Over one million Portuguese-speaking people live in the United States, with very few evangelical churches to reach out to them. The Hisportic Christian Mission began in August 1984 with the purpose to fill that void.
In 1983, after nine years on the mission field in Brazil, Wayne Long and his family returned to America for a year’s furlough. While doing research for classes that he would teach as an interim professor of missions at Northwest Christian College in Eugene, OR, Wayne discovered that there were a large number of Portuguese-speaking people living on the East Coast of the United States. With this discovery, God placed a love for these people in his heart. Wayne had been uniquely prepared for this work because he spoke Portuguese fluently and his ministry calling was evangelism and church planting.
Wayne and his wife, Gail, prayed about this great need. After seeking wisdom and confirmation of the Lord’s leading from close friends and church leaders, they founded the Hisportic Christian Mission. “Hisportic” was a new word meaning “Portuguese-speaking.”
From that beginning, a great vision—to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their own language to the thousands of people who live in the United States and speak Portuguese—was born. Portuguese-speaking pastors would be recruited and churches established. The evangelistic and church planting ministry of the Hisportic Christian Mission would focus on people who were new immigrants from Portugal, Cape Verde, and Brazil, and spoke little or no English.
In 1984, the family moved to Rhode Island as a central location to reach this people group living in cities from New Hampshire to New Jersey.
The Mission Statement
In 2002 the HCM Board of Directors developed this mission statement:
The purpose of the Hisportic Christian Mission is to
Evangelize Portuguese-speaking people, to
Establish churches, and to
Empower Pastors to
Equip the people
There are 25 churches in existence today because of the ministry of HCM. The area of ministry has expanded through the years. Churches are now located from Nashua, NH, to Orlando, FL, with a vision to plant Portuguese-speaking churches in every major city in the United States. Some of the churches in the United States have planted churches in Brazil. Churches have also been established in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa.
There are hundreds of new baptized believers in Christ.
Numerous couples living in illicit and common-law relations are married.
Many persons with substance abuse are restored.
The depressed and suicidal receive new hope.
Deacons, elders, and teachers are discovered and trained.
Un-shepherded Christians are discovered and brought into churches.
The number of Portuguese-speaking immigrants coming to the United States continues to grow. The population is no longer concentrated in New England. Large numbers of Portuguese-speaking people are in most major cities in the United States. The population is also increasing in Canada. The Mission is currently working on churches in Atlanta, GA; the Scranton, PA, area; and Toronto, Canada. See Current Church Plant Projects for more information.
Finances are needed to fund these church plants. $300,000 is needed each year to fund new churches. This will help provide the pastor’s salary, rent of property, and set-up costs.
The Change of Leadership
In December, 2006, Wayne Long retired as the Executive Director of the Hisportic Christian Mission. He continues as a consultant to the Mission. Carl Bookout, who had served on the Board of Directors for 16 years, was called to replace him. Although the leadership has changed, the vision continues—to impact Portuguese-speaking people with the Gospel of Christ by planting ethnic churches.
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