God opened doors for Uruguayan Mennonite
Mennonite World Conference celebrates the life of Milka Rindzinski who served Courier/Correo/Courrier magazine 1992–2008 and attended every Assembly from Curitiba in 1972 to Harrisburg in 2015.
Born in Uruguay in 1932 to an immigrant father, Milka Rindzinski died 5 March 2021.
“Being an integral and active member of a faith community can mean a world of difference in our personal lives… and can lead to positive change in the world,” she wrote in life reflections for her family.
Milka Rindzinski was baptized 22 January 1956. Christened and catechized in the Catholic church, she was a literal ana-baptist (re-baptized one) as she became a member of the nascent Convención de Iglesias Menonitas en Uruguay. English lessons with Mennonite Board of Missions worker James Martin had became conversations about the Bible, “y allí empecé mi camino a la ‘conversion,’” she wrote in her life story.
Soon after, she was invited to take classes at the newly started Mennonite seminary and to serve the director as his secretary. She went on to serve as librarian then as study coordinator at the study centre that continued after the closure of the seminary.
Her first encounter with Mennonite World Conference was attending the global Assembly in Curitiba, Brazil, in 1972.
Next, while in the USA study at AMBS in 1978, she had opportunity to prepare materials for the upcoming Assembly. She served Courier/Correo/Courrier magazine as regional editor for Latin America, Spanish translator, and took on the role of English editor following the Calcutta Assembly in 1997.
“I have seen the MWC body of churches grow in love, in acceptance of one another, in knowledge, in discernment, in solidarity and service, in accountability, and in efforts to put into practice the integral gospel of Jesus Christ,” she wrote in her final article in Courier.
Milka Rindzinski was present at the meeting of women at the Zimbabwe Assembly in 2003 where MTAL (Movement of Anabaptist Women Doing Theology from Latin America) found its inspiration in the sharing of African women. She was an encourager and contributor to the network as a planner, translator and advisor.
Reflecting on her life as a Mennonite, she wrote: “God is able to open doors through other people and show you the way. And the Holy Spirit can help you to accept what is best. Personally, I never had to knock on doors to discover what the best activity was for me to take on.”
“Milka was always exemplary – reliable, quick, competent – in her MWC tasks of editing, writing and translating,” say Larry Miller, general secretary emeritus, and Eleanor Miller, former MWC staff.
“Beyond and through these material tasks, Milka quietly served MWC as a primary link to, interpreter of, and advocate for Latin American churches and perspectives. And more personally, she became, as she herself put it, a true ‘soul sister’ for us – the sort of relationship that makes life within the global communion so enriching and endearing.”