Email: Beverley Booth
Beverley Booth completed her mission service with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on June 30, 2009. She is available to speak as her schedule permits. Email her to invite herto visit you congregation or organization.
Beverley Booth has been a mission co-worker with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) since 1984. Since May 2000, Beverley has been serving in Nepal with the United Mission to Nepal, where she is the director of policy and strategy.
Founded almost 50 years ago, UMN is a Christian development organization that is a witness to people of various faiths working together. Of the 150 staff of UMN, about 10 percent are expatriates, sent from various Christian denominations (including Roman Catholic) throughout the world. The majority of the Nepali staff are Hindus and Buddhists — less than 10 percent are Christian (less than 3 percent of all Nepalis are Christian).
From 1985 to 1998, Beverley served in India. A medical doctor, she served at Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, until 1992 and then served as a health consultant to Christian health organizations while based in Delhi until 1998. In 1998, when the Indian government would not renew her missionary visa, Beverley had to leave India in the middle of her term of service.
UMN works to strengthen the organizational and technical capacity of Nepali organizations that work to improve the lives of the poor and marginalized — NGOs, government schools, hospitals and companies.
In her role as director of policy and strategy, Beverley has helped the UMN work through a strategic change process. “UMN used to be primarily an implementing organization,” she writes, “which carried out a phenomenal amount of work in Nepal. Now we are an organization that facilitates Nepali organizations in the work that they do. When UMN started, there were no schools or hospitals, and very few educated Nepalis, so UMN implemented and ran its own projects and institutions. But over the years, UMN has been more and more involved in facilitating Nepali organizations. It’s time to do that full-time.
“It is a challenging time in Nepal, as Nepal struggles with an insurgency and fragile peace process. The government is weak, and the political situation is near total anarchy. There is the breakdown of infrastructure, which has greatly increased the needs of the people.”
Bev’s focus is in the areas of food security, women’s and children’s issues, primary education, peace and conflict transformation, relief, HIV/AIDS, and enterprise support. “UMN has extensive experience in all these areas,” writes Beverley, “having worked for decades at the grassroots level. It is trusted by the government and also by the Nepalis. It will now be an organization that focuses on helping Nepali organizations do their jobs better.”
Beverley’s 14 years of experience in India, during which the era of Western missionaries ebbed and came to an end, has given her a unique and useful perspective in Nepal, where Western missionaries are still relatively plentiful. But Beverley thinks that their days are numbered. “Although leaving India so suddenly was difficult,” says Beverley, “it is now clear that God had a plan to use me in Nepal. Someone with my experience can be very useful for UMN at this time. Missionaries who have only worked in Nepal don’t have the perspective I learned in India. They don’t see the ‘writing on the wall’ so clearly. They don’t see that it is time to prepare for their exit.”
A native of New Jersey, Beverley earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry cum laude from Beaver College in Glenside, Pennsylvania, and received her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. She is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology by the American Academy of Pediatrics. After her first term as a missionary in India, she earned a master’s degree in public health from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Beverley is a member of Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, California.
Birthday: May 22