– 2002 –
GENERAL ASSEMBLY Important milestone!
Obstacles were many, including elevated travel costs, corrupt immigration officers asking for bribes, and general logistics. Due to these factors, some were not able to join us. God was with us, however, and 35 pastors, leaders and other participants met in Siguatepeque, Honduras for 3 days of meetings, conferences and CLIR. Highlights included the following:
- Nine new members were added to our CLIR – three institutions and 6 denominations or church groups.
- 3 commissions worked hard during the meeting, making valuable suggestions. Our theological education commission will work on forming an accreditation body for seminaries, something which will help standardize theological education, and assist seminaries to ensure a quality education. An exciting development was that our missions commission has set as a goal the planting of a Reformed church in Panamá, with Mexico and Brasil giving the main support in personnel and resources. This is a major advance for missions in Latin America! Also, our literature commission is dealing with how to improve our distribution and financing of our literature. Praise the Lord for all these plans!
- Augustus Lopes and Paul Gilchrist addressed the group on themes related to Scripture’s infallibility and authority. All present were greatly edified, as we think together about how to present the Bible’s message effectively to Latin America.
We thank the Lord for safe travel for all involved, for a deepening commitment among our churches to work together for the advance of Christ’s kingdom, and for concrete plans to fortify theological education and missions! Praise the Lord with us for all these blessings.
World CLIR takes leadership
in promoting sound doctrine
A widespread problem in all of Latin America is erroneous teaching concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit. By networking with various people, the “CLIR – Latin America” was able to publish an important book titled “Baptism in the Holy Spirit – a biblical and Reformed perspective” written by a Scot, Donald Macleod. It looks like this one might be a best seller by the interest we have already had! This book has 140 pages, a recognized ISBN number, and is ready to ship. Praise the Lord that we are able to serve the Latin America church in this way.
Moving along – but slowly
The Tepeyac Christian High school construction is moving along, but slowly. Steel has risen 60% in the last 4 months, bringing our projections for construction to a halt. Edgardo, a church member and the contractor in charge of the work, is considering all options including redesigning certain aspects. Walter, also a church member, has been plugging along on foundations and retaining walls. The opportunity to purchase a good, used backhoe (a 1976 John Deere) presented itself, so we are thankful for this addition to our equipment. You can see pictures under Construction – and we will be adding from time to time.
1800 theological journals comin’ up!
Our most complete journal so far has been printed, collated, bound, trimmed and is packed for shipment. 150 pages of a variety of articles make up this number, including theological themes (Pentecost, suffering for the Christian), pastoral articles (pornography, elder requirements), missions, as well as news and others. Please remember this effort in your giving – our printing costs have risen with larger runs and fatter books, and postage has risen 120% this year.
Long awaited book finally ready for shipment!
Dr. Peter Jones has spoken at various conferences for the CLIR in Latin America, and his material on New Age and modern paganism is in demand. New Age “spirituality” is growing rapidly in all places of Latin America. Jones’ book “Gospel Truth/Pagan Lies – Can you tell the difference?” has been translated and published by the CLIR (Latin America), in our professional (?!) publishing house. The cover was a bit more complicated than we expected, but the A.B. Dicks finally got the job done! This is a valuable resource we are providing for the churches, and is possibly the only critique of New Age from a Reformed perspective available in Spanish. If you wish to help cover the costs of this book, contact Rev. Bill Green.
Tepeyac cHurch aids another member in building a house
Juanita Espinoza is the fourth member of the Tepeyac congregation to receive help in building a place to live. A widow with very little income, she is being evicted from her rental house because the house will be razed to make room for a road. Her daughter and son-in-law – Griselda and Walter Quesada (also members of the Tepeyac church) have agreed to give her a plot of land on their property. The congregation has donated $500 and labor in order to put up a small, modest room for her. In this way a sister in the Lord has been assured of a place to live safely, after many years of renting under uncertain conditions. Several adults and various young people from the church have donated labor in order to make this project a reality. We thank the Lord to be able to serve one another in this way! Scroll down to see pictures at: Tepeyac 2002
Tabasco heat not enough to squelch
The Gulf presbytery of the Mexican National Presbyterian church sponsored a conference for elders the weekend of May 10, 2002. 250 elders participated on Saturday, and over 500 people attended the activities on Sunday. Rev. Bill Green was asked to speak on “Promoting integral growth.” In spite of temperatures that reached 104 degrees, participation was lively, and a time of fine, Christian CLIR was enjoyed by all. Food was provided for all the group by the ladies’ society of a local congregation. Bill had the opportunity to meet with the presbytery executive committee, as well as the seminary director for the Villahermosa seminary. The group asked for 150 more copies of the theological journal “Reforma Siglo 21” to be sent regularly. The church in this region has grown tremendously over the past 20 years due to hard work and a conscious plan for training of elders and pastors. We rejoice to be able to give theological and practical support to this region where Presbyterians outnumber any other single denomination. Now we have the “problem” of supplying the help they need in more theological journals and other materials. See More Theological Journals! for ways you can help us supply this need.
