The Countries We Serve


Honduras

Official Name: Republic of Honduras (Republica de Honduras)

Government: Democratic Constitutional Republic

Location: Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua and bordering the Gulf of Fonseca (North Pacific Ocean), between El Salvador and Nicaragua

Area: total: 43,278 sq mi (112,090 sq km) - slightly larger than Tennessee

Fast Facts: Population (2015 estimate): 8,746,673 An estimated 90 percent of the population is mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European), 7 percent is Amerindian, and the rest are of European, African, Asian, and Arab descent.

Average income (2008): $3750

Major cities:

Chile TEGUCIGALPA (capital) 1.123 million;
San Pedro Sula 852,000 (2015)

People from Honduras are called Hondurans

Spanish is the official language, but other Amerindian dialects are spoken in some areas.

Honduras is 97% Catholic and about 3% Protestant Literacy rate age 15 and up: 88.5%

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has the world's highest murder rate. More than half of the population lives in poverty and per capita income is one of the lowest in the region. Poverty rates are higher among rural and indigenous people and in the south, west, and along the eastern border than in the north and central areas where most of Honduras' industries and infrastructure are concentrated. The increased productivity needed to break Honduras' persistent high poverty rate depends, in part, on further improvements in educational attainment. Although primary-school enrollment is near 100%, educational quality is poor, the drop-out rate and grade repetition remain high, and teacher and school accountability is low. One key objective during this ministry trip was to provide the conference attendees with a set of class notes and reference books that they could use long after the conference was over. As part of the Books for Pastors ministry, attendees were given a copy of Dr. Charles’ Ryrie’s Basic Theology in the Spanish language. In addition, through an arrangement with the Langham Partnership in the UK, more than 400 Spanish-language training and reference books were donated for the conferences.

Books for Pastors work:


March 2015 - Don Johnson and Dr. Earl Parvin from Faith Baptist Church, Beckley, WV, were joined by EvanTell Master Instructor, Armando Zuniga, to teach and minister in San Pedro Sula and Siguatepeque Honduras. With topics of Evangelism, Theology and World Views, these men brought nearly 30 hours of training to about 125 pastors and lay leaders in two multi-day church leadership conferences and in church services.

The conferences were sponsored by SCORE International and Renacer Iglesia Bautista (Born Again Baptist Church) in San Pedro Sula, to provide low-cost, seminary-level training to church leaders who might not otherwise be able to afford the time or cost to attend a traditional seminary.

One key objective during this ministry trip was to provide the conference attendees with a set of class notes and reference books that they could use long after the conference was over. As part of the Books for Pastors ministry, attendees were given a copy of Dr. Charles’ Ryrie’s Basic Theology in the Spanish language. In addition, through an arrangement with the Langham Partnership in the UK, more than 400 Spanish-language training and reference books were donated for the conferences.

Dominican Republic

Official Name: Dominican Republic (Republica Dominicana)

Government: Democratic Republic

Location:Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti.

Area: 18792 sq mi (48,670 sq km) slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire

Fast Facts:

Population 10,478,756 (2015 estimate) - mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%

Average income (2008): $8273

Major Cities: SANTO DOMINGO (capital) 2.945 million (2015)

People from the Dominican Republic are called Dominicans

The official language is Spanish

The country is 95% Catholic and 5% other

Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865.

The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, due to growth in telecommunications, tourism, and free trade zones. The mining sector has also played a greater role in the export market since late 2012 with the commencement of the extraction phase of the Pueblo Viejo Gold and Silver mine. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment and underemployment remains an important long-term challenge.

Books for Pastors work:

Spring 2017

Once more, Word of Life is the host for a pastors' conference at their facility in Paya (near Bani), and Books for Pastors will be leading the teaching for as many as 200 pastors. With topics like Theology, Evangelism, Hermeneutics, World Views and Church Leadership to be selected, this conference will be a great opportunity for God to build into these pastors just what they need for their churches and communities.

We need your help to make this conference happen and for God to get all the glory!

September 2016

Word of Life is the host for a pastors' conference at their facility in Paya (near Bani), and Books for Pastors is the source of more than 250 books for that conference.

