Jose Suarez Martinez was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia to a loving Christian family. He shared about his religious experiences: “I have had the privilege of serving in ministry since I was 11 years old. My service experience has mostly taken place in churches and outreach initiatives. I have also worked and served in cross-cultural and interfaith contexts since I was 15 years old.”
Jose is currently a third-year student, majoring in both religion and international relations, at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His summer internship position was developed in partnership between Calvin University, agencies of both the Christian Reformed Church of America and the Reformed Church of America, the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign and Al Amana Centre with the aim to address anti-Muslim bigotry in the U.S.A. and promote interfaith initiatives. His work will predominantly consist of planning and coordinating a Shoulder to Shoulder “Faith over Fear” training program in Grand Rapids and assisting Al Amana Centre’s implementation of Scriptural Reasoning courses with university students. He will also develop and network with local faith and organizational leaders that are committed to oppose Islamophobia in West Michigan. Richard Killmer of Shoulder to Shoulder and Jeffrey Bos will be supervising and mentoring Jose.
Jose has already taken initiative to connect with faith leaders where he lives in Grand Rapids. His connection with Al Amana takes place virtually. Jose is enjoying being part of the online Scriptural Reasoning group composed of students from Calvin University, University of Notre Dame, and Notre Dame University Bangladesh. In the future, says Jose, “I hope to serve God by sharing and implementing the hope of the Gospel through practical means that meet the needs of communities and have lasting impacts in societies.”
Welcome to the team, Jose!