Pastor Golcher’s full class of 20 students at “Shepherding the Nations” Bible Institute in Xela, Guatemala
For 18ten Ministries, a very important piece of the puzzle toward successful ministry in Central America is finding the right church partners who are not only willing, but thoroughly equipped to create and maintain ministries in their communities. By God’s grace, we have been able to form relationships with two Central American churches who are like-minded with our core beliefs, and are wholly committed to the mission of meeting the needs of underprivileged children in their communities. We are so thankful that both of these churches are strongly founded on the Word of God, as exemplified by each of their Bible Institutes.
Grace Bible Institute / Grace of God Baptist Church (Nicaragua)
Jason Rogers, a missionary with Baptist Bible Fellowship International, founded Grace Bible Institute ten years ago in order to train up pastors and Christian leaders in Nicaragua. To graduate with a 2-year associates degree from the institute, a student must pass all required courses, which would take approximately four years considering a 2-day-per-week class schedule. Currently, there are 10-12 students enrolled who come from a variety of churches that have been planted by Jason during his 17 years in Nicaragua.
Three of the 8 graduates of Grace Bible Institute include Pastor Ramón Zerón, Director Pedro López, and teacher Hazel López, who together form the leadership team that oversees our first 18ten ministry, Oasis de la Gracia (click here for more details). We are incredibly thankful for the work that Jason has done and continues to do through this institute as the fruit of his labor are displayed in the dedication and work of this exemplary team. We pray that God continues to bless Grace Bible Institute and build up even more solid Christian leaders through Jason’s service.
Shepherding the Nations Bible Institute / The Rock Christian Community Church (Guatemala)
In Guatemala, we recently began our second church partnership with Comunidad Cristiana La Roca, or “The Rock Christian Community Church.”
“The Rock” is an appropriate name for this local church, as it too is based on solid Biblical foundations. La Roca’s pastor, Pastor Karel Golcher, is not only faithfully teaching and serving his church members, he is equipping Christians throughout their community through Shepherding the Nations, a Bible Institute he started in February 2017. To graduate from the institute, a student must complete a 10-course program, usually to span over the course of 2 – 2.5 years. There are currently 24 students enrolled in the program, 4 of which are taking the course online.
When asked about his hopes for the graduates of the institute, Pastor Golcher said, “My prayer is that every student who graduates will have an impact on their own church and the community they serve. Of course, we would love to see our students who have graduated planting new churches in and out of Guatemala, discipling new believers and getting involved in social assistance programs with which they can share the Gospel to others.” It is that vision and dedication that makes us so excited for what the future may hold for a long-term 18ten partnership with La Roca church.
It is our hope that the Lord is building up some of these current students to be the future leaders necessary for a long-term 18ten ministry in Guatemala. For now, we are thankful to be able to provide the church with the support they currently need to improve their existing children’s ministries.