We have just returned from kicking off the first week of a new Bible School in the Peten, Guatemala and we’ve love to take just a few moments to report on all that happened during our time there.
Over the course of thirteen days, we ministered in four churches, shared the gospel on the radio and taught over 100 students, equipping them with the power of the gospel. The emphasis of our teaching was that it is the message and not the messenger who carries power to bring salvation!! Throughout the next year, we plan to conduct four intensive weeks of study, each focusing on a different theme. This week, to kick it all off, we emphasized Jesus’ primary command to go. The students were such wonderful receivers!
Our desire was that each student feel empowered and equipped to share.
As an added bonus, Jerry and Marilyn O’Dell came in to help us get off to a great start. Many of you may recall that 19 years ago in Honduras I (William) worked under Jerry and Marilyn as a single young man and, later, married to Jessica. We led classes and crusades in Honduras, taking the students door to door with Jon Langley in tow! Years later, the Guatemalan Bible School united us once again with the O’Dells, this time with three kids along for the ride!
We are blessed to be working with Dr. Misraim Fernandez who has had a vision for a Bible School in the Peten for more than twelve years. In addition, our great friends Tim and Doris have been wanting to see a bible school birthed and now both visions are coming together in the form of a seminary called ASETI. You have read in Jessica’s earlier blog (here) about the credentials of the school and the way it will enable pastors to gain a certificate for ministering, something that the government has threatened to require in coming years.
ASETI is a theological seminary that will function weekly from January until November. Dr. Misraim will head this up even while we are not there which means that Guatemala is taking care of their own!! This is in keeping with the new model of missions we have written about previously. We will function as a support to the seminary by teaching week long intensives once a quarter when we are in Guatemala, bringing guest ministers along with us when possible, to supplement the curriculum of the school and bring the hands-on side to the gospel. Dr. Misraim has actually created an extension of ASETI known as ELI…..this is us! Are you getting confused by all these acronyms yet?? ELI is the name we will operate under in Guatemala and we even have our own seal.
William taught a group of hungry pastors on Tuesday morning about servant leadership and Jessica met with a group of pastors wives and female leaders from the church about staying filled up with the Lord in order to finish the works they are in. Both of these sessions felt like leaps forward and their demand for more is great. When we return in April we plan on only increasing these teachings, specifically targeting pastors and leaders who we believe will, in turn, go and teach it to others.
As always, we also shared in churches, fulfilling our mandate to strengthen and encourage Christ’s body in the local church itself. On Sunday alone we ministered in three different services! Jessica and I are still a team and for fun you can watch a clip of us ministering together below, something we love to do!
You are a co-laborer with us in the school if you have prayed or given in any way. We realize that what we are doing simply cannot be accomplished without the help of others.
One last thought….you may wonder, what were the kids doing all this time? Take a look and rejoice with us at all that God is doing through them as well! Love and thanks to you all….