The Latin American Missions Study Program was born out of a desire to better equip North American and European Christians who desire to serve the people of Latin America in the name of Jesus.
Some aspiring missionaries excel in theological reflection while others excel in practical ministry experience. An effective missionary is one who does theology while his or her hands and feet are serving others.
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
– Isaiah 52:7 NIV
While theological education is readily available in North America and Europe, theological reflection done in a local context is of even greater value. Clemens Sedmak in his book, Doing Local Theology, suggests that theology must be done in the village, that is, in a specific place.
At the roots of Christianity there is a village. Humility is the art of living in a village, the art of being down to earth, close to the ground. Doing local theology is a service, like washing feet. You have to be closer to the ground to do that.
Reading the Bible in another language, in our case Spanish or Portuguese can open up our eyes to Jesus and His ministry in ways which our native language cannot. As we open our eyes to read, we open our hearts in order to see what the Christ-life looks like on the streets of Buenos Aires or in rural Bolivia.
Will two months in Buenos Aires teach you everything you need to know about being a missionary in Latin America? Of course not! But it is my hope that this experience will whet your appetite and point you to resources for further growth.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
In His service,
Clemens Sedmak, Doing Local Theology: A Guide for Artisans of a New Humanity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2002.