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Encounter with Christ in Latin America

Students at El Sembrador school in Pastocalle, Ecuador. Photo: Courtesy of Encounter With Christ
Students at El Sembrador school in Pastocalle, Ecuador. Photo: Courtesy of Encounter With Christ

In 2022, Encounter with Christ (a ministry partnership between the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas, the Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches in Latin America and the Caribbean) (Advance #14729A) awarded 14 grants to 12 mission partners from the permanent fund of Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ministries receiving these donations will impact the lives of hundreds and thousands of people in the Latin America and Caribbean region. The total amount of awards was $121,600.

Global Ministries established a permanent fund called Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean (Encounter with Christ) more than 30 years ago. When the fund reached $1,000,000 in donations in 2005, grants began to be distributed by Global Ministries. Since then, Global Ministries has awarded more than $1,000,000 to regional mission partners.

Encounter with Christ tells the story of vibrant mission in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The Methodist churches in Latin America and the Caribbean work in advancing mission with some of the most marginalized populations in their communities such as women and children, immigrants, indigenous communities, and those suffering from racial and gender inequality. The Encounter with Christ permanent fund supports Global Ministries’ efforts to partner with the national and regional churches and ecumenical partners in the region by providing program funding for social justice and evangelism outreach efforts.

In the wake of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, a project was approved to support the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia’s (EMCB) efforts to bring hope and joy to a population of people gripped with fear and despair from living through the last several years. The EMCB discerned that the Bolivian population seeks God and the support of the church more than ever before. Global Ministries’ $10,000 grant, using funds raised by Encounter with Christ, will strengthen local churches through the gift of music. In an area of Bolivia where there are five missionary churches and four new preaching points, the grant will expand the church’s ability to reach hundreds of new people through outdoor prayer concerts and other gatherings.

The Methodist Church of Mexico (IMM) received a $9,000 grant that brings new life and hope to people caught in the vicious cycle of drug addiction. Mexican Methodists are offering education to re-train addicts in recovery so that they can gain employment by learning a new trade.

The Methodist Church of Chile (IMECH) received a grant of $10,000 from Encounter with Christ‘s permanent fund that will teach Wesleyan thought, theology and history to laity with an aim to recover the historical identity of Methodism. The goal of this project is to bring renewal to the church.

The above three projects are samples from the 14 grants awarded to mission partners working in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

For a complete summary of 2021 and 2022 grants distributed by Global Ministries from the permanent fund of Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean, click here. Encounter with Christ continues to raise funds to add to its permanent fund so that more and more support can be given for the region. To learn more about Encounter with Christvisit its website: https://umc-encounter.org/.

The Advance is the accountable, designated-giving arm of The United Methodist Church. The Advance invites contributors to designate support for projects related to the General Board of Global Ministries. Individuals, local churches, organizations, districts and annual conferences may donate to The Advance. One hundred percent of every gift to The Advance goes to the project selected by the giver. Gifts to missionaries support the entire missionary community.