Latin America contains over 652 million people and over twenty nations. What are the secrets of reaching people for Jesus in Latin America? On today’s podcast, crusade director Rigo Galvez talks with Evangelism Coach Daniel King about how to effectively communicate the Gospel throughout Central and South America.
The population of Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated at more than 652 million. Latin America includes more than twenty nations including: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Equador, Peru, Boliva, Chile, French Giana, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico.
On this podcast, Rigo Galvez answers the following questions:
- What is the state of the body of Christ in Latin America?
- What are the greatest needs in Latin America?
- How does Jesus help meet those needs?
- What are some of the differences between European or North American culture and the culture of Latin America?
- What are the challenges of doing evangelism in Latin America?
- What is the best way to encourage the Latin American church to be more evangelistic?
- What advice would you give to evangelists who want to come to work in Spanish speaking nations?
Daniel King (00:01):
Well, I have a very special guest with me today. Regal Galvez. He is a crusade organizer who has organized crusades all over Latin America. Welcome to the podcast.
Rigo Galvez (00:14):
Thank you, Daniel. Thank you. Besides who say organizing, I will say I am hungry for souls. I want to see people coming to Christ every single day by one to one or by massive event, you have,
Daniel King (00:29):
Have a great heart for evangelism and for souls to be saved. Let’s talk a little bit about soul-winning in Latin America.
Rigo Galvez (00:38):
Well, right now as a, you know, Daniel, the through many years, we have been watching hundreds and thousands of people coming to cry to the two through crusades where the evangelists came get together with a group of pastors and they set up a budget and then they make a plan. And then they come into the end, after a long, a small process to a crusades and in a stadium and an open field, or sometime even in a big church that that I don’t consider him that an evangelistic crusade in a, in a big building and a person in a church, because sometime it just now is only the Christian people came to that event. And it’s not for new, new souls or new people. Anyway, I been watching that and that was so great for son many years, that was so good to see thousands and thousands of people receiving Christ. But for me personally, I believe that that that idea is that methadone has to change a little bit now in order to reach new believers.
Daniel King (02:02):
Let’s talk a little bit about soul-winning in Latin America. The population of Latin America in the Caribbean is estimated to be 652 million people. So it’s a huge harvest field. And so when you talk about Latin America, you’re talking about Spanish speaking countries and also Portuguese speaking countries, but you have the central American countries like Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua. And then you have also the, the South American countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, France, Kiana, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay. And then you also have the Caribbean islands. So you have Cuba, you have the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and a few other small islands here and there. And so how many of those Latin American countries have you organized?
Rigo Galvez (03:06):
Almost an, every one of them
Daniel King (03:09):
And every single one. So you are an expert.
Rigo Galvez (03:12):
I don’t, I don’t know if you’re an expert, but I’ve been, like I say, by the grace of God, I had the privilege to go to those countries in not just for any event. I, I been leaving there. I been, I been even moving my family to too many those country. I remember the first time I went to Peru, that was in 1997 and I didn’t went to the capital city. I didn’t went to the nice and beautiful city. Like [inaudible] the last Blanca they call it. And Peru is, it really is amazing. And I went to the jungle, I went to the Amazon river through the Amazon. I lived there six months. We was building a little small churches and also digging Wells. That was a prior that we put in together in six months after those six months of being, working with the locals, there was not churches on those places. There was not a electrical system over there. There was a natural everything jungle. And but there was people inside the [inaudible] area where people would never hear the gospel. And we went there, we built in a little church and we brought the pastor, the preacher that we was training in any ketose period, not keto. Keto is equal. Iquitos is a, is an E.
