It has been a while since we wrote anything on our blog site. Technology has advanced, but we are slow to catch up. Often, we find ourselves in places (like Venezuela), where we do not have the Internet, electricity or other tools required to get information out online. So much has happened.
Our first four years in Venezuela the Lord led us to work in many different states. Our lives were in a constant state of change, as we found ourselves continuously involved in something new. This made reporting our activities easy and exciting. In 2015, we brought a team of Venezuelan missionaries to Texas for 6 months for training. In 2016, we landed with the team at the Baptist Camp near Valencia and settled into a routine. We began the process of developing a training center with a curriculum, growing gardens, raising animals, and learning to live with our rowdy neighbors. We never really imagined all that the Lord had planned for us.
Initially, we had to learn how to turn vacant land into gardens, grow food, create acceptable environments for farm animals, live in primitive spaces, often without water, electricity, internet, and other conveniences. There were many new problems to solve. We made so many mistakes, only God could have helped us survive. Then, groups of young missionaries began to arrive, and our job was to train them to use the land, sun, and water to produce food and prepare them for survival in remote and often hostile environments. We have been doing that now for 5 years.
Our history these last 5 years at the Baptist Camp is an amazing series of stories about how God can use anyone, anywhere to reach hundreds of people. It is important to us to be able to share some of these stories with you and show you what your prayers and support have accomplished. This is, after all, a co-partnership between God, you, and us. So, we will try to learn how to use this blog site. We plan to post pictures and stories about what is happening now, what God has done in the past and where we believe God is taking us in the future. This has been a rescue mission from the start.
“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” 2 Timothy 2:2
This is one of the extension missions in the State of Yuracuy. They are led by 4 students that graduated self-sustaining course. They are growing their own foos, while working with Iglesia Bautista Trono de Dios to evangelize those living nearby.
When living in a collapsed economy, we are faced with a new
challenge every day. We met a pastor and
his wife who have taken charge of feeding 125 children in a devastated
neighborhood not far from the camp. They
have no water at all and transport water in containers for drinking, cooking
and other needs. The pastor heard that
we deal with water wells and purifying water, so he asked us to come help. They have tried to dig a well with shovels
but failed. The ground is too hard.
Our team is helping them to dig a new well, using a technique learned in Paint Rock, Texas. The water is 35-50 feet down and they managed 10 feet the first day in 5 hours. Our plan is to work with them to complete the well. Now we are wondering how we can help them feed the children. This same situation can be found almost anywhere we go. It is an overwhelming task, but our God is able.
This experience is leading us to think about feeding children. More on this in a future blog.
It is true that there is a lot of trouble in Venezuela, but
there seems to be similar problems around the world. We are living in dangerous, but exciting
times. Our Lord could return any
moment. We must be ready.
These are the faces of young people in Venezuela, who have
chosen to “take up their cross and follow Jesus”. They are missionaries without funding and
without support. They have no guarantee
of food, clean water or a decent place to live.
They are sent to remote and primitive places to share the Gospel,
disciple the saved, start cell groups, plant churches and do their best to
improve people’s lives. They come from
every state in Venezuela. Among them are
Warao, Wayuu and Jibi Indians from the jungles of Venezuela. They have all been thru the 90-day training
at the Genesis Project school.
We ask you to remember these young people when you
pray. They are asked to do things that
most of us could not do.
The Great Commission: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All
authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very
end of the age.’” Matthew 28:19-20
Urgency: “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” Revelation 22:12 NIV
After 4 years working with churches in evangelism in 13 different states, the Lord began to give us a different vision. He showed us clearly that while many were converted in remote parts of the country, they were often then abandoned with no discipleship or follow-up. The new vision was to train teams of young missionaries to support themselves and establish permanent Christian communities in areas with few Christian churches and lacking Bible principles and doctrine, establish cell groups and plant new churches.
This led us to where we are now. The Genesis Project is a training center
located within the Baptist Camp near Valencia.
The Venezuelan Baptist have given us a 30-year lease for approximately
50 acres of land. For the last 3 years
we have been working to develop a modern training facility that focuses on
sustainable food production and spiritual development. We have processed about 150 young
missionaries thru our 90-day course since May, 2016.
We are developing a farm, much like our grandparents used to
operate, but with some new technology.
We have goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, cows, ducks and
sometimes pigs. These are for food
production. We grow tomatoes, squash,
beans, corn, several varieties of bell peppers, okra, cilantro, parsley,
oregano, green onions, and other types of vegetables and fruit.
During their 90-days with us, the students live with us on a
working farm learning how to take care of animals, plant and harvest thru organic
gardening and the production of honey thru beekeeping. They learn how to produce natural cheese,
butter and yogurt, how to make coconut oil and how to use the fruits and
vegetables in the kitchen. We also teach
them to drill water wells and purify water.
In a country with severe food shortages and contaminated water, this is
a tool that allows them to survive and help others.
