Dr. Desiree Segura-April is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as a resource person for the Children at Risk Ministries of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Nicaragua. She was commissioned in May 2016. Her husband, Osia Segura-Guzman, is also a missionary.
The Evangelical Church of Nicaragua (IGLEMEN) is an outgrowth of several streams of mission work in the Central American country. As of 2016, it incorporated 10 congregations and 10 missions in four regions. Many of the participants are children, and efforts are underway to expand ministries for children both in the churches and the larger communities.
Desiree is from the state of Washington, where she is a member of Covenant United Methodist Church, Spokane, in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference. She has taught in two theological seminaries.
She cannot remember a time when she was not a follower of Jesus. “My mom says that I came home from church and told her I wanted to accept Jesus as my savior when I was only five years old.” She was baptized at the age of 12 and reaffirmed her faith at a junior high retreat. In college she cultivated a deep prayer and devotional life and took part in a variety of worship and spiritual formation experiences. A semester in Central America led Desiree to “wrestle with many difficult theological and missiological questions”—a process that continued into seminary.
Desiree earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and anthropology from Seattle Pacific University, a Master of Arts degree in theological studies with an emphasis in Christian mission, from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary), St. Davids, Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. degree in intercultural studies from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. While at Eastern Baptist, she spent another semester volunteering and studying in Costa Rica.
She taught online courses at Asbury for a year after completing her doctorate, then became an assistant professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. Earlier, she served as an associate pastor at College Place Presbyterian Church, College Place, Washington; and as children’s pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Frankfort, Kentucky, and at First Baptist Church, Reading, Pennsylvania.
Her experience teaching about and doing research on mission kindled in her a desire to be more involved in the practice of mission. “What good is academic research if it doesn’t make a difference in real people’s lives?” she asks. “My husband and I began to desire to return to Latin America.”
While in Central America studying, she met Osias and they eventually married. Desiree and Osias have a son, Nikolas Gabriel Segura-April, born in 2011.
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