Photos courtesy of Annel Robayna

Hispanic Alabama Baptists kick off 2022 evangelism focus

As representatives of Hispanic churches throughout Alabama gathered Jan. 8 in Montgomery to kick off this year’s evangelism focus and to pray for the lost, the results were immediate — four people were saved that day.

More than 130 church members and leaders from Hispanic Alabama Baptist churches attended the event held at Vaughn Forest Baptist Church, said state missionary Annel Robayna, who provides leadership for Hispanic works and church planting for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

David Romero, pastor of the Vaughn Forest Hispanic congregation, preached, and a team composed of musicians from several Hispanic churches led worship. Four attendees were saved that day, he said.

“We gathered to pray for the evangelism of the state, for the lostness, and we found out there were people there who weren’t saved,” Robayna said. “They gave their lives to Christ that day.”

Robayna and other state leaders hope to see more salvations in 2022 following a year that focused on prayer and fasting for the lost.

“In 2020, our theme was prayer. We were meeting once a month to fast and pray, and we did that in several locations around the state,” he said.

Matthew 9:38 strategy

Throughout last year, individuals were encouraged to pray for the lost three times daily, at 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., a strategy based on Matthew 9:38. Churches also got involved, specifically praying together the first Sunday of each month. A statewide prayer event in August provided a time of fellowship and encouragement.

That prayer emphasis prepared the way for this year’s focus on evangelism, Robayna said.

“Our prayer is that this year, the local churches will penetrate the darkness of their communities with the gospel message,” he said.

Hispanic churches are planning international festivals, door-to-door evangelism, individual evangelism, and “harvest Sundays,” where they will invite people for a special evangelism service.

Like last year, the plan is a personal, churchwide and statewide approach to evangelism, he said.

For the third year in a row, Hispanic leaders will partner with the SBOM evangelism office to have a Spanish component at the Sharing Hope state evangelism conference. This year, there will be four Sharing Hope conferences at four separate locations in February and March. The Spanish conference will be held Feb. 27–28 at First Baptist Church Pelham.

On Sunday night, a multicultural time of prayer and worship will be held. Other nationalities and language groups are invited to attend. Following that, participants will break into smaller groups by language preferences, Robayna said.

Monday morning will be a time of training to prepare attendees to evangelize in their communities.

To Alabama and beyond

“Our goal for this year is ‘La toma Alabama’ — taking over Alabama with the gospel,” Robayna said.

But Robayna and other Hispanic leaders also are looking beyond Alabama’s borders. A global missions conference for Hispanics is set for March 17–19 at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, he said. He expects between 150 and 200 church members and leaders from five different states to attend and learn how to reach the “uttermost part of the earth.”

“We will talk about opportunities for overseas short-term missions for Hispanics,” Robayna said. “For us, going to places like Mexico or Honduras, that is not my ‘uttermost part of the earth.’ We hope to mobilize Hispanics to reach other people groups,” he said.

For more information about Hispanic work and events in Alabama, visit ibhalabama.org or contact Robayna by email at arobayna@alsbom.org.

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