venezuela / south america

Spiritual Climate

Predominantly Christian as a country, most "Christians" have practiced Spiritism to some extent. Cults and spiritist shops are commonly used and one particular animist cult has attracted half a million dedicated followers. A renewed commitment within the church from discipleship, leadership training, theological doctrine and unity among believers will be pivotal in order to expose false beliefs and stand firm on truth.

Ground-Level Perspectives

A lot of people don't know what their church teaches, mostly because they don't actually attend. Most haven't accepted nor rejected the message of Christ because they've not really understood it. Very few have ever read the Bible, even through they would say it's God's word.
— David & Jerrine Berkey

God is not finished with the city of Caracas. They have suffered much over the years and things are difficult there. However, the church continues to grow and nothing can stop that growth.
— Jim & Corinne Thorp

The people we're reaching have, in a sense, been neglected because they don't look needy. They have a roof over their heads, clean drinking water, electricity, access to education and health care... but a middle-class professional in Caracas who doesn't know Christ is just as lost as anyone else. For them, eternity separated from God will be just as long and just as tragic (Luke 16:19-31). But they're just as loved by God as anyone else. Their souls are worth fighting for, even if that means fighting traffic.
— David & Jerrine Berkey

More about Venezuela

A Couple Raw Facts

Animist Illustration

Spiritism is dangerously strong. The majority of Venezuela’s “Christians” have to some degree dabbled with Spiritism. There are thousands of occult and spiritist shops where witch doctors and their ilk are frequented by rich and poor alike. The animist cult of Maria Lionza is one formalized expression of this, attracting up to half a million devotees.

Oil Illustration

The world’s fourth-largest producer of oil, with massive reserves and great economic potential.


History & Future


WorldVenture History in Venezuela

The majority of WorldVenture’s outreach in Venezuela takes place in the capital city of Caracas. Barriers to the gospel in this city of five million people include nominal cultural Catholicism that is rooted in traditions; open acceptance and practice of occultism and witchcraft; easy belief in a New Age philosophy that any religious teaching will lead people to heaven; and a growing secular materialism that seeks security through the consumption and acquisition of more and better things. Despite these obstacles, WorldVenture’s Venezuela team has an effective outreach to the lost and has planted several churches, including an English-speaking international church. Other ministry efforts include outreach to students ranging in age from elementary school children up to the university level.

Today &

Venezuela Team Goals

The two words that best describe WorldVenture’s vision for the future are "training" and "missions." New opportunities are arising to prepare leaders for ministry here and around the world. With leadership development and innovative evangelism strategy, WorldVenture looks to Venezuela with optimism and hope for the nations.

5 Global

WorldVenture Global Objectives

  1. Evangelizing the Peoples of the World
    • Relationships being cultivated with non-believers
    • Decisions to follow Christ
    • Believers baptized
    • People engaged in intentional discipleship
    • Bible verses translated and Christian resources created or translated
  2. Extending Grace
    • People helped through development assistance
    • People provided with medical and health assistance
    • People helped toward justice who are in illegal, immoral, dangerous, exploited circumstances
    • People helped directly through disaster relief
  3. Establishing Churches
    • New churches established
    • Daughter churches established
  4. Equipping Leaders
    • Leaders being trained for ministry through formal contexts
    • Leaders being trained for ministry through non-formal contexts
    • TCKs (third culture kids) being equipped
    • 360º leaders being equipped
  5. Encouraging Mission Movements
    • National Christians preparing to become cross-cultural missionaries
    • National churches engaged in cross-cultural missions
    • National church groups engaged in cross-cultural missions

Living Here




The people are laid back (except when they're driving). They highly value relationships. Tasks have value if they enhance relationships.
— David & Jerrine Berkey



Caracas is a beautiful city and because of its location in the mountains, it has a great climate.
— Jim & Corinne Thorp

Since this is the tropics, there are pockets in the city where you see wildlife... parrots, macaws, guacharacas (tree chickens), possum, sloths, along with vultures, rats, cockroaches and mosquitoes.
— David & Jerrine Berkey



