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Book Reviews

Flora Vergara

Life in Christ (Vida en Cristo)
Bend, Oregon

As a young woman, Flora Vergara went to Bible school knowing that she would go on to plant churches. Three years later, upon graduating, Flora moved to Oregon to plant her first church in Roseburg in 1981.

Flora originally set out to minister to the Hispanic population in her city, but God began to open doors for opportunities to minister to new groups and languages.

During the time she was planting her first church, the Lord called her to ministry at the local jail. Speaking mainly Spanish and limited in her English, Flora began ministering to inmates of all languages and races. "With the ministry in the jail, God gave me grace to minister to every language possible. Since then I've been reaching whoever comes to us," says Flora.

Since 1981, Flora has planted ten churches in Oregon. Now 72-years-old, Flora is currently helping her two latest church plants come to life — Life in Christ (Vida en Cristo) and Bridge of Hope (Puente de Esperanza).

Through the years, Flora has found discipleship to be a key factor in her ministry. As people came through her churches, Flora would pour into them individually. "I invest time in them. Some of them have gone with me to do ministry and tell others about Christ, while others I have taken into my home for anywhere from 3 to 6 months. For many people it makes an impact," she explains. Through this, their faith grew, and now some who were saved in Flora's churches have gone on to become pastors as well.

Discipleship especially resonates with Flora due to a health scare she experienced 2 years ago. Faced with heart failure, Flora found herself in tears. "I cried not because I wasn't right in my heart, but in the sense of work I felt like I needed to still do more to train a younger generation," she says.

With that in mind, Flora took a group of 13 students on a spring break trip to Ontario, Oregon, to help declining churches. "We went to help the churches, but I was focused only on the young people," she says. Watching Flora's interaction with the students and how she invested in them, the eyes of one pastor were opened. "He was so blessed and opened his heart and told me that he has to [adopt my mindset] from now on," she says.

In the years to come, Flora plans to continue helping to start new churches as well as raise up a new generation of believers. "There is a spirit in my heart that I need to transfer to this generation. All I ask is that the Lord glorifies His name in this vessel."

Used with the permission of the Church Multiplication Network.