MANAGUA, Nicaragua – When Missouri pastors Lane Harrison and Chris Williams signed up to teach and train pastors in Nicaragua, they didn’t know they’d be signing up for one of the more challenging books of the Bible to understand and preach through: Revelation.
But all Scripture – including each part that takes effort to understand – is God-breathed, so the Missouri pastors committed to teach Revelation during a mid-March trip to the Central American nation.
Harrison, lead pastor of LifePoint Church in Ozark, and Williams, senior pastor of Fellowship Church in Greenwood as well as current Missouri Baptist Convention president, travelled to the Central American nation in cooperation with Project H.O.P.E., based out of Springfield. Project H.O.P.E. works in both Haiti and Nicaragua in a variety of ministries, including pastoral training.
“They have a multi-year leader curriculum for pastors, but they also do one-off seminars on certain issues or topics,” Williams said. “The pastors really wanted to work through the book of Revelation.”
The Missouri duo taught more than 200 local pastors during the week, across three separate locations. When the courses were completed at each location, the pastors walked away with books, as well as 31 sermon outlines and notes written in Spanish.
“I had preached through Revelation a couple of years ago and put together those notes for our own people,” Williams said. “One of my assistants is from Peru, and he was able to translate those notes into Spanish for them.”
Politically, Nicaragua has been chaotic since the end of the revolution in 1990. Economically, it’s severely depressed, with a gross domestic product per per capita less than a tenth of the United States’. Spiritually, Williams reported, the church is persecuted and under intense pressure. Yet the gospel marches on.
“The Evangelical church in Nicaragua is thriving,” he said. “They are preaching the word and proclaiming Christ.”
In question-and-answer session after each lecture, Williams said the pastors there confirmed their commitment to the gospel and building the Kingdom in Central America. “They were hungry for the Word and attentive,” he said. “Their pastors are fun and lively, with very deep, well-thought-out questions and a great desire to dialogue. We were honored to see these exciting days in a hard country.”