Hi my name is Humberto Gonzalez, and I am the pastor of Fe y Esperanza, which is a Hispanic church that meets in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and we belong to the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. I am very thankful to be part of this ministry.
What we've been doing through this difficult time of pandemic that has impacted a lot of people, is that we started using more the online platforms, and we've been worshipping for a little bit through Facebook and then using Zoom for Bible Studies and prayer times. Pretty much since the beginning of the pandemic, we started a prayer time at 6 in the morning, and it has been led by the women of the church, and they've been doing the prayers. We also have one day, a Wednesday at 6:30 in the morning for the whole church. Of course an early prayer time is not the favorite thing for everybody, but they always remember that there is praying at that time, five days a week from Monday through Friday.
We started Bible Studies with the church from Tuesday through Friday at 7 pm via Zoom. So, we've been using this platform and it has been useful because we have improved significantly in our discipleship. We went through a period of time where we worshiped in the parking lot of the church, and we've been meeting at the sanctuary for a few months already. It's been great to see people coming back to the church. Basically, we are continuing with this online to connect with a lot of people that don't feel yet safe to come back, but we are also worshiping on Sundays at 12:30 pm in the building of Epworth United Methodist Church, we are doing ministry together in this building, and also we are having a these prayer times in the morning and these Bible Studies in the evening that is feeding our church.
At the end of last year we started, with the other Hispanic Ministries, this idea of a Fruitful Tomorrow which is a discipleship process in which all the Hispanic Ministries are involved that is similar to what the American church is doing with the L3 program. And it has been very, very good for the church. We are increasing in discipleship and people are coming back. We are worshiping, having Bible Studies, and we're starting slowly to recover from the past and embracing a future that is full of hope and faith as the name of our church Fe y Esperanza means. Thank you for all your support.