Expansion, the National Hispanic Conference of the IPHC, is held every two years in different areas of the United States. This meeting brings leaders, pastors, churches, ministries, and workers together to strengthen the vision of the IPHC and equip leaders with strategies and tools to effectively reach the world with the gospel.
EXPANSION–it was our project, the national Hispanic event, the meeting of hundreds of ministers, leaders, and members of IPHC Hispanic churches that came from all over the country to gather in Oklahoma City during the last week of July 2018. Our prayer was, “God, we do not want numerical activity that was only an event, but a meeting with transformational presence.” We prayed for His presence to be manifested; we cried out for His grace to be evident through preaching and teaching; and we believed that each participant would be impacted and encouraged. We thank the Lord for answered prayers and transformed lives!
Pastors and leaders from 22 states and 6 nations attended Expansion. The Holy Spirit touched everyone who was present in a special way. Leaders deepened their commitment to God and His work; many received direction from the Lord; and others heard the voice of God about reaching their communities. Ministers were deeply touched with new energy, ideas, and passion for the expansion of the kingdom of God.
The keynote speaker, Pastor Tony Lara, challenged the crowd to courageously accept God’s call to do the work of the Lord, despite the battles we face. Pastor Lee Grady brought us back to the foundation of the Word–to depend on the Holy Spirit and empower generations by leaving a significant legacy. The afternoon workshops provided the opportunity for people to receive practical training that they can take back to their churches. Our focus was “Abundant Harvest.”
We were honored to have Presiding Bishop, Dr. Doug Beacham, address the conference and challenge us to advance the vision of the IPHC and the goals of Arise 2033. Also, the presence of leaders from other conferences as well as the Global Ministry Center was a tremendous blessing to this national event. The IPHC Communications Department, with its extraordinary team, made it possible for Expansion to be broadcast live on social media, so that hundreds of people could connect with our event. The Extension Loan Fund blessed almost two hundred pastors and their spouses with an exquisite lunch, as well as information about building churches and expanding the kingdom of God.
Expansion brought leaders, pastors, and bishops of Hispanic ministries together in a spirit of unity to support and encourage one another. Working together, we can impact our nation with a strategy to preach the gospel and multiply churches, workers, and ministries.
We continue to receive testimonies of how God spoke, directed, changed, strengthened, and confirmed the call of God on people’s lives. Many felt called to reach the harvest and advance the gospel of Christ. Seeing tears, hearing praises, and perceiving people’s determination to find their place and fulfill God’s calling is some of the glorious fruit of Expansion.
One conference attendee shared these thoughts,
“Expansion was excellent. Expansion came on time. Extraordinary preachers. Very good workshops. Speakers with tremendous topics, knowledge, and anointing. Very encouraging. The best I’ve been. My place of connections. Very uplifting. I am full of courage and strength to keep going. Blessed. Very excited with the exhibits. I’m going back to make changes. I heard God speaking to me. Incredible organization. Everything in its place. The exceptional attention. Blessed with the participation of General Bishop Beacham and Bishop Bryant. The unity could be noticed. Tremendous. Tremendous coordination. It was worth coming. Very good. It helped me a lot.”
Expansion would not be possible without a large team of volunteers who worked countless hours and gave of their time and talents to make the conference a success. I thank God and praise our Lord Jesus Christ for the support Hispanic Ministries receives from the IPHC family, especially Evangelism USA, from Executive Director Garry Bryant, to the directors, and staff. The leaders of the National Hispanic Committee also sacrificed their time to believe with us and take a stand to reap the harvest of precious souls. We are also very thankful for the kindness and generosity of the leaders and staff of The Gate Church in Oklahoma City for allowing us to use their beautiful facilities to host Expansion.
We are now prepared and mobilized to focus on the harvest and work together to reach our communities in each region of the nation!
Written By: Dr. Luis Avila, Director of Hispanic Ministries