Crossing Boundaries with the Living God

by Juan Sarmiento

As the body of Christ, the church is charged to not only make the deeds of Christ visible but also to make the words of Christ audible. We are thus called to develop an evangelistic attitude that beckons us across boundaries and sends us in faith from one culture to another, from our own history to that of others with the glad news of God’s salvation.
     "Turn to the Living God, A Call to Evangelism in Jesus Christ’s Way," page 10

Recently I had the opportunity to spend a week at the Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cuba (an Outreach Foundation partner institution) for a time of discussions with Christian leaders from both countries on the subject of “Mission in Context.” We had plenty of opportunities for reflecting on the significant ways in which Christians are offering a compelling witness of Christ by engaging in the particular realities of our respective communities, finding commonalities among ourselves and discovering how encouraging and effective it can be for Christians in our countries to be in partnership with one another to share the good news.

I was pleased to learn that one of the required readings for our time there was the statement from which I quote above. "Turn to the Living God" has been very influential in the development of my life as a minister. Rev. Dr. Jeff Ritchie, who was my predecessor in both my role with the Presbyterian Mission Agency and The Outreach Foundation, was part of the original writing group for it 25 years ago. I am deeply grateful for having had the responsibility to oversee its re-publishing last year, and that it continues to be a source of inspiration to many even outside the United States. You can read the entire document HERE and/or write to me at to receive a printed copy at no cost to you. 

One of the many ways in which the glad news of God’s salvation is shared across boundaries in Cuba is what First Presbyterian Church of Havana is doing in ministry with people from Angola, Ghana and the D.R. Congo. Because of the multiple educational opportunities that the country offers, there is a significant population of international students and their families coming from a variety of places. By welcoming them into their life and mission they have drawn no less than 45 Africans in the last three years. More than 300 people now worship in this 116 year-old church, and it continues to grow with the able leadership of several graduates and students from the Matanzas Seminary. 

Follow this link to learn more about The Outreach Foundation's partnership with the Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary. Please pray for the Outreach group that will be leaving for Cuba this week.

Thank you so much for joining The Outreach Foundation in making “the deeds of Christ visible but also to make the words of Christ audible” alongside the global Church. I will be sharing more of how the church in this country is hearing and extending God’s call in one of my upcoming blog entries. 

Juan Sarmiento
Associate Director for Mission

The Outreach Foundation