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Rev. Jed Koball
Mission co-worker in Peru
Serving as the Presbyterian Hunger Program's
Joining Hands in Peru facilitator and site coordinators
for the Young Adult Volunteers program in Peru
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Jed and Jenny return to the USA each March/April. Email them to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About Jed Koball's ministry
Jed began his service as a mission co-worker in January 2009, when he was appointed companionship facilitator for the Joining Hands (JH) network in Peru. He is accompanied by his wife, Jenny Valles.
Joining Hands is an initiative of the Presbyterian Hunger Program that fights the root causes of hunger by sparking the formation of networks in developing countries. These networks lead the struggle against hunger at a local level while working with PC(USA) presbyteries and congregations to address global hunger issues.
The Peruvian JH network, which is called “Red Uniendo Manos Peru” (the Peru Joining Hands network), is comprised of secular NGOs, such as human rights groups, church-related NGOs, and churches.
Jed’s responsibilities are to assist Uniendo Manos in carrying out its core program and developing its response to the main issues that the network itself has identified as its primary concerns. Jed acts as a link between PC(USA) congregations and Uniendo Manos.
Peru was home to several Andean civilizations, including the Inca Empire, which was conquered in 1533 by Spain. Due to the vast territory and gold and silver production, Peru was by far the most important colony held by Spain. Peru declared its independence in 1821 and, with the help of General San Martín of Argentina and Simón Bolívar of Venezuela, the Spanish were defeated in 1824. Most Peruvians have not benefited from the nation’s abundant natural resources. The majority of the wealth is controlled by a small group of people of Spanish descent. Millions of people in the indigenous population live in poverty. Presbyterian missionaries from the United States and Scotland were first sent to Peru in the early 1900s. The PC(USA) works in partnership with the church that resulted from those early missionary efforts, the Evangelical Presbyterian and Reformed Church in Peru. The PC(USA)’s major involvement in Peru is through the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Joining Hands initiative.
About Jed Koball
Jed’s service in Peru is not his first appointment as a PC(USA) mission worker. He served as a Young Adult Volunteer in the Philippines in 1996–1997. This was a transformative period in Jed’s life. Under the mentorship of PC(USA) mission co-worker Cobbie Palm, Jed learned to find his role in the collective response of the church to issues of systemic oppression. Inspired by the faith and struggle of his Filipino friends, it was here that Jed first heard the call to long-term mission service.
Immediately prior to his appointment as a mission co-worker—beginning in September 2006—Jed was interim associate pastor at Larchmont Presbyterian Church in Larchmont, New York. Jed had previously served at Larchmont as associate pastor from August 2000 to December 2002. His duties included preaching, pastoral care, mission outreach and youth programming.
For the four years prior to this (January 2003 to August 2006), Jed worked in Nicaragua with Bridges to Community, a not-for-profit community development organization. As site and country coordinator, Jed managed and mentored a binational and multilingual staff, had budget oversight, and planned organizational development. At the heart of his work was helping Nicaraguan community leaders define their priorities and implement projects. He also facilitated the visits of groups of volunteers from North America.
Jed holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina, and a master’s in theology from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.
Jed is a minister member of Hudson River Presbytery. He was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament on October 29, 2000.
Not long after arriving to Peru in 2009, Jed met his wife, Jenny. Originally from the high jungle town of Moyobamba, Peru, Jenny moved to Lima in 1998 to pursue her studies in business administration. She later served the Red Uniendo Manos Peru for nine years as the office administrator. Today, together with Jed, she is coordinating the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program in Peru.
Jed and Jenny were married on October 9, 2010, in Moyobamba in the presence of their families and many friends in a ceremony officiated by mission co-worker Rev. Harry Horne.
Jed and Jenny live in the Magdalena del Mar neighborhood of Lima.
Jed – May 12
Jenny – February 15
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We are praying for you and all the volunteers--thanks be to God for your safety and your witness! "I have said this to you so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!" (John 16:33)