Lessons from Venezuela


venezula The CCSM returned from our missionary journey to Venezuela last week. While we were there, we saw God do amazing things in the lives of the people. The congregation of the First Baptist Church of Guanare were gracious and so hospitable to us while we were there. As we discussed the trip in our weekly class, we talked about what we learned, pros, cons, changes, etc. Here are a few lessons that I learned from the trip:

1.) A Hunger for the Word of God! 

The people of Venezuela are hungry for the Word of God. As we taught Thursday night and Friday morning on leadership not only in the pastorate, but in the home as well, we saw them take several pages of notes. As we gave examples of these principles from Scripture, the people wrote down the Scripture references. They wanted to know what Scripture says and how it applies where they currently are. This made me ponder the question: Do I desire to know what Scripture says and apply it?

2.) Gracious Generosity 

From the moment we landed in Caracas to the moment that we left, our team was taken care of. Many of the men said that this felt more like a business trip than a mission trip! We were in a hotel with A/C and a van with A/C, a luxury you often do not have in other places in the world! On top of that, they fed us, A LOT. We would sit down for a meal and they would serve us food and then they would serve us MORE food. Some of the guys have joked that instead of losing weight from a mission trip that they actually gained weight from the mission trip! The lesson that I learned here was this: Am I generous with all that God has blessed me with? Or am I selfish and hoard things to myself? This was not a thought for the Venezuelan people, they gave generous and were gracious in their hospitality because of what God has done for them. As Christians who live in the United States, do we have an understanding of what God has done for us and do we turn around and show generosity and hospitality to others? 

3.) A Passion for the Nations 

On Monday of last week, we taught on how to evangelize Muslims to the church. What fascinated me about this group of people was how so mission-minded that they are. The pastor, Josue Rivas, has already taken them on multiple trips to the Middle East and some of the places that he has gone are very hostile to Christianity. These are the places that many Christians in the United States cannot go to. We saw a great opportunity for us to be a part of proclaiming the gospel to the Muslim world through this church. The church’s passion for the nations convicted me! They were willing to do ANYTHING for the gospel to go forth, they knew that if caught they could be imprisoned or even killed. Christians in the United States fear rejection from people so they shy away from sharing their faith! The people of First Baptist Church of Guanare are passionate for reaching the nations for the name of Jesus Christ and it left a mark on my heart! Do I have a passion for the nations? Will I proclaim Christ even when it is dangerous to do so? 

4.) Worship

These people know how to worship! On the Sunday night, we celebrated with them their 67th anniversary as a church and they gave us a glimpse of what heaven will be like! They had a variety of musical instruments, a praise team, solos, and more! I was blown away by their love for Jesus and they showed it through their worship! Do I have this type of passion for Jesus and worship Him with every part of my life? 

I could give more lessons from Venezuela, but these were four that left a mark on the my life and many others on our team. We continuously pray for the church, its people and their pastor. We hope to return one day, but if we do not we know that we will see them again in heaven around the throne of Jesus!




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