CHURCH PLANTING and PASTORAL TRAINING
It has been on Gary’s and Cheryl’s hearts to see Pastors trained so that the many students that graduate from their various vo-tech training programs would continue receiving discipleship training in a church environment. This is finally becoming a reality as the Lord is bringing together the many needed facets for this program to become a reality.
In the past, it has been difficult to get new converts discipled in the rural village churches. Most all of the pastors have to have a full time job to support themselves; and some of them have had little or no training. In addition, the churches would not accept potential gang members, even if they had made a commitment to Christ. Because of this, we felt it necessary to start an on-going pastoral training. One of our guards, Humberto, attends the El Chile church which has been involved in Gathering Hearts for sometime. We hired him as a guard for the mission center, not knowing that he has had formal training as a pastor himself and is acquainted with the local pastors. He fills the requirements to help us begin. We still hope to host American pastors to help train these village pastors, but this will get it going. The dormitories that are planned for the adjacent lot can also accommodate pastoral training housing.
A new strategy in pastoral training and church planting! Cheryl attended classes at Meridian University to learn this technique. This method teaches locals how to tell the Gospel in story form each week and then spread it to each village. This has been successful in starting churches in other third world countries. Gary has begun to teach Humberto this STORYING, as well as pastoral training curriculum.
Update January 2010
Denny Boersema and Gary met with Luis Paz, landowner of this “colonial” and surrounding property. Luis approached Gary and me some time ago to help him start a church in a small house that Luis intends to remodel into a church. He already had detailed blue prints. The meeting with Denny went well. Denny is researching for a local pastor.
As you know, most of the churches in the “colonials” have pastors that have to work full time jobs. In addition, most of them have had little or no training. As a result, new converts are not discipled. There has been a need for some time for us to have a church where we could send new converts from this ministry. Especially, if they have been involved with the gangs. Do pray with us that a church could be established that would have a heart for God and these people and the previous gang members. It is not a coincidence that we are starting a pastoral training program in less than a month. More news about that later.