We are thrilled to welcome Andrea Ramos Santos who has taken up the new post of Brooksdale Program Operations Manager. For more about Andrea and her long and fancy title please enjoy the following conversation we recently had with her.
Andrea, you come to A Rocha Canada with a long history of involvement with A Rocha elsewhere. Can you tell us a bit about your history with A Rocha?
It all started in 2002. I was in my first training camp with Intervarsity in Brazil and I saw the book Under the Bright Wings that had been recently published in Brazil. It was written by the International founder of A Rocha, Peter Harris and I just devoured it! I was so relieved to have finally found a way to connect my studies in ecology with my calling to serve Christ.
After that, I met some people who were starting A Rocha in Brazil (around 2005), and I joined the group. First I served as a volunteer, and in 2009 I started to work with them as a Communications Assistant. Soon I assumed the leadership of the Environmental Education Project with churches, and in 2012 I started to work as Executive Director.
What do you love about the mission of A Rocha?
I love the way we integrate the whole of creation in God’s mission in the world. It’s something we were missing as a church, and our vocation will only be whole when we see ourselves as part of creation and the loving stewards of God’s magnificent world. A Rocha lives out this vocation. I like to imagine what it looks like for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven (as Jesus taught us to pray). And in my imagination, it is a big community caring for people, animals, plants, and land; sharing food, kitchens, laughter, and all kind of resources. Just like A Rocha!
What brought you to Canada?
My husband and I moved to Canada in 2015. He started studies at Regent College, and I was super excited to be so close to A Rocha’s Brooksdale Centre. However, I quickly realized how far it was for me to go to Brooksdale from UBC without a car. But I kept my dream to know A Rocha Canada more, and after completing my own studies at Regent, I’m finally seeing this dream come true as I begin work at Brooksdale.
Are you surprised to work for A Rocha again? Why did you say yes?
Yes, I’m surprised and I feel blessed by this opportunity. If someone told me 5 years ago that I would be working with A Rocha again in Canada I would not have believed it! Even though it was a dream in my heart, I know that many things would have to align for this to happen. So, I receive this opportunity as a gift because A Rocha is the best way I see to serve the creation and Creator I love with all my heart.
What are you looking forward to in your work with A Rocha Canada at Brooksdale?
I’m looking forward to working closely with the Brooksdale team, providing support and leadership for all our work at Brooksdale. I love to see the big picture and organize things (I’m even a fan of spreadsheets!) and this is the way I can serve the conservation, education, agriculture, and internship programs. But I also love to be outside, to see first-hand all the good work and enjoy community life. So, I hope we can move closer to Brooksdale soon.