Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Update from Dan and Nancy Dunn

Dear Friend and Ministry Partner,

We want to express our deep appreciation for your compassionate and generous support. Please find below an update of our ministry over the past month. May God continue to bless you richly as together we seek to serve Him in all that we say, think, and do.

Much Love and Many Blessings,

Dan and Nancy Dunn


  • Our search for a church home continues, and we are enjoying visiting different expressions of Christ's body in this area.
  • Nancy has enjoyed some fellowship opportunities with other Seminary spouses, and looks forward to participation in a regular small group.
  • Dan is learning a great deal in his classes, but the work load is far greater than he anticipated.
  • God continues to shower us with the joy of meeting Christians from other countries, including South Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, India, Mexico, Brazil, Liberia, and Nigeria.
  • We had the marvelous joy of Chris driving in from St. Louis to spend two days with us over Labor Day Weekend.
  • We also enjoyed a great weekend with our friends Virgil and Jo Allmond, plus a quick 1-day visit with Larry and Valorie Deel. YOU are invited to come see us too.
  • We look forward to being in Alpharetta next weekend for Mount Pisgah's Everywhere Celebration, including morning worship on October 1st.
  • Please pray for our continued support-raising to go well. Your generosity amazes us, and we need more generous folks like you to give to our ministry.
  • David and Carol Cosby fly to Venezuela today (Tuesday) to begin their new ministry in Venezuela. This is a huge plus for the ministry there, and we are thankful for their new call. Please pray for them, and continue to pray for Jon and Jeanne Herrin, Jesse, Megan, and Andrew, who have now been in Venezuela for over a year.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Conversations with Dr. Maxie Dunnam

Yesterday (Saturday, September 23) I was privileged to spend an hour in conversation with Dr. Maxie Dunnam concerning the work in Venezuela, especially the seminary. This was a great privilege. I have known Maxie for many years and he is one of the most well respected leaders, educator, writer, speaker and thinker in Christendom (see a short bio below).

This opportunity occurred as we were both working with the North Georgia Conference United Methodist Men's Retreat at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp.
The conversation was a result of Dr. Dunnam asking me to tell him about our work in Venezuela, particularly our work with the seminary there.

We had a great and candid conversation as I shared our hopes and dreams, accomplishments and disappointments, mistakes and learnings. He was very complimentary of what we are doing in Theological Education in Venezuela and Latin America.

Toward the end of the conversation, Maxie shared that as Chancellor of Asbury Theological Seminary, he would like to build some strategic partnerships with various seminaries in countries in the South and East, the places where the Christian church is experiencing its most dynamic and critical growth. Theological education in these countries is in relative infancy and faces many struggles and difficulties.

Maxie envisions a relationship between Asbury and some of these schools, including the Wesley Seminary of Venezuela.
We discussed possibilities of our (Venezuela Now, Inc. and Wesley Seminary of Venezuela) hosting a gathering of representatives of 4 or 5 carefully chosen seminaries to meet with Maxie to explore the possibilities of this relationship. I will let you know as this develops. Needless to say, I am most excited about the possibilities of a strategic partnership with Asbury Theological Seminary, one of the greatest seminaries in the United States.

Please pray for this as we seek to discover God's will and find our way forward in this effort. Pray especially because of what this could mean to the church in Venezuela and South America, as well as Costa Rica, Africa and Asia.

Biographical information about Dr. Dunnam:

Dr. Maxie Dunnam, has been a minister in the United Methodist Church since 1955, when at the age of 21, he organized Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. In the next several years, he served three more congregations, before becoming Director of the Fellowship Department and then World Editor of The Upper Room, the well-known United Methodist publication. In 1982, Dr. Dunnam returned to parish ministry as Senior Minister of Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Then, in 1994, he was elected president of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Maxie Dunnam is the author of several dozen books and is widely recognized as an evangelist and a pioneer in small group ministries.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

When 32 acres becomes 24

We just got the first stage of the survey completed for the large site for the Seminary. Suddenly we discovered what we had been told was about 32 acres appears now to be closer to 24 acres. While this is still a large tract with some challenging topographical features, it is complimented with the 10 acres across the street that we are trying to purchase through the generosity of one of our donors. Of course, when we get it surveyed, it may also be a different size.

