Langham Preaching in Latin America
Evidence of the increasing ownership of the work in Latin America was seen at the recent Consultation for Langham Preaching facilitators, hosted by the team in Lima, Peru. Representing many of the countries in the region, the team of trainers met for prayer, learning and planning. Regional coordinator Igor Amestegui was specially thankful for the sense of teamwork which was generated amongst the 12 LP facilitators who gathered from across the continent, and the clear sense of shared purpose in developing the training in each country. There is a growing number of escuelitas – small preachers groups – which now meet regularly, and new opportunities for extending the work, including in the country of Brazil.
In addition to encouraging work across the continent, Igor is giving special help to pastors across Bolivia. In Santa Cruz a few weeks ago a new initiative was launched. Igor writes: ‘Fourteen pastors gathered, and were very receptive and enthusiastic, and the majority have many years of experience. We dealt with preaching from the Gospels, the parables and the epistles. There was strong growth since the first level, and we plan to run the third level in the last week of August.’
Then in April, the pastors from Oruro met for a Level 3 seminar, taught by Igor and former Langham Scholar, Dario Lopes. Igor writes: ‘We had 49 participants and the theme was preaching from the NT. Dario Lopez’s teaching was excellent, and all the participants were challenged to study the Word of God better, especially to understand the implications of integral mission.’ The pastors had a special meeting to mark the completion of the 3 levels this month.
Next Igor sent a very encouraging message about the growing interest in a new ‘escuelita’ (a small preachers school) in Cochabamba. ’Last Saturday we had an introductory meeting about the course and 18 people came. Originally intended for young people, several pastors have also asked to join. We will start the course this Saturday at 7.30am, and it will run for the next 8 Saturday mornings.’ Igor then heard that, in addition to the 18 already enrolled in the course, there had been 12 more requests from people wanting to join! ‘In addition, the group with which I worked last year wants to keep studying, so we have decided to open level 2 in August.’ In fact, 50 people turned up – standing room only! Little be little we are seeing evidence of an indigenous movement emerging across Latin America, as work takes root in local settings, led by local trainers, and transforming local congregations.