Latin Link held its International Assembly in Guatemala from 1–7 February, drawing together its members from across Latin America and Europe to consider the next phase of mission and endorse some key decisions.
An important moment was the handover of the International Team Leader (ITL) role from Alan Tower to Paul Turner. Alan, who served as ITL for eight years, commented: ‘It’s been a good gathering for Latin Link for the future. Personally, very good. Lots of goodbyes, lots of good comments. It’s been a lot of fun.’
Following the event, new ITL Paul Turner commented: ‘This Assembly has refreshed and renewed us as a community. It has enlarged our vision of God’s mission and launched us into the future. We go forward with renewed confidence that God is with us and for us as we seek to be salt and light in the communities he has called us to. It has reminded us again that when you get involved where God is already at work, beautiful things can happen!’
The main sessions looked at some of the big issues facing Latin Link and mission agencies in general. These included:
- an overview of the current trends in mission practice and thinking;
- how migration is affecting the mission world, creating fresh opportunities and creating new challenges;
- how do we do mission for and with millennials;
- the continuing changes in the mission workforce from the global north to the global south.
Tim Flatman, who is serving in Brazil, said: ‘I really enjoyed the main sessions. A really diverse platform, lots to chew on, and they fitted together really well.’ His wife, Hannah, added: ‘It’s been exciting to see Latin Link thinking outside the box and how the future of mission is going to continue.’
There were lots of other activities, including workshops, daily times of prayer and worship, daily devotionals, and relaxing times of fun too.
For Douglas Cowan (serving in Spain), highlights were ‘the worship times and the devotionals. They were special. A great sense of community, of worshipping together. God was there, we were there – it was good!’
There was also plenty of time to chat and network – something that many members seemed to appreciate. Mayra Gomez (Mexico) commented: ‘My favourite time is the fellowship – talking, sharing, praying together, in informal ways, in corridors, after and before meals and coffee.’ And Hannah Wilkinson (Peru) backed this up: ‘My highlight has been the fellowship between the different countries, getting to know other people, being encouraged in what we’re doing with Latin Link.’
Another highlight for many was the afternoon trips to see some of the projects and places where Latin Link Guatemala team members work and minister – including a home for girls who have escaped abusive backgrounds, a holistic mission training centre for pastors and leaders, a ministry working with those who earn a living off Guatemala City’s main rubbish dump, and a ministry that works with children, young people and families at risk.
And to give the last word to new ITL Paul: ‘If I could sum up the Assembly in three words it would be: encouragement, engagement and enthusiasm! A thankfulness for everything God has done through Latin Link up until this point, and an excitement for everything he has in store for us for the future.’
You can view videos of the main sessions, plus summaries of each day by visiting the Latin Link Guatemala Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/LatinLinkGuatemala/