The Beginnings of Ministério Internacionál Ir
Ministério Internacionál Ir (Go Ministries International, or GMI) began from a sense of calling the Lord put in the hearts of various people from different countries to create a multi-denominational parachurch organization in Panama that offers support to the local churches, primarily those located in remote areas and in areas of poverty.
In 2002, a group of people in met in Panama with the same vision: to establish a non-profit interdenominational and multidisciplinary team to support the churches in need.
GMI was organized as a group of volunteers based in Panama.
What is GMI?
The entire ministry team believed that Mark 16:15 is the basis for its ministry, and thus the name, Go Ministries International.
Since 2002, it has been operating as a loose association of volunteers who pay their own way.
Since its effectiveness, reputation, and financial operations have grown considerably, it is in the process of formalizing itself as a legal non-profit entity recognized throughout Latin America.
The ministry does not charge for its services and does not pay a staff, and is primarily funded through non-cash contribution of goods and services.
What does GMI do?
GMI works on the mission frontier, assisting missionaries currently working among unreached peoples. Panama’s frontier is the generally inhospitable Darien jungle, which is the border region between Panama and Columbia.
GMI coordinates medical missions for both foreign and domestic medical teams among high-risk communities, including the frontier of Panama. GMI works with the governmental health authorities and local churches (if any) to arrange and manage these outreaches. GMI coordinates the medical care, the counseling room, and medication dispensing. GMI arranges for local business to donate some crackers, milk, eggs, and other things, which are given out at the end of the patient process.
Feedback indicates that often this little meal is the difference between having eaten or not having eaten that day.
For foreign medical mission teams working with GMI, GMI arranges for duty free import of materials and for temporary licensing of doctors to practice in Panama.
Pastoral Care and Development
For pastors and their spouses, GMI organizes retreats, camps, and trips, to help foster a sense of camaraderie. These times for pastoral retreats also serve to provide a brief respite from the demands of ministry.
Many pastors have shared about tense situations or conflicts in their homes where these retreats have been able to provide the space to decompress and seek healing. Many have not taken their spouses on a trip in more than 10 years. Some had never been in a hotel with pool or taken their wives to dinner because they just can’t afford it.
GMI conducts children’s ministry, usually in connection with local Children’s Pastors. Over the past year 29 festivals for children have been organized, focused on teaching children how do to evangelism. Clowns, puppets, singing, games and bible stories are all used to present the gospel.
Many times, local leaders that GMI has trained ahead of time do the actual work at the events. GMI provides educational materials for these events.
Other various ministries
In 2006 GMI offered various other training events, with an average of 3.5 per month, for pastors, leaders and potential leaders, and Sunday School directors. Approximately 2050 people have attended from all over the country. Many of these are focused on teaching on evangelism.
Also in 2006, GMI conducted large conferences for church leaders to attend plenary sessions, training events workshops and various networking events. About 820 individuals attended. GMI coordinated the agenda, speakers, teachers, accommodations, transportation and meals for the days.