Partners in Indigenous Missions
In the last 50 years the spread of the gospel has transformed Latin America from a mission field to a missions force.
Thousands of Quechuas, such as these, have become Christians in the Andes of Peru.
Dr. Bob Finley, founder of Christian Aid Mission, visited South America in 1977 and then met leaders of thriving evangelical churches. Though many of them were well able to reach their own communities, they appreciated help in caring for homeless children, educating the poor, and reaching unreached tribes.
Through the years Christian Aid has assisted these ministries in reaching out to poor and neglected tribes of the Amazon Basin, the Wichis in northern Argentina, the poor in Paraguay, the people living along Amazonian tributaries in Bolivia, and the jungle and mountain dwellers of Ecuador, Peru and Mexico. They have built and operated schools, taught literacy classes, supplied Bible literature, run soup kitchens, broadcast the gospel over the airwaves, provided eyeglasses and mobile aids for the handicapped, and trained and sent out their own workers.
A missionary leads an elderly man to Christ in a river community in Bolivia.
As they gained strength in the latter half of the twentieth century, many of the church groups in Latin America were persuaded to join the ranks of those sending missionaries abroad. They especially targeted Muslim countries.
The results were mostly negative. Their missionaries had the same difficulties learning the languages as gringos and were ill-prepared to engage in apologetics with Muslim theologians. Most returned thoroughly discouraged, determining not to have anything to do with missions ever again.
Then they began to hear about the new approach to missions advocated by Christian Aid. Instead of going to foreign fields at great expense, they could support effective native soul winners and church planters who already knew the culture and language. So today, while many countries in Latin America are still receiving help to minister to the poor and reach the unreached, Christians in Costa Rica, Brazil and Puerto Rico have awakened to this new opportunity. They now are giving sacrificially to advance the kingdom of God around the world by becoming partners in indigenous missions.