Due to my role as the Creation Care Specialist for our organization, the first two weeks of November I (Ben) am planning to go to La Paz, Mexico for some important talks with an international Christian conservation organization (A Rocha) and our local TEAM missionary who has started a non-profit organization called "Reconciliamar". This name is an amalgam of the Spanish words "reconciliation" and "love". It's what we do in La Paz, bringing reconciliation to the people there and to the local creation through the love of Jesus. They use adventures on the sea to transform lives. People that would never set foot in a church building are now hearing the gospel and becoming Christ-followers because we love people and care about the place they live!
While there, we will explore how Reconciliamar (our TEAM ministry effort) and A Rocha might work together to see God glorified and the people and place of La Paz, Mexico be transformed by the love of Christ. Some of the key objectives we have during this time are the following:
Objective 1: Examine Christian hope in the context of marine protected areas.
Objective 2: Examine potential marine conservation and research projects.
Objective 3: Meet with local officials and scientists to facilitate the work of Reconciliamar.
Objective 4: Examine the faith literature of the ocean and determine if Reconciliamar and A Rocha can partner to further our understanding and application of Biblical knowledge on the ocean.
We will be meeting with local scientists, government officials, fishermen and others who make their living off the sea. We will also be involving folks who are already part of Reconciliamar and spending time at sea with them on different projects. Based on my role and training/background, I already spend time having these discussions via skype or phone calls with other potential partners around the world, but it will be great to be present in person in Mexico for these talks.
As a friend of mine (Ed Brown) has written in his book Our Father's World:
"When a church professes to love its neighbors, but doesn't care about the water or trees, those neighbors can hardly be criticized for questioning the sincerity of that love. Ignoring creation care issues results in a deep disconnect that undermines efforts to reach our communities.
A church that is active in caring for all of creation will be appreciated and will find genuine and increasing respect for its message of eternal redemption." (p.125).
We want to be that church in La Paz, Mexico, but also here in the US and around the world.
What has been your experience in your community and with your church?