Thousands of Venezuelans of all ages, across the entire nation, have marched on the streets in protest of the Nicolás Maduro regime. Scores were shot dead, more were beaten, hundreds rounded up and detained, according to media reports.
As 2019 unfolds, the infrastructure continues a downward spiral, hyper-inflation has exceeded 1.5 million percent, food and medicine are increasingly difficult to acquire. And 3 million or more out of 31 million Venezuelans reportedly have fled the country in the past few years.
As the population dwindles, many leaders have left God of the Harvest Church, where Pastor Richard* and Leah* serve. This couple send their congregation out with a blessing, knowing they take the Gospel with them. Meanwhile, the pastor said God continues to be at work in the region and that, for each person who has left, new believers have joined the church.
“I believe this to be the most important phase of the Venezuelan church,” he noted. “Opportunities are increasing.”
He reports that it is true that people are feeling hopeless — not only those waiting in long lines to buy a tiny bit of food for a huge price, but also pastors who are ministering in this situation.
“But we understand God has us here,” he said.
Despite the tremendous scarcity of basic resources in Venezuela, 90 percent of Baptist churches hosted Vacation Bible Schools in 2017 and 2018, each year reportedly reaching 250,000 children and their families across the country. God of the Harvest Church also hosts block parties where church members paint children’s faces, make balloon animals, and help people have fun even in the midst of grueling daily struggles.
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Source: Baptist Press