By Jay Rogers
Published December 1, 1992
Reported by Franco Gennaro
In the spring of 1991, Franco Gennaro was allowed to hold an evangelistic meeting on the still-communistic campus of the University of Nicaragua. While banners and paintings of Sandino and the Sandinista cause still lined the hallways just outside the university auditorium, Gennaro preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. The director of activities for the university said he would allow the meeting to go unhindered because he felt it would be helpful for the students to hear different viewpoints.
“Our rally was the first religious meeting ever allowed to take place on that campus,” says Gennaro enthusiastically. “Not only did many students and professors attend the rally out of curiosity, but many expressed an interest in knowing more about Jesus, and we were given an open invitation to return.”
Gennaro’s organization, Campeones Para Cristo (Champions for Christ), is a ministry that is making an impact on the young people of Central America. With a primary emphasis on the youth of Central America, Gennaro and his Champions focus on the high school and university campuses.
As a ministry of service in both Latin America and the United States, Champions for Christ is dedicated to providing biblical solutions to the problems that face the youth and families of the world today. The ministry conducts major outreaches using mime, drama, testimonies, music and multi-media seminars in public places such as schools, universities, barrios and rural areas. But the work doesn’t end with evangelism – Champions for Christ also trains young believers to do the work of ministry and have an impact on their own generation.
The strategic importance of reaching the campuses of Central America is crucial, stresses Champions for Christ’s young director: “These are the same areas where the communists and drug lords are actively attempting to recruit and influence youth. These same students will be the future Noriegas, Fidel Castros and Daniel Ortegas.”
Because of the nature of political systems in Central America, most of this type of subversive activity is allowed to go on unhindered due to the autonomy of most campuses. Nevertheless, the hunger for the gospel among the students is evident. Yet according to Gennaro, few missionaries will even set foot on the campuses of Central America.
“One of the weaknesses of the American missionary movement over the past 100 years is that we have failed to reach the future leaders of the Latin American countries – the youth!” Gennaro states. “Most missionary organizations either reach out to the very poor or the Indians in the jungles of Central America. Without minimizing the importance of this, the fact remains that 95% of those who will be the leaders of society – the movers and the shakers and the policy makers – are presently studying on the high school and university campuses of Central America.”
Statistics show that 60% of Central America is under 25 years of age. Gennaro’s Champions for Christ organization is dedicated to seeing a turnaround of among this strategic harvest field – one that has been virtually untouched in missionary work. Although their financial resources have been limited, Champions for Christ is seeing tremendous results:
- At the University of Panama, school officials welcomed the evangelists and allowed them full access to facilities in the central area of the campus. A multi-media seminar exposing the satanic influences behind much of today’s Rock-n-Roll music was shown to a packed auditorium of Latin American students.
- In Honduras, many students were saved as a response to open-air preaching in the center of the campus. Champions for Christ evangelists challenged the students to “become a part of the real revolution – the revolution of love through the power of Jesus Christ.”
- In one of the largest high schools in Costa Rica, school administrators called a mandatory assembly of more than 1800 students. About 350 students gave their name, address and phone number to the evangelists indicating that that they wanted to become a part of campus Bible studies.
In addition, Venezuela, Jamaica and Mexico have been the sights of outreaches by Champions for Christ. Other windows of opportunity continue to open on many high school campuses. Says Gennaro, “Usually, the principal of the high school will close down the entire school and have a mandatory assembly for the entire student body. The response has been overwhelming as hundreds of students will respond to the message of salvation.”
With so many doors opening to go into the schools, universities and rural areas with multi-media programs, films and creative ministry, Champions for Christ is finding it impossible to keep up with all the requests. This vast unreached mission field is strategic in this hour. Gennaro’s plan to compensate for the lack of American missionaries among the youth of Central America is to train nationals to do the work and to instruct local churches to cooperate in ongoing evangelism and discipleship programs.
Capeones para Cristo is in need of financial support to bring more nationals on staff, to purchase equipment and supplies (slide and movie projectors, P.A. equipment, evangelistic tracts) and to conduct training seminars.
Would you prayerfully consider investing in this strategic harvest field? Your support will go a long way in helping reach the youth of Latin America for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Send your financial support to: Missionary Companion Ministries, P.O. Box 2283, Brandon, FL 33509.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Latin America
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)