Mobilizing Latino Youth

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As many of you may know I (Talo Vergara) am a full time GMI missionary on loan to another mission organization called MOVIDA (Moving Lives). The purpose of MOVIDA is to challenge the youth to a total commitment to God and to serve actively in the local church and world missions. MOVIDA puts together a missionary conference (CIMA) every year in each country of Latin America where they have an office and the big vision of the organization is to expand to all the countries of Latin America. To continue accomplishing this vision MOVIDA has opened Costa Rica. The organization began a little over 20 years ago in the South of the continent and it has experiment continuing growth with work in seven Latin countries (Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Costa Rica) and offices both in Germany and United States.

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Apart from the national CIMA conferences, every four years MOVIDA organizes an international CIMA, which just happened in Cordoba, Argentina in January 2014. We had over 2,000 participants, 250 volunteers and 80 speakers from over 20 different countries. I moved to Argentina and lived in Cordoba for the last two years to be one of the persons in charge of this massive conference.

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I was named Director of MOVIDA Argentina, and for the conference we had a big goal of having 700 Argentinians attending CIMA International. Because Argentina was hosting it, we had the largest number of youth at CIMA International. I can gladly say that after a lot of efforts in promotion and communication with people, we reached the goal by having 750 Argentinians at the conference. To accomplish this, I traveled long distances by bus, all across the big country of Argentina. Just in 2013 I estimated that I traveled at least 10,000 miles by bus, so imagine that! I also traveled to Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay to promote the conference.

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The other responsibility I had for CIMA International was the Evangelistic and social help day. On this day, during the conference, we took all the participants and volunteers (2,500 people) to various parts of the city to share Christ with the people. We contacted and worked with almost 15 different churches in Cordoba, and we went to poor and difficult neighborhoods. We organized a campaign called “LIMPIAMENTE” and distributed 50,000 handouts. The idea was to talk about the value of “cleanliness” but at the same time, the Spanish word is a play on words, because it can also mean “clean mind.” In this way, we were able to share the importance of cleaning our minds, and that the only way to do that is with Christ in our lives. The passages we used were Romans 12:2 and Galatians 5:22-23. It was an unforgettable day to see a city impacted by the love of Christ demonstrated by thousands of His followers to other people.

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After the success of CIMA International, I have moved to Quito, Ecuador to start working not only for the next National CIMA which will take place from July 28th to August 3rd, but we are already planning to have the first International CIMA for the north of South America (mainly Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, etc) in 2016. The idea is to have international conferences every two years alternating between Argentina for the South, and Ecuador for the North. The challenge we have, as MOVIDA Ecuador is great, since the organization is quite unknown in this region. I am now in my seventh week here in Ecuador and I have already traveled a lot (North, South and West of the country) to promote the new conference that will take place in a month and to make new contacts for the future. The new challenge is interesting and big, but I am excited to continue on mobilizing and getting Latinos excited and involved in the work of God in the world.

To learn more about Talo, his ministry, and how you can be involved, please visit http://bit.ly/TaloVergara

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