Last Sunday was one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life. No, I did not do anything. Others did! The Pastor who took my place in the mother church preached a powerful sermon; many responded to the altar call. He led the service with lots of anointing. At the extension centre, the deacon led a retreat for the leaders of that small work; his leadership is growing in that part of the vineyard. Its great to see, those that you've trained personally, moving into positions of great responsability. Both of them however are struggling with their theological extension courses; its not easy to study and serve at the same time. Its my responsability to not only help them finish their studies but to also mentor them in their new roles.
My dream is to raise dozens of empowered clergy filled with the Holy Spirit; some of them will be bi-vocational. This of course is a great challenge in Bolivia. Meeting needs, sometimes very basic ones, go hand in hand with a solid formation that helps one to look beyond themselves in the third world (actually thats true everywhere). People need to be fed, led and taken care of before they can go beyond their own needs and see the challenge of serving others. Configurating all this within an Episcopal church government requires a long term strategy that does not cave in to immediate demands. We are raising leaders who can lead their flock within a larger ecclesiological dynamic. Character formation, honing minstry skills and learning the bible/theology are the three basic components of our leadership training programme. The current leadership have some ways to go before they can raise leaders and project a growing a "self supporting" work. Missionaries like myself come in at this point and provide the necessary back up leadership. How to empower leaders without cultiving dependancy amongst the locals and fostering paternalism among missioaries remains the hot button issue!
Pray For Us!