After our first year of service as a volunteer missionary in Guatemala in 2005, God gave us an opportunity to continue working with Dr. Christian Sarmiento as he moved from Central to South America as regional director. Dr. Sarmiento invited us to be systems and statistics coordinators for the South America Region. We then started off on our first deputation tour in the United States. It was a very difficult time as we tried to understand Gods new direction for us. We finally moved to Pilar, Argentina in June 2006. Within just a couple weeks of working there, Dr. Sarmiento asked Brian to take over a ministry called Extreme that started in Ukraine that was coming to help finish the Bruno Radi Convention Center. Brian first said, "no", but Dr. Sarmiento suggested we pray about it. So we did.
In that prayer, God didn't tell us to take over Extreme, but he did tell us something that forever changed our lives. In a nearly audible voice, he said, "Brian do you remember all those people you spoke to on deputation that were sitting in the back row, not active in My Salvation Plan for the world? Go get my people and get them engaged in Kingdom work." We knew instantly that this new ministry was the best avenue available to engage people in Kingdom work. So we returned back to Dr. Sarmientos office the next day and accepted the challenge. We spent the next year and a half working extremely hard to put all the pieces together to complete the Bruno Radi Convention Center and plant 10 new churches in Buenos Aires. During that time, God put amazing people on our team that made the project a success. Principal among those leaders were Brent Deakins and Carlos Radi.
Brent brought a steady hand and credibility to our fledgling effort to deploy people to expand the Kingdom of God. After Brent and Carlos came many hundreds of others who sacrificed time, resources, energy and expertise toward that first project in Pilar. On January 26, 2008, we inaugurated the convention center in front of over three thousand people. That event was not the end, however. That event marked the beginning of what was the future of Extreme Nazarene Missions.
Since that fateful day in July 2006, Extreme has grown from one full-time volunteer to over one hundred today. We have deployed over two thousand seven hundred people on two week work projects and have raised several million dollars for impact and construction projects in Ukraine, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, Germany and Venezuela. They keys to these God-sent blessings have been a dynamic mix of recruiting, training and mobilizing lay people and effective project organization on the field. Extreme has a team of people in the United States working full time to promote Extreme's projects in churches, business and in peoples living rooms. Extreme makes personal invitations to people to come and serve as God has gifted them. Perhaps the biggest element to Extreme's success lies in the fact that our entire ministry staff is self-supported.
40/40 is arguable Extremes greatest contribution to the Nazarene movement to date. 40/40 was a concept developed by Dr. Sarmiento, Extremes leadership and Rev. Segundo Rimarachin to plant churches. The initial goal was to partner up 40 Peruvians with 40 North Americans in pairs to plant 3 churches each. 40 pairs times 3 churches each. The result of that original vision was the planting of 69 churches in Peru. Since then, the 40/40 movement has spread to Paraguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Germany, Venezuela and Brazil. Dr. Sarmiento recently told Extreme's leadership team that, "40/40 as a part of God's plan to evangelize the whole world. " I know that we at Extreme are excited about that possibility and look forward to meeting that challenge.