Latin America's Impact in the World
In a recent Jonah Initiative training in Argentina, 67 students attended our course on Ministry to Muslims. On the third day, our professor asked the question, “How many of you believe God has called you to minister to Muslims?” Over 25 hands went up! He thought they misunderstood the question or it was mistranslated. When asked again, the same number of hands went up! The Spirit is raising up evangelists and church planters from Latin America to reach Muslims.
Globalization and migration has significantly redefined the world in which we live. In like manner, these changes have redefined the historic strategies for world missions. As a result, our role as Western missionaries is continually being reassessed. One of the changes in missions is that individuals trained by missionaries are now training other believers. People who were on the receiving end of missions are now on the sending side of missions. Although many nations around the world are now sending missionaries to unreached peoples, the Latin American church has had a unique in-road into the Muslim world. Interestingly, as Latin American missionaries go to Muslim majority nations, Muslims are moving into Latin American countries. As a result, the Latin American church is awakening to the need to reach Muslims with the gospel—both in their own backyards and to the ends of the earth. Latinos have a unique in-road for ministry to Muslims for a variety of reasons:
Easier access to visas—especially among countries where U.S. missionaries cannot access visas;
Language acquisition—many Latins are bilingual, sometimes trilingual, and tend to learn languages quickly;
Cultural similarities—Latins tend to understand the group perspective of Muslim people.
We have witnessed the effectiveness of Latino missionaries ministering in countries such as Indonesia, a number of Middle Eastern nations, as well as North Africa. As God calls Latin people to go to Muslim majority nations as missionaries, Global Initiative will provide training for these evangelists and church planters for the Muslim world.
I recently had the privilege of conducting a training event in Honduras with missionary Jose Ardon. Jose is an experienced missionary from El Salvador who served for a number of years in Bulgaria and Central Asia. Jose is burdened to see fellow Latino men and women called, trained, and sent out to reach Muslim people around the world. Sixty-five people joined us for this training session where we provided an introduction to Islam, an overview of the impact of Islam in Honduras, basic theological issues to consider when ministering to Muslims, and practical steps for ministry among Muslim people. From the first day of our training, the Holy Spirit touched people’s lives. After Jose challenged the attendees to reach out to Muslims, a pastor came to the altar weeping and repented of ignoring the need to reach Muslims with the gospel. Later more than half of the people in attendance came to the altar, committing to the Lord to reach Muslims. Prophetic words were also given during our time of training!
The Spirit of the Lord is moving upon His church in Latin America and Latin missionaries have the passion and commitment to see many Muslims reached with the gospel and come into the Kingdom of God. Together we need to be praying consistently that God will continue to raise up missionaries to reach Muslims! Paul reminds us of the need for people to go and proclaim the gospel: For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:13-15)
Thank you for standing with us. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your commitment to intercede for both laborers and the lost! We press on because every Muslim must know the Truth about Jesus!