This year a pandemic came abruptly and surprisingly; nobody imagined that we were going to be locked up in our homes for seven months (in some countries of our region it has been longer). Church buildings were closed, and the Church had to reinvent itself. In the Global Missions ministry, we were wondering how we could reach future missionaries in the midst of a global pandemic. Part of the answer became historic: holding a Cross-Cultural Orientation (CCO) virtually, a huge challenge due to the nature of the event, with its activities, practical group work, and more!
A Cross-Cultural Orientation is a space for youth and adults in our local churches to confirm their call to missions or find their place in the body of Christ, and sometimes within a specific ministry. The first virtual CCO of the Mesoamerican Region took place from October 23 to 25, 2020, and exceeded the expectations of the organizers.
The weekend proved to be a challenge and also a giant blessing as the event hosted 73 participants representing 11 countries and with simultaneous translation in three languages (Spanish, English, Haitian Creole). We had never before reached so many cultures and nations in a face-to-face CCO! Despite internet or power outages that occurred in the case of some participants, God manifested himself in and through technology. It was gratifying to see that the participants were very punctual and attentive to everything that was said during the development of the CCO.
After the event, the regional leaders began to receive testimonies from several of the participants:
“It was one of the best experiences to meet people with the same passion, and to know that this is for the work of God. It encourages me to continue preparing to carry out the mission of reaching the unreached. This definitely marked a before and after in my life.” – Axel Daniel Padilla Barrientos, El Salvador –
“The call is a process, despite the circumstances that we are going through and although we see the difficult road ahead. Let’s not lose focus. Let’s trust in what God is going to do.” -Leonel Cruz Zarate, Mexico –
“The CCO represented something important in my spiritual life. God spoke to me, opened my eyes and made my calling clearer. I have a call to be a youth pastor and will continue to minister. Maybe later I can be a missionary.” – Isaac De Jesús Rodríguez, Dominican Republic –
“My experience in the first virtual CCO has been the best I have experienced in ministry. God confirmed and spoke to my heart this weekend. With each workshop and teaching that I received, God was confirming what I should do. By faith, I know that wherever God sends me; His will shall be done. “ – Raquel Frutis Mojica, Mexico –
“I learned to prepare myself at all times for the call that God has towards my life. I have to serve with great love and dedication wherever I am.” – Victoria Natividad Trujillo, Mexico –
“In the CCO, God finds a way to make you aware of how you live your life day by day. It leads you to question whether you are being faithful to the voice of God or merely living a watered-down Christianity. The CCO made me reflect, and it opened my heart. It made me give myself to God above all things. “ – Karen Naomi Cabrera Cruz, Mexico –
During this time God touched lives, ministered to hearts and many participants confirmed their call to missions. Others discovered their abilities and are already asking how they can get involved in their local churches. A wonderful leadership team supported and accompanied the participants closely through the entire process. Can a pandemic stop the Church? Of course not!
Do you have a call to missions, or do you want more information? Contact your district’s Global Missions coordinator, visit the Facebook page: “Global Missions Mesoamerica”, or leave a comment on this site.