North Carolina Hispanic pastors 'return home' to do mission work
July 27 2001 by Bill Boatwright , BSC Communications

North Carolina Hispanic pastors 'return home' to do mission work | Friday, July 27, 2001
  • "They (the pastors) did a good job in communicating and the people responded well."
  • "A positive spirit in spite of unseen changes."
  • "The people responded well to the three U.S. Hispanic pastors and openly appreciated their efforts."

    It seems, however, that things can still go wrong on mission trips, even if you're a native of the country, fluent in the language and understand all the customs.

    The negatives? "Lost luggage (for almost two days), . . . projector kept going off when it got hot, . . . the sound system could have been better . . . and expenses a little higher than expected."

  • Friday, July 27, 2001

    North Carolina Hispanic pastors 'return home' to do mission work

    By Bill Boatwright BSC Communications When Cesar Carhuachin of Charlotte agreed to go on a mission trip to Peru last year, he didn't need to be told what the food would be like or what to expect from his Latin American hosts. He didn't need a crash-course on the customs of the region or Baptist life in that part of South America. Carhuachin, who serves as Hispanic pastor of Hickory Grove Church in Charlotte, is a native Peruvian. His Christian faith, in a large measure, is the result of Southern Baptist missionary efforts in his homeland. For Carhuachin, going on this mission trip was like, well, simply going back home.

    Carhuachin was one of three Hispanic N.C. Baptist pastors who participated in the unique mission enterprise resulting from a three-way partnership involving the Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board and Lifeway Christian Resources. Joining Carhuachin was David Duarte, pastor of Iglesia Hispana in Greensboro and Hugo Gallegos, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Sanford.

    The project, called the "Covenant of Cooperation," is an agreement between the agencies that sets forth specific goals, areas of major focus, and stated commitments. The partnership is built upon the premise that volunteers who are natives of the region will bring a dimension to mission work that "outsiders," however well schooled in the culture and language, simply do not possess.

    "In Peru the churches need help in reaching people for Jesus Christ," Carhuachin said. "The Peruvians are open to hear the gospel from visitors from other countries. There, we are able to preach in plazas, share the gospel in the streets and do prayer walking."

    The Charlotte Hispanic pastor evidently was a "hit" with the folks back in his homeland. The Baptist convention in Peru has invited him to teach a conference in the seminary and bring a mission team from his church in Charlotte. He has agreed, of course, and also plans to do a similar mission project in Argentina.

    Pastor Gallegos from Sanford found the South American mission trip helpful to his work as a Hispanic pastor in North Carolina.

    "I'm more sensitive to the mission field and it's helped me a lot to project to my church that we need to be a missionary church. When I got back home, I preached a sermon on missions and fifteen people volunteered to go with me back to Peru next December. They are very excited," Gallegos said.

    David Duarte, the third member of the mission team and pastor of the Hispanic Baptist church in Greensboro, had a similar experience once he returned home.

    "I heard God's voice asking me to do something," he said. "As soon as I came back I made arrangements for our church to take part in a mission trip."

    The plans came through as 10 church members went in July to Tampico, Mexico, on an evangelistic and construction project for nine days.

    The mission partnership, the first one of its type among Southern Baptist Convention affiliates, teams North Carolina Hispanic consultant/trainers with counterparts in South America, making the project a true "two-way" mission experience for everyone involved. The goal is to learn from one another, rather than one group showing another group how missions "ought" to be done.

    "We plan to get as much out of this for our Hispanic churches as we will give to those churches in South America," said Larry Phillips, consultant with Hispanic churches in North Carolina and coordinator of the project.

    "Our goal at this point is to learn from each other (mentor training) and to energize the North Carolina team. We want our North Carolina team to return home with a vision for missions as well as new experiences and information that will enhance church growth among North Carolina Hispanic congregations," said Phillips.

    The Baptist State Convention is responsible for enlisting consultants, covering travel and local personal expenses and coordinating training with the two SBC participating agencies. Lifeway provides resources and works with the South American conventions to promote and coordinate the training events. The International Mission Board assists with local arrangements, provides missionary support and provides leaders for church planting conferences.

    From all reports, the North Carolina Hispanic leaders got off to a good start in the project, with plans already underway to send a team to Chile, Peru, and Ecuador the end of this year.

    "The group that came to teach us about church planting was a tremendous blessing," wrote David Trigoso, president of the Baptist Convention in Peru. "Everyone that have participated in these conferences have been not only impressed, but willing also to teach others how to grow in God's Kingdom."

    The North Carolina team also received positive feedback from the International Mission Board and Lifeway missionaries in their evaluation of the special project. The "Covenant of Cooperation" agreement mandates a written report be made after each team returns home from the field. Statements about the efforts included:

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    7/27/2001 12:00:00 AM by Bill Boatwright , BSC Communications | with 0 comments
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