Nicaragua Pastors Conference Final Update

2016 02 23 image 1Take a good look at this picture from Nicaragua. I had planned for my previous update to be my last. But then this picture happened, and I just have to share it with you.

On the left is Brenda Rose, the missionary from Harborside Christian in Clearwater, Florida. She's the one who has built this amazing network of pastors.

In the middle is a pastoral couple who have been to several of the conferences here in Managua.

On the right is Ramon, a first-timer who was invited by the couple in the middle.

And I'm the one sneaking the picture with my iPhone in real time as God brought the five of us together for a very unexpected conversation.

Ramon pastors a church in Nueva Guinea, a city six or so hours from Managua in the southeastern part of the country on the other side of Lake Nicaragua. He enthusiastically approached Brenda with a bold request. He was blown away by the conference in Managua, and now he wants to host a similar training event for pastors in his area.

Our conversation went something like this:

Brenda: How many pastors could you gather?

Ramon: 400 for sure. More if you need me to.

Brenda: No, 400 would be the most we would want. What denominations?

Ramon: All denominations.

Brenda: Is there a church that could host it?

Ramon: Yes, there is a large Assembly of God Church in our city.

Brenda: Will the Baptists come if it's at the Assembly of God?

Ramon: Yes. All denominations will come because all the pastors in our area are desperate for training like this.

Brenda: Have most of the pastors been to high school?

Ramon: Oh no. Most have only been to primary school. But they can all read and they are all working hard to learn their Bibles well.

Brenda: Phil, I'm not even going to consider this unless Walk Thru the Bible is willing to go with us.

Me: Ramon, I'm not sure my teaching style will be effective with your pastors. Don't you think it would be better to . . .

Ramon: With respect, you are wrong Phil. Communication in our culture is largely by stories, and you are a wonderful story teller. Even with your translator, the way you teach God's Word doesn't make our ears hurt.

Brenda: Ramon, I don't think we have the time or the money to do this. Why don't you begin praying that God will change my mind if He wants us to go there?

Ramon: (with a big smile) I will, and God will.

Ramon and the couple who had invited him hurried off to catch their bus while Brenda and I stared at each other and then burst out laughing. We've been in conversations like this before, and we know at some point we'll almost certainly end up in Nueva Guinea!

The total cost for three days of training for 400 pastors will likely be around $10,000 if local churches pitch in to provide the meals and lodging. It's not in either of our budgets, but it seems to be on God's heart.

Right before I started to write this update, I put Managua and Nueva Guinea into Google Maps. The software quickly marked both cities but then this message appeared:

"Directions Not Available: A route could not be determined between these locations."

"Perfect" I said out loud in a room all by myself. Now I know God's fingerprints are all over this plan. He loves it when Google Maps or anyone else tells Him what He can't do. Is there any doubt that He is already hearing and responding to the bold request of Pastor Ramon?

Brenda says there's no way she'll go without Walk Thru the Bible. And I say, there's no way Walk Thru the Bible will go without you. So how about it, are you all in?

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