"Getting to know the family of Caminemos Juntos" is an interview project that seeks to share testimonies of some of the members of this movement, in order to promote unity and closeness among us, even through distance, and also motivate and inspire others to know a little bit more about what this mission consists of and how God has worked in it and through it.
Name: Eduardo Dávila
Age: 31 years
Profession / occupation: Lay Pastor
Role in Caminemos Juntos: Coordinator of the "New Generation" initiative
Since when are you part of the movement? 2014
How did you connect with Caminemos Juntos?
Pastor Jonathan invited me to the Caminemos Juntos conference. He told me it could be a blessing for me, and it was.
My Latino part was asleep, I was not connected to a Spanish speaking church, and I was one of the few Latinos in Church of the Resurrection. I remember that every time someone noticed this, they asked me if I had talked with Jonathan, until the day came, and I finally met him.
What motivated you to get involved and be part of this work?
I had a very special moment in my first Caminemos Juntos conference ...
I had grown up in a church in Spanish, but my faith, training and studies were developed in English. It was like my faith in Spanish was a boy and my faith in English was more mature.
When I attended the Caminemos Juntos conference I experienced for the first time connection between my life in Spanish, and my faith, ideas and prayers in English. The reconciliation between the two worlds, which I had not experienced before, was culturally and personally healing; that opened my heart to find more about what it means to be a Latino Christian in a place where everything is in English.
The conference was the beginning of the road to understanding what it meant to be a second generation Latino in the United States, and the understanding that I had a lot to offer to the Hispanic and Anglo American community. I could see the importance of what they were doing.
Please tell us how the journey has been during these years, and the role changes you have had since your beginning until now.
I started, in part, because there was a need for administration and organization in the Latino movement, and although I did not have that as my strongest gift, it was something I could do and was willing, so I supported Caminemos Juntos and Resurrección Church in this area.
After a time of service, something typical of the character of Greenhouse happened. Little by little we realized that I had pastoral gifts, and that they were stronger than those of the administration, so I slowly began to have more pastoral responsibilities. That made me feel more fully in the place since I was using my gifts in a better way.
One way I could put into practice my pastoral gifts and the healing experienced in Caminemos Juntos as a second generation of Latino immigrants was through the New Generation initiative which allowed me to serve the Movement's Youth.
I am currently a Lay Pastor, and in my role as a catechist I have been able to represent, serve and support the second generation of immigrants and their families, I am learning a lot about how to be a Pastor and what It means to lead a church.
What has been the most wonderful thing about serving in this movement?
Being part of a global family today, where we encourage each other. The simple fact of being together increases my faith and allows me to see how others also love this family.
Also, I feel that I can identify myself and be Hispanic or American in Caminemos Juntos, in a way that can not be done in the other communities in which I am a part.
In turn, I have loved to serve in El Puente Church and the new lay ministers there, knowing that we are in the same effort, and although we are far away, we have the same mission and identity as Latino Christians.
What has been the most difficult during these years of service?
The lack of leaders and resources. The harvest is great and the workers are few, there is always a need for volunteers and also for people who want to do the work full time, because the congregations and their needs are always many. It has been difficult to not be able to support the churches at a higher level as a result of this.
How do you link your career and your service here in your mission and purpose?
I feel happy because my current career and my ministry are the same. I have studied the Bible and theology in English, specifically the doctrinal part, and also the early Church. All the studies that I have received are very good, in solid and prestigious schools, but everything has been in English, and I think a part of my mission is to bring wisdom and understanding to a population that does not have access to this type of education. And what I am learning is how to communicate it in a way that can be beneficial for them.
In turn, the Anglo-American church can also receive and adopt the virtues and values of the Latino church, and that is something that I can transmit to them and help them to see, thus having a part in this exchange and cultural enrichment.
How do you see yourself serving in the future?
I would like to support the pastors of the churches that are part of Caminemos Juntos and be able to train, teach, pastor and serve them in whatever way they need.
I would like to build a strong ministry for Hispanic youth so that they can develop their faith and find their vocation. Help them to enter more and more into that identity that they have as Latino Americans.
What do you dream for Caminemos Juntos?
More and more churches, workers and workers for the growth of the kingdom of God.