Tag Archives: Latin America

Church of God in Honduras Sets Sights on Societal Transformation

Church of God in Honduras engaging their culture.

By Carl Stagner

Much of the Church of God in Honduras is in the midst of a season of growth and health. In such seasons, it can be tempting to get comfortable and enjoy the ride. But instead of complacency, the Church of God is actively searching for ways to engage and support their communities. Believing God to expand their outreach, they’ve pursued plans to establish a school, train entrepreneurs while funding ministry, and build a retreat center. Donnie Allen, national representative for the Church of God in Honduras, offers the Church of God in the U.S. and Canada a glimpse of their efforts to bring hope and help to the population. Continue reading

Hunger Relief Funds Sent to Venezuela

“Christ Loves You” bags for Venezuela.

Venezuela has been experiencing a severe economic crisis since 2014. Hyperinflation is out of control, and regular minimum wage hikes have not kept up with the rising costs of food. It is reported that inflation is approaching 1 million percent annually! For example, in December a bag of sugar cost 500 bolivares soberanos. In the same bag of sugar in January cost 5,000 bolivares soberanos. Continue reading

Serving Hope in Venezuela

Serving food – and hope – in Venezuela.

By Jason and Abby Torgeson

One of the countries of our region that has been making the news lately is Venezuela, and it’s a country that is particularly close to our family’s heart. Abby’s sister Emily studied in Caracas for a year and a half in 2003–04, and Abby had the opportunity to spend a month there in her first real overseas Spanish-immersion experience. Both were struck by the country’s tremendous beauty and rich culture. While the rumblings of discontent were evident even then, it’s been impossible to wrap our minds around the crisis that has exploded there over the past few years. Continue reading

Excellence in Ecuador: Seminary Intensive Trains Growing Number of Leaders

Ecuador Seminary Intensive 2018

By Timothy and Angelita Downing

We tried something different, and…it was a success! Each year, the Church of God seminary in Ecuador offers a week long intensive to help train leaders in the Ecuadorian church. This year, we expanded the reach of the seminary by offering more class options, moving to a more spacious location, and including more Ecuadorian leadership. Last year, we had a total of twenty-five participants, with one international student. This year, we had seventy-six participants, with several international students! Continue reading

Church of God in Nicaragua Takes Steps Forward Amid Challenges

Feeding ministry program in Nicaragua.

By Jason and Abby Torgeson

An important part of our new role as regional consultants involves traveling to check on the missionaries and projects in our area. For our first such trip, we decided to pay a visit to our neighbors to the north. Guillermo Herrera and his son Lesly are the pastors and leaders of the two Church of God congregations in Nicaragua. They are currently in process of transitioning from being launched by the Costa Rican church and funded by outside resources, to a self-sustaining ministry. The process has been challenging, as Nicaragua is one of the top-three most impoverished nations in the Western hemisphere. As Pastor Guillermo Herrera said, “Our congregation has eighty members. Eleven have jobs, and, of those, seven tithe.” Continue reading

Disaster Relief Update: Guatemala “Volcano of Fire”

On Sunday, June 3, Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego—“Volcano of Fire”—erupted, spewing dangerous ash, gases, and lava from its 12,346-foot summit. To date, various news sources have indicated that at least 109 persons have been killed. Media coverage has shown footage of the massive and tragic devastation through the week, and now Church of God Ministries has heard from the Church of God in Guatemala. Continue reading

Produce, Poultry, and Professions of Faith: Church of God Celebrates Harvest in Brazil

Worship on Palm Sunday at the Central Church of God pavilion.

By Carl Stagner

The Holy Spirit wasn’t waiting until Easter to do something big in Brazil. Over the weekend leading to Palm Sunday, a spiritual retreat took place at Maloquinha, the Church of God farm and retreat center in Itaituba. Initial reports indicate forty-eight people surrendered their lives to Christ by the conclusion of the experience at several churches across the Amazonia region of Brazil. The ongoing harvest of produce and poultry at Maloquinha is only matched by the latest harvest of souls. Far more than a church campground or conference center, this Church of God-owned property is giving life to Brazilians in a variety of unique ways. Continue reading

Torgesons Appointed Regional Consultants for Latin America

The Torgeson family

By Stephen Lewis

Global Strategy is excited to announce the appointment of missionaries Jason and Abby Torgeson to the position of regional consultants to Latin America, based in Costa Rica.

