A Lima-based mission partner of the Church Mission Society has been appointed as the agency’s first Latin American mission development manager. Paul Tester has been working alongside young people and the Anglican Church in the region various ministry roles since 2007. He will succeed Bishop Henry Scriven, who led CMS’ work in Latin America for the past nine years; and will be the first leader of CMS’ Latin American work to be based in the region itself.
In a statement, CMS said that following Bishop Henry’s retirement, they had “taken the opportunity to reshape its approach in view of the way mission has changed over recent years. Consequently, the new role of mission development manager for Latin America reflects the facilitating and complementary nature of mission in the 21st century, where mission organisations like CMS work predominantly with local partners who are already based in the region.”
Commenting on his appointment, Tester said: “First and foremost my intention will be to discern God’s direction rather than follow our own intuition as we seek to develop mission growth in Latin America, through both the traditional models of sending missionaries from the UK to Latin America but also enabling, advocating for, and inspiring mission within and from Latin America.”
Looking forward, Paul expressed his excitement for the potential of this new role to change the future of Latin America, developing a mission movement that is “Latino” in nature, bearing in mind the geographical size of the region and the need for life-changing discipleship within and beyond the church.
Paul Tester “will enable CMS to grow its mission work in and from Latin America in collaboration with the Anglican Church of South America, and other strategic partners in region,” CMS’ director of international mission, Paul Thaxter, said. “It is a privilege to be part of the dynamic growth that is sweeping through the church in Latin America.”
Originally from High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, England, Paul went to university in Durham before working in the construction industry. He and his wife Sarah have three children.
CMS was formed in 1799 and is one of the world’s oldest mission agencies. Its vision is to see people “set free to play their part in the mission of God, bringing challenge, change, hope and freedom to the world, so that people and places are renewed with the love of Christ, pioneering leaders can forge new paths of transformation, people on the margins flourish and the healing of creation begins.” It works across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.