In the news this week:
1) the Spanish Language Institute: a new school year is starting up -- we have welcomed three new staff units, and 30+ new language students. The school year at Sojourn starts up with teacher orientation on August 27 and then the academic year on September 3. Please pray for Tia as she has new responsibilities this year coordinating the US curriculum and teachers.
In September, too, English studies begin for those Spanish-speakers looking to extend their mission into "all the world." The English program starts now, and in early 2019, theological training starts on campus. (We are looking for ministry partners to help provide scholarships. If you are interested, please write firstname.lastname@example.org.)
2) Kevin and three other pastors, Jim, Max and Esteban, travel next week to Bolivia to train pastors there with the IBAC theological training (Institutos Biblicos de America Central/Bible Institutes in Central America). The Bolivian president, a communist, is shutting down churches by way of declaring that only formally trained pastors can lead a church. Bolivian pastors have requested that IBAC take the pastoral training courses to their country in order that the government’s requirements are met and these pastors can receive official training. Praise the Lord that all costs are covered (through many of you and others). Pray for safety in travel and ministry and the outreach of pastoral growth in Bolivia. (For more information, click here.)
3) Awana Lifelines and Voice of Liberty prison ministries: Currently, Malachi Dads is being used in five prisons, and Hannah's Gift is being implemented in the women's prison. It looks like we will be having our first Returning Hearts Celebration late September, early October of this year, in one of the men's prison (APAC, directed by Carlos Cunningham). It looks like Voice of Liberty has found donors for all they need--including a bouncy house. We will keep you posted.
4) Evangelical chaplains in Costa Rica: We are also excited about the fact that the Costa Rican government has given Voice of Liberty ministries permission to train sixteen men and women to work in prisons as evangelical chaplains. Up until now, in Costa Rica, the service of a chaplain is that of a priest only. Here in Costa Rica, those who minister to the police, hospitals, and in prisons, under the authority of the government have always been Catholic priests.
The Costa Rican government providing the opportunity to train these sixteen chaplains is an incredible first in history. We are working with Dr. Karen Swanson (a contact from Kristi), of Wheaton College, to translate her 18-credit chaplaincy course into Spanish. Please pray for the raising of funds and the processes of that endeavor. Being that there is no material in Spanish, this translated material could be used in other countries as well.
5) Ministry at church: We continue to worship and enjoy ministry with Iglesia Bautista Impacto Vida Nueva. We continue to look for new facilities; please pray for that.
6) Beyond the headlines listed above, please continue to pray for each of our family members as we have recently marked the one-year anniversary of Colleen's home going.
And pray, too, for our support level. After serving the first year here in Costa Rica, we realize that we need to raise more ministry funds. If you or your church would be interested in helping with financial support, please write us at email@example.com. Thank you, above all, for your prayers.
With faith in Him -- Kevin and Tia