Our culture is both a hoot and a headache. It's the clash of historic rural Latino culture with urbanization and globalization, full of merges and messes, community and contradictions. It's matriarchal and machismo. Venezuela has enormous oil deposits, the highest inflation rate in Latin America, the cheapest gas in the world, and frequent food shortages. Go figure!
— David & Jerrine Berkey

The difficult part of life is dealing with the many shortages of food and services.
— Jim & Corinne Thorp

Local News

The following is a live news feed mirrored from an independent news service, and offers a current stream of headlines coming out of the country. WorldVenture does not control headlines, but only "mirrors" them from other websites.

venezuela source:bbc - Google News
Venezuela unrest: Fresh violence erupts in Caracas - BBC News

BBC News

Venezuela unrest: Fresh violence erupts in Caracas
BBC News
Fresh violence has erupted in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, between police and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro. Masked protesters burned effigies of the president after a rally called "Resurrection of Democracy". Police responded to petrol ...

Sunday, April 20, 2014 8:23:08 PM

Banned Venezuela buttock silicone injections 'can be lethal' - BBC News

BBC News

Banned Venezuela buttock silicone injections 'can be lethal'
BBC News
Looking good can be bad for your health - at least when you go to extreme lengths to achieve it. Venezuelan women have died pursuing their ideal body shape, after undergoing a dangerous cosmetic procedure where liquid silicone is injected directly into ...

Saturday, April 19, 2014 7:15:14 PM

Venezuela rejects amnesty for jailed protest leaders - BBC News

BBC News

Venezuela rejects amnesty for jailed protest leaders
BBC News
The Venezuelan government has dismissed calls by the opposition for an amnesty for jailed protest leaders. Government and opposition representatives met for a second time on Tuesday to try to put an end to two months of anti-government protests.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:19:45 AM

Venezuela's Maduro and opposition in landmark crisis talks - BBC News

BBC News

Venezuela's Maduro and opposition in landmark crisis talks
BBC News
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has met opposition leaders in crisis talks aimed at quelling weeks of protests. Mr Maduro met his bitter rival, opposition leader Henrique Capriles, for six hours. More talks are scheduled for Tuesday. The meeting ...

Friday, April 11, 2014 1:25:10 AM

Venezuela opposition set terms for talks with president - BBC News

BBC News

Venezuela opposition set terms for talks with president
BBC News
A coalition of Venezuelan opposition parties says it is willing to enter into talks with the government as long as certain conditions are met. The meeting was proposed by foreign ministers of the Unasur regional group to put an end to two months of ...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 4:06:49 AM

This feed has 5 articles on 1 page


Opportunity TitleMinimum StayMaximum StayWorld AreaCountryOppSummaryOppResponsibilitiesOppRequirementsOppID
Youth Pastor 6 Months2 YearsSouth AmericaVenezuelaWork with a new church plant in the congested city of Caracas. We want to reach the multitudes of youth in need of Christ.Coordinate a growing youth ministry aimed at reaching urban youth with the message of Christ. Particular challenges involve insecurity, youth with zero knowledge of the Bible and conflictive family situations. The ministry will involve lots of time hanging out, building relationships, small groups, time in planning, evangelism and discipleship.Flexible spirit. Desire to work speaking Spanish with some training. Self-motivated. Love for youth that sees beyond their quirks.1022
Seminary Intern1 Months3 MonthsSouth AmericaVenezuelaSeminary Intern to help the existing missionaries with initial contact and follow-up of participants in new church plant. Length of service is 1 month to 3 months.Assist a new church with the pastoral duties such as hospital visits, evangelistic contacts, and leading studies. This position could involve working with youth or facilitating leadership development.Experience leading study groups of mixed spiritual condition. Patience with new believers. Good command of Spanish. Flexible spirit and willingness to take risks. Willingness to work in a sometimes politically unstable setting.1023
Urban Church Planter6 MonthsLifetimeSouth AmericaVenezuelaBe a part of God at work in Venezuela through developing relationships leading to evangelistic opportunities. Length of service is 6 months to a lifetime.Develop evangelistic contacts for a growing urban church. These could be used to further the church planting efforts.Flexible spirit. Willingness to work in an unpredictable urban setting which can suck the life out of most people not walking in step with the Spirit. Needs to be mature spiritually and have some control of Spanish. 1139

