Missionary Stories

The Migrant Caravan from Central America/ La Caravana de Migrantes de Centroamérica

The phenomenon of mass migration, in which migrants embark on the road and protect themselves, is new. So far, the migrants relied on the help of coyotes, largely linked to criminal networks. They were vulnerable and exposed to kidnappings, extortion, rape, murder, and disappearances. In this new phenomenon, they protect each other and the humanitarian society covers them with gestures of love that are faithful to the gospel (I was a stranger and you took me in... Mt 25:35).

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Peace vs War/ Paz vs Guerra

They will beat their swords and plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid.

(Micah 4:3b-4a)

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Losing My Voice

Today is my fourth week of living in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While this isn’t my first trip to this beautiful Caribbean island, Haiti is now considered my home. I am honored to serve the National Council of Spiritual Churches in Haiti (CONASPEH) for a three-year assignment. One of the ways I assist is as a Conversational English teacher at College St. Andre.

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Updates from Colombia

Greetings from Bogotá, where we’re 2600 meters closer to the stars. 2018 has proven to be one of the busiest and richest times in my ministry in Colombia. Let me share a couple of the highlights with you.

Workshop.jpegWhat a joy it has been to begin workshops on conflict transformation and restorative justice at the Icononzo FARC Reintegration Community. The first conflict transformation workshop was held in Icononzo, Tolima on September 4 and was a great success. We had a total of 16 participants, equally distributed between former FARC guerrilla combatants and civilian “receptor community” leaders. These workshops are being facilitated by the Cafepaz Peace Studies Center in the hopes of helping facilitate as smooth a reentry process as possible for both the ex-combatants and the civilian community they are now joining (many of whom were victims of the armed conflict).

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A Year Later - Restoring the Ruins

Mexico_Cara_McKinney_DSC_0042b.jpgOne year ago, on the night of September 7, 2017, an 8.2 magnitude earthquake roughly roused us from our slumbers and sent us running for the streets, patios, stairs, and open spaces. The earthquake left many communities in rubble and left all of us waking in the middle of the night fearing another aftershock.

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A Journey in Faith: An Ecumenical Discipleship

My experience and relationship to the Church

I was born and raised in a Disciples of Christ congregation in Puerto Rico. My whole life has been nurtured, shaped and formed in a close relationship to the Disciples of Christ ethos and church life. My parents were leaders in the denomination and early on I learned to appreciate and love serving the Church in all its manifestations.

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The Contribution of Theological Education to the Mission of God in the World

Spring at the Theological Community of Mexico.

In February 2018, the different theological education seminars that make up the Theological Community of Mexico (CTdeM) started a new semester. Students, pastors and leaders of different Christian traditions came together for diverse experiences of learning. In every group and course, the passion for a quality theological education is shared and thus grows the proclamation and incarnation of the gospel in the realities lived by the churches and communities in Mexico.

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UNLESS

“At the far end of town where the grickle grass grows and the wind smells slow and sour when it blows, is the land of the lifted Lorax...”  I can write from memory these words that open Dr. Seuss´s book The Lorax. I read the story every Friday morning to the children at the School of Environmental Education in Texas for three years, and yet I never tire of the crazy rhymes and the sad story of how the old Oncler, because of his unabated greed, brought destruction to the land of the Truffula trees. As the story progresses, the Lorax tries to warn the Oncler, to no avail, of how his production of Thneeds is contaminating the air, soil, and water.  Finally, the last Truffula tree is cut and the whole web of life is unraveled. Nothing can live in the wasteland left behind. As I see the story of the Oncler repeated over and over again throughout Chiapas, southern México, I wonder if we will heed the warnings before it is too late.

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Together for a Full and Abundant Life for All

During the first semester of 2018 we have accompanied groups of leaders of different churches with trainings on creating healthy families. From our Christian witness and missionary work in Mexico, we consider it of the utmost importance to strengthen pastoral work aimed at promoting and guaranteeing the fullness of life of all people. In contexts where different types of violence occur, especially domestic violence, it is necessary to address the issues related to families from a biblical, pastoral and social perspective.

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“Hola, hola. How are you?”

As of last February 2018, I have been volunteering with FEDICE in Ecuador for 8 years.  My main job is teaching English to over 100 preschoolers between 3 and 4 years of age.  I work at 8 preschools sharing my native language twice a week for 25 minutes at each class.  These schools are in small, indigenous communities near Otavalo where I live.

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