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Issue 11; November 2008

Window On the World

Regional Window Middle America and Caribbean

Fast Facts: 

    

Mexico, Central America, Panama, non-US Caribbean islands, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname 257 Unreached People Groups 178 million lost people 360 IMB missionaries Religions: Roman Caltholicism, Hinduism, Islam, Santeria, Voodoo, animistic tribal religions. The deaf in Mexico are the largest UPG

Southern Pocomam of Guatemala     

Population: 42,000 Lang: S. Poqomam

Announcements: November 13th- 7:00pm- Missions Information Conference with IMB Candidate Consultant, Joel Sutton November 18th- Operation Christmas Child @7:00pm, Bring a shoe box and filler items and the WMC will provide wrapping and snacks. For more information about OCC, check out page 3 of this newsletter. November 21-22- Missionary Garage Sale8:00am-2:00pm- Come support SWBTS students as they leave for the Missions Field.

Religion: Animism Evangelical: 1% Status: Formative

or nominal church.

Facts and map from

Unless otherwise noted, all events are at the WMC. Contact Amy Perry ext. 7500 or for more information.

People Group Profile Taken From:

Open Window 

Please be in prayer for the former SWBTS students who recently finished IMB training and are now beginning life in a new country and ministry.

Pray for the lost people of inner-city Mexico City who are enslaved by drugs, violence, prostitution, and pornography. There are few people there working to bring them hope.

Pray for the Hindu population of Suriname. If they convert to Christianity they are ostracized and rejected by their families. Pray for boldness of local believers.

Pray for the financial situation in the United States and in the world, as this can greatly affect the IMB budget and overseas spending power.

As the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering gets underway this month, pray that people will give generously, in faith that God will supply all of their needs and multiply what they give for His purposes.

Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike... It has been a very wet and windy hurricane season for the island of Hispaniola. Haiti and the Dominican Republic have experienced flooding, power outages, and damage to houses, businesses, trees and crops. But the Lord God has the incredible power to turn affliction into hope. Pray for God's love to be poured out through His people on the island of Hispaniola, changing affliction to hope.

"... but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (HCSB). Romans 5:3-5

Window Blinds The Horse Whisperer A church planter and a horse whisperer team up to reach cowboys in Mexico On opposite sides of the border, two cowboys heard God‟s whisper. Down south in Agua Prieta, Mexico, it took a while for Andy Hill to figure out exactly what God was saying to him. “I‟m not the sharpest knife in the drawer,” jokes Andy, an International Mission Board missionary in this Mexican border town across form Douglas, Arizona. When God started speaking to him about reaching “vaqueros” - Mexican cowboys—Andy tried to push the idea away at first. “I thought, „Wait a minute. That sounds like too much fun,‟” he says. “I was afraid it was too much my idea and not enough God‟s. But Andy couldn‟t ignore what he and his wife, Lori, noticed about Mexican culture after they arrived in Agua Prieta as new missionaries four years ago. “Here in Mexico it‟s been said that all men are cowboys at heart,” Andy relates. “Mexico has a very diverse population, but at the heart of this country are those roots that they‟ve come from—that „vaquero‟ culture.” He couldn‟t ignore, either, the fact that local believers weren‟t reaching the many “vaqueros” who live and work around Agua Prieta. Among Christians, “there‟s been an attitude that once you become a believer, you have to leave anything they consider worldly behind. And that includes things you enjoy doing,” Andy says. “So if a man is a „vaquero‟, if he has horses or enjoys those sorts of things, he has to leave all that stuff, all his old friends, behind. He has to completely separate himself from that.” That attitude didn‟t sit well with Andy, who grew up around horses and cattle on a small farming and ranching operation near Haskell, Texas. “We‟re told in God‟s Word to be in the world but not of the world, and you can‟t be in the world unless you‟re interacting with it,” says Andy. You can‟t win the lost to Christ, you can‟t live your testimony in front of them, if you‟re living apart from them.” The more Andy lived around „vaqueros‟ in Agua Prieta, the more he realized God was up to something with them. Then one day the phone rang. It was Andy‟s missionary supervisor. ”Andy, have you ever thought about starting „vaquero‟ churches in your area—reaching out to the cowboys?” Allen asked. . . For more of this story and how God is using ordinary people‟s gifts and talents to further His kingdom, check out