With this shipment, Books for Pastors reaches its milestone of having provided more than 1000 theology and leadership books for pastors and church leaders in Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic!

April 2016

In conjunction with the Senior Class of Greater Beckley Christian School and a work team from Faith Baptist Church, Beckley WV, Books for Pastors traveled to the Dominican Republic to assist in outreach and evangelism activities with Word of Life. We were joined by Terry Roberts, a former pastor and head of the First Baptist School in Brownsville, Texas, as we taught at a pastors' conference at the SCORE International compound in Juan Dolio. We taught 60 pastors at this conference, and provided many theology and leadership books to these men!

Chile

Official Name: Republic of Chile (Republica de Chile)

Government: Republic

Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru

Area: 291,933 sq mi (756,102 sq km) - slightly less than twice the size of Montana

Fast Facts:

Population 17,508,260 (2015 estimate) - white 89%, mapuche 9%, other indigenous 2%

Average income (2008): $13,561

Major Cities:

SANTIAGO (capital) 6.507 million;
Valparaiso 907,000;
Concepcion 816,000 (2015);

People from Chile are called Chileans

The official language is Spanish

The country is 67% Catholic, 16% Evangelical/Protestant, 5% other and 12% none

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile while the Mapuche inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Mapuche were brought under central government control.

Chile is in the advanced stages of demographic transition and is becoming an aging society - with fertility below replacement level, low mortality rates, and life expectancy on par with developed countries. Nevertheless, with its dependency ratio nearing its low point, Chile could benefit from its favorable age structure. It will need to keep its large working-age population productively employed, while preparing to provide for the needs of its growing proportion of elderly people, especially as women - the traditional caregivers - increasingly enter the workforce. Over the last two decades, Chile has made great strides in reducing its poverty rate, which is now lower than most Latin American countries. However, its severe income inequality ranks as the worst among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Unequal access to quality education perpetuates this uneven income distribution.

Books for Pastors work:


Timeframe unknown, Books for Pastors is discussing the possibility of working with Word of Life and SCORE International to hold multiple pastors’ conferences in Santiago and/or Valparaiso. There are many details to still be considered, and we invite you to join us as we pray about this important opportunity.

Venezuela

Official Name: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela)

Government: Federal Republic

Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana

Area: 353,841 sq mi (912,050 sq km) - almost six times the size of Georgia; slightly more than twice the size of California

Fast Facts: Population 29,275,460 (2015 estimate) - Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people

Average income (2012): $15,940

Major Cities:

CARACAS (capital) 2.916 million;
Maracaibo 2.196 million;
Valencia 1.734 million;
Maracay 1.166 million (2015)

People from Venezuela are called Venezuelans

The official language is Spanish

The country is nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%

Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Under Hugo CHAVEZ, president from 1999 to 2013, and his hand-picked successor, President Nicolas MADURO, the executive branch has exercised increasingly authoritarian control over other branches of government. At the same time, democratic institutions have deteriorated, threats to freedom of expression have increased, and political polarization has grown.

Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America; the vast majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north, especially in the capital, Caracas, which is also the largest city in Venezuela. Since the discovery of oil in the early 20th century, Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil. Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. Falling oil prices since 2014 have aggravated Venezuela’s economic crisis. Insufficient access to dollars, price controls, and rigid labor regulations have led some US and multinational firms to reduce or shut down their Venezuelan operations. High costs for oil production and state oil company PDVSA’s poor cash flow have slowed investment in the petroleum sector, resulting in a decline in oil production.

Books for Pastors work:

TImeframe unknown, Books for Pastors has been invited to Venezuela to help teach at the Instituto Biblico Bautista De Venezuela (Baptist Bible Institute of Venezuela) in Puerto Ordaz, but the US State Department has issued travel advisories and does not recommend travel to Venezuela at this time. Please keep the people of Venezuela in prayer, as there is much civil unrest, towering inflation rates, and many shortages of basic items. There is a spiritual darkness there, and training pastors to reach their local communities and towns is greatly needed.

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