Many people in OM Latin America are expressing their excitement about OM’s mission statement to ‘see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least-reached’. In team meetings a new passion is present and expressed by leaders and team members. Though some changes in how things are done will take time and effort, the stronger focus on mobilising the local church has already started to take effect.
In a first step, leaders and mobilisers from the different OM offices in Latin America were trained and equipped with established mobilisation material and strategies by the Mobilisation Department of OM USA and the Latin American Mobilisation Coordinator. With all the tools at their disposal the teams are now starting to implement new strategies in their respective countries to have the local church engage in the great commission, specifically to share the gospel with the least-reached.
The OM Andean Region Office, which administrates the work in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, has taken the need for the local church to engage in missions very seriously. In their office in Ecuador the team has held further meetings and developed an adapted strategy for their region to mobilise. The leaders are sharing their passion for mobilisation with the team and also their families.
The daughter of Leon Orellana, the Associate Field Leader for the Andean Region, has overheard her parents talk about the wider work of OM, the need for the gospel to be preached and specifically about OM’s Ship Ministry.
The passion of her parents must have been contagious, because at only five years of age, she says that one day she wants to join the OM ship Logos Hope. Though she may not be able to grasp the whole meaning and all the implications of doing missions, her love for the Lord is true and honest.
When her pre-school gave all their students the opportunity to present a topic, she immediately told her parents that she wanted to talk about MV Logos Hope. With the help of her parents and the OM office, she was able to set up an impressive booth, which included a banner, flyers, postcards, video presentations and world maps in many forms and sizes. Her teachers, fellow students, visitors and her family were impressed by her presentation.
The mobilisation effort of this little girl wasn’t on a big stage or in front of an audience that was immediately able to take action. But it showed a key part of what mobilisation is all about for the teams in Latin America. As Roberto Façanha, the leader of OM Latin America, shared in a meeting in Ecuador recently: “If we want to see those vibrant communities of Jesus followers, we should start with each one of us. It isn't taught, it's contagious.”
Passion for Jesus should be contagious, and so should be the way that OM workers live and serve together as a vibrant community of Jesus followers.
According to Roberto, this isn’t about having the exactly right teaching material or the right strategy. It is about having a deep passion for Jesus and for sharing His message of love and salvation. This leads to local churches engaging in missions and it leads to people, who had never heard the gospel before, coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. By being contagious.
Nathan Schmutz from Switzerland is married to Ruth from Guatemala and together they have been serving in Guatemala for 4 years. Nathan works in communications, focusing on taking pictures and writing articles about the work of OM in Latin America.