Monday, January 29, 2007

January Seminary a Great Success

North Georgia United Methodist Bishop Lindsey Davis traveled to Venezuela to teach a week of classes on the Theology of John Wesley. As usual, he did an excellent job and was most appreciated by the students. About 50 students attended the session which lasted from Monday afternoon until Friday afternoon. They received 3 credits toward their "Bachelors" degree from the seminary (It is an undergraduate degree equivalent to a Bachelors degree in the US).

unfortunately, the Assembly of God students were away on a denomination's retreat, and that reduced the enrollment by about 20 students. However, most of the students who attended the seminary class were United Methodist or very interested in and supportive of the United Methodist Church of Venezuela. The reduced class size allowed more one on one attention by Bishop Davis.

In addition to the Bishop's teaching, Warren Lathem taught two hours on the modern rise of the "Apostolic Movement" and how it is divorced from both the New Testament precedent and historic church practice. The Dean taught two hours on Holiness in the Wesleyan Movement. Both of these were a part of the Wesleyan Theology course work.

The seminary continues to grow and develop more strength and reputation among the evangelicals of Venezuela. It provides a high quality theological education in an accessible format and at an affordable price. The students' tuition pays the cost of the rental of the facility and charitable dollars from churches in the US pay for all teacher, administration, books and material costs.

You, your Sunday School Class, or your Church can sponsor a student's education for one year for just $1200. We need your help. Please make this a matter of prayer.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

January Update from the Herrins in Venezuela

In October, we welcomed a wonderful team from the Marietta First UMC that came to renovate two day-care centers that are a part of the Lugar Altisimo ministry in La Concordia. They were able to both paint the centers and provide delightful VBS programs for the children in the mornings. In the evenings, we shared and worshiped in several of Lugar Altisimo’s other ministry areas.

In early November, Calhoun First UMC brought a team to help in the completion of the Lugar Altisimo church…a long-running project that all are thrilled to see come to completion. The team sanded, dug, painted, erected, poured, welded…you name it! And, they left funds to finish the last part of the project—the floor! We hope to have all completely finished by the end of January.

In mid-November, we took a long weekend and went with the Cosbys to visit Pastor Raul Lavinz at the First UMC of San Cristóbal in the state of Táchira in southwest Venezuela. We enjoyed the LONG and beautiful drive there and back, and enjoyed a Sunday worship service together in which Jon preached. It was so good to see another expression of God’s people here in Venezuela, and we had a fun time sharing with our missionary friends.

Over Thanksgiving, a team from the Mount Pisgah UMC in Alpharetta came and made some huge strides in the construction of the children’s home that will be a part of the Lugar Altisimo ministry. This team of five men gave up Thanksgiving with their families and came to work alongside the Venezuelans. Thank all the teams!

We have continued to help on Tuesday evenings at the Camino de Santidad mission just outside our city of Cabudare. Jeanne and the girls are working with the children there, and Pastor Jeremias and I are examining some possibilities for a rented space for the church to meet. Right now, the group meets on a large patio of a home.

The work of our pastors continues to go forward. They will all be gathering on January 22nd for a week of seminary, and we are thrilled that Bishop Lindsey Davis of the North Georgia Conference will be our professor that week. It will be a wonderful time of sharing, learning, and making further steps towards the formation of a national church.

We are thrilled and amazed that God has allowed us to have a part in all of this! Small as it may be, we do what we can to encourage and teach and help the Church go forward in this part of God’s wonderful world.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bishop Lindsey Davis to Teach in January Seminary

Bishop Lindsey Davis is preparing to make his second trip to Venezuela, this time to teach in the January Session of the Wesleyey Seminary of Venezuela in Barquisimeto. His first trip was in August of 2005 when he took the entire North Georgia Conference Cabinet on a mission trip to Venezuela. As far as we know this was the first ever foreign mission trip for an entire Conference Cabinet. Bishop Davis has prepared the material he will teach in this class on the History of Methodism.

The students are very excited to have Bishop Davis teach as many of them met him and attended worship where he preached when he was in Venezuela in 2005.
The students of the Wesley Seminary are among the most responsive and respectful students the various faculty members have ever had the privilege of teaching. They are eager to learn and many of them immediately apply their learning in their local church ministries.

In addition to Bishop Davis' teaching, the deans of the seminary will gather information from the student body that will greatly expand our data base for the work of the seminary. Some of this information will be appropriate to share on this site at a later date.

Please pray for this week of seminary. Things continue to get more difficult in Venezuela due to the political environment. We are working as diligently and faithfully as we can while we can.

It is imperative we train as many pastors and lay leaders as possible while the door is open. We have no idea how long this door of opportunity will stay open. We know the Lord opened the door and no man can close it. However, we are not privy to God's grand design for the United Methodist Church of Venezuela or the Wesley Seminary of Venezuela. However, we do know that today t
he door is open. We will be faithful if you will pray.

While we are in Venezuela in January, I hope to meet with an architect and surveyor to begin the next steps on the construction of the seminary campus. We also hope to finally get title for the future seminary site so we can begin exploration for an adequate water source, the first step in the development.

Pray for safe travel. Pray for the students. Pray for the Bishop. Pray for the Administration and Staff of the Seminary. Pray for the Missionaries to Venezuela. Pray for the lost of this great country. Pray for more laborers in this rich harvest field.