Monday, March 06, 2006

Venezuelan Heartbeat E-Update

Below is an email from our missionaries in Venezuela, The Herrins. Please keep this family in your prayers as they serve Christ and His people in Venezuela.

What?!? Is it March already??? WOW! Where has the time flown??? Well, never mind that it passes…much is happening in each day, and we have so many opportunities to give thanks to God for the good things that come to pass…and there are so many lives we can touch in small and large ways—through a smile, five minutes here, a day there. We write this month to share with you…to share our experiences, our dreams and our hopes for the days to come.


On Feb. 18, Jon flew to Caracas to meet a team of twelve, highly dedicated, highly motivated folks (they may think I’m exaggerating…but I’m not!) from the Tucker First UMC of Tucker, GA. After a night in Caracas, they began their day-long trek to the small city of TUMEREMO in the state of Bolivar in eastern Venezuela. In four wonderful days, this team built a new bathroom with showers onto the sanctuary of El Pan de Vida Iglesia Metodista Unida (The Bread of Life UMC). However, far more important than constructing something of brick and concrete, relationships were built…between North American Christians and Venezuelan Christians—between “Little John” and Sergio, between Cindy and Noemi, between Tom and Cheo. This is what a mission team is all about—building relationships across cultures and languages and all those things that threaten to separate us from one another. Way to go, Tucker First!!! Thank you for coming and sharing the love of Christ in Venezuela!!!


Many of you know that Jon was in an accident a few weeks ago, but the week after the wreck was almost worse! On the Tuesday after that Saturday wreck, Jon came down with dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease that causes a lengthy fever, severe muscle pain…and sucks the life out of a person!! Well, after being in bed for almost a week, Jon was back up…and slowly gathering his strength. Now, some three weeks later, he is back to his old self—for better or worse!


Jeanne joyfully began teaching English a couple of weeks ago. She has folks from our church here in Cabudare—Ondas de Pas IMU (Waves of Peace UMC)—and from our neighborhood. Even the young woman at our video store wants to join in on the classes now! For many years, ESL courses have been wonderful entries in the lives of others…and Jeanne has found a way to connect and develop relationships between herself and church members and the un-churched. The students are so enjoying her class, and we look forward to seeing where all of this goes in the days to come….


Jesse, Megan and Andrew are plugging away at the school work. Since the beginning of February, we’ve had a tutor working with Megan and Andrew…and they are taking LEAPS and BOUNDS in the language area. Jesse continues to leap as well…taking the top of her class in Mathematics and Castellano (Spanish!). So, the children are doing FINE in school…and enjoying it like never before. They are developing friendships…in school, at church, and in our neighborhood. We are so thrilled to see them thriving and doing well. One of the great surprises and joys has come about in the questions their friends are asking: “How can you be Christians and not be Catholic?” We have some young people who now want to know more about these “non-Catholic Christians,”...and we’re going to tell them! These young people have even asked to go to worship with Jesse and Megan so they can learn more. Folks, that’s good news!

Now, PLEASE keep our children in your prayers…for there is still a long way to go in language learning...and obviously many opportunities for them to be lights in the darkness!!!


The Church here in Venezuela is growing and changing as the days pass. We have been thrilled to see two new missions started—Vallecito, a mission of Ondas de Paz IMU; and Sta. Rosa de Tin Tin, a mission of Lugar Altisimo IMU.

In addition to these new missions, the Church here is getting closer and closer to forming a national convention/conference. Please keep this in prayer, as we strive to form a national, Venezuelan Church…one that is faithful first and foremost to Christ, but also faithful to the culture and life-style of Venezuela.

We have five more teams scheduled now to come and work in Venezuela, to do various kinds of projects—build a sanctuary, renovate a school where a congregation meets, lead a youth evangelistic project, and begin the construction of an orphanage. However, more important than all of these tangible projects are the relationships that will be formed, the lives that will be changed because of the coming-together of Christians from the North and South.


  • After the wreck of the mission vehicle early in February, a wonderfully faithful couple in South Alabama stepped forward to offer an incredible gift—a check$$ towards the replacement of the mission vehicle!! We give thanks and praise to God for their faithfulness!!!
  • Seminary Week is March 13 – 16. Please pray for our visiting prof, Dr. Warren Lathem, District Superintendent of the Atlanta-Marietta District. And, keep in prayer our pastors as they make their way to Barquisimeto for this wonder time of learning and fellowship.
  • Continue to pray for our language acquisition (we can’t wait until we can take this one off our list…but we understand it may be another year or so!!!)
  • And, we still await word on our visa situation. Pray that we can soon have the visas that will allow us to stay and serve in Venezuela.
  • We continue to adjust to culture and custom…new things hit from time to time, and sometimes the days are tough. Pray for patience and understanding on our part.
  • We give thanks that a couple from our home church, Earl & Idalu Bishop, are coming to visit with us for a week!! How good to have good friends come to encourage us in the ministry here!!
  • Please pray for peace and reconciliation between the governments of the USA and Venezuela. May the peace and good will that exists between our peoples spill over into the political arena!

We ALWAYS give thanks and praise for your prayers, your gifts, your love and care for us as we live for God here in Venezuela. Without your heart for others, we could not be here for others. We are grateful that we can be an extension of your ministry, your mission to the world. Please keep us in your prayers…and if you get a hankerin’, come see us, join a mission team, or help someone in your congregation go touch lives.

Thank you for all. May God bless and keep you…and lead you in all His ways!

Jon, Jeanne, Jesse, Megan and Andrew…and “Buttons” (the dog!)

Cabudare, Venezuela

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