We're Open to New Ideas

We have many opportunities requested by our teams, but we're open to new ideas. God has moved us into over 60 countries by bringing us people with vision, passion and calling. If you don't find an opportunity that fits, or doesn't fully fit ... let's talk. Our first priority is relationship (i.e. "Are we a good fit for each other? You and WorldVenture"). Once that is clear, we will walk with you into almost anything.

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Missionary Team

David & Jerrine Berkey

Serving with WorldVenture in Venezuela

Rocky & Sylvia Engel

Serving in discipleship, leadership training, and education in Venezuela

Evangelizing the Peoples of the World

With respect for people and their cultures, we communicate, by word and deed, the full scope of biblical truth and, especially, the gospel. We make disciples of Jesus Christ among all peoples through different kinds of evangelism..

Relationships Being Cultivated with Non-Believers

We seek to build and nurture authentic relationships with people who have no knowledge of Jesus Christ with whom we can share our faith. Paul asks, 'How are they to believe in the one they have not heard of?' Romans 10:14. The answer is that they can't. It is our desire for those who have never heard the gospel or never understood it to have the chance know God. Many times a true opportunity to hear the gospel requires an environment of trust and friendship first.

Scriptures: Matt 28:18-20, Rom 10:14, 1 John 4:19.


Decisions to Follow Christ

We recognize both the internal conversion of the heart and external profession of faith as milestones in the journey of obedience to Jesus Christ. We encourage new believers to identify themselves as Christ-followers in ways that are recognized as authentic in the local context.

Scriptures: Romans 10:10, Matthew 5:14-16, Eph. 4:20-24, Mark 16:15 .


Believers Baptized

Baptism is another external milestone in the journey of obedience for a new believer. We encourage new Christ-followers to further identified themselves with Jesus Christ and the local community of faith through baptism by immersion.

Scriptures: Romans 6:3-6, Galatians 3:27, Matthew 28:19-20.


People Engaged in Intentional Discipleship

We nurture reasonable steps taken to pursue spiritual growth and evangelism from Christians and non-Christians. This often looks like greater depth in comprehending biblical truths and expressing their growing faith in ways meaningfully in their own culture.

Scriptures: Hebrews 10: 24-25, Eph. 4:11-17, Matthew 28: 18-20.


Bible Verses Translated and Christian Resources Created or Translated

We actively invest time and talent into Bible translation and creation of Christian media knowing that these investments will expand and deepen the influence of the gospel in a culture.

Scriptures: Acts 2:8-11, Philippians 2:9-11, Acts 13:47-49, Acts 8:26-39.

Extending Grace

Following the example of Jesus, we address human suffering and practical needs everywhere we share the gospel, whether it be through individual acts of mercy or community-wide programs.

Helping People through Development Assistance

Lasting community development is only achieved by insiders. Meaning, we assisted people in their own development efforts in the areas of acquiring sustainable food, water, shelter, literacy, vocational training, education, and employment. Our explicit goal is empowerment, dignity, and community ownership.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 10:18, 1 Samuel 2:8, Psalm 145:15-16, Luke 12:33.


People Provided with Medical & Health Assistance

The grace and blessing of medical care where there is no other access to medical help is one of the longest standing outreaches of WorldVenture. Our hospitals and rural clinics dot some of the most difficult locations in the world.

Scriptures: Jeremiah 33:6, Isaiah 40:29, Matt 19:2.


Justice for those in Illegal, Immoral, & Dangerous Circumstances

We seek out those who have become vulnerable and fallen to the advantage of other people. We advocate for them within available legal systems, or we build exits and avenues for them to leave their circumstances.

