Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pardon the Personal, But....

A most amazing thing occurred this week. I received a call from a woman (Dayana) in Alpharetta stating that her mother (Doris) and father were visiting from Punto Fijo, Venezuela and that they are members of the UMC in Punto Fijo. Their pastor, Juvenal Perez, had insisted they contact me for a time to get acquainted. (See earlier posts for pictures and stories of the Punta Fijo Church and the pastors.)

We made an appointment for this past Tuesday at 5:30. At the last minute, I invited my daughter in law to go with me to meet these unknown Venezuelans. She agreed. When we arrived at their home a surprise occurred to everyone. It seems the parents know our daughter in law's parents and have even hosted them in their home some 4 or 5 years previously, including our daughter in law, Lim. What a coincidence! But it is not over yet.

The daughter, Dayana, had worked with Lim's sister, Betha, here in Alpharetta. But there is even more. As we discussed the church in Punto Fijo, I discovered that the building the church used to rent was owned by Doris' husband. I had helped with the rent and here, sitting in Alpharetta, was the man who owned the building I was helping the church to rent.

It goes on... Doris was very insistent that I must visit Punto Fijo since I have never personally visited their city in all my trips to Venezuela. I was happy to inform her that since she left Punto Fijo for a month of visiting in Alpharetta, I had formalized plans to visit Punta Fijo in August, conduct a pastors conference and attend worship in her church.

Some will see all of this as simply a series of coincidences. I guess a statistician can calculate the odds of all of the above occurring between a nation of 30 million people and almost 300 million people. However, I choose to believe it was much greater than a coincident. I believe it was a God-Incident! It is indicative of how God has worked in our lives ever since Carlos Gonzalez from Valencia, Venezuela showed up at my office in 1994. This post would be too long and boring to relate how God has continually drawn us to Venezuela and to work with the United Methodists there. However, this most recent experience is further confirmation that we are blessed to join with Christ in the ministry in Venezuela.

If you are still reading this endless post, please consider that God may be calling you to work with our brothers and sisters in Venezuela. If you would like more information please contact me, Warren Lathem, at I welcome the opportunity to discuss what God is doing in Venezuela! We serve the One who came to serve us.
Warren Lathem

Vacation Bible School in Punta Fijo

Friday, June 09, 2006

Update from Dan and Nancy Dunn

Dan and Nancy Dunn finish 12 years as Minister of Missions at Mount Pisgah UMC in Alpharetta and move to Wilmore, KY where Dan will puruse his PhD. at Asbury Theological Seminary while continuing to expand his work in Venezuela and Costa Rica. Below is a partial update from the Dunn's. If you would like to receive his full periodic update, just write to him at the email address at the botttom of this post.

Upcoming Schedule
Dan will be in Athens next week (June 12-15) for Annual Conference. He then flies to Costa Rica on June 16th for a month-long trip.

Nancy continues working through June 30, then flies to Costa Rica July 3 to spend two weeks with Dan. After we both return on July 16th, we will take that week to do final packing. We hope the movers can move us to Wilmore the week of July 24 or the week of July 31.

On August 7th we return to Atlanta, so Dan can teach an evangelism workshop in Marietta. On August 10th we fly to Venezuela to visit Pastor Thoby Ramirez (pictured above), and Dan will preach there on Sunday the 13th. We then fly to Barquisimeto for Seminary classes, where Dan and Warren Lathem will teach a course on Global Mission Outreach. We return to the States August 21, and begin the final process of settling in before beginning the semester begins.

Support Update

We are raising support for a 4-year period, July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2010. Our funding goal for this period is $250,000. This includes salary, housing, pension, insurance, and ministry expenses (travel expenses to Costa Rica and Venezuela, etc.). Due to God’s amazing grace and the generosity of friends like you, we are grateful to report that this goal is currently 25% funded with gifts-in-hand and faithful pledges. Thank you for your support. Please continue to talk about our ministry with other people, and let us know if there is a s mall group, a church, or an individual, who would like to hear about our ministry.

Prayer Points

• Trip to Annual Conference
• Trip to Costa Rica
• Guapiles Mission Team
• Nicoya Mission Teams
• Liberia Mission Team
• San Pedro Mission Team
• Support-Raising
• Chris and Eleanor walking with Christ
• John and Tara’s transition to Wilmore
• Residence visas for Jon Herrin family, VZ
• Transition for David/Carol Cosby to VZ
• Ray/Lidia Zirkel, Sarah, Emma
• Steve/Caroline Gober, Natalia, Fernandito

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

To contact Dan and Nancy - VNI, P. O. Box 1655, Duluth, GA 30096 – - 770.722.8470

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Praying about 2007? Read on...

  • Jon and Jeanne Herrin write from Venezuela about opportunities for you and your church in 2007. Please pray about your involvement is what God is doing in Venezuela through the United Methodist Church of Venezuela.

  • Campus Minister / Youth Minister Alert!!!! For 2007: We would like to receive two youth/young adult teams who can come and present the Gospel through drama/mime (no Spanish required!!!); who can provide “abstinence” education through the same medium; who can develop a passion for sharing the love of God with teens/young adults here. The teams would perform in schools, on street corners, and in town squares. It’ll be a blast!!! What a great Spring Break or Summer Mission Trip, eh??? Please contact Jon or Jeanne if you have an interest:

  • Venezuela Mission 2007 – Does your church, men’s/women’s group, or Sunday School class want to come and work alongside the church here in Venezuela?? Are you sensing God calling you to reach “to the ends of the earth” in person??? We have needs for work teams of all sorts—building structures, renovating existing structures, leading Bible schools for children. Contact us and let us know if your group or congregation is ready for the experience of a life-time—if you’re ready to change lives…and see your own lives changed.