Why “Jubilee Centers International?”
Jubilee refers to joy and rejoicing, emotions that are often snatched from individual or community life by poverty, marginalization, injustice, violence, abuse, and lack of opportunities. The goal of JCI is to restore jubilation to individual and community life by:
- working to prevent events or circumstances that rob or destroy life and joy.
- working to create spaces and programs that are life-giving, life-sustaining, life-enhancing, and life-celebrating.
Jubilee also refers to the year of Jubilee found in the Old Testament. The celebration of the year of Jubilee began every fifty years with the sound of a ram’s horn (this horn is displayed in JCI’s logo). Slaves and prisoners were freed, land was returned to its original owner, debts were forgiven, and the mercies of God became even more real and tangible in people’s lives. The year of Jubilee was intended to be a sign of hope pointing to what heaven will be like. Many of the people in La Era where JCI works are like prisoners, entangled in chains of injustice, marginalization, poverty, violence, lack of access, and lack of opportunity. JCI works to loose these chains so that people will be set free to love God and their neighbor and fulfill their God-given potential. JCI exists to be a ray of hope shining into a poor neighborhood where hope has often been stifled and repressed by violence and corruption. Our prayer is that this ray of hope will transcend the undrawn boundary lines and impact neighboring communities, as well. This sense of hope, celebration, and reaching toward heaven is also depicted in our logo.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6
Jesus referred to the Year of Jubilee in Luke 4:18-19 when he read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Here Luke narrates the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in the synagogue in Nazareth:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Jesus chooses this text to initiate his ministry of preaching and healing, holistically meeting diverse human needs. The prophet Isaiah predicts the liberation of Israel from the future Babylonian exile; however, Jesus proclaims the fullness of liberation for all people from their sin and its many consequences. The goal of JCI’s work and proclamation of the gospel is to embody this text by meeting human needs while working to combat sin with its destructive consequences.
Centers refers to our philosophy of:
- working through and establishing community centers
- using a multifaceted approach to community development through diverse programs and education
- reaching the community through the love of Christ in both word and deed.
Currently, as a very young ministry, our efforts are mostly focused on education and evangelism, but as we grow, our goal is to integrate a variety of programs and services into our work.
We are Jubilee Centers International because currently we are connected to both the USA and Honduras. We are in the process of establishing partnerships with schools in Michigan to promote cross-cultural and bilingual education. We also pray that in the future God would open doors so that JCI’s ministry and support would expand to other areas in Honduras, the USA, and other countries.