VACAVILLE, Calif.—Orchard Avenue Baptist Church is planting Esperanza Iglesia Bautista to reach its Spanish-speaking neighbors. In planting this new church, Orchard Avenue Baptist, pastored by Ken Doan, has partnered with Steve and Karen Borders, veteran missionaries with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism.

During their 38 years as missionaries, Steve and Karen have planted six churches in Lima, Peru, and Southern California; this is their first church plant in Northern California. They say, “We not only want to see individuals and families transformed by the gospel but also couples trained for ministry to the Spanish-speaking community around us and throughout California.”

The majority of Steve and Karen’s contacts for the new church have come from English as a Second Language classes that they hold at Orchard Avenue Baptist, where the Hispanic church meets for worship services, and the Vacaville City Library. A local school district had previously hosted the classes for for Hispanic families in need, but budget constraints forced the district to end the program. So the school district approached Steve and Karen, proposing that they lead the classes in a classroom at the library. The library makes the room available for free, which Steve says “is a definite blessing from the Lord.”

On Esperanza’s first anniversary in October 2016, the congregation joined with Orchard Avenue Baptist Church for a combined worship service, with Steve preaching in English and the sermon notes having been printed in both English and Spanish.

Several families from Orchard Avenue Baptist have faithfully committed to work alongside Steve and Karen to offer their worship ministry talents, encouragement, and support. The California Association of Regular Baptist Churches also donates money to the new church through its Church Planting Fund.

“As church planters in the US, we’ve learned that you can cross cultures without crossing borders,” Steve and Karen tell ABWE’s Message magazine. “The mission field has truly come to us.”