Luis Soto traveled across South America teaching and mobilizing in eight nations during a seven-year span. His missionary journey eventually led him and his family to Salt Lake City where he launched a new church.
“We arrived here to preach at a conference for a week,” Soto said. While there he observed the need for Bible-believing and teaching churches in Utah, a state with a majority population of Latter-Day Saints or Mormons (2 percent are evangelical Christian). Soto and his family were overwhelmed.
“When you come here to become a church planter,” Soto explained, “you need the call of God because it’s not easy. It’s a hard place.”
Soto arrived in Salt Lake City in 2013 with his wife, Beatriz. He became the pastor of an established church and launched a new church a few years later.
Rather than seeking to grow a large church Soto aspires to be part of a church planting movement spanning across the metro area to reach the lost.
As a Puerto Rican whose native tongue is Spanish, Soto focuses primarily on the Hispanic population in and around Salt Lake City.
“Hispanic people come from California and Mexico for the American dream,” said Soto. One of his goals is to show them their need for “the Jesus dream” and salvation.
Power of the gospel
The difficulties facing the Hispanic community can make evangelism and discipleship difficult. Many must work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Time is scarce so Soto invests in their lives through one-on-one
discipleship by meeting at the park and in homes.
Soto has witnessed several families being changed by the power of the gospel. A passion for disciple-making is developing. Discipleship leads to starting new churches in a city devoid of gospel-proclaiming, gospel-teaching congregations.
Now men like Jose Castillo are prepared to be sent out as missionaries themselves. While it can be difficult to send out his co-laborers in the gospel, Soto knows it is necessary.
“The sensation is joy and you cry,” he said. “But you have a joy because this is the purpose for a church. This is the Great Commission, ‘Go and make disciples.’” (NAMB)
How to Pray:
- Pray for more Christians to be discipled and work alongside Soto spreading the gospel.
- Pray for the Soto family to experience God’s presence when they feel discouraged. (TAB)