150 Accept Christ in One Day at Venezuelan Hospital

August 02, 2012

Dear Friend of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela,
The primary objective of this letter is to say “Thank you, and may God bless you” for your past support. The secondary reason is to give you an update on some of the wonderful things God is doing in Venezuela. Thank you again for your support of this vision!
I want to invite you to watch a video of the Mission Service of the Kentucky Annual Conference this past June. I was privileged to preach this service and invite people to engage in the work of mission in the world.  Bishop Lindsey Davis, our host and friend, said it was the first time in his experience that an invitation to missionary service has ever been given at an Annual Conference Session. God graciously moved on the congregation, and several answered God’s call to mission in that service.  Simply “click” on this link to celebrate with us God’s blessing on that event: https://vimeo.com/46642091
Additionally, the Conference received an offering for the construction of a Medical Clinic on the Campus.  Approximately $40,000 was given for this cause which will allow us to break ground on this new addition to the ministry of the Seminary.  We will do that as a part of our Graduation and 10th Anniversary Celebration Weekend later this month. We are praying this will be the seed of the first Methodist Hospital in Venezuela!
Please consider giving a gift for this work.  We stretch every charitable dollar as much as possible to provide an excellent, accessible, affordable theological education to equip pastors and lay leaders to reach the lost of Venezuela.  These students are engaged in remarkably effective ministries resulting in countless people coming to know Christ. This nation, and indeed the whole region, is being eternally transformed with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Secondly, we are building a great team of Prayer Partners for this ministry. The Students, Faculty and Staff are engaged in true Spiritual Warfare, and we/they desperately need your prayer support.  Dr. Gayle Arnold, Director of Prayer Ministries, is building this remarkable team.  Please consider becoming a participant in this ministry. To volunteer, go to http://www.facebook.com/PartnersInPrayerForVenezuelaNow?ref=ts.
We have a very full August ahead of us.  Here is an abbreviated list of the major events in the life of the Seminary in August:
  • Dr. Dan Dunn, Academic Dean, teaching the Gospel John, Main Campus.
  • Warren Lathem teaching Preaching for Response II, Nirgua Extension.
  • The Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Main Campus.
  • Warren Lathem teaching Acts of the Apostles, Main Campus.
  • Graduation of 15 new graduates, Main Campus.
  • Celebration of the 10 Year Anniversary, Main Campus.
  • Groundbreaking for the Medical Campus, Main Campus.
Last month we received a great testimony from one of the students in the Seminary.  Francisco Ramon Gonzalez.  This month he will receive his Bachelor of Theology Degree after 6 years of study. He will then enroll in our first Masters of Church Leadership degree program starting in January. Francisco serves in the city of Valera.  He was a lay person when he started in the Seminary, but had struggled with a call to plant a new church. It was during one of the Seminary classes in 2010 that he finally surrendered to that call. This was primarily due to the support of his fellow students. He has since been most happy and is active in ministry in the new congregation he planted.
Here is his testimony:
    “Hello, my brothers & sisters in Christ. Peace and blessings and greetings to your beloved families.  I thank God for his goodness and rich blessings, and for placing in your hearts to do mission in our country, and give us those teachings that we needed so much to put into practice to try to change the face of this nation and reach the lost for Christ. 
    “I thank God for your purpose to offer the Master's program.  We ask that the All-Powerful would fill you all to the brim with his infinite blessings.
    “Concerning my experience with the subject of sanctification, I had many erroneous concepts, some of which I was trying to handle but others of which were unknown.  John Wesley's point of view is important. He refers to sanctification as a particular state of sanctification, moral purity, fidelity and transparency before God and men.  This is something that must be taken seriously and we should be concerned a great deal about entering into it (sanctification).  This dimension guarantees us a quality of life both natural and supernatural in this life and in the life to come.” 
Thank you for providing the opportunity for students like Francisco to be both transformed by the Gospel and to have a transforming ministry in his country. Just imagine all the children and adults we will see in Heaven because of your faithfulness!
Last night Dan shared with me this testimony:  After a recent Evangelism Class taught by Dan, one of the students and an associate pastor, took seriously the material, taught his lay team an effective  method of evangelism, and took them to the local hospital.  The hospitals in Venezuela typically have no waiting area for families of patients, so the area around the hospital is full of concerned loved ones. They shared with these distressed and tired families the life-giving Gospel of Jesus Christ and that day 150+/- people became followers of Jesus Christ.  God is doing amazing things in Venezuela.  Thank you for your prayers and support!
Do you want your congregation to develop an excitement for missions and make a difference in the world?  Consider recruiting a team to come help with this amazing work.  Partner with what God is doing here and make an eternal as well as temporal difference for Christ and the people God loves, some of whom are the poorest of the poor.

Thank you for all your help!
In Christ,
Warren Lathem