Support Earthquake Victims in Ecuador

Ecuador Earthquake Relief

Update: Rebuilding After a Deadly Earthquake

Dear partners,

On Saturday April 16, the Pacific coast of Ecuador experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Many houses or places of business are now piles of rubble.

Other buildings have significant damage and look like they could tumble at any moment. These buildings also serve as visible examples of the lives of many affected by the quake and the half-dozen aftershocks.

13051503_10153484762125079_5414554463200854496_nAt the time of writing this, about 650 people have died and hundreds of others are missing. Countless thousands are either injured or have lost everything (their family, house, job, etc.).

This news is especially heartbreaking for us at LRI. We have three training groups with dozens of pastors and leaders who live in one of the cities hardest hit—the coastal city of Portoviejo.

Ecuador Earthquake

The highway between Crucita and Portoviejo—a road LRI staff members have been on at least a dozen times.

Some congregants of the Fountain of Peace church, one of the churches responsible for multiplying our training in Portoviejo, have lost most or all of their material possessions—including their homes. Other church members are jobless because their places of employment were completely destroyed. Impassible highways and severely damaged hospitals make rescue and recovery difficult, if not impossible.

Oh, the pain our brothers and sisters are feeling!

13012622_10153412949997312_5340611267984310722_nBeing 3,000 miles away from the wreckage may leave us feeling helpless—but we are anything but helpless.

We have an all-powerful God who can comfort the hurting, build His Church, and bring glory to His Name through the worst of times. Ecuador’s devastation is of tragic proportions; but we can pray that the church and country would come to know God as their “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”—even when “the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2 NIV). Pray for Christ to minister through His Church to comfort the hurting, rebuild broken lives and property, and help many come to know that not even a deadly earthquake can separate us from the love of God for us in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35).


Oscar Paul with LRI trainer, Kevin Halloran.

In addition to prayer, we have an opportunity to provide tangible care for our hurting brothers and sisters in Portoviejo. We set up a relief fund in partnership with the Fountain of Peace church, where one of our pastor trainees, Oscar Paul, is the Senior Pastor. This fund would provide the poorest and most devastated in the congregation with necessary food and shelter, and help up to 50% of construction costs to repair/replace homes that were damaged or destroyed in the quake.

This is our chance to respond to the pain the Body of Christ is experiencing in Ecuador. Will you consider making a relief contribution to help our devastated brothers and sisters? And will you pray with us for God’s comfort for the hurting and the building of Christ’s Church during these tragic days?

With a broken heart and much anticipation,

craig1Craig Parro


PS: We believe this relief support can have the most impact during these next several months. As you consider your response, we ask that you join with us with a generous gift during this crucial period of need. Funds that exceed the relief needs will go to train pastors in Ecuador.

God’s Word: Bringing Light and Life to a Fallen World

Taal VolcanoDear Friends and Partners,

As my friend Jim and I tip-toed up the Taal volcano (Philippines), we knew that it hadn’t exploded for 40 years. And yet…we saw steam ejecting from multiple fissures….we felt hardened lava beneath our feet…and we heard stories of massive destruction. It did make us wonder…“what if…?” Taxi

A few days later, we observed something even more powerful than this volcano, as we studied the book of Genesis with a group of Filipino pastors. In chapter 1, we saw God’s spoken Word bring light and life and order into dark, empty chaos. Beginning with chapter 3, we saw God’s Word bring redemption and hope to a fallen world.

Today, we’re seeing his Word transform the pastors and churches of the Philippines through a group of TNT (Training National Trainers) graduates who are launching and leading a movement of God’s Word.

I asked Pastor Lito, the leader of this team, why? What motivates him to train pastors throughout the Philippines when he already has heavy responsibilities at his local church? His answer surprised me:

“Through this training, I realized that the Bible is one…that the Old and New Testaments combine to tell the one great story of God’s gracious redemption in Christ Jesus.”

Pastor LitoLito went on to say that this discovery has transformed his preaching and ministry. He no longer preaches isolated texts disconnected from the larger story of the Bible.

