Read Letters from Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar
March 22, 2010
September 29, 2009
May 14, 2009
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Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar
Mission co-workers at the U.S.–Mexico border
Frontera de Cristo
P .O. Box 1112
Douglas, AZ 85608
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About Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar's ministry
Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar are mission co-workers with the Presbyterian Border Ministry in Agua Prieta, Mexico, where Mark has served since 1998. As U.S. coordinator of the binational ministry, Frontera de Cristo, Mark is responsible, in partnership with Rev. Angel Valencia of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico, for the coordination of the six ministry areas of Frontera de Cristo: church development, health, family counseling, the New Hope Community Center, mission education, and the Just Trade Center.
Miriam connects people and organizations across borders and serves as a liaison of Frontera de Cristo with the Center for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and Recuperation (CRREDA in Spanish), DouglaPrieta Trabaja and the Lirio de los Valles Presbyterian Church. She works with DouglaPrieta to help the rehabilitation centers and families of the church, community and schools grow their own food, increasing their nutrition possibilities and connection to God’s creation and one another.
Mexico has been described as a land of contrasts. Natural beauty and urban blight and poverty and affluence exist very close to each other. Yet most Mexicans have little chance of attaining an economically prosperous lifestyle. Many impoverished Mexicans come to the United States in search of better incomes. Death from thirst and heat exhaustion are not uncommon as migrants make their northbound trek, and more than 1 million are arrested each year for working in the United States without proper documentation. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been engaged in mission in Mexico since 1872. The PC(USA)’s joint ministry with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico along the border is a major focus of PC(USA) involvement in Mexico.
About Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar
Mark and Miriam met when Mark came to Agua Prieta to serve with Frontera de Cristo. After working for several years alongside her husband, Miriam was invited to serve as a mission co-worker under PC(USA) appointment in 2011.
Through Frontera de Cristo Mark brings together people from both sides of the border, building relationships and understanding between them. “I help them reflect biblically and theologically about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ,” he writes, “in light of our spiritual, social, political, and economic connectedness.” Together, Mark and Miriam continue a ministry of reconciliation, bringing people together around issues of migration and faith.
Mark looks back at a mission experience in 1994 as foundational for his present ministry. “I left South Carolina to live in Piedras Negras, Mexico,” he writes, “to be a mission volunteer at the border ministry site there. I was excited about developing close relationships with Mexican sisters and brothers. The way in which God worked in our lives to bind us together in real love amazed me. I had been proclaimed a child of the covenant at my baptism and was baptized into a community of believers. The reality of how grand this community is didn’t become clear to me until I lived and served with Uno En El Espiritu, a church in Piedras Negras, Mexico. I experienced the power of Jesus Christ to break down barriers that we humans erect. Language did not define our relationships, nor did nationality, ethnicity, or social class, for we are hermanos y hermanas en Cristo.”
Mark and Miriam’s commitment to reconciliation is evident both in their work with Frontera de Cristo and their everyday lives. One night when four families they invited for a dinner party didn’t show up, they took seriously Jesus’ teaching in the parable of the banquet. They carried the food to the highways and byways of Agua Prieta and fed 100 adults and children who had just been returned to Agua Prieta on a cold winter night by U.S. authorities. That experience was the genesis of a new ministry. “Now we are no longer on the streets but rather in a building and serve over 18,000 men women and children each year with 40 local volunteers as well as volunteers coming from different parts of Mexico, the United States, and the world,” Miriam says.
Mark was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament on August 23, 1998, in his home church, Clover Presbyterian Church in Clover, South Carolina. He is a minister member of the PC(USA)'s Presbytery de Cristo and is a fraternal member of the Presbytery of Chihuahua (National Presbyterian Church of Mexico).
After graduating from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, with a bachelor’s degree in history, Mark spent a year as a Volunteer in Mission with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) working with Proyecto Amistad in Piedras Negras, Mexico, and a year as a high school Spanish teacher with the Clover School District in Clover, South Carolina. He graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, with a Master of Divinity degree in 1998. During seminary he worked as an intern at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, as a temporary supply pastor at Beersheba and Ramah Presbyterian churches in York, South Carolina, and as a counselor in an after-school program for the city of Decatur Recreation Department in Georgia.
Miriam is from the southern Mexican state, Chiapas. She left her home at age 18 to work at the border in the U.S.–owned factories, helping to support her family. She is a member of the Presbyterian Lirio de los Valles congregation in Agua Prieta. She and Mark have been instrumental in the development of the ecumenical group called Healing Our Borders/Sanando Nuestras Fronteras, a group in which Frontera de Cristo is active. Miriam is passionate about permaculture and also enjoys preaching and leading workshops.
Mark and Miriam have three children: Cindy Yessenia, Anna Flor and Nathan.
Mark - June 7
Miriam - May 15