Good morning! Our leadership conference got off to a great start yesterday. We had around 15-20 preachers present along with several women from the Manizales church join us. I taught both morning lessons, the first one on the Biblical pattern for how New Testament churches were organized, and the second on the role of the evangelist in appointing elders.
During the lectures, I was so impressed with the type of questions we received. It is evident that our Colombian preaching companions are not only interested in the issue, but that they take it very seriously. You can tell they truly want to learn more about this subject. It’s such a humbling experience and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share.
We had lunch at a local Chinese restaurant. And then spent the afternoon in a question/answer session led by Carl McMurray. For over an hour, he led a great discussion on the appropriate age for elders, adopted children and the eldership, and how to inspire men to want to be elders. I wish you could see just how interested they are, and the way that they are taking notes. It’s wonderful.
In the late afternoon, before heading to Chinchina, we spent a little while at Jaime’s home and visited with each other. Then, it was off for the evening service. Chinchina is about 20 km S of Manizales, and the congregation there numbers around 30. Brothers Jason Schofield and Carl McMurray led the service last night. Jason spoke on the need to respect God’s word, and Mac spoke more on the aspects of the eldership. The brethren are just so thankful for our being here and they show it so many ways. I wish you could see the smiles on their face and the genuine appreciation in the way they communicate.
After we finished the service, we drove back to Manizales, where we all had dinner together before retiring to our hotel.
As always, my heart just goes out to my brethren here. Some of them live in incredible poverty and have no idea where their next meal will come from. In Chinchina and Neira, some of them have never left their small town and a trip just 20 km away would be a major thing. But, they are so happy. So humble. And, so loving.
Today, we’re back at the Manizales church at 9.30 to continue day 2. Jason & I will be teaching today, with Mac helping on a panel session we’ll be conducting toward the end of this morning’s study period.
Thanks again for your prayers and for giving us the opportunity to be here.