A Community of Sinners in Transformation
Rev. Roy Soto pastors the congregation Comunidad Cristiana Shalom in Fraijanes, Costa Rica, a rural community with a population of 1,300. We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Rev. Soto to the Outreach office in Franklin, TN, where he shared with us his vision for the church as well as some personal testimony.
Roy’s father pastors a traditional Latin American/Costa Rican church. His childhood was shaped by the strict, legalistic structure of this church which led Roy to a sort of rebellion as he grew older. Roy left the church for a time, but God kept tugging at his heart. Roy responded to God’s call with a decision to use his early frustrations in a divine way and pastor in a different manner, less legalistic more loving; less focus on inward activities of the church, more focus on outreach to the community with expressions of love.
Roy, his wife and four others started the Comunidad Cristiana Shalom, or Shalom Community Church, seventeen years ago. Earlier churches had not fared well in the community as they focused more on themselves rather than reaching out to the community. So, Roy asked the mayor how this new church could best serve Fraijanes and was told to do all that he was “worthy” of doing: “Clean up the streets by picking up the garbage!” So they did just that. As they began serving in this way and as they discovered other concrete ways to show Christ’s serving love, the church began to grow and now has more than 600 members. The church has brought transformation to the community through believers loving and serving others. Shalom’s vision is centered on the Kingdom, not the church.
Other pastors in the region began to hear about Shalom Community Church and started asking Roy to come and teach them about these new, transformational ways of sharing the Gospel. At Outreach trustee Charlie Heard’s recommendation The Outreach Foundation formed a partnership with Roy in his teaching ministry. As God transformed Roy so many years ago, pastor Roy’s teachings through the Shalom Teaching Ministry are bringing fresh vision and transformation to other congregations both in Costa Rica and other Latin American countries through the practice of Kingdom values and the power of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking gifts totaling $6,000 to assist with travel, materials and food for four one-week teaching missions. Read more about the Shalom Teaching Ministry by clicking HERE.