By Dan McFadden
Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) and Global Mission and Service workers gathered for four days in late March at the PANACAM park in Cortes, Honduras, for a time of retreat. The group gathers once a year for reflection, devotion, and support. The retreat was led by Dan McFadden, director of BVS. All of the volunteers, including those in BVS, receive financial support for their work from the Global Mission and Service program of the Church of the Brethren.
BVS volunteer Jess Rinehart came from her assignment at Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad in El Salvador where she teaches English and assists with a water campaign and delegation support. Nate and A. Inglis, also BVS volunteers, came from Union Victoria in Guatemala where they serve as accompaniers with a community which suffered years of persecution. BVSers Ann Ziegler and Stephanie Breen came from Emanuel Children’s Home in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where they serve in many roles with over 100 children who live there. Global Mission and Service workers Alan and Kay Bennett came from Belén, Honduras, where Alan is serving with Project Global Village (PAG) as an engineer assisting in a water project while Kay is a nurse with PAG.
This year’s retreat was held at Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park (PANACAM), which was established in 1987 and given to PAG to manage since 1992. Project Global Village is community development agency started by Church of the Brethren member Chet Thomas. PAG manages this national park for the Honduran National Parks Department. PAG's mission statement: “Empowering families to reduce poverty, build just, peaceful, and productive communities based on Christian values.”
Also during the retreat, the group participated in a shoe distribution of Toms Shoes, made possible through a “buy one give one” program. The BVSers working at Emanuel Children’s home and the other staff there regularly participate in the shoe distributions.
-- Dan McFadden is director of Brethren Volunteer Service. For more information about BVS go to www.brethren.org/bvs . For more information about the Global Mission and Service program go to www.brethren.org/partners .