The New Face of Global Anglican Mission
Arlinda Sá Souza had a dream over thirty years ago as a new Christian in Brazil that God is still using in her life today.
She had just heard a missionary speak at her church about the 10/40 window and she felt her heart stirring with a call. “But where are you calling me, Lord?” she had asked. Later that night she was given a very detailed dream of a city on the ocean. As she shared the dream with a friend the next day her friend began laughing. “I know that city! It’s Nazaré, Portugal.”
This dream began a thirty-year journey for Arlinda, her husband Bruno, and their daughter Thais of preparing to answer that call to Nazaré.
In October 2017 Caminemos Juntos* held its annual conference for the Americas in Recife, Brazil. The theme of the gathering was global mission and the purpose of that time was equipping the Anglican Church in Latin America to send missionaries and church planters throughout the world. Bruno and Arlinda Souza from the Diocese of Recife (now soon to be a GAFCON province in Brazil) attended the conference and shared about their calling to Portugal and how they had been waiting for the church to send them and for the Lord’s right timing to go.
Bruno and Arlinda were invited to apply to become missionaries with the Greenhouse Movement (the mission society that facilitates the Caminemos Juntos conferences) and then to attend Greenhouse’s weeklong missionary training held in Chicago. After this they spent ten additional days on mission amongst the Mexican immigrant community in Chicago. Their hope is to be sent to Portugal in January of 2019 as the new Province of Brazil’s first global missionaries and to eventually serve locally under Bishop Andy Lines, the GAFCON bishop for Europe.
Brazilians, in partnership with Americans, being sent to plant a church in Portugal, under an English Bishop (who himself had been a missionary in Paraguay). This is the exciting, and at times mind-boggling, new face of global Anglican mission!
This is a mission that is polycentric. In other words it is no longer simply “from the west, to the rest” but rather from “everywhere to everywhere,” to use the language of the Lausanne Movement. It is also highly multicultural. The global mission teams of the future will involve two, three, or four nationalities working in an altogether different local cultural context made up of many different sub-cultures. For example, a mission team might involve Brazilians, Kenyans and Australians reaching North African Muslim immigrants in Spain.
This new global mission also involves deep partnerships between the Church in the Global North and Global South. The Global North has a long history of global sending and financial resources, but increasingly faces a shortage of missionary candidates. At the same time, many areas of the Global South, such as the Church in Brazil, are experiencing revival and growth and are overflowing with willing and able missionary candidates, though as a Church they have less experience and financial resources.
And finally, the global mission of the future takes into account the reality of global diaspora. Today we are experiencing the greatest movement of peoples the world has ever seen. This presents an amazingly unique missional opportunity that may be missed if the Church succumbs to nationalistic and ethnocentric political currents.
Please pray for Bruno, Arlinda and Thais and for a whole new Spirit-empowered wave of Anglican missionaries from the Global South for Europe and the ends of the earth.
*Caminemos Juntos, which means “Let’s Walk Together” in Spanish, is the GAFCON network for Latin America and is led by Bp. Tito Zavala, Bp. Miguel Uchoa, Rev. Cn. William Beasley, and Rev. Jonathan Kindberg. These leaders, among others, will be helping to lead the Global Mission Network sessions of the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem in June 2018.
The Rev. Jonathan Kindberg is co-coordinator of Caminemos Juntos and the dean for the ACNA deanery in Mexico. He was born in Peru, and grew up in Chile and Panama, and currently resides in Chicago, where he pastors Iglesia de la Resurreccion and has helped plant several other Latino congregations. You can contact Jonathan here.