Latin American Summer Mission Campaigns
Students with two or more years of Spanish or the equivalent speaking ability train during the academic year learning the culture and personal evangelism skills in Spanish. They then go on summer campaigns to Latin America.
Traditionally, Harding's summer campaigns led by Professor Conley have gone to Venezuela. Due to the political situation there, some countries have also been visited. The group in 2002 went to Comitán, Mexico, the group in 2003 went to Lima, Peru, but the 2004 campaign returned to Venezuela.
Venezuela, focus of the majority of Harding's Latin American summer campaigns, is a nation of over 20 million people, located on the northern coast of South America. The capital city is Caracas, with a population of over 6 million. There are several other cities with over one million in population.
Six weeks yearly in June and July.
An opportunity to co-labor with the Latin American brethren in a time period dedicated to extensive emphasis on individual Bible studies. We have discovered that the "one-on-one" approach yields much fruit and contributes to solid church growth. Upon arrival in our cities, we visit with currently enrolled Bible correspondence course students and set up personal studies with them.
The area is very receptive. As students of Spanish, or as individuals with Spanish speaking skills, we are able to begin working immediately, teaching and communicating with Latin Americans in their native tongue.
Supervisors in Latin America:
We work under the leadership of local missionaries and national preachers.
Target countries and cities:
In past campaigns to Venezuela, the group has centered its efforts in a number of larger cities such as Caracas, Barquisimeto, Maracaibo, Mérida and San Cristobal. As opportunities and needs arise, new locations are included in the outreach effort.
A brief history of the Venezuelan work:
When the Bob Brown family (currently stationed in the U.S.) arrived in Venezuela in 1977, there were only 7 brethren worshiping in Caracas and about the same number in Maracaibo, the only other congregation. There are now over 450 in Caracas, over 100 in Maracaibo, about 200 in Barcelona, Cabimas and Barquisimeto, with many other congregations having begun in the interior as a result of this work. There are now over 60 congregations in the nation. All of the major congregations are self-supporting in that they provide the funds for their meeting facilities and their immediate congregational needs. Some of these also support their own full time preachers.
Campaigns have been conducted every summer since 1978 mostly in Venezuela. In the past 25 years, well over 1,000 people have been added to the Lord's church either as a direct or as an indirect result of the Harding campaigns or work activities. At least six congregations have been established through contacts made in these efforts.
A great door of opportunity is open to us in this yearly work. Please plan to help us, whether by joining us during the summer, or by providing support to those who will be members of our team.
Overseeing Congregation for LATIN AMERICAN SUMMER CAMPAIGNS: The College Church of Christ, Searcy, Arkansas
Address for reference:
Box 10897, Harding University
Searcy, AR 72143
VENEZUELAN CAMPAIGNS HAVE BEEN HELD IN (NOT IN ORDER):
Caracas, Cumaná, Barcelona, Ciudad Guayana, Maracay, San Felipe, Barquisimeto, Cabudare, Maracaibo, Cabimas, Mérida, San Cristobal, Valera, and Margarita Island.