WEI Aims at Latin
For two years, I have felt the urge to give more attention to Latin America.
Church leaders in the United States have been asking for an English-Bible
course that they could use to reach Hispanic farm laborers and other
Spanish-speaking people in their communities. Other church leaders who
support missionaries in Central and South America have been asking for a
simple English course that could be used to evangelize Latin America.
We are happy to announce that Books One and Two of the Beginner's English
Course for Spanish-speaking students are now available.
Raśl and Kim Solis, missionaries in Toluca,
Mexico, have translated the Spanish portions of these books and are working
on Book Three. Book Three should be ready by the end of this year.
The Beginner's English Course consists primarily of a series of dialogues
about life in the United States with some references to spiritual
mattersincluding a home Bible study, a worship service, and a sermon on the
Parable of the Good Samaritan.
When students finish the Beginner's English Course, they will have an
English vocabulary of 1,200 words and should be able to handle the WEI
Easy-to-Read Bible Course with relative ease.
If you would like to help us field-test this new course, we are eager to
work with you.
40th Pan American Lectureship
A terrific Pan American Lectureship was conducted in Managua, Nicaragua
November 3-6. Jim Frazier, Howard Norton, and Dan
Coker put together an excellent program that ignited a holy fire
in the hearts of the participants.
On Saturday night, November 2, eighty Christians from the United States
landed at the Managua Airport and checked into the Intercontinental Hotel
across the street from the convention centersite of the lectureship and of
a joint worship service with local Christians.
This joint worship service was scheduled to begin at 9:30 Sunday
morning, but by 8 o'clock, busloads of Nicaraguan and Honduran Christians
began arriving. Long lines formed at the main entrance as people filed in.
By 9:30, all 1,
| seats in the convention center were filled. The Fire
Marshal said, "No more," and two busloads of people were left stranded on
the parking lot. The Nicaraguan church leaders solved the problem by sending
150 children upstairs for a special Bible class. The final count was 2,100making
this one of the largest assemblies of New Testament Christians in the world
2,100 Christians Worship in Managua, Nicaragua
The worship service was conducted entirely in Spanish. Nationals led prayers
in Spanishprayers that were punctuated with resounding "Amens" that nearly
blew the roof off.
Nationals also led the songs and served the Lord's Supper. We sang, "Jesus
Loves Me," "We're Marching to Zion," and "There's Power in the Blood"all in
Benny Baker, minister of the church in
Minden, Louisiana, preached on the subject, "We Are God's Fellow Workers."
Dan Coker, missionary from Toluca,
Mexico, interpreted. What an unforgettable experience!
The 40th Annual Pan American Lectureship began Sunday evening and continued
through Wednesday night. Lectures and mission reports were given in English,
but dozens of Spanish-speaking preachers and ministerial students
attendedmany of them students from Baxter Institute in Tegucigalpa,
Dozens of nationals gathered around the WEI display booth every day
examining the new Beginner's English Course and other WEI materials. By
Wednesday night, every WEI book was goneeven the display copies. Two
different groups offered to field-test the Beginner's English Course and
promised to start giving feedback within ten days.
For nearly a decade, God has been using WEI to teach people in Latin
America. Now, the Lord has used the Pan American Lectureship to introduce
WEI to dozens of missionaries and mission-minded people who might not have
heard about WEI otherwise.
Let us pray that, during the next decade, God and his people will use WEI to
reach millions of people in Central, North, and South America. To God be the
glory, honor, and praise both now and forever.
Reuel Lemmons Lives On
Forty years ago, in 1962, Reuel Lemmons
organized and promoted the first Pan American Lectureship. At that time,
there were only a few New Testament churches in Central and South America.
Today, there are hundreds of churches and tens of thousands of New Testament
Christians. Only God knows how much the Pan American Lectures have
contributed to the growth of the Kingdom in Latin America.
Reuel also deserves credit for helping
us launch World English Institute.
When my family and I moved to Taiwan in 1968 to work as missionaries, we
discovered that Chinese young people were eager to learn English. So, we
taught English to attract students. At the same time, we taught them the
Bible. Some of these students are now church leaders.
Upon returning home, I talked to Reuel Lemmons
about the possibility of developing a course similar to World Bible Schoola
course designed to attract unbelievers by teaching English while using the
Bible as a text. Reuel quickly saw the
potential of such a course, and he encouraged me to start writing. If it had
not been for Reuel's encouragement, World English Institute might not exist
May God bless the memory of Reuel Lemmonsa
man who cast a tall shadow of influence across our brotherhood for more than
half a century. Today, Reuel Lemmons
lives on through WBS, WEI, and the Pan American Lectureship.
Bi-Lingual Teachers Needed
If you can speak, read, and write Spanish, God needs you.
Dozens of Spanish-speaking students in Honduras and Nicaragua have signed up
for the Beginner's English Course. Some of these students speak very little
English but are eager to learn. We expect other Latin American people to
enroll soon. Can you help them?
If you would like to learn to speak Spanish, teach the WEI Beginner's
English Course. All three books and the cassette tapes contain English and
Spanish side-by-side. Thus, you can learn Spanish while your student learns
If this challenge strikes a responsive chord in your heart, please let us
hear from you.
Go With Us to Albania Next
We are looking for 50 good men and women, young or old, who love the Lord
and would like to get involved in a good mission project next summer.
You can take your pick from the following Albanian cities: Durrės, Elbasan,
Fier, Korēė, Lushnjė, Rrėshen, Tirana, or Vlorė. Students are waiting for
teachers in all of these places.
If you would like a bigger challenge, you can go to Prizren, Kosova. The
missionaries there need your help.
Now is the time to start planning your missionary journey. Unless you have
money in hand and are able to pay your own expenses, you should start
raising your travel funds soon.
