Thursday, December 2, 2010

In a Nutshell

So, by way of further introduction to La Misión Cristiana, the church we are working with here in Nicaragua, here is their brief self-description. I first read this (in Spanish) a couple weeks after we arrived, as part of a project proposal for the theological education project for pastors I will be helping to lead over a two-year span (2011-2012). I almost fell out of my chair, I liked it so much.

Today, I translated this "brief profile of the organization" as part of another project proposal, for starting a dairy operation on a church-owned farm. Since at least one of the groups of people who are helping with this project speak English but no Spanish, we were asked to translate the proposal. And, as a fringe benefit, I now get to share with you all these words that I found so inspiring.

"The Christian Mission Church of Nicaragua began in the 1960s as a movement of ministry to prisoners, calling itself in those years "The Christian Mission in the Jails." Its founders were Rev. Marcelino Dávila Castillo who was a pastor in the Assemblies of God, and Rev. Antonio Martinez who first belonged to the Church of the Nazarene. The first church was founded in the Acahualinca neighborhood in 1959. The second church was founded in Barrio José Dolores Estrada in 1972.

The Convention Association of Christian Mission Churches obtained its official recognition on October 19th, 1983. Currently, the Association consists of 51 churches organized at the national level. The churches that belong to the Association are part of the pentecostal movement. The Christian Mission Church has been marked since its beginning as a church committed to addressing social problems and very open to relationships with other churches. Throughout its history, the Association has participated in the founding of various Christian organizations at the national level, with the goal of strengthening ecumenical relationships and supporting the development of churches and their communities.

These organizations include: CEPAD (Evangelical Council for Aid and Development), CIEETS (Interchurch Center of Theological and Social Studies), and UENIC (Evangelical University of Nicaragua). The Christian Mission Church also is a member of CLAI (the Latin American Council of Churches), and has maintained relationships of exchange and sister/brotherhood with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), The Brethren, the United Church of Christ (especially the New York Conference), and with the Christian Pentecostal Church of Cuba.

The Christian Mission Church has as its mission the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, proclaimed by Jesus and the first Christians in the power of the Holy Spirit. This preaching is done in words and deeds, so that the gospel may be seen and heard through the testimony of the church, and its commitments to the values of the Kingdom of God: justice, solidarity, equality and respect for diversity. The vision of the Christian Mission Church is to encourage and support social transformation, incarnating the gospel as good news for the most vulnerable sectors of society: the poor, the sick, women, children, and people excluded from our socio-economic systems."

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