The Spanish Launch
The room buzzed as people talked quickly in Spanish, and the warm light reflected off of the bright green banners displaying, Escula de Misiones en Vivo…Live School.
We had assumed that, in this South & Central American culture, people wouldn’t arrive at the appointed starting time. However, by 6:30 the room was nearly full, as almost 180 pastors, ministry leaders, professors, and students filled the seats of the round tables in the hall at SETECA Seminary.
There was a sense of excitement in the room. Most of the attendees had no idea what Live School was, and most of the Live School team had no idea how the evening would turn out.
The evening included dinner, worship, a challenge from the Scriptures about the necessity for missions, a brief explanation of what Live School is, and a call to the urgency of joining the harvest. At the end of the evening, several key leaders from the seminary, Live School, and local churches held the LS Units and dedicated the Spanish translation to the Lord.
The next day, Saturday, we had over 200 people attend the informational sessions about Live School. At the end, many asked, “So when can we get the school?” or “Why isn’t this a facilitators’ training? We want to start a school now.” In fact, over 65 people indicated that they want to begin a Live School in the near future.
We heard incredible testimonies from the believers who sat around the tables. One family works with abused women and at-risk children in Guatemala City. They want to begin training their employees through Live School so that they can minister better to those who come to them for healing and recovery.
Another man was a pastor but became a chaplain for the police force, because the Lord told him that he would disciple more people in that context than in his church. He loved the concept of Live School, and now, wants to use it to train the believing police officers around him
Another man and his nephew from El Salvador attended and were excited about Live School. The nephew and his friends work amongst gangs within the cities of El Salvador. They want to go through Live School so that they can be more equipped as they minister in this hard area. He explained that very few people have access to work amongst these gangs, and Westerners have virtually no chance of reaching them. However, through Live School, the people who are already working in these areas can be better trained and empowered to continue their work.
Another girl, Karen, who is working in underprivileged parts of Guatemala City, has wanted to go to SETECA seminary for a long time. However, due to finances and the time requirement, she has had to hold off on her studies. Live School, though, offered an amazing opportunity for her. It can train her quickly and cost effectively while allowing her to study and continue her current ministry at the same time.
Betty and Joy Colson are American missionaries and a mother-daughter team who have lived in Guatemala for over twenty years. They helped organize the Spanish translation team a few years ago, and they personally translated all of the scripts and written materials for the Spanish Live School. That means they read, translated, edited and checked over 3,000 pages of teaching. It was incredible to hear how much they had learned from simply reading over the material. It was also beautiful to hear Betty pray over the Spanish version of the Live School. What an incredible picture of the Kingdom: an American came as a missionary, learned Spanish so that she could minister to Spanish-speakers, and now, she has helped to empower Spanish-speakers to be missionaries themselves.
One of the professors and leaders at SETECA said, ““Now, the target nations [for missions] are becoming the sending nations, and the sending nations are becoming the target nations.”
We saw this to be so evident in Guatemala. We met many students who have a heart for being missionaries not only in their city, their country, or their region, but around the world. Our point person from the seminary, Cesia, is half Guatemalan and half Honduran. Her parents are now missionaries in Spain and she and her sister are studying at the seminary and want to be foreign missionaries themselves.
We quickly learned that Spanish-speaking believers have a unique skill set to be missionaries. Over and again, we had many people share about the adaptability of these believers. They can operate, adjust, and not only survive, but thrive in many different cultures.
As Cesia noted, most Spanish-speaking believers come from poorer communities, and therefore, they know how to survive in harsher areas of the world (whereas it would be a complete culture shock for those of us from the United States).
Spanish-speaking believers are also passionate. Betty explained to us that once they believe in something, they will live and die for it. Spanish-speaking believers who have caught the vision for missions and gone to the nations of the world have been unstoppable.
Oh, to have more adaptable, prepared, passionate, unstoppable missionaries in the world!
We were told of a Central American woman who has studied, worked and raised money for over thirteen years so that she can be a missionary to the Middle East. Joyfully, she leaves in January to finally start her ministry there. We hope that through Live School, many more can be sent along with her.
With all of this excitement, the reality of training school facilitators and distributing the units amongst the whole of South and Central America still remains a daunting task.
In November, the team will be returning to Guatemala City to conduct a facilitators training. There, we will train the leaders of each school and distribute the Spanish units.
We pray that God would now begin raising up pastors, churches, businessmen, businesses, and individuals who would be willing to oversee a country within South & Central America. We would call them Ambassadors
These individuals would help support, encourage, and look after school facilitators in a certain country, help distribute Live Schools, and make one or two trips to the country each year to make sure schools are running well.
As we were reminded by a local missions leader at the Launch, David Ruiz, the harvest is plentiful, the churches are anxious and longing for teaching, but the laborers are few.
Therefore, will you pray with us that God would thrust out laborers into the ripening fields of his world (Matt. 9:38)?
And would you consider becoming a laborer or Ambassador with Live School in the Spanish-speaking world? Would you consider becoming one of the individuals who oversees Live School in a particular country? It is not giving up your job or family or culture. It is, however, giving of your time, energy and creativity to empower people like Karen, or Cesia, or the pastor’s nephew working with urban gangs.
At times, when we look at the state of the world, and our limited time and resources, it seems that we are lacking. But there is nothing lacking in the body of Christ. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness and to fulfill the task he has assigned us: Go, and make disciples.
We pray that you are supplying the gifts, talents, resources, and time that God has uniquely given you to serve the church and make disciples of all nations.
With you for the nations,
The World Mission Centre USA Team