A monthly update from Hunter Farrell, director of World Mission, on the impact of Presbyterian mission in the world and the issues that affect mission co-workers, the people we walk with and assist in service to God, and our partners around the globe.
Mission Co-workers Need Your Prayers and Financial Support
Usually, this column tries to lift up the need of one of our global church partners or an insight into what I perceive God is doing in the world. Today, I am writing you urgently to ask for your help.
For years, our church has relied on the gifts of previous generations of Presbyterians (in the form of endowments) and the tithes and offerings from every congregation (unrestricted giving) to send and support our mission workers. These two traditional sources have shrunk perilously in recent years: next year, endowments and unrestricted giving will only cover 17 percent of the support costs of our current 160 mission workers. World Mission must raise the rest directly from congregations and individuals. But due to shortfalls in contributions in 2013 and 2014, we are facing the prospect of having to recall up to 45 mission workers over the next two years.
For 178 years, God has used our church powerfully to change lives worldwide:
- More than 94 million Christians around the world have come to faith in Christ through the witness of churches founded or co-founded by Presbyterian mission workers. Our partner church in Korea has 10 million members; our partner in Ethiopia, 7 million; in the Congo, 2 million.
- Our missionaries pioneered public education for women in the Middle East and East Asia and other regions as well.
- We founded the largest Protestant seminary (Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo) and the largest Protestant church (Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt) in the Middle East, which recently have experienced renewal and new growth.
- Building on our fruitful partnership with Presbyterian Women, we planted and nurtured the institutions that have grown into “the No. 1 private hospital in Japan” (Yodogawa Christian Hospital), the largest local non-governmental organization in the Middle East (CEOSS of Egypt), one of the best functioning hospitals in one of the poorest nations in the world (Good Shepherd Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), and colleges and universities across the world.
- Our missionaries helped to end the human rights abuses associated with the rubber trade in the Congo in the 1890s, apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s, and Nestlé corporate practices that decreased infant mortality in countries where we were working in the 1980s.
- We (painstakingly!) learned local languages and worked with local Christians to translate the Bible into dozens of local languages: we just recently completed the Anuak (western Ethiopia) Bible translation and last year celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Van Dyck Arabic language Bible translation in Cairo.
- We educated millions of children around the world by building schools and training teachers.
But, as Reformed Christians, we recognize that, although you and I may have planted and our partner churches may have watered, “it was God who gave the growth” (I Corinthians 3:6-9). So we give thanks to God for God’s gracious actions in us and through us into the world! Today, we at Presbyterian World Mission are convinced that God is not yet finished with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The same God who breathed life into a valley full of dry bones (Ezekiel 37) is longing to do a new thing among us (Isaiah 43:19)—can we not perceive it?
A letter was recently published by 22 former moderators of our church’s General Assembly calling for fervent prayer and sacrificial giving across the church in order to keep our mission workers in their countries of service. Would you be willing to join them and many others in prayer?
In addition to your prayers, we need your financial gift. Individuals and congregations can support mission co-workers by sending gifts to Presbyterian World Mission, P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. On the check’s memo line, please write E132192. Online gifts can be made at: www.presbyterianmission.org/give.
I hope you’ll consider this urgent request to help us preserve and advance the 178-year legacy of our church. Thank you for your prayers and support.
With you in Christ,
Director, World Mission
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Mission Matters Archives
December 2014 - A Harvest Beyond Our Wildest Dreams
November 2014 - Both Bricks and Mortar
October 2014 - Binding Threads
July 2014 - Abound in Hope: the 221st General Assembly (2014)
May 2014 - Training Leaders for Community Transformation
April 2014 - Ending Violence against Women and Children
March 2014 - 3 Critical Global Issues—#1: Quality education for 1 million children by 2020
February 2014 - CEDEPCA: Caring for God's Creation
January 2014 - Young Adult Volunteers: New YAV Sites Opening
December 2013 - We are truly better together
November 2013 - South Sudanese: Displaced by violence
October 2013 - Haiti: the Presbyterian Church is here to stay
We love to hear ways to engage more young people in mission as a way to draw them closer to the church. they really do seem to have to have something meaningful to do. They do not come to church if there is nothing for them to do. Thanks for your great work.
thanks Hunter for great message!
Thank you my dear Brother for the Work you and the World Mission Board are doing. May the Lord continue to open many new doors for Us. Amen.