Venezuela is in the northern part of South America and is bordered by the Caribbean on the north, Columbia on the west, Guyana on the east, and Brazil on the south. The Orinoco River runs through the country west to east and almost divides it in two.
Since 1958, the democratic system in Venezuela had been an example of stability to the majority of Latin Americans, and Venezuela’s economic prospectives were very solid. However, circumstances in the country have changed since the late 1990s. Socialism, corruption, and excessive government controls have hollowed democracy and destroyed much of the commerce in the country. Today, Venezuela has become the poorest country in the continent, worse even than Haiti. More than five million Venezuelans have emigrated to countries in the region and to Europe.
Roman Catholicism is the state-sponsored religion, although the Constitution promises freedom of worship.
The work of Baptist Mid-Missions began in Bolivar State. Our first church was organized in the town of El Callao. Many other churches have been established in this area since. Capable Venezuelan leadership has developed.
There are now over 25 organized Baptist churches in Venezuela related to Baptist Mid-Missions. All have Venezuelan pastors or deacons leading them. Most of the Baptist Mid-Missions works are in the Ciudad Guyana region.
A work among the Warao Indians of the Delta region began in 1953. The New Testament has been translated into Warao, and work is continuing on the Old Testament. Warao leaders are active in reaching other communities with the gospel.
The basic goal is the training of Venezuelan leadership and the spread of the gospel through church planting and support of national missionaries. The Baptist Bible Institute of Venezuela (BBIV) has seen many graduates from its two-year, three-year, or four-year programs in Bible, missions, and music. The institute shares a building with Life in Christ Baptist Church, which was finished in 2019. BBIV is working on an online program for greater student access.
Due to closed access to American missionaries, we are praying that God would use the national leadership and that He would increase their resources for greater outreach. As BBIV develops virtual capabilities, professors from other countries could help train laborers.