A Movement of the Word into the Venezuelan Crisis

Dear friends and partners,

Venezuela is in crisis. A civil war might be just around the corner. The weight of each Venezuelan plummeted an estimated 24 pounds, on average, due to food shortages in 2017. Hyperinflation makes everyday items like soap, toilet paper, automobile tires, and chocolate either a distant memory or a luxury.

There is also a spiritual crisis. A lack of material resources leaves many desperate for truth and hope. The mass exodus of Venezuelans has left many churches without a pastor. Who will fill the void? Often untrained and inexperienced leaders.

Enter Enrique, Jorge, and Meri (Jorge’s wife). The three are recent graduates from LRI’s training in Colombia. Through a relationship with Pastor Mateus, the leader of a network of Venezuelan churches, a door was opened to cross the border into Venezuela (along with LRI’s Juan Torres) to equip and encourage Venezuelan pastors in the book of Ruth.



Ruth is the perfect book for the situation in Venezuela. It begins in famine, death, sorrow, and hopelessness. In the midst of it all, Naomi wonders if God had abandoned her. And yet it ends with great rejoicing, because through it all, God is working out His redemptive purposes through faithful believers, even in the midst of unspeakable tragedy.

While a lack of viable transportation options made traveling to the training complicated, 29 pastors attended. Some even had to stand shoulder to shoulder in the bed of a commercial cargo truck for a ride to the training! But it was worth it.



“We thank God because we were like the Macedonian man in Paul’s vision [in Acts 16] who said, ‘Come to Macedonia and help us!,’” said Venezuelan Pastor Mateus.

“It was a HUGE blessing for you to come during such a difficult time for us. . . . At the end of the training, many were crying and broken. They realize LRI’s training is an instrument of God to exposit the Word of God in a simple and practical way.”


LRI’s Juan Torres with Pastor Mateus


While our work in Venezuela has just begun, six pastors have already passed the Ruth training on to others. We’ve also received interest from several other places in the country. We’d love nothing more than for the Word of God to spread like wildfire among the suffering people of Venezuela.

Please join us in prayer for this dear country. Like in the book of Ruth, the darkest times are often the perfect backdrop for the gospel’s light to shine most brightly.

Grateful for your partnership,

Craig Parro

PS: Without your dedicated prayers and support for our work in Colombia, Enrique, Jorge, and Meri would not have initiated this ministry to Venezuela! Would you consider a gift to advance our work here and in other needy places of Latin America?

PPS: A generous donor has promised to match all gifts from new donors through June 30. So if you’ve never given to LRI, this is your opportunity to leverage your impact for the Kingdom! Learn more at leadershipresources.org/match.

Craig Parro

Since joining Leadership Resources International in 1989, Craig directed its international ministry, and as of January 2010, he now serves as President. A graduate of TEDS (M.A., Mission), Craig is a stimulating teacher and has equipped and encouraged pastors and churches throughout the U.S., Latin America and Asia. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors of TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition), an association of pastoral training organizations focused on accelerating pastoral training worldwide. Craig has authored articles appearing in several magazines. His first book, Unlikely Warriors, was published in 1992. He is also co-author of Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout.