Continuing to reflect on missions sending from Brazil, this post explores briefly the history, values and work of PMI (Povos Muçulmanos International or "Muslim Peoples International”), excerpted from pp. 182-84 of Brazilian Evangelical Missions in the Arab World:
PM International began in 1984 through the initiative of Pablo Carillo, a Mexican missionary who had previously served with Operation Mobilization in several Arab countries. Carillo’s initial vision was to place Latin Americans in North Africa and thus, “Project Maghreb” was born. Later, as Ibero-Americans were beginning to serve in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the greater Muslim world, the group changed its name to Povos Muçulmanos International (“Muslim Peoples International”) in 1991 to reflect this broader focus. While a number of Brazilians had been involved with PMI since its early years, a Brazilian national office was established in 1998. [For many years, there was an international office in Spain], while national offices are located in Argentina, the United States, and Brazil.
The vision of PMI Brazil is to “to cooperate with the Brazilian evangelical church by mobilizing and directing human and financial resources in order to establish the church of Jesus Christ among the Muslims.” Daniel Calze, the current director of PMI Brazil adds: “There are approximately 150 thousand evangelical churches of all kinds in Brazil, and some say that there are 25 million evangelicals. As the largest Latin American church, we need to be involved in the biggest missionary challenge of the times—the evangelization of the Muslim world.” PMI is unique in that it is the only Brazilian missions organization solely focused on the Muslim world. As an organization, PMI’s key values include working together in teams, developing strategic platforms in restricted countries, effective cultural immersion, and ongoing pastoral care—both from the organization as well as from the worker’s sending church. Finally, PMI also emphasizes the strategic cultural connection between Brazilians and Muslims, an element discussed in detail in the previous chapter. Calze adds: “Why Latin missionaries or Brazilians? Because the work that has been done so far by Brazilian and Latin missionaries has shown that they adapt very easily to Muslim culture and that they share the gospel very effectively.”
At present, there are approximately 120 workers from fourteen different Latin American countries serving with PMI in the Muslim world. A majority of those are Brazilian and around sixty Brazilians are serving with PMI in the Arab world. With a great commitment to evangelism, discipleship, and church planting, PMI is also quite holistic in its approach; and their workers are involved in sports ministry, medical care, and humanitarian work.
To learn more about PMI, visit the home pages for their Brazilian (Portuguese only) USA (English), and international (Spanish) offices.