Tuesday, September 09, 2014


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September Newsletter

Pastor Carlos Pirona assumes the Presidency of Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela. Warren Lathem becomes President Emeritus
Dear Jane,
Since 2002 we have had the goal of raising up a fully indigenous seminary in Venezuela. This is a major step toward the realization of that goal. President Pirona has taken over responsibility for the property, operations and the staff of the Seminary. This is a huge step forward in many ways. Particularly, it provides much better leadership for this aspect of the ministry. It also frees our US team to focus more on academics, visioning, and the launching of the new on-line SEIN, Seminario Evangélico Internacional, the development of the graduate programs of SEMWESVEN, the establishment of more extension campus sites and launching the Church Planting Institute.

Pastor Carlos Pirona, Dr Maria Pirona, Warren Lathem
President Carlos Pirona and his wife, Dr. Maria Pirona, are the founding pastors of the Restauracion UMC in Barquisimeto, our largest UMC in Venezuela. They have also planted over a dozen new congregations in Venezuela and other Latin American nations, they are both graduates of SEMWESVEN and are currently enrolled in the Master's program. They have both taught courses at the Seminary. Dr. Maria is the Medical Director of the Wesley Medical Center on the Campus of SEMWESVEN. President Carlos is the Venezuelan President of the International Leadership Institute and also serves as the President of the Ministerial Association of the Lara State, the largest association in the nation. He and Pastora Maria will continue to serve as the lead pastors of the Restauracion Church and International Ministries.
I (Warren Lathem) am assuming a greater role in development for SEMWESVEN, SEIN, and the Wesley Medical Center. I will also continue to teach courses in the Practice of Ministry and Biblical Studies at SEMWESVEN, both undergraduate and graduate level, teach at some extension locations in Venezuela, teach courses for SEIN, and help with the development of the recording studio at SEMWESVEN. Additionally, I will promote and recruit for both seminaries and continue to raise partners and funding for all the above,
Dr. Dan Dunn will continue to serve as the Academic Dean of SEMWESVEN, undergraduate and graduate degree programs. He also assumes the role of President of SEIN. He will continue to teach in all the schools, supervise the curriculum, translate on occasion for other faculty, administer the programs, recruit faculty, and raise up Venezuelan professors. He continues to play a vital role in our attempt to constantly improve the quality and accessibility of this excellent theological education.
Dr. David Cosby will continue in his role as Dean of Students of SEMWESVEN. He is a beloved professor who will continue to teach several courses in both SEMWESVEN and SEIN. Additionally, we expect to launch a new Institute of Church Planting under David's leadership and expand our extension campus offerings through his leadership. Additionally, David serves as the Field Director for One Missionary Society, Venezuela, and will be working with mission teams and other projects of OMS. He and Carol are career missionaries and bring much needed spiritual maturity and experience to this work. They are preparing to live full time in Venezuela.

Baptismal Candidates
These and many other developments in the work in Venezuela are indicative of the rapid growth of the ministry there. The church in Venezuela is exploding with growth, especially among the youth of the nation. The political, economic and secular spiritual environment is very difficult, beyond anything we can imagine in the US. But God is proportionally blessing the Church there.

Scores coming to Christ in Venezuela - Help us raise up well equipped leaders!
The greatest need for this work is the financial need. The last 12 months recorded in excess of 60% inflation in Venezuela. The rate of inflation for food was even higher! Therefore, attending seminary becomes more and more difficult.

 A young church in Venezuela needs trained leadership
Huge financial barriers stand in the way of many potential students, especially the 16-25 year old leaders of this explosive growth. They have the greatest need for this education, but the fewest financial recourses.
Will you help? I unashamedly ask you to prayerfully consider today making a $100 gift, or more, for this work. We desperately need at least 25 new people or churches to give this amount. Could you do this? If so, you may give via PayPal by clicking on the button below, 

Or you can send a check to:
PO Box 1655, Duluth
GA 30096

Thank you so very much. Your gift of $100 or more, or any size gift, will have a huge return on investment in Venezuela and in eternity. Remember, no US citizen receives any compensation from these gifts.

Report re: Samuel Rojas.  Thank you for your prayers, Sam continues to be free, but has to await a decision on his legal fate. The hearing was just postponed again to September 30. Remember, he was arrested for buying cement for the construction of the Medical Center, cement that was later deemed contraband. He spent two months in jail. Please continue to pray for his full exoneration.