Local Missions

Operation Christmas Child

Filled with a heart for the lost and a desire to learn more about the Buddhist world view, seven members of the SWBTS family journeyed to the far land of Arlington, TX to engage in a day of learning and seed sowing. On Saturday, October 18th, Art Savage and Dr. Keith Eitel led four students to the Kadampa Meditation Center of Texas in order to learn about Buddhism and begin establishing relationships with the monks at the center. The group arrived at the center to find the monks out gilding Buddha statues to adorn the old church building they had purchased in order to convert it to a temple. As the group had contacted them before coming, the monks were expecting them and welcomed them warmly. Within the center, a monk who had recently converted to Buddhism from a Southern Baptist background kindly shared with the group about the beliefs of Kadampa Buddhism and the activities of the center. The monk expressed that they believe all religions lead to Buddha and that Buddha calls people to himself through different religions. He stated that they do not engage in evangelism, but are willing to teach people about Buddhism as they come into their center. Many people come to the center to learn breathing techniques and proper forms of meditation, but few convert to Buddhism. The group learned a lot about this form of Buddhism from the hospitable monk and were able to leave him with a tract before they left. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the Hong Kong Market shopping center on Pioneer Pkwy. After eating lunch in a Vietnamese Noodle Shop, the team divided into two groups and spread through the center passing out tracts and New Testaments and talking to shop keepers and shoppers. The materials were well received by most, though the group was only able to have a few deep conversations with people. Dr. and Mrs. Eitel received a surprise when they ran into an African man and were able to share with him in a pidgin language. Overall, the mini-mission was a valuable experience for the SWBTS participants and for those they came in contact with. Keep your eyes open for more events like this through the WMC!

Since 1993, more than 61 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe to children in desperate situations. OCC Gift Ideas TOYS small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc. SCHOOL SUPPLIES pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc. HYGIENE ITEMS toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc. OTHER Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries) DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items containers; aerosol cans A PERSONAL NOTE In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family.

World Events Please use the events to pray appropriately for the participants

Pushkar Camel Fair in India usually takes place for three days surrounding the November full moon. It is now a tourist event, but at the heart of it is the religious festival, as many saddhu’s bathe in the sacred waters of Pushkar’s lake.

Day of the Dead– November 1st– this holiday is celebrated in many Catholic countries, largely in Mexico. It is a day to venerate the dead and pay homage to them. The real action happens in the cemeteries, where graves are decorated with flowers and sweets, as whole villages descend upon them.

Fireworks Night– November 5th all over England. In homage to Guy Fawkes inability to redecorate the interior of the houses of parliament in 1605, amateur pyro-enthusiasts set off fireworks displays in practically every garden in England.

St. Martin Festival– November 11th– Catholics and some Protestants all over Europe celebrate in honor of this canonized saint who is known for giving part of his cloak to a cold beggar and resisting being made bishop by hiding in a goose barn. This festival manifests itself differently in the customs of different countries. In some countries the children march through the streets with lanterns, in some they practice ancestor veneration, but in all they eat goose.

The Mombassa Carnival– November 15th in Mombassa Kenya– All of Kenya`s myriad tribes and cultures come together in one big festival- a celebration of Kenya in all its varied diversity.

MIRror Santeria & Roman Catholicism Written by: Lorri SeGraves Inseparable For More Than 500 years It was the first day of class in the fall of 2007 at the Universidad Arturo Michelena in Valencia Venezuela, when one of my students arrived dressed completely in white. He had white shoes, white socks, white pants, a white shirt…white everything. It seemed odd at the moment, but I just thought white was his “thing” for that day. I quickly realized, however, that it was his “thing” every day. For the entire semester, whenever I saw this young man, he donned his colorless attire as a testimony to his new faith. He had become a Santero, and was fulfilling his vow for a year of “purification” as part of the discipleship phase of Santeria.

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Santeria is not a new phenomenon. It is a voodoo based religion whose origin in Mexico Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Nicaragua Costa Rica Nigeria among the Yoruba people dates Panama Cuba Haiti Dominican Republic Martinique Trinidad back to the time of Christ. As slaves were brought to the New World, their Suriname Guyana French Guiana Caribbean religion came with them, but in most cases, slave owners quickly required them to convert to Christianity. Because of this, many slaves, in an attempt to retain some of their indigenous beliefs, found a way to fuse elements of Santeria with Catholicism. The result is the modern day syncretistic combination of religious systems, which allows adherents to worship demonic forces with black magic under the protective umbrella of the Roman Catholic Church. Santero “Orishas” have conveniently been renamed for Catholic Patron Saints, and each new convert to Santeria is required to have been baptized first in the RCC. Santeria is increasing in popularity not only in the Caribbean, and Central & South America, but in the US as well. It has become such an issue in the US that in 1993 the Supreme Court in the case The Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah ruled against laws that would prohibit the ritual of animal sacrifice in Santeria practices. Planning to minister in the Caribbean, Central & South America, or even in the United States? Better freshen up on modern day Catholicism. For a more practical explanation of Santeria practices, beliefs, etc., check out this website It will put you on the road to better understanding modern Catholicism and Santeria. It‟s always a good idea to try to gain understanding of a worldview as you design an effective evangelism approach. Written by MIR: Lorri SeGraves

Background Photo Taken From:

November 2008  

Middle America and the Carribean