Joyful Suffering – Vanrenterghem Update March Update 2024

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, an glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory

1 Peter 1:6-8

Dear friends, family, and loved ones,

I again thank you for all of your love, prayers, and support. The LORD has been doing amazing things this month (like always), and there is a special thing I would like to share with y’all in this update. I am planning a special vision tour this July! But first, I felt like this would be a perfect time to share about what it is like training in California for missions.

Missions Training

Ever wondered what it would be like to be fully involved as a student in a missions training program? Well I decided to give you a taste of Yorba Linda, California missionary student life at MTS (Mission Training School), I hope you feel encouraged and challenged as I describe the insanity that is training to minister and plant churches in another culture, though it won’t add up to the craziness of the actual work itself!

Trent Douglass teaching a study through the book of Acts on a Wednesday

Classes – Every Wednesday is our main class time to study life skills, discuss our reading of a book on ministry (right now we are going through Calvary Chapel Distinctives right now), give a 15-minute practice sermon, and a class based on topics like Inductive Bible Study, the book of Acts, Hermeneutics/Homiletics, other religions, etc.

Service Hours – Besides a requirement to be serving in some sort of Sunday service ministry, church events, and a life group (I’m in the Spanish group, which is absolute fire), students serve 4 hours throughout the week. I have had the awesome pleasure of assisting Pastor Tim, one of the assistant pastors at CC Saving Grace, as well as helping with administration for the upcoming Calvary School of Missions (CSOM) this summer!

Other Classes – Besides the regular Wednesday classes, I go through a class every Monday on a book called On Being a Missionary in order to gain a better understanding of serving and living in a foreign culture. Additionally, on Tuesday students attend the church’s School of Discipleship and School of Ministry, which are always a huge blessing!

Rob Douglass teaching cultural training on being a missionary

I hope that gave you a good idea of what it is like training here. It is a great blessing and God is using this time as pressure-cooker sanctification. Quick and hard learning and spiritual growth, yet good quality discipleship.

My Little Flood

The LORD has been breaking me down a lot this month. But He also has shown me a lot about His grace, sovereignty, and love. When I was really struggling in the middle of February, the LORD showed me this awesome passage in Psalms 29:10-11: “The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, and the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.” God gave me peace and joy because, if He reigns when the whole earth was flooded, He still reigns in my little flood. Yet, God also put me in some awesome spots to minister and have great experiences.

I was asked to help at the youth Winter Camp, so I got to go with them up to Big Bear Lake February 16th-19th to be a leader for the guys and do a teaching. I was able to really build some great relationships with the guys!

Youth Winter Camp

I also went out with a group of dudes hiking recently on this beautiful mountain trail. It is a great blessing to spend time with brothers building each other up.

A hike with some brothers in the Santiago Mountains

The next weekend after that, I went with other MTS students to Calvary Chapel Downey for the LA Pastors and Leaders conference to setup a table and share about this summer’s CSOM. My brother Jonathan was there, which was a blessing to see him as well! Then we also had a baptism March 3rd. This was the most powerful and moving baptism I have ever been a part of! The Lord has been doing a great revival at the church here.


July Kid’s House Vision Tour

During February, Pastor Corey was able to go on a vision tour to look at a children’s home for kids rescue from sex and organ trafficking in Costa Rica. The report was very positive, and he was able to learn a lot of how to run one. We are now planning another vision tour with Corey, his wife, possibly one other person, and I in July to Costa Rica for us to receive God’s vision and how to run a kid’s home. As fruitful and positive this trip last month sounded, there is now more clarity on some of the practical risks and security issues with starting a ministry like this. The very real danger of being kidnapped, tortured, and possibly killed by the cartel has been a sobering thought, yet made me very determined. I know the LORD is going to do a work. Please be praying for this upcoming trip, there will be spiritual warfare. Finally, praise the LORD that the major pieces are pretty much in place to begin a home in Peru! We are now just waiting on the Lord and this trip.

Praise Reports

  • All the spiritual growth God is doing in me
  • Blessing of ministering to the youth at Winter Camp
  • Great evangelism encounters at Cal State Fullerton
  • The trials that build patience and character

Prayer Requests

  • Provision for the upcoming vision tour (budget not made yet)
  • Provision for a job until I can be sent out as a missionary full time
  • Children to be rescued from sex & organ trafficking in South America
  • My continued faithfulness, growth, and humbleness in training and ministry as I prepare for this work in South America.