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Latin America

As the Regional Team Leader for Latin America, Emerson Cardoso provides resourcing and support for our teams and international partners throughout the region. Emerson is also the president of COBIM, the Mennonite Brethren Conference of Brazil. As a pastor, he led his church in running an orphanage, a drop-in centre for at-risk teens and unwed mothers, and providing food and shelter for the needy. This is not atypical for the church in Brazil, where a holistic approach to ministry is bearing great fruit. COBIM has more than 10,000 members and works at church planting and pastoral training in twelve Latin American countries. At one point, Emerson’s own church purchased a sports arena in order to have enough room to worship. Yet despite this arguable success, Emerson’s focus remains on unity and humility.

These values are particularly evident in Uruguay, where we are seeing an increasing level of cooperation between the various church factions. Conservative Mennonite Brethren churches are now partnering with the growing influx of charismatic and Pentecostal churches in this country. A recent example of this collaboration is Basilio Schur.

Schur, a mission worker associated with Assembly of God churches in the United States, was eager to plant a church in a small town in Uruguay but was denied North American funding because the Assemblies of God required him to work in communities of 5,000 people or more. So the Uruguayan MB’s offered Schur the use of an unused building from a church that had closed. In only a few years, the new churches that resulted from this grew to over seven hundred, meeting in seventeen different locations throughout northern Uruguay. Sensing God’s leading, Basilio proposed that twelve other churches planted by him in Northern Uruguay over the last twenty years now join together within the MB family.

In the beginning, the majority of the MBs felt uncomfortable with these new churches. “After meeting a few times and drinking a lot of mate together,” Emerson says, “the thing just tipped over so that about twenty percent are not so comfortable.” The decision was made: they would work together, that the world might know Jesus.

In face of the fruit born in Uruguay, Emerson has now been asked to go to Peru and the Dominican Republic, where he is initiating leadership exchange programs, coaching pastors, and sharing resources. Multiply is investing in leaders like Emerson Cardoso.

Expected Outcome

40 Churches Planted

Related Ministry Expenses


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