The gift of his call came wrapped in this mysterious dynamic that demands one die to the dreams that the Kingdom itself sparks, getting myself involved in his ways in a way that we cannot visualize clearly, groping but trusting that his grace is working in us to reveal his riches and marvellous dreams and to amaze us and keep alive in us the surprise of his calling– the surprise that never lets us expect the future to be a repeat of what we have already lived.
This is the way this chapter of my life began. God invited me to walk in community with Indigenous peoples through unexpected means, changing my expectations of my life path and inviting me to dive deep into the memories of my Gunadule people. It is through the stories of my grandmothers and grandfathers that I am discovering a little more of his face, in this case the Indigenous face of God. And I would love to invite you to participate in this project so that together we can unite ourselves to the beautiful weaving that Spirit has been creating in Abya Yala (America) and among Indigenous peoples around the world from ancient times.
My name is Jocabed Reina Solano Miselis and I’m from the Gunadule nation; an Indigenous people which are one of seven original ethnic groups in Panama. I am co-director of Memoria Indígena and also a missionary with United World Mission.
My work in part consists of:
• Walking with and learning from Indigenous peoples.
• Facilitating processes of dialogue with Indigenous peoples, starting from the narratives and memories of these Indigenous peoples..
• Encouraging Indigenous peoples to write and record the stories of their communities and also the stories of the Christian women and men from among them.
• Articulating Indigenous theological approaches that emerge from and for Indigenous communities.
• Recognizing the good news of Jesus and how it is interwoven into the identities of Indigenous peoples in Abya Yala (America).
From these spaces we want to continue collaborating with Indigenous communities and with Indigenous Christians.
This ministry is only possible with the help of supporters. I raise all of my income to do this ministry through the support of people who believe in this work. Would you support my ministry in prayer, and by giving financially?
I invite you to join with me in this ministry (Memoria Indígena), so that Jesus’s disciples everywhere can listen and learn from Indigenous peoples. Together, we can unite with the beautiful weaving of the Spirit in Abya Yala (America) and among Indigenous peoples around the world from ancient times.
From May to July, I will be working on a few different things. I have a number of trips planned where I will be sharing on topics such as “the Indigenous face of God”, “narratives as political resistance in the Gunadule nation’s experience”, and “peacemaking and conflict transformation.” At the same time, I am helping to prepare the annual Memoria Indígena gathering this year to be held in a Misak community in Cauca, Colombia. The theme of the gathering is “Memory, Territory, and Identity.”
I conclude with news that brings me deep joy: in these months I will be working on writing my thesis with the theme of “The Cosmic Memory which Feeds the Narrative of a People: Stories of Ologwadule and Genesis 1:1-2:3.” I thank all of you for your prayers and encouragement. These have meant so much to me on this journey.
When I began serving as co-director of Memoria Indígena I really did not know what was going to happen or the paths that God was going to lead me down as I serve among Indigenous peoples. I still do not see it clearly even when we are already working on many beautiful things. There are many unknowns for me including how I will raise my funds, and how God may be calling me to nurture an Indigenous intentional Christian community in the future. However, Jesus calls us to follow him and walk in the mystery of discipleship. Our hope is assured when we remember that Jesus also discovered his path one step at a time, and those of us who follow him recognize his way step by step on our journey. In this way we take pleasure in his calling. We dive into the experience of living life for Jesus. Only on the way, in the midst of that experience, do we discover our horizon.
Thank you for supporting this ministry,
Jocabed Reina Solano Miselis