EDUCATIONAL formación includes theological training and preparation for mission supported by publishing and resources.
From teaching a module to supervising a PhD thesis, Latin Link sends well-qualified people to teach in Bible colleges and institutes, mission training institutions and Christian universities throughout Latin America.
Huge church growth has increased the demand and the need for trained leaders, and produced a new generation of people who want to go into mission in other parts of the world.
Latin American training institutions often struggle to pay staff, and in turn students may struggle to pay fees. Yet good training is invaluable.
Local study weekends and informal training sessions go some way to meeting basic training needs, particularly with pastors who may only be educated to primary level. Extension studies using prepared study materials have been effectively used in villages. Latin Link can help in all these areas.
‘I returned to Latin America ten years ago, intent on teaching in a seminary, as I was fresh from one myself. Having just finished a MTh degree in a British university, I , a Peruvian, was not at all prepared for what I would find in Colombia. In Britain everyone takes theological education for granted. Very few people think it normal or natural to assume a position of leadership and authority in any given church without proper education, normally followed by very strict and demanding tests and other hurdles. In Colombia, that sort of path is restricted to a relatively small minority.
Our countries are boiling with thirst for the Gospel, and anyone really wanting to work for the “harvest” of God will find this is the place to be! More churches can and should be planted, and the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread widely. However, that should be done by people who are deeply rooted in the Scriptures, people who know and respect the concept of announcing the counsel of God over against feeding hungry people with junk food made up of human ideas and traditions. That’s why we think our work here is so important and crucial'.
Manuel Reaño, Bible Seminary of Colombia
‘During the past 11 years we have seen a maturing and increased passion within the churches to serve in overseas mission. Often those that are sent from Argentina into world mission have graduated from university with a profession which enables them to enter countries where those skills are needed. Latin Link has been working, and continues to work, among university students who today are joining the world’s mission force. It has been rewarding to see these developments and participate in God's work among Argentinian students and churches.’
Stuart and Jenny, Agencia Misionera Internacional (AMI) in Argentina
To support training and teaching Latin Link is also involved in Christian publishing specifically for a Latin American readership. A large project being coordinated by one of our members is a Contemporary Bible Commentary (CBC).
Other members produce Sunday school teaching materials for all ages.
‘In a continent where a high percentage of even the poorest can read, books play a vital role. Books are needed to help pastors of our growing churches but who have never been to Bible college, professionals who are trying to work out what it means to live for Christ in a complex society, and children who are bombarded by western media. But it’s not just any old book. We need books that meet real needs, that are biblical and relevant, best of all if they are written by Latin Americans themselves.
‘The Contemporary Bible Commentary, the first of its kind written by Latin Americans for Latin Americans is one such project. Drawing on over 130 writers, from all parts of the continent, writing initially in Spanish or Portuguese, this unique one-volume commentary includes not only book by book commentaries, but “bridge” articles to help relate themes of the Bible with issues facing Latin Americans today’.
Ian Darke, Coordinator of Letra Viva and the Contemporary Bible Commentary