Editor’s note: David Martinez is one of the featured missionaries in the 2020-21 Kansas-Nebraska Associational and State Missions Offering. Like other pastors, the coronavirus crisis changed the way he is doing ministry. Some of the ministries mentioned here were either put on hold or were conducted on line.
By Eva Wilson
The world has come to Norfolk, Neb., and many other parts of Nebraska and Kansas.
Every Sunday morning people from 10 different countries gather for worship in the Spanish service at Northern Heights Baptist Church, Norfolk.
David Martinez, the church’s associate pastor, leads the Hispanic congregation.
Norfolk is seeing “huge growth” with people coming from Mexico and Central America as well as Cubans coming from Florida.
“Half of our [Hispanic] church in Norfolk is now Cuban,” Martinez said.
Martinez came from Mexico to the United States about seven years ago. In Mexico he was a church planter in Mexico City, population 22 million. Missionaries from the United States reached him for Christ and discipled him.
After seeing the vast needs in Mexico City, Martinez questioned God when he came to Norfolk, population 24,000.
“Why God?” he asked.
But Martinez quickly saw the opportunities in Norfolk and other areas in Nebraska and Kansas. He is helping lead efforts to start new Hispanic congregations.
Efforts began in January to start a new congregation in Wayne, northeast of Norfolk.
A Mexican restaurant owner in Wayne made a profession of faith last year. He opened his restaurant for a coat distribution. The group from Northern Heights shared the gospel with the people who came to receive coats and 17 people accepted Christ.
Please pray for the follow up in Wayne and that a Hispanic Bible study can be started there when conditions permit.
New congregations need leaders. Potential leaders are being trained at the Colegio Bautista Latinoamericano (Latin American Baptist College) which meets weekly at Northern Heights Baptist Church. It began in early February 2019.
Classes cover a wide variety of topics ranging from studying the Bible to public speaking and grammar.
A Colegio student from Columbus started a Bible study there in May 2019. Another Colegio student started a Bible study in Wakefield, Neb., early this year.
Colegio students also are preaching at the Norfolk Rescue Mission.
Soccer also is being used as an outreach tool. Each summer Martinez leads a team that stages outreach soccer camps. The camps support new Hispanic church plants and also are held in areas that need new Hispanic congregations.
October 2019 saw a milestone in KNCSB history when Martinez was elected KNCSB vice president. He is the first Hispanic to hold a KNCSB office.
“Open your eyes to the harvest,” Martinez urged Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptists. “The harvest is there. We need more workers.”
Your gifts to the 2020-21 KNCSB Associational and State Missions Offering will help start new Hispanic churches in Nebraska and Kansas. The offering goal is $210,000. Half of receipts will be returned to the association where the money was given.
See video interview in English with David Martinez: https://tinyurl.com/y8b89rf2
See video interview in Spanish: https://tinyurl.com/ycaeujk7
Find offering promotional resources at https://tinyurl.com/ya8atzx5