Danilo and Emily Aguilar were appointed this summer as the new regional coordinators for Nazarene Missions International. They talked with Where Worlds Meet about their vision and plans for leading this Nazarene ministry that mobilizes the local church in praying, giving and going for missions.
WWM: Why did you agree to take on coordination of this ministry in Eurasia?
Aguilars: Our region is vast and complex, so to be trusted with such an important ministry inspires us. We’re honored. With our team of field NMI leaders, we hope to understand the challenges experienced at the district and local NMI level, and create fruitful ways to participate in God’s global mission in the local context.
WWM: Do you have prior experience in this ministry, say, at the local or district level at some point in your journey?
Aguilars: We both grew up in the Church of the Nazarene and have participated in local NMI events, education and projects. However, not in leadership roles.
WWM: As missionaries, what has this ministry meant to you? Do you have any positive personal stories of how it has supported or impacted you and your work?
Aguilars: [This ministry] connects us to our global church family. We have received letters and emails with prayers and greetings from local [ministry] presidents at just the right moment. Occasionally, a gift box arrives from our LINKS district to cheer up our daughters. (LINKS is a network of personal connections between missionaries and Nazarene districts around the world.) On deputation, [these ministry leaders] and their churches have received us with open arms and we’ve shared and learned from each other during these visits. Ultimately, we appreciate Global Nazarene Missions International everyday, as the homes we’ve lived in were provided through Alabaster offerings given by local churches around the world. [This ministry] has encouraged us as missionaries.
WWM: What do you believe is the ministry’s role or purpose/responsibility in Eurasia?
Aguilars: To incorporate Eurasia into the Church of the Nazarene’s global mission to go where the church is not yet using practical training, equipping and recruiting to be an actively sending and supporting church.
WWM: What is your vision or strategy for this ministry across the Eurasia Region?
Aguilars: We’re discovering needs and opportunities in local contexts through discussions with field leaders that will inform our strategy. At this early stage, we’re seeing two objectives standing out: the potential of empowering a dynamic NMI team to implement plans, and of extensively connecting members of this ministry in the region.
WWM: What will you focus on as leaders of this ministry in Eurasia?
Aguilars: With the Lord’s guidance, we hope to set a vision and goals for [this ministry in] Eurasia that will measurably inspire our Eurasian districts and local churches to be fruitful in global missions. We will serve our field NMI leaders to be equipped and empowered to serve districts and local churches as we reach these goals together.
WWM: What do you want this ministry in Eurasia to look like or where do you want it to be in, say, 5 years?
Aguilars: In 5 years, God willing, [this ministry] will have inspired more passion and commitment to the Great Commission throughout Eurasia. Prayer for missions will be bolder. More young people will have been called and recruited to serve locally and sent globally. More districts and local churches will be actively hospitable and generous to Nazarene missionaries around the world.
WWM: How can Eurasian Nazarenes partner with or support you in your new role?
Aguilars: Our members know their lands, their districts and churches. They know their potential to fulfill the Great Commission through our global denomination. We can only set a vision and goals based on their knowledge. So we ask our Nazarene family to let us know. This way we can guide [this ministry] with confidence.
WWM: Why are you moving to Spain? What else will you be doing there?
Aguilars: After five years in Portugal, a country and church we love, we’re answering the call to serve in Spain. We’ll be serving as pastors for the Pelicano Church in Madrid. We are excited to join this vibrant church in the heart of the city and follow the Lord towards new horizons for spreading the Gospel.
This article has been published in the October 2019 edition of Where Worlds Meet.