Tierra Nueva

About Us

About Us

About Us

Mural by Troy Terpstra

Mural by Troy Terpstra

Our Core Values

Hosting God’s Presence is our highest value. We receive God’s love and are immersed in the Holy Spirit when we pray, worship, contemplate Jesus, meditate on Scripture, and minister to each other. When we love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength we experience peace, joy, and revelation and are empowered for ministry in places of great darkness and need.

Connecting people with Jesus: Hearing good news and receiving God’s love inspires us to help others meet Jesus. Through dialogical bible study, walking with people in their troubles, advocating for them before the powers, and ministering healing, deliverance, and prayer, our hope is that others will experience God’s transforming love.

Reading Scripture with Jesus reflects our commitment to finding Good News in Scripture through prayerful study and dialogical interaction with the poor, each other, and the Saints that precede and surround us. As the Father focused the disciples’ attention on the transfigured Jesus—over Moses (Torah) and Elijah (Prophets) —so we seek direction from the resurrected Jesus, who on the Emmaus Road showed from Moses and the prophets his way of combating evil through the redemptive suffering of his cross. We welcome the Holy Spirit whom Jesus sends to help us interpret and live the Scriptures daily.

We seek to walk in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit for the full ministry of Jesus as seen in the gospels. Jesus was fully surrendered to the Father and fully empowered by the Holy Spirit. He said that if we believe in Him we will do the same and greater works than He did. We seek to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit in order to do the works that Jesus did. Apart from Him we can do nothing.

Empowering disciples of Jesus: We emphasize our longing to see people from the margins (inmates, gang members, addicts, migrant workers) and mainstream raised up as leaders. We love that Jesus is a friend of sinners who calls fishermen, tax-collectors, and zealots from backwater Galilee. We seek to be a community where people are discerning their calling, clarifying their gifts, and joining a movement that announces and makes visible the Kingdom of God.

Bridging divergent worlds: We strategically bring together people and movements that are separated, on behalf of society’s least. We seek to connect the margins with the mainstream, the poor with the privileged, the social justice and pacifist Christians with the charismatic and evangelical body of Christ, the streets with the academy, sustainable farming efforts with inner-city ministry. We believe it takes a whole body of Christ to see breakthrough at the most extreme places. We are committed to experiencing mutual liberation and transformation with the oppressed and we have lots to learn from people in every camp. We long to see God’s family reconciled, receiving from each other through respectful listening, hospitality, community—but first and foremost through receiving God’s Spirit that adopts us by Grace into Christ’s body.

We invite you to journey with us as we seek and find the Gospel that has the power to save, heal, liberate, deliver, and bring total transformation. Join us so we can see together the signs of God's kingdom: faith found or renewed, strangers welcomed, addicts recovered, prisoners released, the sick and broken healed, ordinary people empowered for ministry.

Read about our ministries. Come to our events. Worship with us. You are welcome at this banquet table!

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.