Reaching Latin America

The term “Latin America” was first used in a conference called “Initiative of America: Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics” in 1856. It refers to nations in the Americas that were ruled by the Spanish, Portuguese, and French empires. Generally, it is applied to the nations of South America, Central America, Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean. The region it represents is vast, encompassing roughly 13% of the worlds land mass. In 2020 the population was estimated at more than 652 million souls. For comparison, that is roughly double the population of the United States. Currently (in 2023), 40 of the world’s 50 most dangerous cities of the world were in various countries of Latin America. Economically, it is estimated that fully 1/3 of the people in the region live in poverty.

But the word poverty does not only apply to one’s economic condition. It can also be applied to spirituality. Various missionary organizations estimate that less than 10% of the total population of Latin America is “unreached” with the Gospel. In all probability that number vastly underestimates the reality of the true spiritual condition of the people who live in these nations. The reason for this is the wide definition and application of the meaning of the words “reached” or “Christian” that some of these agencies use. For example, The Joshua Project uses the term “Christian” in what some might consider a very loose fashion. On their website they indicate a Christian is anyone who professes to be Christian. The term embraces all traditions and confessions of Christianity. It is not an indicator of the degree of commitment or theological orthodoxy. Thus, any person or group who consider themselves Christian; fits into that category regardless of their actual understanding of the Gospel. Therein lies the problem in Latin America and the rest of the world when trying to analyze whether an area is reached for Christ or not. The numbers are in essence a hopeful guess.

Here is a plea from us. Christians need to follow the leading of God in their lives rather than statistics or the wisdom and advice of men. Would you be willing to make reaching the people of Latin America a matter of prayer in your life? Further, would you be open and willing to go and reach them? The truth is that we really do not have an accurate understanding of the true state of the Gospel among the precious people that reside in this large portion of the world. Would you consider asking us to pray with you about a specific group or nation in this region? Better yet, would you allow us to help you or someone you know take the Gospel to these dear people?

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A Missions Conference inside a Prison

It all began with one individual. Hank grew up with a godly influence; however, after graduation, one poor choice handed him some time with the Florida Department of Corrections. It was while in prison that Hank recommitted his heart and life to the Lord Jesus.

After returning to the Lord in prison, Hank began a prayer band for missionaries. Since then, this ministry has grown beyond those humble beginnings to a full-fledged annual missions conference inside Avon Park Correctional Facility. Hank is out of prison now, but his work continues.

At the end of July, four BIO missionaries, along with two other missionaries met together at Avon Park Correctional Facility for the third annual missions conference. The prisoners set the theme—Sow the World, Water the Seed, Reap the Rewards. At least six men rededicated their lives to the Lord, plus the church within the prison added three more missionaries to their global outreach.

The prisoners support seven missionaries now and have given over $2,000 dollars in the last year to missions. One prisoner gave two bars of soap a month for his faith promise missionary giving ($2 a month). “Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow [prisoner] hath cast in more than they all.” (Luke 21:3)

Please pray for these brothers in bonds. “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them…” (Hebrews 13:3) Some of the prisoners are praying that God would take what He is doing among them to other prisons in Florida.

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The BIO Library

The Lord has blessed BIO with an incredible amount of great books. These books range from Bible reference, Bible study books, sermon books and self-help books, and hundreds of biographies and books of missionary history from around the world.

Many of these gems were donated by retired pastors and missionaries. Pastor Tommy Aman (former BIO Executive Council member) gave BIO hundreds of missionary biographies in memory of Dr. Garvin Dykes.

We have been working hard to get the library in good shape for visitors. The next time you visit BIO, make sure you save time to browse through the library.

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Missionary Table Talk

There is often confusion between pastors, churches and missionaries. The concept of Missionary Table Talks was invented by Missionary Chris Luppino with Gospel Furthering Fellowship.

Chris writes: “Missionary Table Talks are one-day seminars for pastors, missionaries, and mission leaders. The goal is to help bridge the chasm of misunderstanding between many pastors and the real-life experience of missionaries. Important subjects that undermine a church’s investment in missions are addressed and discussed in a relaxed, informal, confidential, and non-judgmental setting. A Table Talk is not preaching or Bible exposition. The subjects are presented in a forum/workshop format. There is no cost to attend. Coffee breaks, snacks, and lunch are provided.”

BIO has embraced the Missionary Table Talk (MTT) with the help of Chris Luppino. We enjoyed our first MTT last February 2023. Our second MTT is scheduled as a part of our BIO Fall Meeting. We will meet at 10 a.m. at Faith Baptist Church. Missionary Don Mingo and Missionary Chris Luppino will moderate. Lunch will be provided immediately afterward. We hope to see you there.

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2023 BIO Fall Meeting

We are looking forward to this year’s annual BIO Fall Meeting. Faith Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tennessee will be hosting the meeting. The meeting will begin on Wednesday, September 27, at 7 p.m. Dr. Bill Duttry has agreed to be our keynote speaker. For more information about this meeting you can go to We hope to see you there!

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