Wesley Bible Institute in Paraguay
The national church in Paraguay is very young, and while it is growing, it remains in need of leaders who are equipped to be pastors. Although many Paraguayans drop out of school at a young age in order to help their families make a living, all the pastors of Paraguayan World Gospel churches can read and write. However, many of them have received the equivalent of only a fifth- or sixth-grade education and are desperately in need of Bible and theology classes.
Wesley Bible Institute was established for the purpose of providing Paraguayan church leaders an education in these basics and a deeper knowledge of Scripture. Professors, including WGM missionaries and one Bible institute graduate, teach an average of 12 to 15 students each semester. There is not one specific site or campus for the Bible institute, but classes are held in World Gospel churches once a week. On occasion, some pastors may also take a course using Theological Education by Extension materials. Some of the students are currently pastors while others at the institute desire to prepare for future ministry.
The institute has met many challenges since its establishment. Because classes can be offered only one night per week, it takes several years for students to complete their entire course of study. As of 2013, only three students have graduated from the school. Furthermore, the small number of professors prevents growth of the Bible institute, and the tuition of so few students is not enough to cover the cost of hiring even two more professors.
Despite these challenges, the Lord is working through the Bible institute. The three graduates are active in their respective ministries; all students, past and present, are hungry to learn and to serve their people; and some of the pastors currently studying at the institute have already planted new churches and are active in reaching the lost. The now-small national church is growing steadily, and the new generation of Paraguayans is learning to view education as a priority. WGM missionaries serving at the institute are hopeful that God will continue to use this ministry to advance His kingdom in Paraguay.
Missionaries at the Bible institute work in other fields of ministry, including the Guarani-Jopara Institute for Missionaries, a language school that teaches missionaries to speak Guarani, the heart language of Paraguay; Asunción Christian Academy, a school for missionary kids from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade; and the spiritual mentoring and encouragement of Paraguayan students and friends.
PRAY: Pray that the small number of evangelicals in Paraguay will be passionate and active in spreading the gospel among the people of their nation.
Pray that God will give the new generation of Paraguayan believers a desire to lead and to be equipped with an education through Wesley Bible Institute.
Pray that more students will enroll in the institute and that God will provide more professors.
Pray that God will provide a central location in which to hold classes and a mode of transportation after night classes.
Pray that God will continue to use present and future graduates of Wesley Bible Institute for His purposes in Paraguay.
GO: Visit www.wgm.org/go for a list of ways you can help serve the people of Paraguay.