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Mission co-worker in Guatemala
Serving as a Young Adult Volunteer site coordinator and with
the Central American Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies
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Marcia will next be in the USA, based in Lancaster, PA, from June 15 to July 31, 2014. Email her or the Mission Connections office (Rachel.Anderson@pcusa.org) to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About Marcia Towers' ministry
Marcia was appointed as a mission co-worker in January 2004. She is site coordinator for the Young Adult Volunteer program, placing young adult volunteers in Guatemalan church communities. She also works with the Central American Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies (Cedepca). She does translation and research on Guatemala and gives workshops on various topics.
A growing area of Marcia’s work (since 2009) involves helping Cedepca’s ministry in situations of crisis. Since its conception Cedepca has responded in Guatemala and other parts of Central America after disasters. In 2009 Cedepca founded a more formal program that includes training for pastors and other leaders on disaster preparation and pastoral accompaniment in times of crisis. In a region that faces repeated threats of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, flooding, and drought as well as social and political crises, the hope is to minimize physical and emotional suffering by training more pastors and leaders that community members can turn to in tough times.
Guatemala, one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, is in a period of relative peace, following decades of turmoil, violence, and resistance.
Marcia is also assigned to the Central American Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies (Cedepca) to develop content for group visits. She is also involved in other areas of Cedepca's work such as developing informational documents and curriculum and translating.
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About Marcia Towers
Prior to her assignment in Guatemala, Marcia served six months at Puentes de Cristo, one of seven projects of the Presbyterian Border Ministries. There she coordinated visiting delegations that came to learn about border issues, such as immigration and maquiladoras. In 2000-2001 she spent a year in El Salvador as a participant in the PC(USA)’s Reconciliation and Mission Exchange Program. In 1999 she lived in Reynosa as a global intern with Puentes de Cristo.
Marcia's call to serve in Guatemala evolved from her experiences in the global South: “In Mexico and El Salvador I was able to catch a glimpse of the world from upside down, from the bottom looking up. I know youth whose advanced education seems futile because no jobs are available, agricultural workers who are leaving their farms even though they have no viable income alternative, and local groups that must face oppression in subtle and not-too-subtle ways for speaking out against injustices. In Bible studies with these Mexican and Salvadoran friends, lessons from the Bible come alive and provide hope for change in a world so filled with suffering and hopelessness. This perspective isn’t always available to those of us who don’t have to struggle to put food on the table every day. It’s impossible for me, having seen from this perspective, not to live differently, learn more, and teach others."
Marcia holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, and a master’s in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in which she focused on economic and social development.
Marcia is a member of Highland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Birthday: November 19