photo of forest

Q&A with a new Catalyst: Meet Forestry Expert Mónica Cortés

Mónica Cortés has a bachelor’s degree in forestry engineering and is studying for a master’s in organic agriculture. She also works as an assistant in the forestry engineering research unit at the National University of Costa Rica and as a staff worker with ECU, the national movement in Costa Rica.  

Photo of Mónica Cortés
Mónica Cortés

What made you decide to apply to the LCI? 

Since I started university in 2016, I have been asking myself how I can link my profession with the mission of the Lord. I saw the LCI as an opportunity to learn, grow, continue questioning, and take action to link these two passions of mine.  

How have the first few months at the LCI been?  

It has been an introductory walk into the deep and diverse forest of encouraging learning and challenges, but I believe that even when it’s hard work we will carry each other’s burdens by being in this community together.  

Has anything stood out to you? 

One day, I was feeling overwhelmed by the various things I had to do for my master’s, my paid work and my LCI assignments. In the midst of this I decided to do an LCI devotional on Ecclesiastes 12: 9-14. Verse 12, which says ” Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body,” really spoke to me.

The scripture described exactly what I was feeling. But as I continued reading, I had a change of mindset. I was confronted by the words of verse 13: “Fear God and keep his commandments.” It reminded me of the characteristics I must develop in order to share the relationship between science and faith in my context. Virtues such as wisdom, being investigative, communicating well, writing with honesty and truthfulness. I felt encouraged to live by these characteristics. 

What is the situation like among Christians in your country regarding science and Christianity? 

The idea of integrated mission, which promotes the well-being of all, is not recognized as a Christian responsibility. For many Christians in Costa Rica, the issue of environment and faith is not paramount and creation care is not really considered as part of Christianity. I hope the LCI will help me open spaces for dialogue between science and faith in Costa Rica. 

For more information about all of our Catalysts’ projects, visit the LCI projects webpages or see a list of all current project titles listed in our July 2023 Latest News blogpost.

Photo credit: forest photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash

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