Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pastors' Conference - Day 4

Today was a big day for the pastors' conference portion of the mission trip. Rafael and I met with the core group of 6 pastors at 9:00am, and the pastors' wives came to the Hostal Jerusalen to have their own time together.

The first three days of the pastors' conference was open to any pastors or church leaders who wanted to come. But, when Steve and Angela planned this trip, they wanted to have this Saturday as a day for the core group of pastors and their wives. The core group is made up of the pastors from those churches where the missions groups have been conducting VBS programs for the three summers they've been coming here. And those pastors have been working well together and they've formed a network to share some of the resources the missions groups have provided over time--the computer projector, for example.

The men met again at Iglesia Filadelfia and we studied the theology of the book of Hebrews. I wanted to lead them through a book study to show how we can follow the train of thought in a biblical text, find main ideas, theological points, pastoral implications, etc.

I enjoyed the time and I think they did, too.

At noon, we walked back to the hostal for lunch. I joked that the 8 of us looked like a street gang walking down the road.

After lunch, I gave the pastors some books that I brought for them:
  1. Comentario Biblico Conciso Holman (Holman Concise Bible Commentary, by David Dockery)
  2. El Conocimiento del Dios Santo (Knowing God, by JI Packer)
  3. Evangelio y Reino (Gospel and Kingdom, by Graeme Goldsworthy)
  4. La Iglesia Deliberante (The Deliberate Church, by Mark Dever)
  5. La Supremecía de Dios en la Predicación (The Supremacy of God in Preaching, by John Piper)
I asked Blanca to help me translate as I gave the books out and explained each one. One thing I found humorous was that Blanca wasn't as familiar with some of the theological terms, but I was actually able to help her there.

I also noticed that a couple days ago when I asked her to help translate for me when I talked to woman who I remembered from my first trip here two years ago. Blanca did very well translating as I talked to the woman about Charlotte; I remembered the woman because she really liked Charlotte and even gave Charlotte and Mary (Jennifer was pregnant at the time) some gifts. And the woman asked that we pray for her, because she's having some health issues. Well, Jenny overhead this and said we should pray right then. So, Jenny prayed and Blanca translated. But, at one point, Blanca couldn't remember how to say "forgiving," as in "Thank you for forgiving out sins." But, I was actually able to help Blanca then.

Today I joked that I only know 10 words of Spanish, but they're all theological terms. That's the Spanish I've learned working with the pastors.

Finally, the day with the pastors was coming to an end. The last thing I did with the pastors is work out a plan to meet again tomorrow at 2:00pm. Most of the team will be conducting an afternoon VBS at Filadelfia, so I am going to use that as another chance to work with the pastors.

And I gave them a homework assignment. Read the chapter on Ephesians in their new commentaries.

After a time of rest, we gringos (white people) headed across town to see a festival going on. But, that will be the topic of a later blog post.

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