Above: IMB missionary, left, talks with a community leader in the small town of Lagarto, Ecuador, where the missionary and his wife hope to guide U.S. partnering churches to plant a church. The community leader is not a Christian, but he has agreed to participate in and possibly host a Bible study.

Pray for Oklahoma Baptists serving with the International Mission Board (IMB) throughout Central and South America. Their names and even the number of them are withheld for security reasons on the part of some of them.

Their ministry includes the six components of the missionary task: entry, evangelism, discipleship, healthy church formation, leadership development and exit to partnership.

In this region in 2019, the latest full statistical year available, 28,286 people heard a gospel witness; 2,195 became believers; 578 were baptized; and 23 churches started.

Deep in the desert mountains of Mexico is a small community completely isolated from the outside world with a language and culture that is quickly disappearing. Because of the community’s isolation and devout adoration of idols, it has been almost impossible to reach them with the truth of the Gospel.

However, after a team of Mexican nationals and summer students worked in the area researching and building relationships, the doors have opened for a U.S. church partner to begin working with a local Mexican seminary to bring the truth to this community with no known believers.

Through a soap-making class, Afro-Ecuadorians are learning a valuable and useful skill that has earned governmental recognition. While learning about business and helping their community, they are also being taught the gospel in a very clear way that is transforming their lives. Through this method of evangelism, almost 50 Afro-Ecuadorians came to a saving knowledge of Christ last year.

As a new believer, a leader of an indigenous village in Ecuador began to feel convicted that his tribes’ healing rituals – using certain rocks and other sacred objects to channel the earth’s healing power – was contrary to what the Bible teaches. One IMB missionary couple has a long-time relationship with this tribe and is mentoring this leader and other leaders of nearby villages as they seek to follow the Holy Spirit on this issue.

Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.

Central and South American peoples were featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see more information about the Southern Baptist work globally, visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp.