June 2, 2017
“This trip has given me perspective and empathy. It has helped me to see how similar we all are... One of our responsibilities as Christians is hospitality to the sojourner and the foreigner, regardless of our political leanings.”
— Ali Mueller, seminarian at Palmer Theological Seminary
The BPFNA network extends throughout North America and across the globe. Through BPFNA Friendship Tours, we are able to connect with Baptists and people of faith worldwide and form lasting relationships with brothers and sisters while learning about the realities of their lives. Throughout the years, the BPFNA has sent staff, board and members to locations including Liberia, Chiapas, Tijuana, Burma and Nicaragua.
As part of BPFNA's focus on centering Black lives within the organization, BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz sent a delegation of 10 to St. Louis from August 6-12, 2015 in response to a national call put forth by Ferguson Action. During this time, delegates participated in #UnitedWeFight, a week of training,education, and direct action during the anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder in August 2014.
From February 8-14 a delegation of 15 attended the BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz Friendship Tour in El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Called Justicia en la Frontera/Justice at the Border, the experience educated participants about the injustices occurring at the U.S./Mexico border and equipped them to assist others in strengthening their responses to border-related issues including economic and immigration policy, humanitarian aid, labor organizing, and border militarization. The group was hosted by Annunciation House in El Paso and stayed at Casa Vidas, one of the two migrant shelters owned and operated by Annunciation House.
Called A Front Line Peace Witness, participants traveled to Fayetteville, NC and explored critical military issues such as Suicide, PTSD, Domestic and family violence, Use of torture and drones, Lack of truth in military recruitment, and the Impact of repeated deployments.
2013 marked the 200th anniversary of Ann and Aboniram Judson's arrival in Burma. Friendship Tour participants learned about Baptists in Burma and formed lasting relationships with Burmese and ethnic minority Baptists. Participants met with indigenous refugees living on the Burma/Thailand border and visited community development organizations in both Burma and Thailand. Update 1 I Update 2 I Update 3
Called Ministry on the Borderline: A travel course opportunity for seminarians, the trip focused on cross-cultural issues including: language (English-Spanish), religious traditions (Roman Catholic-Protestant) and cultural perspectives (US-Mexican); economics and immigration; and the function of family/community and the dynamics of violence and family resilience.
In 1813, Adoniram and Ann Judson arrived in Burma to do Christian mission work. Their efforts laid the groundwork for thriving seminaries, conventions, and churches that persist throughout Burma today. The purpose of this Friendship Tour was to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones by meeting with Baptist leaders and congregations in these countries. This trip informed participants about Baptists in Burma and encouraged individuals to form lasting relationships and provide Baptists in Burma with a continuing link to Baptists in North America.