A Letter from Amanda Craft, Regional Liaison for Mexico and Guatemala
1. I have transitioned fully into my new mission co-worker assignment as Regional Liaison for Mexico and Guatemala as of January 2014. This new role focuses on administrative, supervisory, and partnership responsibilities. As a Regional Liaison, I will be the person who maintains ongoing contact, communication, and collaboration with the PC(USA) global partners in this region. Those partners are:
• National Evangelical Church of Guatemala (IENPG in Spanish). This will include ongoing work with the Presbyterian Women of the church but more indirectly since the majority of my time will be spent relating to the leadership of the church. Learn more.
•The Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America (CEDEPCA in Spanish). This is another partner in Guatemala. They focus on theological studies, gender justice with women, disaster ministries, and an intercultural encounters program (groups). Learn more.
•Presbyterian Border Region Outreach (PBRO)—this group was formerly known as Presbyterian Border Ministries. It focuses on relationships between PC(USA) presbyteries and presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church of Mexico located along the Mexico/U.S. border. There are six different sites located between eastern Texas and San Diego, Calif. Learn more
•Since the split with the Presbyterian Church of Mexico, the PC(USA) is exploring several other possibilities for partners in Mexico. Nothing official has been signed, but the PC(USA) is in conversation with the several other Protestant institutions in the region. As has been communicated with the Presbyterian Church of Mexico, the PC(USA) remains open to talking with them if they decide to renew their relationship.
2. My husband, Omar Chan, has recently been appointed to a new mission co-worker assignment. He assumed the responsibility of Facilitator for Border Ministries with the Presbyterian Border Region Outreach in January 2014. He was briefly working with me as Regional Liaison but found the PBRO work very interesting and decided to follow his call. He will be accompanying the different border ministry sites as they re-think their mission and ministries. Since he will need to be located along the border, we will be moving to the El Paso, Texas, area in June/July 2014.
3. Since I have moved into a new position, I have been assigned a new Extra Commitment Opportunity (ECO) number. For those of you who have been supporting me in my previous position and feel called to continue to support me (and Omar) in our new roles, you may give in two ways:
a. For churches—through our Designated Mission Support (DMS) account D507508.
b. For individuals—through our Extra Commitment Opportunity (ECO) account E200512. There is an option to give through my ECO account online.
4. PC(USA) World Mission has appointed a couple to continue the work with Presbyterian Women (Union Sinodica Femenil) of the Presbyterian Church of Guatemala—my previous position. Sandi Thompson-Royer will be serving the women’s organization and her husband Brian will be providing support to her and a few other possible projects. Learn more about them. They will be moving to Guatemala in May and will spend three months in language training. I will be assisting them and the women in this time of transition. Please be praying for us all!
5. We are in the midst of bittersweet moments in our lives. As we think about moving to El Paso, Texas, we are really excited about the possibilities. Alejandro, our oldest, will be entering kindergarten. We have found that most schools in this part of the country offer dual language programs—and are the leaders in this kind of education in the U.S. So this will be excellent as he continues with both English and Spanish. Our youngest, Matteo, will be turning 2 in September, so we are researching preschool possibilities for him. Again, we have found two wonderful possibilities at Presbyterian churches. One is Montessori-based and dual language. The other incorporates the arts into their program. We’ll need to decide soon as to which might be best. And we have lots of possibilities for a church family as well! We will, however, miss so much serving in Guatemala. This has been a great location for us to grow as a family. Life here is slower and focuses on the importance of maintaining relationships. We will miss the culture, the people, the deep commitment to faith, and the way of life. I will return for work, but those will only be for meetings. So, I ask for your prayers as we make this transition.
We sincerely thank you for your ongoing support, and are ever grateful that you choose to accompany us in such special and meaningful ways. We are uniquely privileged to experience the way God works in the world and touches the lives of so many. We invite you to continue to provide this support knowing that it allows these kinds of ministries to move and grow. If you are learning about this particular mission work for the first time, we invite you to come along and join us!
May God’s many blessings be with you as we celebrate the promises offered through Jesus’ resurrection, and may those promises fill you with hope for what’s possible.