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Hispanic Pentecostals in a Canadian Anglo-Franco Environment

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Luis C. Fontalvo, a Colombian, began to preach in his home-land, but several years ago he moved with his family to Canada, and there he found himself in an altogether different cultural, climatological and economic world, to which he had to adapt. Fontalvo, however, in contrast to most preachers who come from the Third to the First World, did not migrate to Canada in the company of fellow Colombian believers nor with the intention of establishing a Spanish-speaking church, but to preach in French to the people of the province of Quebec and in response to what he interpreted as a specific call. His work crystalized into what is now known as the Eglise des Apôtres de Jesus-Christ, with very different and farther-reaching results than he expected. His work and presence in Canada became an experiment that may, or may not, be repeated in another country or under different circumstances. It leaves open the question as to what will happen if and when the church he founded is totally integrated or if migration to Canada ceases in the future. Fontalvo's experience is simply one instance of the many things that are happening in countries like the United States and Canada, and even on European soil, to which Latin American Pentecostals arrive silently, learn to live many times surreptitiously or anonymously in the country of their choice, and do what is most natural to them: Share the gospel. The results may not be exactly what the preacher expected, they may be as new as a "hybrid" church, as it happened to Montalvo. These hybrid churches may well become the trend of the future in some of the First World cities. Although Montalvo does not say so, the implicit lesson is that the preacher is the key to success and has to begin by becoming a polyglot and not simply the monolingual head of the operation who thinks that one language is enough either for the preacher or for a situation as that described in this article.


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