Tag: Bolivia

Bolivia March 2020 Update

This is the shortest ENW tour report to date. Our trip was providentially cut short because of the COVID-19 virus. Thanks to all of you who prayed as God certainly answered in amazing ways.

I left the U.S.A. for Bolivia and Uruguay on Thursday, March 12th and was joined by my travel/teaching companion, Dan Hicks, on Sunday, March 15th. Dan is a good friend and serves on the ENW board. It was a joy to have him with me. Here is a personal note from Dan:

The success of ENW rests in the Biblical pattern modeled by Paul with Timothy and with the idea that church growth should focus on equipping godly men to further train other godly men. Our time in Bolivia was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, but even with limited time, the fruit of ENW’s work was so evident. To be with men who desire to learn more about teaching God’s Word and to know that your work will be multiplied exponentially is a true joy. I pray that God will continue to use ENW to impact the lives of churches throughout the world.

The tour began with a brief couples conference Friday and Saturday evenings. It was encouraging to see the couples (as well as some singles) attend both sessions. Some very basic yet helpful principles of Biblical Communication and Conflict Resolution were presented and well-received by all which was a wonderful start to our 2020 Bolivia ministry.

Sunday brought local church opportunities which are always a highlight to serve with and among national believers. It was “Father’s Day” so the services and preaching were geared toward that emphasis. Dan preached in one church while I preached in another.

The beginning of our 4th annual pastor’s conference was Monday. As we began, we were aware of “what was happening” in Bolivia, as well as the United States. As we kept our eyes on the news, as Kevin White (our host) continued to monitor his resources and proceeded to conduct the training conference, we learned early in the week that Dan and I needed to “get back home” as quickly as we could.

So, as we prepared and trained (we were able to complete three days of training), we, along with Kevin, began to check on exit options. My travel agent, Jay O. at Golden Rule Travel, was a blessing as he worked diligently for us to find flights/schedules that were quickly vanishing. In God’s good providence, Jay found us the very last two seats on a Thursday morning flight out of Bolivia. We were humbled and grateful for God’s wonderful provision and His timing was perfect.

We both left Thursday morning and arrived in Miami, FL about 3:00 P.M. We made connections to our respective airports late Thursday night and drove home from there. As I arrived home at about 2:15 A.M., Chris and I were very grateful for God’s timing and provision in it all.

We give glory to God for His watch care over us as His gracious provision was evident in every way getting us out of the country and back home to our families. Both Dan and I are very much aware and grateful to all who were concerned, prayed, and assisted during this exit strategy.

We were saddened that we were unable to finish the conference, but by the grace of God, there will be another time. It was encouraging to see the eagerness of those pastors who attended, listen intently to the biblical instruction, and respond with comments and questions. It was a beneficial three days together for sure.

The portion of the tour that did not work out at all was Uruguay. So much work had gone into this conference. A new ENW unit had been translated into Spanish (which takes scores of hours) by Rosanna, Pastor Gaby’s wife. Pastor Dave Robinette from Wilmington, my teaching companion from last year, had invested much time and money preparing for his second tour with ENW there in Uruguay. And Pastor Jim Bledsoe, who has accompanied ENW several times to several countries, also was invested with time and finances in preparation. My heartfelt gratitude to these two men for their willingness, preparation and personal time given to help. Dave and Jim, Thank You and by the grace of God, we will do it again!

I was recently reading in my quiet time from A Gospel Primer (which I would heartedly recommend) by Milton Vincent. I hope the following excerpt from that book will encourage your heart in these troubled times.

More than anything else I could ever do; the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and more; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.

Thank you again for your prayers, concerns, and kind words along the way. By the grace of God, we will press on through this hour of testing. God will be glorified and His people will be sanctified.

We continue to humbly appeal for personal support as well as travel expenses. ENW is a faith-based ministry and is tax-exempt for any who desire to invest in equipping the next generation of shepherds.

Our website provides information for giving, or you can send a check to the following address and mark it ENW “monthly support” or ENW “travel expenses”. Thank you!

