By Haroldo Nunes

The 15th year of Hispanic Family Encounters will take place at Camp Luz, Kidron, Ohio, during the weekend of June 15-17.  This year we will have a celebration of 15 years (called “quinceañera” in Spanish).  Hispanics from various Ohio Mennonite churches will come together for the celebration. The topic for the weekend is “The security of the Believer is Jesus Christ,” focusing on Romans 8:37-39: “…in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us….”

The main speaker for the weekend will be Pastor Andrew Bodden, who has served in Central America, South America, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. He is an ordained minister of Southeast Mennonite Conference and is presently serving as a district minister from the south Florida area.

Hispanic Mennonites give a testimony of honesty and of being hard-working people and with a strong sense of community. They desire to be a part of a great nation, the United States. Unfortunately, the Hispanic community is suffering from the current immigration laws and an outdated immigration system. Entire families are being separated. They are feeling the loss of their unity and their peace, and there is fear on the streets and at their work places. Our Hispanic Mennonite churches are working to support and give hope to these families, the hope that Jesus Christ gives to those who give themselves to Him.

For the sixth year in a row, we are expecting a record number of Hispanics to attend the Hispanic Family Retreat. Camp Luz has a capacity for 150 people, but we can’t stop more from showing up. Hispanics rejoice that they can come with their complete families to relax, have fun and worship the Lord in their mother language, Spanish. Families that participate are from South America, Central America and North America, including Hispanics from 10 different nations.