Monday, August 18, 2014

Latest News from Venezuela!

Greetings in the wonderful Name of Jesus!

I am writing you from Cabuare, Venezuela, home of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela and the Wesley Medical Center. Both of these ministries have been made possible by your gifts.

Did you know a year of theological education in our Seminary, SEMWESVEN, cost about $1,800 per student? Compare that to my alma mater, Candler School of Theology, where a year of education costs about $28,000. Asbury and Duke have similar costs.


Certainly, we do not claim a year of education here in Venezuela is equal to a year at those great American institutions. But our Venezuelan alumni and students declare it is the very best available in Venezuela!

Now we need your help. Over the last 12 months the inflation rate in Venezuela exceeded 60%. The predictions are it will get much higher in the next 12 months. As you can imagine, this is devastating for our students.

Therefore we have to do even more to assist in their education. The student pays only a small portion of the $1,800 annual cost. Your gifts provide the rest. However, what it the cost for each student to attend is still more than 2 months of salary for the typical Venezuelan worker. Therefore, even though costs are very low by our standards, it is terribly expensive by Venezuelan standards.

Would you please make a gift to the Seminary through Venezuela Now, Inc? No US citizen will receive any salary support from this gift. Only the students will benefit.

In 2015 we will have to cut back the number of class offerings unless more funding is received from the US. The students simply cannot afford to take as many days off work AND pay the tuition and fees. We are processing these decisions now. Your immediate gift will help us in our decision making. Please give a sacrificial gift today.

How much can you give! Anything will help. We especially need monthly gifts of $100 or more. Please prayerfully consider making regular gifts, you can send your check to:
VENEZUELA NOW, INC
PO Box 1655
Duluth, GA  30096
Or you can simply click on the PayPal button here:


 
Thank you.
Now for other news...
Thank you for praying for SAMUEL ROJAS to be released from jail. Praise God! After two months in the local jail he was released and awaits his hearing onSeptember 3. Please keep praying for complete exoneration.
The WESLEY MEDICAL CENTER is open and serving the needs of the community surrounding the Seminary. It will rapidly become the gold standard for medical care in the evangelical community.

 
DR. MARIA PIRONA is the medical director. Sandra Sanchez is the psychologist also serving on the staff. We will receive our first medical mission team in October.

Also about a dozen Rotary International Clubs in the US are working toward a partnership with the local club to benefit the Center.

Would your club like to help? Send me a message for details.


The CASA HOGAR LUZ DE ESPERANZA, the first Methodist Children's Home in Venezuela just received it's first four resident children. This is after a year of government red tape, over 5 years of construction and 13 years of dreaming and visioning. Praise God these first four siblings have a safe, nourishing and nurturing home for the first time in their lives. Hundreds more will follow.
The UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF VENEZUELA continues to experience rapid growth comparable only to the Methodist Church of Cuba. These two national churches are the fastest growing Methodist churches in the Western Hemisphere. We not only work with the UMC here, but also a dozen other denominations and independent churches. One example of the growth of the church here: last year the Ondas de Paz UMC conducted 8 simultaneous community Vacation Bible Schools. This week they will hold SEVENTEEN simultaneous Schools in 17 communities reaching over 800 children, 600 of whom have never been to a Christian worship service. Over half of the adult membership of the church will serve in some capacity in these schools. Further, I am often asked how many congregations are in the Methodist Church in Venezuela. I don't know. New congregations seem to spring up almost overnight. It is an amazing thing to witness, unlike anything I have seen in my 42 years of ministry! Come and see!


  

The SEMINARIO EVANG√ČLICO INTERNACIONAL (SEIN) is the on-line Spanish language school of theology we are birthing out of SEMWESVEN. Our first course will be ready for several groups and individuals to do beta testing in September. We are rapidly moving to get a portion of our curriculum on line byJanuary 1 for affordable access for the 400 million Spanish speakers in the world, 50 million of whom live in the US, the third largest number in the world. Through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, we have the equipment on site to record, edit and present this education on the internet and are using temporary studio space. We are waiting for the architect to complete the plans before building the permanent recording studios. Additionally, this equipment and studios will make audio and video recording accessible and affordable to the church in Venezuela, for the very first time!
 
   
There is so much more to tell. But it will have to wait. This is the most rewarding ministry of my life. Thank you for your partnership in spreading the Gospel in Venezuela, and soon to the whole Spanish speaking world!
We look forward to hearing from you. Please see our Prayer Partners for Venezuela Now on FaceBook and become one of our prayer team. Dr. Gayle Arnold will guide your prayers for the work here.

In Christ,
Warren Lathem