A team of leaders, headed by Pastor Pete Leal of Victory Christian Church (VCC) in Middlefield, recently returned from a trip to Colombia. The purpose of trip was to provide leadership training to businessmen and women, police and military personnel, pastors, and government officials. A marriage seminar and a women’s conference were provided as well.
The team was comprised of Pastor Peter Leal of Middletown, Carlos and Madeline Aguayo of Southington, Santo Gulino of Middletown, and Mike Anticoli-former resident of Central Connecticut, now serving as International Director for VCC. Each team member is highly successful as an individual, and collectively the team brought more than 100 years of successful leadership experience to Colombia.
The team met with individual groups throughout each day, and provided a general conference in the evening. The conference was attended by over 700 prominent leaders and broadcast throughout the country through internet live streaming and radio broadcasts.
Businessmen were deeply touched and inspired during the meetings. One result was the team being invited to the largest retail store in the area, by the owner. At 6:30 in the morning, over 100 employees were gathered and eagerly listening to leadership and customer service principles being explained. At the request of the company owner and employees, a time of prayer followed.
Results from the trip include the invitation to return to Colombia and provide training to 3,000 enlisted Colombian Naval Officers. This invitation came after two attendees, Marine helicopter pilots, had listened intently to former military leader, Carlos Aguayo then shared the information with the Naval Base Commander. The Naval Base Commander has invited the US team to come while in Colombia on the next trip and be housed on the base, while providing training to their military.
While in Colombia, the team took time out of training to visit the home of ‘Wilson’, a former prominent gang leader in the region. Some team members had met Wilson on a previous trip to Colombia and were moved with compassion when seeing the deplorable conditions he and his family lived in. Upon returning to VCC, Pastor Pete challenged the congregation to get involved. He explained that a new cinderblock home could be built by locals, with purchases and construction supervised by VCC affiliates there. The cost would be a mere $2,500. That morning, all of the funds were raised, to build Wilson and his family a new home. Team member Carlos Aguayo coordinated efforts via Skype and emails, and the home was completed in less than a month. Wilson told the team “You have changed our lives, forever”.
When the team returns to Colombia in May, they will be establishing a Leadership Training School and Bible School on the grounds of the local University. “Professor Garcia has offered us space on his campus to establish the training schools”, explained Carlos Aguayo, the VCC team member who will be spearheading that particular project in Colombia.
While there, team members will continue developing the infrastructure of the area, through a partnership with the UN in Colombia. Pastor Leal explained “The UN partnership is critical in the success of our development in Colombia. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with them in Colombia, just as we did over in Congo. The UN is the liaison that is aiding business owners in identifying service and product production needs and then identifying people who can meet be trained and equipped to meet the needs. Our part is to generate funds and donations and then provide the initial construction and equipping of facilities, as well as to train the locals in the vocation.”
Global Leadership Training and apostolic church planting/oversight is provided through VCC’s International Fellowship ‘arm’ of the church. Funding for projects in Colombia, as well as another 30 plus countries around the world, is being generated through VCC’s ‘1By1’ Humanitarian Aid arm of the church.
Members drive from all over Connecticut to attend VCC and to be involved in the local/global endeavors. Visitors are always welcome at church services, held on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m., and Sunday mornings at 8:45 and 10:45 a.m. For more information about Victory Christian Church, and both local and global ministries, go the website http://www.vcconline.org/.