by Eric Michalls
The Cross Church School of Ministry seeks to train young men and women in life, ministry and gospel advancement. As a part of the gospel advancement track, the 11 men in the program are all required to go on three missionary journeys throughout the year. Two of those trips will be nationally and the other one an international trip. This year the CCSM will be traveling to Venezuela from November 13-21 through a connection with Dr. Jeff Crawford, president of the CCSM. When we arrive, we will be hitting the ground running with the first of two conferences that we will be leading. The first conference will be over the topic of Building a Healthy Church. Pastor Ronnie Floyd’s book Ten Things Every Minister Needs to Know as well as John Maxwell’s book 21 Laws of Leadership will be our two main resources for Thursday night and Friday.

On Sunday, Jeff Crawford will be preaching two times at First Baptist Church Guanare. While he is preaching there, eight of us will be preaching in local churches in the surrounding area. The other three will be traveling with three of us to lead worship. This will be a great opportunity for us who love to preach to gain experience and for those who lead worship. On Monday and Tuesday of that week, we will be leading a second conference on the evangelization of the Muslim world. One of the unique aspects of Venezuela is that churches there can send missionaries to places that churches in the United States cannot, places like Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan. Wednesday we will have a fun day and then travel back to the United States on Thursday.

Right now, we are six weeks away from going to Venezuela and we are very busy prepping for the trip. Last week we spent two hours talking about the topics and the scheduling of the conference. This past Monday all the guys started to sign up for topics that they will teach while in Venezuela.

There are a couple of challenges that we will meet while in Venezuela. One is a language barrier. We will be speaking in a Spanish speaking country, therefore, we will all have translators that will be speaking alongside us as we teach. This will take a normal 30 minute message to become an hour. So we will have to be patient in this process as we teach and encourage other pastors. Another barrier is the Latin American culture. We live a very structured, organized life in the United States. We want events to be on time and to flow well. In Venezuela, they are flexible on their time and they may not start on time. So we have to be flexible with our time while we are down there.

This trip is quickly approaching and we cannot wait to get down there and pour into the lives of these pastors. Here’s some praying points for you: 1) Preparation of materials, 2) Safe flights to and from Venezuela, 3) Overall health, 4) Empowerment of pastors, 5) Gospel Advancement through their missionary journeys.



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