Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pardon the Personal, But....

A most amazing thing occurred this week. I received a call from a woman (Dayana) in Alpharetta stating that her mother (Doris) and father were visiting from Punto Fijo, Venezuela and that they are members of the UMC in Punto Fijo. Their pastor, Juvenal Perez, had insisted they contact me for a time to get acquainted. (See earlier posts for pictures and stories of the Punta Fijo Church and the pastors.)

We made an appointment for this past Tuesday at 5:30. At the last minute, I invited my daughter in law to go with me to meet these unknown Venezuelans. She agreed. When we arrived at their home a surprise occurred to everyone. It seems the parents know our daughter in law's parents and have even hosted them in their home some 4 or 5 years previously, including our daughter in law, Lim. What a coincidence! But it is not over yet.

The daughter, Dayana, had worked with Lim's sister, Betha, here in Alpharetta. But there is even more. As we discussed the church in Punto Fijo, I discovered that the building the church used to rent was owned by Doris' husband. I had helped with the rent and here, sitting in Alpharetta, was the man who owned the building I was helping the church to rent.

It goes on... Doris was very insistent that I must visit Punto Fijo since I have never personally visited their city in all my trips to Venezuela. I was happy to inform her that since she left Punto Fijo for a month of visiting in Alpharetta, I had formalized plans to visit Punta Fijo in August, conduct a pastors conference and attend worship in her church.

Some will see all of this as simply a series of coincidences. I guess a statistician can calculate the odds of all of the above occurring between a nation of 30 million people and almost 300 million people. However, I choose to believe it was much greater than a coincident. I believe it was a God-Incident! It is indicative of how God has worked in our lives ever since Carlos Gonzalez from Valencia, Venezuela showed up at my office in 1994. This post would be too long and boring to relate how God has continually drawn us to Venezuela and to work with the United Methodists there. However, this most recent experience is further confirmation that we are blessed to join with Christ in the ministry in Venezuela.

If you are still reading this endless post, please consider that God may be calling you to work with our brothers and sisters in Venezuela. If you would like more information please contact me, Warren Lathem, at I welcome the opportunity to discuss what God is doing in Venezuela! We serve the One who came to serve us.
Warren Lathem

Vacation Bible School in Punta Fijo

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