Daniel King (04:39):
He does right there on the Amazon river, in the middle of the jungle of Peru, where I went with you
Rigo Galvez (04:46):
Came one time, right? Or many, I don’t know, many times or now, but anyway, right, there is a group of pastors that we now are good friends. And we, from those churches, we train his own leaders. And at the end of the six months, we brought like a 12 different pastors to the, to the entire region of the jungle or the Amazon in Peru because the Amazon river is so big, you know, cross all Brazils and all, all the other nations. And that is people living in that jungle. But that was my first experience went 1997, went to Peru and directly to the jungle. And we went salt. That was amazing in the end, after we dedicated those churches to, to the community, to the lore. And we did a little crusade in every single city for, I think the tour was for 12 days on boat and river bonds,
Daniel King (05:46):
River boats going up and down the Amazon river.
Rigo Galvez (05:48):
But if we were sleeping like a, you know, as sleeping on the boat and every day was coming out and another bill is preaching the gospel, bringing miracles with us medicine. And we did everything. You can imagine an Orlin to win souls for Christ. That was the first time. Now I will say there are still areas. No, you in the Amazon, you don’t think too much, only about a country. You have to think what zone, what area is needing more the gospel, because I will say Brazil is a ma is a big country, but there are some areas on the jungle that they are people waiting. They never hear the gospel, for example.
Daniel King (06:36):
Yeah. So as you visited all these different countries that, that speak Spanish, what would you say is the state of the body of Christ in Latin America right now?
Rigo Galvez (06:48):
Like I said, we’ll be, we’ll be by area, for example, central America, to talking about what Amala Honduras and Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama and dark country, I will say 50% of 55% of the population are Christian. Now, of course that is not counting with the Catholic church, you know? And but the majority, for example, in Guatemala, people say now the evangelical are 60% of the population. You know, that was not,
Daniel King (07:26):
That’s more Christian than America is
Rigo Galvez (07:29):
I think in Guatemala, in Guatemala. But I remember what am I only have like a 14, 15 million people, you know, okay.
Daniel King (07:36):
What about South America? It’s not the same in South America.
Rigo Galvez (07:39):
These a different, for example, you have more Christians in Brazil, down Peru, or Bolivia, Peru, Bolivia, there are bury religion and mixed in with the inkers arm, etiology, you know, and, and that make a more difficult. Anyway, I will say there are some countries that will say, have being the gospel penetrate better than other countries. They still needed a lot of help.
Daniel King (08:10):
So what would you say are the greatest spiritual needs where where’s the greatest spiritual need in Latin America? Okay.
Rigo Galvez (08:16):
I will say in everywhere where you see a lot of growth or the church, the band Jericho, I will say right now more than anything, they need training. They need discipleship because it’s amazing how people are hungry for the gospel. Since those crusades, you will see thousands of people coming to Christ. They get into the church, but through, they get out through, through the another door in the church, eh, I will say the biggest need right now, wherever is a church in Latin country is training leaders, making disciple. I will say that will be the main focus. And then you go to a area that is not like used to, it’s not like it used to be 60 years ago, but they need to hear the pure gospel. You know, they, they maybe doesn’t have a church. Like I say, in those areas, in those jungles and part of the Brazil, Colombia, and on the jungle a special day, because it’s so difficult to get there. They will need a AA event, a crusade to win people to Christ.
Daniel King (09:21):
So there are definitely places that are open and, and, and need to, to hear the, the very simple possible, yes. So what would you say are some of the challenges of doing evangelism in Latin America?
Rigo Galvez (09:34):
I will say one of the biggest mentality, the challenge would be the mentality that is so poor. There is like a, we don’t have the resources. We don’t, we don’t have the money. We don’t know it’s going to cost too much, but this is a mentality of poverty. It is a spirit that is controlling the nations and the UC natto, those natures are so rich, so beautiful, but the mindset is on the people. It’s like you, we don’t have the money. I will say that is something that we have to, to change, to do by the, by the power of the teaching or the word of God. We need to tell on these people is possible. Do you have the resource? You don’t have to wait all the time for somebody to come in for an oxide to bring the, all the resources you can do it. I will say that is one of the biggest challenge that we have mentality poverty mentality.
