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Mission Connections
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July - November 2013
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March 2013

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Rev. Janet Guyer

Mission co-worker in the Republic of South Africa 
Serving at the invitation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church
     of Southern Africa
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As of July 1, 2013, Janet Guyer has undertaken a new assignment as Regional Facilitator for Women's and Children's Interests in Anglophone (English-speaking) Africa.

About Janet Guyer's ministry

Janet Guyer began her current position as regional AIDS consultant for Southern Africa in May 2002. She works with partner churches in several countries, including Malawi, Zambia and South Africa, to broaden and deepen their response to the AIDS/HIV crisis.

Janet describes her work as being threefold
     • To represent the solidarity of the PC(USA) to its African partner churches as they struggle with responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis in their communities.

     • To give technical support to our partner churches in their HIV/AIDS ministries and projects.

     • To interpret for Presbyterian churches in the United States how the AIDS pandemic affects people and churches in Africa and how Americans can join with our African brothers and sisters in responding to this crisis.

Regional context
While Southern Africa is rich in mineral wealth and other natural resources, income from those assets are not enjoyed by the vast majority of the people. South Africa has by far the largest and most advanced economy in Southern Africa. Its per capita income and gross domestic product are many times larger than all other Southern African countries. PC(USA) partner churches in Southern Africa work to improve the economic plight of their people and tackle other challenges such as the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases of poverty.

About Janet Guyer
Perhaps no one was as surprised as Janet herself when, in mid-2001, she began to feel called to work in southern Africa, having spent most of her life in Thailand. She was born and raised there, the daughter of PC(USA) missionaries John and Betsy Guyer. She was even ordained there, in 1994, to the ministry of Word and Sacrament on behalf of Pittsburgh Presbytery, where she is a minister member.

Download a prayer card that lifts up Janet's work in Southern Africa

Watch a recent video in which Janet shares about her work in Anglophone (English-speaking) Africa.

Janet was a missionary-in-residence at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) national offices in Louisville, Kentucky, from January 2001 to January 2002. There she assisted the International Health Ministries Office in developing its AIDS Task Force.

Prior to her year in Louisville, Janet’s most recent appointment was as mission co-worker to the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), where she did development training and worked on the issues surrounding the AIDS/HIV epidemic. As a staff member of the Social Development and Service Department (SDSD), Janet worked to increase AIDS awareness, helped develop the church’s response to the AIDS crisis, assisted in creating a development training section and trained key personnel to lead AIDS projects and development training activities.

Her first appointment to serve in Thailand was in 1990, when she served as a staff member of Payap University’s Research and Social Development Department as part-time chaplain. She worked in community development in the villages of northern Thailand and counseled students at Payap University. There she got involved in a joint project between the SDSD and the Development and Service Division (DSD) of the Payap Research and Development Institute (PRDI). The two departments consolidated information obtained by rural development officers for use in training events. In addition Janet helped provide food and clothing to nearly 20 prisoners from several continents in the Chiang Mai Central Prison.

Janet earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in education from the University of Oregon. She later graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with an M.Div. degree and from the University of Pittsburgh with a master’s in social work. She was a student minister at East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. She also taught at the International School of Bangkok in Thailand and in the South Umpqua School District of Myrtle Creek, Oregon.

Birthday: March 10