Back in the spring of this year, Bob Reed met with four Latin American church planters. Carlos Marquina has long had a burden to see churches established across South America. His burden has led to the establishment of “Mission Possible”, an outreach that is focused on that task. Among other things, Carlos is committed to the importance of thorough training for those involved in the task of church planting, both as missionaries and pastors. The purpose of the spring meeting was to introduce the ministry of GBS and Seminario Bautista Panamericano to the other church planters. The result of the meeting was the establishment of 11 SBP study centers in four countries, with the intention of expanding to even more churches next year.
A second result was an invitation for Bob to go to Venezuela to participate in a practical teaching conference for Venezuelan pastors and leaders. Initially, the plan was for three men to teach during the conference. However, difficulty in traveling to Venezuela as a result of political and economic conditions prevented the other two from attending. As a result, Bob spoke three times each morning to the pastors and leaders, and then preached to the church family each evening. Morning sessions focused on The Pastor and His Family, Church Administration, and Planting Effective Churches. At night, the theme was “The Characteristics of a Servant”.
We thank God for many good results at the conference. Many made decisions each evening, and many of the pastors expressed gratitude for the practical instruction and challenge that they received during the week. Of course, the ministry of GBS was presented to many who were not aware of the school and we look forward to seeing new study centers established as a result.
An unexpected opportunity arose during the week, as well. A large group of men from the state of Amazonas were in attendance. They had traveled over 12 hours by bus to get to the conference. Some came from even further away. At one of their principal churches in the city of Puerto Ayacucho, over 30 people gather each week to study at a GBS study center. Their desire is to take GBS to many of the rural communities along the border with Colombia to be able to teach others in their respective churches. One of the immediate obstacles to doing so is the fact that most people in that area do not speak Spanish. Our desire, of course, is to be able to help them; therefore, we are considering the possibility of translating our existing materials into the Piaroa language. Please pray with us as we explore a strategy to make that a reality.
Clicking the pictures below will open them and explain more about the trip.