Scriptures: Isaiah 43:2, Psalm 72:4, Isaiah 51:4-5, Ezekiel 34:15-16, Psalm 82:3-4.


Helping People Directly through Disaster Relief

In large scale disasters which are within locations we have workers and churches, we bring help directly to the people effected by the disaster. Our networks are often the most established in the communities to the point that larger relief organizations will defer to us on the ground. Yet our strategies always extend past the immediate response to include some form of rebuilding and restoration.

Scriptures: 1 Cor 16:1-4, Psalm 145:15-16, Philippians 4:19.


Establishing Churches

Building his church is central to Jesus’ purposes. We strive to establish healthy local churches that will establish other churches, resulting in church planting movements.

New Churches Established

Recognizing that church planting is typically more of a process rather than a one-time event, we speak of a church as being "established" when the local church and its local sister churches recognize it as such. We value real growth of the church, and use milestones like this to give us benchmarks to celebrate.

Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 15:20-21, Matthew 18:20, 1 Timothy 4:13, Acts 16:4-5.


Daughter Churches Established

 Another milestone we encourage as a mark of a maturing church is the multiplication of daughter churches. More than anything this is a sign of the outward growth and maturity of the faith community.

Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 16:4-5, Romans 15:20-21, Ephesians 2:19-22.


Equipping Leaders

We develop leaders who are able to lead others in contextualizing and maximizing their Kingdom impact – locally, regionally, and around the world.

Leaders Being Trained for Ministry through Formal Contexts

Leadership Development

Our workers staff numberous formal seminaries and bible schools as teachers or administrators. We know that people being equipped in and for ministry through formal degree/diploma granting institutions is an investment in the future health and vitality of the church.

Scriptures: Proverbs 2:10-11, Luke 2:45-47, Proverbs 1:1-7.


Leaders being Trained for Ministry through Non-Formal Contexts

Leadership Development

In addition to formal academic training, we encourage leadership development through non-formal ministry training seminars, courses, and programs. These programs are equally as powerful for deepening and establishing churches through informed and mature lay leaders.

Scriptures: Psalm 32:8, Psalm 119:105, John 10:3-4.


TCKs (Third Culture Kids) being Equipped

Experience has taught us that some of the most natural and effective future missionaries come from the children of our current missionaries. Not only does the investment in these children make it possible for their parents to work in remote locations, most of the international schools in which we partner encourage the personal ministry and impact these children can have while on the field.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 4:9, Matthew 18:2-5, 1 Timothy 4:12.


"360º Leaders" being Equipped

Our 360° vision for impacting societies recognizes that there are a handful of key roads to impacting in any given city or provence or people group. For example, business and media are key influencers in a society, but often fall outside designated leadership tracks like pastors and teachers. We encourage the development of Christian leaders who will influence society through business, politics, medicine, media, social justice, and family and community development.

Scriptures: John 17:15-19, Colossians 3:23-24, 1 Corinthians 14:12, Romans 12:6-8, Matthew 25:23.


Encouraging Mission Movements

We will encourage individuals, churches, and church movements everywhere to connect with each other and other organizations, creating international relationships for networking, collaborating, and partnering to do missions “from everywhere to everywhere.”

National Christians Preparing to Become Missionaries

We encourage the natural progression of a maturing national church by advocating for the training and development of national Christians to become missionaries. Crossing-cultures is always difficult, even for those who are born and raised in multi-lingual, multi-cultural environments, and preparation can be a key element in the succeess of a national missionary.

Scriptures: Psalm 144:1, Galations 3:28, Psalm 32:8, Isaiah 61:1.


National Churches Engaged in Cross-Cultural Missions

In addition to individuals going out as missionaries, we encourage national churches to engage in missions.

Scriptures: Romans 10:15, John 15:1-27, Matthew 9:35-38.


National Church Groups Engaged in Cross-Cultural Missions

From the individual to the church and then finally to the multi-church association, we encourage many national church groups and church associations to engaged in missions. We seek a culture of outward movement and self-sacrifice as a healthy part of a national church.

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, 2 Corinthians 9:10-12, Romans 10:15.




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