A Growing Latin Movement
In 1974 the Perspectives course began to expand among American Christian university students. The effect of this has been like like a hydrogen bomb whose explosion starts a chain reaction that keeps growing and expanding.
Today, two decades later, this phenomenon is being repeated, but in a different cultural setting. The setting is the Hispanic Church in the United States, and particularly in Southern California where there are Hispanics from all cultural backgrounds. They are becoming a dynamic and powerful force with great potential as a missions force.
Nevertheless, in the field of missions, the Hispanic Church has suffered from what I have termed the "Slamming Syndrome." In other words, missionary plans and strategies are developed here in the United States and then exported (shipped) to Latin America while the local Hispanic church in the U.S is bypassed, essentially having a door slammed in its face. In return, the Church in Latin America, with few exceptions, comes to the Anglo-American Church for advice and logistic and financial support, perpetuating the cycle of slamming the door.
It seems that this circle is being perpetuated to the extent that the Hispanic Church has adopted a passive attitute, remaining on the side of the missionary track. However, God is a master in creating and orchestrating circumstances that will encourage His people to fulfill His redemptive purposes. Thus, God allowed for a young Latin American lady to take the Perspectives course in English. She was deeply moved by the content of the course, compelled to take this tool of the Spirit to the Hispanic Church.
The results of that effort have been wonderful. In 1992 the Perspectives course in Spanish was taught in three different locations in Los Angeles with more than five hundred participants attending. Housewives, students, white and blue collar workers, etc., were challenged with the biblical, historical, and strategic bases for missions. The chain reaction has been started, and it will not stop. So far during 1993 we have conducted five Perspectives courses, and we firmly believe that this movement which has been started at the grass roots level will keep expanding and will produce an awakening among the Hispanic Church towards the accomplishing of the Great Commission. It is our dream that the Perspectives course in Spanish may touch every strategic level of the Church so that it may produce a wave of intercessory prayer as well as a systematic financial commitment to cross-cultural missions, and above all, that our Hispanic youth may once again hear the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send?" and they shall respond, "-Here I am Lord, send me!" (Is. 6:8 ).
Recently we have witnessed many positive developments in Latin America concerning unreached peoples and the Perspectives course. As a result of the signing of the "Declaracion de San Jose" (The San Jose Declaration), - celebrated in October of 1992, in San Jose, Costa Rica, the "Adopt a People Table" was developed based on the allocation of 3,000 unreached peoples to be adopted among each of the 25 Latin American countries. The allocation was based on the number of evangelical Christians in each of the Latin American countries.
Guatemala, for instance, was assigned 111 people groups to be adopted. CONEMM, the National Evangelical Commission for Missions extended us an invitation to share and implement among Guatemalans the Perspectives course. The three days we spent in that country were full of new experiences and encouragement to our team as we observed the deep level of commitment. In October of 1993 we started the Guatemalan Perspectives course with 40 students, and we are confident that it will help to raise their missionary awareness and unite the Church for the fulfilling of the Great Commission.
This fall, we started an intensive course in northwest, Mexico, in the city of Ensenada, Baja California with 64 students - 17 of whom are pastors.
We also have plans to extend the Perspectives course to areas in the U.S. with a high percentage of Hispanics - such as Texas, Chicago, New York, Florida, etc.
From February 19 to 27 of 1994 we will be teaching an intensive Perspectives course in Spanish at the U.S. Center for World Missions in Pasadena. Our goal is to train leaders so that they may start the Perspectives course in their respective cities or countries.
Let us pray that the Perspectives movement that began so humbly two decades ago will continue to ignite new vision and passion for the unreached peoples throughout the Latin world as the chain reaction continues to grow. May this vision of reaching the unreached continue to spread to many more ethnic communities around the world. The vision of the Perspectives Movement is not just for Anglos and Hispanics but for every tribe, tongue, people, and nation so that God will be glorified and His name known among all the peoples of the earth.
For more information on
the intensive course in 1994,
a Hispanic Perspectives class in your area
please, write to LAD/U.S.C.W.M
1605 Elizabeth St., Pasadena, Ca. 91104. U.S.A . att/ R. Diguero or call (818) 398-2215
Rigoberto Diguero is a staff member with the Latin American Division of the US Center for World Mission in Pasadena California
In the May - June 1993 issue of Mission Frontiers, we made two mistakes in our invitation to join the Adopt-A-People movement article on page 34 ("Which is more important?"). The first is easy to correct.
For the beautiful photo of the young Gujar mother and child we are indebted to "Frontiers" - one of over 100 mission agencies participating in the Adopt-A- People Campaign. As an agency, Frontiers focuses exclusively on reaching Muslim people groups.
Now, for our other correction . . . let's see how we explain this one!
As we prepared this article for Mission Frontiers, we had been told by a reliable source within Frontiers that the Gujars had already been adopted by five different churches - and we listed them as such. But in reality, those churches were only considering the Gujars for adoption.
The missionary leading the Frontiers team to the Gujars quickly called to let us know that they weren't yet adopted. He didn't want churches to get the idea that this group was "all taken care of." So we were going to print a correction this time stating that the Gujars weren't yet adopted but . . .then the missionary called back. He reported that the Gujars have now been adopted by three churches. Really! We rejoice that the Gujars will now be covered in loving prayer by these three churches and will soon be receiving the gospel! And we rejoice that Adopt-A- People is working!
Even so, we want to remind you that it will be good if many churches adopt the same group (three may not be enough) and also that there are many unreached peoples who have not yet been adopted by even one church.
Please pray with us that the day will quickly come when all 11,000 unreached people groups have been adopted. Pray that missionary teams will soon be resident in each of these groups. And pray that we will have "A church for every people by the year 2000!" - if not sooner!!!
If you'd like more information about adopting the Gujars, contact Bill Peters, Adopt-A-People Coordinator for Frontiers at (602) 834-1500. Or write Frontiers at 325 N Stapley Dr, Mesa AZ 85203.
If you'd like basic information about how to adopt and a list of the mission agencies that your church can adopt, call Jerome Hannaman at the Center's Adopt- A-People Campaign Office. Phone (626) 398-2200. Or write: Adopt-A-People Campaign Office, 1605 Elizabeth St, Pasadena CA 91104.