Dear friends in Christ,
Greetings in our Lord’s precious name! Please allow me to introduce myself. Together with my wife Aletha and our four children, we have served in church planting, theological education and the production of theological materials since 1985. Our work has been mostly in Central America (we live in Costa Rica), but since 1997 my work has taken me to most of Central and South America as well. We have helped establish a self governing congregation in San José, Costa Rica – with a national pastor and consistory (the Tepeyac church), have worked for the establishment of a congregation in a marginalized community (the Los Cuadros church), and are presently involved in the planting of a third church (Pacto de Gracia). We have also helped establish a Christian grade school and high school which serves 150 students at present and has a staff of some 35 people. We are presently in the middle of the construction of the high school, having finished the grade school some years ago.
In 1997 we joined the newly formed United Reformed Churches, and I was called by the Bethany URC Wyoming, church to serve as Executive Secretary for the Latin American Fellowship of Reformed churches (CLIR in Spanish). The main goal of CLIR is to advance Christ’s Church in Latin America by providing means for training pastors, elders and leaders. There are many Reformed churches in Latin America, but they are disconnected and many are struggling. By putting the stronger churches in touch with the weaker ones, wonderful things are happening. God has raised up good leaders in some countries – but their gifts and teaching do not benefit those outside their small circle. Our Fellowship is seeking to change that, and we help pay for plane fare for these professors and pastors so that they can participate in conferences in other countries. In this way the Reformed faith is being strengthened greatly through the cross-fertilization and teaching ministry of those whom God has equipped in special ways. Over the past 12 years thousands have benefitted from our conferences, and although the spiritual battle rages fiercely, many people are experiencing – some for the first time – the power of the doctrines of God’s sovereignty and grace.
The Fellowship is designed to promote theological education in other ways as well, and toward that end we have established an international Accreditation Committee that has the goal of establishing criteria for seminaries and theological institutions. None exist in Latin America internationally, and we hope to serve member institutions by helping them attain excellence in education.
We have also set up an entire print shop, and have published 10 years of theological journals, sent to almost all countries of Latin America, the US, Spain and even Australia. Each year we print some 5,000 journals, which contain both translated articles, as well as articles written by Latin pastors and leaders. Having the print shop has allowed us to begin publishing other works as well, and we have a list of some 70 books that CLIR has printed – all of them timely applications of Reformed theology to our present day reality. All CLIR’s literature is available through a well-maintained website, www.clir.net.
There has been much sacrifice to bring us this far – for those who support us, the nationals with whom we work, as well as our own family. But God is good, and has sustained this ministry, and continues to open doors for us, in the midst of opposition. We would like churches in the US and Canada to be better informed with regard both to the struggles of our ministry, as well as the potential for further work that God has provided. Toward this end we ask for urgent prayer. We ask for prayer for all our network of Reformed churches throughout Latin America. We would also like to strengthen our financial support base. At this point our level of support must increase in order to be able to sustain the present ministry, and hopefully to move forward to take advantage of many open doors. At present the high school construction flounders, often shutting down. This presents a serious problem given our violent rain season (we receive almost 3 yards/meters of rain a year!) Our Fellowship (CLIR) has the potential to do much more if funding were available. Rising postage costs affect our theological journal distribution. Travel costs affect the ability to provide our conferences. We need to strengthen our support base, and for this reason we ask you to consider our ministry for support. Any donations can be sent to Bethany URC (see below). There are four main areas that we need support for: (1) Rev. Bill Green – salary. (2) The work of the Fellowship – CLIR. (3) Tuition support for needy families. (4) High school construction.
I have written several articles regarding various aspects of missions, and they can be found on our web site: http://www.reformedmissions.org
If you have comments or questions, please write me at: email@example.com
Thank you so much for your consideration, and may God bless you richly!
Your fellow servants in Christ,
Bill & Aletha Green
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Website in Spanish: www.clir.net
Contributions should be designated (see above) and sent to:
Bethany United Reformed
5401 Byron Center Ave
Wyoming, MI 49519
Thunder Bay United Reformed Church
PO Box 32012, 572 Arthur St. W
Thunder Bay, ON P730A1