Daniel King (10:32):
So you train a lot of churches in doing evangelism and give them tools to go out and to share the gospel. What, what’s the best way to encourage that the churches in Latin America to be more evangelistic?
Rigo Galvez (10:49):
It’s a good question then. Yeah.
Daniel King (10:51):
Wow. Sometimes it’s hard. I know sometimes to challenge people, everyone is very comfortable and wants to just sit in the church and, and have a good prayer service, but to get out beyond the walls of the church, into the community and actually reaching lost people for Jesus,
Rigo Galvez (11:07):
You can imagine how, how good somebody feel I could after they get saved, because they never experienced that. They feel the realist and they feel so happy, but sometime they, they, that the masters is only about our salvation and nothing else. And eh, I will say as still the, the, the big transition that we have to do is changing our mindset because it’s coming from traditional from, from soul long, a goal, the, the root of our culture to be so poor. And and and and, and this is special. The church, you will see churches suffering with nothing because they don’t risk. They, they, they, life, I will say to believe for something new, I will say that is one of the biggest challenges, or course. I will say another big challenge in it is that sometime banker is God there, and they are only focused in their event.
Rigo Galvez (12:15):
They don’t, they don’t see the pastors like a disciple. I will say, if you go to those nation or you want to win soul, you want a multitude, but put your eyes on the pastors, what you can help them to think different to, to, to, to embrace the, the, the real kingdom of God to get out from the comfort zone. He becomes so comfort comfort with maybe 25 people, a hundred, 150 700 people, 1,005 thousand, 10,000, 30,000, like a missile in local church. It is dangerous to become so comfortable in what that number that you forgot. There is an entire world or side waiting for you. And I will say if somebody got to those nation, listen, please not only be focused on the multitude and the end of the event, trying to do something discipleship or help with some tool like a books or something, put it in their hand or the path to do a little training, get out of your comfort zone. Of course, if you say, pastor, I’m coming to help you to get out from your comfort zone, nobody will go and work with you. And you just have to say, pastor, I’m coming to help you. How can I help? How can I help you to, to re, to, to, to enlarge your you’re radio of influence? How can you grow in your church? Let’s work together. I will say that will really help a lot.
Daniel King (13:53):
I have lots of friends who are evangelists, and many of them are young, just getting started out, doing evangelism. And they, they call me and say, Daniel, can you find somebody who can help organize a crusade for me? And so my question is, what advice would you give to young evangelists who want to work in Spanish speaking nations? What, what would you say to them?
Rigo Galvez (14:19):
I would say first of all, trying to understand the Latin culture before you get there, if you can get a lot of information about the Latin culture would be good, even the language, you know you don’t have to learn in the halls, a Spanish language, but trying to understand a little bit, because that will help you to, to, to work when you get there. There is so many barriers and many different on culture, you know, and what are, what are some of the differences
Daniel King (14:52):
Between American culture or European culture and Latin American culture?
Rigo Galvez (14:57):
I will say for Excel, self-confidence you as a North American, for example, you have such a strong self confidence in our countries. That that is very weak. If you talk so straight to somebody, you gotta, we gotta be doing this. We have to change this. That can be offensive, offended, easily hurt. And then you heard that person,
Daniel King (15:20):
Then they disappeared.
Rigo Galvez (15:22):
There was laughing a little bit like everything is okay, but a, he is not happy if that happened, you’re in trouble because you’re not going to know why he’s not working. But I was like, that is something that is really very, very bare sensitive. Another thing I will say the way that the, the, we communicate these people still today, especially on the church, they don’t have this ability being development to be communicating right, and emails and answer right away. Your email is better. You call them right now, for example, all the majority of this pastor work through WhatsApp. Eh, they don’t, they don’t like to read the email. They don’t want to go to the computer or maybe they don’t have it, but they have WhatsApp. And then right into them, sending a little, a little note and keep talking to that way.
Daniel King (16:20):
We’ll be happy that I will say that that really can help. That’s great. What other advice would you give to an evangelist who comes to me?
