Protest to Prison to Pulpit

Semilla Website Administrator

One Young Man Finds Hope and Opportunity through SEMILLA Seminary

Vidal Altamirano left Nicaragua for the United States a couple of years ago, where the military had threatened him because of his participation in student protests with his university. After spending nearly two years in a detention center in Arizona, he was deported home.

Vidal Altamirano

Vidal Altamirano and José Miguel López, course instructor.

While in detention, Vidal came to know Tina Schlabach, co-pastor of Shalom Mennonite Fellowship in Tucson, who regularly visited the facility. This relationship gave him hope during a time when he was experiencing great despondency.

Seminary Builds Family-Like Relationships

Students of the seminary often express that, in addition to valuable theological understandings, SEMILLA also provides them a family that supports them throughout the various challenges they face as they work together to understand the implications of following Jesus in their daily lives. This is especially important for Vidal as his return home means confronting the reality of high unemployment, poverty, and a challenging political environment.

Love Your Neighbor

Vidal shared that his first seminary class, “Following Jesus: Christian Discipleship,” taught him that in following Jesus, he must demonstrate love to his neighbor. He senses a strong urging to think beyond himself and relate to all social and religious groups as Jesus did.

Hope and Opportunity

Support of the SEMILLA seminary program gives hope and opportunity – one student at a time.