Whatever is the final determination for the total area, the fact remains this site is a great location for the Wesley Seminary of Venezuela. It is a beautiful place, convenient to Barquisimeto and transportation, with a moderate climate similar to the high desert around Tucson, AZ.

With the work of surveying, purchasing, titling and designing the building and master plans for the seminary, a lot is happening very fast. Keep up with what is going on. Come to our Information and Celebration event for Venezuela Now, Inc. on September 29 at 7:00 at the North Atlanta Community Church in Roswell. Join us as we give the latest information and celebrate what God is doing through the United Methodist Church of Venezuela.

Monday, September 18, 2006

God Faithfully Provides

The attached aerial photo shows a brand new development in the acquisition of a site for the Wesley Seminary of Venezuela. We just received a price for the 10 acres+/- you see indicated on the photo directly across the street from the 32 acres. The good news is that we are acquiring it for a very reasonable price and already have a donor for the full purchase price! Praise God!

Someone asked me why we would want an additional 10 acres when we are already obtaining title to 32 acres and still do not have the money to build even the first dormitory. There are several reasons. First is the fact that the 10 acres is almost comnpletely flat land, land we need for some of our planned uses. We will place at least a baseball field and a soccer field on this site. There are some other uses we are looking at, but are not ready to announce.

To learn more about what God is doing through the United Methodist Church and the Wesley Seminary in Venezuela, come to the Information and Celebration event noted below on September 29, 206, 7:00pm at the North Atlanta Community Church on Holbcomb Bridge Road in Roswell. Over 90 people have made reserrvations representing at least 9 different churches. Come and discover the exciting news of God's activities in Venezuela.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Celebrate Venezuela

You are invited to a Venezula Celebration and Update on Friday, September 29, 2006 at the North Atlanta Community Church on Holcomb Bridge Road 3 miles east of Georgia 400. See the details in the invitation shown here. Email me at to make your reservation.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Forming a New National Church

The United Methodist Church of Venezuela is still in the formative stages after 8 years of work. However, we are moving "poco a poco" (little by little) toward our first formal annual conference, the adoption of a Discipline, the election of a Bishop, and recognition by the secular Venezuelan government.

Pictured here are the United Methodist Pastors and Spouses who attended a two-day conference following the August session of seminary. There are 4 or 5 other UM pastors who could not attend.

The purpose of the conference was to begin to finalize the Discipline of the United Methodist Church of Venezuela. After much disscussion, two major issues emerged. The group self-divided into two task forces to deal with these issues and reconvene in October to hammer out the details.

The hope is to have our first formal annual conference in January when Bishop Lindsey Davis is in Venezuela teaching in the seminary. Please pray that we can complete all the tasks necessary to make this happen, if the Lord wills.

More importantly, pray for the over 25 United Methodist churches and missions and their pastors as they reach the lost of Venezuela. Among these pastors and lay leaders are some of the most spiritually mature, faithful servants of Christ one can ever know.

While it has taken a long time to get to this point (and we are not there, yet) it is in God's timing. This autonomous church will be a blessing to the greater United Methodist family.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wesley Seminary of Venezuela - Future Home

Progress is being made toward the acquisition and development of a campus for the Wesley Seminary of Venezuela. Currently housed at the Assembly of God Bible Institute, the Seminary has outgrown its rented space and after four years desperately needs a space of its own.

Toward that end, the officers of Wesley Seminary have negotiated the purchase of the 32 acres, more or less, shown in this post. The land is located 16km west of the landmark Obelisco Monument in Barquisimeto. It is about 8km from the new Bus Terminal currently under construction. This will be the largest bus terminal in South America. The land is being donated to the Lugar Altissimo United Methodist Church and is now the home of the church and the Orphanage under construction (see the photo with the church and orphanage indicated).

Once the land is formally in the name of the church, The Wesley Association of Venezuela, the parent of the seminary, will begin the legal process to purchase the land and obtain the title in the name of the Association.

We are currently in the process of securing the services of a site engineer and architect in Venezuela to provide us with a boundary survey and a topographical survey. This is necessary to get the land properly deeded and titled to the Wesley Association. It is also necessary for the development of a site plan. The aerial photo in this post showing building footprints is just given for illustrative purposes and in no way represents what the actual master plan may detail. (Thanks to Doug Crosby and FlyingFotos of Roswell for the photos).