“In order to serve the Iberoamerican missions community, and the peoples they are seeking to reach, COMIBAM (the Ibero-American Missions Cooperation) must stay fresh, aware, and connected with current issues, trends, and opportunities.” – Decio de Carvalho, COMIBAM executive director
With that in mind, de Carvalho initiated an electronic dialogue on the subject of Business as Mission (BAM) in early 2010, which led to several regional meetings and culminated with a BAM consultation in Panama in March 2011.
COMIBAM leaders, as well as leaders from both the business and mission arenas, were involved in the discussions concerning COMIBAM’s role in catalyzing a BAM movement from within the Iberoamerican mission community.
“BAM is certainly a huge area of missions that we need to learn more about, get involved in, and help to equip and facilitate those God is calling from among us as BAMers,” affirms de Carvalho.
Mats Tunehag, Lausanne senior associate on Business as Mission, was instrumental in the consultation and will continue to serve as an advisor. Both Tunehag and de Carvalho have been involved in BAM in various ways in Latin America, but also in the Arab world and Asia. BAM is not new to Latin America.
“A growing number of missionaries from the region are running successful BAM enterprises in many countries, especially in restricted-access contexts and sub-Saharan Africa,” says João Mordomo, coordinator of COMIBAM’s BAM initiative. Mordomo, who was part of the 2004 Lausanne BAM Issue Group, leads a Brazilian mission agency which specializes in BAM.
“Latin Americans have many distinct contributions to make on the global BAM scene, perhaps most obviously those related to football and coffee and the like, as well as those which highlight the typical Latino joie de vivre,” adds Mordomo.
COMIBAM was established twenty-five years ago to bring together mission agencies, denominational mission departments, churches, training centers, and other entities involved in the Great Commission. Currently, twenty-five national entities, representing all of Latin American, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, the Hispanics of the USA and Canada, and Spain and Portugal form COMIBAM International.