From COMIBAM to the Nations
The Regional Consultation for Adopt-A-People Coordinators Lays the Foundation for Thousands of New Adoptions by Latin Churches
Peruvian medical workers in Pakistan sharing God's healing power with refugees, Guatemalans in India reaching out to Hindus with the good news of salvation in Christ, Argentines in Central Asia sharing the love of God with a Muslim unreached people group--these are powerful examples of a continent exploding for frontier missions. The particular unreached Muslim group referred to has been adopted by 10 churches in the city of Santa Fe, Argentina.
These congregations are filled with joy because of the miraculous answers to prayer they have already seen for the missionaries they have sent in partnership with the Latin American mission agency, PMI. The Lord is powerfully raising up an army of missionaries from Latin America reaching out to unreached groups around the world. These new missionaries are supported and prayed for by adopting churches throughout Latin America.
Stories like this filled the air with expectancy as delegates to the COMIBAM Adopt-A-People Consultation in San Salvador sought the Lord's help to channel the strength of Latin America's evangelical churches toward the world's remaining unreached peoples. Amid a growing sense of unity and purpose to complete Christ's Great Commission, participants met for three days of intense consultations. Their purpose was to plan concrete steps to strengthen and expand the Adopt- A-People programs of the COMIBAM offices in each country of Latin America so that adoption stories like the one above would be multiplied by the thousands throughout the Latin world.
Jointly sponsored by COMIBAM International and the Global Adopt-A- People Campaign, the consultation was called by Patricio Paredes, director of COMIBAM International's Adopt-A-People Department, to commission regional coordinators for their growing, continent-wide Adopt-A-People program.
COMIBAM --A Continent Explodes for Frontier Missions
COMIBAM (COngreso Misionera IBeroAMericana) began with a congress attended by 3000 Latin American leaders in October, 1987, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The focus of the Congress was to acknowledge that after years of receiving missionary input as a mission field, God was transforming Latin America into a mighty mission base from which thousands of Latin missionaries would be sent to the world's unreached peoples.
Subsequent to the Congress, COMIBAM International became a movement (COoperacion Misionera IBeroAMericana), and also an organization with offices in each country of the Latin world. COMIBAM is the official missions commission of CONELA (CONfraternidad de Evangelica de LatinoAmericana), which is made up of associations of evangelicals of each country in Latin America.
Over the last ten years through national and continental congresses, books, literature, and their beautiful magazine Ellos Y Nosotros, COMIBAM International has done a spectacular job stirring up and equipping the entire Latin American world to send missionaries to the world's unreached peoples.
Patricio Paredes, desiring to add more muscle to COMIBAM's AAP program, divided up the continent into eight regions, each having its own coordinator. This could effectively multiply his efforts eight times. These regional coordinators will add their time, expertise and resources to the national AAP programs.
The Regions and Their Coordinators Are:
- Southern Cone (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile)--Edgardo Surenian, Argentina.
- Brazil--Enoqui Farias
- Andinos (Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia)--Pedro Sifontes, Venezuela.
- Central America--Eliseo Pino, El Salvador.
- Caribbean--Jose Olin Grau, Puerto Rico.
- Mexico--Moises Lopez.
- North America--Armando Osorio.
- Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal)--No coordinator yet.
Their Duties Will Be:
- Communicating regularly with each national office in their region.
- Communicating regularly with Patricio Paredes in the COMIBAM AAP office.
- Sharing data with COMIBAM International, which will then be shared with Sepal (OC International in Brazil) and GAAPC in Manila.
- Visiting each country in their region annually.
- Helping with an AAP meeting in each country once a year.
- Writing articles on AAP for Ellos Y Nosotros, the quarterly magazine of COMIBAM International.
Moises Lopez, Mexico AAP Coordinator, will work closely with Patricio Paredes and the regional coordinators to ensure that there is Email communication between each COMIBAM national AAP program and Patricio's office, as well as between one another. These reports will also be shared with other AAP offices around the world as part of the GAAPC global network of AAP Campaigns.