Bolivia and Uruguay March/April 2019 Report

The last couple months flew by with much travel and training accomplished. ENW’s travel has included the India and Myanmar tour (which you should have received an update for) followed by the Bolivia and Uruguay tour from which we just returned.

The Bolivia/Uruguay pastoral training conferences held blessing after blessing. To begin with, I praise the Lord for providing a teaching companion(s) for each conference.

In Bolivia, Landon Brown (longtime friend) and Ovidio (pastor from Uruguay who has sat under ENW training for nearly 20 years) both helped share the teaching responsibilities and both did a fine job. For the last few years, Landon and I discussed the possibility of him traveling with ENW. Ovidio volunteered with eagerness to come over to Bolivia and be part of ENW training. He was very earnest to share with these men what he has been learning and implementing over the last several years, which is a joy to be sure.

Dave Robinette, pastor of Bible Baptist Church of Wilmington, NC was my teaching companion in Uruguay. Dave and I considered this possibility for quite some time. In God’s good providence, this was the right time and the right place for him to make his initial tour with ENW. Dave quickly fell in love with these dear folks and they with him. So much so that he has already committed to teaching next year as well (and possibly beyond). This was truly a life changing experience for him. The reality of having a part in equipping the next generation of pastors for the churches of Jesus Christ was quite impacting. A huge thank you goes to all three of these men for their sacrifice and theological contributions.

One of the principles ENW tries to practice is being “with” the men we train in as many contexts as we can. It was a blessing to minister in several of their churches and fellowship around the table as family and ministry were discussed.

Though everything is not measured by sheer numbers, it was thrilling to see an increase in attendance for the Bolivia training conference. As ENW’s contact, we are grateful for Missionary Kevin White’s efforts in preparing for the conferences. This was ENW’s third year in Bolivia and the attendance has at least tripled since our first year, to God be the glory.

Ovidio, (faithful pastor, co-laborer and friend from Uruguay mentioned earlier) has certainly embraced the “II Timothy 2:2” model of perpetuating pastoral training. He and his church gave ENW a significant love gift to help sponsor next year’s training in Myanmar. When I mentioned to the Uruguay conference last year of ENW’s ministry in Myanmar and the conditions in which these pastors exist and minister, Ovidio was heavily burdened for them. As you may already know, next year ENW is planning (if we can raise the needed $7K) to bring the wives of the pastors in Myanmar to the conference as well (we will be teaching Unit 3 – Foundations for the Christian Family). We have already purchased nearly 90 wedding bands to give as gifts to these precious couples who cannot afford them. It is amazing to see how the needs are met through godly men like Ovidio. Again, to God be the glory.

In summary, Landon, Ovidio, and Dave helped teach Unit 2 (Bolivia) – Foundations for Biblical Counseling and Unit 11 (Uruguay) – Foundations for Advanced Biblical Counseling. The preparation often impacts the trainers as much, if not more, than those being trained. God’s word is our sufficient resource for all of life and godliness. It is an honor to continually study, apply, and teach it.

One of the other very recent blessings was hosting Dal Go Mang, ENW’s point man in Myanmar. Pastor Mang has been in the United States for the month of April. This past weekend (April 5-7) Grace Bible Fellowship of Somerset, PA (ENW’s sending church) was privileged to have him in our fellowship. The leadership met with him for nearly 3 hours on Saturday discussing future opportunities in his country, spent lunch with him, and had him with us during a birthday celebration Saturday evening. Brother Mang testified Sunday of the impact and blessing of ENW’s ministry in Myanmar. Mang does all translation work; both hard copy notes for all pastors as well as the oral translation for teaching. ENW is excited about returning next year for our 3rd tour there in Myanmar with Pastor Mang.

Thank you for your continued prayers and financial help. Chris and I are still seeking to be fully supported by years’ end. Any contribution is tax deductible. We are sincerely grateful for all that God has used to provide toward equipping the next generation of shepherds.