Meet the Faces Behind Big City Numbers and Population Charts
Hot chocolate, Christmas music, and the kind of laughter that makes you lean back in your chair. This moment was replayed again and again this past Christmas season as members of Puembo Church brought joy and dignity to more than 100 elderly in Quito, Ecuador.
Snapshots like these remind us of the importance of the real people and faces behind population density charts and big cities.
For nearly 50 years, CMI has had a heart for and focus on urban centers in Latin America. And our VISION50
capital campaign to raise $6 million by 2023 is our commitment to the same for the next 50 years. 3 Reasons CMI's Vision50 Campaign Continues to Focus on Cities
Why are these large cities so integral to the mission of CMI and VISION50
Planting churches in urban centers is costly. But failing to is even costlier.
Here are 3 reasons VISION50
is focused on making disciples in dense cities. Each includes a recent ministry example. Reason 1: Urban Centers Like Quito, Ecuador, Have a High Proximity of People
Quito has 10 times more people per square mile than the rest of Ecuador. In fact, South America is the most urbanized continent in the world! 90% of the population will live in cities by 2050.
As New York City pastor Tim Keller says, "Cities have more of the image of God per square inch than any other place on earth." Ministry Example:
The story at the top of this article highlights how Puembo Church brought joy and dignity to the elderly around Christmas just last month. Many were a stone's throw from their church building. Reason 2: Big Cities Create a Big Openness to the Gospel
Big cities throw individual culture into a melting pot. Suddenly everyone around you doesn't share the same values, worldview, and background. The city illuminates your own assumptions while taking the pressure off to conform to a single culture.. The result is a unique openness to the gospel. Ministry Example:
Agustin went from the brink of divorce and living out of his car to a restored father and foreign missionary sent out by Norte Church. (read his story at churchministries.org/missionary
) Reason 3: Urban Centers Create Culture and Influence for the Entire Nation
The music we listen to, the shows we watch, the technology we use, the educational models we follow, and the laws we abide by are created and shaped in cities. As the gospel impacts a capital city like Quito, Ecuador, the city amplifies the impact. Ministry Example:
Cumbaya Church taught biblical financial principles to the 6,000 police officers in Quito to combat corruption.
The aim of the VISION50
capital campaign is to secure a future of reaching the expensive but influential cities of Latin America. Yes, reaching big cities comes at a high cost, but brings an even higher value.