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Costa Rica 2012

Missionary Conference

LAM Can Connections

Back row: Corporation Member Margot Hickling, Dave and Marilyn Longworth, Jacob Paul, Carluci Dos Santos, Board Chair Kevin Livingston, Esther Bettney with baby Grace, David Bettney, Corp Member Janet Archibald, Pat McInnes, Jim McInnes, Corp Member Megan Enns, Board Member Norman Kerr, Ken and Sue Vissers, Rosa Bravo and behind her, Special Guests Carlos and Karla Cunningham with children Faith and Ferdinand. Second Row: Tracey Pieters, Special Guests Tim and Ericka Harris with children Luke and Aheron; Rhoda and Allan Holt, Bev and Ruben Ramirez, Amanda and Craig Cunningham, Tony and Valentina Liborio with children Yohan, Abigail and Daniel (seated) Front Row: Isabel and Benjamin Martinez, Rodolfo and Nancy Rose Umaña, Robin Barber, Robert Grego, Hernan Bravo.

The Formation of LAM Canada An Insurance Agent, Minister, Married Woman, Solicitor, Executive and a Teacher filed paperwork with the Provincial Secretary’s Office of the Province of Ontario one day … and Latin America Mission (Canada) Inc. was born. The day? March 16th. The year? 1961. Yet one might say the journey towards the formation of the Mission started decades earlier. It could be said it began in 1925, with a visit from Canadian born Dr. Harry Strachan to the Missionary Tabernacle of Toronto to share his vision for LAM, which was then known as the Latin America Evangelization Campaign. It was at that meeting Dr. Strachan challenged the “Minister” - Rev. William L. Thompson – with these words: “Young man, what are YOU doing here?” A year later, the “Minister” and the “Married Woman,” Pearl May Thompson, were commissioned to go to Costa Rica under LAM. Many other Canadians followed – Dr. Marie Cameron (1926), Don and Jean Longworth (1948), Margaret Acheson (1949), Nancy (then Koop) Longworth (1950), Eve Fowler (1951) and Hugh and Olive Worsfold (1956). Gloria Amritt was sent out in the year of LAM Canada’s registration (1961) and shortly thereafter, Vicki Ricketts (1967), Jim and Pat McInnes and Esther Rowe (1971) ventured out under the fledgling mission. The Thompsons’ missionary career brought them back to Canada in 1959, with a new assignment from LAM USA: William was asked to take on the role of “LAM Director for Canada.” Less than two years later, the legal framework of Latin America Mission (Canada) Inc. was in place, and William L. Thompson was appointed its first “Secretary” (or Director). The “Minister” finished his forty year missionary career in that role, officially passing the baton to fellow LAM USA Missionary Gordon Houser in January of 1966. The Housers moved to Canada in the fall of 1965, working alongside the Thompsons for several months to transition into their new role. In the March-April 1966 edition of the Latin America Evangelist, Gordon Houser included the following tribute to the Thompsons in the article he wrote entitled “No rocking chair for the Thompsons”: My wife Bobbie and I, as younger (and greener) missionaries, have played “follow the leader.” We have had the privilege of coming after (the Thompsons) in place after place. They started their missionary career in Costa Rica; we did, too. They moved on to Colombia; we followed. They were transferred to the home end for a while; and so were we. They were sent back to Costa Rica; we, too, were sent back. They were given the charge in Canada; and now we are taking it up. When we were assigned to “come after” to Toronto, we wrote them, “It will be an honor and a pleasure to follow you once again; and we are surely glad we know you are going to heaven!” More on Page 3

