It is with hope, encouragement and a lot of training opportunities that we have started this new year. Even though COVID-19 restrictions are still in place in many places and some countries are still struggling with high infection rates, we are starting to slowly return to in-person workshops throughout Latin America.
In Cuba, the third wave of the pandemic has hit very hard. We are seeing the highest infection rates since it started more than a year ago. Unfortunately, we had to cancel all the training events we had planned for this season. Havana Plan and three workshops were cancelled as restrictions were put in place over the whole island in January. In response, we decided to deliver flash drives to several pastors around the island with CST (Charles Simeon Trust) courses on – to keep some training going during these challenging times. Some pastors have already started the courses in small settings, as restrictions are still in place. So far, we have four groups that have started doing the courses. These are in: La Habana with nine participants, Niquero with five, Vega de Palma with six and Cifuentes with seven. They are all very excited for this opportunity. Hopefully more training locations will start up as restrictions ease.
February and March have been intense as Prédica Fiel was involved in four online workshops, three for pastors and one for women. More than one hundred people were trained. In those four weeks, we looked at how to handle the Bible from three different genres: apocalyptic literature, the Gospels and wisdom literature. Lourdes was a leader at the women’s workshop on Luke. Two of the workshops took place in Mexico and so were hybrid workshops – meaning that the attendees gathered in person but I taught remotely as I couldn’t fly out of Cuba. We thank the Charles Simeon Trust who made this possible through our strategic partnership with them.
We have continued to produce resources for our website. We recently uploaded instructional sessions on how to preach/teach from apocalyptic literature. It was encouraging to get a testimonial from one pastor (Pastor Gabriel Samón) in Holguin who commented on our new resources: ‘This is great! I’m getting ready to preach from Revelation and I was just looking for this kind of resource. Many thanks!’
The path ahead of us this year is also very exciting. We are looking forward to travelling to the Dominican Republic for a couple of workshops this summer. We are also excited about a Prédica Fiel board meeting which will take place at the end of April. We are working on putting together an online training course for Spanish speaking pastors. Other opportunities for local training are also arising. Please continue praying for us, as we keep training pastors and bible teachers on how to faithfully handle the Scriptures. We believe that this is the most important work and we need to continue doing it amid the hard times that we presently live in.
Really thankful to God and you,
Picture at top of page: Pastors, interns and women studying wisdom literature in La Habana, Cuba.
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