What do you do when your boss calls and tells you she wants you in Peru in 10 days for a seven day Summit with all the other missionaries working in Latin America, all paid for? You take a deep breath and say, “See ya in ten days!” It had been about 60 years since all the missionaries working in Latin America had gotten together, under the direction or our director, Dr. Delia Nuesch-Olver and with a generous grant from the Pacific North West Conference of the Free Methodist Church we were able to come together in Lima, Peru for 7 days of training, encouragement, fellowship and prayer. What a time we had! So that you can be in prayer for Latin America more specifically and see the ways God is moving I wanted to share a little bit of what we learned at that summit.
The goal of Free Methodist World Missions in Latin America is to fuel and sustain an apostolic movement to reach Latin America for Christ by:
-empowering and coaching national leaders to multiply disciples, groups, leaders, and churches
– catalyzing initiatives and partnerships to plant clusters of churches in strategic cities
– creating appropriate structures and sustainable systems to encourage and support the exponential growth of the Church
What a Vision and to think that we are a part of it! One of the interesting things that you will note in this statement is that it focus on the city. With over 84% of the Latin American population living in urban areas we have to go to where the people are which is in the cities. Guess where we are exploring for our next church plant? The city!
One of the first questions I asked and was asked by the other missionaries at this event was “what do you do?” or “what does your ministry/week look like?” As missionaries serving in Latin America it was amazing to see the different ways we all serve. Some do pastoral/leaders training, education and support, others work with International Childcare Ministries, some in relief work, medical work, church planting. We met missionaries who have been in the field for over 30 years and others as fresh as ourselves. But that question, “what do you do?” kept coming back at me. Dr. Delia asked us to be “contemplative practitioners”, not just taking in the information that we received at the summit but digesting it, analyzing our work, fine tuning it, refining it, making it the best it can be for the glory of God. So we have we came back to Costa Rica and strategized, making sure that our work here is in line with the overall vision for Latin America. So keep your eyes peeled for our next newsletter where we will try to clarify the answer to that question “what do you do?” in light of what we learned at the summit and the vision God placed in our hearts.