Thursday, December 11, 2008

Restoration UMC, Cerritos Blancos, Venezuela

Rev. Carlos Perona (pictured here with Warren Lathem) is the pastor of the Restoration United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Maria, serve this vital ministry in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Maria is a pediatrician as well as a full partner in the pastoral ministry. They have 3 little boys and are among the finest leaders of the evangelical church in Venezuela. They both earned their Seminary degree at the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela.

Below are pictures of the new facility currently under construction in the neighborhood of White Hills (Cerritos Blancos). This community has a population of 120,000. The facility has been under construction since 2002 when Venezuela Now sent a work team to help with the work. Obviously, it has taken a long time to advance the work.

However, the ministry has advanced greatly. Here are Carlos' words: "We have two services in our present location each Sunday morning. Combined we have between 280 to 300 adults and 75 to 85 children. Right now we only have 260 chairs.

"The new sanctuary we are building is on the second floor and will have a capacity of 350 to 400 chairs comfortably. Later we will build a balcony for 200 more chairs for a total of 550 - 600. The children's sanctuary will be built on the first floor. At this moment we are raising the funds for the roof of the sanctuary, it is on the second floor. We hope to have this done by the middle of January."

In additon to this work, Carlos and Maria minister in three other locations, building new mission congregations in those locations. These include a new shopping mall, a Chinese congregation across town and another public facility.

Recently, Resto
ration UMC held a Women's retreat and then a Men's retreat on the campus of the Seminario Weselyano de Venezuela. This is one of the critical ministries the seminary facility will provide to the young United Methodist Church of Venezuela. It is another critical reason we are raising funds to pay off the debt on the property while at the same time raising funds to rennovate the buildings.

You can give to advance the work of the seminary by sending a check to Venezuela Now, Inc. PO Box 1655, Duluth, GA 30096.

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