Former Nicaragua Missionaries Now Mission Advocates for Western Jurisdiction
October 02, 2014
Nan McCurdy and Miguel Mairena, who formerly served as Global Ministries missionaries in Nicaragua, are the new Mission Advocates for the Western Jurisdiction. Their new role is what was at one time described as jurisdictional missionaries in residence. In the photo, they are standing with members of the Youth Network Against Violence in San Francisco Libre, Nicaragua. Their new residence is in Southern California and they will be available to the California-Nevada Annual Conference to visit local churches and participate in district and conference events in mission education and interpretation.
Nan McCurdy explains, “You can call on us to learn more about our missionaries and about various Global Ministries mission programs, such as UMCOR, the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries, and the new Global Mission Fellows program for young adults.” The Global Mission Fellows program is a leadership development and mission service opportunity that allows young adults age 20 to 30 to take part in mission and social justice ministries in both international and domestic contexts.
They served for many years in Nicaragua working with women and youth, especially in prevention of violence and promotion of gender equity. They also worked with Volunteer in Mission teams and educated about topics like US-Nicaragua relations, immigration, and fair trade.
McCurdy founded a sistering relationship between people of faith in Baltimore and a town in Nicaragua’s war zone in 1984, then worked with her first husband Philip Mitchell in a pastoral ministry of accompaniment there with families who lost loved ones in the war. Her husband Phil died in 1991 when their children Nora and Daniel were ages one and three. In 1990, she helped launch a foundation for Nicaraguan war victims. McCurdy and Mairena fell in love working with Volunteer in Mission teams through an ecumenical center and married in 1995. McCurdy served as Peace with Justice Educator for the Baltimore-Washington Conference in 1997 and on return to Nicaragua helped found the Women and Community Association where she and Mairena worked until July 2014.
One of eleven children, Mairena was raised on one of the Solentiname Islands in Nicaragua’s great lake. He began primary school at age twenty and received a Master in Criminal Law at age fifty-six. He also studied at Wesley Seminary. Before his assignment with Women and Community, he worked with many churches and ecumenical agencies in Nicaragua in development and theology.
For interest in participation by McCurdy or Mairena in a local church, district, or conference event, contact the Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, Howard Parker, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (415) 261-7464.