Elias Lopez lives in Costa Rica, working as a pastor in his community of Barrio Los Anonos. He shared his story of stepping into the ministry God called him to, and how the Latin American Bible Commentary is shaping him and his church.
Ministry in hard circumstances
Elias is known for his generosity with his time and energy to help people with the practical and the spiritual. From a house that needs painting, to someone who needs food brought to them, to a family struggling with grief and in need of prayer and comfort – Elias is reliably there.
The community his church is in is a challenging one. People work hard in jobs like cleaning and construction and it’s not common for people to have gone to university. There are lots of families, but also a lot of drugs. Sadly Elias has seen drugs impact various people, including taking the lives of many teenagers.
It’s a heavy environment, but God is still at work! Elias says, “There are a lot of people thirsty for the Word of God because of all that stuff happening there.”
Stepping into ministry with the commentary to aid him
Before taking up the job as pastor Elias was a member of his church, Light of the World Church, for five years. He moved into the role of pastor in early 2022. He says, “I already was ready to be a pastor. I knew my call was to be a pastor, so I was waiting. I was waiting for the initial call of the Lord.”
His experience has been one full of the miracles of God! Even in the initial months of being pastor, Elias saw many changes in the church. He has also learnt a lot about patience and love.
Elias says, “The church is growing. People are coming back, including people that left the church.” There has also been an increase in members giving to the church financially, and donating other needed things – like musical instruments!
Before becoming a pastor Elias was impacted by the Latin American Bible Commentary personally. As soon as he could access it he read it a lot alongside the Bible, and it taught him a lot. Now it is helping his congregation!
He shares, “The church is very happy because right now they are studying Hebrews. And they are using the commentary for studying the Hebrews. So they are like, wow! The commentary helped me to start a ministry as a pastor with confidence.”
Elias reflects, “There is a lot of ignorance of the scriptures in the church. The church needs to know the Word [of God] and they individually need to study the light of the gospel.”
The Latin American Bible Commentary is a big part of enabling the people in Elias’ church to understand the gospel and to know the Word of God intimately for themselves.