Rigo Galvez (16:28):
I will say something that is not too typical trying to involving their wife, because in many ways the he’s alone and he doesn’t know what he’s missing. His, why will have be a lot of help in so many ways. The he doesn’t do more because his wife is no agree. He coming home with the idea, maybe there will be a duel and another amazing crusade, but his wife is not happy because she doesn’t know where he’s really doing. Before you say to all the pastors and Biden as a couple. If he, if they don’t come this way. Oh, no, no, no. We can. We got to do another meeting where your wife will be here in Baldwin, their wife that will really sate. I will say 60% of your budget.
Daniel King (17:16):
Wow. That’s tremendous. Well, what else, what other advice would you give to an Angela?
Rigo Galvez (17:22):
I would say also trying to, to work with the local leaders on the, on the city or on the community, go to the mayor office and presenting with the pastor. Don’t go by yourself, teach the pastor hall, how you communicate the vision of bringing the gospel to the city and to the mayor of the city or to the policeman. You tell him the policeman. I want you to be part of that. We need protection. They, with that excuse that they need to protect and they will be there. And they will hear the gospel and trying to, to establish a, a group of people who are the leaders of the community to become the, the, the, the, the, the group who were going to direct the crusade, you know, bring the pastor, bring the mayor, bring the policeman, Brenda, and the fire department, Brenda, any other leaders in the community, any time you go to the city, find the main path, but also find a niche. The rest of the leader of the civil leaders in the, the politician, they need to be close to us and learning how the kingdom of God function, that will be really big help.
Daniel King (18:37):
Wow. That’s tremendous. Now, sometimes when you do a meeting in Latin America,
Rigo Galvez (18:42):
Many people come, but everyone
Daniel King (18:44):
Who is there is already a church member. Yes.
Rigo Galvez (18:48):
How do you make sure
Daniel King (18:51):
That the, the event is also evangelistic and, and bringing in lost people to Jesus is is not easy right now because
Rigo Galvez (19:01):
Now, although this crusades they are not any longer a evangelistic crusade. There are church,
Daniel King (19:10):
It’s just a church gathering. They worship there.
Rigo Galvez (19:13):
We print an open play in an open meeting. Yeah. I will say, that’s why you have to find the rest of the leaders of the community as the mayor. When you got there, we are coming to do a event that is not just for the evangelical. I want to teach your people how to do better business. And all the people in your office start creating a meeting that in the end, you will call maybe a business meeting or political politician meeting. And you, what you will do is bring in the, the principle of the gospel and preach the gospel to those place. And that’s why now you are open door for people who doesn’t normally go to church to come into your event. And then you ask the mayor. I want you to come in to the, to the event, bring all your friends. Even sometime you can challenge him.
Rigo Galvez (20:14):
You can say, I will bring the gospel. I’m bringing the light. I’m bringing the platform. I’m bringing all the equipment that we need. I want you bring buses with people full of people. They know how to, to, to, to carry him people to do their event. They know how to do it. And and the pastor is with you. He will be happy because you are not doing buy and sell because it’s danger. When the pastor doesn’t understand what you are doing with the mayor, the pastor will start thinking, Oh, here’s another politician know. And he, even when you feel like this, pastor, maybe doesn’t understand everything. Don’t worry bringing him to those meetings that will help. And that’s the same with the policeman. There are many policemen, many farmers are those polymers that they normally doesn’t go to that church. And you got an Biden. I am bill. I am putting together free a conference chest for the politician, Jeff, for the business, people there is free for all of you. If you have a tool like a book from somebody, and you will say, I have a gift, a special gift, but you got to come. Don’t give it the book before they get there, because now they are not going to come to the event.
Daniel King (21:26):
Wow. There you go. [inaudible] Do it as Gran [inaudible] amigo. [inaudible].
Rigo Galvez (21:41):
Thank you, Daniel. I really appreciate this time. And again, thank you for the partnership, the friendship, you always adding value to my life. Thank you, Daniel. I admire you.