In October 2007, with the support of the Association of Vineyard Churches, Ric and Joy started an English speaking, inter-denominational Christian worship service on the south side of Puerto Vallarta: First at the Santa Barbara Theater, then to The Paradise Community Center and currently at the ACT ll Main Stage. The service features participatory worship songs and practical teaching in a casual atmosphere. The purpose of the Church is threefold: to provide a community of faith for those desiring to connect with others living part-time or year round in Puerto Vallarta; to provide a contemporary worship service for English speaking residents and visitors; to provide helping hands and hearts to the various nonprofits and other ministries in our community. The Church has grown quickly numerically and continues to grow in fulfilling its purposes.
What you Can Expect:
20 minutes or so of worship music
History: Pastor Ric Lehman moved to Puerto Vallarta with his wife Joy, and son Tucker in August, 2005. They spent their first two years in Puerto Vallarta getting to know the people, city and culture while working among the poor and disenfranchised in the outer colonias (neighborhoods) of Puerto Vallarta. During this time they partnered with the Southside Rotary Club to establish English teaching programs near the city dump in Colonia Magisterio and at a drug rehabilitation facility in Colonia Mojoneras.
Seeing the desire and need for retired and semi-retired North Americans to volunteer their time and experience to help the poor of Vallarta, they established a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit called CompassioNet Impact. (The name reflects their desire to form a NETwork of compassion.) The English teaching programs continue to operate with over a dozen North American teaching volunteers each year, some from the church and some from the retirement communtiy. They also established a program for vacationers to connect with and partner with the poor called Vacation with Purpose. Through this program individuals and families add meaning to their vacations by assisting English teachers, delivering purified water to the workers in the dump, assisting with feeding programs, providing school supplies and toys, repairing roofs, painting, replacing dirt floors with poured concrete and doing various other projects. Along with families on vacation, Ric and Joy host 10-12 mission teams each year that work with local churches and serve the poor through home improvement projects. CompassioNet Impact is now a registered charity in Canada and administers interest-free small business loans and, using volunteers, builds homes and provides interest-free mortgages on the homes they build in partnership with the local family.