Hosanna Church, which recently dedicated a multimillion-dollar facility in Managua, leads hundreds to Christ weekly
More than 3,000 people gathered in Managua, Nicaragua, for the recent dedication of Hosanna Church’s multimillion-dollar sanctuary.
Sitting atop a hill overlooking Lake Managua, the facility is home to the largest evangelical center in the nation, which sees more than 500 decisions for Christ each week, regularly receives reports of miracles that occur during its TV program and hosts daily radio broadcasts.
At its helm is pastor David Spencer, who once fled the nation after becoming a target for the ruling Sandinista regime. Today he is described as a dynamic and motivational speaker who has helped win thousands to Christ in one of the world’s poorest nations.
“David Spencer is the most impressive person I know,” said Thomas Paino Jr., former pastor of Lakeview Christian Center in Indianapolis who helped build Hosanna Church. Spencer, who was translating for Paino at the dedication service in October, refused to translate the comment.
Impressive or not, Spencer is influential. Former Nicaragua President Arnoldo Alemán sought him out for prayer and counsel after Alemán was charged with laundering more than $100 million of government funds. Spencer prayed daily with Alemán, who left office in 2002 and is currently under house arrest awaiting trial.
A son of U.S. missionaries, Spencer, 58, first came to Nicaragua with his parents in the 1960s, then returned in the 1980s to preach during the Sandinista war. Under scrutiny from the Marxist-Leninist regime, Spencer received death threats after he spoke before 20,000 people in the national stadium. After several deportations and a jailing, Spencer left Nicaragua in the late 1980s vowing not to return unless God gave the word.
In the early 1990s, after the defeat of the Sandinistas, Spencer was invited to Nicaragua to speak at a pastors conference. During the meeting some pastors told him they believed he was called to Nicaragua. Then leading a large church in Panama, Spencer determined that he would return only if God confirmed it.
A short time later two ministers separately told him they believed God wanted him to return to Nicaragua. Upon his return to Panama, Spencer said he began to sense God confirming their words during his own times of prayer.
Within two months Spencer and his wife, Bonnie, were on their way to Nicaragua. Before he arrived, Spencer called a real estate agent and asked her to check the price on a piece of land he had seen on a hill overlooking Lake Managua.
The owner demanded $525,000 and a six-month “buy” period. If he did not complete the purchase in time, Spencer would forfeit all funds paid and lose the land. Spencer said that was the beginning of his walk of faith. Before then, he said, the largest amount of money he had ever received was $20,000.
The first payment of $60,000 arrived on time. Then the second payment of $70,000 arrived on time. The third payment of $150,000 was slow coming. At the last minute, he received a call from a donor offering $100,000. Raising the balance didn’t seem so daunting after that.
Since then, Spencer, who is on the board of directors of Paul Yonggi Cho’s church in Korea, has purchased more land to build a prayer mountain, and bought a small radio station. Now he has his sights on starting a TV station, and he’s searching for more property to build a school and preschool, and grow a farm.
And Spencer said he isn’t afraid to ask God for more. “You know that Scripture ‘Ask and you shall receive?’ Well, what is the next word? It’s ‘seek and you shall find.'” he told Charisma. “It is fervent asking, fervent seeking and fervent knocking. It’s perseverance. It’s tenacity. If you are doing something that you can do alone it probably is not from the Lord.”
Joan Wilson Carter in Managua, Nicaragua