If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139: 9-10
Here in Bolivia, we are excited to have a group of students that are participating in the Masters of Theological Studies (MTS) in Latino/a Ministries program through Palmer Seminary and International Ministries. In March, we had our second-year residency for the eleven students that are a part of the program who live in the cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. This cohort is a part of over 70 students in Latin America studying in the program. They live in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico. The MTS is a two-year program that is fully online and fully in Spanish. It is meeting a massive need to train pastors and leaders in Latin America to keep up with the amazing growth that the evangelical church is experiencing in the region. As a part of their week, they were asked to share with us how this program has impacted them through the first year. One of our female students, Febe, says:
“What I have learned in this time answers many of my doubts at an academic and ministerial level but above all at an intimate personal level. [So far] every answer has arrived at the precise moment [I needed it]. I am not alone, nor am I the worst, much less the best, I am part of a great whole.”
For Marcos from Chile, the week was a profound one. He says of the week and of fellow IM Global Servant and Professor in the program, Peter McCurdy:
“These days that have happened here in Cochabamba have been incredibly rich, not because we have spent a lot of time in material, but for two other reasons. On the one hand, Peter presented himself as an equal, which helped to feel very close to the teacher and that he was interested in those who were in the class. And on the other hand, the time we spent with classmates in practical situations, lived both within the group and towards the community with which we were able to share [were powerful].”
It is easy to see how this program is making a difference in our students and, in turn, in their churches and ministries in their local settings. Will you join us in helping to provide scholarships for the over 70 students participating in this program. If you are willing to support this program financially and help to train pastors throughout the region, keep reading! At the bottom of the page, there is a place you will be able not only to give but to double your gift! Support this ministry today.
In March, a team of twenty students and leaders joined us at the House of Hope to work with a local indigenous congregation and help them finish a building project. This team is the third team that has visited this church since the fall to help them finish the building before their church anniversary in July. Congregación Bautista El Abra in the El Abra community is on the outskirts of Cochabamba. The team came to do some brickwork, site cleanup, and prep and assisted the church in pouring a cement floor in two children’s Sunday School rooms.
The team saw a possible glimpse into what heaven might look like on the final evening as we returned to the job site to celebrate and to give thanks with the church for what God had accomplished during the week. The service was in English, Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, and Portuguese languages and all that were there had a wonderful time as we celebrated together what God had done.
I’m thankful for these people, this experience, and for an ever-present God. –Tatum Ferris (from a Facebook post)
Special thanks to Rob Ely, Drew Crislip and the students of Marshall University Baptist Campus Ministries for a great week that will have as a long-lasting impact on this faith community in El Abra.
The House of Hope and Fundacion Proyecto de Esperanza, want to welcome our new colleague, Sarah Nash. Sarah arrived just a few days ago to join HOH/FPE in working with churches and ministries here in Bolivia. She will be living in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and assisting in the development of new avenues of ministry for HOH that fit the needs in Santa Cruz.
Join us in praying for Sarah as she transitions into this new chapter and that God will bless her as she joins Him in doing His work here in Bolivia.
Sarah Nash will serve through the new extension of House of Hope in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. As an educator and dental assistant, Sarah is passionate about serving women and children through ministries of discipleship, education, and health (from Sarah’s IM Journal page)
Latin America and the Global South have become the center of growth in the Evangelical Church in the last 15-20 years. The reality of such lightning-fast growth is that there is a desperate need to provide training for pastors and leaders in the church so that it can continue to grow and maintain healthy faith communities for decades to come.
In response to this need, International Ministries, in collaboration with Palmer Theological Seminary and the American Baptist Home Mission Society, developed a theological education program that is one of the most innovative of its kind. Today, we invite you to participate in an opportunity to provide MTS scholarships to prepare hundreds of Christian leaders.
The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) in Latino/a Ministries through Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University is an accredited graduate-level program that is fully online and in Spanish. Upon completing the MTS program, women and men are prepared for ministry and/or church leadership.
Thanks to a grant from the Christian Community Credit Union, your gift can be doubled up to $10,000 if you give now! Would you consider helping us train pastors and leaders in Latin America?
Your generous support is what enables IM to respond to the continuing and growing need of people in places that could not do so alone. Your response with a gift or a multi-year pledge today will be a tremendous encouragement to us and to Latino/a communities.