Camp Ministry in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

I want to introduce you to a man whom I love in the Lord, who has  a big heart and a big vision to take the Gospel to the people of Bolivia.  His name is Matias Mojica and he was born in the mountain region of Samaipata, adopted by Charles & Hannah Brooks, faithful missionaries under BEMA (Baptist Missionary Evangelistic Association).

IMG_0211When Matias finished his education for ministry in the United States he returned to the Samaipata region and started three churches.  Since then he and his family have moved to Santa Cruz, the main city in the south of Bolivia.  Since that move many years ago God has raised up the Bible Baptist Church and a number of other churches under the care of Pastor Matias.

Every year the fellowship of churches under his care gather for camp in the mountain town of Samaipata, a three-four hour journey up a winding and often washed out road heavy with buses, taxis, cars, motorcycles, horses, donkeys, chickens, oxen, dogs the occasional pig and vultures waiting for any kind of road-kill.  God has blessed the camp ministry in Samaipata, but God was working on the heart of Matias about the establishing of a camp in or around the main city of Santa Cruz.  A few years ago, God answered that prayer miraculously (a story of faith for another occasion) and the churches began to work on the property.

TScreen Shot 2014-07-17 at 9.33.51 AMhis new camp is located about 40 miles Northwest of Santa Cruz along the Piray River just south of the town of La Belgica.  At present there are seven completed buildings: 2 cabins for the men, 2 Cabins for the women, 1 restroom/shower building for the men, 1 restroom/shower building for the women, a caretakers home.  There is also a kitchen/dining hall/meeting room that is 70% done needing windows & doors, a finished kitchen and furnishings.  Presently under construction are two more cabins for the ladies and the foundations for two more cabins for the men.  The two ladies cabins are 80% finished, simply needing a roof, windows and furnishings each.

Here is Matias updating our church (Gateway Bible Church) on the status of the building project at the camp.

We praise God for Matias’ vision to have a place where God’s people can retreat for ministry equipping, rejuvenation and for ministry to one another as well as a center for ministry to those who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior.

As Matias raises up this facility he is already thinking about a new church meeting on this property that is reaching out to this more remote community.

Pray for Matias Mojica, this vision and for God’s will to be done…

Simeon Trust in Bolivia

For the third year in a row Gateway Bible Church (my home church) has sponsored a conference for Pastors and church leaders in both the city of Santa Cruz and the mountain town of Samaipata, Bolivia. IMG_0101This opportunity has come about at the request of Pastor Matias Mojicas Sr. who serves as the pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Santa Cruz, a church that he started many years ago. Over the years, Pastor Matias has seen churches start in many places around the Santa Cruz area and now serves to oversee and care for the pastors serving in those churches.

Two years ago, on our first trip, we sought to understand what kind of training would be most helpful to the pastors.

After ministering in their churches, hosting a conference on Preaching and spending a few hours in discussion with the pastors in that area we settled on hosting Practical Preaching Workshops following the pattern of the Charles Simeon Trust training workshops.

These training sessions involve three activities:

  1. Instruction – 6-9 sessions on principles of exegesis and understanding and applying the text. During these sessions we want to teach the attendees to be like detectives in seeking to understand the structure, emphasis, central theme and aim of the text.
  2. Model Preaching – 2-3 sermons are preached by the instructors and/or host pastors as examples of expository preaching followed by purposeful and extensive questions and answers regarding structure, emphasis and ideas. It is not often that pastors can help one another by discussing and evaluating their sermons. Here is Pastor Matias faithfully preaching from 2 Timothy 4:1-8.
  3. Workshops – 4-5 small group sessions where those in attendance work together on an assigned passage of Scripture under the guidance of a group leader.IMG_5086

    The participants work through six questions about the text that will result gaining the structure, emphasis and central theme of the text as well as seeing how the text connects to the gospel. This information is the skeleton necessary for developing a faithful expositional sermon.

Both Pastor Matias Mojica Sr. and his son, Matias Jr. were an integral part of the conferences by sharing in the translation as well as in helping guide the attendees in the small groups.IMG_5236

Without their passion and love for these pastors this ministry would not be so effective. They are the backbone for the future of faithful expository ministry in the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia. Please pray for them.IMG_5572

We were thankful to have over 35 attendees attend the Santa Cruz conference held at Bible Baptist Church and over 15 in the mountain town of Samaipata.