Marco…….Polo does not live in any swimming pool. He lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And get this: he is a pastor. Not just any pastor, but a bi-vocational, Paul-like, church-planting, iron-smithing, vision-casting, disciple-making, laser focused, getting-Great Commission-work done, evangelistic pastor.
Our Partnership Mission Vision Team met Pastor Marco in early April. Seventeen years ago, God used him to plant a Baptist church across the street from IndoAmerica Park. Thus, the IndoAmerica Baptist Church was born.
Today this church of over 200 regular attendees ministers to thousands of people in one of the poorest areas in this city of 12,000,000. Through multiple ministries, this 24/7 365 church is saturating their mission field with the Gospel. Here are a few of their people-focused ministries: Life Tower (a residential home for single moms); parenting seminars; a community ministry operating five days a week from 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; a daycare; guitar, dance and drama classes involving over 125 children; six new “Harvest Plant” groups started in the last 12 months; supporting international missionaries in Peru, Africa, and Argentina; and an alcohol and drug rehab center recognized by city officials for their effectiveness.
How does a relatively smaller church in such an impoverished area accomplish all they are accomplishing for Christ? Here are a few of the characteristics I have picked up on from Pastor Marco that are at the heart of the motivation for great ministry:
The pastor not only has a God-given vision, the vision has the pastor.
The members of this church whole-heartedly and energetically give themselves to the Great Commission work of the church.
The focus of the church is constantly outward, beyond the main campus of the church.
A winning, never quit attitude is obvious.
Excellence is the quality noticed in every corner of the ministries.
Evangelism is required by each ministry.
They have great faith capacity to trust God for their financial needs and are constantly giving away what God places in their hands to meet the needs of the people around them.
The result of the local and global ministry of IndoAmerica Baptist Church and Pastor Marco is that lives are being transformed and people by the hundreds are coming to Christ, following Him in believer’s baptism, and becoming fully devoted followers of Christ. I pray that many Tennesseans over the course of our partnership with Buenos Aires will have the opportunity to meet Pastor Marco and be inspired.
It is a joy to be with you on this journey.