Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (Manna 68: Succession: Generation Next)
Current Developments in the Western Hemisphere Missionary Work
TOC | Previous | Next

Current Developments in the Western Hemisphere Missionary Work

Derren Liang—Irvine, California, USA

Editor’s note: Two issues ago, we talked about the work in the Eastern Hemisphere; in this issue we will turn our eyes towards the west.

The Western Hemisphere includes the four major continents of North America, South America, Europe and Africa. The main organizational bodies within the Western Hemisphere Department of World Missions (WHDWM) are:

·          the United States General Assembly (USGA),

·          the United Kingdom General Assembly (UKGA),

·          the Canadian Coordination Center (CCC),

·          the Central and South American Coordination Center, and

·          the European Coordination Center.

The responsibilities of the WHDWM are to understand the operations and needs of the various committees, provide manpower and resources, and give suggestions and coordinate activities with related committees.

Latin America

Latin America comes under the care of the USGA. Within Latin America, the Central and South American Coordination Center is responsible for Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Paraguay, while the Dominican Ministry Committee is responsible for the Dominican Republic.

Latin America is fertile ground for the gospel. Currently, we have a church in Argentina, prayer houses in Chile, Foz, and Sao Paulo, and places of worship in Ecuador and Bolivia. There are about five hundred members in this region. Apart from the members in Sao Paulo, who are mostly Portuguese-speaking Brazilians, the rest are primarily of Asian descent. Every year, the church holds a Youth Theological Seminar in Argentina to train the youths in Latin America. As the main language in Latin America is Spanish, we ask that God prepare more Spanish-speaking workers, so that the gospel may be spread more widely, starting from each place of worship.

The USGA has established the Spanish Ministry Committee (SMC), which is responsible for the Spanish-speaking populations in the USA and also assists with the ministry in the Dominican Republic. The SMC divides workers into groups every year to take care of the work in the Dominican Republic. Volunteers accompany ministers to help with Religious Education (RE) training and the establishment of the local RE system. In addition, a Spanish camp is held every summer, and the Spanish-speaking volunteers are sent to conduct street evangelism in different countries.

At this time, Latin America most urgently needs Spanish-speaking members to assist its ministry. Youths are encouraged to learn Spanish, equip themselves spiritually, and prepare themselves to serve in the Latin America ministry.


The African ministry is divided into English-speaking and French-speaking African countries. The African Missionary Committee (AMC), under the UKGA, is responsible for the English-speaking African countries, whereas the African French-speaking Committee, under Paris church, takes charge of the French-speaking African countries. The South African Ministry Committee, established by the International Assembly in 2008, is responsible for South Africa.

There are four hundred members in South Africa, dispersed throughout the country. Most of the members came from China after the year 2000. There is a church in Johannesburg and a place of worship in Cape Town. Regular Sabbath services are held in both places. The church in Johannesburg serves as a coordination center for the nationwide ministry.

The gospel has been preached to ten English-speaking African countries—six in central and western Africa, and four in eastern Africa. The main center of work in western Africa is in Ghana. The main center in eastern Africa is Kenya, which conducts pastoral and evangelistic work for both regions. There are approximately one hundred churches and places of worship in eastern and western Africa; each place of worship has approximately 10 to 250 members.

As with all pioneering regions, one of the goals of the African ministry is to establish churches that are self-reliant, self-supporting and able to conduct their own work of evangelism. As such, the AMC sends workers to the various churches and places of worship annually to train and equip the local members. These workers help in different areas, for example, in religious education, and by training full-time ministers and church council members. The training of workers is important as this establishes the foundation of evangelism and is the basis for the stable development of the local churches.

In order for the holy work to progress in the long run, the AMC is also actively training youths in various countries to take over the work eventually. These youths help to train up RE teachers among the youths in Africa, and also help to set up the RE system in the African churches. In addition, volunteers also help to conduct Youth Theological Seminars (for youths over eighteen years of age) and National Student Spiritual Convocations (for those below eighteen). For example, student spiritual convocations have been held in Kenya for the last eight years, and this has helped to build up the faith of hundreds of youths. Both these events require many volunteers who can serve as counselors. In order to enhance this work, the African ministry needs more volunteers with relevant experience.

As the African missionary work requires workers with different talents, the AMC conducts an annual volunteers’ training program in the United Kingdom (UK) since 2004. Volunteers from the UK, Continental Europe, America, Canada, and even Asia have attended this program. Once the volunteers are trained, they are divided into groups to accompany full-time ministers to Africa. Some youths return to attend this training program year after year to encourage and share their experiences with new attendees. As the pioneering work expands, the need for dedicated voluntary workers to support this ministry becomes increasingly urgent.

In 2010, the AMC established the Volunteers Team (VT) to aid in the work. The VT is divided into three teams: the Religious Education Group (REG), the Religious Seminar Group (RSG), and the Recruitment Awareness Group (RAG). The REG aims to build up the religious education system. The RSG plans and manages the annual National Student Spiritual Convocation including teacher recruitment. The RAG recruits volunteers and oversees the promotion and central archiving of the missionary work. The VT also holds regular meetings to discuss ways to improve the missionary work in Africa.

If you are interested to serve as a volunteer in the African ministry, or would like more information, please contact the VT via e-mail at AMC_vt@tjc.org.

Continental Europe, RUSSIA, Dubai

The pioneering work in Russia began in 1995, and to date more than one hundred people have received baptism. However, most of these members have since returned to their homeland China, leaving only around forty to fifty members in Moscow, which has its own church building. The Russian Ministry Committee, under the UKGA, is responsible for the Russian ministry.

There are also fixed places of worship in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Italy, Spain, and Greece. There are a total of around two hundred members and regular services are held in these places. Most members in these countries are from mainland China. The Care Team for Pioneering Areas in Continental Europe periodically sends workers to provide pastoral care and conduct spiritual convocations in these places of worship. The European Coordination Center is responsible for the communication and coordination among the churches, prayer houses and places of worship in continental Europe.

Future Directions

Currently, the UKGA and USGA provide most of the manpower and resources required for the missionary work of the Western Hemisphere. In the future, we hope that the UKGA will exclusively lead and support the work in Africa and Europe, and that the USGA will focus on the work in Latin America. Additionally, if the various coordination boards and coordination centers are able to grow rapidly, they would be able to play a much bigger role in the missionary work of the Western Hemisphere, greatly benefiting the ministry. Therefore, let us always remember this important work in our prayers.

The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. There are still many undeveloped areas in the Western Hemisphere that are waiting to receive the gospel. May God move more brothers and sisters to prepare and equip themselves, so that they will be able to join in the work of global evangelism.

PDF Download

Author: Derren Liang