Category: Global Partnership

Training Pastors and Leaders in Cuba


After 10 years of ministry, it is gratifying to hear the following phrases:
“Sembradores has given me helpful tools for my ministry.”
“After Sembradores, my ministry has become stronger.”
“Sembradores encourages me to continue on in ministry.”
These are phrases that you hear from the lips of pastors and leaders all throughout Cuba.

Sembradores is training that has provided Cuban pastors and leaders with tools and strategies based on the experiences of years of church planting work, now with fruit in the mission field. At each meeting, failures and successes of both the speakers and the students are shared, and these nourish the participants with the spirit and desire to continue the work. It doesn’t matter where they work or the church they come from, the vision of expanding the Kingdom of God is what unites us. Church planting is the means given by God and the method used by Sembradores to saturate the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today, after years of work, you hear testimonies from pastors who have seen their ministries grow to be fruitful and successful, and they pass the word on that Sembradores’ training is effective. A lot of them have multiplied into sister churches and leaders, who in turn have continued to reproduce. After blessing more than 1,500 pastors in 36 denominations in Cuba and seeing the result of more than 800 new congregations started and the birth of new prayer groups that have put Sembradores methods into practice, it encourages and inspires us to continue forward in our work for the Lord, which is never done in vain.

We are motivated to train the many who feel called by God to the nations and that wait for us, Sembradores, to train them. In our missionary work, we provide leadership tools, tools for marriages and the strengthening of people’s spiritual lives, tools for the personal and ministerial life of the leader, as well as providing means for each ministry to strengthen its gifts and to reach and serve churches and society.

Today, Sembradores rejoices in respect, credibility, and trust within the Cuban church, which has been reached in all these years of work with United World Mission and American churches, as well as churches and collaborators in other countries that pray and wait for Cuba to give of its people for the missionary work and fulfilment of the Great Commission. It is encouraging to hear each pastor full of gratefulness to the Lord for the existence of Sembradores’ ministry in Cuba.

By: Otoniel Martinez, Serving in Cuba

Who’s In Charge Here?

The plan was to travel with a medical team to Senegal and serve 2 villages by providing free doctor’s consultations and free medicine to people who were too remote and too poor to seek medical help in the city.

The morning of the team’s departure from Charlotte, we got word that the government would not allow any medicines to be brought into Senegal.  We all had to quickly re-pack our suitcases and remove all the Tylenol, aspirin, Neosporin, etc. that we had intended to use in the free clinics.

Upon arriving in Senegal, we were told that the government would not allow us to do a medical clinic in the villages.  We had 2 doctors on this team and 3 nurses.  Why would God allow this to happen?  The only thing to do was pray.  As our team sat there in a circle, Dr. Joe was not discouraged.  He said, “Obviously the Lord has other plans for us.”  We prayed for God to show us what He wanted us to do.

After that prayer time, our Senegalese partners came to us saying they had received permission to take our medical team to 2 prisons and serve the prisoners and guards.  So we were able to treat them, pray for them, and share God’s love with them.

We did go to our adopted village, but instead of offering the medical care, we visited every family in each hut and prayed for them individually according to their specific need.  There was not one person who refused prayer.  God’s plan is always the best plan.

By: Cheryl Toombs, Former Missionary to Senegal, recently retired from Home Office Staff.

DR Congo: What in the World is Partnership?

Today “partnership” is an overly used term meaning everything and anything, but for UWM it means advancing national leaders, churches, organizations, and movements by bringing together necessary components to see something “audacious” happen. I like the word “audacious” because it’s literary means, showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.”

One bold risk was the establishment of a new effort to transform a generation who suffered genocide, government corruption, and unfathomable atrocities. In the early 2000s Dr. David Kaswera told his wife, Kaswera, “God’s telling me to move home”. Puzzled Kaswera replied, “but we are home.” Dr. David Kasali was president of Nairobi Evangelical Seminary by Extension in Kenya, but David being Congolese responded, “No, home to Congo.”

Now you have to understand at that time the war in Congo was not over and the government didn’t have control of the country. More than Five Million people were murdered within five years as roving militia terrorized the people, robbing, killing, raping, and exploiting people in ways that were indescribable to the world.

By being audacious, trusting God, and bringing together like-minded churches, people, and organizations Congo Initiative emerged as light to this beleaguered nation. Transforming a new generation so they can transform their nation is the goal so through education in several practicums, student community service, and heart transformation a new transformed generation of people is entering every stratum of society, and change is taking place.

