By Sandra Granthon-Roman
On Saturday, July 9, 2022, over 530 brethren gathered under one roof at Groffdale Mennonite Church in Leola, Pa. As one united church body, we praised God for his faithfulness for over 52 years to the congregations of Concilio Iglesias Evangelicas Shalom (CIES).
Among them were men, women, and children of all ages, from English to Spanish-speaking cultures. They traveled from as far as Mexico, Dominican Republic, and as near as New Holland, Pennsylvania. The body of Jesus Christ, the church, beaming as a radiant light, voices united to praise, and worship in love to proclaim Jesus is Lord!
Each CIES congregation walked triumphantly up the center aisle with banners raised in affirmation of the many years God had sustained them.
Keith L. Weaver, Lancaster Mennonite Conference (LMC) Moderator, spoke words of life through a reflective message of the indispensable Holy Spirit movement that must be present, to make disciples of Jesus, mobilize every member as a missionary, and multiply faith communities locally and beyond. It was shared that on a recent mission trip to Cuba, Keith witnessed the Spirit of God moving through numerous CIES Pastors, including Pastor Freddie Gonzalez, CIES Moderator, from Iglesia Faro Ardiente in New Jersey. It was here that God used Pastor Freddie to pray the power of healing through the Holy Spirit to free the captives.
Keith Weaver joyfully proclaimed that only Spirit Power, Spirit Movement transforms the lost into a new creation – not man! Man’s wisdom and schoolbook knowledge cannot compare to the omnipresence of God’s Holy Spirit to convict the hearts of the lost, to repent, and seek our Savior, Jesus is Lord! The sanctuary filled with a victorious response of AMEN! HALLELUJAH!
CIES President Samuel Lopez presented Keith Weaver with a Mexican handwoven cloth (a sarape) in appreciation for the many years of LMC walking alongside CIES in fellowship and as brethren in the Anabaptist Faith. Marvin Lorenza, EMM President, and Rolando Flores, an MCC representative, also received a sarape as gratitude and appreciation.