Hispanic churches reach out to others

MONROE – A Mexican pastor is gathering Snohomish County’s Spanish-speaking churches together for a three-day event designed to reach out to people who speak Russian and English.

“Monroe for Jesus,” a multilingual evangelistic campaign, will be held today, Saturday and Sunday at the Frank Wagner Elementary School auditorium in Monroe.

“I’m inviting the whole community, not just religious people, to meet and say, ‘Here we are, we have something in common, let’s break that barrier,’” said Ruth Anderson, pastor of Iglesia Misionera Jehovah Jireh in Monroe.

For more than a month, Anderson has circulated a flier announcing the event in Russian, English and Spanish.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. each day, there will be singing, preaching and dance performances designed to bring the three linguistic groups together.

“The group of Russians in Monroe need to hear the word of God in their own language,” Anderson said.

It’s a familiar need for Anderson.

Like many stories in Christendom, hers begins with a miracle in a foreign land.

She was visiting a friend’s church in Snohomish County when an American woman opened her mouth and out came Spanish – a language the American didn’t speak.

It’s a phenomenon charismatic Christians call “speaking in tongues,” a method they say God uses to overcome language barriers.

“I did not speak very good English at that time, and I told the Lord to speak with me clearly if he wanted me to stay,” Anderson said.

And speak he did, Anderson believes, through the American woman.

“The Lord said, ‘I want you here, because you will do great things for my glory and honor,’” Anderson said.

Anderson stayed, and launched what she believes was the first Spanish-language, evangelical Christian church in the Monroe area.

Today, it’s one of several, and Anderson is leading other Spanish-speaking pastors to partner with other cultures.

Silva’s church is one of a dozen Spanish and English churches sponsoring the weekend’s event. The event is free.

“There are other cultures, other languages, but everybody says, ‘Amen,’ right?” said Bernardo Silva, the Chilean pastor of Iglesia Santa Fe in Monroe. “We’re serving the Lord, no matter which language we speak.”

Church event

“Monroe for Christ” will be held at 6:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Sunday evenings in the Frank Wagner Elementary School auditorium at 115 Dickinson Road in Monroe.

There will be singing and preaching in Spanish, Russian and English.

For more information, contact Pastor Ruth Anderson at 425-398-5049.

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