Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsCO:MISSIONED in South America - Building on a Legacy

CO:MISSIONED in South America – Building on a Legacy

By Johnmichael Poulin, Regional Coordinator for Africa & South America

South America is a diverse continent, its landscapes ranging from jungle to desert and everything in between. The people of South America are just as diverse, but they all have one thing in common — their need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The first BMA missionary to South America, Harold Morris, began serving in Brazil in 1951. Soon after, more missionaries arrived on the field, and after just three years, three state associations were formed, new churches were planted and numerous existing churches joined the newly organized Baptist Missionary Association of Brazil. Missions in South America exploded and soon spread to other South American countries.

We are still seeing the fruits of early missionaries’ labors today, and countries like Peru are sending out their own missionaries to other countries. There are a number of churches that have made the transition from being mission churches to self-sustaining, self-governing churches, and now many of those churches have missions of their own. Also, a number of individuals have been called into ministry and are going to new mission fields. What’s especially exciting is when we find out about new churches after they’ve been planted, which shows us that churches aren’t dependent on the U.S. or our funding, and they are truly self-sustaining.

While church planting in South America is thriving, there is still a need for more ministry-minded individuals to serve this continent. I would love to see BMA Missions have an American missionary in South America, and I encourage pastors to pray to that end and consider going on trips with us.

The dynamics of ministry in South America change drastically from country to country. We have missionaries working up and down the river on the border between Venezuela and Colombia where there are no churches. We also need more mentors and coaching relationships. In Bolivia, where we have established churches, the needs are at more of an administrative level. Uruguay is very secular and dry with only one BMA church, and Argentina only has one as well. My prayer for these two countries is to see us do something other than maintain just one church. It would be amazing to see God plant a church in both Uruguay and Argentina this year.

Pray for new leadership and for local churches to continue assuming the responsibility of sending out their own missionaries. We have no American missionaries in South America, but we have a need for them. The only place in Latin America where we have American missionaries is Mexico where we have Grady and Denise Johnson, Tommy and Sara Rose and Hannah McLelland faithfully serving. I urge you to consider your role in global missions — go with us. You aren’t going to be more mission-minded unless you go and see. Pray the same way we pray for our churches in the States, that God will continue to bless, raise up leaders and multiply.