Is your local area receiving a steady stream of migrants? Could you use some help in reaching out to them? Perhaps you should consider inviting a Latin American to help.
As the church in Latin America has grown in an atmosphere of vibrant faith and love, enthusiastic worship, spontaneous evangelism and expectation, mission abroad has developed alongside. Those who we accept for mission in Britain and Ireland take their faith seriously, have had good doctrinal teaching, and live a sincere devotional life with a strong emphasis on intercession and the ideal of living a life that is morally distinct.
In this country we increasingly need to communicate our faith effectively within the context of our relationships. Latin Americans find cross-cultural personal evangelism much more natural than many do in churches in Britain and Ireland. Our experience has confirmed that Latin Americans find considerable rapport with ethnic minorities. This is partly due to sharing a common experience of marginalisation and political instability, but also from some common ground in their respective cultures, such as the value given to hospitality and the extended family.
Latin Partners is the branch of Latin Link that connects Latin Americans with receiving churches in the UK.
Latin Americans come to the UK for various reasons and for various lengths of time:
- some sense God’s call to evangelise among ethnic minorities in the UK – either in the short term as a Strider, or for longer
- others come to improve their English, and gain cross-cultural experience before moving on to mission in another country
Rather than set up its own projects Latin Partners places selected people within the ministry teams of local churches.
What Latin Partners looks for in a receiving church
- a welcoming and caring church fellowship 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. Latin Partners will keep in contact with the local leadership.
What Latin Partners 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 in order to apply for a visa.
- reception and initial orientation
- support in supervision and pastoral care in Portuguese or Spanish. Latin Partners 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.
What Latin Partners charges
A flat-rate charge to each church of £100 for each placement. This is to help cover administration, costs of visa applications and ongoing pastoral care visits.
A similar flat-rate charge of $100 will be made to Latin Americans appointed by Latin Partners.
A word about visas
Latin Partners will normally sponsor the visa application and supervise the process. There are different categories of visa that can be appropriate, depending on the particular situation.
- Tier 5 Temporary Charity Worker
- Tier 5 Temporary Religious Worker
- Tier 2 Missionary or Minister of Religion visa. This requires adequate training or experience or ordination, a good level of English (e.g. level 6 in IELTs exam) and the ministry must be fulltime
- Tier 4 Student visa. The student needs a certificate of sponsorship from an officially recognised college before applying for their visa
- Religious Visitor’s visa.
More information about visa regulations is accessible on the Home Office website.
If you would like to explore the idea of hosting a Latin American at your church, please email Latin Partners or ring 0118 957 7112.