Saturday, November 15, 2003

Mission Trips to Venezuela

Our church begins its new emphasis
on missions with a partnership

Our family trip to Venezuela in June of 2001 started something. Something big!

At the time, it was just nice to be able to see where Karen spent most of her childhood. It also explained a lot of things about her :-)

But then we found out that the Baptists of Alabama just happened to be in the midst of a multi-year partnership with the country of, guessed it, Venezuela! (what an amazing coincidence!) As a result, there had been several trips to Venezuela sponsored by the state convention, and numerous churches in the state had formed partnerships with churches there.

Seeing an opportunity, Karen sent out some emails about the possibility of going down as a translator, and before we knew it, it was August 2003 and she was winging her way back to Venezuela as part of a trip to start new churches and establish partnerships.

As it happens, our church was experiencing a real awakening to missions. (what an amazing coincidence!) Individuals from our church had recently gone on trips to places like China and Cuba; groups had been to Kenya as well as a number of places in the states; and we hosted missionaries from Brazil in our church mission house. The groundwork was laid.

During the same time, our church was working through the book "40 Days of Purpose", and towards the end it really focuses on the fact that we were "made for a mission". (what an amazing coincidence!) So, not long after she returned from Venezuela, Karen was given the better part of a Sunday morning service to share what her trip had meant to her. The response was overwhelming!

Within weeks, our church had voted to form a partnership with a small start-up church in the town of Miranda, Venezuela. In November, a delegation consisting of a Pastor, a Trustee, and a Deacon (plus Karen as translator) was sent to make it official.

The trip was very quick, but the relationships we established with Pastor Jimmy and the church in Miranda will last a lifetime! Two (or maybe three?) trips are planned for 2004, and more are being planned.

On looking back, it's now clear that all the "coincidences" that brought us to where we are were obviously God's leading. It's an awesome thing to be involved so directly in His business!

Photos from previous trips:

Aug 03

Sep 03