The House Church is spreading all over the world and model House Churches have sprung up in Japan, China, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia. However, while South America is close to the U.S. and although many missionaries from there have attended House Church seminars, there is not yet a model South American House Church.
To identify obstacles and find ways to overcome them, I felt it was necessary for missionary leaders in South America to get together and devise common strategies to advance the House Church in South America. So I invited missionaries who had attended House Church seminars to a strategic meeting in Lima, Peru from August 11 to August 14. 7 missionary families from Mexico, Peru, Columbia, and Bolivia attended. Missionary Hong, supported by the Lima House Church, was the host, and Missionary Chu, supported by the Zapopan House Church, coordinated the meeting.
My two prayers for the meeting were that a united team would form to work together in advancing the House Church in South America and that the elements that hinder the House Church from spreading there would be identified and that we would find ways to address them. I think God answered both prayers.
We made definite resolutions about issues that have long been discussed but never resolved:
- We filled the position of Missionary Representative to South America by electing Brother Chu from Mexico.
- We adopted the term “Casa Iglesia“ to refer to house churches in South America. We also decided to spell the term we use for Shepherds and their house churches “Mokcha” and “Mokchang” in Spanish (we use “Mokja” and “Mokjang” in English) so that they’re pronounced the same everywhere in the world.
- We agreed to share teaching materials translated in Spanish and use the same texts in each country.
- We decided to have regular annual meetings.
- We started a website to share information and encouragement for missionaries in South America who are interested in House Church.
We also brainstormed all the possible factors that make it difficult to build house churches in South America. Many were mentioned, including poverty, security, drug addiction, broken families, and a lack of motivation. But when we explicitly listed all the problems, all of the participants realized that none of them could not be solved with God’s help, and they felt like a heavy burden was lifted off their shoulders. Unexpressed fear always makes problems seem bigger.
I believe that our meeting provided a springboard from which the House Church can be launched more effectively in South America. It may take 3 to 5 years before a House Church seminar can be offered for native pastors. But I believe that the groundwork for it was successfully laid through this meeting.
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