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Winter 2022 Newsletter

Vision50 Capital Campaign & The City
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

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.

Vision50 Progress Report

As we approach our 50th year of ministry (1973-2023), the Lord's work is just beginning. From completing a church planting network of 10 influential churches in Quito, Ecuador, to launching the next major city initiative, big things are ahead! Here's our progress so far!
Craig Murray
Each month the CMI team reads a book together. With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani was one of the most impactful from 2021.

Jethani argues that we generally try to relate to God in four distant ways. They are captured by the prepositions under, over, from and for.

  • Life under God is cause-and-effect. Obey God's commands and you'll be rewarded (or at least avoid hardship).
  • Life over God trusts pragmatic formulas and expects God to conform to principles. Strategize well and outcomes are assured.
  • Life from God treats God as a genie fulfilling our desires. He wants for us everything we want for us.
I bet you see yourself in one or two of those ways or relating to God.

But the most convicting for me, and I suspect for many with a heart for missions, is the fourth:

  • Life for God. God's relationship with me is tied to how much I accomplish for Him
Of this fourth way of relating to God, Jethani writes: "The resulting fire may be presented to the world as a…holy desire to see God's mission advance…. But when these flames are fueled by fear, they reveal none of the peace, joy, or love displayed by [The Apostle] Paul. The relentless drive to prove our worth can quickly become destructive."

Life for God is a posture that sounds noble, but it is idolatry, using service for God to give us our value.

But there's a fifth option…the one Scripture describes from beginning to end. It is life with God. In all the other postures, something else is the prize—rewards, control, or God's stuff. But life with God recognizes that He is the prize.

Living in that kind of relationship has been transformative for us as a team. I pray that a with God relationship is more of what you experience in 2022 as well. Ultimately, it is the desire that many more in Latin America experience the joy of life with God that drives all we do together.

Craig Murray
Executive Director
Church Ministries International

Coming Events

January–April 2002
January 30
Norte Church 10th Anniversary.-
Quito, Ecuador
March 5-13
Fairhaven Church (Ohio) Medical Mission Outreach with the Chillos & Puembo Churches.
Quito, Ecuador
March 13
Norte Church Christian Education Building Grand Opening.
Quito, Ecuador
March 17-19
Batan Church Peacemaker Level 2 Training.
Quito, Ecuador
April 20-21
CMI Board Meeting.
Plano, TX

Prayer Requests

We woud be grateful for your prayers for our Vision50 Campaign! Overall prayer needs are for the campaign goals:
Prayer request #1
Pray that the new Quito Seed Fund launched last year will continue to grow and fuel the gospel movement in Latin America.
Prayer request #2
Pray as we seek to cultivate enduring church partnerships between Latin American and North American churches.
Prayer request #3
Pray for our team as they invest in developing strong pastors and healthy churches.
More than a donation
Change lives, plant churches, and reach Latin America's largest cities with the hope of Christ.