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As Global Ministries missionaries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Desiree Segura-April and Dr. Osías Segura-Guzmán see a challenge among Latin American churches that is rare among their North American counterparts today: too many children are showing up for church on Sunday morning. 

Too many, that is, to be effectively served by existing staff and lay leaders. 

Photos of young adults working together in workshops. Group of young adult holding hands in prayer.

We see many children and families coming to church looking for connection, belonging, love, and stability,” says Desiree. “Our goal is to provide a vibrant church community that can help them build stable connections with others and strengthen their relationship with God.”

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Desiree, who is based in Honduras and works as a resource person for children at risk ministries in Latin America and the Caribbean, recalls one female Nicaraguan pastor who was both delighted and overwhelmed when nearly 100 children began attending her Sunday service, most without parents. 

While the congregations of many North American churches are aging, children under the age of 18 and youth between the ages of 18-25 are flocking to churches throughout Latin America. 

The stakes are particularly high for nations like Nicaragua and Guatemala, where severe poverty, civil conflict, gang violence, and forced migration create unique challenges for church outreach. 

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The General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, Inc is a 501(c)(3) and donations made are 100% tax-deductible. (EIN): 30-0989628

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After Desiree helps identify and support struggling congregations, Dr. Osías Segura-Guzmán, Desiree’s husband and ministry partner, steps in. He serves as coordinator of curriculum and small-group leadership development for new churches in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Called to ministry at a very young age while serving with youth and compassionate ministries at his local Nazarene church in Costa Rica, Osías embraces the “one foot in the church and one foot in the street” approach.  

“The more I studied intercultural studies and missiology, the more I realized the need for people who can connect the social sciences, theology, and practical ministry,” says Osías. “It is humbling to partner with God’s mission by facilitating mentoring, classes, trainings, workshops, and retreats for pastors and lay leaders of the Methodist churches and partner organizations.”

Your gift to Global Ministries enables missionaries like this remarkable husband-wife team to help transform families, communities, and societies through the power of the Gospel.

Headline: Make the stories of missionaries 
like Desiree and Osías a part of your 
own story of transforming the world 
through the power of the Gospel.
Young child peering through window with group of kids behind him.