Monday, October 30, 2006

Two Conference/National Church Leaders

Pictured here is Lyn Powell, Conference Lay Leader of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and Afonzo Rivera, a young seminary student at the Seminario de Wesleyano de Venezuela and a young adult leader in the emerging Conference of the United Methodist Church of Venezuela. This picture was taken last year in Barquisimeto when Lyn visited our United Methodist brothers and sisters in Venezuela.

Lyn is one of the most well respected and hardest working Conference Lay Leaders in the United Methodist Church. She is a very influential leader who has a passion for leading our church in at least two very important efforts: lay evangelism and genuine partnership between the laity and clergy of the UMC.

Alfonzo is the son for Mariano and Yolanda Rivera. Yolanda is the pastor of the Lugar Altissimo United Methodist Church and a leader in that emerging church. Alfonzo's grandmother, Chica, is providing the Seminary a 24 acre tract for the construction of the seminary. Alfonzo is engaged to Sandra, a beautiful young student in the seminary and a worship leader in some of the community missions established by Lugar Altissimo UMC.

Affonzo is a talented worship leader and a passionate Christian. He demonstrates the future of the UMC in Venezuela, a church primarily made up of young adults and youth.

The picture of Lyn and Alfonzo demonstrates the great potential of partnerships between churches, institutions, and even conferences in the US and emerging ministries around the world. These partnerships are transformational for both the "Giver" and the "Receiver." Many churches in the US are discovering the great benefit for their own church through the development of a long term partnership with a church in Venezuela or some other country where the UMC is beginning to make a significant impact.

Twenty years ago the US was discovering the great benefit from Short-term Mission Trips. Out of this realization came Volunteers in Mission and other like groups. Today, the church is recognizing the exponentially greater benefit of long term partnerships. In the UMC, this was pioneered by Dr. Eddie Fox and World Methodist Evangelism in the development of the Connecting Congregations ministry with churches in countries of the former Soviet Union. This has been a very successful ministry and is now being copied by the General Board of Global Ministries and others.

We have certainly seen the great benefit for the churches of Venezuela and the churches in the US where such a partnership exists. We pray for more US churches to discover the joy of partnership with brothers and sisters in Venezuela. Please contact us if you want to learn more about this opportunity for your church. Click on the "Comment" button below, leave us a message and we will get back with you.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Philip Yancey Reminds Us of Why Venezuela

I received this following from a dear friend and fellow pastor:

Here’s a quote I ran across from Philip Yancey’s on-line journal and I thought about the seminary in Venezuela. Maybe you can use it.

“I read recently that 1.2 billion Christians in the world are led by pastors who have less than two weeks (yes, weeks) of Bible or theological training. (Philip Yancey)”

I appreciate Mike sending this to me since he is such a good friend and has visited the work in Venezuela. He has reminded me of why we continue to labor in creating a respectable theological seminary from very meager visible resources. What a great need for seminaries like the Wesley Seminary of Venezuela to be established all over the world! We continue to pray for God to raise up more laborers in this ripe and rewarding harvest field.

How I wish I could be spending this week with the class in seminary in Venezuela. They teach me so much! Together we learn how to be more faithful and effective in our service for Christ to a lost and dying world. Please join us in praying for the students, faculty and staff of the seminary. Remember, you can support a seminary student by providing a $1200 gift for a full year of education. Contact us through the address in the above masthead.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Seminary Begins Monday with Dr. Burrell Dinkins

Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela holds its 6th week of 2006 classes October 16-20. This is the 10th course taught to the students enrolled in the seminary. Dr. Dinkins is another guest professor who has graciously given his own time to teach our students. We are greatly honored to have Burrell as a part of our faculty. Burrell is recently retired from Asbury Theological Seminary. Prior to going to Asbury he was on the Pastoral Care and Counseling staff of Roswell First UMC in Roswell, GA. We were very blessed to get to work with Burrell for many years in the UMC, Atlanta Roswell District, North Georgia Conference. Below is more biographical information on Burrell. Please pray for the 50-60 students who will be attending his class. The Academic Dean, will lead the week working closely with Burrell.
Dr. Dinkins joined the Florida faculty of Asbury Seminary in the summer of 1999 after serving as the E.A. Seamands professor of pastoral leadership on Asbury’s Kentucky campus since 1992. Prior to coming to Asbury, Dr. Dinkins served as the minister of pastoral care and counseling at Roswell (Ga.) United Methodist Church, professor of pastoral care and counseling at Oral Roberts University School of Theology, and director of pastoral care and counseling of the Atlanta-Emory District of The United Methodist Church. In addition to his extensive experience in the United States, Dr. Dinkins spent several years working in Brazil, South America. While in Brazil, he served as the interim president of Instituto Philadelphia De Londrina in Parana, professor of pastoral care and counseling at Faculdade de Teologia, Universidade Methodist Rudge Ramos in Sao Paulo, and pastored several churches. Dr. Dinkins was also Brazil’s first full-time Protestant hospital chaplain, developing a pioneer program of a clinical team of doctors, nurses and chaplain. He and his wife, Phyllis, have five adult children: Randy, Ruth, Walter, Susana and Paul.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Inductive Bible Study Extra Class

Dean of Wesley Seminary, and his wife went to work immediately. They arrived in Cabudare, a suburb of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, last Wednesday afternoon. They set up house keeping, bought beds, a washing machine and other essentials and purchased a new car for their work there.

Then on Monday, he began teaching 25 students in the Wesley Seminary. The course is Inductive Bible Study and is a prerequisite course for the other Bible courses. The 25 students have come into the seminary since the last time the course was taught and needed this course to take the Bible courses taught in the future classes.

This additional course was made necessary by the growing enrollment. It was made possible by the them moving to Venezuela and the generous support of some Christians here in Georgia. A part of the cost of this course is also being covered by the accumulated tuition fees charged the students. Those not currently on a scholarship, pay about $10US per course.

You can provide the annual cost of educating one of our students for just $1200 a year. This does not include any salaries or facility cost. However, currently the salaries are covered through other sources and the facility construction will be funded through other sources as well. Please prayerfully consider sponsoring a student in the Wesley Seminary of Venezuela. Give a scholarship in memory or in honor of a loved one. May God richly bless you.