By: Scott Armstrong
In a few weeks I will have the privilege of presenting my annual report to the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC). My wife and I coordinate two ministries in the Mesoamerica Region of the Church of the Nazarene: Global Missions and Genesis. Global Missions seeks to discover, develop, and deploy missionaries from our 32 countries, while the mission of Genesis is all about urban mission: to make Christlike disciples in the cities of the region.
This year has been an interesting one for sure. How do you mobilize people in a global pandemic? How can we impact cities mostly through online methods?
Several things jumped out as I reflected on the past year and wrote the report:
1. God helped us get creative. The Cross-Cultural Orientation we have always offered as a first step in missions training went online with three virtual CCOs and 147 participants. Pre-pandemic, we had produced and printed six books of missions’ courses for use in local churches, but it never gained traction. After we made the material free online, we launched regional Zoom classes. A year later over 200 students have been equipped using this material. And that’s not even to mention…
2. Due primarily to the wildly successful Mission Without Limits, we actually mobilized more “sponsored” missionaries in a single year than we ever had before! During a pandemic! The numbers are staggering: 329 volunteer missionaries impacted our cities and countries, representing 9,273 days and 222,552 hours donated to Nazarene missions’ work.
3. While in 2020 and 2021 we have not been able to officially deploy any new missionaries through Genesis, our six missionaries ministering in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and Monterrey, Mexico have carried on in their church planting efforts. Daniel, Andrea, Diana, Elba, Teresa, and Oscar were sent in October 2019 and have persevered in the strangest and most trying two years imaginable. Every time I receive their monthly newsletters, I am astounded at how creative they have been and how God is growing his church through their efforts. I truly believe their ministry can serve as a shining example to future generations of church planters and ministers. Way to go, hermanos!
4. Our team has been amazing. Emily Armstrong and Sugey Barrón (as regional assistant) have led the way on many of the previously mentioned initiatives. In each of our five fields, a Global Missions Coordinator is voluntarily working long hours to find and equip missionaries. Enormous thanks go out to René Gutiérrez (Mexico), Jhoselyn Barrios (North Central), Chelsea Fry (Central), Marc Versil (Haiti), and Timmeon Spencer (Caribbean) for their tireless labors and positive attitudes. Every two weeks I have the privilege to meet with them and their assistants for an hour, and I am a better person for it.
There are plenty of other achievements and updates that can be found in our annual report. If you’d like to read the whole thing, download it here:
Thanks for your prayers and generous giving to our ministry in the past year. There truly are thousands of people who have their hand in any success God has allowed us to see in these crazy months.