A Pan (Latin) American Bible School
After another year of frustration and confinement. By the end of 2021, travel and hygienic restrictions were being eased in Latin America, so in El Salvador, plans were made for a second consecutive Bible school under the shadow of the Covid pandemic, praying that God would allow the project to go ahead and bless it to His honour and glory, and for the spiritual benefit of all who could attend.
There were 83 in attendance, more than we had dared hope for. Our God was gracious and gave us this time together around His word.
Since there had been few mission visits to South America for the last couple of years, it was decided to invite some brethren and sisters from isolated situations in the south of the continent, and who would normally not expect to get to a Bible school up in Central America.
To this end, we had with us Bro. Richard Castillo of Santiago, Chile; Bro. Sami Borja and his sister in the flesh, Sis. Dalia Borja of La Paz, Bolivia; and Bro. Lucas Genner of Buenos Aires, Argentina. From the north, came Sis. Abi García and our friend, William Sansores, from Campeche, Mexico. From neighbouring countries, Sis. Marcela Castellanos from Honduras, and Bro. Víctor and Sis. Marina García from Guatemala. The main classes were given by visitors. Richard gave the 4 adult classes and Víctor, the men’s class and the exhortation, while Sami and Lucas split the classes for the young people.
The local young people hosted the visitors for a few days before and after the school, treating them to a day at the beach, visits to scenic and archaeological sites around the country, and a tour of the capital, San Salvador. Each day ended with dinner and chats around the readings. For those from the Southern Zone, it was a particularly marvellous experience to get to meet so many new brothers and sisters and enjoy their fellowship.
For the school itself, we went up to a rustic but roomy hotel in the mountains, to meditate on the Word and enjoy each other’s company. The classes focused on Biblical characters and the lessons to be learned from their lives. Sami and Lucas prepared Bible games to play at the end of the young peoples’ classes. The games were so popular that it was difficult to get the kids out of their classroom and on to the next activity!
We held the traditional, hard-fought Bible competition, which everyone loves. The local CYC organized Bible games for the afternoons, followed by informal conversations or Bible Bingo (always popular due to the chocolate prizes!). On the afternoon, when the young people usually present Bible skits, they turned the tables on the adults, dividing them into 4 groups and giving each one a bag of props and 20 minutes to prepare a skit on a Bible story, which was hilarious. The last evening was topped off with a bonfire and hymn singing. Everyone stayed up chatting till late into the night.
We are living in trying times. Ecclesias are struggling to encourage and nurture their members while continuing the work of presenting God’s word to those who are disposed to listen. In such conditions, this event was a particular blessing. We all left with renewed enthusiasm to build up our little meetings and strengthen our fellowship, both in our own countries and in others, where there are Spanish-speaking brethren and sisters.
It should be mentioned, that as far as we are aware, no COVID infection occurred as a result of either the 2020 or the 2021 Bible school. A significant blessing in itself these days. May our Lord Jesus return soon, bringing the peace, good health, and justice that our poor world so badly needs.
Written by Bro. Jim & Sis. Jean Hunter, Link Couple