International Ministries

Nashville habla español - January 2015

January 11, 2015 Journal
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Nashville habla español  ~  January 2015

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year from San José, Costa Rica!

The suitcases have been emptied and stored and I am settled back into my apartment. It is wonderful to be home, and I bring back with me memories of good times with so many of you, of meals and conversations, sharing and prayer, biking, hiking, and picnicking together, worshipping and exchanging experiences of God at work in our midst. Thank you to each of you for your friendship and support.



Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee

My last commitment in the US before returning was to teach a course at the beautiful Methodist Scarritt Bennett Center
in Nashville, Tennessee. The Latin American Biblical University (UBL) has a contract with the United Methodist Church in the US to prepare their Spanish-speaking pastors. They take 4 courses a year, meeting for an intensive week of classes in May and another in December, preceded by many hours of readings and assignments. Students come from Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, New Hampshire . . . One woman pastors in Racine, Wisconsin, where my home church is, and also teaches at Carthage College there.



This year I flew in for both sessions. In May I taught Written Communication: basic university level writing skills. This was a challenge because my class included published authors as well as people who had never studied Spanish but had grown up hearing it from their parents.



In December I taught them Christian Education. The pastors talked about the special challenges they face with an immigrant congregation: some are professionals but their degrees are not recognized in the US so they are frustrated in minimum wage jobs. Others are struggling to learn English and understand the culture, so they need a lot of orientation. Many experience job and geographic instability, which then affects the family. Some are living in crowded conditions to be able to pay rent.

The question for Christian education is:  how can they build a supportive community and develop a resilient faith that will keep them strong through these situations? Generally speaking, Latino Christians take their faith very seriously and have a great deal to offer to American churches.

Always, of course, in my classes we also play. This time it was a new invention: Mitten Football.


Mitten Football


I can’t close without celebrating the answer to our prayers: I was amazed and delighted when President Obama announced steps toward normalizing our relationship with Cuba. Please continue to pray, because this is a complex path.




Ruth Mooney

Prayer request:

Please pray for increased monthly financial support for Ruth’s ministry in Costa Rica. Currently 73% of Ruth’s monthly support is committed but it needs to be at 100% to continue this ministry.



American Baptist International Ministries
P.O. Box 851 · Valley Forge, PA 19482