In Mexico

Dan Buttry
Trip Notes from Dan Buttry in Mexico

October 45, 2014

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Trip Notes in Mexico

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Dear Friends,

Hola!  Sharon and I have been in Mexico along with LeDayne McLeese-Polaski of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America.  We were invited by our International Ministries missionary colleagues Ray and Adalia Gutierrez-Schellinger to do a series of workshops at Deborah's House and with the pastors and church leaders in Tijuana.

Trip Notes in Mexico

Deborah's House is one of our very special missions with IM.  It is a home for battered women founded by Adalia and Ray.  Many missionary work teams have been there, perhaps some of you!  LeDayne had been there once before, but it's the first time here for Sharon and me.

Last Sunday we worshiped with the residents and volunteers at Deborah's House.  Then we went to the U.S./Mexico border for a worship service.  We talked with an activist of Deported Veterans, an organization of U.S. military veterans who are not citizens.  If any of these veterans break a law they can be deported even if they have children born in the U.S.  So many veterans have PTSD that can get them into trouble, but even though they have given years of their lives and risked their lives in service to the U.S. they don't get support to work things through.  A sad situation where our country is using people then casting them aside.  We saw broken families meeting from each side of the border talking through the massive fence, not allowed to pass anything to each other.  Then we celebrated the Eucharist together in an ecumenical service--very moving.

On Monday and Tuesday we led a conflict transformation training for the residents of Deborah's House, along with staff, volunteers, and board members.  We focused on trauma and how to choose life out of those difficult situations.  We rejoiced in the energetic way in which people were engaged, especially hearing battered women find their voices and even smiles.  There were poignant and powerful moments, and we were moved by the deep expressions of appreciation from the women.  We also spent a lot of time with some of the children, loving on them and playing with them.

We went into the center of Tijuana to lead a 2-day training for pastors and church leaders, covering more topics related to getting to win/win solutions and working with differing leadership styles.  Some of the staff and leaders at Deborah's House loved our workshops so much that they joined in on the additional sessions.

Following the Friday training we crossed the border back into the U.S.  Saturday morning we were welcomed to First Baptist Church of Chula Vista where our IM colleagues Tim and Patti Long are members.  Our threesome team led a workshop on conflicts especially around having difficult conversations in church (surely your church doesn't have such conversations!).  Then we spent a delightful day with Pastor Randy Hasper going down to the ocean in La Jolla.  That evening we said farewell to LeDayne who was flying out the next morning and to Ray and Adalia--what a great time we had working together!

I'd been struggling with some low-grade typical travel sickness as well as a cold probably picked up from some of the kids at Deborah's House.  Saturday night Sharon got hit hard by illness.  So instead of preaching a dialog sermon together at Chula Vista she stayed in bed hoping to recover.  I preached about Joseph and his journey of reconciliation with his brothers.  The communion service was especially beautiful with pastors Summer Armentrout and Randy hearing prayer and reconciliation concerns from each parishioner and praying with them before they were served.  I'd never seen a communion service like that, and the tears flowing showed how special and holy the moment was for folks.

Financial Corner:  New Peacemakers Mentoring Project

I've told you how I'm focusing on equipping and empowering the next generation of peacemakers.  We have been training so many across the world through the 10-day intensive Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers.  Many of these folks are engaging in creative peacemaking activities in their own countries, and some are now doing international peacemaking work.  In September we provided support to Boaz Keibarak from Kenya for a major peace-building and reconciliation initiative in northern Kenya and to Fabrice Kettemallet doing conflict transformation and nonviolence training in Central African Republic.  (Fabrice has been approached by some Muslim leaders to do training in their community, too!)

So to support that work we've set up a Global Peacemakers Mentoring Project. We received amatching grant of up to $3,000 for donations received through December.  Any gift you give will be matched from this donor up to $3,000!

You can give on-line by going to:  http://internationalministries.org/projects/150.  On the right side you will see information about how to give either on-line or by check.

By this project we will dramatically multiply the peacemaking impact of what the Lord is doing through us--like the loaves and fishes!

 

The plan is on Monday afternoon for Sharon and me to join Tim Long and drive back into Mexico to teach at the seminary in Mexicali.  We'll have to see how Sharon's health is--say a prayer for her!  We'll share about Mexicali in the next edition.  Meanwhile, thanks for your prayers, words of encouragement, and financial support!  Bless you!


Peace, 
Dan

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