involved,” Roy Spannagel said.