From CMI’s Executive Director

Last week, the World Health Organization identified Latin America as a new epicenter for the pandemic. The challenges ahead are many. With fewer resources and smaller margins than we are privileged with in the U.S., these countries face a severe and prolonged impact. 

This means CMI and our network of Latin urban churches will contend with challenges different from any we ever faced. 

How do you “plan” to contend…with the un-planned? 

I’m reminded of the story of Lewis and Clark.  

In 1803, Lewis and Clark set off to explore the vast lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. Their mission was to find a transportation route to the Pacific Northwest.   

The early part of their journey went as planned. They traveled great distances along relatively smooth waters. But then they encountered an unimaginable challenge—the Rocky Mountains.  

Nothing in their lives prepared them for this. The Appalachians back east seemed like sandcastles compared to the jagged, snow-covered peaks stretched to the horizons. 

Stopped in their tracks, they faced a decision.   

The most obvious choice—give up. Admit defeat. Nothing in their past explorations or current supplies prepared them for the challenge ahead. 

Lewis and Clark did the unthinkable—they took their eyes off the Rockies. Instead, they fixed their gaze squarely on the original mission—to explore the West.   

True, they couldn’t fulfill it in the way they expected. So, they adapted. Abandoning their boats for horses, they hired native guides, set their compasses, and moved onward.  

Eventually, they reached the edge of North America on the Pacific coast.   

Today, we face our own Rocky Mountain of challenges. But we face them together, with the compelling love of Christ as both the compass and leader. 

CMI’s mission hasn’t changed. Now, as always, we remain focused on igniting, uniting, and equipping gospel-centered churches in the strategic urban centers of Latin America.  

And with Christ’s help and your partnership, we adapt. Many programs, events, and methods we used to navigate past waters need to change as we scale the Rockies.  

Here are three things CMI is prioritizing in the days ahead:

1. Prayer. 

Prayer has been a primary value of our ministry from the start. This season, perhaps more than any, is an opportunity to engage more deeply in prayer. C.S. Lewis once said that God has given people two ways to impact the world – through our actions and through our prayers. In this time, when our ability to act is constrained, our ability to pray is not. So, we will lean into His power to do mighty works for the fame and name of Christ in Latin America. 

2. Care.

In a season marked by isolation and significant pastoral needs, we will elevate intentional care for our CMI church leaders and you—our family of CMI donors. Through video conferences, phone calls, emails, and personal notes, we are increasing our engagement with those we are blessed to partner with at this time. 

3. Connections.

We will connect CMI ministry partners with people, tools, and resources to help them carry out their mission as they navigate the landscape of digital ministry.

Yes, we cannot ignore the Rockies. But we can, and will check our compass, lock arms with one another, pick up new tools, and follow the One seated above all rulers, authorities, and principalities as He advances His mission. 

In Christ,

Craig Murray
Executive Director •
Church Ministries International