This is… Latin American Missions
What is Latin America Missions you may ask? Check out the video below to find out!
"Into our hands, the Gospel is given..."
Latin American Missions started in 1958 after a small group of Christian men traveled to Panama seeking ways to spread the Gospel of Christ. At that time there were no full-time Gospel preachers in Panama. However, the Canal Zone was bustling with Americans and Panamanians, a perfect place for the Church to work.
The first church building was purchased in the area of Cristobal and the church met there for many years– having separate services in English and Spanish. Soon evangelistic campaigns began to take place throughout Panama and many people responding to the Message. The Church was truly growing!
As the work progressed, our eyes continued to be opened. We noticed how the people where both spiritually and physically hungry, suffering from spiritual and physical sickness. People where desperately seeking a spiritual home, while they didn’t even have a suitable earthly home. Our hearts went out to them and we decided to put Gospel into practice.
This is when we began focusing on treating the body and the soul. We need to be like Jesus, the Great Physician, and have compassion on His people. Therefore, our medical campaigns became a demonstration of Christian love put into action.
As campaigns expanded, so did the Lord’s vision for our work. The Brethren soon became interested in developing a program where young men could be trained how to teach the Gospel to lost parts of the world (at that time Panama). Thus, the Pan American Bible Institute was born. In no time, men from all over Panama came to the school wanting to be trained in the scriptures.
What began as an effort to reach the lost in Panama, soon spread over a small bridge in the community of Sixaola, to the fields of Costa Rica, then into Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Young men were reaping God’s harvest throughout Central America! It was then we heard the cries from Peru, and later Colombia and Argentina.
Men and their families came from countries all over begging to learn the story of Christ and share it with others. We have always felt a need to continue our efforts to assist these young preachers after they finished school with small salaries, Bibles, song books, tracts, teaching materials and, in some locations, buildings. This required a large amount of funding and we had to turned to the churches in the United States for help. It was during these years we learned that we could be a voices for our Latin American brothers and sisters in the states, while they continue to be God’s voice in Latin America.
Through the years, we have experienced much growth and many changes.
- from war zone to peace time in Nicaragua and El Salvador
- from dictatorship to democracy in Panama.
- church buildings and houses built
- wells dug
- the Bible School of the Americas expanded from one small classroom to four campuses
- the Children of the Americas brought many, many children to the Children’s Home where they have grown and matured
- additional workers have been added to the Latin American Missions staff.
- from no full-time preachers in Panama to more than 80
- maturing from young, untrained men to fine Gospel preachers
- children learning God’s Word from Christian parents and grandparents
- those who were lost, are now saved
- there is a greater hope for eternal salvation for everyone in Latin America.
The years have also brought changes in all who are involved in the work. We have grown spiritually. We have seen the shortness of life. We have felt the sense of urgency of the Gospel. We have had opportunities to study the Bible and bring someone to Christ. We have built life-long relationships with brothers and sisters from all over the United States and Latin America. We have made wonderful memories from challenging campaigns. We have witnessed hunger, sickness, and poverty. We have learned to pray fervently. We have felt heartaches when someone we love and have taught chose not to obey. We have experienced sadness when leaving friends and “family” behind, knowing we may not see them again until we arrive to our Heavenly Home. We learned there is always more to do. We have realized that we can make a difference.
Our hearts have been changed from what they once were. A gift was placed in our hands and it changed our hearts and lives, as well as the hearts and lives of those we have met, and those we may never meet.