International Ministries

Project Update: Seminary in a Box

February 10, 2013 Journal
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As we wrote in our last journal, we were going to begin the training for our new project here in Bolivia called La Escuela de Líderes (The School of Leaders).  This program is designed around three one-year certificates that are sponsored by the Seminary in Santa Cruz to help educate pastors who can’t go to seminary.  There is one catch, they have to bring along 3-7 of the leaders in their church to take the course with them.  This project is designed to help develop and strengthen the pastors, leaders and churches in the Department of Santa Cruz 

(If you would like to find out more information about this program, please go to the project page.)

Just recently, I (J.D.) headed out the front door with my “Seminary in a box.”  I traveled to three churches and trained them on how to use the technology and participate in the program.  My first stop was a small town about 1 hour north of SC called Montero.  Montero is known for their motorcycles, but deep in the heart is this little but growing church named La Iglesia Bautista Del Gran Rey whose Pastor, Daniel Sanchez, has big dreams.  Pastor Daniel had lined up a group of 8 people, including himself, to begin the program.  When I got there they were eagerly awaiting their first group meeting.  Over the course of the training, we explained the technology, walked through the program and answered questions.  After about an hour, they were ready to fly on their own.  We took our group picture and the classes began.

I jumped in the car and headed another hour west to the small town of Yapacani.  There we began the setup session for two churches, La Iglesia Bautista Los Segadores (The Harvesters Baptist Church) and La Iglesia Evangelica Bautista Dios Es Amor (God Is Love Evangelical Baptist Church).  The pastor of Dios Es Amor is Freddy Gutierrez, who is the Association Director of Leadership Development and Education.  Together we instructed the people on the program and how to use the technology.  One of the deacons of Los Segadores was so excited for the program because he could take the tablet to his farm and use it while working.  He said he might even watch the videos while he is milking the cows! 

In one day we began the course with about 21 students in 3 churches.  At current count, between now and May, we will probably add about 4-5 more churches, and a likely grand total of over 50 students.  There will be groups all over the department with leaders being trained in the Bible and theology.  This time next year, we will be starting the second phase of our training: Strategic Leadership Development. 

Through the support of churches and individuals we have raised all of the money for the tablets to date, but have many more that need to be distributed.  Please pray about how you can be a part of this program.  Pray about the possibility of giving to help a pastor or church leader receive quality theological education and put it into practice in their local congregation.  If you would like to participate you can give to this project on it’s web page.