JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) — Daniel Tuchez remembers the day he got the call. The International Mission Board’s director of Hispanic mobilization called and said, “I need you to pray about this city in Southeast Asia, because it is going to be opening up, and maybe there are opportunities,'” recalled Tuchez, who serves as pastor of Iglesia Bautista El Shaddai in Jackson, Tenn.
It was a big deal. But the call itself wasn’t a surprise. In the years before, Tuchez had accompanied IMB’s Jason Carlisle on many trips.
“The very big blessing is that Jason is not just challenging us to go to Latin America,” said Tuchez, who is originally from Guatemala. “He wants us to be cross-cultural people who reach people in the last frontier.”
So Carlisle encouraged Tuchez and offered him training through the IMB, and Tuchez started going on trips to the other side of the globe, partnering with IMB workers in different parts of Southeast Asia. Then Tuchez started encouraging other Hispanic pastors to go too — he’s taken pastors from several states with him over the years. “He has a real calling and a burden for Asia,” Carlisle said. “He’s very good at mobilizing other pastors and giving them a vision.”
Therefore, four years ago when IMB worker Edwin Feather* set out to plant churches in every part of a large city in Southeast Asia, Tuchez was there. His team wasn’t just the first Hispanic missions team to come partner with the IMB worker there — it was the first team, period. And in the years since, they have seen God do amazing things. Six pastors travel to the city each December and host a Christmas party for the children and perform outreach in the different neighborhoods.
One of the Hispanic churches adopted an orphanage, offering to provide food for the children and support for the two young Bible institute graduates who cared for them. But there was a catch — the church wanted the orphanage to be used for church planting.
So far, it has produced three churches. And in this tough-to-reach city, more than 200 have professed faith in areas of the city where the Gospel hadn’t appeared to prosper.
“God is moving Hispanics to America so that they can know Him, then He is mobilizing them to go on mission to the world,” Tuchez said. “He is using our church to reach Tennessee and plant churches here, but he is also using us to reach Asia. God is wonderful, and we are thankful for what He has done. It really is a miracle.”
Carlisle said Tuchez’s passion and investment have been a major boost for Feather’s work in Southeast Asia. “Daniel has been running with it,” Carlisle said. “He caught the vision, and that’s making a difference.”
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