Challenges and Loving Service Ministry in Venezuela

It is forty years since Marcelino Ramirez opened his mind and spirit to God in the aftermath of a personal crisis that lasted more than 15 years. After a prolonged period of self-edification, he discovered The Urantia Book in 1991. By 1996, he found that the teachings of the book were such an extraordinary inspiration he decided to travel to many states in his beloved Venezuela to sow the seeds of what he calls “our wonderful Revelation.”

His service extended for another five years, until early 2001, when he decided to devote himself full-time to the dissemination of the revelation in his country, relying only on his modest state pension for money and what he calls “the miracle of the limited economic support of a few people with a huge heart.”

As of today, Marcelino has made a total of 1,135 formal visits to readers and truth-seekers in 22 of the 24 states of Venezuela. Such dedication has been truly intense and extraordinary. His efforts have helped to start various study groups in the country, as well as to organize fourteen national conferences of Urantia Book readers and students.

Despite the social and communication difficulties resulting from the deep economic and security crisis in which the country is at present, five study groups remain active in Venezuela today. Marcelino sees this resilience of the fruits of his work and the active collaboration of so many sister and brother readers as genuine works of God, since in the last two years the situation has become truly complex in Venezuela.

These “works of God” were recently tested, as Marcelino decided to undertake the greatest challenge of his twenty-four years of loving service by visiting six different states from his native city of Mérida and moderating nineteen formal Urantia Book seminars in nine different cities over thirty-four days.

The task of the past decades has not been easy. Over his various years of ministry to his Venezuelan sisters and brothers, Marcelino had to overcome risk of attacks and health crises, intense physical demands and exhaustion, reservations, rejections, and deceptions of all kinds. It is truly exemplary what he has achieved and that he has continued this commendable service to the Father even with extremely limited financial resources.

But all this has been a reality, for what Marcelino has discovered as a devotee to the ministry of loving service, he sums up wisely in one sentence: “By submitting ourselves to the will of God, we learn that he makes possible what we considered impossible.”

Today, our Venezuelan family counts among its ranks dozens of people all over the country, largely thanks to that splendid sowing of seeds of love that Marcelino did, and which still has many more fruits to harvest in the future.

Today, more than ever, given the difficulty of their situation, our circles of readers and students of The Urantia Book in Venezuela need leaders like Marcelino; people of great dedication and commitment to the true ministry of service to the Father. Today, each of us can find in brothers like him inspiration to add our little grain of salt by furthering the teachings of The Urantia Book in the various communities in which we participate.

And perhaps, if possible, we can consider contributing to the upcoming fundraising campaign that Urantia Association International will carry out in 2019. The current financial challenge the readers in Venezuela face to maintain their existing study groups is truly great. And they need our help to see these groups grow and consolidate into a future Urantia Association of Venezuela, which is a dream of Marcelino’s and of many of our beloved readers in that beautiful sister nation of Latin America.