Sureste Presbyterian Theological Seminary- December 2017 Update
Good News Amidst Natural Disasters in Mexico
The 8.1 magnitude earthquake that struck the southern Mexican state of Chiapas and neighboring Oaxaca and Tabasco on September 8th resulted in a death toll of at least 90 people, with thousands of people injured. At least 70,000 people were displaced due to significant home and infrastructure damage. Felt strongly in places as far off as Mexico City and Guatemala City, it was described by President Enrique Pena Nieto as the worst earthquake to have hit Mexico in a century. Shortly after that on September 19th, Mexico City and its surrounding areas saw 370 people killed and 6,000 injured from the effects of a 7.1 earthquake in the Greater Mexico City area.
The Outreach Foundation’s partner, The National Presbyterian Church of Mexico, became actively involved in demonstrating Christ’s love through relief efforts by opening the facilities of its national headquarters to receive donations for those displaced by the destruction from the earthquakes as well as from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katia flooding in Veracruz.
The Outreach Foundation partners with some of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico’s theological education and holistic evangelism efforts in the southern states of the country. In the last year our attention has been primarily directed towards the Sureste Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Seminario Teologico Presbiteriano del Sureste) in Tabasco. An institution of the Synod of the Gulf of Mexico, the seminary offers students from the states of Tabasco and Chiapas the opportunity to pursue their bachelor’s degrees in theology and music as well as master’s programs in theology and New Testament. Sureste’s rector, Rev. José Juan Hernández Garcia, reports that there has been an increased interest in the study of intercultural mission and soon there will be a program of study for those whom God is calling to serve beyond their own cultures among those with less access to the Gospel.
In recent months, The Outreach Foundation has come alongside Sureste Seminary by:
• supporting twenty-five of their students with scholarships ranging from 30 to 50 percent of their tuition
• helping in the remodeling of their chapel with the purpose of making it available for retreats, camps, and civic gatherings as well as income-generating activities
• supporting the seminary dean as he specializes in the study of the Hebrew language
There are currently forty residential students in the seminary and many more programs that receive instruction through gatherings held in congregations to help equip local leaders for effective ministry. I plan to personally visit the Sureste Seminary during the first quarter of 2018 to participate in a service of gratitude for the remodeling of the chapel. Meanwhile, I would like to invite you to participate in God’s mission alongside Mexican Presbyterians by sponsoring scholarships for Sureste Seminary students. The cost of 50 per cent of the annual tuition for each student is $1,000.00. Thank you for considering making this impactful investment in God’s kingdom.
With sincere gratitude,
Rev. Juan J. Sarmiento
Associate Director for Mission
Read more about Sureste Presbyterian Theological Seminary HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $25,000 for scholarships and other costs for Sureste Presbyterian Theological Seminary.