From October 27 to 31 there will be a second COMIBAM Congress called COMIBAM '97 to celebrate the marvelous things that God has accomplished through Latin American missions and also to seek His plans for using Latin Americans to help finish the Great Commission.
David Ruiz, Executive Director of COMIBAM International, led a session at the San Salvador Consultation on the role of AAP at COMIBAM '97. David enthusiastically affirmed that AAP was a major component of COMIBAM's program to enable Latin churches to effectively participate in reaching the unreached peoples. It was decided that three hours of special seminars will be devoted to COMIBAM International's AAP program throughout Latin America.
Three hours the following day will be allotted for two joint presentations by COMIBAM and GAAPC to show:
1. In-depth, practical ways for a church to build a powerful AAP program. 2. Ways for denominations to effectively incorporate the COMIBAM International AAP Program into their missions program to increase their churches' cooperation with them in sending missionaries to the unreached peoples.
One of the things decided upon was that the Global AAP Campaign will produce an introductory AAP video for the Congress. The video will briefly portray the remaining task. It will then highlight the work of COMIBAM International and the COMIBAM Department of Adopte Un Pueblo in the many countries of Latin America. It would show Latin churches partnering with Latin mission agencies to send missionaries from Latin America to unreached people groups among Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists around the globe, using exciting field footage of Latin missionaries in action.
Counting Down to the Last Unreached People Group
Patricio Paredes led the delegates in a session on unreached peoples research. They reaffirmed the commitment made by the countries of Latin America at the COMIBAM AAP Consultation in October, 1992, in San Jose, Costa Rica, to reach out to 3000 unreached peoples, with each country taking responsibility for a proportionate number of unreached peoples.
In that regard, the delegates discussed the need to document the spectacular things Latin American missionaries are doing among unreached peoples, as well as, the need of getting a comprehensive, accurate, up-to-date look at the global remaining task in order to help Latin mission agencies plan future missionary outreach.
In this effort, Patricio Paredes of COMIBAM International, Ted Limpic of Sepal in Brazil, and David Bogosian, Research Director of the Global Adopt-A-People Campaign in Manila, will partner together with Latin American mission agencies. They will work together to secure data at frequent intervals from Latin American missionaries, who are working with the many unreached peoples of the Amazon Basin and Mexico as well as unreached peoples of Africa and Asia. This data will be extremely useful to COMIBAM and Latin American mission leaders, and it will also be added to the Global Adopt-A-People Database for use by mission agency leaders around the world.
"The Global Adopt-A-People Database, based on frequent updates from actual field missionaries, is a vital tool for mission leaders to know the up-to-the-minute status of the world's remaining unreached peoples. The Adopt-A-People Department of COMIBAM International is happy to work with the Global Adopt-A-People Campaign in this tremendous effort." Patricio Paredes, Director of COMIBAM International's Department of Adopt-A-People.
Linking Churches with Mission Agencies, God's Proven Model!
In the last thirty years there has been a phenomenal harvest of souls in Aftrica, Asia and Latin America through which over 200 million precious people have come to Christ. To be sure, this has happened because national churches, filled with love and zeal for Christ, have planted multiplied thousands of daughter churches.
BUT, the foundation for all of this church growth was laid by Western cross-cultural missionaries sent overseas by tens of thousands of local churches working in partnership with mission agencies. Some of these churches partnered with their own denominational agencies, such as the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Church, or the Division of Foreign Missions of the Assemblies of God, or the Church Missionary Society of the Anglican church. Others partnered with interdenominational agencies such as Wycliffe, TEAM, or SIM.
Phil Bogosian led a session on this foundational principle of the Global Adopt-A-People Campaign. He shared that God is raising up powerful mission agencies throughout Latin America. Some of these are newly formed interdenominational mission agencies like the fast growing, strategic agency, PMI, which has offices throughout Latin America. PMI has missionaries working among Muslim people groups in four fields and will soon be opening work among several new unreached Muslim groups.
Other agencies are large, experienced interdenominational agencies, such as SIM and Frontiers, which have offices directed by Latin Americans in several Latin countries.
