Blending in and spreading the Word
Express-News Staff Writer
Carlos Charco bought a turban, tunic and sandals on the first day of a short mission trip three years ago in a West African country.
He wanted to blend into this Sahara Desert region, far from Mexico's Pacific coast, where he grew up. Far from the San Antonio seminary where he was studying Christian theology.
The new duds and his mestizo features — black hair and brown skin — matched those of the Arab community there. Nearly everyone assumed he was Muslim.
"It was an advantage as a missionary that I'm not white and my eyes were not blue or green," said Charco, a San Antonio pastor who's preparing — along with his wife, Viviana, of South America — to be missionaries in a Muslim country.
They are part of a rising evangelical movement of Latin-American missionaries going to areas that are the least Christianized in the world.
The Rev. Carlos Charco (center) prays with Adellina Lajzer and Benjamin Moreno during services at Rainbow Hill Baptist Mission.
They believe their skin tone and non-Western background give them advantages in Muslim countries over Anglo missionaries, who are held back by post-9-11 hostilities.
Web Posted: 04/09/2006 12:00 AM CDT