Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bishop and Mrs. Lindsey Davis Make Huge Committment to Venezuela

Bishop and Mrs. Davis have asked the North Georgia Annual Conference to include Venezuela in its plans to say "Goodbye and Thanks" to them as they complete their last year in North Georgia. The Davis' will be moving from North Georgia in August after 12 years of faithful service to this Conference.

Bishop and Mrs. Davis have requested the Conference designate the traditional Love Offering for a departing Bishop to be given to missions, half to send youth on foreign mission trips and half for Venezuela Now, Inc.

This is a great blessing to Venezuela Now and to the work in Venezuela. As you can see in previous posts on this blog, there are huge opportunities for ministry in partnership with the United Methodist Church of Venezuela. We will be very blessed to receive this gift and faithful in its use for the sake of the Kingdom.

Both Bishop and Mrs. Davis have been heavily involved in missions during their 12 years in North Georgia. Jennifer Davis has been a primary supporter of the work of Honduras Outreach, especially supporting education in Honduras and the sponsorship of youth to travel on mission teams.

Bishop Davis has supported multiple mission initiatives, but has been essential in our work in Venezuela. First, he as encouraged me in the work there and has graciously allowed me to travel often to Venezuela while serving on his Cabinet. He also took the entire Cabinet and spouses to Venezuela in 2005 on an historic mission trip. Additionally, he taught a week of classes in the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela in 2007.

Not only have the Davis' been supportive in the past and generous in the designation of this offering, Bishop Davis has agreed to personally champion the cause of securing official "Autonomous Affiliated Status" for the Conference of the United Methodist Church of Venezuela. This is a necessary designation for the work there and involves a great deal of administrative work to secure this designation. We are most grateful for his leadership in this effort.

The United Methodist Church of Venezuela and the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela are blessed to have such dear and supportive friends in the Davis'. We will miss them in North Georgia, but welcome their continued support in Venezuela.

"Thank you" Bishop Lindsey and Jennifer Davis. You are loved in North Georgia and Venezuela!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Living By Faith

The Academic Dean of the Wesley Seminary, left Saturday to return to Venezuela to prepare for the March session of Seminary. I sent $2000US with him to place as earnest money on the desired seminary site. He also went with directions to engage our attorney to do the title search and other work necessary to purchase the property.

The cost of this property is approximately $150,000. The actual cost will be determined during the title search and related wo

Now the faith: We do not have the $150,000. We have taken this step in faith believing God will supply the need of the seminary to have its first permanent home.

So, please join us in faith
believing with us that God will supply this need. If you want to help, please send us your financial support to the address above. God knows our need and your ability.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Great Blessings In Venezuela!

What a great time in Venezuela! Pictured here is the January Seminary Class and some of the US team present for the week. Jane is the one in pink on the front. Behind her is Dr. Michael Cavin, District Superintendent of the Northwest District, North Georgia Conference of the UMC. I am seated with the walking stick in hand. To my left is Obispo Juvenal Perez, bishop of the United Methodist Church of Venezuela. To his left is Kelly Falany, student at Asbury Theological Seminary and potential mission candidate for Venezuela. Left of Kelly is Dr. Jim Cantrell, DS of the Atlanta Decatur Oxford District and to his left is Steven Brumbelow, also a student at Asbury.

Drs. Cantrell, Cavin and Lathem taught a seminary course on Sacraments and Rituals. Over 65 students were in attendance. Some even had to share a chair since we are simply out of room . We must have our own home!

Earlier in the week, Dr. Steve Wood taught a course on Inductive Preaching. Steve is the Senior Minister of Mount Pisgah UMC in Alpharetta and is very supportive of the seminary. Mount Pisgah has been a critical partner in the work in Venezuela and we so appreciate Dr. Woods' continued support.

Steve was accompanied to Venezuela by Dan Dunn, PhD. student at Asbury Seminary and Dean of Students of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela. Dr. Wood and Rev. Dunn were only able to spend Sunday night through Wednesday night in Venezuela due to Steve's exhausting work schedule at Mount Pisgah. Thanks to Dan for escorting Steve safely.

Other events of the week included Drs. Cavin, Cantrell and Lathem preaching in 5 different churches. More than 2 dozen persons made a commitment to Christ in these services and the congregations were encouraged in their work. However, as usual, we received far more than we gave.

Additionally, we visited for a second time a location we hope to acquire for the seminary. This property is located in Agua Viva, a suburb of Barquisimeto. It is at a higher elevation than the current seminary location and is cooler and much greener. It is also in a much safer location. Additionally we will be able to host church retreats, conferences, sessions of the Institute for Church Planting and over events. The property currently has a large house with at least 5 bedrooms and 3 baths, a large living/dining area and kitchen. With some addtional bedrooms and baths, this will be adequate for our current seminary boarding population. There is also a large outdoor Fiesta (party room) with a full kitchen and bathrooms. Additionally there is a large shop which with minor improvements can immediately house two classrooms. The property is beautifully landscaped with fruit trees and flowering shrubs and offers a beautiful view of the city and the mountains. It will make a great home for the seminary for several years to come. The property is walled on three sides and will only need a limited amount of construction on the 4th wall.
Here are a few pictures of the site. What a great home for the seminary this property could provide! Please pray about helping us secure this site for the seminary. We need it NOW!