New Venture Launch: East Gate Spanish in Ottawa
God has been at work within the area of 550 Codd’s Road for a very long time.
East Gate Alliance Church, the active Alliance church birthed in this area, was the result of many years of perseverance and trust, involving the debt-free purchase and remodeling of a space located on 5.1 acres of property. You can read the full story here.
Beginning in 1998, God began to plant a new vision in the hearts of East Gate’s pastors Bill Buitenwerf and Mike Linnen. They had been discussing the church property and questioned how they could use it for the kingdom of God. As part of an evangelism campaign, they did some research on the area and recognized its wide cultural diversity. They began to wonder: “What if this plot of land could become home for a variety of ministries operating in various languages? What if we could make this property a place where a number of ethnic congregations could work together to reach Ottawa?”
Significant change came to East Gate Alliance and a new initiative called the International Community of Alliance Churches (ICAC) was born. This collective continues today and is committed to encouraging people to worship and pray in their mother tongue.
Reaching Spanish speakers has long been a feature of ICAC. Initially in 1998, a Spanish congregation was one of the four founding congregations. Over the years, the group moved and shifted leaders, but leader Augusto Leon took over the Spanish ministry in 2017. Today, we are delighted to celebrate his ministry as a New Venture called East Gate Spanish.
What is this New Venture?
Augusto’s vision is to reach the Spanish-speaking community in Ottawa with the life-changing message of Jesus in their heart language. We are supporting Augusto as he explores the best kind of ministry through which to reach Spanish speakers in the area. He believes that the best way to reach the lost is to go to them, and so regular gatherings in homes are a part of their strategy as well as Sunday morning worship.
As mentioned above, this new community falls within East Gate’s original vision of becoming a central place of worship for the nations. According to the 2006 Canadian Census, there were 7,045 Latin Americans in Ottawa representing approximately 3% of the total Latin American population in Canada. Latin American migration to Ottawa-Gatineau has been ongoing since the early 1960s, with significant arrivals in the 1980s (Central American refugees) and 1990s (most probably family reunification of Central American refugees).
Augusto notes that sharing the same building with East Gate helps them reach the new Spanish speakers who attend on Sundays. He is also focused on ministering in the nearby streets close to Montreal Road and all the way to downtown, which are difficult to navigate due to the presence of drugs and alcohol.
When asked about his season of discernment leading up to the launch of East Gate Spanish, Augusto says:
For a time I was like Jonah, running away from God's call. I felt compelled to start my pastoral ministry around 10 years ago, but I did not. However, since 2013, without speaking to anyone, I began personal preparation for the ministry online.
A couple of months after I finished my studies, I met Pastor Bill and we had the initial conversations about getting involved with the Spanish-speaking ministry that was already in existence at East Gate. It seems to me that God knew that I was ready both spiritually and academically to start the work.
Where can I learn more?
Learn more about our latest New Venture by visiting East Gate Spanish.
Can I help?
You bet! Please find some next steps below!
Excited by what God is doing through the Leons and their Spanish ministry?
Here are some ways you can join them on mission.
Pray for them.
Augusto asks for prayer:
Planting a new church is not easy. Pray that God gives us the power and courage to persevere.
Pray for the Holy Spirit be with us every single moment in this process.
Pray for God to show us the right way to start a formation process for leaders.
On April 5th, a popular Latin Christian gospel music group is coming to our congregation, and we are expecting to invite around 500 youth. Please, pray for God to help us in the preparation process. May the Holy Spirit use this time to help make these youth sensitive to the call of Jesus.
Consider a financial gift.
Give securely online today. All funds will be directed to East Gate Spanish.
Visit the profile for East Gate Spanish.