Eugenio Polo (upper left), pastor of the nearby Pan de Vida church, receives a bucket of cement from Gabriel, a member of Esperanza Viva, while finishing the construction of Esperanza Viva’s new building. The project was led by a local construction worker (upper right) and many other people volunteered their time, including William Valencia (lower right), who was serving as the Colombian Mennonite Church administrator at the time. Photo by Linda Shelly. Download high-resolution image.

Andrew Clouse
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

ELKHART, Ind.Mennonite Mission Network is using a Mennonite Men JoinHands grant to help three churches in Latin America make their dreams of owning their own building a reality.

  • $2,000 went to help complete the roof at the Pan de Vida (Bread of Life) Church in the Nuevo Milenio neighborhood of Barranquilla, Colombia.
  • $1,000 helped purchase a lot and cement for a new church building for Esperanza Viva (Living Hope) in the San Vicente neighborhood of Barranquilla.
  • $2,000 is seed money for Quito Mennonite Church’s plan for its own facility in the future.

Since 1999, the service component of Mennonite Men—JoinHands—has offered an annual tithe grant to Mennonite denominational mission boards in the United States and Canada. The portion that was donated to Mennonite Mission Network in 2011 has helped these three churches, as well as the new building for Comunidades Unidas Anabautistas  (United Anabaptist Communities) in Burgos, Spain.

Colombia

Colombian Mennonites have planted six churches on the country’s north coast in the last nine and a half years. The churches in Barranquilla that received the JoinHands grant are two of the newest. The grant money helps establish these dynamic congregations by providing their own space for worship.

Download full-resolution image.
Both of these congregations are in developing neighborhoods on the city’s outskirts, where people arrive seeking safety, better opportunities, and cheaper land. The pastoral couples, Eugenio Polo and Mabel Ruiz at Pan de Vida and Beatriz Miranda and Manuel Tuiran at Esperanza Viva, are new Mennonites, eagerly studying the courses brought to the coast by the Colombian Mennonite Seminary in Bogotá.

The JoinHands grant for the Pan de Vida church, which helped purchase iron, cement, brick, metallic structure and roofing material, came just in time, according to Linda Shelly, Mission Network’s director for Latin America. Within a few weeks of putting the roof in place, the rainy season started in full force.

The San Vicente church was worshiping in the streets because the growing congregation couldn’t fit in a single home. The JoinHands grant helped purchase an empty lot and cement for the foundation. After a sustained community effort, they were able to begin worshiping in the building in December.

The churches are already using their buildings to feed neighborhood children.

“Both churches are located in poor sectors of the region, and many of the children often go to school without eating,” said Gamaliel Falla, a Mission Network worker in Colombia. “For this reason, we are helping the churches organize their kitchens and start this project. Pray with us that the Lord will continue providing for this ministry.”

Ecuador

Download full-resolution image.

As a new church in an urban area, the Mennonite church in Quito faces a challenge in raising enough money to purchase its own building. The space they use works for now, but the rent is high, and the church anticipates their need for a permanent location in the future.

“This grant is to be considered seed money that provides encouragement in ongoing fundraising among partners,” Shelly said. “Urban Quito is a very expensive place to purchase property, yet this is the goal set by the people of the church, who see themselves serving long-term in this neighborhood.”

César Moya and Patricia Urueña, Mennonite Mission Network workers sent by the Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia, lead the church and also help prepare Ecuadorian leaders. The church has an active peace education program with children the neighborhood of El Inca, near where the church first started. They also receive Colombian refugees and provide spiritual support and help in meeting their physical and emotional needs.

The average attendance is around 45-50, but the numbers vary depending on how many Colombian refugees are participating at any point in time. Many of them pass through Quito and don’t become permanent church members.

Since its beginnings in 1985, JoinHands has granted $1.6 million to more than 60 congregations in North America and across the globe. Two churches are scheduled to receive grants in 2012: the Lao Community Church of Toronto, and Tinsae Kristos Evangelical Church in Lancaster, Pa.

###

For immediate release.

Mennonite Mission Network, the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA, leads, mobilizes and equips the church to participate in holistic witness to Jesus Christ in a broken world. Media may contact Andrew Clouse at andrewc@mmnworld.net, 574-523-3024 or 866-866-2872, ext. 23024.

