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Latin America Resource
and Training Center
Skip Navigation Links : LARTC : Vision to Reality... Dedication of the Latin America Resource and Training Center

Vision to Reality: Dedication of the
Latin America Resourse & Training Center

Rod and Sherry Boyd

LARTC Dedication

On May 3rd we celebrated the completion of the Latin America Resource & Training Center facilities with a dinner and long-awaited dedication ceremony. Nearly 100 people attended, representing the US and almost every Spanish-speaking country in the Latin America and Caribbean region. The dedication was scheduled in conjunction with the International Educational Leaders Dialogue, a biannual event we’ve conducted in Panama since 2001 that includes national church superintendents and education directors, as well as our international leadership team.

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Other special guests included members of the Panama Assemblies of God executive leadership, pastors, Panama missionaries, current and former ministry staff, and our faithful general contractor. This brief article doesn’t permit sharing stories of the work, commitment and encouragement that they showed us during the construction of the center.

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We also had about a dozen very special guests from the United States—generous donors, project promoters and construction team leaders—who sacrificed their funds and time to commemorate the dedication. Because all the guestrooms at the center were used for those attending the Dialogue, we hosted our US guests in a nearby hotel. We enjoyed spending extra time with this special group!

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Our five special guests from Portland, OR arrived two days before the others. David and Deborah Kaiser lead the Little Davey Project, a ministry that has sent 14 teams that have provided more than 1,000 computers to schools in Panama and five other countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Dave and Debbie Martin serve on the Little Davey Project board and lead the building construction teams from Portland Christian Center. Linda Devries also serves on the Little Davey Project board and has been on every trip. The team spent one day distributing 40 minicomputers to four different schools.

LARTC DedicationWe started out the dedication program to chronicle the planning and construction process and to remember the many miracles that took place between the dream and reality:

  • Panama’s National Assemblies of God Church designated the strategically located LARTC property at no cost, in recognition of God’s prophetic hand on Panama to bless the nations.

  • Nine churches sent eleven construction teams and offerings, investing thousands of volunteer man hours.

  • Ministries, churches and individuals have given large and small offerings that God has stretched to meet timely needs during phased construction.

LARTC Dedication

At the end of the presentation, the sequential year-to-year photos, from 2014 to 2022, testified to God’s faithful provision!

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The program continued with words from Pastor Johnny Saucedo, Panama’s National President for the Assemblies of God. Pastor Johnny and his wife Lucy have been dear friends. They pastor of the Jehovah Jireh Church. We’ve shared the story of their family, focusing on their son Johnny Jr. Mike Shields, fellow missionary and LARTC board member, joined us to thank and honor our special guests from the US.

Pastor Jimmy Salazar, National President for the Assemblies of God of Ecuador, and executive for the Latin America Assemblies of God Fellowship, congratulated the LARTC team and recognized its strategic importance to train present and future ministers.

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Dave Ellis, AGWM Regional Director for the Latin America/Caribbean offered his congratulations. When he finished, he invited the Panama missionary team to the front.  Since we left Panama during the Covid pandemic, the group never had the opportunity to say goodbye.  They presented us with a painting of the Holy Spirit orchid, Panama's national flower.

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Following, Miguel Morales, fellow missionary and our successors as leaders of the Panama Resource & Advisory Center and Latin America/ Caribbean Christian Education Resources, shared how important the LARTC center is to our educational ministries family. In total, LARTC hosted five meetings, pre and post dedication.

LARTC DedicationPastor Jerry Brooks from Discovery Church, Oak Creek, WI, who have generously helped on multiple occasions, shared a brief message from the Old Testament about the experience of dedicating the tabernacle. He highlighted two truths. First, the building represents God’s faithfulness and provision, as well as the commitment of so many to make it a reality. Second, and most importantly, the act of dedication is the presentation of what man has made to God so that He will use it to do His work. That is our greatest hope that God will take this facility and fill those present with His Spirit, empowering leaders, training teachers and providing resources.

LARTC DedicationPastor Jeremias Bolaños, National President of the Assemblies of God of El Salvador, lead the closing dedication ceremony, where each of us present dedicated LARTC facilities to God’s work and committed ourselves to the same. Our vision was and is to empower leaders, train teachers and provide resources; to use LARTC facilities to host our family of Christian education ministries. Our sustainability model not only covers operational costs, but also subsidizes our ministries as an endowment to help fund and promote ministerial training as a priority for the church. It was so meaningful to us to see the leaders for which it was built to share in its dedication and to have a key group, those that have stood by our side in prayer and sacrificial giving, with us to witness this special event.

LARTC DedicationEven though the dedication was a celebration of the completion of construction, we continue to make improvements. After completing most of the exterior work in 2021, during the last 15 months we have completed additional large projects:

  • Construction of an underground water reserve tank with a pressure pump that ensures uninterrupted water with adequate pressure.

  • Completion of final building plans, inspections and improvements.

  • Additional equipment and furnishings to allow for increased capacity.

  • Underground pool.  This was the largest and longest project. Our board approved this project based upon a donor’s commitment to fund the project and the belief that it will add to the appeal of the center to host groups and events.

LARTC Dedication

Please continue to pray for LARTC. Covid impacted the project in so many ways. We’re grateful that in the last eight months we’ve hosted and conducted 15 events in the center, generating much needed operating funds. At the same time, we’ve had to invest these funds in equipment and furnishings, as well as helping with the larger projects. Pray that center use will increase. And pray that additional funds will be given for pending projects like the completion of the second floor of the training addition, a backup generator and additional equipment.

Finally, we want to say thank you once again. Thank you for your part in making this dream a reality. You truly are helping us raise up Christian leaders throughout Latin America!