Colombia – April 2023

Bogotá, Colombia

Pastoral Couples Training

April 17-21, 2023

One definition of ordained is “a predetermined plan and outcome.” That is how each day, conversation and relationship felt during our Colombia Pastoral Couples Training last week. It was clear that God had a plan for each teaching session, each team member and each couple who attended.  It was beautiful to watch unfold! 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV)

The week began with lots of energetic worship and enthusiasm. The pastoral couples came with hungry hearts and spirits desiring to hear from the Lord. We didn’t fully understand it at the time, but many of them came as a last resort seeking healing in their marriage.

Each day brought unique opportunities to pour into their lives. Pastor Don and Claudia Erickson taught through 1 Peter and shared some of the pain and suffering they had experienced. This opened hearts to realize that we are not alone in our pain.  

Pastor Bob and Joyce shared their love story and they quickly became friends with everyone as their loving hearts warmly embraced the hurting. Their pastoral hearts and energetic spirits were a blessing to us all.

Pastor William and Ruth emphasized the value of marriage and the importance of family. Sharing their personal experiences and love for their children challenged many to rethink their priorities.

Like most of us, pastoral couples often struggle with their identity and feelings of performance, competition and failure. Pastor Rick and Diana encouraged the couples to recognize their true identity in Christ and to share a common vision for their family and ministry.

Santiago, Chile

After the conference, William and Rick flew on to Santiago, Chile. They were blessed with the opportunity to encourage the staff of the “Encounter with Christ” church to grow in their resiliency. They also encouraged a group of 20 pastoral couples from around the area during an evening meal as a first step in building relationships with them and laying plans for a future training conference. 

”Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV)

Ways You Can Pray!

  1. Praise the Lord with us for His gracious presence with us and each of the couples in Colombia. We truly saw Him bring healing and restoration to so many of the couples. May He continue to sustain and guide them.
  2. Thank God for the new relationships formed and the seeds sown for a future conference in Chile. We really enjoyed getting to know pastor Alejandro Pooley and his wife Gaby. 
  3. Please pray for God’s continued guidance and wisdom as we prepare for our next teaching conference in Armenia, May 18-28. We are looking forward to encouraging this group of pastoral couples who continue to struggle with the ongoing war there.

Pressing on to encourage, equip and engage pastoral couples!

Forever thankful for your faithful prayers and support,

And the Shepherds’ Support Board:
David and Beth Butler, Jack and Nancy Shirley, Sid and Zane Williams, Daniel and Kate Wurzberg