From the Director’s Desk Dear Friend of the Mission,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! (Ephesians 1:2) It is our privilege to be back in touch with you once again via the LAM Can Connections newsletter! Since we distributed our Winter/Spring 2010 issue, much has happened in the life of the Mission. We know the missionaries and organizations you support through LAM Canada have kept you up-to-date on their specific ministries. In this increasingly paperless, electronic age in which we live, as a Mission, we have been re-evaluating how to best keep in touch with you on the overall work of LAM Canada. If you have visited our website in the past year, you will note it has been re-designed and our goal is for the website to become our primary platform for keeping everyone “in the know” on Mission news. Be assured we have not abandoned the LAM Canada Connections vehicle of communication entirely! Some news, especially historic events, should be shared via print. Such is the case with this special edition of our newsletter, which highlights two key celebrations held in honour of the Mission’s 50th Anniversary: Our dinner event on November 4, 2011 and the first - ever all LAM Canada Missionary Conference, which was held in Costa Rica from March 30 April 3, 2012. Also included in this edition is a short article on the birth of Latin America Mission (Canada) Inc. back in 1961. The Dinner Event - A video narrated by David Longworth highlighted the work of Roblealto, one of LAM’s earliest ministries, and LAM President Steve Johnson was our keynote speaker, sharing with us on the theme of The Legacy of LAM Missionary Work. The Missionary Conference - The Conference brought together both active and retired missionaries, LAM Board and Corporation members and representation from LAM USA, including the participation of their President, Steve Johnson. Our time together incorporated studies in the letter of Ephesians, in which we grappled with what it means to be new creatures, a new society in Christ. The Conference gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better, to learn about each other’s ministries, and time to seek God’s input into the plans and strategies we placed before Him as we endeavour to continue to develop our work in Latin America. We also took time to visit local ministries. Please see the photo journal which follows for some highlights of the event! Following the Conference, many of the missionaries emailed me - and each other! - to share how much the Conference meant to them, not just as a time of refreshing, but as an opportunity to come to a real understanding that they are part of a wider, caring missionary family. The missionaries are now in touch with one another regularly and they are actively exploring new ways to network, to share resources and experiences with one another. Our long term goal is to facilitate visits by missionaries to other fields so they may observe first hand each other’s work, or may connect with like minded ministries in other countries via referrals from fellow LAM Canada missionaries. We would also like to facilitate similar international training opportunities for national workers who work alongside our missionaries. Please pray with us as we work towards these networking goals. Our Latest Endeavours - In this edition of the newsletter, we would like to share with you our latest projects underway in Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras. We also wish to highlight the relatively new ministry of the Glorious Day Foundation of Costa Rica. Please let us know if you would like to receive more information on any of these ministries. Finances - On the back page of this newsletter you will find a report on our overall finances up to the end of May. We are thankful for your partnership with us and for the resources you have entrusted to us! We know God has blessed His people with spiritual and financial resources and in the days ahead, we trust He will specifically direct each of us on how we may best participate in the building of His Kingdom, both in Latin America and at home. In His care, Live in the Toronto area? Plan to join us on Friday, November 9th for our Annual Dinner! See back page for more details.

Carluci Dos Santos Carluci Dos Santos Executive Director

God Directed Their Steps – Proverbs 20:24a - A last minute engagement cancellation opened up the schedule of Argentina’s living legend trio, the Trio Mar del Plata, permitting them to join us on very short notice as our special music for the evening. We were all blessed by their lively music and rich harmonies, and three former missionaries to Argentina were even more blessed by the impromptu reunion opportunity the Anniversary Dinner provided. See page 4 for additional photos.

