Nicaragua (MNN) — There are a lot of misconceptions along the lines of international missions.
"Missions is not something that just North Americans or Westerners do. This is something that the whole church is to be involved in, and it's something that we have to catch a vision of," said Sam Vinton, executive director of Grace Ministries International.
This is one of the points Vinton stressed at a GMI mission's conference recently held in San Jose, Costa Rica. Held on February 18-20, 100-120 people attended each evening service, and around 200 attended the Sunday service. The conference encouraged attendees to volunteer for ministry in Nicaragua.
For years, GMI has had a thriving ministry in Costa Rica with two missionary couples, Chuck and Joy Befus and Jeremy and Andrea Clark, serving there in a variety of ministries. In the past four or five years, they have begun to expand their ministry to Nicaragua through short-term mission trips. Now, the couples and GMI want to begin full-time ministry there.
Vinton said many Christians can have a tendency to get "stuck."
"Most of us are happy to be doing church work where we are. Once you get the church going, it's easy just to be satisfied and say 'we have a lot of work right here' and forget that there are people without the Gospel elsewhere," he said.
As GMI encourages these Latin Americans to move out of their comfort zones, he said they have an advantage.
"Culturally, of course, and linguistically, it makes it very easy for them to be able to go there" and share the Gospel, Vinton said.
However, this season of growth will not be without challenges. Because Costa Rica is one of the more economically stable Latin American countries, many individuals and families are hesitant to go to other countries where the education and economy is not as good.
Pray for these Christians to trust God to provide for their needs.
As with every new ministry, GMI needs funds to launch in Nicaragua. Consider supporting them financially. Click here to donate today.