In May of this year, Iva, Stan, and Jennifer May were invited to Jinotega, Nicaragua, to train pastors and lay leaders of churches in that area in CBT, specifically in the first ten eras of the Old Testament. Working with Bella Vista pastor Mario Maldonado and Ginger Whitehorn, the team spent a week in Jinotega with 12 pastors and about 40 church leaders from their churches. Jennifer translated most of the sessions (and taught some), while Iva and Stan taught the differing eras.
Each teaching time was followed by review, and the differing groups of pastors, pastors’ wives, and lay leaders fleshed out the era that they had just learned. By the end of the week, the group was regularly shouting out the answers to the review questions in the general sessions, and most members of the groups could rehearse the eras.
The group’s comprehension of the Old Testament skyrocketed; some participants reported as much as 100% increase in understanding of the Old Testament, while all participants noted a distinct growth in their grasp of God’s story. The lead pastor in the area, Pastor Higinio, stated, “I have been a pastor for 30 years. I have gone to seminary and they taught me a lot of theology but never taught me the Bible. This is the first time I’ve seen the Bible this way and I realize that I need to know more of the Bible if I’m going to lead those pastors. The instructors spoke so clearly and were easy to understand. It makes me want to go home and read my Bible. We have been dreaming of something like this for a long time and now it’s like we’ve woken up!” He also said his understanding of the OT increased 80% as a result of completing this CBT training and that he is 100% confident he can now offer a simple explanation of the storyline of the OT. Other pastors and lay leaders gave similar quotes.