Mural by Troy Terpstra

Mural by Troy Terpstra

Tierra Nueva (New Earth) is an international Christian ministry based in Burlington, Washington that seeks to share the good news of God's total liberation, healing, and transformation in Jesus Christ with people on the margins, especially those affected by immigration, incarceration, and addiction. 

We are dedicated to proclaiming the Good News of God's Kingdom (on earth as it is in heaven) with the oppressed for our mutual liberation, holistic healing, empowerment, and total salvation. We do this through pastoral advocacy, chaplaincy and re-entry support, evangelism, discipleship, and healing prayer. We are committed to training up ministry workers in holistic liberation because the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few.

Word. Spirit. Street.

At Tierra Nueva, God is bringing together things that have been separate but were never meant to be.

WORD – careful reading of Scripture with the effect of helping marginalized people hear the Good News of God’s love in Jesus, 

together with

SPIRIT – the gifts of the Holy Spirit and empowered ministry in the flow of the Holy Spirit; the "Charismatic" dimension of faith

together with

STREET – a strong commitment to the social prophetic, speaking truth to power, empowering people to have a voice, to address of the structural dimensions of injustice and oppression.


Tierra Nueva began in 1982 as God brought Bob and Gracie Ekblad to work and learn alongside impoverished farmers in Minas de Oro, Honduras. They felt called to directly address the poverty and class divisions underlying the regional wars in Central America. Bob and Gracie learned and taught sustainable farming, nutrition, and preventative health.  As they read the Scriptures alongside their Honduran neighbors—many of whom were excluded from the local churches—they began to discover Good News for themselves.

After pursuing graduate studies in theology in Montpellier, France, Bob and Gracie served a bilingual Presbyterian Church in the Mission District of San Francisco. There they became aware of the migrant farm worker population living in the Skagit Valley in Washington State. In 1994 the Ekblads moved to Burlington to start what they then called Tierra Nueva del Norte. They began visiting immigrant workers in the migrant labor camps and fields and Bob became chaplain of Skagit County Jail Ministry. Migrant and jail chaplaincy continue to be the cornerstones of Tierra Nueva. The People’s Seminary was established to train ministry workers to serve people on the margins of society locally, nationally and around the world.