Cape pastor involved in several ministries

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Edgardo Damian Praniuk poses for a photo Tuesday inside Christ Church of the Heartland in Cape Girardeau. (Laura Simon)

Born in Argentina, Edgardo Damian Praniuk grew up with his family involved in the ministry. Today he follows in these footsteps as the associate pastor, worship director, youth pastor and Spanish ministries director at Christ Church of the Heartland in Cape Girardeau. In addition to his responsibilities at the church, he also serves as an overseer for Church of God, a Spanish church, in Cleveland, Tenn. In this week's Ministry Focus, Praniuk talks about serving as a pastor and missionary as well as witnessing a miracle at a children's camp in the summer of 2002.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: My name is Edgardo Damian Praniuk. I was born in Argentina. I came to the U.S. in 1995. I'm married to Shellie Praniuk, and I have two wonderful boys.

Q: How long have you been a member of your faith?

A: I was born into a Christian family with four generations of ministers. However, I had a personal encounter with God at the age of 12.

Q: Who or what inspired you to become a worship leader?

A: Jesus. Also, my grandfather Praniuk and my father are both ministers. My grandfather Sabeff and my mother are/were worship leaders.

Q: What led you to move to Cape Girardeau?

A: I came to work at Christ Church of the Heartland as the director of Hispanic ministries.

Q: I understand you and your wife are involved in a missions project in Cordoba, Argentina. Tell us a little about that.

A: We work to feed the poor, distribute Bibles and house summer youth and children's camps.

Q: What's the greatest blessing you've experienced in the ministry?

A: God using my life to touch people in need.

Q: What's the greatest challenge you've experienced in the ministry?

A: Holding a child that had drowned in my arms and feeling completely helpless. (This was at a children's summer camp in 2002 in California.) However, although he was lifeless, I witnessed God bring him back to life. This was the greatest challenge and one of the greatest blessing of my ministry.

Q: What upcoming events, sermon series or other ministries do you have scheduled at Christ Church of the Heartland?

A: Translating for Pastor Robert Acosta (who was the associate pastor of a congregation of 40,000 in Chaco, Argentina) on June 17 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. I lead the youth service on Wednesday nights at the Generation Center at our church. In July, we are taking a group of 40 to Dallas for Youth for the Nations Summer Camp.

Q: What's your favorite Bible verse and why?

A: John 3:16. God loves us so much that he was willing to give his son for us not to be lost. As the father of two sons, I cannot imagine the love that fueled such a sacrifice.

Q: What makes your church unique?

A: Praise and worship is a critical part of our service. We love worshipping wholeheartedly.

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