Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Greetings in the name of the Prince of Peace from the students, faculty and staff of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.  We give thanks for you and pray for God’s blessing in your life.  Now for some GOOD NEWS:

The Lord has been good to the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela!  He has blessed this ministry in Venezuela with abundant fruit.  Students and pastors enrolled in the Seminary reached thousands of people with the Gospel this year.  They learned how to effectively make disciples, study the Bible, do practical effective evangelism, raise children God’s way, start new missions and preaching stations, and provide ministries of healing, help and hope.  And they are doing it!  God is doing a great work through the ministry we share together.

The Lord has been good to the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela!  This was our first year on our own campus, holding our first class here in January, 2009.  This meant we had to successfully negotiate the purchase price, work out a suitable purchase agreement (not an easy thing) and move the purchase through the legal morass that exists in an ever changing legal environment.  We also had to have the money, about $350,000 US equivalent, to purchase the property.  God provided the funds through giving and a $170,000 mortgage provided by a generous US supporter of the Seminary.  God also provided another $50,000 (US) for the vast improvements needed on the property.  Further, God provided US mission teams and labor from the indigenous pastors and churches to make the improvements.

The Lord has been good to the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela!  Security is a major concern in Venezuela.  This year we hosted 6 weeks of classes, children’s retreats, annual conferences, men’s retreats, women’s retreats, marriage enrichment retreats, couples retreats, engagement parties, church planning retreats, several US mission teams and more.  We did so without a single incident of violence or breach of security.  We have been erecting high security walls, electronic gates and video security monitoring devices, but the Lord is our refuge and strength!

The Lord has been good to the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela!  As you may recall, last December, the Board of the Seminary met and decided we could not have the January class due to lack of funds.  We decided to put out a fleece before the Lord and ask for $15,000 in 30 days.  The God of all grace used many of you to provide the $15,000 and $10,000 more!  Of course, improvements necessary to have class on the property cost more than estimated and the extra $10,000 was needed to host that first and all subsequent classes.  God knew what we did not know and was “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.”  We finished the December class with just enough money to pay all our operating bills.  While we still need physical improvements, we are trusting the Lord to provide those resources.  We just give thanks for being able to close the year in the black, a feat not known this year in many non-profits.
The Lord has been good to the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela!  We have an annual mortgage payment due each Dec. 31 in the amount of $30,000.  One month ago we only had half that amount.  Today, with what has been given and pledged, we will be able to make that payment on time and in full!  Praise His Holy Name.

The Lord has been good to the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela!  Due to the generosity of the US church, David and Carol have been able to give excellent leadership to the Seminary, mentoring pastors and hosting mission teams.  They bring great Christian devotion, absolute Christian morals and ethics, great experience on several mission fields and a generous spirit to the work.  Unfortunately, one church just recently cut their support due to that church’s financial constraints.  We do not know where this money will come from, but it is critical for them to remain in Venezuela. Therefore, we unexpectedly must raise an additional sum this year which we did not have to raise last year. 
Therefore, I am asking you for a year-end gift to provide the resources for them to stay with the work in Venezuela. You can send a check simply marked: “DEAN” and mail it to the US address:  Venezuela Now, Inc.  PO Box 1655, Duluth, GA  30096.  You can also invite them  to come to your Sunday school class or church to share what God is dong in Venezuela.  Simply contact them through the comment section. 
The Lord has been good to the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela!  He has given you as a friend of this work.  We are thankful for the Lord’s goodness! We pray you will have a very blessed Christmas and a Christ-filled New Year.  We look forward to hearing from you.