For a number of years, Dr. Joe Youngblood has worked with Pastor Eddie Eldefonso, pastor of LivingWordChristianCenter in Los Angeles, CA, through mission trips and leadership training in Honduras. In 2005 Dr. Youngblood met Dr. Sullivan, President of Covington Theological Seminary and shared his vision of the need to provide these leaders with a biblically sound education in order for them to become the pastors and spiritual leaders that Honduras is in need of.
In January of 2006 one school was opened in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Currently there are 125 pastors and leaders receiving the kind of biblical education they have longed for, for many years. The first year there were 75 students, and at the beginning of 2007, 50 more were added.
Through the grace of God, Pastor Eddieï¿½s church has committed to completely adopt and sponsor the school in Honduras. The church is committed to cover half the cost of the textbooks and the students there are committed to cover the other half. Pastor Eddieï¿½s ministry has also donated a number of computers for the students there to use to complete there work and studies and email their assignments back to LA for grading. He then returns the grades to the students and also forwards them on to CTS where each studentï¿½s grades and records are filed.
Dr. Eddie Ildefonso is the Dean of International Extensions for CTS.
Below is a recent synopsis from Pastor Eddie Ildefonso on the school in Honduras.
ï¿½The Honduras Extension has been operating very smoothly. We have started our second year extremely successfully. We had 75 students from the first year. We had 50 new students for the second year. This brings a total of 125 students enrolled in the HondurasCovington Extension.
At the moment the capital of the country of Honduras is undergoing a major economic crisis. The current unemployment rate is well over 60%. Many have to leave the capital to the go to the north of the country to the industrial city of San Pedro Sula. The current economic crisis is forcing university and college graduates to compete for jobs at the McDonalds type fast food businesses.
We are waiting to see how this will effect our enrollment at the Covington Extension. I am already aware that this is beginning to effect the enrollment but I do not have the final figures as of this date. I will wait for about another month or so to see how all of this shakes out.
The actual school has gone very well. My local church has provided all of the students with a Spanish version of the Strongï¿½s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible as well as with a copy of Vineï¿½s Expositive Dictionary.
I have also provided all of the students with my personal teaching notes and have made them available to them by email. The students from Honduras have sending their exams by email for each course. This has eliminated the need for shipping the exams back and forth at an exorbitant rate that the shipping companies charge. In addition, the students have access to me by way of email to help answer their questions. We average about 10 emails per week. The questions have been extremely well thought out and have demonstrated their ability to listen very carefully during the lectures.
The other activity that we have and that has proven extremely useful is that the pastors send me an expository sermon that I critique for them. The pastors have begun to teach in series in the churches and there has been a positive response to the teaching. The churches have experienced a growth due to solid bible teaching from the pulpits and active discipleship. I have been emphasizing discipleship since evangelism is easy in Honduras.
The class attendance has been extremely well. The class starts at and ends at each evening.
The extension has proven to be one of the best things that has taken place in Honduras. Many people read the Bible but they do not know how to study the Bible. The extension has been extremely useful in this area. The other area has been having the pastors to preach short sermons to the group at each meeting. I also work with the pastors during the day to sharpen their study skills as well as their teaching and preaching skills.
I believe that you must maintain a high level of expectation and the students will shoot for that level. The students have been consistent about reaching the higher levels of expectations.
One of the biggest challenges in Honduras is locating quality reference books and study aids for the pastors. Almost everything that we have found has been in the United States or in Spain.ï¿½