The Christian Church In Kentucky is a DOM/Global Ministries Regiona Partner. Our Global Ministries Partner is Misio Cristiana in Nicaragua. Dalene Vasbinder is the Convener of our Partnership Team. In the summer of 2014, Dalene spent sabbatical time with our partners in Nicaragua. Here is a portion of her report to the Regional Board.
Three years ago, a group of us from the Christian Church in Kentucky, CCinKY, met to discuss the desire to become a “Global Mission Region”, celebrating, highlighting and supporting the work of the Global Ministries of the Christian Church (DOC) and the United Church of Christ. A part of becoming a Global Mission Region was to enter into covenant partnership with one of our Global Ministry Partners in another country. After much discussion and consultation with Global Ministries, we agreed to explore partnering with the Christian Mission Church, “Mision Cristiana” in Nicaragua.
Two years ago, 6 of us from CCinKY spent a short four days in Nicaragua meeting with leaders to discuss becoming partners. We began the conversation. However, when we returned, the conversation stalled. Then, Rev. Boniche, president of Mision Cristiana, who we had been in talks with, died suddenly of a heart attack.
The purpose of my 2014 trip was to further develop our partnership with Mision Cristiana. I am pleased to report that this purpose was realized, more than I could have imagined. This was to be accomplished by:
- meeting with and getting to know the new President, Rev. Enrique Rugama
- being available to answer questions that they may have of our Region or facilitating dialogue between
- the Region and the Church
- completing and signing a Covenant
- visiting the ministries of Mision Cristiana more extensively
- blogging about my experience so that Disciples in KY could begin to know more about the work of Mision Cristiana and the culture of Nicaragua.
I spent most of the month of July, 2014 in Nicaragua. The time that was exclusively for Regional work (above) was from Monday, June 30 to Saturday, July 12. The last two weeks I continued to learn about the country and blog, but was on personal time with my two teens who were in Spanish immersion class in the city of Granada.
During the first two weeks, I spent time in the office talking with Rev. Rugama and Sonia Cabezas about the covenant. They looked at the draft that Greg Alexander had written, made some changes, we sent it back and forth and few times, then to Indianapolis, then it was signed! Thank goodness for email!
I also visited a number of the ministries of Mision Cristiana: 1st Church and 2nd Church, two schools, a youth meeting, a small town in the north with biodigestors designed by a former Global Missionary, a prison ministry, three worship services. In addition to the ministries of Mision Cristiana, I visited another Global Ministries partner, CIEETS (The Interchurch Center for Social and Theological Studies). I also got acquainted with our current Global Ministries missionary, Magyolene Rodriguez, from Chile. Instead of going into detail, I invite you to refer to my blog where you will find each activity recorded: http://goglobalky.org.
Having a partnership relationship will, I believe, enhance our congregations’ knowledge and interest in Global Ministries. As people learn more about Mision Cristiana, they learn about the work of Global Ministries; how we work in partnership with others around the world. We now have faces to put with one of those partnerships. Also, having a long term relationship with one group of people lends to a more mutual relationship, both learning from each other. I am in conversation with two churches who are now interested in traveling to Nicaragua to learn from our partners and to serve as best they can. The contacts that I made while in Nicaragua plus the information I gathered about hotels, transportation, etc. will be passed on to groups wanting to travel there.
In addition, we hope to have Rev. Rugama visit us for our Regional Assembly in 2016.
To become a part of the Global Ministries Regional Partnership Team.