The State of Missions in Latin America

Although many consider Latin America largely “reached,” the work of gospel-saturation and discipleship is critically far from complete.

“The Latin American church is like the sleeping giant that is awakening to plant gospel-centered churches all over Latin America, to reach the pockets of unreached within their own borders, and to send missionaries to the hardest places of the world.”

So says Daniel Mee, ABWE Colombia field team leader. His sentiments are echoed by Scott Russell, Executive Director for Latin America and the Caribbean:

“There’s a mentality in many churches in the United States that Latin America is ‘reached’ and we don’t need to send missionaries there anymore. But I’m telling you—we have 200 million people in Spanish-speaking South America, 200 million people in Brazil, and 200 million people in Central America and the Caribbean. We have not saturated the continent. We need to send laborers not only into the harvest fields of Latin American and the Caribbean, but into the world’s harvest fields, and Latin Americans can be part of that. So when we send laborers into the world’s harvest fields, we’re not just talking about sending North Americans; we’re talking about sending South Americans, Central Americans, and people from the Caribbean as well.”

Since ABWE entered Latin America in 1938, we’ve seen thousands come to Christ and multiple generations of self-replicating churches be planted. But now, national believers find themselves at a critical crossroads—a time to harvest fruit that is evangelistically ripe, a time to deliver theological training and develop national church leaders, and a time to mentor national churches in sending their own cross-cultural workers.