A Ministry of Covenant Reformed Church of Toronto
in Partnership with
Faith United Reformed Church of West Olive, Michigan
Panama - October 21-24, 2013
Since beginning my ministry with MINTS in 2005 I have been struggling to get contacts in Panama. I have made several trips there to visit a church that was showing some interest in developing a training program with MINTS, but that lead didn’t produce fruit. About two years ago I was informed that a Reformed Baptist church had made contact with MINTS-Colombia and a study centre was begun under the Reformed Bible Institute of Colombia. Simultaneously a missionary of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil was sent to Panama to plant a Presbyterian Church. I have since had the privilege of visiting each of these contacts for an initial visit last year, and a follow-up this year. I’m delighted to see the Reformed/Presbyterian presence begin to take root in Panama, and even more excited to be a part of the training of the leaders of these two groups.
Presbyterian Church in Panama - I had the privilege of staying with the family of Rev. Gilberto Botellho, a missionary of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil, who has a mandate of establishing a Presbyterian church. He had spent 12 years in Uruguay during which time he established a church with several daughter churches, a school and a seminary. It is my prayer that God will continue to use this experienced national missionary in the establishment of a Presbyterian church in Panama. Rev. Botellho has about 15 members in his church, with several other attendees. He already has two men whom he is training as pastors and MINTS is helping him with that task.
Reformed Baptist Church in Panama - The Spanish-speaking Reformed Baptist Church has been given the facilities of a very old English-speaking Baptist church, complete with a manse and large classroom facilities. I taught a conference on the topic of Canon of the Scriptures on two evenings. The Presbyterian students joined this conference. The third evening I had the privilege of addressing the same subject with an English-speaking group.
Chile - October 24-29, 2013
I was invited to present conferences for the seminary of the National Presbyterian Church of Chile. While this is out of my assigned region of Central America, I was requested to present conferences on my published books on Nehemiah and on Philippians. It was a delight to sense the passion of these leaders to receive training from MINTS as part of their Masters’ level program. MINTS has committed to sending two professors per year to help them in their training. They have several well-trained pastors who will be teaching other courses for the seminary. During the trip I ‘slept’ on two “overnight bus trips” (7 hour trips) in order to finish one day in the evening and begin the next day first thing in the morning. They have 17 established churches and 7 mission stations, but only 15 pastors. They are planning to expand their ministry to include bachelor level training. I met for 6 hours with some leaders of the denomination. They are interested in further dialogue with the Canadian Reformed and United Reformed federations.
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
Hispanic Christian Ministry accomplishes its mission in cooperation with Miami International Seminary (www.mints.edu)
Our ministry networks with International Reformed Theological College: http://pro-rege.net