Monetary assistance is not the only answer to the sufferings of people living in a weak community. There are several factors that collectively contribute to the health of a community. Economic, social, educational, political, and spiritual factors together develop a community. To improve the living conditions of people surviving in developing countries or rural parts of the world, there is a need to adopt a holistic approach. The world needs a comprehensive approach that addresses all elements that a community needs to acquire stable ground. Miguel Torneire is a Lutheran pastor who is known for spending a lifestyle with a perfect balance between his religious beliefs and secularism. He founded Developing Our World in 2018. The organization focuses on holistic community development, which is a process whereby community members come together to take collective actions and generate solutions to common problems. Community wellbeing that depends on all spiritual, physical, social, economic, educational, environmental, athletic, and cultural factors, evolves from collective actions being taken at a grassroots level. Its scope could range from small initiatives within a small group to large initiatives that involve a broader community.
The Early Life
Miguel was born on February 17, 1979, in Nilópolis, a city in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was taken to Igreja Evangélica Luterana Cristo Rei in Itaguaí for his baptism on April 29, 1979. He was living with his parents and brother André, Miguel was just two years old when his mother, Eugenia Schulz Torneire, died of appendicitis in 1982. After his mother’s demise, his father, Jesuino Luiz Torneire, his uncles, and aunts decided to support the grandparents, Arthur Schulz Sobrinho and Argentina Eller Schulz, to take care of the kids. He and his brother André started living with their grandparents, which were a huge influence in Miguel’s life. His faith was confirmed on December 26, 1993, in the same church he was baptized in.
Developing the Foundation of the Missiological Theory
Miguel’s grandparents were devout Christians who were dedicated to serving their Lord. They were advocates of service to the poor in their community. Living with such dedicated Christians who were living by the words of the Bible and serving the poor introduced Miguel to the concept of service to the community and helped him develop an interest in Christian faith. To further strengthen his concepts, he went to Instituto Concórdia de São Paulo – ICSP to start his Bachelor’s of Divinity in the year 1997. After spending two years in this institute, he joined Seminario Concordia Buenos Aires in 1999, where he spent two years and had his first cross-cultural experience. He returned to Brasil to spend another year at ICSP before he was sent to Seminário Concórdia de São Leopoldo in 2003, where he completed his first Bachelors in Divinity.
His concept of service to the community strengthened while he was at Instituto Concórdia de São Paulo. The Institute helped him understand the concept in depth. The ICSP seminary’s forte and focus were in missions. It helped Miguel acquire the essential skills that helped him with his vision at Developing Our World. It assisted him in developing the mission theme from a practical standpoint. While spending his time here, he acquired some skills that helped with his vision at Developing Our World. He completed his Bachelor’s in Divinity on December 6, 2003. His grandparents, Igreja Evangélica Luterana Cristo Rei in Itaguaí, and Instituto Concórdia de São Paulo taught him the art of putting his faith in action by serving the poor and giving back to the community. It helped him develop his missiology of “holistic community development.”
Adopting Holistic Community Development As a Missiology
In the year 2003, Miguel went to Universidade Luterana do Brasil – ULBRA for his second Bachelors in Theology. While completing his second bachelor’s, he was ordained on April 25, 2004. In the same year, he left Guatemala to take the position of Pastor at Iglesia Evangélica Luterana El Divino Salvador, Zacapa, Guatemala. As the resident missionary, Miguel Torneire, helped the church adopt a comprehensive approach towards community development. As a lead pastor of this congregation, Miguel visited prisons, and he also led drives to feed the hungry with other church members. He designed a campaign for feeding the hungry and even equipped leaders for missions to serve the community.
Moreover, he worked with short-term teams from Central American Lutheran Mission Society – CALMS and other organizations with members of the congregation to teach Vacation Bible School and build homes for families of the community. Miguel went to Belize in the Mission Trip with members of his congregation to join the CALMS team down there. It was here that he practically stepped into service to the community and developed skills to lead short-term strategic teams.
Miguel developed a strong concept of holistic community development. He realized that the disturbance in this system is what makes it necessary for people to take a step towards holistic community development. Miguel Torneire, with his missiology of comprehensive community development, is working to keep the wealth circulated throughout the community and is addressing the root causes of societal issues that weaken the foundation of a community.
Establishing Developing Our World
Developing Our World by Miguel Torneire is a non-profit organization that is working to strengthen the community. The organization was founded on May 23, 2018, and since then is working to address the common societal issues for the sake of a community’s wellbeing. The fact that this organization combines social, economic, physical, and educational approaches with the spiritual development of the community makes Developing Our World a trusted and strategic organization. The organization deploys several short-term teams as well as programs that are improving the lives of people in places like Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Malawi, Uganda, and Bangladesh. These programs include the Rural Leader’s Training Program, Nurses, Public Health Volunteers, and Mid-Wives Training Program, Teachers Training Program, and Sponsor a Teacher Program. Other programs that are aiding the organization’s holistic community development approach includes Sponsor a Leader Program, Small Loans Program. Developing Our World also focuses on building capacity through job creation, building homes for poor families, and partnering with individuals, churches, and organizations in the USA and around the world. Additionally, the organization contributes to improving hygiene in a community and also offers scholarship programs for kids.
Miguel Torneire set up this organization as an example for the world that charity is much more than just a guilty handful of coins in a box or a nudge of conscience. Through his foundation, he is helping people all around these countries and in the US, by utilizing the concept of holistic community development.
Invitation by Central American Lutheran Mission Society – CALMS and Working Under Steve Hughey
After serving his time in Guatemala, Miguel was invited to work at CALMS in 2009. Thus, he went to the United States of America. While serving at this mission society, Miguel got to be a non-resident missionary and completed his Bachelor’s in Theology at Universidade Luterana. At CALMS, he served as the Missionary-at-Large and Director for Central America. It was during this time that he got a chance to work under the guidance and supervision of Reverend Doctor Steve Hughey, who has more than 45 years of experience in the mission field. Steve helped Miguel to shape and develop his philosophy in missions, especially about holistic community development. Doctor Hughey was also a big influence on Miguel’s life to start a Master of Arts in Christian Outreach at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN, where he earned his MA in 2013. At the Central American Lutheran Mission Society, he led many strategic short-term mission teams and oversaw the work in Guatemala. Miguel Torneire helped in expanding the work throughout Centro America.
In the US, while working in CALMS, he received a call to be the Assistant Pastor: Deployed as Missionary-at-Large at Gethsemane Church in Tempe, AZ, where he led mission-teams to Guatemala. Currently, Reverend Miguel is the Vacancy Pastor at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Centralia, IL. He lives with his family and works to empower the people in communities to take the lead to bring change as the Executive Director of Developing Our World. Miguel is dedicated to make this world a better place and works to implement his philosophical views to build broken and weak communities through a comprehensive approach.
Miguel Torneire is a Lutheran Pastor and Executive Director who is an advocate of adopting a holistic approach towards the development of communities. He is an active member of service to the community, and he teaches the world the importance of engaging in holistic community development.