Charles and Mavis Thornton serve as Missionary Evangelists to Latin America, with efforts recently focused in Costa Rica. Missionary Evangelists are those who feel a call to evangelism ministry on the missions field. They are appointed for two-year terms in which they are expected to make multiple trips overseas to preach the Gospel. Their roles are similar to those of a traditional evangelist and a short-term missionary, and their ministry is not typically tied to a specific place or local congregation. They minister to children in connection with a local clown ministry.
“We let God direct us to the area of the country where He wants us to work each year. Once we know the area we find four churches to work with, helping them reach their community with an outreach.”
The outreach project, in order to reach the most people for the money invested, typically involves connecting with a local church or group of churches to throw a large fiesta. The clowns they partner with will draw in crowds of children and families, encourage them to dance and play, and then engage them with Bible stories and a child-level explanation of the Plan of Salvation.
On this most recent trip, the Thorntons enlisted the aid of ten Costa Ricans including a driver and interpreter. Because of the success of these outreaches, the clown ministry has grown and been given immense support. Over a thousand gifts for the children and 17 piñatas were provided by local churches, while the Thorntons themselves contributed 170 soccer balls (highly prized among the children who won them in games due to the popularity of the sport in Latin America) and several bags of supplies and clothes for the needy.
Their ministry trip this year saw 230 children saved along with 8 adults.