5/16/13 Action Alert from the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness:
Hold Sudanese human rights violators accountable!
Ask the State Department to deny entry to Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie
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)
Joshua David 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)