Imagine two different women in two different parts of Latin America in two very different sets of circumstances. One woman is on a 20-hour bus ride to Monterrey, traveling from her home in a rural region of Mexico. The other is in a doctor’s office, processing hard news about her unborn child. Despite their different situations, both women seek the same thing: biblical truth in a time of need.
Fabio Rossi spoke about these two women in an interview from his home in Guatemala City, where he serves as a pastor and as the executive director for Coalición por el Evangelio—the Spanish-language website and coalition with close ties to The Gospel Coalition (TGC).
The Spanish coalition’s beginnings stretch back nearly a decade, making it one of the first international efforts directly linked to TGC. Its website offers a robust collection of thousands of articles, podcasts, videos, training courses, and books for Spanish speakers across Latin America and beyond. Some works are translated into Spanish from English, but the coalition staff members and leaders also consistently produce a strong slate of original content. More than two-thirds of the content is original, and the site logged more than 12 million page views in 2021.
Rossi is encouraged by the wide range of content offered, but he also talked about the thousands of people the coalition’s content reaches. He offered the stories of the two women in different circumstances as examples.
Worth Every Effort
He learned about the first woman this spring during the coalition’s training conference for women in Mexico. The woman was from a remote area, and she told event leaders that there weren’t any healthy churches or solid, biblical teachers in her small town.
When she read about the coalition’s event for women in Monterrey, she asked her parents’ permission to make the 20-hour bus trip to hear faithful, biblical teaching for the weekend. She already deeply understood what the conference material promised: “The Bible is worth every ounce of energy and every hour we spend trying to understand it better.” The woman told the leaders she plans to take what she learned back to the people she loves.
Rossi also talked about a second woman—the one sitting in a doctor’s office. She sent the coalition a note to thank them for an article they recently published. She said as she sat in a medical facility absorbing the news of her miscarriage, she received the coalition’s scheduled email with an article for the day. It was a Spanish translation of John Piper speaking about the loss of children who live briefly.
Piper encouraged suffering parents to trust in God’s goodness and to remember his eternal promises. He prayed: “O Lord God, we want to be a biblical people.” Rossi said the grieving mother recounted that she was thankful for how God used the article to remind her of his promises in that moment.
“So we find these stories give us courage and joy to keep working in the midst of many obstacles,” Rossi said.
Hunger for the Truth
For some observers, the landscape of Christianity in Latin America might not seem full of obstacles. The region’s modern history includes rapid growth of Protestant and evangelical churches in the largely Catholic area over the last century. Operation World has called the rate of numerical growth “spectacular.”
But the rapid growth has brought plenty of challenges. Rossi talked about the residual effects of liberation theology and the widespread effects of the false theology in the prosperity gospel so popular in many countries across the region. The teaching’s popularity is an irony in a region that suffers from high poverty rates, but Rossi said it gives people hope, “though it’s false hope.” He said churches have also begun to suffer the effects of gender ideology and individualism that have permeated the region.
Rossi said many preachers do try to preach the gospel well, but they have few tools to do it. The pastoral reality in many parts of Latin America is ministers and Christians face poverty of both material and spiritual resources.
The good news is that the lack of resources has brought a hunger for good biblical teaching among many. The coalition’s website offers gospel-centered articles, videos, and podcasts on practical Christian living topics like marriage, parenting, and work.
The lack of resources has brought a hunger for good biblical teaching among many
It also provides entire video courses on pastoral theology, church history, biblical studies, and other topics. Leadership and staff include Christians and Christian pastors from Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, and Spain.
It’s a broad effort, and Rossi said he trusts it will bear even more fruit over time. He says his own joy in ministry comes from thinking about Jesus’s parable of the kingdom of God being like a seed a farmer plants and then watches grow “he knows not how.”
Rossi said it gives him hope and joy to know that “we are trained to serve the Lord and make many efforts and do many things and publish many articles. But at the end it is not our efforts—it’s God’s work that makes the kingdom grow.”