The cost of an airline ticket from the west coast will be about $1,500 this
year. Be prepared to pay $170 a week for food and lodging. If you stay for
the entire six-week campaign, we recommend that you raise $2,
cover local transportation and personal expenses. Money for the airline
ticket is due April 1. Seats are often sold out as early as three or four
months prior to flight time.
For more information about our upcoming summer campaigns in Albania and
Kosova, please contact us as soon as possible.
Reaching Out to Russian
The church in Rancho Cordova, California has started an exciting ESL program
for Russian immigrants. Approximately 100,000 Russians have settled in the
Sacramento area, and the Rancho Cordova church is trying to reach them with
the Gospel, using WEI as an evangelistic tool.
Providentially, Semeon and Maria Tsurkanenko started attending the Rancho
Cordova church even though they spoke almost no English.
Every Sunday, following the services, Leo and Lenette Bryant spoke to the
couple and tried to make them feel welcome. Leo says, "We would stop, smile
at each other, hug, try to talk to one another without sign language, and
wave goodbye until next Sunday. There was a complete communication void.
This bothered me."
Leo talked to Bill Mara, the chairman of the Missions Committee and said,
"What can we do about this? Semeon and Maria don't speak our language, and
we don't speak theirs. Can we either go out and find more Russians and teach
them English, or can we find an interpreter for Semeon and Maria?"
Bill said, "Let me think about this. I'll get back to you."
About a week later, Bill approached Leo and said, "I've talked to the
elders. They think your idea is a good one. Let's find some more Russians
and teach them English. We want you to head the program."
That wasn't what Leo had in mind. So he said, "Bill, you'll have to let me
think about this. I'll get back to you."
Leo and Lenette Bryant
Feeling called by God,
Leo called the Sacramento Chamber of
Commerce, got in touch with Oleg Butin,
head of The Russian Community Forum, met with the forum one Thursday night,
and invited the Russians to study English at the Cordova church. Soon, the
Russians were coming.
In the beginning, Leo had to "twist some arms" in order to line up teachers.
Now, a dozen teachers are involved, and prospective teachers are asking to
have a part of the Russian Ministry.
On October 9, nineteen Russians attended classes at the Cordova building
during the morning Bible School hour. Then, at 6 o'clock that evening,
another group of Russians (who were not able to attend the Sunday morning
classes) came to study English grammar and the Bible.
Leo says, "I am in awe when I sit in any of the Sunday morning and Sunday
evening classes. The teachers who began only nine months ago have bonded
with their students. The students love them. The patience and finesse of the
teachers are paying off in a solid, steady learning rate, both in English
and Bible knowledge."
Leo asks, "Where do we go from here? It
is up to God. The field is white. We praise God for the opportunities He has
given us. It is my sense that the Lord Jesus, who commanded us to go into
all the world and preach the gospel wasn't quite satisfied with the way we
went, or didn't go. As a result, he has sent the world to usin droves."
Leo concludes, "This
experience has been the greatest time of my Christian life."
We encourage churches throughout the United States to follow Rancho
Cordova's example. If you have an ethnic group in your community that is
eager to learn English, please use WEI to draw them into the kingdom of God.
Ten New Christians in Albania
Virgil Jackson reports that three people
have been baptized in Vlorė. Joana Dėraj, youngest child of theDėraj family,
was baptized on her thirteenth birthday. A large group of family and friends
gathered to celebrate her new birth.
More recently, Skėnder and Vera Mejdiaj,
a couple in Orikum with whom Danah Nelson and Kay Banta lived last summer,
have obeyed the Gospel. Skėnder and Vera are the first adult converts in
Listen to Virgil's exciting story: "Skėnder
and Vera came to church services here [Vlore] this morning and were both
baptized. Skėnder asked to speak afterwards, and he talked about all the
years he had spent as a commissar telling people there is no God. It was
very moving to hear what he said. We're trying to have a class at the school
[in Orikum) on Thursdays. On Sunday, after church, we are doing an English
class, as we promised those who came to register for WEI classes and knew no
English. Some of them come to church first."
Doug Smith reports that Benjamin (Beni)
Cakrani, 58, and Ylli Benaj were baptized into Christ shortly before
midnight October 31. "These [men] will be great assets to the
Fier church as the number of adult men now increases to five.
Brent [Parr] will continue studying with
Beni and Ylli as well as eleven other
men over thirty years of age. God has truly blessed the efforts in Fier the
past four months."
Rosalie Waymire reports that
baptized into Christ one evening, and Miranda Haxhinasto and her son Gerti
were baptized the next morning.
Ellen Walker reports that two more
people were baptized in Tirana during the month of October:
Ardit Hamza, who studied with Sharon Saenz in 2001
and with Jim Fox and Wes Wolford in 2002, is now a child of God. Erika Haxhi,
also, was baptized into Jesus on October 28, her twelfth birthday.
Praise God for the fruitful harvest that he is providing in Albania.
Thanks, Beloved Friends
The financial statements on pages five and six reveal the generosity of our
partners-in-Christ. Thank you for your caring response to our recent
financial crisis. May God reward you for your commitment to world
One-time gifts have pulled us out of a deep fiscal hole, and we are
grateful. But in order to stay in the black, we must find some
mission-minded congregations that will put us in their budgets.
If your congregation would like to have fellowship with us in taking the
Gospel to the WHOLE world, please include WEI in your 2003 church budget.
This is our last Update in 2002. You still have time to
send a tax-deductible year-end contribution.
As we approach 2003, we hope that you and your loved ones have a Happy
Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a new year filled with peace, love, and
May God bless us as we work together for His glory. We love you with the
love of God.
---Dick and Maudine Ady