More than 4,800 declare faith in Christ
during Caracas evangelistic effort
By Kaitlin Chapman
Texas Baptist Communications
CARACAS, Venezuela —When 13 Texas Baptists boarded flights for Caracas, they wanted to see God work. They didn’t know they would see 4,882 people declare their faith in Jesus Christ.
The Texas team joined more than 1,150 other Baptists from Caracas, other parts of Venezuela and from the United States with one desire—to see Venezuelans profess faith in Christ during a recent regional evangelism effort called Caracas Crusade 2008.
During the event, volunteers shared the gospel more than 10,200 times.
Jacobo García, director of missions and evangelism for the National Baptist Conven-tion of Venezuela, expressed his gratitude and joy over the lives changed during the crusade.
“There is indescribable joy when in the completion of the commandment to ‘go and preach,’ we see men and women respond to the call to devote their lives to Jesus Christ.” Garcia said. “God, in his grace … (allowed us) to see several thousands of people coming to the feet of Christ.”
During the crusade, participants worked alongside Baptist churches within the five zones of Caracas, with congregations hosting nightly services and teams of four doing door-to-door evangelism during the day.
A team from Tennessee also held baseball clinics for youth and children while church members shared the gospel with their parents.
The Texas team was assigned to help Iglesia Bautista Monte Carmelo in a part of the capital region called Guarenas-Guatire.
Baldemar Borrego, president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, preached nightly at the evangelism services there. Through this and door-to-door evangelism ef-forts, the Texas team shared the gospel with more than 300 people, seeing 150 accept Christ.
Borrego recounted a particular story that touched him during the second week in Guarenas, when an alcoholic entered the service.
“He prayed and accepted Christ,” Borrego said. “After that, he just started crying and couldn’t stop. He knew something had changed him.”
Borrego also spoke during the annual assembly of the Venezuela Baptist convention.
“The people were very excited about this partnership with Texas,” he said.
Baptists in Venezuela have committed to pray for every church in Texas because they want Texas to be reached with the gospel as well, he noted. Borrego challenged every Texas pastor to do the same for churches in Venezuela.
The convention placed importance on follow-up and began those efforts while the crusade still was in progress. Churches started 53 Bible study groups in order to disciple new Christians.
Steve Seaberry, director of Texas Partnerships, said the Caracas Crusade was the perfect way to start a long-term partnership between the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Venezuela convention.
Both groups are excited about this joint venture because the Venezuelans are ready to receive the gospel, he added.
“The people are very open right now,” Seaberry said. “Times are difficult economically, which makes people open spiritually. We are very excited about what the future holds.”
García also realizes the importance of both conventions taking advantage of this opportunity.
“I believe with all my soul that God is giving us the honor of living in the best historic moment for presenting the gospel,” García said.
“We do not know for how long this great door will be open.”
Because of the great response to the crusade, the Venezuelan convention is planning another evangelism event for April 24-27 that will focus on starting Bible study groups as well as discipling people who professed faith in Christ during the event.
For more information on the Venezuela partnership, contact Texas Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Seaberry at (214) 828-5180.