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A quick update of what's happening -- thank you for praying for our time in Paraguay and Brazil and Argentina. We spent 3 days of intensive meetings in Santos, Brazil near Sao Paulo. Our purpose visiting these cities is to meet key pastors to see if there is interest in studying the Bible with us and growing in a process of mutual discipleship. We met with several groups, and found that God has prepared the ground -- there is much interest.
After that we traveled to Salta in northern Argentina and met with 7 key pastors last night. We will meet with another 50 tonight. It appears that the Evangelical church here is very fractured and that many have abandoned the Bible in lieu of pragmatism and mysticism. Pray that the Lord will show us if we can be of help to local churches in helping pastors and leaders to grow in their commitment to honor Christ by being true to His Scriptures --thinking and living and serving according to and on the basis of the Resource He has given us for transformation and growth!
Thank you for praying! I know people are praying because we are seeing such amazing things happening. Let me tell you about 2 that only have a God-is-working explanation. The first is how God provided a Coordinator for ESI in Paraguay to help plan and organize the first ESI event -- a Facilitator Training in June. When we start in a new country we need to find a coordinator -- if we don't find that person, the Facilitator Training will never happen. To find such a person is difficult, because it needs to be a volunteer, respected by the other pastors, and who can be trusted to follow through with communication, and who is willing to put in a bit of time to set everything up locally. But God had all that worked out! Because we met a pastor/missionary who is an ESI graduate!!! pastoring a church in Asuncion -- who is excited along with his wife to be that coordinator! Marcelo and Marilyn are from Argentina, lived 5 years in La Paz where he went through ESI before they came to Asuncion. We met them on Wednesday night, and they are quality people -- and passionate to help other pastors and church leaders honor Christ by being true to the Scriptures!! And there are 2 other Paraguayans who are willing to help support them, so we have somewhat of a team there! So that's one miracle.
Hi from HOT Paraguay -- tonight its a short report to tell you how our meetings with pastors went in Paraguay. We met with 120 pastors and church leaders on Monday night to explain what ESI is and how we could serve the church in Asuncion. On Tuesday we traveled 3 hours to the town of Coronel Oviedo to talk with 70 pastors and church leaders. There is a sincere interest to start ESI here (Equipping Servants pastoral training).
Over the course of the 3 days here the Lord brought us into contact with a number of key figures in the Paraguayan church who would like to partner with us. The sense of everyone here is that we should proceed ahead with the ESI Facilitator training June 14-16. We value your prayer as we organize this important event, which will serve as the launching pad to train leaders for new ESI groups in Paraguay.
Happy New Year from Bolivia!
We thank God for your life and partnership in the gospel with us. We want to encourage your prayers with 2 testimonies we recently heard. One is from a pastor in La Paz who writes, “You have no idea the amazing things God has done in my life in 2017, teaching me to live according to the truth and sufficiency of God’s Word”. This man is part of a large pastoral team in Bolivia’s largest church.
• Praise for the 15 ESI (Equipping Servants Internship) groups in Temuco, Chile. Kep visited them last month. There is great enthusiasm about studying the Bible -- so much so that churches in Santiago and Concepcion (Chile’s 2 largest cities) have asked to start ESI in those cities as well! Kep and Debbie plan to train ESI Facilitators April 12-14 in Concepcion, Chile – pray that the Lord will help us identify the right people to lead new groups in these new cities.
• Pray for Jeff Mills and Kep’s visit to Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina in January to see if there is interest in starting ESI in the cities of Asuncion, Sao Paolo and Salta in 2018 or 2019.
• Pray for the 1000+ ESI participants in Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile. Pray for the 2000 total graduates since 2002. Pray that each pastor and church/ministry leader will grow in their desire to honor Christ by being true to His Scriptures, thinking, living and serving Biblically, to strengthen and mobilize the church around Latin America to disciple believers and reach the least reached with the gospel of Christ so that no one will live or die without hearing the Good News of Jesus.
Hi from Bolivia!
We hope you’ll be able to take time this Christmas season to reflect on the grace of God in the Incarnation & experience the joy of Christmas. For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given; & the government shall be upon His shoulder, & His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
I returned to Bolivia this morning after a wonderful 10 day visit in Chile meeting with our ESI (Equipping Servants pastoral training) groups in the Temuco region. We have over 200 people studying Romans with us. What a wonder God is doing transforming lives and churches – in fact it’s making such an impact that other cities want to start ESI. During my time in Chile I met with key pastors in Santiago, Concepcion (Chile’s second largest city), Villarrica and Vina del Mar. We have decided to do an ESI Facilitator training April 12-14 in Concepcion, and are expecting perhaps as many as 60 people to take this training and become Facilitators for new groups in Chile. We value your prayer for the local coordinators as they organize this event. I thank the Lord for SAMS missionaries Russ and Heidi Smith, for their tireless effort encouraging, helping and moving the work of ESI forward in Chile.
• Pray for the many new ESI (Equipping Servants Internship) groups in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in Temuco, Chile and in Bogota, Colombia. There is great enthusiasm about studying the Word of God. So many church leaders have recognized the terrible consequences in their churches and in their own lives from abandoning the Bible over recent years. Pray for gospel impact as pastors and church leaders commit to study the Bible together.
• Pray for Kep as he visits ESI groups in Temuco, Chile November 28-Dec 6. There is great enthusiasm about studying the Bible together. So much so that churches and denominations in Santiago and Concepcion (Chile’s 2 largest cities) have asked to meet with Kep during this visit to discuss the possibility of starting ESI in those cities as well!
Greetings from Bolivia!
Attached is our November Update featuring Kep's recent ESI conferences in Bogota, Colombia and Loja, Ecuador.
Thank you for praying and for your partnership in the gospel with us,
Kep and Debbie James
Greetings from Bolivia!
We trust you are well. Attached is our October 2017 UPDATE. We especially value your prayers for the upcoming Equipping Servants (ESI) pastors conferences in Bogota and Loja.
Thank you for praying for us.
Kep and Debbie
• Pray for the many new ESI (Equipping Servants Internship) groups in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in Temuco, Chile and in Bogota, Colombia. There is great enthusiasm about studying the Word of God. So many church leaders have recognized the terrible consequences in their churches and in their own lives from abandoning the Bible over recent years. Pray for gospel impact in lives, marriages, families, ministries, churches and cities in these new regions as pastors and church leaders commit to study the Bible together.
• Pray for the ESI “Fundamentos” pastors conference in Bogota (October 12-14) on the topic of Discipleship.
• Pray for the ESI Fundamentos pastors conference in Loja, Ecuador oct 17-21 on the topic of Biblical Counseling.