Pastor Lito has a calling, a Holy Spirit burden to equip and encourage pastors to teach God’s Word with God’s heart. What a privilege to encourage a godly leader like Lito. Pray for him as he serves his church, loves his family, and equips the uneducated and under-resourced pastors of the Philippines.

With much gratitude in Christ, craig

Craig Parro


PS: Last month Lito told us he also wants to launch TNT into a nearby country. I thought to myself: you’re crazy!there’s still so much to be done in the Philippines, and we’ve got a deficit besides. But after seeing the faithfulness & vision of Lito and his team, I need to ask you: please, would you give a special gift this month so TNT might continue to explode throughout these islands and beyond? donateribbon-copy-300x104

The Limits of Training Leaders and the Need for Development


Why does leadership development often fail?

According to Mike Myatt, a well-known leadership author, the #1 reason is actually training. Now, as a missions organization that trains pastors to preach God’s Word with God’s heart, let us be clear with what he means.

Myatt suggests that we, “Don’t train leaders,” but rather, “coach them, mentor them, disciple them, and develop them…” In other words, yes, we want to convey information. But we also want those we equip to be critical thinkers that go beyond the information taught to apply it in diverse situations.

Teaching vs. Training vs. Developing

Teaching wants learners to understand the “What” of a certain subject. For us, we want students to know “What the Bible says.”

Training goes a step further, and seeks learners to understand the “How”—“How do I preach a biblically faithful sermon?”

Development goes further still, and takes the “what” and “how” and goes to the most transformative level of knowledge: the “Why”—“Why do let the Bible drive our sermons, use hermeneutical principles, and want to preach the Bible clearly?” Answer: because God speaks through His Word faithfully proclaimed to bring new life and transformation for those who receive it.

The “Why” combines the “what” and the “how” with the underlying mechanisms and motivations that make the “what” worth knowing and the “how” worth doing.

For the men we train, success (or true development) means they will not just be able to teach the books of the Bible they have been trained in, but they will be able to apply core hermeneutical principles to any book of the Bible and faithfully minister the Word in their churches.

Myatt’s article continues, sharing twenty differences between leadership training and leadership development. Myatt seems to overstate his case and thereby paints training in a bad light, but there is something to learn from his emphasis on development.

1. Training blends to a norm – Development occurs beyond the norm.
2. Training focuses on technique/content/curriculum – Development focuses on people.
3. Training tests patience – Development tests courage.
4. Training focuses on the present – Development focuses on the future.
5. Training adheres to standards – Development focuses on maximizing potential.
6. Training is transactional – Development is transformational.
7. Training focuses on maintenance – Development focuses on growth.
8. Training focuses on the role – Development focuses on the person.
9. Training indoctrinates – Development educates.
10. Training maintains status quo – Development catalyzes innovation.
11. Training stifles culture – Development enriches culture.
12. Training encourages compliance – Development emphasizes performance.
13. Training focuses on efficiency – Development focuses on effectiveness.
14. Training focuses on problems  – Development focuses on solutions.
15. Training focuses on reporting lines – Development expands influence.
16. Training places people in a box – Development frees them from the box.
17. Training is mechanical – Development is intellectual.
18. Training focuses on the knowns – Development explores the unknowns.
19. Training places people in a comfort zone – Development moves people beyond their comfort zones.
20. Training is finite – Development is infinite.

“If what you desire is a robotic, static thinker – train them. If you’re seeking innovative, critical thinkers – develop them.” —Mike Myatt

A few additional points on the training vs. development distinction (provided by LRI staff):

  • Training can be anticipated by a schedule, but development must anticipate the moment.
  • Training can be accomplished through curriculum content—development requires more. You have to know the material better than the curriculum.
  • Training needs a teacher—development needs a coach.

Even though Leadership Resources uses the word “training” often (even in program names), we seek to go beyond a mere info dump or static, repeatable process to develop dynamic, servants of the Word who faithfully, clearly, and powerfully proclaim God’s life-giving Word to a lost world.

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