Dear Friends of SewHope,
It is truly with great joy that we welcome Peter Meinecke on our staff in Guatemala. Peter joined our team last week and Randy and I were delighted to be there in Guatemala to welcome him! See the attached pictures - Peter sold his car and all that he brought with him for the year are in his backpack!!
Peter graduated from Allegheny College with a major in Environmental Studies and a focus on Community Development. When he graduated, he received a VISTA grant to work here in Toledo developing community gardens at the University Church on Hill Avenue. During his year there, the program "blossomed" and they harvested literally tons of produce which was distributed to the poor. Peter also worked in developing a fish farm on the land - a project which will be a great benefit to our work in Guatemala. We give great thanks to Pastor Julian Davies at the University Church for having the foresight to hire someone like Peter!
Peter has a great love of music and plays guitar and piano and best of all, he LOVES soccer - a common denominator that brings rich and poor alike together in Guatemala! Having spent many hours debating politics and social issues with Peter, I can only say that Peter prefers to cut through all the "nonsense" and focus on the real issues - the issues that Jesus gave His life for - restoring the world to what it was intended to be.
I cannot tell you how very privileged we feel to have him on board with us. His passion for looking for ways to end injustice, poverty and oppression are the things that our organization stands for.
Below are some of the words that Peter wrote when he applied for this position....probably the lowest paid job in America!!
"My motive for wanting to join SewHope on a year-long assignment in Guatemala stems largely from my belief that we are all fundamentally called to both identify and right any injustices that occur in our environment. Naturally this can play out in many forms, but the one that speaks to me most right now is the opportunity to dedicate the next year of my life to helping SewHope in your mission to encourage community development in Guatemala, specifically your efforts to raise the quality of living for rural citizens.
During my year working at University Church, I was able to work with a number of agricultural systems including hydroponic gardening, vermicomposting, and aquaponics. While I’m certain that some of the skills I picked up while working in the community garden will translate to projects in Guatemala, I am equally excited to learn what different techniques and solutions people such as Ismael, Rudy and Sr. Pam might have. I think it is important not to approach a problem such as this as if you are the rescuer. Instead, I think it is important to recognize inherent differences and benefits of different backgrounds."