From Chile to Nicaragua
I lay my hand on Magyolene’s shoulder as she kneels. I am standing beside the Bishop of the Pentecostal Church of Chile before a congregation of some 1500 brothers and sisters of the Pentecostal Church of Chile in Curicó. Mayolene’s hair, long, thick, and straight
I lay my hand on Magyolene’s shoulder as she kneels. I am standing beside the Bishop of the Pentecostal Church of Chile before a congregation of some 1500 brothers and sisters of the Pentecostal Church of Chile in Curicó. Mayolene’s hair, long, thick, and straight with an unusual natural red tint, falls down hiding her face, a moment of privacy in this public confession of faith and dedication, and as the prayers flow over and around her, I remember.
I remember Magyolene as young college student working diligently on her thesis project; we searched together for the almost extinct Quele trees that in Darwin´s descriptions were as as large and majestic as the Redwoods when he explored the coasts of Chile. What a thrill when we found a few seedlings sprouting in a circle around the decayed trunk of an ancient tree cut many years before.
I remember Magyolene as the assistant to the youth leader of the Curicó Church when the Bishop made the surprising and much commented decision to join the boys youth group with the girls youth group. A young man was given the task of managing this much awaited change; Magyolene was selected to temper and balance the energy and impulsive nature of the leader.
I remember Magyolene down on the forest floor with a group of fifth graders during one of the environmental education camps at the Shalom Center introducing them to the ferocious looking beetle with the impressive name of “mother of the snake” (Madre de la Culebra in Spanish). They watched together, marveling and asking questions, until the students had figured out that it was harmlessly going about the business of laying eggs in different holes around the base of a tree.
I remember Magyolene accompanying the people of Colbún with trauma healing and resilience development workshops and activities after the February 2012 earthquake in Chile, the tranquility of her spirit bringing peace and hope to the students and teachers in various schools as well as the intergenerational community of the church.
Tonight, during the worship service in Curicó, Magyolene has been blessed by her home church to serve as a volunteer through Global Ministries with the Mission Cristiana in Nicaragua. It is the first time that the Pentecostal Church of Chile enters into this kind of mission partnership, sharing its gifts and blessings with others in another country far away. For me, it is also a first; Magyolene is the first of the members of the Shalom Center staff to take all that she has learned in environmental education, trauma healing and peace education, conflict transformation, and spiritual development and offer it, along with her deep-rooted faith and professional expertise as an agronomy engineer, to the Lord`s service overseas. The seeds of my ministry in Chile travel with Magyolene to take root in other soil, to grow in unique ways, and to join with sister trees as far away as Nicaragua in the growing of God’s Kingdom of Shalom.