Recently, the Nicaraguan Protestant University Martin Luther King (UENIC) graduated their first class of 24 graduates from the new two-year Master’s degree program in Church History and Christian Thought. Ten female and 12 male church leaders from a variety of ecumenical backgrounds, including Pentecostal, Mennonite, Moravian, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist, Church of Christ, and Catholic, studied and successfully completed the Master’s degree program in Church History and Christian Thought. Because participants came from a variety of churches and different regions of the country, the program and discussions were enriched by the diversity of backgrounds in terms of theological, pastoral, and cultural differences. This degree program has helped to prepare new Church Historians to meet the current a demand for research and a better understanding the mission of the church and Church History in Nicaragua. As a result, 18 students from the program have requested to begin a research project in 2017 in the areas of theology and Church Mission History with the University, and several graduates have been selected to teach graduate level courses at the UNEIC and other theological schools and research centers across the country.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 20:19-31
Prayers for Nicaragua:
During the time of reflection that brings Holy Week, we remember the many paths that Jesus walked in his journey; trails and stories that maybe many of us will never know or imagine. On this day of prayer for Nicaragua, I would like you to reflect on a moment when you have felt alone, a moment where you saw no way out of their problems, a moment where darkness invaded your life. Maybe that moment is never going to look like the thousands of situations that Nicaraguans face in their lives every day, like the poor and vulnerable neighborhoods and communities where I serve. It is for this reason, dear brothers and sisters, that Jesus continues to remind us, especially today, that he is present in every situation of our lives, even if we do not see him or touch him. We feel him and we do not need to put our fingers in his wounds to know that he has been resurrected and accompanies us. On this day, let us pray for every brother and sister, citizens of this beautiful land that enjoys the sun of a new day throughout the year.
Our current president who just moved into government-subsidized housing in Washington, D.C. said during the campaign that Mexico was sending rapists and criminals to the U.S. I’ve met with many people here in Nogales that have just been deported from the U.S. They’ve told me, often with tears in their eyes, that they made the risky journey to the U.S. in search of work so that they could provide for their families back home in Mexico or Central America.Read more
In November, I was traveling from San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador to Managua, Nicaragua in Ticabus. Arriving at the Salvadoran side of the border with Honduras, I was writing in my diary when a police officer entered the bus to make a check. I did not pay attention to him, because I was focused on my thinking. I think that made him suspicious – he might have thought I was hiding myself from him behind my writing and I was asked to dismount the bus for a check. I got off the bus, picked up my suitcase, and went to an office. In it there were three hostile policemen who rudely started interrogating me about who I was and what I do. I told them that I am a missionary and pastor. Checking my luggage, they found my prayer cards and with them, they corroborated what I was saying. After a while I was released. I left was very angry about their rude treatment.Read more
On January 26th and 27th, CIEETS Matagalpa's training continued the “Resilience to Climate Change” project, in which CIEETS works in collaboration with Lutheran World Relief in eleven communities that live on the coffee plantations in San Ramón-Matagalpa. I helped deliver the training with Lucrecia Mendoza Martínez.Read more
First Christian Church, Bloomington, Indiana
Journey to Cuba
Reflections from November 2016 Pilgrimage to Cuba
Sunday - Cuba Is Becoming Real
We fill out papers for customs, then we’re off. Now I let myself start to become excited. We can follow our plane’s flight on the screen on the back of the seat in front of us. Soon, I see over the plane’s wing lights. They are outlining Cuba. Wow! It’s becoming real and not just an idea or dream. I’m so excited.
Another good landing, and now to get through customs. Baggage pick up is next and they have cute cocker spaniel like dogs jumping and weaving along the baggage. Now to meet our ride. Carmelo, our Global Ministries guide, is greeted warmly and then introductions are made all around. Our guide in Cuba is Sandor. He is in charge. Our interpreter is Vladimir and our driver is Sixto. Very friendly, welcoming, nice young men, and handsome too.
The drive from Varadero airport to Matanzas is a blur, weaving through dark streets. We unload and are treated to a snack. A cola, sandwich of whitebread, ham and cheese and a wafer cookie. We are staying at a Presbyterian church complex that has nice rooms, 2-3 beds, shower, toilet, sink, and some space for suitcases. All one needs. As we climb into our beds, it is now 2:00am. It’s been almost 24 hours that we have been up and tomorrow will be a busy day starting with breakfast at 9:30am.
“As a volunteer with FEDICE, I am making a difference in indigenous communities. The leaders of the future, the children, are getting an enhanced curriculum because FEDICE has the foresight to provide this service of teaching English in these communities. It is a gift for the next generation."Read more
Reflection transforms the march of time into productive moments of change. That is what I love about Lent. This season of waiting turns us toward reflection on many levels.Read more
A lot of people were now becoming followers of the Lord. But some of the ones who spoke Greek started complaining about the ones who spoke Aramaic. They complained that the Greek-speaking widows were not given their share when the food supplies were handed out each day.Read more
During this Lenten season as we focus on our relationship with God, I would like to provide you with the opportunity to examine how our Nicaraguan sisters and brothers of the Moravian Church focus on their relationship with God.