Continued from Front Cover

Gordon and Bobbie Houser ably served LAM Canada from 1965 to 1979, diligently promoting the work of the mission and greatly expanding its reach within Canada. They were succeeded by another LAM USA missionary couple, Charles and Betty Derr, in late 1979. The Derrs continued to carry forward the work of the mission in close cooperation with its Board of Directors and Corporation. In 1987, following three missionary terms in Canada, the Derrs felt led by the Lord to resign from their position in Canada, with a view to returning to service in Latin America. This left the Mission with a gap in leadership in the form of an overall director, however, the work of LAM Canada continued, thanks to input from its very dedicated volunteer Board of Directors and Corporation. Those who were involved with the Mission from the mid 1980s to early 90s will readily identify those years as a challenge-filled period in the life of the Mission. Yet they will also remember how God pulled them through each difficulty they faced. In 1991, in the Mission’s 30th year, Dr. Garth Wilson was called upon to step into the role of part time Interim Director. Dr. Wilson was well acquainted with LAM Canada. He joined the Corporation in the late 1970s and he served various terms on the Board of Directors. By God’s grace, LAM Canada began to move forward again, and its “interim” director would go on to serve the mission for sixteen years. In a brief history of the Mission prepared for its 1993 Annual Meeting, Rev. Jack Bart, in the capacity of President of the Board of Directors, described Dr. Wilson’s suitability for the role of director as follows: We are grateful to God for giving us a gifted man like Garth to be our Director. . . Being a pastor, he has a heart for the missionary; but, at the same time, he has the experience of a good deal of organized leadership; he understands and appreciates structure and policy. He is gifted to discern problem areas; spiritual to address issues with a Christ-like attitude; visionary enough to dream great dreams for the future, but simultaneously, he abides in the Faith and is very logical and relevant. He can stand tall amongst the other Christian leaders of our day. Latin America Mission (Canada) Inc. continued to grow and prosper under Dr. Wilson’s leadership and the faithful input of its Board, Corporation and volunteers. In 2006, the Mission recognized the need to pause and reflect on the direction in which it was moving. A formal strategic plan was undertaken, which pointed towards the need for a full time director. In the beginning of 2008, Carluci Dos Santos was called upon to step into the role, initially on an interim basis. Like Dr. Wilson, Dr. Dos Santos was acquainted with the mission through service on the Corporation and Board. He was also a member of the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee. By September of 2008, Dr. Dos Santos accepted the role of Executive Director on a permanent basis, and the Mission is grateful for the leadership he currently provides. It was with humility and wonder, therefore, that LAM Canada marked its 50th Anniversary in 2011, incorporating a celebration of this extraordinary milestone at its Annual Dinner, held on November 4, 2011. In further honour of 50 years in ministry, the Mission continued its celebrations into its 51st year by holding its first all LAM Canada missionary retreat, held March 30 to April 4, 2012 in Costa Rica.

For biographies of early directors and missionaries, see the following issues of the LAM Can Connections: Spring and Fall 2006 (Gloria Amritt, mission trip and bio); Spring 2007 (Don and Nancy Longworth); Fall 2007 (Margaret Acheson); Spring 2008 and Fall & Winter 2009 (Bobbie Houser, Parts 1 and 2). The Spring 2006 edition introduced Carluci and Christina Dos Santos as Corporation Members. Reprints available upon request. The Fall 2007 edition of the Connections includes a tribute to Garth Wilson’s 16 years of service with the Mission.

Dr. Marie Cameron

Margaret Acheson

Gloria Amritt

The ministries of Dr. Marie Cameron and nurses Margaret Acheson and Gloria Amritt embodied the vision of LAM’s founders – ministry to the whole person.

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner – November 4, 2011 After 25 yea Mar deL rs, Trio P Jorge M lata’s archett i er r’s dinn This yea th! 9 r e emb v o N n o is page. See back

and former es to missionari son, Steve John a n Argenti art nd Jack B Margaret a reunion tu m ro imp enjoyed an

Nov 4 Photos by Claire Alexander

Highlights from the Missionary Conference 2012 - Costa Rica on ney’s Nik Dave Bett s il our sm e captured

LAM USA Pres ident Johnson also joined us in Costa R ica – thanks, Stev e!

We visited local ministries We grappled with Paul’s letter to the Ephesians

By the close of the Conference, we came to appreciate the LAM Can family as one which happily and readily . . .

Worships together

Laughs together

Upholds one another


Engages in meaningful

dialogue with one another

Enjoys !


Corporation Member Arthur Longworth - Left

Families within the LAM Can family bless and enrich us, spanning generations.

Coordinator Ken Vissers kept us on track - thanks, Ken! Arthur Longworth provided onsite logistical support - Gracias!

