Every day the church continues to grow in this region and we are so happy for that, but now I have a lot of work to do because I need to visit the different places each week where new churches are starting.
We are starting two new churches in the mountains, and in March, I am going to travel with Pastor Jorge from Chota eight hours into the mountains –up and down and there is one part that lasts for three hours where the road is about a half-mile above a drop to the river down below. If a driver were to go off that road, he would be a goner. In one of the new groups there is a high school teacher and a nurse, as well as some high school students. We meet in a room provided to us by the local clinic – interesting.
Last Saturday we had a meeting of the region’s pastors to plan the work for this year and how to reach new areas. Soon we will have 20 churches in this region. When Udelia and I arrived four years ago, there were just eight or ten congregations. God is really blessing now! I am preparing Bible lessons to send to the local church leaders for them to use.
I also have to prepare the missiology institute materials. Every other month the group gathers for one week of intensive classes then they take home lessons to study in the interim. This year, we have 14 students who came to the on-site classes and four others who could only study from home. There were three professors. We were encouraged that some of the new students are young people who we believe will be ready to go into these new churches when they finish their studies. It was also a surprise to us this year to have three women among the students. In years past, there has only been one. God is calling women this year.
We are so grateful to Christian Triumph Company for the offerings that pay for the professors’ room and board, the course materials and to hire a cook for the week. And we are now stocked up with literature for use in edification of the church, El Mensajero de Esperanza, as well as tracts for evangelism, thanks to CTC.
We are starting this semester of missiology and ministerial studies on the 10th. Additionally we have a group of Sunday school teachers that we are going to train in a two-day event.
My wife Udelia’s health is better now and thank God, my 10-year visa to the U.S. was renewed.