What a privilege it is to serve pastors that have had no formal training. It is so refreshing to see people who are called to preach become enabled and trained.
The Gospel Coalition recently challenged people to “imagine being an indigenous pastor of a local church in South America trying to shepherd a small congregation, with little to no access to formal education. Your understanding of the basic truths of the Bible is greatly lacking. You own only a couple of books and those are of questionable value. Internet access is not reliable. And yet you are responsible for feeding and leading your local church. You and your congregation are struggling to experience the life-changing power of the Gospel.”
Nardony, a humble pastor from the village of Tamarindo, is currently enrolled in the Bible Institute. He is a quiet man who struggles with many difficulties. I often see him waiting until everyone has been served in the lunch line before he gets a plate. He has memorized most of the required Bible text. (We are working on the book of Philippians this year). We meet once a month and he is usually there before I am despite the long walk he must make to get to a public road so he can catch the bus. His steadfastness and dedication inspire me to work harder. Recently, a team from North Carolina came and hosted a Medical Clinic and VBS at his village. The whole town turned out. Nardony took several of the team on a hike through the rural region to visit homebound patients in need of medical attention. One of those patients has passed away since the team left. Romans 10:15 says, “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”
We are appreciative of all the people who pray for us and make sacrifices in their budgets that allow us to train Nardony for the furtherance of the gospel in Tamarindo. We are expecting 5 new pastors to join us tomorrow. I wanted to wait to send this out to let you know how it went, but felt it is better to ask your prayers in advance. We will meet at 9am till Noon, then we will have lunch together.
Each quarter it is our hope to add 5 more students. The cost for materials is about $35 a month per student. That cost covers books, and a meal for the monthly meeting. So far, we have been able to provide a Kindle tablet for each pastor to use throughout the week, Nestor and the guys do home visits and check the study process. This is a learning process for all of us.In the future we may seek scholarships for the pastors. I thank the Lord for providing men like Nestor who teach, run errands, and work through governmental red tape to make all this flow as smoothly as it does. We praise the Lord for His unwavering faithfulness in all things.
During the medical team, one of the doctors met a mom with 2 daughters, both of which had asthma. He asked if we knew where we could get rocket stoves to cut down on smoke in the house due to cooking on wood. This team provided funds to get several stoves. We will be delivering them this week.
In January, we started hosting a fellowship in our home on Sunday mornings. It started out with just a couple of families but has grown considerably. We have been having around 30 people attending. This has turned into something very beautiful. I have been preaching through the book of Philippians. We have had communion twice. April is doing Bible studies with the women on Monday mornings. Please keep us in your prayers as we seek to glorify God in our meetings.
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