Spiritual decisions in Venezuela
October 19-November 4, 2012
“Preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things
which concern the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28:31)
Since 1996, “Adam Nathanson” has been a prominent name in our cadre of best friends and fellow ministers. As a recent graduate of Maryland Bible College, he and his wife, Dianna, were serving as missionaries in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. On my agenda notes for the week of December 29, I have the following note: “Nathanson Fax—confirmed Brazil July 17-August 3, 1997.” Although Adam was unable to attend a prayer seminar at his college, he heard from those who did the impact. He was the catalyst for the nine prayer seminars, six leadership conferences, and two sermons. Sue spoke to three women’s groups. Over the years, Adam has traveled with me serving as Portuguese or Spanish interpreter in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba as well as Spanish prayer seminars in the United States.
Once again, Adam, who now serves as a missionary to Venezuela and is founder-pastor of Grace Community Church in Caracas, and I teamed up for prayer seminars in three areas: Caracas (capital city with five million people), Amazonas State (about the size of Texas and home to 150,000 native Indians living in the jungle), and the Santa Elena region along the Brazilian border and home to two major Indian tribes. In a sense, the latter two venues are among the hard regions. Seventeen tribes live in the Amazonas jungle. Although many small churches have been established throughout the jungle, there is constant warfare among the tribes. Many of the churches were established by New Tribes Mission, an entity that has been expelled from their jungle work and is no longer welcomed. The contrast between Puerto Ayacucho and Santa Elena is remarkable Both are striking, but Santa Elena with an elevation of 2,500 feet surrounded by picturesque flat-topped mountains is one of the most beautiful areas that I have visited anywhere in the world. This was my eighth visit to Venezuela (1992,
There were ten prayer seminars and I preached three times. Hundreds committed themselves to become Lighthouses of Prayer (necessary to penetrate the Spiritual darkness that abounds in Venezuela). 149 were saved. Certainly Adam and I were blessed beyond words. However, we had a major disappointment. Plans were for us to go into the Amazonas jungle among the tribes. The focus of the invitation was for us to travel from Puerto Ayacucho by river (four hours on the mighty Oronoco River) to a small town, San Fernando, where an annual conference is held for 350-500 pastors. We considered this one of the most extraordinary invitations we have received. Upon our arrival, we were informed that there was aggressive guerrilla activity and that it would be unsafe for white Americans to travel. Although disappointed, we placed this under the category of Isaiah 55, God’s ways are not our ways; His are better. We were strongly urged to return to these areas. Perhaps this will be God’s will at some future date. We have tentatively agreed to return in July 2014 to Puerto Ordoz to work with seventy-five churches and to Caracas to provide a series of prayer seminars.
On behalf of each person touched, we express thanks to the Doorkeepers who provided prayer and financial support. Ninety contributed significantly over-subscribing the budget. “The Lord repay your work, and a full reward to begive you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose sings you have come for refuge (Ruth 2:12).