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In 1990, the Crystal Cathedral started a ministry for the Hispanic community, and two years ago, Dante Gebel (DG) accepted God's calling to be the new pastor for the Crystal Cathedral Hispanic Ministry congregation. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dante, along with his wife Liliana and their children, came to the Crystal Cathedral from Miami on April 19, 2009. Dante began leading the Hispanic service which then totaled 500 people and today, the Cathedral is filled each Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with a growing and vibrant congregation. Sheila Schuller Coleman (SSC) interviews Pastor Dante.
SSC: We have a very vibrant, fast growing Hispanic congregation that meets at 1:00 p.m. every Sunday here in the Crystal Cathedral. This morning, my guest is Pastor Dante Gebel, a tremendous man of faith who is leading our Hispanic congregation. Please welcome with me, Dante Gebel!
Dante, we are so excited about what God is doing through your ministry. And we are so grateful that God called you and that you said yes to come here. We, the English speaking congregation, would love nothing more than for the Hispanic congregation, under your leadership, to be the biggest in the world!
DG: The Hispanic congregation here at the Crystal Cathedral has grown in less time than most congregations grow in all of Southern California and God has made this miracle. The presence of God in this place is the most wonderful gift. The people feel it in the parking lot when they are arriving for the service. The glory of God is here.
Twenty years ago, Dr. Schuller shared his love for the Hispanic community and he opened these doors and we are very happy for that. So thank you to Dr. Schuller and thank you, Pastor Sheila. Thank you. Thank you.
SSC: Well we are thrilled that you are here. So the glory of God is here and that has been your prayer.
DG: Yes and that's the gift that God has given us. I recently spoke with Pastor Jim Penner and I told him that when I came two years ago, I prayed, "Lord, Your presence must be with the Hispanics. If Your presence comes, it will come from the north, from the south, from the east and from the west, and the people will feel something different." And the Lord came! He's here!
SSC: Praise God. Praise God. Now we've heard that lives are being changed in the Hispanic congregation.
DG: Yes, we've heard some amazing stories. Their style of life, the quality of life, cancers have been healed, tumors, terminal sickness. Each Sunday, we have testimonies from persons who have been changed. I believe it's prophesied that here in the Crystal Cathedral, Americans, Hispanics, Arabs and Chinese all will see the glory of God.
SSC: That's right!
DG: I believe in that.
SSC: Yes, amen. Amen. Now you also televise your service. Who all can see Dante Gebel from Crystal Cathedral?
DG: Last Sunday there were two million people watching the service through the internet. We air on Daystar and are seen in 112 nations. We air on Enlace, which is a Hispanic network and are in 60 different countries. We also air four times a week from Canada to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. People know that something historical is happening here at the Crystal Cathedral. God is good.
SSC: God is good. And you have a beautiful wife Liliana, and four children.
DG: Yes, we are very happy. Liliana is a wonderful, beautiful woman. And we have four children: three boys and one girl; two Americans, and two Argentineans.
SSC: Meaning the last two were born here in the United States.
DG: Yes, Brian and Kevin were born in Argentina, and Jason in Miami and Megan in California.
SSC: Wow, an international family.
DG: Yes, yes.
SSC: So what can we do to help support your ministry?
DG: You have already done so much. From Dr. Schuller, from you; this ministry has opened the doors of this house, this Cathedral. You make us feel like family. When I first came to the Cathedral, I was afraid and wondered if I'd feel uninvited. But I don't feel that way. You let me borrow this house, and you open the doors for the Hispanic congregation and that makes me feel good. I talk to other pastors from other ministries and they always ask if I have freedom to work. They are surprised to hear that I've been given the freedom to work. I tell them I have complete freedom – I even walk on the fountain!
DG: God is in this place and I want to thank you. It's been an extraordinary journey. I look around and see people who have been here for many years and I've only been here two years. Thank you for welcoming us and for letting us be a part of the Crystal Cathedral family. Thank you.
SSC: We are grateful for you, Dante, and we are grateful for Liliana. We are grateful to God that He gifted you. We are grateful that you said yes, that you are here today and I'd like to close with a prayer for you and your ministry.
Lord Jesus Christ, thank You, thank You for Dante, thank You for Liliana and thank You for their four beautiful children. Thank You that this family has come here to give their lives to serve You and to help build this beautiful, powerful ministry from Crystal Cathedral Ministries. Oh Lord, it is for You and we give You the glory. We give You the gratitude. I pray for blessings on Dante and his family. I pray for blessings on our Hispanic ministry, and I pray for Your protection, oh God. Thank You Jesus, it is in Your name we pray, amen. Thank you, Dante.
DG: Thank you.
SSC: For more information on our Hispanic ministry, go to www.catedraldecristal.org.