Church leaders in Venezuela learn to lean on Christ.

By July 1, 2004

Venezuela (MNN)–The presences of missionaries in a country can sometimes be detrimental to the growth of a church plant.

Merrill Dyck with New Tribes Mission says he discovered that truth in the course of his work with the Pume (poomay) people in Venezuela.

Dyck and his family were forced to evacuate due to threats and violence by Colombian rebels. And while they were saddened to be forced out, it was the push needed to get the people he was training to be bold.

He says church leaders told him that in his absence they were forced to look to Christ. “’While you were there we were leaning too hard on you and now we’re leaning on the Holy Spirit, on the true spirit. We don’t really need you back in there anymore.’ They’ve actually seen that they can carry on in the work of the Lord without us. Ultimately, the presence of the missionaries are detrimental to the final stages of church growth.”

Dyck says they still have been able to meet with church leaders at a safe location to help encourage them, adding they still need prayer support. “The on-going development of indigenous leadership, that these guys will really grow in their shepherding role. And then for a continued literacy. That there be many more believers who can read and write well. And also for the on-going translation. We’re 45% done now and we hope to finish in 2010.”

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