Hoya de Bartola, 'The Hole'
Jenny... Nathanael, Ismael
- To complete the building of the temple building
- A mini bus to transport the church
- Energy to complete our house
- For an intimate relationship with God
- time with his family
At age 14, and coming from a broken home, Felix was first introduced to Christ when his brother invited him to his church for a special Christmas dinner. What impressed him most about that night was the unity he witnessed among the church people. He wanted what they had.
Felix accepted Christ and became active in the church, leading him to attend seminary classes. From there he began working with Gabriel (G.O.’s original Caribbean president) as the assistant pastor at G.O.’s Central Church. The church leadership became acquainted with an especially needy area of Santiago called The Hole and wanted to help the people there. Felix stepped up to take on the full-time job of ministering to this community that is built upon a dump and, at that time, ruled by a drug lord.
As G.O. Ministries came alongside to help Felix, it was decided that a nutrition center was needed to feed the children. Originally 40 kids were fed a hot meal six days a week, but today over 125 children are regularly fed in The Hole. When Felix first arrived, not one Christian could be found there, but today, through God’s grace, there are 50 baptized believers, many of whom attend Felix’s church.
Drugs, prostitution, and extreme poverty abound in The Hole. Teenage pregnancy is a huge issue as well. A G.O. staff member conducts sex education and pre-natal classes as a beginning step to confront this generational problem and promote preventative steps to changing the mindset that reigns in the Hole. Felix offers some social activities for the men such as domino tournaments to introduce them to the church community.
His vision for the future is to provide schooling for the girls in The Hole so they will be educated and learn a trade to support themselves.
Felix and his wife Maria “Jenny” Reynoso (the principal at G.O.’s school) are raising two young sons, Felix Nathanael (age 8) and Ismael (age 2).