If you do not see the images on this newsletter please take the time to view it on the web CLICK HERE
Bible Institute, Baptist Medical Dental Mission, Diriamba, Nicaragua
Dear friends and supporters of the Bible Institute,
As in previous years, the Bible Institute (BI) facilities were again very busy in 2011 with a variety of activities including: classes for our entry level students and postgraduate classes for pastors, four excellent Bible conferences, youth retreats, ladies seminars, special baptismal services in our large, outside tank, and children's camps. The facilities were also rented out to other evangelical groups on several occasions as well, generating income used for the upkeep of the buildings and grounds.
The BI currently offers two courses of study. An entry level program which requires three years of study and a two-year, post-graduate program for pastors who have graduated from our BI. Each year, instruction for both groups consists of four modules, two of two weeks duration and two of one week's duration. The material taught in the entry level diploma program comes from the Bible Training Center for Pastors. It consists ofa 10-course curriculum designed to equip pastors with essential Bible knowledge and basic pastoral skills. The post-graduate program curricula provides more in depth theological studies as well as courses not found in the three-program such as Spanish grammar, speech, church administration, basics of music, worship, and missiology, to name a few.
Beginning in February 2012, we will begin a Bible doctrines course which will follow Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. These studies will take the place of our Bible Conferences, which in the past have covered a variety of important themes. These doctrinal studies will be presented over a period of two-and-one-half years. Dr. Grudem in the preface to his book states: ...there is an urgent need in the church today for much greater understanding of Christian doctrine, or systematic theology. Not only pastors and teachers need to understand theology in greater depth---the whole church does as well. This same need is present in our pastors and churches in Nicaragua. The Scripture says that the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, and I believe that the time is here now, which makes the need for this teaching even more urgent.
We are hoping to provide our students and pastors with a copy of the abridged version of Systematic Theology, called Doctrina BÃblica in Spanish. These books cost approximately $11.35 + s/h from Amazon.com. We need sixty copies to be able to provide a copy to every participant.
One of our pastors who came to us from another denomination, immediately with six of his church members, enrolled in our BI. Near the end of his first year of studies he made the comment to me that studying at the BI had the effect of removing the scales from his eyes and he regretted at having wasted so many years of ministry without knowing God's Word. Members at another of our fastest growing BMDMI churches commented to me that their pastor was a much better preacher as a result of studying at the BI. It is always amazing to me the transformation that takes place in the lives of our students from the time of their beginning the three-year, entry level program, to their graduation. This is our purpose through the ministry of the BI, to prepare workmen who correctly handle the Word of truth; entrusting this Word to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
As I write this morning from my home in Oklahoma, my heart is with our BI Director and teachers there in Diriamba, Nicaragua, as they begin a training session designed to make them better teachers of our pastors and students. The BI is blessed with an excellent, godly Director in the person of Joel Chavez. His wife Ericka oversees the vocational sewing schools program and our associational children's ministry. Several of our teachers are graduates of our BI, one graduated from our BMDMI fulltime program in Honduras, and still another from a BI in Managua. We utilize a minister of music from another evangelical denomination for the classes on music basics and worship. One of the high school teachers from my wife's Mount of Olives Christian school teaches grammar and speech. Two of our graduates are studying at a four-year seminary in Mexico. One will be graduating this year and returning to the BI here to teach. A board member of this seminary told me recently that this student is the very best to have passed through their seminary.
Future goals are to develop a fulltime program and achieve accreditation so that we may offer a Bachelor's degree. This program would also accept men and women outside of our association of churches.
As you can see from the photo, God has provided a beautiful place of refuge in which men and women can prepare themselves for the work of the ministry. This is a faith ministry that is dependent upon the love offerings of those whose hearts the Lord touches. Please invest in this life transforming ministry as the Lord leads you. I say "thank you" to those of you who have been so faithful for so many years in you're giving and in your praying, knowing that your rewards are being poured out on you now as well as being stored in a secure place awaiting your homecoming.
Wishing each of you a Christ filled Christmas,
Administrator, Bible Institute of Baptist Medical Dental Mission
P.S. All are invited to our BI graduation scheduled for the 14th of January, 2012.