Marcelo grew up with eight siblings and a father who was an alcoholic. Chaos, violence, depression, and financial insecurity constantly surrounded his family. Marcelo was always looking for places to go to escape his home.
He lived down the road from an Assemblies of God church. One Saturday evening, as he wandered off from home, he decided to go to the church. That night he attended the children’s service. The children’s ministry workers displayed a genuine love and concern for him he had never before experienced. This had a great impact on Marcelo…so he went back, week after week.
He eventually gave his heart to Jesus!
Fast forward many years, and Marcelo had the opportunity to lead his father to Christ…just days before his father passed away!
While serving in their local church, he and his wife, Virginia, sensed the call of God to pastoral ministry. They began to prepare through Bible school training in the evenings.
Today, they pastor a church in the Barrio Flor de Maroñas community of Montevideo, Uruguay. Their church currently meets in a tent, as they await their new building.
Most every night of the week you’ll find one of the church groups meeting in the tent, whether it’s children, youth, women, men, or everyone together! They meet rain or shine, cold or hot, week in and week out, under the tent on their property. No matter what the temperature is outside, their main concern is the salvation of those in their community!
Pastor Marcelo and Virginia have a strong focus on kid’s ministry in their church. He wants the children in his community to feel the love of Jesus, just as he did when he was a boy.
The property is in an ideal location, next to the local elementary school and across the street from the community center and plaza with bus stops!
This church is the very first church of the Hope for Uruguay 100 initiative…CHURCH #1 of 100! The plan is for the construction of this church building to be finished by the end of September, so this growing congregation can continue sharing the Gospel with more people in their community. What a special opportunity to be in on the very first church of 100 churches!
The goal is to build 100 churches in 10 years throughout Uruguay, which is known as one of the most unevangelized nations in the Americas.
Hope for Uruguay 100 will bring hope to communities across this secular nation ravaged by drugs and alcohol, legalized abortion, and prostitution. It will provide permanent buildings for established, growing congregations.
A building adds immense value to a new congregation. It provides a central place within the community for evangelism, discipleship, worship, and fellowship. Needs are met, lives are changed, and families are transformed. A new building also gives the pastor credibility within the community.
The first four projects of Hope for Uruguay 100 have already been determined. Each church already has a congregation meeting in a temporary location and a trained pastor. The properties have been purchased and they are ready for construction with the goal of all four buildings being erected by the end of the year.
By collaborating with our missionaries, Steve and Jill McCarthy, and the national church of Uruguay, there is an opportunity to change a life, change a community, and provide a place to belong.
Together, we build places where people find hope and see the Gospel spread throughout Uruguay.