Mission basics 101: lessons from Chiapas for the 21st century

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Charles Edward Van Engen

Abstract

The state of Chiapas is the southernmost of the thirty-six states of the United States of Mexico and borders Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean. Roughly half the size of Iowa, Chiapas has two major mountain ranges. Rising to around ten thousand feet above sea-level, they cut the state in thirds. Around three-quarters of its nearly three million people speak Spanish. The other quarter speak five Mayan languages as their heart language (Tzeltal, Ch’ol, Tzotzil, Tojolabal, Lacandón) and Zoque, an ancient pre-Columbian language coming from the neighboring Mexican state of Oaxaca. Four other pre-Columbian languages, Mam, Quiche, Chiapa, and Motozintlec, are no longer spoken in Chiapas. Today, over a quarter of the state are Protestants, the largest percentage of any state in Mexico.

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Keywords
Mission of the church; Reformed Church in America -- Missions; Missionaries; Chiapas (Mexico) -- Church history; Missions -- Mexico; Evangelistic work; Evangelistic work -- Methodology; Evangelistic work -- Philosophy; Kempers, Mabel R., 1902-2003; Kempers, John R., 1900-1995; Coffin, José;Voet, Gijsbert, 1589-1676; Mackay, John Alexander, 1889-1983; McGavran, Donald A. (Donald Anderson), 1897-1990; Allen, Roland, 1869-1947; Nevius,Nevius, John L. (John Livingston), 1829-1893
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