Indigenous Ministry Reaches Out to Hidden Tribes in Latin America
January 31, 2013
The lame walk, the blind see, the hungry eat, and captives are set free, as indigenous missionaries press through persecution and journey days across jagged terrains so the next unreached village will hear the gospel in Latin America.
“Many Wichi and Guaraní brothers have never heard the message of Christ,” one new believer told Francisco Mendez, an indigenous missionary ministering with Associated Ministries of Argentina. A village chief in the province of Salta, this man received Jesus and begged Mendez to bring the gospel to the 40 Wichi communities who had no witness for Christ among them. As a result, hundreds of indigenous people believed, even when one influential man tried to stop the preaching of the gospel. Mendez and his team prayed fervently for this man, and God answered immediately.
“God touched the heart of this man, and he received Jesus into his heart,” Mendez wrote to Christian Aid. “Now Ernesto has written new letters to the government asking that the evangelistic team and I not be stopped.”
Through perseverance amid great hardship, there have been healings and miracles that have raised people up out of wheelchairs, healed broken bones and turned idol worshippers into Christ worshippers.
“When I see the people receiving Christ and forsaking their idols, the miracles and healings that God is performing, I feel an enormous joy and I praise the Lord,” Mendez shared.
The passion of these indigenous missionaries is to shine the light of Christ into the hidden villages and among the unreached peoples of their homeland. In a recent missionary journey AMA reached a new people group, the Pilagas, in the Province of Formosa, in the area known as Las Lomitas. Missionaries visited 20 Pilagas indigenous communities and started a new house church in each one. The estimated population of the Pilagas is 7,000 to 8,000. Through prayer, missionaries break through the darkness. Among many pagan traditions, the Pilagas believe they are cursed by their parents and that for them salvation is impossible. Mendez is preaching 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” With that message, more than 700 Pilagas have expressed a desire to know Jesus as Savior.
AMA brings the hope of Christ to poverty-stricken children and rescues them from the streets of crime and delinquency. “Where we were not able to reach, God did,” reported one ministry worker. “Since Christ came into their hearts, these girls have changed their manners, behavior and character.”
Help this ministry by supporting a missionary for $50 per month. Many are trained and waiting for full-time support so they can devote their days to preaching and meeting the needs of the poorest of the poor.
One great need is fresh, clean water. Installing a faucet to a clean-water hookup costs $70. Unsanitary water conditions cause many life-threatening illnesses.
AMA also needs $210 to print 100 Bibles for their “Free Behind Bars” program. Reaching prisoners with the gospel is part of the mission of AMA, which regularly visits prisons in cities throughout Argentina. Results have been astounding. In fact, several prisons have begun to establish special “Christian wards” for those who have chosen to follow Christ, and one entire prison has been dedicated to Christian inmates.
You can help this ministry by providing funds for the production of gospel tracts and Bible training materials, basic needs for missionary families, church buildings and feeding programs for children.