Developing South-South Mission Partnerships - January 2018 Update

“From Mission Field to Mission Force”

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One of the frequent features of Christianity in Africa, Asia and Latin America is enthusiasm for mission and evangelism. Through our “Developing South-South Mission Partnerships” project, The Outreach Foundation seeks to come alongside efforts that our partners are undertaking to bridge cultural differences with the purpose of sharing the Gospel in areas where there is less access to it.

Last July I visited with a Brazilian family dedicated to demonstrating the love of Christ in word and deed in a North African country. Having arrived in the country 16 years ago after 13 years of fruitful ministry in Jordan and Morocco, their mastery of the language and culture is exceptional. They are currently working in coordination with the small Christian community there to follow up with the growing number of people that have expressed an interest in learning more about the Christian message. They are also mentoring other missionaries arriving from Brazil, Guatemala and other countries. 

Their sending church, First Presbyterian Church of Sao José de Rio Preto, was organized 112 years ago with the direct involvement of Presbyterian missionaries from the United States. Today the church has not only planted eight other congregations but also maintains a robust focus on the sending and support of missionaries in a variety of other places around the world. The Outreach Foundation enjoys strong ties with this church.

The IV COMIBAM Congress held in Bogota, Colombia in August was another opportunity to see how the mission enthusiasm that has been building up in the churches of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world during the last three decades continues to deepen and expand. It had the participation of 1,850 mission leaders from 55 countries representing the mission movement in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula as well as people interested in developing partnerships with them. The program was designed around the account of the sending of the seventy in the 10th chapter of the gospel according to Luke and organized around the daily themes of “ask,” “go,” “express the Kingdom of God” and “return.” In summary, the five recommendations listed in the declaration that came out of the event are:
•    To promote friendship, greater dialogue, integration and cooperation with the churches in the mission fields and with other missionary movements in the world
•    To empower candidates for missions in language and culture learning and support missionaries in their devotional life in the field
•    To defend courageously the uniqueness of Christ in the face of pressures in “post-truth” societies, growing persecution, ideological challenges and religious pluralism
•    To express the Kingdom of God in all ethnicities, working humbly for justice and peace in all dimensions of integral (wholistic) mission. Words without action are empty, but action without words is mute. 
•    To promote environments where children, young people, women and men from diverse cultural and ethnic contexts of the region work in harmony and have opportunities to serve in the mission with innovation, trust and respect

I was reminded of the importance of promoting environments in which young people can participate in mission in November when I thought of a group of people mostly in their 20’s in Fraijanes, Costa Rica who are forming a mission organization called Shalom International Missions. It has been a true joy to consult with them as they seek to expand their work beyond Cuba and Nicaragua and coach some of them who are exploring their next steps in being equipped to serve beyond their country of origin.

As we join in support for the partners that are responding to God’s call, we reap the rewards of collaborating with God’s people going “from everywhere to everywhere.” Thank you for your prayerful support in these and many other impactful endeavors that are part of God’s exciting multidirectional mission.

Juan Sarmiento    
Associate Director for Mission

Read more about Developing South-South Mission Partnerships HERE.

The Outreach Foundation is seeking gifts totaling $10,000 to support our partners’ initiatives.

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