Fresh News from the Center
The following are a few highlights of this past COMIBAM ‘97 meeting held in Acapulco.
- More than 2000 missionaries, pastors and mission agency/board members attended.
- Two primary goals of the gathering were to assess the last ten years of missions in Latin America and to see the movement move forward into the 21st Century.
- Assessment revealed that Latin America has gone from a few mission sending structures to over 400 in the past ten years, with over 4,000 cross-cultural missionaries serving on the field and 40% of these serving in Latin American countries.
- Most Latin countries now have a national structure serving their missions movement.
- Brazil represents about half of Latin American mission activity with increasing numbers serving outside Brazil. The number of those working within Brazil among indigenous peoples has not grown. More than half of their 237 tribes are without any Scripture or missionary presence.
- There is an increased awareness of and concern for unreached peoples, with a strong desire to know more about the Adopt-A-People strategy.
- Emphasis was placed on the great need for long-term missionary care.
- Only 51% of Latin Missionaries stay on the field more than three years.
- Rodolfo “Rudy” Giron was honored as the retiring COMIBAM President (and prayed over as he and his family pursue mission work in Russia), while Brazilian, Bertil Ekstrom, was appointed as new president.
- COMIBAM committees were given more autonomy and responsibilities in their development and work.
IN ADDITION TO THESE HIGHLIGHTS:
- The USCWM’s Latin American Division Director, Rigoberto Diguero, who coordinates the production and distribution of Guia Mundial de Oracion (Global Prayer Digest in Spanish), was appointed International Director of Intercession.
- The Global AAP Campaign sold all 200 copies of the Global Countdown 2000 videos in Spanish—in one hour!
New Tools for Mobilizers
We recently created an attractive fold-out brochure highlighting the various aspects of the USCWM’s purpose and ministry, as well as a whole side (11x17) dedicated to our mobilization/education tools and curricula.
We’re also preparing to simultaneously release, early next year, a four-color version of our Vision for the Nations brochure, and a new two-sided bulletin insert (for the same curriculum). The bulletin insert will provide a bit of extra help for those who are desiring, praying and working to see members of their church develop an interest in taking VFN.
Both of these tools will be listed in the March/April 1998 edition of Mission Frontiers (featuring the latest WCL Resource Catalog). Please wait and order at that time as we are not set up to take orders at this time. Thanks!
Armed and Dangerous!
The following testimonial provides a glimpse into the synergy that exists between Perspectives (a 15-week college-level course) and Vision for the Nations (a video-based 13-week Sunday School course):
I am a Perspectives graduate (Jan. ‘96 class in Pasadena). Since returning to our church I have run Vision for the Nations eight times. Out of this, we have raised up coordinator/teachers to run this course in our Life Groups and satellite churches. We are regularly praying for unreached peoples in our Sunday worship services and various Life Groups have begun to adopt unreached peoples... in partnership with mission agencies...
Central Ohio Mission Coalition News
USCWM Central Ohio Rep., Dave Vandeveer reports from Columbus, Ohio:
We had our last Perspectives class last night and it was awesome! The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement... I had a chance to give my testimony and talk about the Central Ohio Missions Coalition (we gave everyone a complimentary one year membership). Then we gave every student a free copy of the Mission Mobilizer’s Handbook.
I walked everyone through the Handbook and everyone was amazed at all the resources that are available... AND, that all this valuable information was compiled into one easy-to-use book. I concluded by challenging everyone to complete the COMC’s Challenge Series with their small groups within the next year. The Challenge Series is comprised of three video sets: The World View Video Library (USCWM), Destination 2000 (Sjogren/ACMC) and Vision for the Nations (USCWM). We viewed part of the World View Video Library sample video and you could just see the Spirit gripping people’s hearts!
As we were concluding the course, a student gave a touching testimonial on what this course has meant to her and what she was going to do about it. She said the course has changed the direction of her life, and we all knew that she was not alone in that.
****Afterwards no one wanted to leave! Many of the students hung out for more than an hour. I lent out many videos (the perimeter of the room was filled with free materials and display tables) and we had several people sign-up to get involved in one of the COMC’s committees.