God continues blessing the Tepeyac church
Faithful and diligent leaders are a true blessing to any congregation. God has been pleased to raise up men who sense His call and are willing to serve the church in Tepeyac. In the months of March and April 2 more elders and 2 deacons were added to the consistory – for which we praise the Lord! Please pray that God bless their service. See pictures at: Tepeyac 2002
ing forward with vigor. See photos at: Tepeyac 2002
High School construction up-date
John and Joyce Emelander have joined the Costa Rican team, and are in full swing. The Emelanders are from Hudsonville, and John is a deacon (missionary!) from Cornerstone Church in Hudsonville. The Emelander family has committed at least three years to help with the high school construction project, and other construction needs in Costa Rica. John has been a contractor with experience in both carpentry and welding, and hopes to help with both the task of construction as well as with work teams. Together with Joyce and their four children, they make a great addition to the Costa Rican team! We say “Bienvenidos” (Welcome)! For a family picture see: Emelanders
Preparations – continue. Walter has continued work on the foundations, and our first stage foundations are almost ready to be poured. Compacting sand and gravel is almost done, and our re-bar is ready to be set in place. See more pictures at: Construction.
We can’t keep up!
Requests keep rolling in from Chile to the United States for our theological journal – “Reforma Siglo 21” (Reformation Century 21). God has honored our attempt to provide stimulating articles based on a solidly Reformed and Scriptural perspective. As our readers have shared copies with friends, we are continually bombarded with requests for more and more copies. We have encountered setbacks, however. The biggest has been a rise in postage costs of 120%! This has hit us particularly hard, so much so that it now costs twice as much to ship the journal as it does to print it! If you wish to help keep “Reforma Siglo 21” rolling, see “Opportunities – Funds needed.”
Neo-paganism exposed in Mérida, México
The CLIR and the San Pablo Seminary in Mérida, Mexico together sponsored a conference on the effects of neo-paganism, known differently as New Age thinking or gnosticism. Dr. Peter Jones from Westminster Seminary in California was the speaker, and Rev. Bill Green served as translator. The conference lasted four evenings, and up to 150 students, elders and pastors were present. One goal of the CLIR is to connect visionary people such as Peter Jones with seminaries and church leaders in order to prepare God’s people better. The influence of neo-paganism is growing, and Dr. Jones effectively explained it’s roots, and the complex challenges the Church faces. The CLIR will soon be publishing one of Jones’ books: Gospel Truth/Pagan Lies – Can you tell the difference? The book has been translated into Spanish already and we are ready to roll. Financing is needed (see under “Opportunities” if interested in supporting this effort). See photos of the Mérida conference at: Merida 2002
Construction is finally getting underway at the Tepeyac Christian High School! Under the direction of Edgardo Fuentes, architect and member of the Tepeyac Reformed Church, the first workers have broken ground. Walter (another church member) and his crew of young people from the church have opened the lot, put in a culvert and filled in ditches, cut through a hill – all with just shovels and wheel barrows! We thank the Lord that we have come this far, and we hope to make progress in the coming months. Stay tuned! See photos at: Construction
Leadership conference concluded!
On Tuesday, January 8, 2002 15 brethren from Honduras and Nicaragua arrived in San José to join the Tepeyac church group for an intensive 2 1/2 day conference sponsored by the CLIR. Our three conference speakers were ready, and we began that very night, in spite of the long trip our brothers from Honduras had taken! (2 full days). Each speaker addressed the group four times for 1 1/2 hours on the themes: Reformation truths (Dr. Jim Adams from Arizona), Leadership training (César Rodriguez from Venezuela) and Church organization and growth (Dr. Alonzo Ramirez).from Perú). Our attendance went up with each session, and we finished the last evening with over 50 people present! It was exciting for pastors and elders to study together with many young people who are studying in the Honduran and Costa Rican seminaries. The time spent together was rich in CLIR, worship, intensive bible study, good food (!) and planning for the future. Praise God for safe travel, and especially for the teaching and stimulation we all received. Everyone who attended agreed that our group was greatly edified. Praise God that our goals as a CLIR to strengthen and promote sound doctrine are moving forward with vigor.