In Africa, where up to 40 percent of the health care facilities are provided by faith-based organizations, Dr. Mirfin Mpundu, executive director of the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN), says that due to their unique position churches can play a special role in eliminating HIV and AIDS and bringing improvements in the lives of people living with the virus. The EPN, based in Kenya, works closely with the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA), a project of the World Council of Churches. Calling the church an “influential institution,” Mpundu said the “churches are strategically well positioned to tackle the HIV and AIDS pandemic. They can do this by accepting the people living with HIV and AIDS in communities, promoting the use of medication and caring for orphans, widows and widowers who have lost family members due to HIV and AIDS.” Read more.
The third Tumekutana (Swahili for “We have come together”) conference has been postponed due to concerns associated with the spread of Ebola in West Africa. The conference has been rescheduled for September 17 - 25, 2015, in Accra, Ghana — 2015 Theme: "Freedom in Christ: From Slavery to Empowerment"
Women leaders from PC(USA) partner churches in 22 African nations have been invited.
Conference costs are an average of $1,750 per participant. Each delegate is expected to contribute $400 toward these expenses, although most are not able to do so. Contributions can be made to E052036.
For more info, contact Caryl Weinberg or Debbie Braaksma. Download brochure.
Download the Tumekutana 2011 report.
Webinar: Ending Violence Against Women and Children in Africa
Replay a webinar facilitated by Debbie Braaksma, World Mission Area Coordinator for Africa, to learn how you can help end violence against women and children in Africa. To access the powerpoint from the webinar click here
Support the People of South Sudan!
April 2014. The people of South Sudan are in desperate need of help. Despite a Cessation of Hostilities agreement, fighting has continued, causing tremendous suffering and large-scale displacement inside and outside the country. The next three months are critical. Protecting people from violence is essential. Prevention of communicable diseases is key, especially among displaced people as the rainy season approaches. Read more Download PDF.
South Sudan takes steps to curb violence, but still faces major challenges
The government of South Sudan has recently taken laudable steps to halt killings and human rights abuses by members of the armed forces, but South Sudan’s people still face multiple threats from inter-ethnic tensions, entrenched patterns of violence, natural disasters and conflict in neighboring Sudan…
Over the past two years inter-communal violence, primarily among the Nuer and Murle, has destabilized South Sudan’s western Jonglei State, causing massive displacement. The two ethnic groups, both predominately Presbyterian, have been at odds for more than 50 years. The ethnic rivalries were exacerbated by the 1983-2005 war with Khartoum, which armed both communities and pitted them against each other….
• Pray for healing for the people of South Sudan, that they may recover from trauma, break the cycle of violence, and promote reconciliation and peacebuilding
• Pray that the Government of South Sudan will be able to put an end to the violence in Jonglei State, enabling survivors to return to their homes.
• Learn more about the situation in South Sudan.
• Give generously to help support the work of the PC(USA)’s mission personnel and global partners.
Pray for Peace in Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 21; We join with World Mission to invite Presbyterians in the United States to accompany our Zimbabwean sisters and brothers in praying for peace before, during and after the July 31 elections.
The Message of the Golden Jubilee Assembly of the All Africa Cnference of Churches,
Kampala, Uganda, 3-9 June 2013
Churches in Africa hope for good governance and stable democracy
Fifty representatives of African churches, ecumenical organizations, civil society gather at a WCC consultation May 15-17, 2013, to address 'Democratic governance and electoral reforms in Africa"
West Africa Initiative partnership promotes sustainable food production
PC(USA) provides leadership through Self-Development of People, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance 12/2012
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) began its participation in God’s work in Africa when the first American Presbyterian missionaries arrived on the island of Corisco (present-day Equatorial Guinea in West Africa) in 1869. Traditionally the PC(USA) has been particularly concerned for the poorest and most marginalized people groups in Africa, and thus has significant work in places like Congo (Zaire) and Sudan. More recently special attention has been raised by several African partner churches to focus attention and resources to establish a church among people groups where there is no established Christian witness, and so concern for northern Ghanaians, the people of Niger, the Murle (Sudan) and other groups is increasingly being expressed. Today we are actively engaged with our partners in Niger, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Cameroun, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Rwanda. We have emerging partnerships with churches in Sierra Leone, Senegal and Liberia, being presently heavily engaged in the delivering aid to Liberians.
Africa is home to more than 600 million people who speak more than a thousand languages and are citizens of some 52 nations. Africa’s religious expressions are similarly diverse. Indeed, perhaps the defining feature of modern Africa is the increasing differentiation among countries and communities of believers. The truth is that there is no single Africa but a multitude of Africas.
That having been said, there are some hopeful trends to be seen in today’s Africa. Positive changes are taking place. Violent struggles and wars have given way to reconciliation and nation-building. Closed economies are becoming more trade-friendly. Intra-Africa cooperation is on the rise. African churches are taking on increasingly significant roles as peacemakers, reconcilers and advocates for the poor and disadvantaged. As a result, talk about Africa these days focuses on a triad of engagement — aid, trade and investment.
A debate has emerged on the continent and in the United States as to whether and whither aid. Is aid a help or a hindrance to self-development? Should it continue, and if so, what modifications are necessary in order that the desired goals of peace, stability and mutually beneficial development can be achieved? An important voice in the debate is that of private voluntary 0rganizations (PVOs) and particularly churches. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with its historically community-based involvement, has played a significant role in improving the lives of countless millions of people in neighborhoods, villages and towns throughout Africa. The problems of Africa will be overcome only through cooperation among a variety of governmental and nongovernmental sectors; we have a great stake in the aid debate.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has long understood that ministry and mission with Africa (and elsewhere) must be built upon a foundation of dialogue rather than dictation. That mission, if it is to be successful, sustainable and mutually beneficial, must be God-inspired and God-directed and based on two-way partnership. If we follow the Will of God, we can teach and we can learn from our sisters and brothers.
Education — leadership development, skills enhancement and capacity building — are the keys to a brighter future in Africa. From water development projects in Malawi to theological education in Ethiopia, our journey with Africans is bearing fruit and preparing a new generation to take advantage of the opportunities the 21st century portends. At the same time, there are lessons that Africans can teach us and our children that will help us be better Christians and world citizens. For example, the emergence of a nonracial democratic South Africa and its president, Nelson Mandela as a world statesman, appear to have captured the hearts and minds of Americans and people around the world as universal symbols of hope, human progress and racial justice. In a similar vein, the facility with which many African Christians articulate their personal relationship with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, which is so much a part of and the cause for the phenomenal growth among churches like those in Sudan and Mozambique, can be a gift to the PC(USA) as we seek to bring new souls to the saving grace of Christ and to turn around our membership decline.
All countries in this area are listed below. Countries with Web pages giving Presbyterian-specific information are highlighted. For other countries, there is currently no PC(USA) involvement in this country or the Web pages have not yet been prepared. The PC(USA) also participates in or relates to work in other countries through ecumenical relationships. See an interactive map of Africa and find countries in which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) serves.
Central African Republic
Congo, Republic of
Ivory Coast — see Cote D'Ivoire
São Tomé and Príncipe
Regional liaisons (mission co-workers):
Jeff Boyd, regional liaison for Central Africa (Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea)
Nancy Collins, regional liaison for East Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia)
Josh Heikkila, regional liaison for West Africa (Ghana, Niger, Nigeria)
Douglas Tilton, regional liaison for Southern Africa (Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe)
Michael Weller, regional liaison for the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan)
See the 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, pp. 127, 128, 130