For seven years, Juan Pablo Cardo was stymied in his ministerial call by another pastor in Buenos Aires who envied his charisma.
“He felt like I was a threat and didn’t let me do anything,” the Argentinian says in a Bible conference video. During those years of imposed inactivity, “God taught me patience and humility, just being there, sit down and deal with my pride and many things in my life.”
He didn’t bolt, and his perseverance paid off. Unexpectedly one day, his pastor asked if he want to launch a startup church on his own in Munro, a suburb of Buenos Aires. He offered no financial support. He would get Juan Pablo out of his hair.
To weigh and consider this monumental life-altering decision, it took Juan Pablo a full fraction of a nano-second to say yes.
Juan Pablo started a house church with 17 people. They began to tithe and he rented a small store front 9’ by 51’ — all at the time of Argentina’s worse economic crunch.
The work grew, and they rented a bigger building for 120 people on the main avenue in the Munro neighborhood.
Juan Pablo’s story is one of flourishing under shortsighted leadership. You have to keep your heart from becoming bitter, he says.
“It was a difficult time because it was seven years practically not having a pastor, not having someone to go to who could guide you,” says his wife, Silvina. “I asked God, ‘How long? Where are You?’ I wasn’t complaining but asking God for help. I saw that everyone else had a pastor they could share with. And I didn’t have that for seven years.” Read more about surviving pastoral abuse.
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Tagged Buenos Aires, Christian Fellowship Ministries, Villa Devoto
At all times, his home was filled with fighting.
“I was an angry person that destroyed everything in my life,” says Juan Pablo Cardo of Buenos Aires. “I never saw a pattern of people loving each other. My dad and my mom stayed together fighting a lot with each other. So I didn’t want to be at home.”
Juan Pablo found an outlet for his rage when he enrolled in a military academy at age 13.
Then he visited a church. For the first time in his life, he saw in the pastor, missionary Kim Pensinger, a model for Christian love. Kim and his wife, Josie, visibly demonstrated their love for one another. It seemed so foreign to him, so other-worldly, that he doubted what he was seeing.
“Their love is not real. This is a fake kind of thing. Maybe they kill each other at home,” he thought at the time.
But then he started to see that they really loved each other. And the people in church take care of each other. “I never saw that before. That started to break my thinking process. I wanted that.”
Juan Pablo quit his well-paid job to work at McDonald’s, just because he would have more opportunity to share the Gospel.
“I started witnessing to everybody. I met Silvina,” he says.. “She was my boss — and still today.” (Because they are now married.)
Silvina was smitten — not with Cupid’s arrows, but with the pulsating love of Christ she saw in young Juan Pablo. Read the rest of love and marriage in Argentina
Posted in Argentina, Buenos Aires, Christian family, Christian Fellowship Ministries, Financial Talk, Jesus, Juan Pablo Cardo, love, Marriage
Tagged Christianity, church, family, God, Silvina Cardo, South America