Auristela Cermeno was elected as the National Director of Venezuela in August of 2012 for a four year term. She and her leadership team oversee our churches in four states in Venezuela.
9 churches; 3 missions; Bible Institute: I.C.I. Work was organized in 1974.
Click here to see a list of needs for this mission…
Venezuelans come from the integration of indigenous peoples, Afro-Caribbeans and European settlers. Today, indigenous peoples and Afro-Caribbeans each account for less than 7 percent of the population. In recent times, Venezuela has received more immigrants than any other South American country.
Spanish (official). One million Mexicans speak indigenous languages.
Mainly Catholic- 92.7 percent.
Patriotic Pole, led by Hugo Chávez; Democratic Action (AD), member of the Socialist International; the Social Christian Party (COPEI), a member of the Christian Democrat International; the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), founded in 1970; Radical Cause; Convergence, created in 1993 by Christian Democratic splinter groups; the People’s Electoral Movement (MEP); the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV); the New Democratic Generation, linked to the Liberal International; Intergration, Representation, 112q (IRENE), founded in 1997 by independent mayor of Chacao, Irene Saez.
THE STATE OFFICIAL NAME
República Bolivariana de Venezuela.
21 states with partial autonomy (including the Federal District), 2 Federal territories.
Maracaibo 1,249,670 people; Valencia 1,034,033; Barquisimeto 692,600; Guyana City 523,580 (1990).
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, President since February 1999. Presidential system, Congress with Chamber of Deputies and Senate (201 and 49 members respectively).
July 5, Independence Day (1811).
The country comprises three main regions. In the north and west, the Andes and other mountain chains, and high mountains to the south. The central Orinoco Plains are a livestock farming area. In the southeast, highlands of ancient rock and sandstone extend to the borders with Brazil and Guyana, forming Venezuelan Guyana. It is a sparsely inhabited area with thick forests, savannas, rivers, and some peculiar features: the “tepuyes” or plateau mountains, and the rare Sarisarinama depths. Most of the population lives in the hilly north. The oil-rich Maracaibo lowlands and Gulf of Paria are on the coast. The country produces oil, iron ore, manganese, bauxite, tungsten and chrome, gold and diamonds. Among the country’s most important environmental problems are deforestation and the degradation of the soil. In addition, the lack of sewage treatment facilities in the main urban and industrial centers has increased pollution in the country’s rivers and the Caribbean Sea.
– BY DOCK HOBBS, WORLD WITNESS DIRECTOR
Several years ago the Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church of Venezuela had the joy of becoming the leading organization reaching the Warao Indians of Venezuela with the gospel. The Warao Indians (wah-rowoh; say row as in cow) live on the Orinoco River Delta in Venezuela. The Orinoco River is wider than the Mississippi when it reaches the Delta emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The Warao Indians live in huts on stilts which usually have thatched roofs but no walls. The name Warao means “Boat People.” All travel is done by canoes made by their own hands except for some who have fishing boats.
The Warao are considered fine basket makers. These baskets are made from natural palm fibers which are woven around reeds from the Delta. Basket weaving and fishing from the Atlantic Ocean and the Orinoco River create much of the economy of the area. The people are very poor and they experience several health issues including Tuberculosis, diarrhea, and fever and vomiting which is often fatal; because they do not have simple medications that we can get over-the-counter at a local drug store in the USA. Some natives are not as open to outsiders, but the Warao Indians who have accepted Christ are a loving and kind people who appreciate a visit from outsiders. The best people to reach the many different villages of the Warao are the Warao PFWB ministers.
In September, 2006 this author and Randy Carter had the joy of visiting their churches and staying in their homes. Our stay in their homes was quite different than what we are use to. They do not have indoor plumbing nor indoor showers; we prayed for rain so that we could shower each day. We slept in their hammocks which are made out of palm trees; this is not the most comfortable night’s rest that you’ve had. Their homes are very simple; they are built on stilts on the river. Behind their homes are the Warao rain forests, according to Adventures Unlimited, that have over 1,500 species of flowering plants and 750 different trees in a span of four square miles.
Anytime the gospel is preached it is expected that there will be some who accept Christ Jesus. The field there is ripe for harvest; there are nearly 24,000 Indians on the river and we have reached about 1,500. One of our great needs is to supply boats and motors to evangelize the river. There is also a need to build churches on the river for the people to worship. Their worship is loud and simplistic, but it is a very genuine worship from their hearts. You cannot go to this field without being touched by their generosity to you as their visitor and their love for our Lord Jesus. The government has provided generators that are used at night for lights in the small communities around the various tribes. We have seen several hundred come to these worship services at night in their canoes which can hold as many as sixteen people or more in each boat. Some have rowed as much as four hours to come to the services and they would love to worship the Lord all night.
If you would like to know more about our work on the Orinoco River and the other four states that we are working in Venezuela contact the PFWB Resource Center in Dunn N.C.