Church and Society Welcomes Summer Intern Alina Saucedo
New GBCS theological intern shares her background, interest and motivation for Economic, Health, and Gender advocacy work.
As followers of Christ, one wonders what God’s plans for our lives are and where God is calling us to be, grow, and serve. In my case, these questions lead me to look at where people and creation are calling for God’s love and justice. During my life, I have felt, heard, and seen the need for love and justice, mainly in the faces and bodies of countless impoverished, disenfranchised, and marginalized women, youth, and children in different parts of the world.
Originally from the Andean mountains of La Paz, Bolivia, in South America, I learned early on how a broken world looks at you and treats you, especially if you are a woman with indigenous roots. My parents who are courageous and lifelong church leaders in the Methodist Church in Bolivia raised me to fearlessly trust God despite continuous struggle through historical, economic, social, and political instability and injustice. In this context, the oppressed, discriminated against, and marginalized are not the exception, but they are the majority. Usually, their voices and needs are not heard but postponed, neglected, or even invisible. Later serving as an overseas GBGM missionary in various Latin American countries and now living in the US, I saw firsthand the same struggles in different ways that place people and creation far from a life in abundance, contradicting God’s justice and love for all.
Today I arrive at the General Board of Church and Society as a member of Asbury UMC in Maitland, FL, and as a Certified Candidate on the Elder track in the East Central District of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. This internship is not only part of the ministry and mission practice of my formal theological education as a Master in Divinity student at Wesley Theological Seminary, but it is also part of my call to be a faithful witness of the Gospel. It means to join the prophetic voice for the voiceless and the unseen in and outside the church walls.
This summer, I will join the work of the Economic, Health, and Gender area contributing and exploring strategies and resources to examine the intersection between faith and advocacy themes of gender justice from a theological perspective.
As I see it, undeniably, the Gospel brings a message of hope, love, and salvation, but mainly good news of life with dignity and justice for all people, which is to be translated into everyday life. Women, youth, and children desperately await Good News to transform their lives here and now. Thus, more than ever, I believe that our churches and ministries are called to be God’s witness facing the world that we, collectively as humanity continue to break, a world that cries out for God.
The prophet Micah had already given us the traces and reminders about what is good and required by God: “But to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 8:4 NSV).”
I pray you will join us in this endeavor.