Filling the Void: an Unlikely Church Planter In Venezuela


Written by: Olivia Meade 

Olivia Meade works as a content editor for Acts 29. She’s a member of New Heights Church in West Virginia, where she leads women’s ministry and discipleship. She’s the author of Ordinary Faithfulness and contributing editor for Church Out Here. Olivia is married to Matt and they have two daughters.  

This following content was originally published on Acts 29’s website, linked HERE.

In 2020, Freddy Nava found himself pastoring a church in Maracaibo, Venezuela, after the former pastor left without appointing anyone to lead in his place. This was challenging for their church community, but Freddy stepped in to provide guidance and seek stability. He and his wife Nuria opened their home and hosted around 20 people for church in their living room.

Freddy said, “Despite the great challenge that church planting entails coupled with the complexity of our context as a nation, rather than becoming a great obstacle, it was an impulse to bring hope to a city overcome by sadness and disillusionment.” This is the genesis story for many church plants around the world, facing unique challenges yet inspired to see the gospel move in their communities. Freddy is a lawyer in Maracaibo and continues to serve bivocationally. When Freddy began to lead the church, he had a ton of unanswered questions and lacked ministry direction. He loved his church but needed help, and that’s when he found Acts 29.Without a doubt, Acts 29 became more than a support in my ministerial work, it became a support for my personal growth and that of my family. –Freddy NavaCLICK TO TWEET

He contacted an Acts 29 regional leader, not asking for money but for help with leading his church. Freddy entered the Acts 29 assessment process, which included months of care, development, and training to support him mentally and spiritually, and offer tangible resources for the church-planting work ahead. After completing this process, Freddy’s church—Iglesia Bíblica Jesucristo es el Señor—became an Acts 29 church in 2021. 

In addition to continued training from Acts 29, Freddy is attending a local Bible Institute to grow as a pastor. Their church has grown out of his living room and secured a new venue to house their now 100 attendees. In just a few years, Freddy went from a couple of dozen people in his home and unsure about church planting to now pastoring nearly five times the number of people with confidence and a network of support. Freddy said this of Acts 29, “Without a doubt, Acts 29 became more than a support in my ministerial work, it became a support for my personal growth and that of my family. Having their experience and unconditional love is something invaluable for which I will always be grateful. My life and that of Iglesia Jesucristo es el Señor would not be the same without the support and care of Acts 29.”

Iglesia Bíblica Jesucristo es el Señor is the first Acts 29 church in Venezuela.

Acts 29 is here to plant more and better churches. It’s our mission to support church planters and meet them where they are—offering pastoral support, care, coaching, and guidance to help churches and pastors thrive. We’re grateful for the gospel-driven work of so many planters around the world and humbled to be on this journey together as we seek to make Christ known to the nations.