Caminemos Juntos – Let’s Walk Together
Dear Greenhouse Family,
The Spanish phrase Caminemos Juntos means “Let’s Walk Together” in English, and the Caminemos Juntos partnership between Greenhouse Movement and the Anglican church in South and Central America offers this exact invitation to Latino churches and church planters: to “walk together” across borders, languages, and cultures to share the good news of Jesus. These leaders come from South and Central American countries and across the United States and Canada; they speak Spanish, Portuguese, English, or a mix of the three; they come from a multitude of cultures; and these leaders walk together to unify, mobilize, and multiply congregations. The leadership of CJ also reflects this focus; while Fr. Jonathan Kindberg (a “missionary kid” from the U.S. raised in Chile and Peru) provides direct, “boots on the ground” leadership for the entire movement, he is part of the direction team that includes Archbishop Tito Zavala of Chile, Archbishop Miguel Uchoa of Brazil, and me as the Missioner General of Greenhouse. The four of us work and walk together to prayerfully guide the overall vision of Caminemos Juntos. CJ celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2019, and I am so glad to share with you just a few of the many, many ways this movement is being used by God.
Each year Fr. Jonathan and his planning team coordinate two large conferences, one in a North American country and one in a South American country, as well as country gatherings across the Americas throughout the year. At the 2019 South American conference, 100 leaders from more than ten countries (Panama, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, the US, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile) gathered in Santiago, Chile.
Our friend Bishop Raphael Samuel of Bolivia told us, “I’ve never seen my people so excited before.” It was a turning point for his church leaders and many others. By the end of the conference, thirty people had made a commitment to begin the process of planting new congregations, and ten more showed interest in becoming cross-cultural missionaries. The Anglican Church in Brazil has seen 27 congregations planted in the last 13 years; God is raising up new workers to continue this Kingdom expansion.
One of the church plants begun in 2019 is named La Rodadora (The Tumbleweed). Its name comes from an image God gave Marco Antonio Guzmán Pérez, who, along with his family, was there for the beginning of this church plant in Juarez, Mexico. God gave Marco the image of a rolling tumbleweed, releasing the seed of the gospel into the hearts of each person it encounters. What a beautiful image—and it describes Marco, Sylvia, and their family so well. They recently embarked on a new journey, coming to Chicago to join Fr. Jonathan at Casa San Pablo (House of St. Paul), the ministry home purchased in 2019 by a Latino family in a partnering church in California. This family is donating the use of the house so that missionaries like the Guzmán family and Fr. Jonathan can live in community, host a house church, and reach out to the La Villita (Little Village) neighborhood in Chicago. The Guzmáns, together with the Vargas family from Chile, are participating in the Latino Pastoral Residency Program, which is housed in Casa San Pablo. Please join me in praying for Casa San Pablo and all that is ahead for those who live, work, and fellowship in it.
Marco Antonio Guzman, Sylvia, and their daughters have come from Mexico to La Villita in Chicago to work alongside Fr. Jonathan and to share Jesus with their new neighbors.
The Vargas family has come from Chile to participate in the Latino Pastoral Residency Program.
Fr. Jonathan, the Guzman Pèrez family, Deacon Eddy Davila, and others welcome the Vargas family as they arrive in Chicago from Chile.
In August 2019, CJ held its North American conference and ten-year celebration right here in Chicago. This allowed CJ to “walk together” with another Greenhouse Movement: Walk Across the Street, which bridges the gaps between African American and white congregations. CJ leader Mimi Guiracocha-Bloomer co-led a session with Keesha Mwangangi, one of the Walk Across the Street leaders. They spoke of the need for African American and Latino congregations to work, fellowship, and worship together. At one point, Keesha said, “Ten years of Caminemos Juntos bears witness to the African proverb: ‘If you want to go FAST, go alone. If you want to go FAR, go together.’ In order to realize a far-reaching expanse of revival in the Americas and the world, we must choose the Jesus way of doing revival TOGETHER across cultural lines.”
The Jesus way of doing revival together across cultural lines is already bearing wonderful–and unique–fruit. There is no room to tell you here about the Brazilian church plant in Africa that is taking root and growing as a result of the unifying, mobilizing, and multiplying work of CJ under the direction of the Brazilian church with Archbishop Miguel Uchoa. There is no room to tell you more about the Vargas family who just arrived in Chicago on mission from their home country of Chile or about the Diocesan Regional Ministry Teams formed in the Dioceses of the Upper Midwest and of Western Anglicans. I thank God for ten years of this movement! God has used Caminemos Juntos to bring many people to Jesus, to raise up many new churches, and to create strong working church partnerships throughout the Americas, and this movement is poised to do even more in the future! I am excited to see what the next ten years hold for Caminemos Juntos!
Thank you to all of you who pray for and support Greenhouse and its many movements across cultural lines!