Friday, October 26, 2007

October Seminary a Success

In one intensive week of seminary over 50 Venezuelan and two Columbian students and pastors completed the classroom work of three courses. Rev. Donna Goff taught the two credit hour Minor Prophets. The Dean of the Seminary taught the two hour course, Holiness in the New Testament. I (Warren Lathem) taught a 6 credit hour Practicum on Community Ministries. This practicum is part of the Practice of Ministry curriculum and a requirement for graduation. It requires extensive work in a local church over the next seven months and the proper reporting required for course credit.

Again, the Holy Spirit descended on the class in a way that defies human orchestration. On Wednesday afternoon after a harrowing experience by a couple of our team, the class gathered to celebrate God's protection and provision during the afternoon worship time. And God moved with power and glory. It was a time of great intimacy with the Holy One.

Please pray for these students and pastors. We were blessed to have a number of first time students including an attorney from Puerto Ordaz. They all remarked on how impressed they were with the quality of education being provided by the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela. For their recognition of this reality and for God's continued provision, we are most grateful.

On Wednesday night the United Methodists gathered at Pastor Carlos Perona's church, Restoracion, for a great worship service. Bishop Juvenal Perez preached a powerfully evangelistic sermon to the 250-300 gathered. All of the United Methodist seminary students were in attendance as well as 5 North Americans. God's spirit was poured out on the service and several persons made a profession of faith in Christ.

On Sunday we were blessed to attend worship at Lugar Altissimo. This is the church we were privileged to build in memory of our son, Ray W. Lathem, III and in honor of Jared Lathem. One of the young lay leaders, Wilmer, preached. He and his wife Juni have a beautiful baby boy named Wilmer, Jr. We, the Americans, were all touched by the outpouring of God's Spirit in the service. After a wonderful meal at a local restaurant, we made the drive to Caracas and flew home on Monday, ending a great week of magnificent blessings.

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