Glen Volkhardt reports on COICOM 2012…
I’m back and the dust is settling after a new adventure at COICOM 2012. It seems that every COICOM breaks a paradigm. Each time I participate I see something unexpected and new. I’ve been a part of these events since they began in 1992 as an informal meeting of Christians interested in use of the media in Latin America. The event moves to a new location every year. A few venues have repeated over the years, but this was the first time we had ever been in Honduras. What a welcome! The local committee had been preparing for the convention for two years, and you could really tell. COICOM 2012 in Numbers…
- Attendance at the public inauguration: 7,000+ (9,000 as reported in the leading paper, La Prensa)
- Registered attendees: 2,700
- Scholarships provided by various agencies of the Honduran government: 1,450
- Volunteers: 300
- Assigned police, medics and other public servants: 90
- Nations represented: 23
From La Prensa, the largest newspaper in Honduras, after COICOM 2012
“Bendición” is the Spanish word for blessing: The biggest paradigm shift was the investment of a government in scholarships for national pastors. 1,450 Honduran pastors, largely from rural areas, received a government scholarship to attend COICOM. The president of the country, the president of the national congress, the ministry of tourism and the mayors of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa all contributed toward the scholarships and addressed the inauguration.
The Iglesia Ebenezer hosted the inauguration of COICOM. Check out their photos of the event on the Ebenezer website. The sanctuary that seats 7,000 was something of a new paradigm itself. There are larger sanctuaries in Latin America–even in San Pedro Sula. But there are none nicer anywhere. The spirit of the opening meeting was one of celebration.
After that first night, the main course of COICOM got into full swing at San Pedro’s largest convention center the CCIC. Hundreds of hours of seminars and training courses got underway in three main areas–media, leadership and pastoral training. As of today (9/29) the CCIC website is still featuring COICOM 2012.
The Honduran people gave a warm welcome to international attendees. It seemed that everyone wanted a photo with everyone else! Much of the program came from elsewhere, but it was the local committee that made this event a blessing, and it was the Honduran “pueblo” that gave it spirit and warmth.