Question : So what exactly does Evangelical Mission Ministries do?
The short answer : Everything any other mission does except for one key distinctive -
While other missions typically sought candidates from across the US and Canada, EMM from the beginning sought to find pastors, missionaries, childrens workers and more from amongst the ever growing national church within Mexico. This concept seemed revolutionary to many American missions of that time but in reality is a close model of the pattern followed almost 2000 years ago by the apostle Paul.
And the longer explanation - since every "short answer" generally requires further explanation, for those inquisitive enough to ask:
More than 50 years ago Walter Gomez, EMM's founder, spent considerable time and prayer researching a number of different missions and how they functioned only to finally go off up into the mountains of Oklahoma alone with a Bible to seek God's leading and wisdom. When he came back, it was with a renewed passion, vision and goals for ministering in Mexico. But more importantly, he came down from the mountains with a completely new concept of how he felt God was leading him to achieve that goal. This concept today is much more widely used by numerous missions, in whole or in part, but at that time was very rare in North American missions. Walter, through God's direction, believed that the best people to reach Mexico with the Gospel were Mexicans.
Walter and a few early missionaries started out planting the initial churches, but as soon as they could grow that church to be self-sustaining and train the pastors to continue the ministry, they moved on and turned it over to national pastors. Soon, they saw the need to train these early Christians in sound doctrine within the structure of a seminary environment. Initially, they threw their support behind another Hispanic ministry that had started a Bible Institute in south Texas. But within a couple of years they saw a need to open a separate school in the extreme south of Mexico. This seminary grew and eventually was relocated to Monclova and then in the year 2000 relocated to Pachuca. These moves were dictated by geographical needs to follow the growth of the rapidly spreading new churches that were being started first by Walter and his early missionary team and then afterward by trained Mexican pastors. Before his death, God allowed Walter to see the full circle and completion of His designed plan when this conference of churches registered with the Mexican government and took over full control and responsibility for these churches. Shortly after that, the conference of churches, through an elected board, took over full responsibility for the operations and decisions of the seminary. EMM's roll today is to support these churches, and the new churches being planted by this core of original churches. They help supply funds, materials and even manpower to construct new buildings, pay salaries of the pastors in these new churches, and provide printed materials and media ranging from tracts to correspondence courses from children's Bible lessons up through adult training courses.
This model for a mission has proved extremely efficient in the reduced time to train the men and women to fill the positions God has opened (remember, these people already know the language and even more importantly the culture and they are much more quickly accepted than foreigners coming into the country). Also this model soon proved to have a second benefit, one that is very important today in light of the recent financial crisis. Due to the economic disparity between the US and Mexico, the money raised by EMM here, goes a lot further when spent there. With some mission boards today demanding that their missionaries raise as much as $60-80,000.00 dollars, EMM can support an incredible number of new works in Mexico for the price of one US family.