This all takes bringing those of like mind together, or “partnership.”

Years ago we found this message scrawled on the wall of one dorm. I think it says it all, “ils n’avaient pas d’avenir mais ils ont reussi. il n’y a pas d’accident” translated; They had no future but they succeeded. This was no accident!”

By: Mark Szymanski, Director of Strategic Partnerships Africa, Latin World, Brazil & The United States

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More Than I Expected or Imagined: Serving Thai Believer’s Vision


Protestant missionaries have been working in Thailand for almost 188 years, and yet this nation, known as the most Buddhist country in the world, still has less than 1% evangelical Christian.  The remaining Thai population is made up of 93% Buddhists and about 6% Muslim.  So why has there been such slow progress in seeing Thais receive the Gospel?  I began to think that maybe we missionaries have not been as helpful as we thought we were.  After studying how Christian movements in the past have accelerated, I was convinced that reaching the city and seeing churches established was the most effective way to reach a nation.

After serving in a campus ministry organization in Thailand for 14 years, I changed mission organizations in 2005 and joined UWM.  During this transition time, I was encouraged by my director to do an informal survey to see what Thai leaders thought about what kind of work missionaries should be doing in Thailand.  After so little progress, I thought this would be helpful to see what Thai’s thought about the how ministry was being done and the missionaries’ role.  I talked with several leaders, but one Thai leader, who was the president of a Thai seminary, told me something that changed the trajectory of how I approach doing ministry.  He said, “in the past missionaries would come to me and ask, ‘Do you have any seminary students you could send me to help me start my church, or my denomination or ministry organization?’  So, we would send Thais to the help the missionary accomplish their vision.”  He said, “this was okay in the past, but now we have Thai leaders who have a vision and are equipped to start churches and ministries on their own. Now, we need the missionaries to come alongside us Thais, to help us accomplish the vision God has given us for our nation.”

At that point, the organization that I was working with had started two very weak churches, one in Bangkok and the other in the Northeast of Thailand. Not only was it propped up financially by us missionaries, there were too many missionaries in both churches and this inhibited the Thais ability to step up and lead.  So when this Thai leader said this, it made sense, and I’ve never gone back to trying to get Thais to help me accomplish my vision.  It’s their nation, and they know their people better than me. Therefore, they are more likely to see Thai people come to Christ.  At that point the Thai leader invited me into what was called, the Thailand National Plan.  This was a plan to see churches started all over the nation.

Over the past 11 years, I’ve been able to come alongside Thai leaders on the local, regional and national level to help them accomplish their vision to reach their nation.  This has been much more fruitful and rewarding in seeing churches started.  Locally, I am partnering with Thai business leaders to establish a church, and just this month we moved into a new facility that was not your traditional way of building a facility.  The business leaders partnered with another businessman who has soccer sport complexes throughout the city, so when he was planning to start a new business in our area of the city, we invested in the business and built our facility within the sport complex.  A creative and more economical way of getting a more permanent facility.   The thing about joining with a national to help them accomplish their vision of planting a church is that, if I have to leave at anytime, the ministry will continue because it was the Thais vision from the beginning.  I see missionaries struggling to turn over the churches they’ve planned or the ministries they have started, and many times the ministry dies because it was never owned by the Thais.

Regionally, our team has come alongside churches and organizations to provide discipleship and leadership training.  Offering this kind of training to many churches has been exciting and the local pastors welcome and appreciate the opportunity to partner with us.  On the national level, as God opened the door for me to serve through the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand and on a national planning committee thinking and planning for strategic initiatives on the national level.   Over the past 11 years, I have been able to serve denominational leaders and to bring resources, training and ideas to the table help enhance and expand the vision and plans of national leaders working together to reach the entire nation.

One recent example of working with Thai church planters is that I have been able to join with a church planter training team who trained over 250 pastors and leaders in four regions throughout the nations.  These pastors set a goal to start 150 new churches over the following year.  Last year when we followed up on these pastors 134 churches had been started.  Through helping the Thais accomplish their vision God has done more than I expected or imagined.

