Hosting a Latin American A new wave of mission Mission is changing. In the last few decades, it has become apparent that the church in the UK and Europe has decreased in size and influence in our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies. In this climate, the church in the UK and Europe is becoming more aware of its need for help and is much more open to receiving others from outside. At the same time, the Church in Latin America has grown. Among its characteristics are vibrant faith and love, enthusiastic worship, spontaneous evangelism and expectation, and a passion for world mission. The Global South (including Latin America) has become the powerhouse of sending mission workers across the world. In Britain and Ireland, there is an increasing need to communicate our faith effectively within the context of our relationships. Latin Americans are naturals at cross-cultural personal evangelism, and find considerable rapport with ethnic minorities through shared values such as hospitality and emphasis on extended family. The role of Incoming Mission Incoming Mission is the ministry of Latin Link that connects and supports Latin Americans with receiving churches in the UK and Europe. We have been doing this since 1999. Over these years we have been excited by the growth of the ministry and the impact these people have had where they have served. With over 100 years of mission in Latin America, Latin Link has gained a good grounding in, and understanding of, both cultures [European and Latin American]. We’re in a privileged position to be able to send and receive mission workers in a way that’s culturally appropriate, genuinely loving, and effective in sharing the gospel. Simone Lockyer, Incoming Mission Coordinator Through our Incoming Mission ministry, we accept Latin Americans who love God and are passionate to see lives changed by the Gospel. They will be of different ages and life experience, with different gifts and qualifications. Latin Link offers Latin Americans the opportunity to participate in two of its programmes: Stride (6-24 month placements) or Stay (placements over 2 years). Rather than set up its own projects, Latin Link places selected people within the ministry teams of local churches or church projects. Click below to read more about the type of ministries Incoming Mission members have worked in previously. What they can do What Latin Link looks for in a receiving church or project a welcoming and caring church which values workers from another culture and respects their professional training and strengths cooperation in providing a job description and other documents necessary for visa applications help in drawing up a realistic budget appropriate opportunities for ministry with supervision accommodation: either board and lodging with a church family or inexpensive rented accommodation local orientation: transport, banks, registration with a doctor and dentist, finding English classes at the appropriate level where necessary, registration of children in suitable local schools if applicable designated local pastoral care and line management. Incoming Mission staff will keep in contact with the local leadership Flor has been such a blessing. She has a natural ability to get alongside people and build relationships, and notices those who might get overlooked. Her presence and ministry is a constant reminder of the importance of giving time to people and loving them, of building relationships. Rev Dan Watts, St Mark's Harrogate How much will it cost? Read more Incoming Members Cost Those accepted onto the Stay or Stride programmes as Incoming Mission members are expected to raise their own personal support. It is possible that the placement church or project will help to cover the cost of accommodation. Every budget is different as costs vary from person to person. Latin Link will therefore formulate a personalised budget for each candidate. The budget will include costs for items such as accommodation, living expenses, visas, ministry expenses, and flights. In addition, there will an amount to cover a contribution to Latin Link, which will include a small monthly cost towards administration as well as an amount towards the annual Incoming Ministry retreat. What Latin Link charges placement churches or projects A flat-rate charge is made to each church or project of £100 for each placement. This is to help cover administration, costs of visa applications and ongoing pastoral care visits. Procedure Language All Incoming Mission members are expected to have a reasonable level of English before they arrive in the UK. This will be to at least level 4.5 on the IELTs exam scale. Once in the UK it may be agreed for the member to continue to do some further English study if required. A word about visas As an UKVI official sponsor, Latin Link will normally sponsor the visa application and supervise the process. The receiving church does not usually need to be involved. What Latin Link provides contact with Latin American churches and mission agencies in the recruitment of suitable personnel; consultation with interested churches; a realistic budget; advice and supervision of the visa application process. Most candidates will need a Certificate of Sponsorship from Latin Link to apply for a visa; reception and initial orientation; support in supervision and pastoral care in Portuguese or Spanish. The Incoming Mission ministry will arrange a mentor for Striders or those in their first two years of ministry; opportunities for contact with other Latin American members of Latin Link; prayer support through Latin Link’s prayer network. Interested? Get in touch! If your church would like to consider hosting a mission worker from Latin America, or for more information, please contact our Incoming Mission Coordinator, Simone, at [email protected].