By: Min. Timmeon Spencer, Global Missions Caribbean Field Coordinator
The Global Missions arm of the Church of the Nazarene is the ministry responsible for “Discovering, Developing and Deploying Missionaries” throughout our Fields and Regions. In the Caribbean, it has been the frontline ministry over the years in organizing mission events and developing and forming missionaries throughout our Field. However, due to leadership transitions and other factors, Global Missions saw very little momentum from the period 2018-2020.
Appointed in late 2020, new Global Missions Coordinator, Timmeon Spencer, faced immediate challenges posed by the ongoing Covid-19 virus and the restrictions and limitations in place across various countries. How could future missionaries be reached in the midst of a global pandemic? Part of the answer became historic: holding our first-ever virtual Cross-Cultural Orientation (CCO) in the Caribbean Field.
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 on the Caribbean Field took place from April 16 to 18, 2021, and exceeded the expectations of the organizers.
This weekend proved to be a challenge and also a giant blessing as the event hosted 28 participants representing 7 countries, including a partnering sister from El Salvador. Throughout our prior years of doing this physically, we had never before reached in one event so many cultures and nations like we did in this virtual CCO! Despite the internet and technical challenges that occurred in the case of some participants, God manifested himself and moved throughout all the workshops and activities of the entire three days. It was such a blessing to see that the participants were very attentive to, engaged with and greatly impacted by everything that was said and done during the event. One of the highlights from our time together was the closing session and celebration service, where a powerful missional message, challenging the participants “To Go” was delivered, and more than half of the participants responded by saying “Yes, Send Me!”
After this event, some amazing testimonies were received from several of the participants. Some of these include:
“I registered by mistake for this CCO and was not intending to even attend. But, as we would have now gone through these three days and as I reflect upon it, I sense strongly that God is nudging me to do more in missions. I know I would have had a calling to missions years ago, and I did what I was supposed to do back then, but I feel that God is saying to me, that he is not finished with me and so I am willing and open to go where God would lead me.” -Chantal Fields, Barbados-
“The most impactful thing about this CCO was being able to learn about the different ways in which you could assist on the mission field and the various types and lengths of mission trips. I definitely know that I am on the right path in terms of purpose and I am looking forward to God’s guidance as he continues to clarify that call one step at a time.” -Arci Cal, Belize-
“This CCO has really been an impact to me; just being able to understand culture was so amazing. It was a great encouragement to be more productive in ministry and also a reminder of being called to the mission field.” -Kimberly Rodriguez, Trinidad & Tobago-
“The most impactful thing for me during the CCO was the amount of information that I received on missions and its many opportunities. God really did speak to me during those three days, and now I am encouraged to Get Up, Go and utilize my gifts and talents for the Kingdom of God.” -Reuel Marville-Mathurin, Barbados-
In closing, we can say that our time together in the CCO was impactful. God touched lives, and many participants either confirmed their call to missions or discovered their abilities and are already asking how they can get involved in their local churches. One of the plans that Global Missions has upcoming on the various Districts to keep these participants engaged is our “Missions Without Limits Glocal Initiative – Thinking Global, Acting Local.” More information about this will be shared soon.
So, can a pandemic stop the Church? Definitely not!
Do you have a call to missions, or do you want more information? Contact our Field Global Missions Coordinator: email@example.com, visit our Facebook page: “Caribbean Global Missions”, or leave a comment on this site.