Still others are newly formed denominational agencies. This is a very strategic new development in country after country in Latin America. Without question, one the most powerful things Western mission agencies can do to help finish the Great Commission of Christ is to make it a priority to assist their daughter denominations to set up national denominational mission agencies.
The Assemblies of God is taking a strategic and proactive role in this area through a forward thinking missionary in El Salvador, DeLonne Rance. DeLonne helped national leaders in El Salvador and two other countries establish national AG sending agencies in those countries. He is assisting eight other Latin American countries to move in this direction. Since the Assemblies is by far the largest denomination in Latin America, this could result in a flood of AG missionaries reaching out from there to unreached peoples around the world.
These are very exciting days. God is at work in a marvelous way to provide the effective mission agencies that are needed to send the gifted missionaries he is raising up throughout Latin America. Bogosian shared that the most productive way for churches to reach out to the unreached peoples is to do it through one of these agencies. He shared with the delegates the most effective ways to link up churches in their region with these growing new agencies.
Adopt-A-People Spiritual Warfare Resources to Encourage and Instruct Latin Churches
Two powerful and proven resources being jointly produced by COMIBAM International and the Global AAP Campaign are the AAP Global Prayer Digest and the Global Countdown 2000 video series.
The AAP Global Prayer Digest is a tool which allows COMIBAM national offices to share news of mission activities in each country, as well as, being a vehicle to share news and insights from Patricio Paredes in the Adopt-A-People Department of COMIBAM International. The AAP Global Prayer Digest is being produced in Argentina, Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and in North America for Hispanics, with more countries planning editions, according to Rigoberto Diguero of the Latin American Division of the USCWM and Global AAP Campaign, who is the Latin America editor.
Another resource, planned for future release, is the Global Countdown 2000 video series in Spanish. When completed it will highlight more and more Latin American missionaries and will always feature a message from COMIBAM International leaders. It will be distributed by Spanish House throughout Latin America, and be available through each COMIBAM national office.
The Lord by His Spirit has put together an extraordinary model of partnership between COMIBAM International and GAAPC as He transfers the resources of two hundred years of mission understanding to the young, fervent churches of Latin America, Africa and Asia. Federico Bertuzzi, who was in San Salvador for a national AAP Consultation, put it this way: "The cooperation between COMIBAM and the Global AAP Campaign to help link local churches of Latin America with mission agencies is a vital component in completing the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. We in COMIBAM International are pleased to partner with the GAAPC in this worldwide effort." Federico Bertuzzi, Secretary of COMIBAM International.
Join the Countdown to Finishing the Task
God is moving by His Spirit to greatly empower churches throughout Latin America to take the light of His dear Son to the unreached peoples in this great final advance against the kingdom of darkness. Don't be left out! Your church can play a crucial role in finishing the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ to reach all peoples, tribes, nations and tongues.
Let your church members experience new joy and purpose when they partner with the Holy Spirit in a new dimension of spiritual power as He leads your fellowship in dynamic spiritual warfare for the salvation of a Muslim, Hindu, Tribal or Buddhist unreached people group. To learn how your church can link up with the mission agency of your denomination or an interdenominational mission agency to adopt an unreached people group contact:
Patricio Paredes, Director COMIBAM International, Departamente de Adopte Un Pueblo APDO 8-3740 1000 San Jose COSTA RICA Phone: (506) 257-1731 Fax: (506) 221-0313 Email: [email protected]
Phil Bogosian is the director of the Global Adopt-A-People Campaign based in Manila, Philippines. GAAPC is a global network of Adopt-A- People Campaigns in countries throughout the world. The GAAPC is working cooperatively to begin campaigns in countries where none exist and to provide resources for those that do. For further information contact:
Philip S. Bogosian, Director Global AAP Campaign P.O. Box 12990, Ortigas Center 1659 Pasig, Metro Manila PHILIPPINES Phone (63-2) 531-1679 Fax (63-2) 531-0713 Email ,[email protected]