Tuesday, September 2, 2008

For most folks this is vacation month, and also for most churches this is special activities month. Our church is no exception: From August 1-9 our church hosted the first ever regional Child Evangelism Fellowship training. The director, Andreina Hurtado, stayed in our home and fit in nicely with whatever else was going on. We had invited about 30 churches, but only 5 churches ended up participating. 22 people attended, including 9 from IBM. The sessions were in the evenings and all day for 2 Saturdays. Everyone who finished the course was excited and encouraged. It was agreed that we would do another one next year. They will be good promoters for next time! Besides Sunday School teachers, several of the members of our church also help out in neighborhood weekly outreaches aimed at children and adolescents.
The Lecheria cell groups celebrate Peter’s and Melissa’s birthday.

This past week, August 10-17, our church, together with another church, was busy with an evangelistic campaign. We focused on 5 areas where we have members or already have a cell group. Around 70 volunteers from all over the eastern side of Venezuela stayed in homes of church families. In the mornings they get together with another church for training time. After lunch the volunteers divide up and are transported to the area where they work. We had around 30 volunteers for our church. In five different sectors they, together with local members go out door to door and have a 1-11/2 hour long night program with skits, songs, movies, and brief message. Peter did various errands for the different sectors, and Sharon coordinated the evening meals for our group in Arabella, an apartment complex. Sunday evening the church was packed to overflowing, and every sector gave a report with the final results: 572 contacts, 189 completed studies turned in, 112 people who prayed to receive Christ. Now follows a 12 week period to incorporate the new believers into cell groups.
The group of workers at Arabella Melissa participates in the drama “Jesus, You Are My All”

Sharon is in charge of VBS, which starts on August 25 -29 from 2-5:30. Each class will prepare a presentation for the parents to be performed on Sunday night. It will be based on the life of Jonah. We will decorate the entrance, steps and door as if it were a dock and the children will get “tickets” and ascend the ramp (steps) to board the ship. The second day we will make the main hall look as if it were the inside of a whale, complete with opened cans of sardines and tuna fish for the smell effect! The snacks are also geared to the themes. One day they eat fish in blue gelatin, and on the last day they eat “worms.” We have a lot to do. We still need 2 more teachers. Most of the college age students, who help out a lot, are taking 1 or 2 summer intensive courses, and so I’m still on the lookout for new recruits.
Last Monday, August 11, Melissa started her senior year at a new school. By the grace and foreknowledge of God, the Venezuelan field had set aside funds to help the last mks on the field, since no boarding facilities are available. We were able to make use of these funds so that she can be at a good, international school. Otherwise, we would have to home school as her former school has rapidly declined in quality and number of students while hugely increasing the tuition. She is taking 3 AP classes and has started volleyball practice.

Also last Monday, after being with us for almost 3 months, Heather returned to the States to find a job. She was instrumental in getting together a new group of youth from this area who are either not Christians or are just beginning to grow. Please pray for José, Gina, Rosita, Vanessa, Pablo, and Gabriela, as well as Melissa, who will continue to reach out to them.
Peter is coordinating the III International Congress on Leadership to be held in Caracas in October. This organization (NDLL) seeks to encourage Latin leaders to grow, to be transparent, and to set their priorities correctly so as to finish well. There will be speakers from 8 different countries and we are expecting 350 leaders to be in attendance. We will focus on equipping leaders whose leadership is informed and shaped by the Bible, who have such a grasp of the content and intent of Scriptural books as to be able to apply them to current situations.

In Christ’s service,
Peter and Sharon

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