Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Global Ministries - ConnectNMission
September 14, 2016 · Issue 19

In this issue of connectNmission, read an excerpt of an article by United Methodist Missionary James Perdue on how the church and local agencies are working to aid migrants in Central America, a New World Outlook magazine feature; watch a video of James Perdue as he shares about the human rights focus for helping migrants; and learn about upcoming events.

At their home in Chamelecón, Honduras, former gang member Hector Leiva and his son, Hector. Leiva, 23, is involved in a Catholic program which promotes education and work as alternatives to violent youth gangs.
The churches in Mexico are suddenly realizing a new call. Mexico has not done a lot of advocacy work around migrant issues, but we have discovered a lawyer in Monterrey who says: “I don’t want to be a pastor. I want to help these people get legal status.”

We focus heavily on guaranteeing human rights. People have a right to stay where they are rather than being forced to migrate. They have the right to safe passage when they choose to migrate, the right to fair treatment in the countries to which they flee, and the right to safe passage and repatriation if they should be returned to their home countries. Along the way, some overriding humanitarian needs surface, and the local agencies we work with provide the necessary aid.

In El Salvador, community members are often threatened by violent gangs. Despite death threats, many families won’t yield. They simply can’t allow their children to be forced into gang membership. Their only other option is to flee. Having only 48 hours before the gangs come back to carry out their threat, these family members get up in the middle of the night and leave for the United States.

The local agencies that partner with us provide threatened families with protected houses for up to three months. They take steps to ensure that the families can’t be found. Meanwhile, teams of lawyers help the migrants secure the documentation they need to settle in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, or Panama—the trip to the United States being far too dangerous. Our partner agencies try to help people understand the risks and to weigh their more realistic options. Still, some emigrants decide to take unnecessary risks in the hope of reaching the USA. Instead, they often get returned to their home countries. The emerging network of agencies that we helped to develop in Mexico work along the migration corridors to make sure that the migrants’ human needs and rights are protected.

Read more of “Aiding Migrants in Central America: The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly,” an article by James D. Perdue, missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries, who serves as the Missionary for Migration in Central America and Mexico. This article was originally published in the September-October 2016 issue of New World Outlook magazine.

Watch James D. Perdue as he shares about the human rights work extended to protect migrant families when they are forced to flee their homes due to deadly gang recruitment efforts in El Salvador.

This video is a companion piece to the “Aiding Migrants in Central America: The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly” article above, which was published in the September-October issue of New World Outlook magazine.


September 15 – October 15
Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers music and worship resources for this observance. Get resources.

September 21
International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace or Peace Day is observed around the world each year on September 21. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution 36/37, the General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace. Get involved.

October 2
World Communion Sunday

An offering on this United Methodist Special Sunday helps to provide scholarships for national and international graduate students. Get resources or download a World Communion Sunday Pastor and Leader’s Kit.

October 22–24
“The All People Conference: Welcoming the Stranger”
Church for All People/Community Development for All People

This event is for leaders who wish to foster racially and economically diverse congregations, and will be held at, United Methodist Church for All People, 946 Parsons Avenue; Columbus, Ohio. Speakers include Bishops Minerva Carcaño and Gregory V. Palmer. Cost is $245. Register here.


News: At their home in Chamelecón, Honduras, former gang member, Hector Leiva, and his son, Hector. Leiva, 23, is involved in a Catholic program which promotes education and work as alternatives to violent youth gangs. Photo: Paul Jeffrey