In October 2016, DNA co-founder Darrow Miller visited four South American countries, teaching God’s Word, reconnecting with old friends and colleagues, and seeing some of the many ways God is building his Church through artists, pastors, activists, teachers, non-profit leaders and people in all sectors of society. Here is a brief recap.
Darrow reconnected with Rev. Hector Pardo, pastor of Tabernáculo de la Fe and an influential leader in the nation as a whole. To seek cultural renewal, Hector has personal relationships with an influential rabbi and imam in Colombia, and he interfaces often with the national government. For years, he has been working as a peacemaker between Colombia’s government and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), a guerrilla movement involved in the armed conflict prevalent in Colombia since 1964.
The DNA network has been active in Colombia for some time. Yarley Niño, a native of Colombia, is part of the DNA’s Global Leadership Team and frequently teaches Colombian churches about biblical worldview and God’s design for local churches as agents of cultural transformation.
At an evening workshop at the Tabernáculo de la Fe, Darrow engaged with dozens of young people. One of the topics discussed was that of balladeers: artists who use their talents to shape culture. Paulo Pascagaza Gacha is one young Colombian musician who realizes that a movement needs music and is working on a project to write a ballad for each of the Seven Transforming Truths.
Jairo and Catalina Diaz Moscoso are long-time friends of Darrow and his wife, Marilyn. Jairo recently returned to work as a church pastor, and Catalina continues to run Fundación Ámalos, which teaches children, adolescents and adults about a healthy, biblical view of sexuality. One of their two daughters, Paulita, is in remission from leukemia. Please pray for her continued health!
Darrow made a quick stop in La Paz, Bolivia, to visit Arturo and Patricia Cuba, long-time friends he hadn’t seen in 15 years. Darrow was pleased to see that Arturo is still traveling all over the nation teaching DNA messages on wholistic community development, identifying and using local resources, and the role of the local church in the development of a community. God has given Arturo a platform as a sort of pastor of pastors.
In Brazil, Darrow met with Jim Stier, founder of Youth with a Mission‘s (YWAM) work in Brazil. Brazil has become one of the largest missionary-sending countries in the world, and much of this is due to Jim’s missions vision and leadership. Every year, Darrow has the privilege of teaching for a week in Jim’s Leadership Training School somewhere in the world.
He also reconnected with Mauricio Cunha who founded CADI–Center of Integrated Assistance and Development. This is a ministry to poor children in local communities, based largely on DNA principles of church-based community development. CADI works with 16,000 children in eight Brazilian provinces. Mauricio, who was mentored 25 years ago by Bob Moffitt and Darrow, also is part of the national government’s commission for social justice.
“It is wonderful to see what God is doing through the ideas that founded the DNA and that reside in Mauricio,” Darrow says. In the future, Mauricio and Nelson Monteiro of Instituto Um27 will be working more closely together in Brazil.
The United Bible Societies is a worldwide network present in 200 countries and territories and dedicated to “making the Bible available, known and loved.” The Argentine Bible Society has a special initiative to encourage people to study God’s Word and then apply it in the public square. This initiative is led by Marcos Buzzelli, coordinator of the area of biblical influence.
“Marcos may well have started the DNA,” Darrow says, given how similar his work is to the DNA’s mission. Darrow is excited to have made this connection with Marcos, and we look forward to exploring avenues for collaboration with Bible Societies across South America.
Darrow’s time in Argentina was full, with seven different venues for teaching. He focused mainly on The Transforming Story and The Power of Story in these sessions.
He also met Marcelo Robles, colleague and friend of Marcos and the national director of Red Universitaria Evangélica, which uses churches as the basis for university education. They have 25 university centers in Argentina with more than 6,000 students.
Both Marcos and Marcelo also serve as pastors of La Misión Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Buenos Aires.
Please be in prayer for these co-laborers and all our Christian brothers and sisters in South America, and contact us if you’d like to connect with any of the people mentioned above.