The principle is found in Genesis 1:11 & 29: “Then God
said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the
land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing
seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according
to their kinds. And God saw that it was
good…Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the
whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’”
Delia & I met Mike & Terri McComb a few years
back. They invited us to
Chichicastenango, Guatemala to visit the ASELSI Bible-training school they have
run for over 20 years. Through ASELSI,
they offer various levels of spiritual education. This teaching has spread all over Guatemala,
into Mexico and other countries in Central and South America. This has led to thousands of graduates able
to share sound Bible doctrine and many thousands led to Christ.
Mike & Terri, along with founder John Harvey, invited us
to take the ASELSI training system into Venezuela. In March, 2017, we graduated our first class
of 11 students at the Baptist Camp. Mike
brought 4 members of his team from Guatemala for that graduation. Four of the graduates, Anthony Rojas and his
wife Leida, and Francelis Lunar and his wife Delia, began an ASELSI course on
the Island of Margarita. In December,
2018, my wife Delia & I flew to Margarita to attend the graduation of 21
new students, all now certified to teach the course to others.
Anthony & Leida left Venezuela with their kids in 2018,
but Francelis & Delia have now started another basic class of students and
many of the graduates from December have moved on to the next level of study
with ASELSI. God is forming new
empowered disciples in Venezuela thru ASELSI.
This week we started a new ASELSI basic group study at the
Baptist Camp. These students are from
the States of Anzoategui and Monagas.
When they graduate, they will be certified to teach the ASELSI course to
others. ASELSI is Matthew 28:19-20 in
We are grateful to God for blessing us with this excellent
material and for Mike & Terri and those who run the school in
Chichicastenango. We are also grateful
to God for each of you who pray for us and support the work done here in
You have done a lot over the last 3 years to help us improve
the situation here at the camp. The
International Mission Board and the Baptist Global Response have also made
major contributions to the electric systems, the water system and the
lighting. People walk long distances to
come get water from the camp. At night
we have lighting when the surrounding neighborhoods are without
electricity. This has created numerous
opportunities for us to be able to meet people and share the Gospel.
Because of these advantages, we have had approximately 200
soldiers staying here at the camp for the last 10 days. They have been part of a training exercise
with another battle group located nearby.
This morning before they left, we obtained permission from their leaders
and with the help of the local Gideons, were able to hand out New Testaments to
all the soldiers and their leaders. We
were also able to share a brief message based on John 14:1-6.
Please know that your prayers and support are making a difference in the lives of many. God has control over all that happens here in Venezuela. He just asks all of us to take a chance and do what we can. He does the rest.
Under the current situation here in Venezuela, potable water
is scarce and many people, especially children and the elderly, suffer greatly
from the effects of drinking contaminated water. Part of our training at the Genesis Project
is to teach the volunteer missionaries about contaminated water and how to
One of the courses involves building BioSand filters. These filters
remove impurities that make people sick. After the course, these
filters are donated to schools, hospitals and churches. We try to find
areas where there are concentrations of children, the sick and the
elderly. Every time we donate a filter, we are given the opportunity to
share the Gospel.
We have also been blessed by the Texas Baptist Men with various types of
portable water filters. We give these to people in disadvantage areas
where they often have no water service in their homes and are forced to
obtain water for their daily needs from questionable sources. These
opportunities also give us an opening to speak to people about Jesus.
Over the last 3 years, God has given our instructors and
students many opportunities to share Christ with hundreds of people in the
States of Merida, Portuguesa and Carabobo.
There are now over 150 graduates from the Genesis Project sharing
physical and spiritual solutions in remote places around Venezuela and the
borders of Colombia and Brazil. Your prayers and donations have made this
possible. Thank you.
Our ministry in Venezuela continues to adapt to the changing conditions here. The Lord has asked Delia & me to be involved in the development of a training center at the Baptist Camp near Valencia. He has blessed the work of our hands and the volunteers that work with us. Up to date over 150 students have gone thru our 90-day training program, with special emphasis on food and water production, water purification, beekeeping, hygiene/health and church planting.
May 27, 2019, we will have been at the camp for 3 years. Each year the Lord has used people like you to help us improve the facilities and purchase equipment we need to become more efficient. In a chaotic world, the Lord has given us a place of peace and allowed us to share Bible principles that offer spiritual and physical solutions to people in trouble.
Now we see an increase in demand for our services and a clear vison of what needs to be done next. Our goal for 2019 will be to build better facilities to house and feed our staff and students and visiting groups coming to render aide, evangelize and implement work projects to rescue the people of this nation. Attached are some architectural drawings.
We now have an updated and simplified website (www.sameboatministries.com) that allows for us to interact with you thru blogs, share pictures, videos and information and receive your support. Please check this out, as this site will be a vital link to you in the future. We also need your help to share with others interested in missions about what the Lord is doing in Venezuela.
There are two basic needs we are providing thru our Genesis Project:
1. We are fulfilling Matthew 28:19-20 by training disciples in spiritual matters
2. We are equipping these same disciples with practical solutions to the economic problems facing this nation. These include lack of food, clean water and basic medicines.
Thank you for your trust in God and in us, for your prayers and support. You are all co-partners in the work we do in Venezuela.
Paul & Delia