the shape of leadership

A Heart to Serve

Four questions with Waleska Ramos-Orellana

Influence Magazine on January 2, 2019

In 2014, Waleska Ramos-Orellana, along with her husband, Roberto, a well-known Hispanic Christian singer, launched Casa de Amor y Fe in Lakeland, Florida. Today, the church holds five weekly services with more than 1,300 in attendance. Pursuing a vision to reach even more for the Kingdom, the church continues to share the love of Christ throughout its community.  

INFLUENCE: What has been the key to your church’s growth?
RAMOS-ORELLANA: The first key to our growth has been the prayer life of the church and the continual search for God’s presence. The second key has been the love, the compassion, and the clear and uncomplicated vision — a vision where everyone has a place to serve, to be accepted, to be loved, and to be restored, regardless of who they are.

That unconditional love and the intentional atmosphere have proven effective in our community. We have paid attention to the smallest of details to make sure, to the best of our ability, the church service can be an entire worship experience, from the parking lot all the way to the end of the service.

“We seek to follow the model of Jesus, recognizing that He came to serve, not to be served.”
— Waleska Ramos-Orellana

How has the Church Multiplication Network been a crucial part of your journey in the church-planting process?
I had the opportunity to be in the CMN Launch in Arizona in 2014. I left so blessed and equipped for what was coming next. That following October, we planted Casa de Amor y Fe, in Lakeland.

During this four-year journey, CMN has been an integral part of our church growth.

From CMN “Next” (a program that created a one-year follow-up for church plants), to the CMN Conference, and now the CMN Multiply Cohort, they have provided specific tools for specific seasons in the life of Casa de Amor y Fe.

In what ways is your church making a difference in the community?
We have been intentional in creating a culture of serving. We seek to follow the model of Jesus, recognizing that He came to serve, not to be served.

Our church works day in and day out with the homeless, children and nursing homes. We visit prisons once a month, do street outreach and evangelism, provide meals to those in need through our food pantry. We work with chaplaincy and visit rehab homes and shelters for battered women. We also serve our global missions field in Honduras, where we provide meals for over 1,000 children every day.

The foundation of your community and church is the family. How are you helping to strengthen families?
We are a family based church, and we lead by example. My husband and I have personally discipled the marriages in our church. We believe that the foundation of our community and the church is the family. That is why we dedicate this personal time to work with husbands and wives. Our slogan is, “Perfect marriages don’t exist, but we can have healthy ones.”

That, in turn, has become the DNA of the church and has been one of the keys to our growth. Families who have been restored and healed now restore and heal others.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of Influence magazine.


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