Global Strategy has worked for two-years to identify a missionary to join the regional coordinator team for Latin America. During this time, we sought the council of Latin American missionaries and Latin American regional leaders, including multiple conversations and face-to-face meetings with CIID leaders (the body of Latin American leaders from across the Church of God in Latin America). We determined, in concert with CIID, that the role of RC in the region would include directing the work of Global Strategy missionaries and projects and to work in partnership with the leadership of CIID. Continue reading

Marriage Matters and Miracles in Bolivia

Chris and Trini

By Paul Jones

We met Chris and Trini about five years ago. The Lord had impressed upon us the desperate need to start working in the area of marriage and family. We were looking for ten couples that could be trained to serve in this important ministry. Kattia had taught the ladies’ group at one of our local congregations when she saw a young lady, Trini, that caught her attention. After talking with her, Kattia invited her and her husband to form part of our marriage courses. Trini explained that her husband Chris was no longer attending church, but they were included anyway. This couple showed up to the first seminar. When we had a meet-and-greet time, Chris could hardly speak; we found out he was very introverted and speaking in front of even a small group made him panic. But God’s ways are always right, and his plans are perfect! Continue reading

From the Archives: Meditating on Mission—Christ Bridges Cultures

By Thomas McCracken

Mission. It’s the local Women of the Church of God sending school and health kits to Uganda; it’s men, women, and children helping construct a building in Mexico; it’s young adults involved in sanitation projects in Haiti; it’s a young man teaching computer in a Christian university in Hong Kong; and it’s children in a local Sunday school providing Bibles for Native American children in the United States. And it’s much more. Continue reading

Church of God in Latin America Experiences Robust Growth

Photo: Bolivia national camp meeting, Easter 2017.

By David Miller

A report on the “220 Challenge”—Desafío 220 in Spanish—presented to the 2017 Inter-American Conference (IAC), a representative assembly of the nineteen countries in the region, suggests that the Latin American church has grown by nearly one-fifth since 2011. Continue reading

Jesus Message Sweeps Across Dominican Republic, Thousands Saved

Photo: Prayer at the Church of God where Juan Santos is pastor.

By Carl Stagner

Though some might consider it overused, there’s likely no better word to describe what’s happening today among Christians in the Dominican Republic. Revival can be seen breaking out in churches, on street corners, in sports, in the media, and even in politics. Unconcerned with denominational differences and squabbles over style, churches are banding together under one unifying message—Jesus. Church of God pastor Juan Santos recently led his Santo Domingo congregation to participate in a weeklong evangelism initiative, a national effort which resulted in several thousand souls won to Christ. He’s delighted to report on the incredible impact of the experience and reveal insights into the cultural transformation permeating nearly every level of society. Continue reading

Leader of Latin American Churches Recuperating from Traffic Accident

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Photo: Victor and Estela Quispe at their home in La Paz.

By David Miller

Victor H. Quispe, president of the Inter-American Confraternity of the Church of God, is recuperating at the hospital in Bolivia after suffering a traffic accident in the wee hours of Saturday, December 17. Quispe was traveling in an inter-urban taxi from La Paz to the city of Oruro to participate in weekend evangelistic campaigns when the accident occurred. Continue reading

On Being Fed: A First Christmas on the Mission Field

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Photo: Beth, Jonathan and Miriam Todd

By Beth Todd

Our last blog entry (which you can find at www.jbtodd.org) was about a few recipes we have come to enjoy during our first few months in Brazil. Jonathan and I are serious food people. I blame it on my wonderful cook of a mother from Georgia. Jonathan only likes two kinds of pie—hot and cold. In fact, I find that our Portuguese vocabulary grows faster in food words than others. We are still trying to learn all the names of fruits here, many of which we have never seen before. We are relearning how to feed ourselves in a place that doesn’t have the same ingredients we are used to. Continue reading

Ecuador Earthquake Relief Update: Thank You, Church of God!

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Photo: The Tonsupa church worship under a temporary structure.

By Jon and Karen Lambert

On Saturday, April 16, 2016, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit us here in Ecuador. The quake lasted 49 seconds. The weeks that followed seem like a dream—a bad dream. The death toll for the first weeks steadily rose to 655, and then the government decided not to share the final totals, so the actual death toll may never be known. We know 17,638 people were treated for injuries, and 25,091 were housed in temporary shelters. Cities and towns at the epicenter are 70- to 90-percent destroyed. The United Nations estimates that 350,000 people in Ecuador will need some type of assistance due to damage or loss of income. It is a blessing that none of our church family were killed or seriously injured in the quake. The mental anguish we still see on faces in the devastation zone is heartbreaking. Parents who searched for children buried under debris and small children who didn’t understand why “Mami” and “Papi” never came home have accepted the sad truth that their loved ones are gone. Cities along the coast from Manta to Tonsupa were without water and electricity for over a month. Some rural areas are still without basic services. Three of our congregations and one house church are in the areas heavily affected by the 7.8 earthquake and the severe aftershocks that continue to this day—nearly three months later. Continue reading