Pastor retires to pursue his passion

By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

Myron Vierra, left, and Russian Pastor Oleg in front of a church in Kislovodsk, Russia. (Provided photo/Myron Vierra)

Pastor Myron Vierra retired from 20 years of ministry at Living Hope Community Church in Wenatchee last October. But retirement was not really in his sights.

Instead, he jumped at an opportunity to pursue further ministry by joining a networking group called Accelerate, part of a larger organization named Christian Resource Ministries (CRM). It is a global network seeking the fulfillment of the Great Commission through self-replicating disciple making and transformational Gospel movements in all nations of the world, according to its website accelerateteams.org.

Vierra’s area of passion and expertise centers on Word Retreats, a two and a half day retreat that encourages Christian disciple making. Vierra came in contact with a Word Retreat 10 years ago when visiting a pastor friend in Alaska who was developing a leadership team for an upcoming retreat.

Fascinated by the concept, he took a group of four men from Living Hope to Alaska to attend the retreat. The following year, eight men from Alaska came to Wenatchee to help facilitate the first retreat in the Wenatchee Valley. The retreat was received enthusiastically and has multiplied yearly.

“What I saw in Alaska that grabbed my attention,” Vierra said, “was a group of men with a servant’s heart to reach out to other men, not just for a fun retreat, but for the purpose of friendship and helping them grow in what God was doing in their lives.”

Myron Vierra, in the middle of the top row, with a Word Retreat team that went to Lemon Creek Correctional Facilities in Juneau, Alaska. (Provided photo/Myron Vierra)

The retreat model works well. Many who attend retreat choose to become leaders for the next retreat. They meet regularly, attend 10 to 12 weeks of training, participate in a two-day testimony retreat in preparation, then put on the next retreat for a new group of attendees. This new retreat, in turn, develops a new group of leaders who put on another retreat. In this way it expands naturally.

When asked if attending a Word Retreat made men better fathers and husbands Vierra said, “We don’t actually focus on how to be better fathers and husbands. We focus on what God wants to do in individual lives. Often the guys who share their story talk about how getting serious about knowing God made them better husbands and fathers. If you follow Jesus with your whole heart it will affect your family and every other aspect of life in a positive way.”

This year there will be eight Word Retreats in the Wenatchee Valley, reaching out to people in all of Douglas and Chelan counties.

There are now retreats for women as well as men. They have even done one for teen boys in the Wenatchee Valley. Over 1,400 have attended Word Retreats over the past nine years.

“We have seen so many lives changed and so many hearts grow in their relationship with God,” Vierra said. “I just felt like we needed to get this out of the valley and on the road.”

This spring Vierra will travel to Oregon and to Kirkland to assist in expanding Word Retreats in those locations. Next year’s schedule will include trips to Montana to work on forming retreats there.

Based out of Wenatchee, Vierra’s main focus is the Pacific Northwest. But he is open to any place in the world where the door opens. He has facilitated three retreats in a limited access country in Asia. He traveled to Russia during the end of November to begin developing retreats there. Vierra recently returned from a trip to Alaska where he assisted in a successful retreat at a prison in Juneau.

Vierra has also been invited to take the Word Retreat to Cuba. Consequently, he is working toward doing a Spanish retreat in the valley. After training men from that retreat, he will take a retreat to Cuba with a target date in 2020.

“God is opening doors all over the world,” he said. “I really believe this is what I am supposed to do. It is how I want to finish my race.”

Vierra is currently raising support and setting up retreat dates. For more information about this ministry, contact him at myron.vierra@crmleaders.org.