Monday, August 30

Holiness and Ministry Summit in Bolivia

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WOW! August was really full of activities. After closing the meetings of the Regional Advisory Council, which always mean lost of administrative work in preparing, during and after the meetings, I was privileged to attend to an invitation to be one of the speakers at the Holiness and Ministry Summit in Bolivia.

This summit took place in the city of La Paz, and that meant that I was for the first time at 11.942 feet of altitude. But if you think this is high, imagine getting in at 13,123 feet of altitude in the city of El Alto, which is where the airport is located to get to La Paz. As soon as I stepped out of the plane I started to feel a little dizzy , and this was enough to realize that I could not walk at the same rhythm that I usually do when I am at "sea level". I had to make an adjustment to my steps and breathe deeply a few times to compensate for the different density in the oxygen. After leaving the airport, 20 minutes were enough to come down to about 10,000 feet, since the location of the summit was at the Nazarene Seminary in Bolivia and that is located in a lower location of the city.

It was a tremendous weekend. We could see God's moving in the response of consecration of the Bolivian Church to the successive appeals made in each holiness sermon. It was encouraging to see a good worship team formed by young people from different churches, but that played and sang together as if they were doing this every week.

The themes that I had to share, besides talking about the "Disciples in Ministry" initiative (especially as it relates to the Global Mission Ministry) were: "Holiness in Ministry" and "Spiritual Gifts Maximized". In the first topic we tried to deal with the biblical and theological framework for the practical life of holiness in ministry; and we also confronted some of the temptations most common among leaders involved in ministry. In the second topic we tried to deal in a practical way with the context base for the gifts and ministries in the local church.

It was also a time when we were able to make contact with some people that are looking for ways to get involved in missions and don't know how. We were able to clarify the steps involved in the process and the role of the material developed for "Disciples in Ministry" to help equip them for missionary work.

Wednesday, August 25

Lady's Ministry

One of the ministries that is tremendously being developed is the Lady's ministry. This time the ministry leaders of Cono Sur (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile) got together, and leaders from Paraguay joined them. It was an opportunity to share experiences and challenges that they are facing in this ministry in different local churches and districts. There was also the opportunity to share some relevant themes for women.
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Liliana had the privilege to share a theme related to the role of women in the different social contexts she is a part of and how from these contexts she can have a lead role in redeeming society. Her background in Sociology helped her to unite the conclusions presented by several sociologists to explain relationships in society, with God's redeeming message presented by Scripture.

There was no time for questions, since it was a very intense time with different seminars about different topics. But the reactions were very positive and encouraging. God was real and present in these meetings.

Sunday, August 15

Another Children's day celebrated in Argentina

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Today we celebrated once again Children's Day in Argentina. This is always a special time for children no matter where you are from, though it's being celebrated in a date that we're not used to, but it was a time for singing, games, lessons, gifts, etc. The day for us started the day before. This year the pre-teens' ministry, Generation of Samuel, was in charge of the church decorations for the event. Thus, yesterday, we spent the whole afternoon preparing and hanging up balloons, colorful flowers and ribbons to give the welcome to the children on their day.
In the following day, and since this was an evangelistic activity when many non-christian children come for the first time to church with their parents, Generation of Samuel had the lead role of doing the reception of the people when they arrived at the church. Three of our boys dressed up as clowns - and this made the joy of the little ones.
The program continued with the presentation of several skits, songs with choreography, and a short lesson, all of these offered by a christian drama group who was invited to the festivity to work with the children.
At the end, all was prepared for giving away presents to the children, but due to lack of time, it was decided to postpone this for a week thus extending this celebration for another week.
It was a day of fun, and a day of salvation, since many did the sinners' prayer for salvation for the first time in this day.

View more photos here.