By: Gregg Nicholson, Serving in Thailand

Esteem Them Very Highly in Love

Partnership is a word that would very well sum up our (almost) 5 years in Budapest.  Soon after we landed in December of 2011, we began to attend a church called Agóra that had been planted the year before.  The two pastors who planted it, Trey Shaw (IMB) and Hamar Dávid, asked me (Ben) to join them as the 3rd leader in July of 2012.  Since then, I have served in a variety of roles depending on the needs of the church.  Most recently, and perhaps the best fit so far, has been the Steward of the church and Manager of its space, a community center called the Forum.

agora

In these years we have interacted with many Hungarians, and several of them have become very dear to us.  This probably resonates with many of you, connecting with nationals in your own context.  One of these Hungarians is a young woman called Kata.  We met Kata about two years ago when soon after visiting the church, she began to sing on the worship team.  She and a few of the other worship team members were invited to our home for supper, hospitality being a big part of our ministry.  Our firstborn hit it off with her right away, something that hadn’t yet happened between him and a stranger!  She was warm and friendly that evening and every other time we interacted with her.

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Last March, we heard that she had quit her job and was looking for work.  I was beginning to wind down my activities at Agóra and the Forum in preparation of our summer return to the USA.  I had a very long to-do list that seemed impossible to complete at any level.  I approached Kata about assisting me for the last 6 weeks we had.  We were also looking for a new babysitter, and she agreed to watch the boys for a few mornings each week in addition to helping me.  To say that she was a life-saver would be an understatement.  She helped me accomplish 10x more than I would have alone, and allowed Megan to have an occasional break that every Mom needs.  We grew closer to her, and were able to pray for her a few times.

In conversation with Trey, one of the pastors, we learned that she had been discussing with him her questions on some deep, theological issues.  I was able to share with him something Kata had recently told me, “I love Agóra, I love my boss, and it is YOU!”  Agóra is a place for healing in Christ and a big part of that is being a safe space for questions.  Hungarians are highly intellectual and so group discussion has always been a strong part of our DNA.  Kata felt safe enough to share her concerns, to ask her questions, and she wasn’t mocked or shamed as she likely would have been elsewhere in Hungarian society.

1 Thessalonians 5:11-13 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.  But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.  Live in peace with one another,”

This is what we did for Kata.  It didn’t seem like much, simply thanking her often for her help, and letting her know how valuable she was to us and to the church.  It’s not just Kata, though.  From our pastor, Dávid, to the other members of the worship team, to the leaders in the church, they all labor diligently.  It is our joy and privilege to get to know these people, to love on them, to feed them on occasion, and to esteem them VERY highly in love.  That is what we should all do for our partners, because many times their own society does not.

By: Ben Naylor, Serving in Hungary

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Exchanging Gifts and Practicing Hospitality: a Recipe for Partnership

shewanThere are two key moments in my life that have transformed the way I understand partnership in global missions. The first moment was 10 years ago when I was a student attending Urbana, Intervarsity’s missions conference. Pastor Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel challenged all 22,000 of us in attendance when he compared the global Church to the global body of Christ. He helped me see that the African Church is a crucial part of the body, as is the North American Church. We can’t be the full body of Christ without exchanging our gifts and working together to build up the whole body.

This was an invitation for me to be in relationship with my African brothers and sisters as equal partners, which required a greater depth of humility and vulnerability on my part – to approach missions as a learner and recipient of gifts offered by the African Church. When I started living and serving in different African countries, I began to realize what some of those gifts are: a love of prayer and worship, deep surrender and faith, courage to practice both lament and hope.

jessicablog

Fast forward from 2006 to 2016. I am now serving as a United World Mission missionary with a Congolese-led partner ministry, Congo Initiative. Through our Christian university and other leadership initiatives, we are investing in a new generation of envisioned leaders who are building a flourishing Congolese society. It is here that I’ve been invited to work out what a gift exchange between different “body parts” looks like.

graduates

For the last three years, I’ve experienced a deep welcome into the lives of many people, both from Congo Initiative and UWM, and this has transformed my understanding of partnership a second time. I’ve learned that the practice of hospitality is essential to the creation of healthy partner relationships.

In Congo, hospitality has been significant for healing the wounds left by old missions paradigms that involved physical separation between missionaries who lived on mission compounds and local Christians who weren’t allowed to enter their homes. Just the very act of accepting an invitation to dinner in the home of a Congolese pastor and receiving my Congolese colleagues to share a meal at my house speaks volumes. It communicates that we are all members of one body with valuable lives to offer one another. It still strikes me that when I say thank you to someone here for hosting me, his or her response is often, “Thank you for accepting my invitation.”

