He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
This month we celebrate Easter. When Jesus appeared to his disciples after the Resurrection, they didn’t recognize him. This month, look for Jesus in unexpected places, in maybe the least expected places.
The best way to use this issue is to supplement your reading or teaching of Latin America: People and Faith, the 2015-2016 United Methodist Women geographical mission study. This book will be studied at this summer’s Mission u events across the country and in Sunday school classes and United Methodist Women meetings year-round. To find the Mission u event in your area, visit www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/mission-u, and to purchase this year’s mission studies, visit our e-store.
The stories featured in this issue of response focus on Latin America, which encompasses Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Begin with the Bible Study, “An Old Problem, Always New,” by Midiam Lobaina Gámez on pages 8- 10. In this Easter month we also remember Jesus’ birth—and his family’s migration to Egypt soon after. Our foremothers and forefathers in faith have been migrating since the first stories in the Bible. Migrants are not the “other”; migration is a part of all of our stories.
What do you know about Latin America? Are you Latin American? Currently living in a Latin American country? Or is your knowledge minimal? This issue can begin or deepen your understanding of our neighbors in the south.
Paul Jeffrey’s article “Leaving Home in Central America” focuses on the countries of Central America, part of Latin America, and the socioeconomic and environmental reasons people who live in Central American countries may leave home. Our global responsibility is not just to be a welcoming place to which migrants can flee but to make all countries, everywhere, a place in which anyone would want to live. International corporations place profit over humanity everywhere, but the global south is especially vulnerable for reasons this article describes. Pick one of the countries or issues in this article and learn more about it this month.
This month we also celebrate Earth Day. United Methodist Women believes God’s creation is one for us to love and sustain, not exploit. God’s creation includes nature and our fellow humans. “Climate Change and Latin America” by Barbara Fraser on pages 30-33 helps us understand that changing our impact on God’s creation is more than just recycling (but please do keep recycling). What step toward sustainability can you vow to practice this month, individually or as a group? Our Be Just. Be Green. page on the United Methodist Women website has ways you can begin.
Ending domestic violence is another priority area for United Methodist Women. María de los Àngeles Roberto shares some of the unique—and not so unique—ways domestic violence affects Latin America and some of the steps being taken to prevent it. Let this article inspire you to revisit your church’s standing as a safe place for survivors of intimate partner violence to turn. One in four women in the United States has experienced domestic violence; she may be the woman next to you in your pew.