Sunday, July 16, 2006

Update from Jon and Jeanne Herrin in Venezuela


It was a time of going, doing, learning and being. We began the month with a week of seminary. Jonathan Morton (presently of Mexico) and Rev. Donna Golf (of McEachern UMC in the Atlanta area) were our professors for the week. We had about 58 pastors and church leaders present for seminary, learning about Christian Ethics and the Historical Books of the Old Testament. Rev. David Cosby (OMS/MSUM missionary) was with us as well for the week. As usual, we all had a wonderful time of fellowshipping together during the week.

We also received THREE mission/work teams during June:

1) Chuck McElroy brought a team of 10 from Mount Pisgah UMC in Alpharetta. They came to work towards finishing the sanctuary at Lugar Altisimo UMC in La Concordia (just outside of Barquisimeto.) They were able to lay the foundation and build the walls for a storage room. Through their generosity and encouragement, Lugar Altisimo will be done this summer!!!

2) Donna Golf and Janet Huffman brought a team of 12 to work with Pastor Juvenal Perez and his congregation in Punto Fijo. Their team worked tirelessly in the heat of that area towards the completion of their sanctuary. Not only did they work in construction, but they also joined the church there in evangelical outreach. They participated in a children's march/crusade during which they shared tracts with the promises of God; provided preaching moments; and presented the Jesus Film (in Spanish!) for children and youth. They were able to celebrate as a number of people--children, youth and adults--gave their lives to Christ.

3) You think only big churches in big cities send mission teams??? Cool Springs UMC near Clarkesville, GA, sent a team of three down to Venezuela the last week of June. Beatrice, Kasey and Isaac came to renovate a day-care center! Not only did this team completely re-paint the outside of a day-care center run by Pastor Yolanda of La Concordia, they also went on to help mix concrete and pour foundations at the Lugar Altisimo church...and spend two mornings at another daycare center just loving on children!! They brought over 500 pairs of glasses (donated by the Lion's Club!!) and some 40 pairs of sandals...and a suitcase full of toys for the children. We can assure you...BIG things CAN come in small packages!!

All three of our June teams did a FANTASTIC job of sharing the love of God with the people of Venezuela!! THANK YOU to these three churches for reaching out to touch Venezuela in this way!
One "school" year, that is!! The children have finished their first year of school in Venezuela, and they have done great! They have surmounted incredible odds, not the least of which was the language situation. All three children can now help us in translation...they read Spanish...speak Spanish...sing Spanish. And, all three have done very well academically!! We are SOOOO proud of them.
Do pray about our school situation for next year. While our children would like to stay in school, recent education laws have forced all private schools to raise their teachers' salaries 40% for the coming year...but have limited their tuition increases to only 15%. You can do the math and see where that puts most of the smaller schools like the one our children attend. A number of private schools have already closed. Please pray that we'll have the best place for our children for the coming year....
Thank you SO very much! We know that if it were not for your support--prayers, financial gifts, notes of encouragement, phone calls--we could not stay here and be a part of what God is doing in Venezuela. Thank you for reaching beyond the world you live in to touch "the ends of the earth."

Jon and Jeanne Herrin, Jesse, Megan, Andrew

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