Cross-Cultural Training Becomes More Accessible
One of the exciting movements coming out of the Ibero- American Region of The Wesleyan Church is the focus on sending out missionaries to unreached people groups. As more countries within the I-A region grew more interested in sending people out, it became necessary to provide training for those people. The Ibero-American and Caribbean Missions Board, JIBACAM, began to develop courses and tools to train people to live and work cross-culturally. The problem was finding a way to provide the training across the region which was accessible and affordable. This need led to the development of La Escuela de Misiones JIBACAM, the JIBACAM Missions School (EMJ), which began on March 6, 2023.
EMJ is an online program developed in conjunction with various missions leaders across the region who added their collective input into the course content. It is designed to be a two-year program divided into four courses each year. The courses being taught are Cultural Empathy, World Mission, Cultural Anthropology, Phonetics, Literacy, Acquiring a Second Language, Linguistics and Planting Transcultural Churches. By offering the courses online, they can be accessible to anyone around the world at a low cost.
While the courses are currently offered in Spanish and Portuguese, the goal is to translate them to other languages so they can be used by the other regions of The Wesleyan Church.
EMJ is made up of a team of eight facilitators who all have experience on the field and as teachers. Praise God for bringing together experienced leaders who are willing to take on this new way of teaching. As the courses began to come together it was evident a new online server was going to be needed and God provided someone who was able to set up a new site at a very low cost. It is exciting to see how God will use the program to train up the next generation of church leaders and missionaries.
We are excited that after years of working on this project, anyone who is interested in missions – including those who are in diverse contexts without other training options – can now access quality and affordable training from anywhere. The potential for growth is limitless and this could be the first step towards something that facilitates missions movements around the world. It’s exciting to know that at the end of the program each one will feel that “yes it is possible to complete the cross-cultural mission,” overcoming prejudices and fears.
We invite you to pray with us as we continue this work. Please pray for the leaders of the program as they teach the courses and adapt the program to fit needs. Pray for the students – that they would truly come away with a deeper knowledge and understanding of cross-cultural missions and a passion to reach the world for Christ. Pray for necessary finances, that the number of students continues to grow, the spirit of God would be present and the work of EMJ would bring glory to the Lord.