In October of 2014, Pastor Oscar invited our Dunamis team to share some basic Dunamis teaching on the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
He was “beyond excited” about this opportunity to grow as a pastor and to receive this biblical and practical theological training.
Our teaching is a resource that he expected to treasure.
He told me why.
About 8 years ago, he discovered the grace of Jesus Christ. He became a follower of Jesus, a disciple who started growing in grace.
His job often took him to the remote city of Somoto, Nicaragua, about 3.5 hours drive from the capital of Managua.
While spending time in Somoto, Oscar shared his faith in Christ with peole around him, friends who he stayed with, and peole he did life with.
Within a few months, nearly 20 teens and young adults became followers of Christ.
He asked his pastor back in Managua for advice about helping these new disciples of Christ to grow. He was told,
start a church.
Eight years ago, with no formal theological training, Pastor Oscar formed a local congregation.
Nearly everything he has learned about being a pastor has come from
- following his own pastor as mentor,
- the occasional Bible conference in other cities like Managua or Matagalpa
- TV training on Christian television.
- And a smattering of other gatherings.
Oscar was “beyond excited,” because international teaching ministries rarely invest in leaders of Somoto. They generally don’t come to this little town. He does not have regular or easy access to continuing pastoral education in Somoto.
He was excited to host this conference because it filled a giant professional development hole in his self preparation as a pastor. He desires to pastor well, to lead his congregation in solid biblical teaching, and to make disciples of Christ.
Pastor Oscar invited other pastors to attend with their leaders. In a meeting after the event was over, they shared their appreciation for the teaching style – very biblical and very sound.
They appreciated the small group discussions, the prayer ministry that we made available, but most of all, they made it clear:
Please come back next year. How can we receive more?
Upcoming expansion into new cities
The Lord seems to be opening new doors for expansion into new Nicaraguan cities.
During this trip, we received an invitation to teach Dunamis in the cities of León and Chinandega. A ministry partner from those cities had lunch with us while in Matagalpa and then has already had a followup connection with our team to put more concrete steps in place.
We also established a connection with a group in the city of Grenada that may develop into a Dunamis project there as last week I finished a teleconference with that person.
Our first teacher from Nicaragua
To meet the growing demand for Dunamis in 5 cities, local teachers from Nicaragua are needed.
In partnership with the Dunamis Institute, Earl Rutledge was appointed our first Dunamis teacher in Nicaragua.
Earl is a long term missionary and church planter who has been in Nicaragua for over 20 years.
Earl served as a translator when Dunamis first came to Nicaragua.
Our teams have worked with him for many years, where he and his family have opened the doors for the work of Dunamis in Mataglapa, Jinotega, and connected us with Pastor Oscar in Somoto.
He and his family have faithfully served the Dunamis teams with airport runs, hosting teams in his house, providing room and board for teams, and investing in many of the local expenses.
Until a few years ago, Earl would translate for me. But just prior to one of my classes a few years ago, he simply said:
I’m not translating for you. Teach in Spanish without me.
That has been one of my biggest growth steps.
Help us grow more teachers in Nicaragua
With the current potential to teach Dunamis in 5 cities, we must develop more local teachers who are called, equipped, and anointed to teach.
Earl and I have identified another Nicaraguan pastor as a potential teacher, who has been our host for Dunamis in Jinotega.
Pastor Roger Luna has regularly shared how Dunamis has helped his own ministry as a pastor. He wants others to experience the same.
To prepare Roger and other future Nicaragua teachers, we need to develop the teacher training material of the Dunamis Institute into Spanish.
That is on my project radar for 2015.
Your gifts will support the development of Roger, Pastor Oscar, and many other pastors in Nicaragua. This is part of our core calling:
to come alongside church planters and pastors in Latin America to help them reach their communities for Christ.
Several of you who read this newsletter already financially support our work with pastors like Roger and Oscar. Thank you!
We want others to help us invest in them. Make your financial gift or monthly contribution by following the directions here.