Originally from Guatemala, Alfonso and Vilma and their 4-year-old daughter came to Minnesota in 1993 after being forced to emigrate due to the country’s political situation. They had served as social workers in tumultuous areas, helping 200 widowed mothers and 1,800 orphaned children who were products of the internal war.
“Christian families in Minnesota helped us to start a new life here,” Pastor Morales says. He and Vilma learned about God and were introduced to the Assemblies of God. While attending and serving in a few churches, they grew and developed spiritually.
In 2014, Alfonso and Vilma planted ICASA in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. It started as a small group Bible study and continued to grow. Today, ICASA averages 75-125 in weekly attendance with 8-10 home fellowships meeting across the city. In addition, they have opened churches in White Bear Lake and Crystal, Minnesota.
When Pastor Alfonso attended an Acts 2 Journey meeting in the Minnesota District of the Assemblies of God, he realized that the training offered reflected his desire to learn more about how ICASA could better reach and disciple people for Christ.
The Acts 2 Journey (A2J) benefited ICASA in several ways, Pastor Morales says:
“We consider that what we have learned from the Acts 2 Journey has taught us more about how to be a church that contributes to the work of evangelism,” Pastor Alfonso says.
“Thank you for allowing us to enter into this process and showing us that we can achieve a better and greater impact by being an organized body with a clear mission and vision!”
The year-long Acts 2 Journey effort, led by Alton Garrison, helps strengthen churches as they revisit their mission, vision and values. To date, 1,508 churches in 42 districts and 3 ethnic fellowships have taken the journey, and 1,177 of those received an AGTrust scholarship to help them participate.
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