At the end of 2013, a new educational center began classes in the indigenous area of Costa Rica called Tayni. The people from Valle la Estrella (Star Valley) area are the Cabecares and although many of them speak Spanish, they also speak their own indigenous language called Cabecar. The new center offers courses not only for the Nazarene leaders, but also for other indigenous Christian leaders who do not have access to theological education.
This all began in January of 2013 with Pastor Arcelio Jimenez who is a Nazarene church planter as well as President of the Indigenous Territory of Tayni. In May of 2013, Rev. Franlym Pena (Educational Coordinator at SENDAS) along with missionary Rev. David Webb and Rev. Leyla Ramirez (Evangelism Coordinator for Central district of Costa Rica) began to speak with pastors and leaders about the need to find a strategic location to begin the theological education courses.
The center found its home in the community of Gavilan with Pastor Pablo Palacios (The Word Church of God, Green Olive) as the center coordinator. The first course, Old Testament I, was taught in October of 2013 by Professor Rafael Aguirre (graduate of SENDAS) with 13 students in the class. Rev. Leyla Ramirez taught the second course, New Testament I, in the first week of December. There were ten students in the class of which three were leaders from the Church of the Nazarene.
The Church of the Nazarene is the first Christian church to organize a ministry training center in the area. For 2014, there will be five or six courses taught, all organized by SENDAS and the Central district of Costa Rica through the leadership of the Director of Education (Course of Study). The next courses will begin soon in March of 2014.
The Central district of Costa Rica is doing all it can to upgrade the facility in Gavilan so that a library of theological materials can be housed there to help the ministerial students.
Pray with us that more leaders would learn of this training program and unite with the vision so that more indigenous Christian leaders can be trained to take the Good News of Jesus to the Tayni world and beyond.
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