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Venditti3_INSTE_cropDrs. Nick and Leona Venditti were honored at the 2017 Open Bible National Convention for completion of 35 years of outstanding leadership as INSTE celebrated its 35th anniversary. INSTE was launched in 1982 by Dr. Leona Janzen (later Venditti). Serving as Academic Dean at Open Bible College, Leona, who had previously served as a missionary to Trinidad, wanted to return to missions. With that thought in mind, she met with the International Ministries Director at that time, Paul Canfield, and asked him,

“What is the greatest need in missions today?”

Paul’s response was immediate. “The greatest need is for good discipleship training. We know how to win people, but we don’t do a good job discipling them. Further, we need leadership training for pastors. Many have never received proper theological training.”

Nick and Leona, circa 1987.

Nick and Leona, circa 1987.

Leona was soon appointed as a missionary to Spain to develop a discipleship/leadership training program. Although she thought she would be able to use as a foundation materials that had already been written, none were available so she began the process of writing and developing the program.

A few years later Leona met Nick Venditti in Spain on a church trip to a convention. The two were married on December 12, 1987, and became co-laborers, developing and expanding the program.

Under the Vendittis’ leadership and the dedication of several other tenacious leaders God has raised up, INSTE has been translated into 15 languages and is operating in 40 countries of the world including the United States. Global Missions Director Vince McCarty said, “INSTE has transformed, discipled, and prepared over 10,000 men and women for ministry and leadership. We thank Drs. Nick and Leona for their labor of love and sacrifice that will impact God’s people for generations to come.”

The Vendittis will enjoy a much-deserved sabbatical upon the assumption of the presidency of Inste Global Bible College by Pastor Fermin Garcia at the beginning of the year.

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