H I S P A N I C C H R I S T I A N M I N I S T R Y
A Ministry of Covenant Reformed Church of Toronto in Partnership with
Faith United Reformed Church of West Olive, Michigan
Panama-Colombia Trip Newsletter – May 2-14, 2012
As I reflect on my latest ministry trip to Panama and Colombia, I am thankful to see the impact that MINTS is having in the development of church leaders particularly in the Reformed churches in these two countries. It was refreshing to see how MINTS is being used to promote the planting and development of Reformed churches through the training of its leaders. During this trip I had a whirlwind tour of teaching and preaching activities. I made 15 presentations in 8 different stops over 11 days with a total of 42 hours of preaching, teaching, devotionals and 8 conferences. I was in Panama for two days, teaching a conference on Nehemiah on two different occasions. In Colombia I had the privilege of making a whirlwind tour of teaching Nehemiah and the Canon of the Scriptures in six different MINTS Study Centres. Two were within driving distance of each other. The others I flew to during the tour. I saw a lot of airports on this particular ministry trip.
Panama – May 2-3, 2012
In Panama I had the privilege of visiting two MINTS Centres, both in Panama City. Up until recently there has been no Reformed witness in Panama. I had made several visits over the last several years to a Baptist church that was showing interest in MINTS. In this trip they were invited to join the active MINTS Centre in a Baptist church that has become convinced about the doctrines of grace as presented from a Reformed perspective. The Reformed Bible Institute of Colombia founded the MINTS Centre in this Reformed Baptist Church about two years ago. It was a joy to see this significant sized church showing an enthusiasm for the training of its leaders with the help of MINTS professors from Colombia. The students are thrilled by the training they are receiving through MINTS.
The second group I visited is a very small group which is a church plant by the Presbyterian Church of Brazil. The couple moved to Panama from Brazil in October, 2011 with the goal of establishing a Presbyterian church in Panama. They are making slow but steady progress. They have a small but very enthusiastic group that meets. I had the privilege of meeting them and teaching the Nehemiah course to them.
Colombia – May 4-14, 2012
In Colombia the Reformed Church is growing rapidly. And the joy of their growth for me was to see that the growth they reported on was identified as being precisely because of the training being received from MINTS. They have 400 students at various levels of study, including two with a doctors degree in theology from MINTS. It was a joy to see the enthusiasm of the Reformed Churches there growing slowly but steadily, among the Reformed Baptist as well as the Reformed Church. These ministries have started under the leadership of MINTS students. I visited MINTS Centres in Bogotá (2), Medellín, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, and Cali. There are several other Centres that I was not able to visit on this trip.
I also had the opportunity to visit some of the projects that are being supported by Word & Deed in Colombia. It was encouraging to see the significant impact of the gospel in the projects they are working with. It was also encouraging to see that each of the Reformed Churches that I visited are actively engaged in significant social ministry projects (schools, orphanages, womens’ ministries, etc), also under the direction of MINTS students. What a thrill to see the impact of MINTS following the model of Christ’s ministry in the leadership of churches and social ministries.
Rev. Eric Pennings
Missionary of Covenant Reformed Church of Toronto
Miami International Seminary (MINTS) Central America Regional Coordinator
Canadian Donations: Hispanic Christian Ministry, c/o Covenant Reformed Church, 265 Albion Road, Toronto, Ontario M9W 3P1
US Donations: Hispanic Christian Ministry, c/o Faith United Reformed Church, 8270 120th Ave., West Olive, Michigan 49460