Making a Difference in Venezuela

Do you ever wonder if the money you give to support Northside’s mission work really makes a difference?  It does.

In February, Jaret Zepeda gave us an update on the great work being done by the Latin American Bible Institute (ILEB) in Toluca, Mexico. Jaret’s dad, Roberto, directs the school. Currently more than 500 people are taking ILEB classes in Toluca and at branches in Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Panama, and Cuba.

Some of the branches offer classes via streaming video so students can interact with the instructor. Some students access lesson material online if they live in places where Internet access is reliable. Unfortunately, some of the branches are in countries where Internet access is unreliable and their only option is to study using printed material.

More than 40% of ILEB’s students are in Venezuela, and the economic crisis in that country has resulted in shortages of the most basic commodities, such as food, medicine, and household supplies. It has also caused citizens to have very spotty Internet service, which means the 200+ ILEB students must rely on printed material. As Jaret mentioned during his presentation, a branch in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, presently has no printer, so they are unable to print the ILEB class lessons.

After Jaret’s presentation, one Northside family and another individual were touched by this need and independently donated money to send to Venezuela to help buy a printer for this branch. We have since learned of a branch in Barinas, Venezuela, that is also without a printer. The Barinas congregation has 1,000 members and they meet in an old cinema. But, despite their size, the wrecked economy and the members’ low average salary of $90/month (USD) are making it impossible for the church to buy a printer.

Northside’s missions committee has decided to send enough money to Roberto Zepeda so both of these branches can buy printers. The $600 already donated will pay for one printer, and another $600 will be taken from Northside’s general missions fund.

If you would like to help with this need and with Northside’s general effort to spread the gospel throughout the world, please pray about it, fill out a missions purpose card (available at the Information Booth in the foyer), drop it in the collection plate, and let us know how much you plan to give to support our missionaries this year.