HOUSTON (BP) -- A 45-minute season of prayer for the U.S. highlighted the annual convocation of the Hispanic National Fellowship of Southern Baptist Churches in Houston.

J. Antonio Gamiochipi, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista of Alief, and members of the Houston-area church hosted the event June 10 at Alief, which provided both a meal and worship service.

Augusto Valverde, pastor of Iglesia Un Nuevo Amanecer in Miami, led the prayer time that has been a tradition for the Hispanic fellowship at every Southern Baptist Convention. The congregation prayed in small groups using a "Concert of Prayer" format prevalent in many Spanish-speaking churches.

Attendees addressed specific needs of the U.S. as a leader presented the prayer themes, which included family, churches, education, government, armed forces and unity, and the groups then prayed for various matters in each theme.

Nelson Daniel Venturini, pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Restauracion in Houston and a professional family counselor, preached about the Christian family and the challenges it faces in the present culture. Venturini based his message on a code for family construction which he uses as a family therapy tool. Using 15 concepts for building a strong and healthy family, Venturini challenged attendees to build a strong family. The code and other information can be accessed at www.constructoresdelafamilia.org.

Mateo Ariza Sosa, a member of the Primera Iglesia Bautista of Alief, said "it was impressive to see the beauty of God in the prayers, the songs and the teaching." The convocation was the first time Sosa, a newly converted believer, had participated in this event.

Representatives from the North American Mission Board, the International Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources and GuideStone Financial Resources were present to answer questions and provide available resources in Spanish. Attendees also received a copy of the Spanish translation of the book "Radical" by Alabama pastor David Platt as a gift from LifeWay en Español.

David Raul Lema, Jr. is associate team strategist for theological education ministries at the Florida Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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