Last Sunday I returned from a week-long cell ministry trip in Caracas, Venezuela (my first trip to Venezuela). The people are super friendly–like most Latin Americans. When I do cell seminars around the world, I use a personal rating system of 1-3 (3 being the highest), depending on how the people responded and what I felt about the entire trip. This trip received a “3.” It was excellent. The Las Acacias church took great care of me. Someone was assigned to me during and after each speaking session. I wasn’t left to fend for myself. I actually felt renewed throughout the entire time.
Yet, the highlight was the hunger and responses among the participants. They were captivated by the cell church message–especially the message that cell church is based on following principles rather than models. The G12 movement is strong in Venezuela, and many churches have been divided over it and hurt as a result. The pastores and leades who attended the seminar were encouraged to follow timeless cell church principles that they could apply in their own culture and context. One hundred participants bought the videos of the entire conference. I received multiple invitations to return to Venezuela to speak to pastors in other parts of Venezuela.
Do pray for Venezuela. Life is tough for the people under the new regime (e.g., communistic socialism). I heard story after story of the abuse of human rights in Venezuela. Most of the people that I talked with are pessimistic about the future. Yet, we do know that God allows trials and sufferings to turn people to Himself. Pray that Christ’s church would continue to grow and prosper during these hard times.