LAM Can’s Latest Projects Detailed descriptions of projects available upon request or visit for further information Petatán Leadership Development – Guatemala - $10,800 over three years Missionary Oversight: Tony and Valentina Liborio Opened in February 2012, the aim of this project is to provide theological training and support for Jacalteco pastors and church leaders by covering their tuition, transportation and food costs related to their studies at SETECA (The Central American Theological Seminary). Financial costs are $1,200 per person per year. Time commitment costs include a willingness to dedicate each Saturday of the nine month academic year to attending classes at the seminary’s extension campus, located in neighbouring Huehuetenango – a mere one and a half hour bus ride away. Two pastors and one church leader are currently participating in the program.

Pictured: Pastor Virgilio de León, his wife Mercedes and their three children. Pastor Virgilio’s church, Iglesia Huerto de Jehová of Petatán, has sixty adult members plus many children. The church itself owes its establishment to SETECA, which sent an outreach team into the area in 1996. Two of those team members, Tony and Valentina Liborio, returned to the region in mid 2011 with their own three children to continue the work they began years earlier in this remote coffee growing community. The Jacalteco are descendants of the Mayans. Puerto Lempira Leadership and Community Development Project - Honduras - $48,000 over four years Missionary Oversight: Nery Duarte (construction teams included) and Benjamín Martínez This recently opened project has a goal of developing a training facility and on site dormitories to serve the leadership development needs of the economically depressed Miskito region of Honduras. Plans include hosting one to two construction teams per year to assist with needed construction. The training facilities will include offices, classrooms and a library. The offices will be dual purpose, in that they will also house the mission sending agency Benjamín Martínez is establishing to send out workers into the interior of Honduras. Once built, the on-site dormitories will provide assured accommodations to pastors and community leaders scattered throughout the region so they may travel in from remote communities and receive extended training. In addition to the dormitories, the budget includes funds for the construction of a basic home for the six member Martínez family: in 2011, they were ousted from their home by an encroaching drug gang, who strongly recommended they vacate the premises. The family has temporary accommodations at a house owned by the Moravian church. For information on the ministry of Benjamín Martínez, see the Winter/Spring 2010 edition of the LAM Can Connections.

Pictured: Surveying the project’s two lots are Benjamín and Isabel Martínez and behind the post, missionaries Nery Duarte and Ken Vissers. See front page for more meaningful photos of the hidden missionaries. Scripture Union Honduras Puerto Lempira Children’s Ministry Project - $14,000 for the first year Missionary Oversight: Ken Vissers SU Honduras: Orlando Japas, Executive Director Benjamín Martínez, in the capacity of regional supervisor for primary schools in his region of Honduras, extended an invitation to SU to train and equip Christian teachers in the area so they can implement SU’s Biblical Values Program in 47 schools, which represent over 3,900 children spread across 12 communities. Puerto Lempira has one public high school and two private schools. The goal is to train 50 teachers/ facilitators to reach 1,500 children in the first year.

Montes de María Leadership and Community Development Project – Colombia - $20,000 Missionary Oversight: Hernán and Rosa Bravo and Fundación Comunidad PAS This project addresses three areas: (1) facilitation of accredited Biblical and theological training for pastors and church leaders; (2) training for Sunday school teachers plus provision of materials for their classes, including evangelism and discipleship materials; and (3) income generation projects, vital to this depressed, largely agricultural region with a 68% unemployment rate. El Carmen de Bolivar and environs – known as los Montes de María – is home to many displaced agricultural workers and includes whole congregations of evangelical believers who were forced to relocate, sometimes on a day’s notice, as to remain where they were would have meant certain death. Workshops for Sunday school teachers include training in how to recognize psycho-emotional trauma in children, and leadership workshops address such practical issues as how to secure government funding for development of social projects in the region. LAM Canada is grateful for the partnership of the Bridgeway Foundation and Bridlewood Presbyterian Church of Scarborough in this project. A team from Bridlewood travelled to the region in early 2011 to see the area first hand and to join the Bravos and Carluci Dos Santos in meetings arranged with local pastors and leaders specifically to discuss the development of this project.

