Saturday, November 19, 2011

Routine, But So Necessary

Often the work of the Seminary is so spiritual the presence of the Holy Spirit is almost tangible and the transformation is obvious as lives are eternally changed.  Classes erupt in genuine and heartfelt repentance and confession, renewal and praise.  Those times are beyond description.

However, most of the time, the work is just plain hard and ordinary.  Here is an example.  We are having to augment the water containment system by adding two very large new cisterns.  These cisterns will hold over 10,000 liters of fresh water.  The requirement is due to the intermittent water supply provided by the city.

In order to install the cisterns we have to remove a junk tree and dig a footing to pour a 12 inch thick steel reenforced concrete pad.  The pictures here of the beginning of that work to prepare for the construction of the pad and the installation of the water cisterns.

Unfortunately, one of the constants of life in Venezuela is ants - giant biting ants.  The digging of the footing exposed a huge colony of these indigenous residents of the Seminary property.  They require removal.

That process has been completed and now the footings are being dug in preparation for the pouring of the concrete pad.  Why is this news?  Because this improvement allows the Seminary to successfully host classes and church groups in excess of 100 persons.  This will multiply the ministry of the Seminary while solving one of the most pressing physical plant problems: Water.  Abundant Water.  While we may take that for granted in the US, it is not the case in the cities of Venezuela.  So, this improvement greatly enhances the campus in its ministry to the students and churches of Venezuela.

Giant Venezuelan Ants
Thank you for your help in this ministry.  Your gifts make this possible.  You may make a gift by sending a check to:
Venezuela Now, Inc.
PO Box 1655
Duluth, GA  30096

May God richly bless the alumni, students, faculty and staff of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela as they reach the lost of their nation, Latin America and North America. And may God bless you for your prayers and giving to this ministry.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

New Uniited Methodist Congregation in Upata, Venezuela

A quick update and celebration.  To the right you can see the welcoming banner for the newest United Methodist Church of the UMC of Venezuela.  Pastor Elinor, a student in the Seminario Weselyano de Venezuela and a friend for many years, has established this new work.

 In Venezuela, like most of Latin America, pastors plant churches wherever they discover a need. They usually do this without any outside financial support and often with little or no denominational support.  They understand the necessity of planting new congregations if they are to ever reach their generation for Christ.

No only do most founding pastors have little or no financial support or denominational support, most have little or no training in Church Planting, Pastoral Leadership, Biblical Interpretation or Theology. They have a Bible and a passion to reach others who do not know Jesus, and often some very ineffective models of ministry, and sometimes even heretical theology..

Pastora Elinor, however, has many more resources than most.  While there is no financial support, she does have denominational support from fellow United Methodist pastors and congregations in the eastern part of Venezuela and the support of the Conference and Bishop.  She also is a student in the Seminary which makes an excellent theological education affordable and accessible to her, even though her commute to the Seminary is over 20 hours by bus.

Pastora Elinor is one of the shining examples of the impact the Seminary is having on the Kingdom in Venezuela.  Local staff and faculty as well as missionaries and some of the finest professors from all across the Western Hemisphere combine to make this a unique and decidedly effective school. More and more Venezuelan leadership is emerging in both the UMC de Venezuela and the Seminary.  Our goal is to eventually have the Seminary operation fully in the hands of Venezuelans. 

Of course, because of the economic situation in Venezuela it continues to be necessary to provide some financial support from the US. We work at raising this support so the work of the Seminary continues uninterrupted.  As we anticipate celebrating our 10th anniversary next year, we face the requirement to finish this year with all bills paid. This necessitates raising about $15,000 by year end.  Would you please help?  Send your check to Venezuela Now, Inc. PO Box 1655, Duluth, GA  30096