Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Matthew Family in Puerto Rico

Less than three years ago, Greater Grace Church in Baltimore prayed for Pastor Julian, his wife and their five children as they set out to pioneer/church plant in Puerto Rico. The Lord opened doors for them in the Cabo Rojo/Mayaguez area of western Puerto Rico and within several weeks, a Sunday morning study had begun. Five months later, the small church began renting a meeting room for Sunday mornings. Continual evangelism and visitations brought many visitors during the first and second year of ministry. Many activities took place in others’ homes and often in the Matthews’ home. Many were encouraged by the grace message and Bible-teaching emphasis. The church was also blessed to receive nearly 100 visitors from Greater Grace affiliated churches during this time. Bible college extension classes started in the fall of 2009 and other members of the church began assisting regularly with times of evangelism and home visitation.

In February of 2010 were they blessed to get the answer to much prayer, team members! Pastor Rick and Jennifer Knight, along with their young son, joined the team and have been a tremendous blessing to the growing Body in Puerto Rico. At around the same time, the meeting place was changed from the Sunday-only location to a chapel and apartment behind a funeral home near the center of Cabo Rojo. The new location has provided a much needed location for Sunday School, nursery, Bible college classes and activities during the week. With the addition of team members, the vision continues as we pray for Bible studies and outreaches to other cities amongst Puerto Rico’s population of four million.

Pastor Julian and Cynthia are graduates of Maryland Bible College and Seminary in Baltimore, MD. During their time in Baltimore (from 1990 through 2005), they were actively involved in evangelism through inner-city youth Bible club, teen ministry, and nursing home visitation. By way of their involvement in vocal groups, they had the opportunity to visit affiliated ministries overseas. Beginning in 1997, they assisted with the church planting outreach to York, PA, a one-hour commute from Baltimore. As Assistant Pastor, Pastor Julian and family commuted for evangelism, Bible studies, and church services for eight years. The final two years in the states, they relocated their family of seven to York County.

There is a welcome response to the clear sound of the Gospel and the Finished Work of Jesus Christ. Many are eager to learn precisely from the Word of God and be given divine purpose and hope. This testifies to the corporate leading to this field and to the flourishing church of 35 faithful members. Their 2006 missions trip with Pastor Scibelli and 50 others has yielded much fruit. With our added team members and Body, join us in praying for sponsorship of a bi-weekly 15-minute radio program, new Bible studies in Mayaguez, and San Juan along with the vision to visit to the US and/or British Virgin Islands.

Recently, Pastor Julian took a second trip to Haiti, where GGWO is undergoing the affiliation process with 19 churches and there are over 50 pastors in GGWO Bible college. His childhood language of “Kweole”, from St. Lucia, is nearly identical to that of Haitians. His desire is to continue short-term trips to Haiti.

Also pray for the Lord’s continuing work in the hearts of the people of Puerto Rico. The family is thankful for the consistent support they have received during their stay in Puerto Rico. Entering their fourth year, they are aware that the work is dependent on the continued, prayer-filled financial support of Body members.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who will also do it.” (I Thes. 5:23, 24)


To support the Matthews financially, send your check to:
GGWO Missions ** P.O. Box 18715 ** Baltimore, MD 21206
Link to: where you may give online
Please write “Missions-Pastor Julian Matthew” in memo