Pictured: Various participants in consultation meetings held in January 2011. Front row, left: Pastor Lee of Bridlewood and missionary Hernán Bravo is in the back row, wearing a plaid shirt.

And Highlighting Some Ongoing Work . . . Glorious Day Foundation – Costa Rica Missionary contact in Costa Rica: David Longworth

Director: Stanford Gordon Contacts In Canada: Paul and Ulli Jespersen

The Glorious Day Foundation (Fundación Glorioso Día) provides shelter for atrisk youth from ages 12 to 18 years, supporting their integral development. The program offered by the Foundation is designed to improve their quality of life, offering them spiritual, vocational, educational, family and social strategies they can use to build a solid plan for their future. Glorious Day currently staffs two youth homes with mentors, along with an interdisciplinary support team, volunteers, and an Education Institute where youth receive academic and vocational classes. They have up to eighteen young men in their care in two homes and are seeking to expand so they may add a home for young women in the same age range. There is a steady demand for placement of at-risk youth in these types of shelters due to social factors such as poverty, lack of educational opportunities, family disintegration, violence and abuse.

Pictured: Stanford Gordon, Executive Director, poses with some of the youth in the care of the Foundation. Bible Fund – Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras (this year) So far in this fiscal year alone, we have distributed $5,700 worth of Bibles, New Testaments and devotional material through projects overseen by our missionaries. In Honduras, an indigenous group received the Word in their own language. The Mission is thankful to the faithful donor who has been the sole contributor to this fund for over two decades. The missionaries appreciate knowing this funding is available when needed. If this type of project resonates with the reader, the fund is open for contributions.

Pictured: Enthusiastic recipients of Bibles and devotional materials in Bolivia.

Picture Yourself at Our Next

Annual Fundraising Dinner

LAM Can Connections Special Edition Summer 2012 Executive Director Carluci Dos Santos Board of Directors Kevin Livingston, Chair Richard Matthews, Vice Chair Bruce Thompson, Treasurer Daniel Masuello, Secretary Carolyn Clubine Allan Holt Norman Kerr Alex Mariona Publishd by Latin America Mission (Canada) Inc. Unit 14 – 3075 Ridgeway Drive Mississauga, Ontario Canada L5L 5M6 Telephone: Facsimile: Email: Website:

905-569-0001 1-866-470-6680

Latin America Mission (Canada) Inc. was founded in 1961 and works in cooperation with Latin America Mission, Inc. Box 52-7900 Miami, Florida 33152-7900

Date: Friday, November 9, 2012 Time: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Place: Avenue Banquet Hall 1600 Steeles Avenue West (Steeles & Dufferin) Concord (Vaughan), Ontario L4K 4M2 Cost: $60 or sponsor a table of 10 for $600 Please RSVP by Friday, November 2nd via email to or call Rhoda at 905-436-9811 To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations. (Ephesians 3:21)

Financial Overview – September 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012 First Three Quarters of Fiscal Year This Year To May 31

Last Year To May 31

Income Missionaries and Projects General Fund Income Interest Income

583,470 130,037 (219)

594,035 110,108 3,589

Total Income



Expense Missionaries and Projects Operating Expenses

583,470 130,807

594,035 113,574

Total Expense





and Latin Link 87 London Street Reading, England, U.K. RG1 4QA Our Gift Policy Spending of funds is confined to LAM Canada approved ministries and projects. If a preference has been expressed as to how LAM Canada uses a gift, the gift remains a gift to LAM Canada to be used to best advance its charitable purposes. When the need for any ministry or project has been met, or cannot be completed for any reason determined by LAM Canada, any remaining funds will be used where needed most as determined by the Board of LAM Canada.

Net Surplus (Deficit) E.&O.E

Latin America Mission Canada Summer 2012 Newsletter  

This edition highlights the 50th anniversary of the Mission. It also features a few holitic development projects currently being developed b...

Latin America Mission Canada Summer 2012 Newsletter  

This edition highlights the 50th anniversary of the Mission. It also features a few holitic development projects currently being developed b...