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And just as hospitality between UWM staff and Congolese staff brings us closer to healing from old wounds on an individual level, Congo Initiative’s commitment to welcome American church partners to come to see and join what God is doing here in Congo helps bring reconciliation to the Global Church. These church partners come bearing gifts of time, resources, teaching and research expertise, friendship and prayer to our organization when they visit us. But the paradigm of hospitality reminds us that our African partners are not only receivers. As Jean Vanier says: “Welcome is one of the signs that a community is alive. To invite other to live with us is a sign that we aren’t afraid, that we have a treasure of truth and of peace to share.”

My current role is focused on building partnerships locally and internationally for Congo Initiative, which involves communicating with and hosting people and teams from across the African continent, Europe and North America. It is a privilege to be a part of welcoming my brothers and sisters from around the world to come receive some of the same gifts I’ve received over the years from the African Church. I’m also aware of the generosity required by my Congolese leaders here in Congo both to give and receive. When Congo Initiative receives visitors, our leaders here allow them (and permanent international staff like me) to not only learn about their vision and culture, but through our gifts and contributions, to shape and influence it, too. They show me more of our hospitable God who not only created a beautiful world, but invited his creatures to be active members and participants in cultivating his creation.

The common value of partnership is the reason that UWM and Congo Initiative have decided to work together for the development of leaders committed to building a God’s kingdom in Congo. As you’ve already read, we have partners around the world who visit, pray and support us. If you would like to be a prayer partner with us, you may sign up for updates here: https://congoinitiative.org/receive-updates/.

By: Jessica Shewan, Serving in DR Congo

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Sustainable Indigenous Initiatives

I have known Pastor Jean Claude Nsana since 1995.  Pastor Nsana has trained hundreds of Christian leaders in his role as the Director of the Bible and Missionary Institute (BMI) of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).  As President of the Evangelical Baptist Church Association, he also guides church planting efforts across the entire country.

Over the years, Pastor Nsana has studied approaches that advance the gospel in Congo.  During a recent visit, he shared with me that the biggest hindrance to the advance of the gospel in the Republic of Congo is the harmful dependency created when national Christian leaders are subsidized by organizations from outside of the country.  To deal with this problem, Pastor Nsana believes that Christian leaders in Africa need to be bi-vocational.  He models this value.

As a civil servant, he has a salary from the government to meet his needs.  This frees up the church association that he serves to use its resources to plant churches.  Pastor Nsana propagates the bi-vocational approach at the BMI.  Each class of 40 or more students goes through the curriculum in 2 years meeting on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons.  Each of the students have a job to earn a living.  They do the work of the Lord in their spare time.

New students often come telling of how God has called them to become a pastor believing that pastor Nsana follows the typical model of finding scholarships from outside Congo for the students.   He tells them that if God has called them, then God will provide them with a job to pay for their minimal school fees and books.  This helps him find candidates that are serious about their calling.  Over the next 2 years, Pastor Nsana has decided to not start another BMI class.  He has decided to take early retirement to free up time to coach the BMI graduates in their church planting activities in order to see 200 churches planted over that period of time.

North Americans that seek to work alongside of African national leaders like Pastor Nsana, need to understand what starts church planting movements and what stops them.  They need to have something to offer besides outside funding.  The best practitioners help national leaders use locally available resources to deal with the challenges that they face in the effort to advance the Kingdom of God in Africa.


Diane and I presently live in Senegal where we coordinate the Professionals for Senegal (PFS) initiative, to train and deploy North Americans to function at this level.  PFS wants to be part of the African Digital Renaissance.  Our associates offer basic IT classes, participate in professional exchanges, teach English or complete the 3 to 6 month “Frontier Internship” to build relationships that result in sustainable indigenous initiatives in Africa.

By: Paul, Serving in Senegal 

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Reaching into the Darkness

“Sylvia” sits on the edge of a hotel room bed. Numb. Her most recent client, moments out the door on his way to whatever comes next. She needs to clean up before the next one arrives, but just can’t move. Her phone continues buzzing every few minutes with clients responding to ads on public websites offering her “services”. Hundreds of calls all day. At night, even more.

