"Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?" These are the kinds of questions Fernando and the Garífuna seminary leadership team addressed this past week during strategic planning meetings. Several years ago, the Lord gave Fernando the vision to see Garífuna pastors and leaders receive ministry training, many for the first time, and He has faithfully met needs with his perfect and faithful provision.
For example, there was a great need for training materials and curriculum pastors could study and then teach in their own churches. God provided a link to BILD International, which offers materials for grassroots local church ministry all the way to college-level degrees. Fernando also needed others to help, and God has brought together a team of Garífuna leaders committed to the vision. God has also provided people with experience in theological training to help with teaching and planning.
One of these people is Pastor Al, who has used years of experience in the business world to help people like the Garífuna leadership team make strategic plans for implementing BILD. We met him on a ministry trip to Minnesota last year and were impressed with his kindness and heart for pastors around the world. Since then, Al and Fernando have worked together via Skype and email, and Fernando has in turn met with the other leaders. This week, Al came to Honduras to meet with them, and they addressed important questions and ideas for how to more effectively continue theological training and reach more pastors, who, in turn, can reach more Garífuna people with the gospel.
We praise God for how He has "connected the dots," providing connections to materials, resources, and -- most importantly -- people to carry out the work He has called us to. In the midst of great needs and unknowns, He is faithful. We also thank God for providing you, our partners who have joined with us in this challenge, and please pray for the Lord to give continual strength, clarity, and unity to this team as they take what they learned and apply it to their work.
Left to right: Pastor Jose, who trains people from churches in his home community and helps teach a new group of pastors (you maybe remember from this video); Pastor Eduardo, who leads a Garífuna congregation in La Ceiba; Elvis, who has assisted Fernando, especially while we were on furlough last year; Fernando; and Deiby, who recently joined the team by helping with administration and logistics for training events.