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Seek and Save Seeing Strong Response

Strong district and church participation and support in the first three Seek and Save events have led to hundreds of salvations and a renewed vigor in local churches to reach the lost.

Following the first three 2023 Seek and Save events held in Detroit; Newark, New Jersey; and St. Louis earlier this year, Coordinator Bert Pizarro reports that the events not only met with initial success, but have also resulted in significant ongoing results.

Pizarro says that between the three outreaches, over 150 churches participated along with nearly 1,000 volunteers. In addition, 11 missing children were found, about 850 individuals were prayed for, more than 340 accepted Christ as their personal Savior followed by many choosing to get baptized immediately afterwards!

Pastor Oliver Lora of Iglesia La Roca Eterna in Detroit shared how God used a Seek and Save information bag left on a door to transform a life.

“We received a call from a man named Jaime . . . he was addicted to drugs,” Lora stated. “He told us he had heard a strong voice tell him to call the number left on his front. He went to the front door and there he found the Seek and Save flyers . . . and he was bold enough to call our church!”

Lora shared how Jaime came to the church, they gave him a hot meal, prayed for him, and he accepted Christ as his personal Savior. The church is currently working to help Jaime get into a Christian drug rehab program. “To God be the glory!” Lora exclaimed.

Yet, although the numbers participating and responding are strong, Pizarro says that he believes the seeds being planted are what will result in a future harvest of exponential proportions.

“The school assemblies we held were monstrous,” Pizarro says. “We held them in Detroit and Newark, and over 4,600 students heard our presentation. What’s more, in Newark, where we held 10 assemblies, the positive responses from students were so strong that the superintendent of the schools and the mayor want us to come back and present our message to all 66 schools in the district!”

Another “future” impact due directly to the Seek and Save impact included the mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan, offering to provide property to local churches at discounted prices in the key outreach areas.

“And then in St. Louis, since school was already out, we held a sports camp instead,” Pizarro says. “Rawlings provided us with two truckloads of equipment for the camp, including dozens of bats, gloves, balls, ball bags, helmets, and various other items for free. Then they told us that whenever we hold other sports camps, to just let them know and they’ll provide equipment for those camps as well and ship it to us for free.”

At the St. Louis sports camp, former St. Louis Cardinal and World Series pitcher, Jaime Garcia, and former NBA player, Anthony Bonner, played host. Both are strong Christians.

“Anthony Bonner presented a message of salvation on the final day of camp, with a lot of the kids responding,” Pizarro says.

In addition to the surprise Rawlings offer for the St. Louis outreach, the city of St. Louis has opened its doors to events it is hosting. Pizarro says that local churches are now invited to come and be a part of events, including allowing them to offer activities and present the different kids and outreach programs they have.

“I and two dozen pastors from each community were able to meet personally with the mayors of Newark and Detroit and with the Violence Prevention Office of St. Louis,” Pizarro says.

Choco De Jesús, AG general treasurer and overseer of Seek and Save, says he’s been very pleased with the participation of the network and district offices and churches and how they’ve responded with a sense of urgency.

“I was excited to see the collaboration between the national office, districts/networks, and churches,” De Jesús says. “I’ve been telling people that Seek and Save is about turning over the soil and planting seeds and we will reap what we sow. I believe the Assemblies of God will reap a great harvest and we’re already seeing a byproduct as churches have reported seeing three, four, and five families start attending as a result of Seek and Save.”

With six more events yet to be held this year, including in Columbus, Ohio, during General Council, Pizarro says that next year’s calendar already has four cities slated and six or seven additional cities from which they’re simply waiting on confirmations.

However, in what only God could have foreseen, Pizarro says that due to the influx of countless documented and undocumented migrants that are coming by the tens of thousands into communities, many times with much of the rest of the community unaware, a real crisis has been created and has caught his attention.

“If you’re not aware of a need, you can’t even begin to meet that need,” Pizarro says. “With so many migrants entering communities, they place an incredible strain on available resources — what an opportunity for churches to come alongside city leaders and compassion organizations to help meet food, housing, employment, and other needs of these people. Not only does the church prove itself as a valuable resource to city leaders, but doors open to share the gospel.”

Pizarro believes that through Seek and Save and its partnership with Convoy of Hope, where groceries, games, music, and more are provided for free, it’s a real opportunity for local churches to make initial connections with migrants and share the gospel.

“We canvas areas with plastic bags containing information on the block party location we host with Convoy in each city, a gospel tract, as well as a DVD that presents the Jesus movie in English and Spanish,” Pizarro says.

As Pizarro prepares for the series of Seek and Save outreaches taking place this summer and fall, he says he’s hearing reports of how churches have seen dozens of new faces in their congregations following the outreaches. He also notes that host churches and the eight churches who received revitalization upgrades to their facilities through U.S. Missions Church Mobilization and other volunteers have experienced a renewed excitement in their congregations to reach their neighborhoods and communities for Christ.

“The ground is being turned over and hundreds and thousands of seeds are being scattered across America,” Pizarro states, “and we will wait patiently for God to give the full fruit from it.”


Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.