Sylvia is one of an uncountable number trapped in a cycle that leaves her prey to both buyers and managers better known as “pimps”. She’s fearful of authorities, and only a shadow of the young girl she was months earlier. Once in “the life” she’s not expected to last 7 years due to disease and a “workplace homicide rate” 51 times higher than the next most dangerous occupation, working in a liquor store.

lof-title-n-tag-green-2At the Life of Freedom Center in the city of Miami, it’s our job to provide Sylvia with a way out, though most like her can’t imagine an exit other than death. They’re held by emotional, psychological and even chemical bonds too hard for them to break. It takes an average of 7 attempts to leave the life behind and not return. This is due to emotional and psychological trauma, arrest records, little or no education, inability to land a job or rent an apartment and countless other barriers.

Victims like Sylvia start down the path to trafficking for a variety of reasons. Often as minors (under 18) they’ve drawn in by a “Romeo Pimp” convincing a young heart and mind that they are in love. More often than not, though, youth are in love with the idea of being in love, and desperate for a first romance or some simple attention, making perfect targets for predators.

Others may see it as an easy way to make ends meet. Fueled by a society that increasingly considers sex and those providing it to be commodities, a girl may cover college bills by dancing at a strip club. Here in Miami, one particular club advertises “Tuition Tuesdays” to local colleges, even picking girls up by bus right from campus and delivering them to clubs that become recruiting grounds for buyers and traffickers alike.

Not all towns relate to having strip clubs, and most are shocked to learn that sex trafficking is present in every community across the country. The “red light district” is no longer off Main Street. It’s accessible from any smartphone or laptop, making purchasing sex as fast as a pizza, and at times, even more prevalent. Yet the real horror lies in the statistics of those being consumed:

  • The average age of those being drawn into sex trafficking is between 12 and 14 years old.
  • Half of all sex trafficking victims are children (under 18).
  • In the US alone an estimated 100,000 – 300,000 children fall victims to sex trafficking every year.

These numbers continue to grow as our country’s hunger for sex is fueled by the internet, popular media, and an increasingly seared national conscience. Appetites with no boundaries seek satisfaction in ways considered unthinkable to previous generations. Yet in all this darkness, there is hope. There is a future for those currently being sacrificed in the name of selfish, unbridled lusts.

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A few years ago, Claudia and I were introduced to the immense need closer to home. A trafficking epidemic in our communities, schools and with millions of at risk children  throughout the country due to a crisis of broken families. In 2014 we joined the Life of Freedom Center in Miami, with the vision of “reducing the presence, influence and results of sex trafficking”.  The LoF Center’s education and equipping programs train volunteers to do the heavy lifting in their own neighborhoods.

We provide churches, sharingovelove_logo_printbusinesses, student groups and alternative break teams with tools to meet the needs of those at risk or already affected by trafficking in their community. The “Sharing 1 Love” campaign has been adopted by churches in Miami and visiting groups from around the country, enabling them to re-create much of our program and become beacons of hope to girls like Sylvia.

For those who want to go deeper, the mentor program trains and prepares women for something I refer to as “dirty discipleship”. Girls coming out of trafficking know only two types of relationship: the abused and the abuser, making healthy relationship nearly impossible. Mentors are trained to understand the effects of prolonged, repetitive trauma, since survivors have essentially experienced rape 20 times or more a day for months or even years on end, resulting in catastrophic damage to the workings of their mind and entire being. Mentors begin with an understanding that only the Creator and Sustainer of our souls can bring the profound healing needed, and then walk alongside survivors as they discover, fail, and re-discover what healthy relationships can look like.

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Mentors also reach into the darkness with a simple candle of hope by actually responding to the very same advertisements that solicitors use. With training, women learn where to find ads, recognize patterns, call girls up to offer alternatives, and record responses allowing us to track their phone numbers though they are moved from city to city. That means if one team reaches a particular girl, the next team to contact her, even if she’s hundreds of miles away, will know how to approach her on the next call.

So, we come back to “Sylvia”. Sitting in the dark on the side of her bed.

She picks up her phone for what seems like the millionth time, and forces out a seductive “Hello”.

She expects the all too familiar opening lines. But then she hears something she’s never heard before. A kind voice says: “Hi, is there anything you need? Can I pray for you…”

It’s God reaching into the darkness to rescue one of His lost children.

By: Kevin Abegg, Serving in Miami, FL

The Life of Freedom Center, located in Miami Florida is a partner ministry with United World Mission.

