Mission Alive 2018


Friday afternoon

Alexandre Gonçalves is a bivocational minister of Igreja da Irmandade (Church of the Brethren) in Brazil. He serves as a theologian and educator with CLAVES, an international program working to prevent child abuse and domestic violence and to promote a culture of peace. Alexandre conducts workshops throughout Brazil and Latin America on topics such as violence prevention, peace education, and inclusive religious education. He has provided theological leadership for the Church of the Brethren bodies in both Spain and Venezuela. Alexandre earned a religion degree from the Catholic University of Campinas and is near completion of a Master of Divinity degree, with an emphasis on Peace Studies, from Bethany Theological Seminary.

Friday evening

Michaela Alphonse is pastor of Miami (Fla.) First Church of the Brethren. From 2012 through summer 2017, Michaela served through Global Mission and Service as a program volunteer with Mission Evangelique des Eglises des Frères D’Haiti (Church of the Brethren in Haiti). In this role, Michaela created and coordinated an extensive theological training program as well as student scholarship and school health programs. She further served the Haitian church through hosting workcamps, assisting with mobile medical clinics, and serving as a liaison between Haitian and American Brethren.

Saturday morning

David Niyonzima was born into a Quaker family and grew up to appreciate the missional mandate for a nonviolent life. He is founder and director of Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS), which provides psychosocial intervention and rehabilitation for people traumatized by war and violence. David lives in Bujumbura, Burundi, where he is vice chancellor of the International Leadership University–Burundi. He is coauthor with Lon Fendall of Unlocking Horns: Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Burundi (Barclay Press, 2001), and numerous other essays and articles on psychosocial healing and peacebuilding. David holds an MA in Counseling and a doctoral degree in Leadership and Global Perspectives from George Fox University.

Saturday afternoon

Hunter Farrell is director of the World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Hunter brings 30 years' of experience to the position. He has been a professor in DR Congo, coordinator of the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s mission work in East and West Africa, community organizer addressing issues of poverty and justice in Peru, and director of World Mission for the PC(USA) in Louisville. Farrell attended Pontificia Universidad Católica (doctor of anthropology), École Pratique des Hautes (post-graduate diploma), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and University of Texas at Austin (BA).

Sunday morning

Jay Wittmeyer is executive director of Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service. He has served in this position since January 2009. Jay’s overseas experience includes three years in Nepal as a hospital administrator with Mennonite Central Committee and three years in Bangladesh as a community development officer. He also served five years in Nepal with Great Commission International. Jay holds degrees in Conflict Transformation (M.A.) from Eastern Mennonite University, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (M.A.), Teaching of English (B.A.) from University of Illinois, and Bible (Associate) from the Evangelical Institute of Greenville, S.C.