Nan McCurdy is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries. She and her missionary husband, Miguel Mairena, begin service with Give Ye Them to Eat in Puebla, Mexico.
The purpose of “Give Ye Them to Eat” is to strengthen the capabilities of marginalized people and communities to meet their basic needs, and to determine and sustain a just and integrated development process.” They provide training in appropriate technologies, sustainable agriculture andhealth so that people can improve their lives. Their farm and training center is in Tlancualpican, which was at the center of September 2017 earthquake – many families lost homes. The staff provides training to make straw-bale homes that are cooler and more earthquake resistant than homes built with bricks or blocks.
Nan served the people of Nicaragua from 1985 to 2014. She and Miguel worked for 20 years with women and youth through the Women and Community Association in San Francisco Libre.
Of her call to mission, Nan says, “We are called to follow Christ’s example: to accompany and promote an abundant life for the excluded —all those not included fully in society. As God’s children, we are called to contribute to a just society here on earth, one that fulfills the Jubilee: the liberation of slaves, restitution of the earth, forgiveness of debt, and redistribution of riches.”
“’Sell all your things, give to the poor and follow me’—this is Christ’s most difficult message for us as U.S. Christians,” Nan observes. “Our worth and well-being are so wrapped up in what we have, in contrast to people in countries like Mexico and Nicaragua who have nothing but their faith.”
During the war in Nicaragua in the 1980s, Nan and her late husband, Philip Mitchell, worked in a pastoral ministry of accompaniment with people in the war zone. After the war, she assisted in the creation of the Foundation for Nicaraguan War Victims. Phil died in 1991—their daughter Nora was one and their son Daniel was three. She married Miguel Mairena in 1995. Nan and Miguel have an international and blended family that includes three daughters and three sons currently in four countries.
Nan holds degrees in biology, ecology, and pharmacy, and has done extensive non-degree studies in gender in the fields of development and community development.
Nan and Miguel are members of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.