Almost ninety percent of this rapidly growing “nation” is unevangelized.

America has long been known as the “melting pot” of the world. For many years, individuals and families from every nation under the sun have swarmed to the United States in search of a new life. In the past, the vast majority of these immigrants were European. Today, however, almost one out of every two newcomers is from Latin America.

More than 12 million Hispanics now reside in the U.S. They are found not only in the Southwest, but in large cities and small communities as well. New York City, for example, is home to almost two million Latinos. In such cities as Miami and San Antonio, Latin Americans constitute over one-half the total population. Except for Mexico, Spain, and Argentina, the U.S. has more Spanish-speaking people than any nation in the world.

But over 90 percent of this vast nation within a nation remains unevangelized. “They are part of the 130 million souls of the world who, according to missiologists, would receive Christ if only confronted with a clear and simple presentation of his claims,” states Dick Mercado, general director of the Mexican Gospel Mission in Phoenix.

How can we meet this growing Latin American challenge?

First, we must recognize that different areas and circumstances pose different problems. Hispanics in major cities often constitute large and distinct communities. While these communities tend to become isolated, usually Spanish-speaking churches can be formed within them. This is not always possible in smaller communities, and Hispanics there must be reached through the resources of established, English-speaking churches. Border areas, of course, have their own unique problems and opportunities. Prejudices are sometimes ...

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