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All articles in category South America

Ministering in Brazil
January 2013
Brazil

Ministering in Brazil

Ministering in Brazil Following a 10-hour overnight flight from Chicago to Sao Paulo, Brazil, my husband (Joel Beeke) and I had a three-hour car ride, half of it through windy, hilly terrain to Lindoia. This was my husband’s third FIEL Conference.     Editora FIEL was begun in 1967 by missionary Richard Denham Jr. Its purpose is to promote the doctrines of grace among ministers in Portuguese-speaking countries, through the translation of Reformed, biblical literature and conferences.     Wonderful growth is evidenced by an ever-widening distribution of books, exponential growth on the web and increased attendance at conferences (1400 two years ago and 2400 this year,...

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February 2012
Colombia

Missionary Spotlight – Fact File

Area – 441,000 square miles. Neighbouring countries – Colombia straddles the top of South America, with Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador as its near neighbours. The Isthmus of Panama connects into Colombia’s north-west, so that Colombia has separate Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. Environment – A wide variety of terrain and climate, ranging from tropical, coastal lowlands in the west, to the cool Andes mountains in the centre, and tropical lowland forests in the east. On the Caribbean coast, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta rises to over 19000 ft. Some mountains are volcanically active. Bogota, the capital, has a high level of air pollution...

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Heartcry in Argentina
July 2010
Argentina

Heartcry in Argentina

Heartcry in Argentina   There are various reasons for expecting that a meeting in Argentina dealing with the doctrines of grace would turn out a complete failure. Firstly, there is much ignorance on this subject, among churches and church leaders; and even a lack of interest in historic Christianity.      Secondly, the speaker chosen for this meeting was an unknown pastor from Peru. Thirdly, the place it was held in was a rather run-down mission hall on the outskirts of a Buenos Aires suburb, a considerable distance from the nearest main railway station (a last-minute change forced on the organisers by the original hosts).     ...

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A flood of memories from Brazil
February 2010
Brazil

A flood of memories from Brazil

A flood of memories from Brazil   A recent letter from a girl called Adna brought back a flood of memories, 50 years ago, of our missionary adventure in the Amazon region.   Adna had grown up in Manicore in Brazil and was now in the last year of theological studies. For her senior term paper she had chosen to write about the arrival of the first missionaries to Manicore. She particularly wanted to write the history of the First Baptist Church of Manicore, which her father pastored from 1994-2001. Having asked the only surviving lady from those days for help, she found Idemilha could...

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Missionary Spotlight – Abounding opportunities in Bolivia
May 2009
Bolivia

Missionary Spotlight – Abounding opportunities in Bolivia

Bolivia presents great openness for Christian work. Churches are growing and there is much progress to celebrate. But the situation presents challenges. Bolivian churches range from big city-centre Charismatic fellowships, attended mainly by the middle classes, to small outlying shanty town or country village fellowships, with poorly trained leaderships. Challenges abound in determining correct doctrine, establishing pluralistic rather than autocratic leadership structures, and growing churches when members often have to work for long hours just to keep food on the family table. Over recent decades the Protestant churches have grown, helped by a participatory approach to worship involving lay leadership. This contrasts with established Catholic...

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Missionary Spotlight – On the edge – 3800 metres up
May 2009
Bolivia

Missionary Spotlight – On the edge – 3800 metres up

On the edge – 3800 metres up   Bolivia, in the heart of South America, is a land of contrasts: geographically, with its mountains, valleys and tropical jungles; ethnically, with Aymaras, Quechuas, Creollos and others; politically, with a left-wing government popular in the western Andes and a right-wing opposition pushing for autonomy in the east; and religiously, with a dominant Catholic Church, but also an increasing number of evangelicals of all shades.   There is resurgence too in traditional religions and beliefs, and fervent activity from cults like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are economic extremes, with just a few people possessing great wealth...

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Missionary Spotlight – Bolivia’s poverty
May 2009
Bolivia

Missionary Spotlight – Bolivia’s poverty

Bolivia’s poverty   As long as sin, corruption and injustice are in the world, there will always be a mission field, and the church will be called to extend the Kingdom of God by making disciples for Christ from every nation.   Bolivia is a country where there is much injustice and inequality – particularly in terms of gender, economics and social conditions.      Many would say that Bolivia is a Christian country – and there is some truth in that statement. For example, most will affirm they are Catholic Christian (even if nominal) and that they have at some time or another visited an...

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May 2009
Bolivia

Missionary Spotlight – Republic of Bolivia

Republic of Bolivia   Area: 424,162 square miles.   Neighbours: Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru.   Environment: Land-locked, with the Andes mountains (Nevado Sajama 6,542 m) and plateaus in the west, and Amazon and Plate river systems in the east. The climate varies accordingly, from cold semi-arid to tropical.   Population: Over 9 million. Many have migrated eastward, because of harsh climatic conditions and the decline in mining in the highlands.   Infant mortality: 49 deaths/1000 live births.   Constitutional capital: Sucre.   Actual capital: La Paz. The twin cities of La Paz-El Alto together have over one million inhabitants; Santa Cruz has a...

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Missionary Spotlight – The Gospel on the Amazon
August 2008
Brazil

Missionary Spotlight – The Gospel on the Amazon

The Gospel on the Amazon   ‘We need to pick you up for breakfast at 6.30am and then on to the boat at 7.30’. This is how we learned that the next morning would be a very different Sunday for us. Along with Geoff King, chairman of Grace Baptist Mission, I was making my first visit to Jason and Andrea Murfitt, who are serving the Lord in Manacapuru, Brazil. The Murfitts have gone to Brazil with the joint support of GBM and UFM Worldwide, and it is a blessing to be part of a co-operative project to spread the gospel in this area of Amazonas....

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Changed lives in Brazil
February 2007
Brazil

Changed lives in Brazil

Over the past 54 years it has been our privilege as missionaries to be involved in the growth of the evangelical church in Brazil. In the early days of our ministry in the Amazon interior it was impressed on us that we had no power to bring life to a spiritually dead person. A miracle of God’s grace was necessary. When persecution came we saw our initial converts — those who had befriended us and responded to our message — fall away. To our amazement at that dark hour God chose to save two of the most unlikely persons in the village and cause them to stand with us. The police...

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FIEL’s fourth Brazilian youth conference
October 2006
Brazil

FIEL’s fourth Brazilian youth conference

The vision to have a reformed conference for Brazilian youth arose out of two issues. First, we were concerned about the increasing apathy and superficiality in the Brazilian evangelical church and in Christian youth in general. Secondly, we knew that some young people went to great lengths to attend Editora Fiel’s (a reformed publisher in the Portuguese language) annual leadership conferences. The need to schedule a serious conference for young people was being pressed upon us. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Leaning upon the mighty God’. Its purpose was to encourage all to stand firmly upon the word of the Almighty. One young man described it ‘as a return to...

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Missionary Spotlight-New Age spirituality
January 2006
Chile

Missionary Spotlight-New Age spirituality

Chile was just entering winter. I disembarked from the airplane at 3.00am but the morning would reveal the gorgeous, snow-covered Andean mountains surrounding Santiago, the capital city.   I was looking forward to helping translate at a conference on the New Age movement and a gospel response to it. The visiting speaker would be Dr Peter Jones (Professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, California) but I would also be giving my own series on ‘Integral growth for the church’. As the first group came together on Monday night, I noticed some from the middle and upper classes. As in many other cities of...

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