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Training & Caring for Latin Missionaries

For much of the twentieth century, Western countries in North America and Europe were by far the primary senders of those taking the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Pioneer missionaries left home and culture, sailing the ocean for months, giving up many personal comforts, in order to bring the Good News of salvation through Christ to those who hadn’t yet heard.  Facing many challenges such as finances and sickness, shocking numbers of these cross-cultural workers died on the soil of those they went to serve.

Missionaries are still traversing the globe, with many of the same challenges, and certainly with the same determination, to see all peoples worship Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  However, ever larger numbers of the cross-cultural workers of today are coming from the Global South, or Majority World, the very lands that the pioneer missionaries set out originally to evangelize.  In the twenty-first century, missions is from everywhere to everywhere.

Marcela teaching national translators

We have the privilege to be working alongside a team of Costa Ricans with FEDEMEC (the Costa Rican Evangelical Missions Federation) to help train and care for Latin missionaries who are all over the globe.

Costa Ricans – like thousands of other Latin Americans – are impacting the world through church planting, Bible translation, medical care, help for those caught in human trafficking, ministry to children and refugees, and countless other ways. They work with Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, animists and atheists. They learn multiple languages, eat a variety of foods, and ride in the most unusual vehicles. They are mature believers who teach and mentor us, even as we mentor and teach them.

FEDEMEC has been sending out missionaries for over 30 years under fully Latin leadership.  We serve FEDEMEC at their invitation.  Our primary role with the Latin Missions Movement involves helping to train Costa Ricans before they go to the field, and caring for them once they reach their country of service.

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The fascinating training niche that God has given me (Paul) to fill is teaching how to live, serve, lead and communicate in another culture, complete with tools to prevent and manage conflict.  I do this through both ESEPA Seminary and FEDEMEC.

Particularly I enjoy equipping our Latin fellow workers with “Cultural Empathy” to understand the ‘other’ culture – both the host culture where they serve, and their teammates who are most often from multiple continents. “Be prepared,” I tell them smiling, “We Gringos and Europeans can be hard to work with.”

Just today I received feedback from a student who is preparing to go out to an unreached people group, and has already had to work with Westerners.  “I confess that I always saw Westerners as “heartless” and selfish people but now I understand that it is not that they intentionally hurt other people but simply that their thinking is totally different from our culture.”  Yes!!  This is the kind of open-minded breakthrough we look for, a sign that a worker is likely ready to serve in a multicultural team.

Beginning in 2002 we assisted FEDEMEC in developing their candidate training program, which is now directed by a Costa Rican.  Over the years of training we came to know and love so many of the workers that we fell very naturally into a role of caring for them.  Now we form part of the FEDEMEC Member Care team.  We maintain regular contact with our share of the missionaries, and we not only check on how they are doing, but we also try to share general news from home, like Costa Rican soccer standings or weather and volcano updates.  Our goal is to develop a relationship of love and trust.  We build on our own experiences as missionaries as we help our workers to deal with team difficulties, raise third culture kids, develop healthy marriages, and learn to be resilient while living with the day to day stresses of another culture.

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When the missionaries return for Home Ministry Assignment, we help with the logistics involved in getting acclimated during the transition.  Once they feel settled, we debrief them about their experiences during the last term.  And we try to incorporate fun things into their lives such as outings and meals together.  We laugh together, cry together and pray together.

The training relates directly to our follow up careNicolas and Naty were having difficulties getting to know, let alone work with, their colleagues who were mostly North Americans, Europeans and other Westerners.  We were excited to see them become more hopeful when we were able to coach them on ways to socialize, that their co-workers might be more likely to recognize and accept.

We feel a deep sense of partnership working side by side with these co-workers in the Gospel. While we missionaries are all equal, we are not the same.  Latins have shown some definite advantages in their cross-cultural service:  making relationships more quickly, being less likely to bog down in doctrinal issues, more flexible in accepting changing roles and goals.

Carlos y Deinis (2)[1]

On the downside, finances have been a continual thorn in the side of the Latin missions movement.  Because of the difficulty of raising financial support, FEDEMEC is offering intensive fundraising training in their upcoming candidate school.

Is this the end of pioneer missionaries from the Western world?  Absolutely NOT!  Until the last people group has received the good news of Christ, there will continue to be a need for more pioneers, from any church anywhere, who is willing to hear God’s call to send out workers into the harvest – and we can continue to join hands with believers from all continents to see the task through to the end.   Matt 24:14

MaugerBy: Paul and Nancy Mauger, Serving in Costa Rica

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