Latin America through the eyes of a Ukrainian missionary
20 September 2022
Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Ukrainian missionary Taras Sen visited three Latin American countries for the first time to get to know local pastors and help them spread the Gospel through the experience of the Christ is the Answer (CITA) ministries.
During the 10-day trip, he had a chance not only to actively minister to people, but also to experience the cultural peculiarities of these countries.
Accidents are not accidental
Taras Sen usually prays for the expansion of the boundaries of the Ministries and for greater opportunities for the preaching of the Gospel. But in his plans he had the development of the missionary center and the church in Ethiopia, which were started this year. But God had something more.
During the war, he became an active volunteer and often visited Poland on issues of humanitarian aid and service to refugees from Ukraine.
There he met a pastor from Mexico, who also helped victims of the war. The minister from Ukraine shared with his Mexican colleague the experience of organizing outreach events with the help of various tools, in particular, free eye clinics.
Soon, a new “accidental” acquaintance made it possible for the Ukrainian missionary to travel to Mexico, as well as to Guatemala and Honduras.
Serving local people
In three countries, a CITA missionary trained local teams to conduct charitable eye clinics, which the Ministries actively uses in different countries of the world as an effective way to bring the Good News, especially to those who would otherwise never come to a church service:
“We left all the equipment for eye clinics to the local ministers in Honduras, and we will order the equipment for Mexico and Guatemala. They are waiting, they got excited about having eye clinics, they really liked it.”
As a husband and father of six children, Taras Sen usually inspires pastors to hold family meetings in churches, emphasizing the need to maintain and build family relationships. The countries of Latin America were not an exception – on the basis of local churches, he, as an experienced family man and pastor of the church in Rivne, held the following meetings for married couples, hoping that ministers would pick up on this idea and start a good tradition of gathering for family evenings: “Men who attended the meetings were given a task: within two weeks, organize a family party in a restaurant or another place for their wives.”
The minister met with pastors and preached in churches to the descendants of the Masahua, Mayan and Aztec tribes, and also helped the poor people of these countries with food packages on behalf of the Ministries.
There are especially many poor people in Guatemala and Honduras.
The minister says that people in these countries are open to communication and God’s Word.
The plans include, in addition to equipment for eye clinics, the printing of tents for outreach and creating a YouTube channel in Spanish.
Death cult and biblical stories on the streets of Mexico
The image of human skulls on the walls and clothes: paraphernalia associated with death can be seen quite often in this country, because the capital of Mexico, Mexico City, was founded by the Aztecs, who were known for cruelty and sacrificed people.
Since the time of the Spanish colonizers of the 16th century, Aztec temples have been destroyed and Christian churches have been built. But, according to local residents, today there is a tendency to return to ancient traditions.
On the streets of Mexico City, you can see images of biblical stories and parents … with children tied to them: this is a way to protect the child from being kidnapped by unknown people who later demand a ransom.
Mexicans love to eat corn: they add it to all sorts of dishes.
The traditional bread in Mexico is the tortilla. It is made from flour and vegetable oil, served wrapped in cloth to keep warm.
There is an interesting tradition in local churches. When a child is dedicated to God, a real celebration takes place for the whole community: the whole village is invited to such a banquet. By the way, the festive table is laid by all the guests, bringing some dish for the celebration.
The supernatural transformation of Almalongo in Guatemala
Guatemala is a country south of Mexico with a population of 18.7 million. It is considered the most Christian country in Latin America (90% of Christians are Catholics and Protestants). The country is known for the city of Almalongo – a town of 20,000 inhabitants, which received a spiritual awakening after God answered the prayers of zealous Christians who constantly cried out to Him, because the city suffered from drunkenness, witchcraft, violence and idolatry.
Now the town is Christian and is famous for supernatural harvests of agricultural products, the absence of prisons and the honor of God in all spheres of social life.
And in 2016-2020, Guatemala was ruled by the Christian president and former comedian Jimmy Morales. His program was built on conservative values, rejecting same-sex “marriage”, abortion and the legalization of marijuana, the slogan of his election campaign said: “no corruptors, no thieves”.
The Ukrainian missionary noticed that in Guatemala, mostly women with children go to church services, and men are rare guests. Even the family meeting he held was mostly attended by women.
In Guatemala, the missionary plans to hold a children’s camp in the future, as well as gather Sunday school teachers for training to improve their level. And also open a media department and print a newspaper to help churches spread the Gospel.
Children-Intercessors in Honduras
To the south of Guatemala is another country visited by missionary Taras Sen – Honduras. The population of the country is almost 10 million people, of which about 90% consider themselves Christians.
In the 16th century, Honduras became part of the Spanish Empire, where Catholicism was the official religion. The first Catholic service on the American continent took place on August 14, 1502, when Columbus, during his expedition to the New World, landed on the shore in the north of Honduras. Since that time, the colonial authorities pursued a policy of total Christianization of the indigenous inhabitants of the territory.
The part in the southeast of Honduras was under Britain. Here, the majority of local residents are Protestants (Anglicans and Moravian brothers).
Every year, since 1999, children’s prayers are heard on radio and television.
Children aged 7 to 12 have already prevented natural disasters and political catastrophes.
In 2012, 8,000 children from various churches gathered at a stadium in Honduras to pray for the future of their country in the midst of an epidemic of drug trafficking and violence.
As the Ukrainian missionary noticed, in Honduras, men attend church services more often than in Guatemala, and at the family meeting, they actively participated in the program.
The missionary could not fail to notice the natural diversity of Guatemala and Honduras, because these countries are filled with a variety of flowers, majestic mountains, lakes and rivers.
Waiting for new meetings with Latin American ministers to continue fulfilling the Great Commission together.
Press center of the Christ is the Answer ministries.