Pastor Francisco Passes

by Darrel Johnson

October 30, 2020

Pastor Francisco Passes

     The angels came early in the morning of June 28th this year to carry one of God's choice servants to his home in glory. Pastor Francisco Balmaceda, pastor of our BMDMI Smyrna Baptist Church (Iglesia Bautista Esmirna) in El Bonete Nicaragua, passed from complications of pneumonia. Though not tested for Covid-19, he had all of the symptoms of this novel virus. Pastor Francisco also suffered from prostate cancer and issues with his liver. He and his wife Catalina served in a very poor, harsh environment where they led a dying church to become a strong, vibrant, ministering, Christ-centered church. Chico, as he was affectionately called, was a man of small physical stature but enormous in his love for people and for His God whom he served faithfully. He will be missed incredibly but Heaven is even sweeter now.
     Pastor Francisco drew his last breaths in the presence of his family, friends, and members of the church he served. Chico was a real pastor who put others before himself and was loved by all. The Psalm that he had in mind in those last days and if he lived was going to preach on, was Psalm 138, The Lord’s Goodness to the Faithful. What a Scripture to have on your mind as you entered the Lord’s presence!
     His dying request to his wife and family was that Omar Barquero, one of our national staff in Nicaragua, fill in as interim pastor. Omar, usually with his wife Kathy and kids, have travelled to El Bonete every weekend serving as their pastor. Omar shared that the first message he preached after Pastor Francisco’s death was at a worship service of thanksgiving and his text was Psalm 138. That night Pastor Francisco’s prayers continued to be answered as three people gave their hearts to the Lord and another made a recommitment of her life to the Lord.
     Omar states that since he has begun his interim service in El Bonete they not only have new people visiting the church but people that were not coming are starting to return and become more involved in the church. Another exciting thing that has happened in his 3 months of service as interim is the baptism of five people. Plus, six new families are part of the church and the membership has grown from fifty members to sixty.
     Please pray for Brother Omar and his family as they make this weekly trip to El Bonete and for God to continue using him to build Iglesia Bautista Esmirna to be a disciple-making church. Pray for Catalina, for God’s comfort, protection, and provision as she mourns the loss of her husband.
     Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.
Darrel Johnson
Career Missionary
BMDMI Nicaragua

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