Jesus commanded his followers to make disciples of all nations. At Shawnee Trail we look to help fulfill the Great Commission by supporting missionaries and mission efforts locally and abroad. While there is an infinite number of worthwhile missions’ opportunities, Shawnee Trail has made the decision to focus our efforts primarily in Central and South America. Below are some of the great efforts Shawnee Trail supports.
Great Cities Missions (GCM)
“Sharing Christ with the Latin World.”
GCM serves missionary teams sent to designated cities of Portuguese and Spanish speakers in Latin America. GCM has been sharing the gospel in the Latin world since 1976. GCM has recruited and trained over 30 missionary teams and sent them to major metropolitan cities in ten different countries of the Latin world. Over 300 adults and their children have moved to new countries to tell people about Jesus and plant churches. Using the GCM’s model of recruiting and training, over one hundred congregations now meet, and thousands of people now worship Jesus as Savior. GCM ministers to missionary team members throughout the entire missionary life cycle from their recruiting to their re-entry into their home culture.
Suba- Bogotá, Columbia
David and July López are a part of a mission team of 5 families, working with the Suba Church of Christ – on the north side of Bogotá, Columbia. David and the team’s work in Suba began in October 2012 – with much preparation beforehand. The team members are natives of various countries and studied together in a four-year program of study in Bible and Ministry. The team members know each other well and have chosen to work together, making them generally more compatible than many mission teams. They are also highly evangelistic and have proved to be very effective church planters. Teams enter with a seven-year plan of work with the goal of leaving a self-sustaining, reproducing, biblically governed church of at least 200 members. The Suba team plans to be there until 2019. Shawnee Trail’s association with David and July López began in January 2014.
Abner and Adriana Perez are part of a team of three families and one single minister in Huehuetoca, Mexico – located 30 miles to the north of the city. This church was a plant by GCM in 2014. The men on the team are graduates of Baxter Institute in Honduras. The church of Christ is in one of the newer subdivisions of Huehuetoca with a target of over 20,000 homes to be added around the church building. The church building is located on the second floor of a new shopping center within this subdivision and is a very nice facility. With around 400,000 people expected to live in the Huehuetoca area by 2020 and 30% of them to be under age 15, there are many great opportunities. The team works on extensive personal evangelism through personal bible studies and home group devotionals. Once individuals are active members their goal is to equip them with the ability to be evangelistic and to prepare some for local qualified leadership.
Shawnee Trail provides 75% of the support for Abner and Adriana Perez with the Robinson church of Christ providing the remaining support. Abner grew up in a Christian home in southern Mexico and was baptized at 17. He and his wife Adriana have three children Eliab, Nathan and Cesia. The Perez’ are both teachers of the gospel, but the real gem of this family is their singing. As a family their songs bring joy (and tears) to everyone that hear them in four-part harmony. Abner is a great song leader and helps churches to learn to sing better with his talents.
Operation Ecuador (OE)
OE seeks to spread the gospel in the South American country of Ecuador. OE was established in the early 1970s by a team of six graduates from the Sunset Bible Institute. Over the years, OE has blossomed into four collaborative entities. These are the Quito School of Biblical Studies (QSOBS), The Bellevue Retreat Center, the Kumanii jungle mission and the Hacienda of Hope School for orphaned children. Shawnee Trail actively supports the QSOBS and Bellevue ministries.
QSOBS is in the capital city of Quito. Each year, the school helps to train about 40 students who will re-enter the Ecuadorian churches as ministers and church leaders. More specifically, Shawnee Trail supports the bi-vocational aspect of the training. Each student is encouraged to study a secular skill and develop a plan for financial independence based on this skill. By doing so, the graduates can serve in churches while providing their own personal support thereby freeing up financial resources for future students. Graduates of QSOBS are directly responsible for planting over 40 churches in Ecuador. Josh Marcum leads the QSOBS effort as Director.
The Bellevue Retreat Center is located near the city of Tabacundo in the Andes Mountains. Bellevue engages in a variety of ministries. Throughout the school year, Bellevue conducts an after-school program for local students providing them with a safe environment and basic spiritual training. Bellevue also accommodates conferences and retreats for church leaders throughout South America. During the summer months, Bellevue conducts multiple medical missions to address the health needs of less fortunate Ecuadorans. Bellevue also conducts a large Vacation Bible School for local children. Several stateside congregations send youth groups to Bellevue for a summer Bible camp. Bellevue has been responsible for 4 church plants in the Tabacundo area. Rusty Campbell is the Director of the Bellevue Retreat Center.
Eastern European Missions (EEM)
Since 1961 EEM has been providing God’s Word to the people of Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe in their own languages. For many years EEM found ways to get the Bibles through The Iron Curtain. Then in 1989, God brought The Wall down. Now, EEM provides Bibles and Biblical literature in more than 20 languages to nations of the former Communist Bloc. These materials are provided to individuals, mission churches, campaign groups and other organizations related to the Church that teach God’s Word in former communist nations. EEM also provides Biblical literature to families, children in youth camps, public universities, public schools, public libraries, prisons, hospitals, orphanages and anywhere else Bibles are needed – all free to the recipients. As a veteran in the field, EEM knows the territory, and as sociopolitical governments and the dynamics in Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe have changed, so have EEM’s opportunities for reaching people. With the demise of communism and the birth of new freedoms, EEM has been able to gain easier access and is developing new materials and programs to meet the changing needs in the former Communist nations. Shawnee Trail supports EEM through special contributions and other events.
Southern African Bible College (SABC)
SABC’s mission is to is to train local men to preach the gospel to their own people as summed up by Paul in II Timothy 2:2 – “The things which you have heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” The sole purpose of SABC is to bring Christ to Africa by means of highly trained graduates who are dedicated, well-versed and sound in the scriptures. Eldred Echols, late veteran missionary to Africa, and Al J. Horne, one of the first converts in South Africa, had a joint-dream…to ignite the fires of gospel outreach in that region and beyond. With the Lord’s guidance they formed Southern Africa Bible School (now SABC) in 1966, established in Benoni, South Africa for the mission to “train Africans to evangelize Africa.” Now more than 600 graduates and former students are proclaiming Christ across the continent of Africa. National Africans who know the culture and languages are proven and effective in spreading the flame of Christianity. As Africa’s only accredited Bible College of the Churches of Christ south of the Equator, a vision for growth will result in churches planted, churches strengthened, and darkness replaced with light.
For questions regarding the missions that Shawnee Trail supports, please contact John Davis.