Latin America (MNN) — Christ-followers in Latin America are being equipped for the Great Commission.
HCJB Global President Wayne Pederson explains the goal of their Corrientes program.
“We’re putting the emphasis on mentoring and mobilizing people from Latin America that can be more effective, frankly, than Americans,” says Pederson. “[In] many parts of the world, Americans are not loved and welcomed. But Latinos can go in easily and serve Christ effectively.”
The name Corrientes, or “Currents”, reflects the flowing of the Holy Spirit and the movement of God’s people in response to the Spirit’s calling. Since its launch in 2009, Corrientes has worked with more than 20 Latino missionaries who are now serving the Lord in Asia, Africa, South America, Europe and the Middle East.
In the past, says Pederson, 70% of all Latin American missionaries returned from the field in failure because they weren’t properly prepared. Corrientes seeks to reverse the trend.
“We’re investing in young lives in Latin America that could serve Christ in other parts of the world for years and decades to come,” explains Pederson. “We are fortunate enough to get Bible school, Bible college graduates that have the basics, and we’re able to spend this year in intensive mentorship.”
For a year, students in the Corrientes program are mentored by leaders in five areas: spiritual formation, Biblical studies, bi-vocational, cross-cultural relationships, and language acquisition.
Each mentor helps students prepare for cross-cultural changes and challenges.
“There’s great passion and excitement in the Latin America church but there’s been a lack of preparation and readiness,” Pederson says. “So, we’re seeking to give them the skills they need to survive in a different culture as they present the Gospel.”
Corrientes training goes beyond equipping Latin American believers. The end goal is placement in a culture desperately needing the Gospel.
“Some will stay in Latin America, but they’ll go into the jungles or work with some of the tribes,” explains Pederson. “We’ve had people go into places like Croatia, Egypt, some of the Stan countries. These people are going into some of the least-reached places of the world, the hard-to-reach places.
“They’re going in as doctors, nurses, teachers, radio personnel, leadership training…a variety of disciplines that they’re bringing with them but with the added dimension of the mentoring they’re getting in the Corrientes program.”
Many Latin American believers are part of the program and eager to begin service around the world. A program like this would normally cost thousands of dollars, but thanks to donors, it’s free for students. Can you help it continue? Click here.
“I have a lot of experience as a health professional, but little knowledge about working within rural communities in my own country,” says a Corrientes student. “This practical and intercultural experience complemented what I have been learning and dialoguing about with my mentors at the Corrientes program.
“I have learned that when I go to the community my main task, in order to be well received and effective, is to be a learner, not a teacher, and to understand the world vision of the people I want to serve. Then, later, I can share the Gospel.”