Summer greetings from hot and humid Minnesota!
As we have shared with many of you in person, during this past year of discernment God has confirmed his call for us to continue to serve as Global Personnel (or Covenant missionaries) even as our context has changed as we will be based out of the United States. We continue to serve churches and para-church ministries in Mexico and the US, as well as global partners of Covenant World Relief and Development (CWRD) from Minnesota.
Nils serves as the manager for global partner engagement with CWRD which means he is interacting with the approximately 30 partner organizations around the world who are carrying out grass-roots development projects in their respective communities and responding to humanitarian crises.
One of those partners is MAEM (Ministering to the Abused and Exploited in Mexico), a ministry made up of a network of 60 volunteers throughout Mexico who are committed the ministry of violence prevention, restoration, and healing. They themselves have walked their own journey of healing before ministering to others, having participated in 100-plus hours of personal restoration sessions and training in violence prevention, and are now leading others through the same healing process.
Erika was a part of the diverse team that started this ministry in 2013 and continues to serve as a national advisor, facilitator, and pastoral care provider for MAEM (picture below). Her focus for this next year is equipping and empowering the team of MAEM regional coordinators in their national and local leadership. We have also been preaching and sharing in Covenant churches in the US about God’s transformative mission in Mexico and through CWRD.
Watch a video update from us here on YouTube.
As we look back on these last few months, we are grateful for…
- You, our dear partners and friends, and your faithful prayers and support of God’s work through our ministry.
- God’s provision for financial needs and care for our health.
- The amazing opportunity to visit Oaxaca as a family in March and say goodbye to our dear friends (picture with MAEM Oaxaca below).
- Opportunities for Erika to connect locally with churches and online to preach, share ministry updates and facilitate spiritual formation workshops.
- Attending Gather and witnessing Grace Shim installed as the new Executive Minister for Serve Globally (picture below) and the Covenant’s first female president Tammy Swanson-Draheim elected!
- Time with Brodin and Clauson families.
- Erika finishing her studies in Spiritual Direction at NPTS this month!
As we look forward, we ask your prayers for this next month…
- Our boys as they participate in a weeklong camping trip to the Boundary waters with their small group from youth group and Maya as she attends camp all by herself for the first time at Covenant Pines. May God make his love known to each of them through nature, friends, worship and fun. (picture below of boys at UNITE North)
- Erika as she facilitates four healthy family/spiritual formation workshops with the local Covenant Church La Bendicion during their August focus on family relationships.
- Nils, and the CWRD team, as they are going through a time of transition with their staff and for upcoming travel to Honduras.
- Quality time together as a family during the rest of the kids’ summer vacation.
Since we are serving from MN, we have a unique opportunity to serve our US churches and possibly in a different way than a normal missionary visit. If your church would like to invite one of us to preach or share an update on ministry in Mexico or CWRD, please let us know. Other ways we may serve your church is by offering workshops or retreats on:
- prayer or spiritual disciplines
- raising awareness about violence and holistic restoration from a Biblical and multi-disciplinary perspective
- God’s call for the church to work for racial righteousness and cross-cultural relationships
If this is something your church may be interested in, we would love to talk more with you!
As I (Erika) reflect on this past season, this theme verse from a spiritual growth workshop I facilitated came to mind….
Colossians 2:7 (NTV) “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Glory be to God who graces us with the faith we need to grow strong roots and live with gratitude! We are overflowing with gratitude to God for so many things, including your partnership in the gospel. May God allow your roots to grow deep and be filled with gratitude as well.
Muchas gracias! Thank you so much!