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Erin's Testimony of Faith

September 26, 2008

Earlier this year, I received this letter from Erin McKinney who came to the Shalom Center with a group from the Ohio Region.  I have asked her permission to share her letter with you.  As you can imagine, it filled me with many reason to say, "¡Gloria a Dios!" (Glory to God!)  I hope that you enjoy the testimony of this young woman who was transformed by a short spiritual pilgrimage into another culture and county.

Shalom,

Elena Huegel

*******************

Hola Elena,

This is Erin McKinney from Ohio.  I came down with an Ohio Disciples group (Jon Rumberg and Laura Fitt-Baird) to the Shalom Center in 2005. 

 I'm writing for two reasons; to say hello and hear how you're doing and also to THANK YOU!

 I recently got accepted into the Global Ministries Intern program!  I'll be going to Caminante in the Dominican Republic in September for 1 year (open to more...)!!!  Over the last month I went to the week training and then the Common Global Ministries Board Meeting and am even more excited to begin this next adventure in life.

 I wanted to let you know how much my trip to the Shalom Center and my experiences in Chile impacted where I'm going now.  I had always been interested in mission work and serving others in need, but I had no idea where that passion or calling would take me.  My trip to Chile was my first international experience and especially my first international mission adventure.  I didn't know it at the time, but my experiences there; getting to know you, building relationships with people in Chile, spending time with God in nature, seeing your work impacting many lives, seeing your holistic approach to ministry, having an intercultural and ecumenical experience, all of this tremendously impacted my life and the direction I am now taking.  I had always had interest in being a GMI but being in Chile really laid the ground work for me pursuing this calling.  It emphasized and encouraged my interest in continuing to learn Spanish and attempts to learn more about different Hispanic cultures.  It also helped me begin to understand what global missions is all about and the importance and opportunities with the Disciples Church. 

 Since then I've had many opportunities and life experiences that have continued to lead me in the direction of pursuing global ministries.  However, I realize that getting to know you made a huge impact in my life.  I saw God at work through you and your energy and strength as a woman in ministry.   During our trip to Chile I understand we only saw a tiny piece of your work, but you truly are changing the world and the lives of many through your ministries.  I admire all that you do and your strength and faith.  

 During my time here at Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries I've gotten to experience more of what it's like to be on the other side of mission trips.  I've done a lot of work with the volunteer/mission groups that come and I have a better understanding of how challenging and exhausting it can be.  It is hard work, but I wanted to thank you and let you know how much your time with us as a mission group impacted me and my direction in life.  My experience in Chile really was one of the stepping stones in my walk leading me to global ministries. 

 ¡Muchas Gracias y Dios te bendiga!

Shalom,

Erin McKinney

Submitted by:

Elena Huegel

Erin serves as a Global Mission Intern with Caminante in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.  She works with children in Caminante's Outreach Ministry.  Her ministry is possible because of funds provided by Week of Compassion of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

 



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