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Global Church Planting

VMMissions is mobilizing church planters from around the globe to the places where the gospel is needed most. The following profiles feature the first recipients of the Global Church Planting grant.

By Lizzette Hernandez

A new generation of church planters from around the globe is needed to reach those most in need of the good news of Jesus. We live in an unprecedented moment of globalization and migration. What an opportunity to join God in launching this new generation of global church planters!

Mission is multidirectional now. God is sending people from anywhere to anyone like never before. This is especially true in the global church where God has deposited a strong impulse for mission.

But most of these workers face significant hurdles, lacking resources, relationships, and networks of support. That’s where VMMissions comes in. Through training, grants, and support structures, VMMissions is creating an on-ramp for global church planters to share the gospel with the DNA of healthy kingdom communities that multiply.

Children's club in La Vega, DR
Children gather in one of the children’s clubs in La Vega, Dominican Republic, that Diomedes Franco and his wife Victoria started to share God’s love and present the gospel in age-appropriate ways. Courtesy of Diomedes Franco



    • Three out of 10 people in the world have never heard the gospel, and half the population in the U.S. does not belong to a local church.


    • The fastest growing parts of the church are in the Global South, where a new generation of mission leaders is emerging.


    • VMMissions is mobilizing church planters from around the globe to the places where the gospel is needed most.


  • Our church planters are launching new communities of faith that multiply disciples, leaders, and churches.



Diomedes FrancoDiomedes Franco is a church planter in La Vega, Dominican Republic. He is working to establish a church community that welcomes at-risk youth and is equipped to grow and reach out to broken and marginalized persons.

“We envision a church that grows, multiplies, that is multigenerational, passionate about God, Spirit-filled and sensitive to the culture. We desire to join God in building up ‘people of grace.’”

A Scripture quote that Diomedes finds meaningful is Mark 9:23: “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

“This grant has been decisive in the launching of the church plant that God has called us to serve here in La Vega. With these resources we have been able to make contacts in the city, disciple people, form community groups, evangelize, and above all it has given stability to the ministry here. It is my prayer that God continues to bless you in every aspect of your lives.”

Alfonso AlvaradoAlfonso Alvarado is planting a church in Lacey Springs, Virginia, called Iglesia Menonita Monte Moriah. He is reaching out to the Latino immigrant population in the area, inviting them to follow Jesus as his disciples.

The church’s vision is to “reach out to the community for Christ making disciples of all nations, starting in Harrisonburg and until the ends of the earth, empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

“This grant is helping support and increase our capacity to do ministry,” writes Alfonso. “It allows us to continue visiting families in their homes, to share the gospel through Bible studies which we call ‘family groups,’ praying for the sick and helping the needy, and reaching out to those who are far from God so that the church can grow and multiply for God’s glory.”

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Juan Jose LagosJuan José Lagos is planting a church called Iglesia Renuevo among the many Latino immigrants in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He and his wife Ceci are bringing the message of hope and salvation to the different families they are connecting with through Bible studies. They have started to gather for worship in a new meeting place that the Lord has provided.

“We are a church called to obey the great commission to make disciples among our community. We believe we have been called to be ambassadors of reconciliation. This is what we do and teach to every follower of Jesus so that we all become instruments of blessing to our communities and beyond,” Juan José writes.

“This grant has helped support our ministry in many ways. It has allowed me to focus on the work of the gospel more fully, to visit many people to share the gospel with them and to help families and couples who are experiencing brokenness and crisis. We have a gathering space now that can accommodate more people and has space for children’s classes.”

Armando and Veronica SanchezArmando and Veronica Sanchez are planting a church called Iglesia Shalom in Waynesboro, Virginia, where the gospel has brought new life to several immigrant families.

Their church’s vision is to reach out to the Latino community in Augusta County with the gospel of Jesus.

“This grant has allowed us to continue with the work of the gospel providing the resources needed for the church planting work. We are grateful for the financial support we have received; it’s been a blessing to our ministry,” they write.

Rafael and Solange TartariRafael and Solange Tartari serve with a multicultural team in the city of Shkodër, Albania, with a clear focus on multiplying disciples and planting churches in northern Albania. Embodying a family-in-ministry style, the Tartaris and their Albanian partners live to demonstrate kingdom lifestyle and relationships in a city dominated by Muslim and Catholic traditions.

Through a variety of means, including compassionate service, mentoring, and Bible study, the Shkodër team does life-on-life discipling of men and women, with a focus on the emerging generation of Albanian leaders. The vision that they share with their partners Augustin and Ervisa is to multiply disciples and fellowships throughout northern Albania.

The VMMissions church planting grant also enables a broader reach, enabling the Tartaris to visit fellowships and leaders in the region to share encouragement and connection with the body of Christ. This networking and exploration gives hope for the clear discernment of where the Spirit is birthing new disciples and fellowships in towns and villages still without an evangelical witness.

Andressa Coutinho (left) serves on the ministry team in Shkodër along with Solange and Rafael Tartari (center). VMMissions staff Tom and Karen Yoder visited them in June. Courtesy photo
Andressa Coutinho (left) serves on the ministry team in Shkodër along with Solange and Rafael Tartari (center). VMMissions staff Tom and Karen Yoder visited them in June. Courtesy photo

Lizzette Hernandez is Latino Ministries Coach for VMMissions.