Tuesday, February 23, 2021

God showed Anna how to use her pain to minister to others who suffer.

Anna Cortinas was raised in a Christian home in Beaumont, TX. She committed her heart to Jesus and was baptized at sixteen in Templo Bautiusta of Beaumont. In 1987, she enlisted in the US Army and served as a records clerk for four years in Germany. Following her military service, she worked for the Social Security Administration as a claims representative for ten years.

She enrolled at the Baptist University of the Americas (BUA), pursing a call that seemed unclear at the time. There, she began to grow spiritually as she gained a deeper knowledge of the Bible. God was changing her and giving clarity to her call. It was her participation in BUA’s first Latina Leadership Institute group that helped her find her ministry voice. She credits Dr. Nora Lozano with giving her the encouragement to break the shackles that limit so many women in ministry. 

She was a gifted teacher but had been restricted to teaching only women by her fundamentalist church. Anna accepted this constraint because she had never seen an alternative. When she preached her first sermon, she found a greater confidence in her calling. Following her graduation from BUA, in 2008, she continued to teach and preach and served as hospital chaplain. She even preached at her home church, where she had once been told that women aren’t allowed to preach. Still, she felt a strong call to something more in her ministry.

Being at her brother’s side and caring for him in the final stages of his life reinforced Anna’s gift of mercy, expressed by caring for suffering people. She grew in her understanding of how God can use the hardship and trauma in her life to help others in their time of need. 

In 2018, Anna enrolled in the Master of Theology program at Dallas Baptist University, preparing for the next phase of her ministry. She currently serves as an intern at Baptist Temple, where she will apply her organizational and interpersonal skills, along with her spirit of encouragement to help serve the spiritual needs of our community. She will take the lead in developing support groups and helping hurting people to discover God’s unconditional love and healing.

Anna has three children and five grandchildren.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Nate Clark shares the gospel and teaches others to do the same.

Nate Clark grew up in rural Iowa and has lived in San Antonio for almost 10 years. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in pottery from Graceland University in Lamoni, IA, he served as a chef in fine dining restaurants for 13 years until God called him into full-time ministry three years ago.

Nate says, “There was a time in my life when I was very angry, hurt, and had no sense of self-worth, mostly because my dad didn’t love me. I hated everyone and everything and myself most of all. I contemplated or planned suicide or suicide bombing on several occasions. My life absolutely sucked.

“Then, when I was 16, I read the Bible. I learned that God loves me and that he showed his love for me in Christ. He put His money where His mouth was and proved His love for me. It wasn’t just a hollow claim. He loves me so much He died for me. And not just that- but His love for me was so wholesome and so complete that His death also gave me forgiveness for my sin. The death I very justly deserved for being the absolutely terrible person that I was, was paid for in Jesus’s sacrifice. And as if that wasn’t enough, I got the Father I always wanted. Because of what Jesus has done, and because I have received Him and believed in Him, I have the right to call myself a child of God because that is what I am!

“When I learned this, it absolutely blew my mind. It totally wrecked me. I chose to accept Jesus’s love for me and follow him. Now my life is completely different than I ever imagined it could be. I have a wife who God uses every day to test me and try me but also to remind me of His great love. And now I’m a father! I have a son who I get to love and be an example for.”

Nate credits Ben Hanna for mentoring his spiritual development and equipping him to do the work of the Great Commission. His life changed in a way he never would have imagined. He, then, began his ministry of sowing the seed of the gospel and teaching other believers how to obey Jesus, by committing themselves to the work of the gospel.

Nate works closely with a global network of disciple-makers, missionaries, and church planters called No Place Left (NPL), who focus on using simple, biblical, and easily reproducible tools to facilitate God’s movement into all the peoples of the world. His partners include a network of traditional and non-traditional churches, the Baptist General Convention of Texas and E-3 Partners.

Along with his wife Alison and son, Keith, Nate has moved into Baptist Temple’s Olaya Long House as Missionaries in Residence. They will practice hospitality evangelism in our neighborhood and help equip God’s people to be soul-winners.


Friday, February 19, 2021

A lesson from the ant

Over the past several years San Antonio has endured a few emergencies. Following Hurricane Harvey, there was a run on gasoline which created a local shortage. At the beginning of the pandemic there was a shortage of toilet paper and cleaning supplies. During this week’s prolonged freeze, we experienced closed highways, loss of power and loss of running water. It only lasted four days but, of course, we ran out of gasoline, groceries, toilet paper, water, etc.

There are some lessons to be learned.

First. We are vulnerable to disruptions in our utilities and supply chains. The disruptions are unpredictable and can come in combinations. Our recent loss of power and water was amplified by the limitations on travel caused by icy roads. Warming stations and shelters were opened but COVID-19 restricted the capacity. On the other hand, both utilities and the supply chain have proven to be resilient. The lights come back on, the water flows and the stores are restocked.

Second. Most people are very generous in an emergency. Food and water were being given away. Churches and other public buildings were opened as shelters. Neighbors looked out for one another, sharing their resources.

Third. We need to store supplies to tide us over in an emergency. FEMA recommends three days. That’s how long it can take local, state and or federal authorities to get to you. Supplies ought to include water (one gallon per person per day), canned food, candles, flashlights and batteries. Always make sure you have enough of your prescription medicines. Don’t let your vehicle’s fuel drop below half a tank and top it off if expecting bad weather.

Other items to consider are a battery powered weather radio, meal bars and extra pet food. Having a gallon of water in your vehicle during the summer and a blanket in the winter won’t hurt.

There will be another emergency. We don’t know what it will be or when but the time to prepare is when store shelves are stocked. The Bible wants us to learn from the ant.

Proverbs 6:6-8 says “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise. It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Kathleen Lanzalotto leads the BTELC through challenging times

Born and raised in New Jersey, Kathleen Lanzalotto became the Director of the Baptist Temple Early Learning Center last year, just as the pandemic hit. At first, the decision was made to shut down the ELC, but the child-care needs of medical personnel and other essential workers led us to reopen.

Leading the training and creation of new protocols, Kathleen created a safer environment for teachers and children. In two weeks, we were back in business. By the end of the year, we acquired a new van and expanded our after school program by providing services to other area schools.

Kathleen always wanted to be a teacher but had been told she was not smart enough. Kathleen has dyslexia, a disorder that makes learning difficult. Refusing to accept limitations, she attended school part-time and earned a Bachelor’s degree in child development and business.

Her personal struggles with traditional learning systems helped her to raise two children with dyslexia. Both achieved academic success. The oldest received an Associate’s degree in cosmetology, the youngest is in college studying to be a doctor and has a 4.0 Grade Point Average.

Following her husband’s death in 2010, Kathleen moved to San Antonio to be closer to family. Having previously operated a Montessori Academy in New Jersey, Kathleen opened an early learning center in San Antonio, applying her academic training and her sensitivity to children who learn differently.

She sold her successful business but soon returned to the field of early childhood learning. Feeling there was more for her to do, Kathleen accepted the position at Baptist Temple. Kathleen wants to take BTELC to the next level, so it becomes the standard for other schools to follow. Our Google rating went from half a star to 4.3 stars in her first year.

Kathleen's leadership has enabled the BTELC to excel through challenging times.  We recently passed all our inspections with no negative observations. Parents are saying, “I’m calling you because you have a five star rating.”