Mission Matters: CEDEPCA
Caring for God's Creation
As we accept God’s call to end violence against women and children around the world, we must ensure that we and those we walk with are equipped and empowered to transform communities. One way this is possible is through Presbyterian World Mission’s longtime partnerships.
In Central America, that means working closely with the Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America, more commonly referred to as CEDEPCA.
The organization offers families tools to eradicate violence and injustice against those who were once silenced by their pain and suffering. Women are empowered through CEDEPCA's Women's Pastoral Program. They organize in small groups, using workbook with titles like "Ser Mujer...es Maravilloso" (Being a Woman...is Wonderful).
“They use bible studies to discover that as women, as God's creation, they have value and deserve to be treated with love and respect,” Tracey King-Ortega, mission co-worker in Nicaragua, said about CEDEPCA. “For the women, many of whom are victims of domestic violence, this is an eye-opening and transformative study.”
CEDEPCA’s staff accompany the women's groups in this process because of the emotional difficulty the material can bring up. As Tracey explains, “it’s not always easy, but it can be very empowering.”
The group also provides what it calls “safe, accepting, creative spaces” where women and men from many different Christian traditions can deepen their faith. In that space, they are to strengthen their ability to confront the key issues facing their communities and become “thoughtful, compassionate disciples of Jesus Christ.”
U.S. Christians are among those disciples. CEDEPCA has close ties with presbyteries and Presbyterian congregations across the United States. Through the Intercultural Encounters program, facilitated by mission co-worker Rev. Leslie Vogel, CEDEPCA’s staff minister to U.S. Christians, opening their eyes to other realities and deepening their understanding of how God is working in the world.
In addition to the Intercultural Encounters Program, CEDEPCA offers training in pastoral, biblical, and theological studies and, in a fairly new program, provides ministry in times of disaster.
Developed with the help of PC(USA) mission co-worker Marcia Towers and through financial support from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, this program focuses on giving people the tools to recover from the emotional effects disasters can have. It also helps to build resiliency and a sense of community when facing crisis.
We’ve only touched the surface of how CEDEPCA and Presbyterians are working together to transform lives with love, faith, and kindness. Support our work with this vital partner whose staff demonstrates daily that the world is big enough to include all God’s children and for us to care for all of God’s creation. Support our mission co-workers and the families of Central America through prayer and your financial gifts.