 

 

 Related

 

 

Mennonites and Muslims in Burkina Faso celebrate a unified response to sufferingInterfaith Collaborationhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4659/Mennonites-and-Muslims-in-Burkina-Faso-celebrate-a-unified-response-to-sufferingMennonites and Muslims in Burkina Faso celebrate a unified response to sufferingGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Bobo Dioulasso
Burkina Faso church partners safe amid military takeoverNew Releasehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4658/Burkina-Faso-church-partners-safe-amid-military-takeoverBurkina Faso church partners safe amid military takeoverGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Anabaptists begin online French-language theological education in 2021French-language anabaptism https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4651/Anabaptists-begin-online-French-language-theological-education-in-2021Anabaptists begin online French-language theological education in 2021GP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Mission Network relaunches "Stir Up Peace" video seriesNews ReleaseVideohttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4650/Mission-Network-relaunches-Stir-Up-Peace-video-seriesMission Network relaunches "Stir Up Peace" video seriesGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Mission Network publication celebrates two Latin America milestone anniversariesMissio Dei in Latin Americahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4646/Mission-Network-publication-celebrates-two-Latin-America-milestone-anniversariesMission Network publication celebrates two Latin America milestone anniversariesGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Mennonite Mission Network acknowledges former employee's misconductNews Releasehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4644/Mennonite-Mission-Network-acknowledges-former-employee's-misconduct-Mennonite Mission Network acknowledges former employee's misconductGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
MVS experience fuels peacemaking workMVS and Peacemakinghttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4642/MVS-experience-fuels-peacemaking-workMVS experience fuels peacemaking workGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Robert Witmer, church planter and entrepreneur, leaves rich legacy in FranceObituaryhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4641/Robert-Witmer-church-planter-and-entrepreneur-leaves-rich-legacy-in-FranceRobert Witmer, church planter and entrepreneur, leaves rich legacy in FranceGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Paris
Mission nurse, educator, mentor and church leader continued ministry in ‘retirement’Obituaryhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4640/Mission-nurse,-educator,-mentor-and-church-leader-continued-ministry-in-‘retirement’Mission nurse, educator, mentor and church leader continued ministry in ‘retirement’GP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Doing two-way mission more than one wayEcuadorhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4631/Doing-two-way-mission-more-than-one-wayDoing two-way mission more than one wayGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Ecuador
Mennonite Bible School in South Africa graduates 41 in 2021Graduationhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4630/Mennonite-Bible-School-in-South-Africa-graduates-41-in-2021Mennonite Bible School in South Africa graduates 41 in 2021GP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Mthatha
Trailblazing and contemporary initiatives pave way for antiracist futureAntiracism efforts https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4628/Trailblazing-and-contemporary-initiatives-pave-way-for-antiracist-futureTrailblazing and contemporary initiatives pave way for antiracist futureGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Family to help sustain a home for people living in exileNew Ministryhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4611/Family-to-help-sustain-a-home-for-people-living-in-exileFamily to help sustain a home for people living in exileGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Calais
Christ leads mission agency to sail for new seasAgency realignment https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4608/Christ-leads-mission-agency-to-sail-for-new-seasChrist leads mission agency to sail for new seasGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
New senior executive of Operations desires to be Christ’s servantSenior executive Operations https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4610/New-senior-executive-of-Operations-desires-to-be-Christ’s-servantNew senior executive of Operations desires to be Christ’s servantGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Elkhart, Indiana

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/2259/Mennonite Men 'joins hands' with Mission Network to support Latin America churches



 

 

Mennonites and Muslims in Burkina Faso celebrate a unified response to sufferinghttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4659/Mennonites-and-Muslims-in-Burkina-Faso-celebrate-a-unified-response-to-sufferingMennonites and Muslims in Burkina Faso celebrate a unified response to sufferingInterfaith Collaboration
A Guatemalan mountainside was exactly where I needed to behttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4660/A-Guatemalan-mountainside-was-exactly-where-I-needed-to-beA Guatemalan mountainside was exactly where I needed to beCASAS Internship
Burkina Faso church partners safe amid military takeoverhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4658/Burkina-Faso-church-partners-safe-amid-military-takeoverBurkina Faso church partners safe amid military takeoverNew Release
Mennonite women in Congo spread the gospel through literacyhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4656/Mennonite-women-in-Congo-spread-the-gospel-through-literacyMennonite women in Congo spread the gospel through literacyLiteracy in Congo
Service illuminates good in the worldhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4655/Service-illuminates-good-in-the-worldService illuminates good in the worldService Adventure
Service is a new adventure at 61 degrees northhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4654/Service-is-a-new-adventure-at-61-degrees-northService is a new adventure at 61 degrees northService Adventure