In 1921, after serving in Argentina for three years, Harry Strachan, a Canadian-born Scot and his Irish-born wife Susan moved north to San José, Costa Rica, the only foreign missionaries in the country at the time. There they founded the Latin America Evangelism Campaign, an ambitious ministry with an ambitious plan to reach the entire region of Central and South America for Christ.
In its early years, the ministry focused not only on revival-style evangelism campaigns, but also on other initiatives including women's ministries, Bible training, outreach to street children and founding what is today one of Central America's premier hospitals. In addition to prayer, the ministry built its work on an attitude of interdenominational cooperation, desiring to set aside differences and do whatever it took to bring the gospel to as many Latins as possible.
In 1938, the ministry changed its name to Latin America Mission, a better reflection of its holistic approach. After his parents' deaths, Kenneth Strachan assumed leadership of LAM in 1952, followed by successive presidents.
By the 1970s, LAM had a presence in multiple countries across Latin America, and its ministries had grown to include programs in publishing and radio ministry, theological education, children's homes, and many others.
In 1971, under the conviction that Latins should be empowered and encouraged to take charge of ministry efforts in their communities, General Director Horace Fenton, Jr. turned over administrative control of all LAM's major ministries to Latin leadership. LAM, in turn, shifted its focus to equipping these and many other grassroots Latin ministries by partnering with them in providing personnel, counsel and fundraising support.
A United Vision
In January, 2014, upon the approval from both the LAM and UWM boards, Latin America Mission joined the United World Mission family. The combination presented several synergistic opportunities that have the potential to advance Kingdom work through national partnerships, holistic ministry, church planting, leadership development and ministry training.
Today, under the leadership of Dr. John Bernard, United World Mission has more than 350 missionaries serving in 42 nations. United World Mission seeks to facilitate missional outreach and church planting by local Christians through facilitative missionaries and collaborative partnerships.