In 2010, Stadia Church Planting Executive Director, Tom Jones, and Global Resource Executive, Brent Foulke, were in Ecuador discussing the possibility of planting churches with Compassion International. While there, they met Reverend Pedro del Hierro and his wife Rosa. They had moved to Manabí in 1988 as missionaries with a calling and determination to plant churches and honor the great commission. They created Misión Pentecostal Camino de Santidad in response to this calling.
This was certainly a God-ordained encounter. Since 2010, in partnership with Compassion, Stadia has partnered with Reverend Pedro to plant 17 churches. We have been awed as Reverend Pedro and Rosa have overseen the seminary they established in 1988, which now has three additional locations; planted dozens of churches; and faced the reality of extreme poverty.
In tandem to the work Reverend Pedro did in planting churches, he also founded 10 elementary schools and five high schools in Manabi, and he built a water purification plant that provides water for many churches in the area.
Reverend Pedro said the relationship between Stadia and Misión Pentecostal Camino de Santidad was one of the greatest blessings the province of Manabí has ever had. Once during a denominational meeting, Reverend Pedro said, “My dream has always been to plant churches, and when I met Stadia, I felt that God had brought angels to my path to make it real.”
It would be an understatement to say that we shared this feeling of being blessed. His commitment to sharing the Gospel passionately and broadly has been an inspiration to us and to everyone who met him.
On February 19th, at 79 years old, Reverend Pedro went to be with the Lord, and we mourn along with the Christian community of Manabí and the international group of believers who had the privilege to meet him. He leaves a powerful legacy of leaders and servants. Pentecostal Camino de Santidad partners with Compassion International with 24 churches and 16 additional campuses. They provide services to 12,000 children through the Compassion program, and they are impacting tens of thousands more people in those communities.
In the obituary that was printed after his death were these words: “More than a Pastor, he was a man of God who caressed the pastures of death with joy, peace, hope and love for the Lord. Near death, he continued to sing, pray and thank the Lord with songs and psalms until the very last moment of his life. The Reverend passed away with almost no strength in his flesh. Yet, his spirit roared strong like a lion: ‘My hope in Christ is eternal and certain.’”
Please join us in thanking God for this incredible man, and join us in praying for his family and community that are mourning his death. May we all learn from his example and join his legacy of sharing the Good News and celebrating the Lord with vigor until the very end.