Much has been said about the potential of Latin American countries becoming a significant force, perhaps even the predominant sending region, in world missions. The rallying phrase "Mission Field to Mission Force" has been promoted and declared in one way or another in every missions conference I've attended for the last decade.
I would love to see this happen! I'm part of a small missions agency here in Mexico called FAM México. Because of Mexico's huge swaths of practically unevangelized areas, are focus is two-fold. We want to encourage and empower Mexican believers to go to the world. We also want to receive missionaries, because we urgently need all the help we can get.
Evangelical growth in Latin America has been well documented. A Catholic study of this phenomenon asked the question, "How long will Latin American be a Catholic continent?" Check out the report HERE. But although Latin America may have the potential to be a missionary sending force, it certainly hasn't happened yet (with the possible exception of Portuguese-speaking Brazil). Why?
Over the next several posts I'd like to explore what I believe are some of those reasons. I'd like to also propose some possible solutions. Maybe in the future, when another keynote speaker talks about the potential of Latin America to reach the world, I'll sit up and pay more attention, instead of roll my eyes. Certainly there are wonderful exceptions of Latin Americans who are already ministering in many places of the world. But given the huge growth in protestant evangelicalism in Latin America, the missionary endeavor from these countries is still, comparatively speaking, just a trickle.
Below, a picture of a big part of the solution...the multi-cultural student body of Río Grande Bible Institute.