Hosting a Latin American
Since 1999, Latin Link has been connecting Latin Americans with receiving churches in the UK and Europe. It's been exciting to see the growth of these churches and the positive impact on their communities. How could your church benefit from hosting a Latin American mission worker?
A new wave of mission
In Western Europe, we have been accustomed to sending people overseas as missionaries for a very long time, but we are not so accustomed to receiving them. The world has changed!
Christianity in the world has moved south. As the northern hemisphere has become less Christian, churches in the south have grown. Not only have the numbers increased but the church in the global south is a mature church. They are taking their place in building the Kingdom of God, not only in their own countries but throughout the world as well.
In Latin America, this growing church displays characteristics such as vibrant faith and love, enthusiastic worship, spontaneous evangelism and expectation, and a passion for world mission. The Global South (including Latin America) has become the powerhouse of sending mission workers across the world.
In Britain and Ireland, there is an increasing need to communicate our faith effectively within the context of our relationships. Latin Americans are naturals at building relationships and many have blessed British and European churches through their short and long-term active involvement.
If you are interested in receiving a Latin American mission worker in your church, then keep on reading…
“With over 100 years of mission in Latin America, Latin Link has gained a good grounding in, and understanding of, both cultures [European and Latin American]. We’re in a privileged position to be able to send and receive mission workers in a way that’s culturally appropriate, genuinely loving, and effective in sharing the gospel.”
Simone Lockyer, Head of Programmes
We send Latin Americans who love God and are passionate to see lives changed by the Gospel. They will be of different ages and life experiences, with different gifts and qualifications.
Latin Link offers Latin Americans the opportunity to participate in two of its programmes: Stride (6-24 month placements) or Stay (placements over 2 years).
Rather than set up its own projects, Latin Link places selected people within the ministry teams of local churches or church projects.
What Latin Link looks for in a receiving church or project
- a welcoming and caring church which values workers from another culture and respects their professional training and strengths
- cooperation in providing a job description and other documents necessary for visa applications
- help in drawing up a realistic budget
- appropriate opportunities for ministry with supervision
- accommodation: either board and lodging with a church family or inexpensive rented accommodation
- local orientation: transport, banks, registration with a doctor and dentist, finding English classes at the appropriate level where necessary, registration of children in suitable local schools if applicable
- designated local pastoral care and line management. Incoming Mission staff will keep in contact with the local leadership
What Latin Link provides
- contact with Latin American churches and mission agencies in the recruitment of suitable personnel
- consultation with interested churches
- a realistic budget
- advice and supervision of the visa application process. Most candidates will need a Certificate of Sponsorship from Latin Link to apply for a visa
- reception and initial orientation
- support in supervision and pastoral care in Portuguese or Spanish. The Incoming Mission ministry will arrange a mentor for Striders or those in their first two years of ministry
- opportunities for contact with other Latin American members of Latin Link
- prayer support through Latin Link’s prayer network.
Those accepted onto the Stay or Stride programmes are expected to raise their own personal support. It is possible that the placement church or project will help to cover the cost of accommodation. Every budget is different as costs vary from person to person. Latin Link will therefore formulate a personalised budget for each candidate.
The budget will include costs for items such as accommodation, living expenses, visas, ministry expenses, and flights.
In addition, there will an amount to cover a contribution to Latin Link, which will include a small monthly cost towards administration as well as an amount towards the annual Incoming Ministry retreat.
What Latin Link charges placement churches or projects
A flat-rate charge is made to each church or project of £100 for each placement. This is to help cover administration, costs of visa applications and ongoing pastoral care visits.
All members are expected to have a reasonable level of English before they arrive in the UK. This will be to at least level 4.5 on the IELTs exam scale. Once in the UK it may be agreed for the member to continue to do some further English study if required.
A word about visas
As an UKVI official sponsor, Latin Link will normally sponsor the visa application and supervise the process. The receiving church does not usually need to be involved.
Interested in knowing more? Get in touch
If your church would like to consider hosting a mission worker from Latin America, or for more information, please contact our Head of Programmes, Simone, at email@example.com.