Manuel was born and raised in Mexico, spiritually born again in Canada, and now lives in France with his wife (who’s from Kazakhstan) and their children. When Manuel first moved to Cannes, in the south of France, he couldn’t find a solid, Bible-teaching church. So he planted one.
“By far the most challenging thing about living and ministering in France” he says, “is the discouragement that comes from feeling isolated—of feeling that you’re just there by yourself.”
Knowing that he needed mentorship and training in order to shepherd his isolated young flock, Manuel faced a problem: his secular job as a hotel manager, which enabled him to support his family, made it virtually impossible for him to enroll in seminary full-time. But thanks to European Bible Training Center (EBTC), a TMAI training center in nearby Germany, he’s been pursuing his Master of Divinity while still faithfully taking care of his responsibilities to his family, job, and local church.
This sort of training is hard to find in the French language. Thankfully, Manuel has been able to go through EBTC’s program in English (just one of the four languages spoken in his household). Because of the Lord’s sovereign gifting and provision, his French-speaking congregation is benefiting from everything he’s learning at EBTC.
“I knew that it was going to be very hard financially. Support coming from my congregation would be virtually impossible… Thank you that you make your resources available to bless others. What you’re doing for me—it will have an impact in the French church.”
Manuel’s studies—and his fellow classmates—have already been a blessing to him personally too. “The fact that I can be part of EBTC has helped to overcome that challenge of isolation,” he says, “because now I know that I have other brothers in countries around Europe.” It’s been a blessing to Manuel to know that he’s not alone, to have trusted mentors to ask about difficult passages of Scripture, and perhaps most of all: “to know that there is someone behind you, praying.”
Talking about his decision to pursue seminary training at EBTC, Manuel is frank about the challenges: “I knew that it was going to be very hard financially,” he says. “Support coming from my congregation would be virtually impossible.” His fledgling church plant simply couldn’t help pay for his education. But he was encouraged to apply to the program anyway and to pray that the Lord would provide the means.
God has indeed answered Manuel’s prayers—largely through the support of friends like you.
“Thank you that you make your resources available to bless others,” Manuel says. “What you’re doing for me—it will have an impact in the French church.”
Friend, please join us in praying for Manuel—and for all TMAI’s students around the world who desire to rightly handle the God’s Word and faithfully shepherd His flock. If you want to be a part of the Lord’s provision for church leaders like Manuel, you can partner with TMAI today. Hundreds of new students from all over the world are hoping to begin their theological education this fall, and you can help make biblical training available for them. It’s an investment that impacts not only these faithful men, but their entire congregations—perhaps for generations to come.