Indiana Disciples Mexico Initiative
About the Mexico Initiative
Please keep an eye on the Indiana Christian and indianadisciples.org for information about pilgrimage dates, applications, and other ways you can participate in this exciting initiative!If you have questions about the Mexico Initiative in general, please contact Rick Spleth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mexico Initiative “Conversations with Neighbors” (Zoom)
3rd Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. Eastern, 4 p.m. Central
We will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with Jerri Handy, an ordained Disciples of Christ minister who is working for Global Ministries of our church at Las Memorias Hostel, in Tijuana, Mexico. Our conversation will take place on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
The Hostel seeks to support adults and minors living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, as well as their family members. Las Memorias Hostel provides housing assistance, food, medicine, transportation, self-help sessions, and educational activities to prevent HIV/AIDS.
Our Conversations with Neighbors series continues on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 5 pm (ET) with an opportunity to talk with Rev. Rogelio and Emma Torres. He is a minister in Yuma, Arizona and she is the founder of Campesinos sin Fronteras (Farmers without Borders). This organization provides health and hygiene knowledge to farmworkers, helps farmworkers apply for visas, and holds support groups to provide mental health support since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The first conversation of 2022 was held on Wednesday, January 19, 5:00 p.m. (Eastern) with Sharon Stanley Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries. Sharon briefed participants on the anniversary of the implementation of Migrant Protection Protocols/”Remain in Mexico”, and a “status update” of where we are (and aren’t) in terms of seeking to restore asylum opportunities, and of the efforts to secure permanent protections for immigrants (thru citizenship or other possibilities.) Learn more about the work of Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries
The third Conversation with Neighbors will be with Rachel E. Van Tyle, Director of Legal Services for Exodus Refugee Immigration of Indianapolis. Rachel advises refugees and immigrants in the Indianapolis on legal concerns. Exodus Refugee Immigration is a long time partner of the Christian Church in Indiana. The Zoom conversation is on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 5:00 pm (Eastern). These monthly conversations on the third Wednesday of each month are a part of the Region’s Mexico Initiative and are designed to be an opportunity for Disciples in Indiana to better understand the challenges of immigrant people on our nation’s border and in our own communities.
The second conversation will be held on September 15, 2021 with Feliberto Pereira, Disciples minister and the founder and Director of the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries in Los Fresnos, Texas (swgsm.org). For 40 years this ministry of our church has served refugees and immigrants along the US-Mexican border offering food and shelter to those seeking political asylum and escape from violence. Their effective work has earned them the respect and trust by both the refugees in their care and the US Naturalization authorities.
The first of these conversations will be held on August 18, 2021 and our guest will be Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez. Kimber is the Director of the Multicultural Efforts to end Sexual Assault (MESA) program. MESA is a statewide effort focused on preventing sexual violence across the lifespan and promoting healthy communities in underserved and marginalized populations. MESA specializes in engaging and advocating for farm worker communities across the United States. Kimber is a lifelong member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is currently active in the Federated Church of West Lafayette.
Watch the eNews for the announcement of future guests
and join us for these “Conversations with Neighbors.”
Los Fresno, Texas – April 22-27, 2020
A delegation of Indiana Disciples will head to the US-Mexico border in April 2020 as we continue our effort to better understand the challenge of refugees and immigrants on our southern border. This trip will be to Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries, a Disciples of Christ ministry, located in Los Fresnos, Texas (www.swgsm.org). Founded in 1985, this ministry has assisted over 20,000 refugees and asylum seekers primarily from Central America. They work closely with the Department of Homeland Security and Church World Service to provide housing, food, clothing, legal aid, transportation, family reunification and counseling to immigration detainees at the Port Isabell Processing Center.
The founder and Director of Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries is Rev. Feliberto Pereira, who was himself an immigrant from Cuba. The story of his own journey to freedom is told in the book I Was A Stranger: Hope for A Hidden World, available from Amazon.
Participants in this trip, scheduled for April 22-27, 2020, will have the opportunity to participate in the services being provided to asylum seekers and have a deep engagement with, and opportunity to better understand, the root causes of those who are seeking to come to the United States, and the complex legal, social, and humanitarian call to accompaniment and solidarity for our nation and our church.
San Luis Potosí, México – September 28-October 5, 2019
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana and Global Ministries partnered in a pilgrimage to San Luis Potosí, México, September 28 through October 5, 2019. A mission pilgrimage is a transforming experience through which participants share themselves and receive God’s love in a new way, while listening and learning from international partners. The participants who traveled to the city of San Luis Potosí, immersed themselves in the culture of the area and learned about the work of Mesa Conjunta, Round Table for Mission Development in Mexico, a space of dialogue and mission from various expressions of Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ congregations in Mexico. Pilgrims on this trip were Anita and Andre Adams, Ellen Annala, Bere Gil Soto, Kay Nannet, Carolyn Reed, Sarah Renfro, Cheryl Russell, Rena Russell, Becky Sundquist, Maribeth Westerfield, and Global Ministries’ Lorna Hernandez Ramos.
Chiapas, México – June 10-17, 2019
The travelers were Maggie Harris, First Christian Church, Jeffersonville; Tawn Parent Spicklemire, Downey Avenue Christian Church, Indianapolis; Kristin Miller, Carmel Christian Church, Carmel; Bob Shaw, Susan McNeely, Tapestry Church, Greenwood; Rachael Jacobs, Kathie Meyer, Diane Spleth, Rick Spleth, Allisonville Christian Church, Indianapolis; Angel Riveria-Agosto, Central Christian Church, Indianapolis.