Jackson pastor leads Hispanic mission team to other side of globe
Editor’s Note: The Week of Prayer for International Missions is underway through Dec. 9. Every December since 1888, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has empowered Southern Baptists’ international missions work. The goal for this year’s Lottie Moon offering is $160 million.
By Grace Thornton
Writer, International Mission Board
RICHMOND, Va. — Daniel Tuchez remembers the day he got the call.
“Jason called me and said, ‘I need you to pray about this city in Southeast Asia, because it is going to be opening up, and maybe there are opportunities,” relayed Tuchez, who serves as pastor of Iglesia Bautista El Shaddai in Jackson, Tenn.
It was a big deal. But the call itself wasn’t a surprise. In the years before, Tuchez had accompanied Jason Carlisle, the IMB’s director of Hispanic mobilization, on many trips.
“The very big blessing is that Jason is not just challenging us to go to Latin America,” said Daniel, who is originally from Guatemala. “He wants us to be cross-cultural people who reach people in the last frontier.”
Carlisle encouraged Tuchez and offered him training through the IMB, and the Tennessee pastor started going on trips to the other side of the globe, partnering with IMB workers in different parts of Southeast Asia.
Then Tuchez started encouraging other Hispanic pastors to go, too, and he’s taken pastors from several states with him over the years. “He has a real calling and a burden for Asia,” Carlisle said. “He’s very good at mobilizing other pastors.”
So, four years ago, when an IMB worker set out to plant churches in every part of a large city in Southeast Asia, Tuchez was there.
His team wasn’t just the first Hispanic missions team to come partner with the IMB worker there — it was the first team, period. And in the years since, they have seen God do amazing things. Six pastors travel to the city each December and host a Christmas party for the children and perform outreach in the different neighborhoods.
One of the Hispanic churches adopted an orphanage, offering to provide food for the children and support for the two young Bible institute graduates who cared for them. But there was a catch — the church wanted the orphanage to be used for church planting.
That wasn’t too tall an order. So far, it has produced three churches, and more than 200 have professed faith in areas of the city where the gospel hadn’t made it before.
“God is moving Hispanics to America so that they can know Him, then He is mobilizing them to go on mission to the world,” Tuchez said. “He is using our church to reach Tennessee and plant churches here, but he is also using us to reach Asia. … It really is a miracle.”
Carlisle said Tuchez’s passion and investment have been a major boost for the work in Southeast Asia. “Daniel has been running with it,” Carlisle said. “He caught the vision, and that’s making a difference.”