Projects and Missionaires in Latin America
Recent Stories from Latin America

Flooding In Peru Impacts Feeding Program

World Missions Field Representative E.L. Turner and Herman Toney recently raised funds to build a church in Trujillo Peru for Pastor Evaristo Murga. The church was dedicated at the end of last year.

This month, a feeding program was begun to feed children one hot meal a day, five days a week. Unfortunately, Peru experienced heavy rains, which created a disastrous flood. Four thousand people (4,000) lost everything they owned; they escaped with only the clothes on their backs.

Pastor Evaristo continues to try to feed 80 people two meals a day. Clothing is desperately needed, too.

World Missions Director David Griffis and Assistant Director M. Thomas Propes have released $5,000 for the recovery process, once again defining World Missions’ compassion and support to assist those in crisis distress.

To help these precious people in Peru, please send your donation to Project Number 765-0036-049.


Disaster will happen. We just don’t know when.

A Clarification in Response to Inquiries of World Missions

This is a clarification in response to inquiries the Church of God World Missions Department has received regarding Casa Shalom Orphanage (Guatemala):

 The Casa Shalom Orphanage in Guatemala is an official, on going and approved orphanage operated by the Church of God and has been for many decades. Their project number is 040-0030 and funds sent to this number go 100% directly to that specific ministry.

The Casa Shalom Orphanage is not to be confused with any other ministries that might use the name Shalom in their title since they are not being sponsored by the Church of God nor are they involved in our Casa Shalom Orphanage in Guatemala.


Career missionaries usually have a difficult time raising their entire budgets to get to the mission field. Multiple items figure into their raised funds, such as housing, medical bills, utilities, and so forth—much like our own needs, but with more difficult circumstances to encounter.

For the short-term missionary, there are often not enough funds to supply the type of vehicle needed, such as with South American Call headed by Joe Mercer.

Joe’s ministry is traveling to the Amazon River villages by boat, which is a focus of large funding. Upkeep of the boat and gas guzzles the resources. On these trips, the ministry provides soup kitchens and conducts “congresos” (conferences) aimed at training leaders to take the Gospel to their own villages and people. This year alone, the cost of financing pastors and the congresos will be approximately $20,000; it is a vital ministry.

BUT, Joe and his wife, Judy, who not only go to the field–but raise missions awareness and funding here in North America, have been traveling for about 10 years in a Camry, which belongs to South American Call, Inc.

The vehicle has almost 400,000 miles on it.

A newer vehicle is definitely needed, as making long trips is of some concern now. Since they need to take so much equipment with them, the Mercers need more room in their transport. They are grateful to the donors and churches who helped them purchase their Camry, and now are hoping others will do the same for replacing the vehicle with something suitable.

If you would like to be a part of this dedicated ministry to peoples on the Amazon River, and help assist the missionaries with transportation, please donate to Project Number 065-0125.

São Paulo: A Lighthouse City, Part Two

Part Two: An Ideal Training Ground for Ministry

The cultural and contextual diversity of Saó Paulo creates an ideal training ground for ministry throughout Brazil, and throughout the world through missions. Students can be prepared for cross-cultural ministry within the many cultural and linguistic groups without ever leaving the city of Saó Paulo. Some of the descendants of these ethnic groups already speak the language and are familiar with the cultures of Europe, Africa, or Asia. Pastors and missionaries can be prepared for contexts of great poverty, or for reaching the middle or upper classes of society. Students learn to work with limited resources to plant churches and evangelize in any context of the world. The mixture of religions prepares them with experience to confront the various world religions and philosophies they will encounter in other nations. Thus, the diversity of contexts within the city serve to prepare workers for locations and settings around the globe.

Brazil is a country that has awakened to the missions vision. The potential of the young, dynamic, zealous ministers that God is calling forth will only be realized with adequate training for ministry. Theological and Missiological training are a vital part of missions strategy in order for the city named after “Saint Paul” to become a sending church for ministry among the nations.



John Hayes served as a career missionary in Brazil, living in Saó Paulo for many years.

Project Number 102-9435

Saó Paulo: A Lighthouse City

Part One: Equipping to Reach the Nations

Saó Paulo, Brazil, is one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world with a population of over 21 million people. The region experienced rapid growth through the industry developed to process the coffee produced on the elevated plateau located an hour and a half from the coastal city of Santos. It became known as the place where good jobs could be found, and people migrated from all over Brazil in the hope of economic prosperity.

Once known as the “Misty City,” the climate has changed due to the growth of the city and the deforestation of the surrounding area. Saó Paulo is the economic and industrial heart of Brazil, while producing over 60 percent of the manufactured goods in South America.

Saó Paulo is a city of immigrants and ethnic diversity, with over 100 cultures represented within its population. Some of the largest groups include Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, German, Arab, Jewish, and the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. The African slaves brought cultural influences to the religion, foods, and customs of Brazil.

She is also a city of tremendous socioeconomic contrasts, with extremely wealthy neighborhoods intermingled with regions of extreme poverty called “favelas.” These shantytowns are regions where drug trafficking, prostitution, murder, and crime dominate the inhabitants resulting in hopelessness and despair.

The challenges for the advancement of the Kingdom of God are many. The traffic and pollution add to the complexity of life in this mega-city. The cost of real estate for building churches is outrageous, and the lack of resources stimulates creative methodologies in church planting. With over 500,000 street children roaming the city, churches are called upon to make a difference through social outreaches and child evangelism. Seventy-five percent of the population is under 25 years of age, demonstrating the challenge of reaching youth through dynamic ministry that will transform lives.

There are also spiritual challenges. Although the majority of the population claims to be Catholic, around 90 percent of Brazilians are influenced by Spiritism through its many forms and expressions.

John Hayes served as a career missionary in Brazil, living in Saó Paulo for many years.

To partner with the Send Light to the Cities project – São Paulo, click here: Project Number 102-9435-010




Benson and Cathy Vaughan, missionary educators at SEMISUD in South America, were featured speakers at a Christian Education conference in the largest city of Ecuador—Guayaquil. The people were so gracious to their ministry.

The Vaughans taught several general sessions for approximately 700 participants. Their small class sessions included lessons for children, teenagers, and adults. At the conclusion of the sessions, the Vaughans prayed for the groups and then the classes prayed for them. Already they have been asked to return for next year’s conference.

The host pastor, Brother Edgar, and his congregation celebrated their 11th anniversary, and the Vaughans were privileged to be the guest speakers.

Benson and Cathy are so grateful for their ministry partners who, through their faithful prayers and monthly financial support, have allowed them to continue a vital ministry throughout Ecuador and South America. On this particular trip, the Vaughans were able to minister to over 700 leaders who will return to their home churches better educated.

Click here to partner with the Vaughans: Project Number 065-0138