Read letters from Cindy Easterday
Email: Cindy Easterday
After more than 10 years of service in South Africa and Lesotho, Cindy ended mission service with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2008. She is available to speak when her schedule permits. Email her to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
Cindy Easterday began her current appointment in August 2005 with the Joining Hands (JH) network in Lesotho. From 1998 to July 2005, Cindy worked in neighboring South Africa with African Enterprise and Tabitha Ministries.
The name of the JH network in Lesotho is “Kopano ke Matla Toantsong ea Bofuma Lesotho,” which means “unity is strength in our fight against hunger.” It is comprised of churches, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) from throughout Lesotho.
The network’s main purpose is to support dialogue and action among member organizations about the root causes of poverty and hunger. The network devises strategies to address hunger issues primarily through local government structures and encourages people to work together. They hope that successful initiatives on a local level will influence national policies and bring more social and economic justice to the people of Lesotho. The network’s website has further details.
Joining Hands is not an aid- or project-based program, but is based on a model of partnership, in this case a partnership between the Lesotho JH network and the Presbytery of Los Ranchos in Los Angeles, California. The relationship is grounded on mutual respect and mutual education. Both partners work to raise international awareness on issues of hunger, poverty and justice. PC(USA)’s Joining Hands website has further details.
Prior to taking up her new position in Lesotho, Cindy was appointed to serve with African Enterprise and Tabitha Ministries in South Africa. With Tabitha, a local HIV/AIDS response ministry, Cindy’s primary task was to equip pastors and church leaders to respond “as Jesus would” to those infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The network’s main purpose is to support dialogue about the root causes of poverty and hunger within the member organizations and the communities they serve. Member organizations encourage people to work together to devise strategies to address hunger issues through local government structures. They hope that successful initiatives on a local level will influence national policies and bring more social and economic justice to the people of Lesotho. The network’s website has further details.
Cindy was also involved in an initiative that sprang from her local church in Pietermaritzburg. There, the church worked with local women caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in their community. The church contributed resources to refurbish buildings and buy other necessities, while the women of the community ran the center. Through this effort many children received protective, loving care while being prepared for formal schooling.
Cindy’s first appointment as a mission co-worker was in 1998 when she served in South Africa with African Enterprise, an interdenominational ministry whose mission is to “evangelize the cities of Africa through word and deed in partnership with the Church.” Cindy worked with founder Michael Cassidy in his various speaking, teaching, preaching and writing opportunities, both within South Africa and internationally.
Prior to her appointment with the PC(USA) — ;from 1994 to 1997 — Cindy worked with African Enterprise as a volunteer, providing administrative and communications support to the teams in Malawi and South Africa.
Cindy first became involved in mission through urban ministry outreaches in her church in Los Angeles. Her participation in a short-term mission trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, with Operation Carelift sparked her interest in full-time mission work. This followed a conversion experience in 1988 that Cindy says, “radically changed my life. I knew at that moment, beyond any doubt, that Jesus truly was who he’d said he was, and I knew my life would never be the same.” In 1994 she left her job in human resource management in the electronics industry in Irvine, California, to begin her mission career in South Africa, arriving just after their first free democratic election in which Nelson Mandela was elected president.
Having grown up in the Sacramento area, Cindy attended the University of California at Davis, settling in the San Francisco area for several years before moving to the greater Los Angeles area. Her home church is Fair Oaks Presbyterian in Fair Oaks, California, the church she attended in her early years with her family.
Birthday: January 31