Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Hunger in Venezuela

As many readers will know, Dan Dunn, our Dean of Students of Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela is finishing his classes in the pursuit of earning a PhD. in Evangelism to enhance his teaching ministry, especially in Latin America and with Latinos in the US. One of the many books he has read recently is: CONSIDERING THE GREAT COMMISSION: EVANGELISM AND MISSION IN THE WESLEYAN SPIRIT edited by W. Stephen Gunter and Elaine Robinson. Dr. Gunter is a good friend who teaches at Duke Divinity School.

One of the most poignant quotes from the book is:

"In new Christian areas, there is a desperate need for religious instruction and for ethical reflection on the relationship between the gospel message and sociopolitical struggles. People may have joined the church, but their understanding of the gospel is limited by their lack of formation in Christian beliefs and practices. The hunger for basic teaching on the meaning of the Bible and the meaning of the Christian faith is overwhelming." (page 38)

This has certainly been our experience in Venezuela. The students and pastors in the Seminary evidence a hunger for basic teaching. This hunger is unlike anything we in the US have known in at least the last 50 years. This is not only true of the pastors enrolled in the Seminary, but seen vividly in conferences and seminars taught by this author in a variety of settings in Venezuela.

Since our faculty is primarily from places other than Venezuela they are often shocked by the intensity of this hunger. They have not observed this in their teaching experiences in the US or in many other countries. Often they say things like, "They are so open; They are so hungry for the teaching; They are so receptive; Etc."

One of the important tasks (perhaps the most important) in the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18) is to discover where God is working and become a partner with what God is doing.

God is at work in remarkable ways in the pastors and students associated with the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela. We are so blessed to be involved in this partnership. We are also blessed by those who support this work.

Given the current economic environment in Venezuela and the US the cost of a year of seminary education for one student at this institution averages about $2,000. That is the actual hard cost of travel, tuition, room and board and books. The soft costs include the facilities, administration, and equipment. Those soft costs are running an additional $2000 per student per year.

Therefore, we invite you to join with us in feeding the spiritual hunger of this very precious group of Disciples who give so much in service of the Master. You can send a check to Venezuela Now, Inc. at PO Box 1655, Duluth, GA 30096. Help us feed these hungry so they can feed the hungry of the nation!

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