Letters from Doug Orbaker
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Rev. Doug Orbaker
Mission co-worker in Nicaragua
Serving with the Council of Evangelical. Churches in Nicaragua
About Doug Orbaker's ministry
Doug was appointed in January 2004 to serve in Nicaragua with CEPAD, the Council of Evangelical Churches in Nicaragua. As delegations coordinator, Doug develops the programs carried out by the many “mission teams” that go to Nicaragua to work with and learn from Nicaraguans.
About Doug Orbaker
Since he first began to organize and lead groups to Central America after Hurricane Mitch in October 1998, Doug saw that short-term service wasn’t primarily about getting things accomplished. “I tried to develop these groups not just to work,” he writes, “but to learn of the cultures and histories that have created such poverty, and to live in friendship with the people with whom we work. These experiences of different culture and language have always been a source of joy for me.
“The only thing of which I am certain is that God is calling me to service in Latin America. I believe we most often feel God at work through the words and deeds of other people. I have felt God’s love in the way that the Christians in Nicaragua and Honduras have overridden their fears to respond to the disaster created by Hurricane Mitch. I have heard God speak in the testimonies of faith of people whose lives have been stripped of everything except their faith, and in the voice of those who have risked their lives for their freedom.”
Download a prayer card that lifts up Doug's work in Nicaragua
Except for the period from 1989 to 1994 when he was synod associate in the Synod of the Covenant, Doug has served the church as a pastor throughout his career. Immediately prior to his appointment as a mission co-worker, he was pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Coudersport, Pennsylvania (1995–2003). He was pastor of Cranston Memorial Presbyterian Church in New Richmond, Ohio, from 1972 to 1989 and pastor of Condit United Presbyterian Church in Sunbury, Ohio, from 1968 to 1972.
Doug holds a Doctor of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, a Master of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and a bachelor’s in sociology from Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania.
Doug was ordained in Geneva Presbyterian in 1968, and he has been a minister member of the Presbytery of North Umberland since 1995. He is accompanied in Nicaragua by his wife, Penn Garvin.
Birthday: July 11