Denise Osejo and the Rev. Juan Aragón of Ravenswood, West Virginia, have been endorsed to serve as American Baptist International Ministries missionaries in Chiapas, Mexico. Through this new role, they will continue a ministry that they have already begun. In his current position as Hispanic Ministries Strategist for the West Virginia Baptist Convention, Juan has worked extensively within the Mexican-American community, and this vocation has engendered a personal mission for both him and Denise.
Juan explains: “For the last eight years, we have been ministering to Hispanic immigrants in West Virginia. Most of them are from the southern Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. We’ve listened to their stories of faith, hope and courage. But we have also learned about the struggles and challenges they face in their villages and communities. Through them we have learned to love the people of Mexico.”
Denise, who will be serving mainly in women’s ministries, has for a long time felt called to serve among women who live in male-dominated social contexts. “My sisters need to be empowered to believe they deserve more in life than just working in the kitchen or suffering silently from domestic violence,” she writes. “They need to realize how important they are to God and to the ministry of the church.”
Juan’s work will focus on leadership development in churches. He will seek to strengthen the witness of local churches by offering theological education, coaching and discipling to new and current leaders. Juan sees this role as one of coming alongside men and women as they advance their ministries, accompanying them as a mentor while they continue to do the good work that God has already begun in them.
Please pray for Juan and Denise and their two children, Juancito, age 5, and Hefziba “Ziba,” age 2. Thank you!