Joel Lopez was born on December 18, 1975 in Sushitoto, El Salvador where he lived for the first 8 years of his life. Due to the national civil war, his parents then decided to move to the small town of El Coyolito. As a child Joel attended a Baptist church with is parents and 5 siblings. He trusted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior at age 11 and was baptized that same year.
Some years later Joel began to serve the Lord in the youth ministry and also was a deacon assistant for one year. Joel went to both Middle and High School in El Coyolito. When he graduated from High School at age 18 he enlisted in the National Civilian Police Force where he worked for 14 years. (From 1997 to 2010)
In 1991 Joel met Teresa during an evangelistic outreach with the El Coyolito church. They were very good friends for 7 years and then engaged for one year. They were married in 1999 at Vida Nueva Baptist Church in San Salvador. After enjoying a short period of time as a young married couple they decided it was time for them to become parents. Unfortunately, their first son, Gerson Joel, died as a baby. This was a very painful situation for them but they found comfort in their Father’s arms and trusted in His perfect will for their lives. Not long thereafter their second son was born, Jonathan Joel. The Lord watched over him from beginning to end, finally they rejoiced in the privilege of parenthood. In 2006, their family grew a bit more. Their second son, Josue Daniel, was born. In 2014, Josue is 8 years old and Jonathan is 12 years old.
In 2007 the church in Aguilares was founded by Joel and his family with the support of Teresa’s father, Manuel Orellana and his wife Gladys. Joel, on his days off, helped to pastor that church under Manuel’s leadership.
In 2011 Joel was called into full time ministry. That was not an easy decision, nevertheless, the Lord has been faithful every day since then to His work, and has demonstrated that every minute invested in that work has been well worthwhile. Joel believes with all his heart that the Eternal is always the priority.
About Baptist Mission in Aguilares:
Joel and his family began serving in Aguilares full time in 2011. The mission began with only 4 families, which was equivalent to 15 people. Quickly the mission grew through evangelistic outreaches, movies, dinners, and door to door visitation. In 2011, 5 more people were baptized.
2012 was marked by continued evangelistic outreach in the town of Aguilares, the Lord blessed the church with 16 more people who were both saved and baptized that year.
In 2013 a team of deacons was added as well as assistants to the deacons. Also many home bible study groups were opened. On December 8, 2013, Joel was formally ordained as the Pastor of the Mission Bautista Aguilares.
2013 in a Nutshell:
- During 2013, through all the various evangelistic activities and outreaches, approximately 700 people heard the gospel.
- 40 people were added to the church
- 15 people were baptized
- 20 people were discipled
- By the end of 2013 the church numbered 125 members, the distribution of members was as follows: 80 adults, 15 youth, and 30 children.
- Since the church is still “young” the majority of the members are still in the process of being trained and prepared for service in ministry by the pastoral family.
- Joel and Teresa’s greatest satisfaction has been seeing all the people come to know Christ personally and watching the Lord transform their lives through His Word.
Please join us in praying the Mission Bautista Aguilares. Please pray that the Lord will guide them and give Pastor Joel a clear vision to follow for its growth and also that the Lord would provide economically for the work so that it can be self-sustaining.
Here are a few photos from the work in Aguilares: