Contact: Jeff Pieper, 503-614-1500, [email protected]
TURRIALBA, Costa Rica, March 21, 2014 /Christian Newswire
/ -- In a true celebration of the multiplicity of expressions of the Gospel, 12 partner evangelists with the Luis Palau Association's Next Generation Alliance (NGA) came together March 14 and 15 in Turrialba, Costa Rica for Festival República de Gozo.
By the final evening of the festival, the Rafael A. Camacho Stadium was packed with people cheering on local and international artists or enjoying the children's presentation, complete with dramatizations, mimes, and clowns. The main stage was also shared with both messages and testimonies from international evangelists Jorge Perez, Jaime Mirón, Richard and Ginger Hamlet, Alpha Hayward, Georgina Verzal, Ray Centanni, Reid Saunders, Vic Murphy, Mark Johnson, and Justin Benedict, among others.
Surrounding the main stage on each day of the festival were a number of tents with offerings such as medical and dental care, legal aid, family workshops, micro-farming workshops and extreme sports demonstrations. The Gospel was shared at every opportunity and people were given multiple opportunities to respond.
"The greatest story of this festival was the collaboration amongst different people who have different types of ministries," Mirón, who is Vice President of the Luis Palau Association, said of the evangelists. "They came together to win a city to Christ."
On the last night of the festival, all of the evangelists came together on the main stage for the climax of the weekend as they united in prayer for the physical and spiritual needs of Turrialba. According to festival organizer Jorge Perez, president of the J.A. Perez Association, "every person involved in the festival was blessed."
The festival was also a catalyst for one of the greatest success stories from the evangelists' efforts, which was a new sense of unity among churches in Turrialba. This was brought about in part by the small but passionate group of young believers in the city, who took to the streets in the weeks leading up to the festival to spread the word and share the Gospel.
Then, throughout the week prior to the festival, Mirón, along with Perez, and Richard and Ginger Hamlet, worked together to host a leadership school with the goal of training 600 believers in a 12 week follow-up and discipleship strategy. When the training began, the number of students registered exceeded 700 people from churches across the city, creating a greater sense of unity among believers.
Rev. Carlos Cordero, a former pastor who ministered in Turrialba, worked with Perez in mobilizing broad support for the festival among churches. Perez then invited multiple evangelists from the NGA so as to extend the impact and reach of the festival. NGA is focused on identifying, affirming, equipping, and mobilizing evangelists across the globe.
NGA, the motto of which is "One Message, Many Expressions," was born out of the understanding that a single evangelist or organization can reach only so far, but collaboration across ministries can multiply their impact. Members are encouraged to work together to use their unique gifts to spread the Gospel.Since its inception in 1998, NGA has grown to include more than 500 partner evangelists. An independent study conducted in 2013 on the effectiveness of NGA revealed that evangelists who are highly engaged with NGA are three times more effective in registered decisions, have twice as many church partners, and triple the number of collaborative events. For more information on how to join NGA, contact Jeff Pieper at [email protected]. To watch a video report of the outreach, visit www.palau.org/costarica.