Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dinner for the Seminary a Great Event

Friday Night, March 20, 2009 over 200 people gathered at Mount Pisgah UMC in Johns Creek, GA for a dinner for the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela. The purpose of the dinner was to inform the supporters of the seminary of the excellent work of the seminary and to enlist new supporters. We asked for prayer, financial assistance and mission teams to support the work of the Seminary.

We are most thankful to Mount Pisgah Senior Minister Steve Wood, Mission Pastor Bryce Norton and Facilities Director Leigha Jager for their support and hospitality for this event. Dr. Wood made some very gracious comments about the Seminary during worship services at Mount Pisgah on the two Sundays prior to the dinner. Rev. Norton gave his full support and led the Mission team at Mount Pisgah to pay for the custodial overtime and provided table cloths for the event. Both of them are on the faculty of the Seminary.

We are also most grateful to Tom and Ellen Youngblood and their team for the food preparation. We are also greatly indebted to Steven and Kelly Brumbeloe and a host of volunteers from the Due West UMC in Marietta for set-up, hosting, serving and clean-up following the dinner. We could not have done this without all of the above persons and we are most grateful for their help.

After a evening of good food and good infomation about the Seminary, we invited those present to commit to supporting the work. About 100 individuals or families made a committment to give or gave to the work of the Seminary for the first time. They gave or committed to over $50,000 over the next two years. We are most grateful for their response and look forward to a long and meaningful partnership in ministry.

The financial need we presented to them is as follows:
$110,000 needed each year for operating the seminary. This is about $2000 per student per year. What a bargain!
$50,000 a year for Capital improvements. Any new buildings would be in addition to this amount.
$170,000 debt on the Seminary Property or $30,000 a year debt service until paid in full. The property is debt free in Venezuela, but Venezuela Now, Inc. (a Georgia non-profit Corporation) did borrow $170,000 from a US citizen in order to pay off the debt in Venezuela. Venezuela Now, Inc. has agreed to an annual debt service of $30,000 and is liable for the full $170,000 in unsecured debt (securing a debt with property in Venezuela is just not practical). We paid 1,100,000 Bolivares Fuerte (the Venezuelan currency) for the property. The official exchange rate is 2.15 BsF/$1US dollar. More favorable exchange rates cut the cost of the property significantly. Therefore we bought a property valued at over $500,000US (offficial exchange rate) and only owe $170,000US for the property. We thank the Lord for his provision.

So as we celebrate the successful dinner, we continue to pray for additional support for the Seminary and continue to work to that end. Please pray for success in this matter. Perhaps the Lord will impress upon you the need to also be a partner with us in this ministry. We welcome you to the team! Checks can be sent to Venezuela Now, Inc at the address above (in the masthead).

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