Tributes pour in for Mexican evangelist Juan Isais
By Kenneth D. MacHarg
Tributes have come in from around the world following the death of veteran LAM missionary Juan M. Isáis, one of Mexico’s leading evangelical leaders who died April 2 after a short illness.
“Don Juan was sensitive, unassuming and open, with an extraordinary sense of humor, a magnificent way with people, a great communicator, an excellent promoter who did not take no for an answer, gifted with common sense and a special charisma that opened doors in many different areas, who God had filled with talents and abilities,” wrote Ruben Medina.
“Rev. Juan Isáis initiated a change in the evangelism process in India also. We the people of India are shocked to know about the death of Rev. Juan,” wrote Rajesh Sebastian of Mission India upon learning about his death.
“We knew brother Isáis in Lima, Peru in those years when we had the “evangelism in depth” campaign,” wrote Samuel A. D’Amico. “It pained me to hear of his illness.”
“Juan will be missed greatly, but we rejoice that he has now received his great reward and is in the presence of his Lord and Master Jesus Christ, whom he served for so many years,” said former LAM Vice President, Chuck Morton. “So very many people have come to know Christ through Juan's faithful service.”
Recruited in 1952 by Latin America Mission President Kenneth Strachan to serve with the mission’s Evangelism-in-Depth program, Juan and his wife, Elisabeth (Liz) worked with the program in several Latin American countries, later settling in Mexico.
“Juan and Liz went from country to country developing a publication to support each E/D project,” said Miguel Angel De Marco, LAM’s Director of Ministries. “They showed me some of their publications from 40 years ago and my thought was, I would like to see that concept at use in Latin America today. They were way ahead of their time.”
Juan was known throughout the Americas and around the world for his efforts in evangelism and expanding the reach of the evangelical church in his own country. His book, The Other Evangelism, the story of Evangelism in Depth was recently reprinted by the Latin America Mission.
Juan met his wife, Liz, while serving with LAM’s Christian radio station TIFC in San Jose, Costa Rica. After traveling with the E/D movement, the couple settled in Mexico City where they established Latin America Mission of Mexico (MILAMEX) in 1964, a broad umbrella agency that has been involved in evangelistic campaigns, radio programs, camping ministries and other efforts.