As parts of the world grow increasingly resistant to the entry of North American or European missionaries, HCJB Global is training Latin missionaries in a movement now identified among the best practices of current missiology.
Through its “Corrientes” initiative, HCJB Global is building up Latin American professional missionaries before they go out with cross-cultural, bi-vocational, and other types of skills. The one-on-one training approach, with multiple experienced missionary mentors for each missionary candidate, is part of HCJB Global's new strategy.
"HCJB Global is becoming more nimble – able to move swiftly and efficiently to new areas of need – and more global, taking what has been learned in Latin America to the hard-to-reach places of the world," affirmed Wayne Pederson, HCJB Global President and CEO. "'Corrientes' is producing longer-term missionaries to largely Muslim cultures beyond Latin America in some of the least-reached areas of the world where Western missionaries are no longer as effective."
Founded in 2009, "Corrientes" has provided training for more than 30 Latin American missionaries. The name of the initiative literally means "currents," a symbol of the flowing of the Holy Spirit and the movement of God's people in response.
"Today's missionaries coming out of Latin America for the most part are professionals, but without much orientation in how to use their professional skills in evangelism and discipleship," said "Corrientes" Director Carlos Pinto. "They also tend to go out with a lot of passion, but with little orientation in cross-cultural skills and lacking knowledge about the country or the people group where they are headed."
"This can best be transitioned through multiple, extended mentor/apprentice relationships with one or more experienced missionaries who have already ministered in that part of the world," Pinto explained.
For about a three-month period, "Corrientes" mentors work with missionary candidates in spiritual formation, biblical studies, bi-vocational skills, cross-cultural relationships, and language acquisition. They specifically concentrate on preparing missionaries for change and cross-cultural differences, especially among Muslims.
Mentors also help in areas such as counseling in spiritual matters, teaching conversational English, analyzing the candidate's personality, conversing about character strengths and weaknesses, and giving tips on how to prevent problems amid stressful situations.
The "Corrientes" program, which would ordinarily cost participants thousands of dollars, is free through the generosity of donors. Those interested in learning more or to make a donation, can visit www.hcjb.org/projects/priority-projects/corrientes-currents.html.
Published: October 24, 2013