Pastor César Castellanos

Founder & Senior Pastor
Misión Carismática Internacional
Bogota, Colombia

What stirred such a great love for the nations?

Back in 1997, we rented the colosseum which was the largest indoor venue in Bogota with a capacity of 14,000 people. The place we previously used was for 3,000 people and we were running seven Sunday services. When we rented the colosseum, I planned on having just one service, but we had to do two because it was just way too crowded. I told my personal assistant to cancel any other commitments I had so I could work on my local church, which was my priority then, but God’s ways are higher than our ways. Two months later, I suffered an assassination attempt, and I had no choice but to leave the country. I lived aboard for seven months before coming back to Colombia. On one occasion after the assassination attempt, an unknown lady approached one of my sisters at the hospital where I was staying. She told my sister, without knowing who I was, that in one day, the hosptial received 70,000 over phone calls asking for me. I realised then that I didn’t just owe myself to Colombia, I am indebted to the world. From that moment, my nation was no longer my priority but the nations. God had opened a door for me to compensate and give back to the nations who prayed for me in my time of need and difficulty.

How would you describe our G12 Asia Coordinator, Apostle Lawrence Khong?

Personally, I find the most difficult thing in this world is to choose your friend. I can relate to many people but I am selective to call someone a friend. When I met Lawrence and Nina, there was a spiritual connection between us. In Latin America, people have a terrible perception of magic. However, when I heard Lawrence was an illusionist, I didn’t think badly of him. Instead, I saw magic as an unconventional way of reaching out to people. Back then, when I was in the process of calling people to be in my international team – there were great people like ministers amongst the team, they advised me that he is not a good man for the team. I disagreed, for it was God who told me Lawrence is the missing piece in the Vision. Even though they tried to tarnish his reputation by speaking ill of him, I didn’t relent. The voice of God was clear and I knew that those who spoke differently are not from God. My relationship with Lawrence grew stronger over the years as he knows when to approach me for help when needed.

How has the journey of pastoring Misión Carismática Internacional (MCI) changed your life?

Like Paul, I immediately knew what my calling was when I got saved. There was this passion that stirred within my heart to preach the gospel and the day after I got saved, I approached a group of people and started sharing about Jesus. Thereafter, God led me to a Christian church and I started growing in my faith. At that time, I was pastoring small churches, and when God gave me a vision, I was able to concieve the size of my church in my mind. Hence, I prayed to God to cause this vision to grow within my heart and God’s helping hand was evident. I find the greatest difficulty when God gives us a dream is our lack of persistence. We need to feed the dream and not allow anything to stop us from chasing the dream. The dream has to always grow within us and we need to reproduce the dream in other people. Initially, I was unclear of the things God would do for us. God seemed to be leading me in different stages, similar to what He told Abraham, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” So I went and started moving without knowing what the end goal would be.

Then I came to the stage when MCI was founded. That was when I understood that I needed a cell structure. Back then in the 1990s, I felt so frustrated, as although I had a great vision, I had only 70 cell groups. I prayed fervently asking God to show me how we could grow even more, and God told me clearly about the Government of 12, the G12 Vision. Soon after the church grew, consolidated and strengthened, and I suffered an assassination attempt. I then understood God was moving me into another stage, to impact not just my local church, but the nations of the world. The crux is how to impact the nations of the world without implicating my local church, and that’s where the G12 Vision comes in. I reproduced the same dream I had in my disciples. We started training and forming teams of pastors to preach to the multitudes, locally and globally so even when I’m not physically present, they are able to preach, following the guidelines I have taught them. The G12 Vision is not centred on just one person or leader, but on a team with every person striving to do the work of God and in turn, impact the nation and nations.

What is something you find really unique about Singapore?

For one thing, Singapore just won her first Olympic gold medal. Congratulations! I’m also amazed to see how everything is done with outstanding excellence in this beautiful country. The moment we arrived at the airport, we were pleasantly greeted with a clean environment. It would be rare to find such a clean city elsewhere in the world. In addition, Singapore has a strong government that does not tolerate evil, which is a model example for other countries. A major problem western countries face is a tendency to think that evil is merely a little mistake we need to fix. That’s not the case. In a nutshell, it’s amazing that Singapore has such great accomplishments, albeit a short history.

Other than sports, do you have other favourite pastimes?

Yes, I love football, soccer, tennis, table tennis and basketball. The Lord has always given us time to enjoy sports as a family. I love going bike riding with my young son, Matías and playing tennis with my daughter, Sara. As my sons-in-law stay near to us, we often play soccer together at night. Other than sports, I also enjoy cooking very much. My children always ask me what I’m cooking for lunch or dinner so they can bring their friends over! Matías especially likes the meat and salmon I cook. I’ve even had my disciples coming to my house just to taste my signature steak. Spending time with my family every weekend is such a joy!