Venezuela: from Desperation to Joy

Article Date: 29/03/2010 09:07:27

Friday January 29, 2010 will go down as a red letter day in the history of CLC Venezuela. A brand new distribution warehouse was commissioned and dedicated to the Lord so that ever increasing volumes of Bibles and Christian books can be sent around the country. However, not so long ago, the prospects were not nearly so bright …

Group photo CLC Venezuela
Sign photo CLC Venezuela
CLC Venezuela Warehouse
Friday January 29, 2010 will go down as a red letter day in the history of CLC Venezuela.  A brand new distribution warehouse was commissioned and dedicated to the Lord so that ever increasing volumes of Bibles and Christian books can be sent around the country.  However, not so long ago, the prospects were not nearly so bright...

In 2003 the state of CLC in Venezuela was desperate.  The national economy was floundering and our CLC team was not best placed to deal with it.  Debts to suppliers quickly mounted up and it looked as though the whole operation would go under.  In response to this situation a team was sent from the International Office to evaluate the situation.  It was agreed that a rescue plan would be put into operation which would involve many changes.

First, a call went out to the CLC family around the world for significant emergency funds.  The response was generous and uplifting – a clear demonstration of fellowship.   This enabled some immediate debts to be settled, and a plan for re-payment to all our suppliers was put in place.  It is appropriate to record our gratitude to the publishers for their full cooperation.

Second, painful choices had to be made regarding team members as the need to reduce overheads was paramount.  We had to say farewell to a number of team members that had worked many years for CLC.

Thirdly, a decision was made to re-locate our headquarters and distribution warehouse from Barquisimeto to Valencia – a major city and more centrally placed, as well as being close to a major port, thus facilitating the importation of books. Such decisions are always very emotional – Barquisimeto is the location of our very first bookshop in Venezuela which initially went under the name “Pan de Vida”, meaning “Bread of Life”.  Although the bookshop remains, the old headquarters, with all its memories, had to be sold.

And so the “new” CLC Venezuela was born.  Under the guidance of Americas Regional Director, Gerardo Scalante, the local team was directed by Gamaliel Padilla and Pablo Sanchez.  The work and commitment of these men, with the full cooperation of their families, cannot be understated.  When the headquarters was relocated to Valencia in 2004, homes were moved, friends were left behind, and new schools were found – all with the purpose of seeing this essential literature ministry reborn.  

From the very beginning of this process, a decision was made.  One tenth of any profit made by CLC Venezuela would be given away as a thanksgiving offering to the Lord.  Of course, this is an easy decision to make when there are only losses to record!  However, the Lord has blessed this decision and, praise God, there is now an increasing amount to give away each year.     

As the work was stabilised, the team began to turn its thoughts to expansion.  In 2008 a new bookshop was opened in Merida and then, last year, a further shop was opened in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz.  

At the same time plans were made to move into a purpose built distribution warehouse and a contract was signed to buy a property in Valencia that was still to be constructed.  Progress at times seemed painfully slow and the keys were only handed over 10 days before the official opening.  A booksellers convention was planned to coincide with the opening and a week of frenetic activity took place as floors were laid, false ceilings installed and paint applied.  

2010 is the year in which CLC celebrates 40 years of working in Venezuela and what better way to start such an anniversary year than to inaugurate a brand new headquarters / distribution warehouse.  The CLC Venezuela team was joined by more than 40 independent booksellers from across the country, 8 publishers from the US plus representatives from CLC Colombia and the CLC International Office as they gave thanks to the Lord for this wonderful provision.  

In 1980 a small book was written chronicling the first 10 years of CLC Venezuela. It was titled “Hasta Aqui … Dios” meaning “Until this point … God”.  As we reach another milestone we can echo those sentiments.  The Lord has led us through many trials but today we see a thriving work.  We say that we are “blessed to be a blessing”, and that is certainly true of CLC Venezuela.

– Neil Wardrope, CLC International Director
Keywords: Venezuela, warehouse, bookshops
Add your own comment


You must be logged in to comment.

Other articles

Latest articles related to this country

Update from CLC UK's Interim Director
CLC UK's Wholesale Department is relocating soon. Read more »
Article Date: 05/06/2015 14:12:10 |
CLC European Leaders' Conference, May 2015
David Almack, CLC USA's National Director writes in his blog... "I was excited to visit Poland this past week to spend time with my CLC European colleagues. They had asked me to come as their devotional speaker for their biennial leaders’ conference. People from seventeen nations gathered in Krakow for a week of fellowship, training and spiritual development. What a great time we had..." Read more »
Article Date: 03/06/2015 11:56:51 |
CLC UK Warehouse move announcement
A TRADE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CLC UK on Monday March 30th, 2015 Read more »
Article Date: 01/04/2015 15:47:44 |
Getting the Word around the World
It took 25 hours to get there, but it was worth it. This week I travelled to South Korea for the first time to participate in a Global Publishing Conference being hosted by our parent organization, CLC International. It was a wonderful time to connect with my colleagues from India, Korea, the Philippines, Pakistan, Myanmar and Colombia. Read more »
Article Date: 27/05/2014 15:42:29 |
An Unusual Christmas Celebration
In December 2013, Christopher Robert, the Director of CLC India (ELS India) was invited to lead a Christmas celebration service in their local branch of a national bank. He writes: Read more »
Article Date: 17/01/2014 12:16:42 |
Find CLC in your country. Position your mouse over your world region below.
Current language: