Miguel Mairena is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving with his missionary wife, Nan McCurdy, as Mission Advocates in the denomination’s Western Jurisdiction in the United States. He was a missionary in Nicaragua from 1997 to 2014.
Mission Advocates are active missionaries assigned to help annual conferences, districts, and local churches in the United States to understand and participate in global mission. Their work has a particular focus on mission personnel, including support of missionaries through The Advance.
For Miguel the words of Jesus from Mathew 25:40 are a guide for mission: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Miguel graduated from law school in December 2008 and finished a master’s degree in criminal law in 2011. In Nicaragua he provided legal counsel to women dealing with situations of (physical, psychological, and economic) violence. He also counseled men about reproductive responsibility and to prevent violence against women. He and Nan worked for many years with the Women and Community Association of San Francisco Libre.
A theologian at heart, Miguel weaves religious reflections into his personal encounters while going about his daily work. Miguel also studied Christian education at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Coming from a large, religious, impoverished Nicaraguan farming family, Miguel had few opportunities to study until he was 20 years old, when he began first grade. Growing up on an island in Lake Nicaragua he learned farming, fishing, and boat skills, and worked during his teens as a mechanic and boat driver.
Most of his studies took place during the years of the Sandinista revolution. He then worked in community and agricultural development projects serving farmers and war veterans through the Nazarene Church, World Vision, and two different ecumenical centers. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to continue studying as an adult and constantly encourages other adults to keep studying.
Miguel and Nan have an international and blended family that includes three daughters and three sons currently in four countries. They are members of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.
: Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
, Peninsula/Delaware Annual Conference
, West Virginia Annual Conference
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