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<-- MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and to thank you for all the prayers and financial support that you have given to the Thomas Herrington Bible Institute (THBI) and to your pastoral programs during this year. Your contributions have enabled us to complete a beautiful chapel on campus, to helped us to teach 139 students enrolled in the programs of the Bible Institute, and to give each of our pastors $100 for a Christmas gift. This gift enables them to buy small gifts for their children and to have a special meal on Christmas Day. Thank you for your generosity.
<-- Thomas Herrington Bible Institute will begin to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion, starting in 2012. The degree will be granted in conjunction with Louisiana Baptist University in Shreveport, LA. Last month, Johny Arguijo, institute director, Francisco Campos, assistant field director for Honduras, and I met with the faculty of LBU to discuss the program. After reviewing our curriculum, we were told that the only courses that we lacked in completing their requirements for the Bachelor's degree in religion were the basic courses of language, math, and science. So, next year we will add these classes to our program. After completing three years of study at THBI we will send the student's transcripts to LBU and students will be enrolled in LBU's distance study program. Upon completion of the last 30 semester hours, which will be taught at our campus by our professors, students will be granted a BA degree in religion from LBU. This is a great opportunity to expand the scope and depth of the program at THBI.
I was privileged to attend the pastor's conference at THBI on December 7.
This was a very special conference because the wives and children of the pastors were invited to attend and there were 315 people who attended the conference. The adults were taught a series of lessons on marriage and family by Rev. Eli Lopez, a professor at THBI. Juan Luis and Oneda Lagos taught the young people. And also there were classes for children. The pastors each received shoe-box filled with a flashlight, personal hygiene items and school supplies. Thanks to BMDMI missionaries, Jimmy and Bonny Abott, and Antioch Baptist Church of Yatesville, GA and Spring Creek Baptist Church of Rome, GA for donating the boxes.
Each pastor also received a check for $100 from BMDMI. Thanks to all of you who donated to our Pastor's Christmas Fund to make this possible. More than 140 BMDMI pastors of Honduras and Nicaragua receive this very special gift.
<-- BMDMI missionary, Marina Calderon met with the pastors to coordinate the delivery of the Christmas presents for every child of BMDMI Honduras churches. Beginning this week and continuing through Christmas Eve, Marina will deliver more than 7,000 Christmas gifts to all the children of BMDMI churches.
I cannot express how wonderful was the joy that I felt in my heart as I saw the spirit of joy and gratitude in the hearts and lives of the pastors and their families. This was a wonderful event in the lives of some of the poorest people of Honduras. Thank you so very much for all that you do for our Bible Institute and for our pastors. You are a tremendous blessing to all of us.