NSD Receives Six Missionary Families From South America

A survey made by Pew Research Center and recently published (2014, August 27)showed that half of the Christians live in just 11 countries around the world. According to this survey, 50% of people who call themselves as Christians are residents of countries like Brazil, United States, Mexico and Nigeria. Therefore, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has created strategies to increase its presence in other countries considered “closed” to Christianity.   “Here are we, send us!” Paraphrasing the prophet Isaiah, six South American missionary families also accepted the divine call to proclaim the Word of God in “the most challenging field”, the region of NSD (Northern Asia-Pacific Division). They are part of a bold project called “Missionaries to the World”, which 25 South American families were selected and commissioned by the church to minister in the regions with the lowest Christian presence worldwide.   It is not the first time that South American Adventist missionaries are set apart to work overseas, but it is unprecedented the fact of sending such a significant number of them at once. In most countries where they were sent, Christians represent less than 1% of the population.   Of the six families comissioned in the first half of 2015 to work on our territory, four are in Chinese Union and the other two are serving in Mongolia Mission. They will spend at least 5 years spreading the everlasting gospel in these places.Currently, the missionaries have been devoted primarily to study the local language and to mingle with the people, as well as Christ did, in order to build “bridges of hope” that rise above the cross-cultural barriers.   Yure Gramacho, a Brazilian missionary pastor who has arrived with his family in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia,for nearly 2 months ago, believes that “it is essential to learn not just about the local people, but learn from and with them. Understanding in order to be understood is the key of every meaningful testemony”, he said.     Rodrigo Assi, a pastor who also joined the group that is currently working in the NSD territory, has the mission in his blood. When asked what motivated him to be part of this project, he replied firmly: “Give myself entirely in God’s hands and let Him guide my steps, that’s what motivated me to leave my country to serve him in such a challenge place. Jesus will not return to this world until the Gospel has been proclaimed to every nation, tribe, tongue and people, and my greatest wish is that Christ comes back soon. Get ready myself and be an instrument to prepare others is the purpose of my life.”   Along with the establishment of Centers of Christian Influence in large cities, other evangelistic strategies will be used, as working with university students, Adventist education, medical work,discipleship programs and training efforts to prepare a solid local leadership in order to continue the work when the missionaries return to their home lands.   “For many years, the world church looked to South America just as a missionary field. But in recent years it has changed”, said Gary Krause, director of the Office of Adventist Mission at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.The South American Division (SAD) will donate $13 million for five year-terms and “this amount is included the maintenance of the 25 families and the missionary projects that there will be developed”, said Pr. Herbert Boger, general coordinator of the project.   For the pastor Erton Köhler, SAD President, Missionaries to the World project is a way to pay a “debt” that the Church has, due to the missionary commitment of those who arrived over there decades ago. “The work begun here by the effort of pioneers that came from other countries and made all the difference. In addition, we believe that we are a worldwide family and that institutions exist to unite and not to divide. Therefore, we have invested in sending missionaries as well”emphasized Köhler.   “We praise the Lord for the arrival of these dear fellow workers in our mission field. Certainly, they will be a great blessing for our church and nation”, concluded Elbert Kuhn, Mongolia Mission President.   The South American missionaries came to join forces with our well known Missionary Projects as 1000MM (1000 Missionary Movement), PMM (Pioneer Mission Movement), GA (Golden Angels), HHMM (HisHands Mission Movement), among other effective actions of Global Mission in NSD. Please, pray for them!   By Yure Gramacho – Communication Department, Mongolia Mission

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