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I am on my way to the TWR partners’ conference for Latin America in Sǎo Paulo, Brazil. This time a question asked by someone I just met is still echoing in my mind.

The first time I met him, we started talking about my work and TWR in Latin America. He looked blank at me, stale blue eyes and said: “Latin America? All people are Christians there, why bother?”

At that moment I was speechless. I felt offended! If God loves the nations, shouldn't we also? Why skip Latin America? I decided not to get involved in a deep discussion. It was not the right time. So, I changed the subject to something lighter.

Many Christians probably think like him but don't say it out loud. They are so focused on the Muslim world, Africa and Asia, that the term “forgotten continent” is applicable to Latin America when you think in terms of the gospel and aid.

On the Joshua Project website, this progress-map indicates that almost the whole continent is green. That means according to their standards Latin America is reached. Joshua Project defines “reached” as when an indigenous community of believing Christians exists within the people group that can evangelize their own people.

The long flight to Sǎo Paulo gives me time to reflect on this.

In Sǎo Paulo, I will meet representatives from most of TWR's Latin American partners. These dedicated people all work very hard to speak hope to Latin America. I will meet my Venezuelan colleague, whose country is falling apart. Thousands and thousands are fleeing the country. I will meet Dr. Peggy Banks, leader of TWR Women of Hope. How does her ministry bring hope to women who live in a region where the violence against women Is incredibly high?

Yes, most of my colleagues are indigenous Christian leaders. Christians inside the country can bring the gospel. However, they sure need help and prayer from their brothers and sisters around the world. Latin America is in Jesus’ heart. By the end of the week, I hope to give answers as to why Christians should bother about Latin America!

To be continued…

Mariette Oosterhoff

TWR Marketing & Communications director for Latin America & the Caribbean