Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday in Merida, Venezuela

What a glorious Sunday morning in Merida, Venezuela! Our group arrived safe and sound yesterday to the airport in El Vigia. The two travel days were long, not so much from traveling as from sitting and waiting for the next flight. Our three friends from Tennessee missed a flight and ended up arriving a day later than everyone else. There were many opportunities for witnessing on the planes and sitting in airports, and by the time we got to Caracas Friday night, at least 2 new souls had become believers.

On Saturday, Wes and Wayne (from New Mexico) had the early flight from Caracas to El Vigia, where someone was supposed to pick them up and take them to Mucachies. No one ever came to get them, so Wayne took the lead and began witnessing to people in his broken Spanish. Wes soon joined him and spoke to many people, leading nearly 10 to Christ. Finally, a young man who spoke English showed up and asked if they were with the Texas Baptist. He joined them and they continue to share Christ until our later flight arrived in the afternoon.

From the airport in El Vigia, our group split up. Tom and Murf are working with Pastor Cesar in El Vigia, Sherryl and De are working with another church in El Vigia (which, I think, is a mission of Pastor Cesar's church). Also, Bobby and Ross are working with a young pastor in El Vigia.  The rest of us loaded up and drove a little more than an hour up the mountain to Merida where our friend Ladimiro lives. His wife, Sonia, and their church had prepared a wonderful meal for us when we arrived.....arrepas!! and cheeses and ham....tradiditional Venezuelan food. Following the meal our smaller group split up once again with G. I. and Sandy going to work in the First Baptist Church in Merida, and Kerry & I working with Ladimiro and Sonia in their church. We are also staying in their home which is a real treat for us! Buck and Mary, Wayne and Wes traveled on a little further up the mountain to Mucachies where they will work with a couple of churches there.

So from here on, I can only report what happens here in Merida. First let me explain...we are ALL in the STATE of Merida.....Kerry and I, G.I, and Sandy are in the CITY of Merida. Sort of like being in New York, New York!  I may occasionally get a report from one of the other groups, and I will pass it on.

This morning we have spent a leisurely morning with Ladimiro and Sonia, sharing and talking with them about many things.  They are such wonderful people and love the Lord so much and are so in tune with His will. And they have such a passion for their fellow Venezuelans. Their church meets in the afternoon around 4:00, so we will be participating in that...Kerry will be preaching.

Ladimiro has set up appointments with several people for us to meet with during the week. Ladimiro and Sonia work with professional people here in  Merida, and they are very difficult to reach for Christ. Kerry will be leading a couple of seminars, also, on Keys to Success and Finances. We will also be evangelizing at the bus station and in other areas of the city during the week. I'm not exactly sure of what the Lord has for me specifically, but I am open to whatever He brings my way.

Please continue to pray for all of our teams, not just our San Angelo team, but all of the teams across this area of Venezuela made up of Texans, other North Americans, and Venezuelans!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Passion for the People

Venezuela....a country which has pulled us into its embrace over the last 5 years. On our first trip to Puerto Ayacucho 5 years ago, God placed a passion in our hearts to work with the people of Venezuela. He has given the gift of friends there. He has given the gift of opportunity there. We have visited and ministered in numerous places, and tomorrow we have the opportunity to see yet another beautiful spot in Venezuela.

As a part of a partnership mission between the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Venezuelan Baptist Convention, nearly a hundred North Americans (mostly Texans) will make their way southward to the land of mountains and waterfalls, flatlands and banana trees, peacock bass and piranhas. We will be serving in four different states...Merida, Barinas, Portaguesa, and Trujillo.

Our team, made up of 12 from San Angelo, 3 from Tennessee, and 2 from New Mexico, will be in the state of Merida, spread out over three cities....El Vigia, Merida, and Mucuchies. Kerry and I will be in Merida, home of our good friend and interpreter, Ladimiro. Kerry will lead seminars on "Success" and "Finances" as well as do some preaching. I will be involved in personal visitation and witnessing and will probably sing at the worship services. We are anxious to see the opportunities the Lord gives us while we are there.

The various teams will be leaving throughout the day tomorrow, Aug 6, and we will return home on Monday, Aug 16. Please pray for us. Pray for open hearts in the people we meet. Pray for good health for the team members. Pray for safe travel both to and from the US as well as within the country of Venezuela. We are asking God for 10,000 souls to be saved and 100 new churches to be started.  We cannot do what the Lord has for us to do THERE without the prayers of those of you who are praying HERE.

Now, I must go and finish packing. Four o'clock in the morning will come very soon.