I am the Lord’s Servant!
December 20, 2021.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38 NIV
The journey of faith can be challenging, disconcerting and full of expected news. The writer of Hebrews says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV) As I ponder on Mary’s response to the news given to her by the angel, I am challenged to think about my own response to God’s call in my life. And I respond I am the Lord’s servant!
God is always ahead of us, preparing hearts and inviting us to join in on the journey. In this time of this pandemic, I see how God has provided the tools that we have needed to continue to be the Church and to provide GOOD NEWS. We have learned to use Zoom, create videos, and use all sorts of media. My heart is full of joy and gratitude because God provided these tools to me before we knew anything about Covid. And we respond We are the Lord’s servants!
2021 began with HOPE because a vaccine would soon be available to all. This year I was able to travel safely to Brazil, Ecuador, and El Salvador to start new cohorts in the online Master´s in Theological Studies program in Spanish. This program is a team effort, and I am one part of that team. And so are YOU so we respond We are the Lord’s servants!
The students in these cohorts all have stories. Some are missionaries, others are pastors, others are lay people, and others are seminary directors. There are differences in age and gender and theological bent, but they are all responding to God’s call in their life. I have this feeling deep inside me that the Holy Spirit is working and preparing the way (like John the Baptist) for a NEW thing that God is doing. God is inviting us to join in on this new thing and we respond We are the Lord´s Servants!
This year we also had our first virtual Orlando Costas conference in three languages (Portuguese, Spanish and English). We had three Keynoters with short 20 min pre-recorded presentations. We had four graduates present their 5-minute summative project. There were videos, music, and the recognition of Dr. Samuel Escobar. It was a Pentecost celebration of the Church. And we respond We are the Lord’s Servants!
God is doing new things and God is inviting us to join in on the journey. Mary said YES, she was the servant of the Lord. I strive to say YES everyday and to be that servant, that person that God wants to use. May we all respond like Mary, I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled”.
I invite you to pray for our students and alums in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bolivia, El Salvador, Chile and Colombia and many other countries. I also invite you to pray for me and to become part of the many partners in ministry supporting this great effort and giving to my support. I cannot do what I do without YOU. If God is calling you to give, I need individuals and congregations that will give in a monthly fashion. Please pray and go to the International Ministries website https://portal.internationalministries.org/global-servant-support to pledge your support. Go the part that says I would like to support and choose Mercy Gonzalez-Barnes.
You can also give through the phone calling Donor Services at 1 (610) 768-2323 or send in your support through the mail to:
1003 W. 9th Ave. Suite A
King of Prussia, PA 19406-1210
I am available to come to your congregation to share about what God is doing. Please write to me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org I can also meet virtually in whatever platform you are using.
Our orientation week in Brazil was in a hybrid format, this was the group picture with half of the class. The other half attended virtually.
These are the students that attended virtually.
This is our group from El Salvador.
Our program is a collaboration with Palmer Seminary and with ABHMS. Every year we have a cohort of Latino students from the United States. The orientation was virtual.