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Nate and Julieth volunteer in bilingual ministry and guest preaching, and they even help in the nursery at Urban Light.

What brought you to Muncie and Urban Light?

We spent our first year of marriage in Colombia, South America in our 250 sq.ft. apartment in Bogota on mandatory pandemic lockdown. When the vaccines started rolling out in the US, Nate suggested we go to Muncie to get vaxxed, for Julieth to get to know his family, and to work on her English. The plan was to be here six months,and then backpack down through Central America back to Colombia. However, our daughter Camila happened and the rest was history!

After two years looking for churches, we settled on Urban Light. Its bilingual nature made us feel integrated and welcomed. We also love the emphasis on justice and reconciliation that flow from being Jesus-followers. Having childcare during service was important for our 2-year-old. We also admire how many of the kids at Urban Light have grown up in the community, singing in the choir with their parents and their parents' friends. We want this kind of faith environment for our daughter Camila and her soon-to-arrive little sister, Alicia.

How might our church and the growing Spanish-speaking community benefit each other?

The church can be multicultural and diverse as it is called to be by creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for our Hispanic community members and providing spiritual care for those who want it. The Hispanic community can offer a richness in music and theology, particularly a strong emphasis on family and community that in some ways is more developed than other cultures.

How do you prioritize building community, with Spanish-speaking neighbors?

Julieth has trained as a Family Coach at the Ross Community Center, supporting Hispanic Immigrants in Muncie. There, she helps families adapt, connecting them with resources like insurance, legal aid, and schools. At home, we have hosted newly arrived Hispanic families for meals and provided transportation for legal and family services.

Is there anything else you want to share?

We are incredibly grateful to be part of Urban Light. Your warm welcome and love have made us feel valued, and you have encouraged us to contribute our interests and talents to enrich your already vibrant community. Personally, for me, Julieth, being involved in church conversations and leadership has brought deeper meaning to my life, especially in this new and sometimes unfamiliar place far from my family.