Mission worker, Presbyterian Church USA
In July 2005, just after graduating from CTP, I came under appointment for the third time as a Presbyterian Church(USA) mission worker, this time to serve as regional liaison for Central America . In my new role, I help create better communication between Worldwide Ministries Division offices, mission personnel, partner churches and organizations, and PC (USA) entities in the US that are interested in Central America. I am pleased to be called to a position of service that will allow me to combine my previous experience in Latin America with my recent education in conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
This position has me based in Managua, Nicaragua; the city that I had said goodbye to just a year and a half earlier has become my home again. My first year in this role has been about developing relationships, without which this job would be impossible. For this reason, my job includes a great deal of travel, mainly to the other countries of my region, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica; occasionally I find myself traveling to the US as well. I’m finding that on average I am gone about 10 days out of every month.
Though there are days I’m not really sure what I’m doing, this is what I understand the three main areas of my work to involve:
- First, as churches and individuals are becoming increasingly involved in direct international mission, I am to help connect their efforts to known international church and institutional partners in faithful, vital and empowering ways.
- Second, as we have wonderful mission personnel who leave family, home and culture to serve in a partner’s mission, I help them adjust and succeed in their mission work, as well as be a support to them in times of crisis.
- And third, as we strive to do mission in the model of partnership, I am called on to relate closely to our partners so that we can know the healthiest way to engage one another. We also support our international church and institutional partners in important projects and initiatives; I will provide in-country follow up, easing implementation and improving outcomes.
My assignment also includes a major focus on programs of reconciliation and peacemaking. This means that I am selling myself as a resource in this area and look for opportunities to specifically share what I learned at CTP. In this capacity I have facilitated dialogues for church and community partnerships, served as a consultant to other conflicts and reconciliation efforts, and have been working on a study module for rural communities on the theme of conflict transformation.