Presbyterian World Mission works in partnership with the Council of Evangelical Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), which promotes justice and peace to help economically impoverished communities. Groups from the United States visit Nicaragua frequently to participate in the ministries of CEPAD. Our mission co-workers in Nicaragua receive visiting groups, coordinate activities to reflect the priorities of CEPAD, set up in-country logistics, plan the educational program with delegation leaders, and lead reflections with people who visit. They also will facilitate partnership relationships between US churches and Nicaraguan churches and institutions.
Our mission co-workers in Nicaragua are Renee and Justin Sundberg, who are living in Nicaragua with their four children. Prior to moving to Nicaragua, the Sundbergs lived in Seattle. They are both graduates of Princeton Theological Seminary.
In July 2005, Tracey King came under appointment for the third time as a PC(USA) mission worker, this time to serve as regional liaison for Central America. In her new role, Tracey helps create better communication between World Mission, mission personnel, partner churches and PC(USA) congregations interested in ministry in Central America. She has a special focus on programs of reconciliation and peacemaking.
Tracey is based in Managua, Nicaragua, but travels frequently throughout all five Central America countries in which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has denominational partners: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Carlos Cardenas was appointed in January 2006 to serve in development and disaster relief. He is based in Managua, Nicaragua, but is available to travel throughout Central America in the event of natural disaster.
When not involved directly in disaster relief, Carlos works with CEPAD, the Council of Evangelical Churches of Nicaragua, which works in poor communities throughout Nicaragua by means of development programs and emergency relief. Carlos trains community leaders involved in local development projects and helps build skills of CEPAD staff. He also assists CEPAD in market development and food security initiatives.
Presbyterian World Mission works in partnership with CEPAD, the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua. This organization is composed of 70 denominations and churches in Nicaragua, focusing work on helping communities and individuals to be the principal actors in their own development.
CEPAD was founded in December 1972, just days after a strong earthquake destroyed Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, by Dr. Gustavo Parajon, a practicing medical doctor who called people to gather together in service to help the victims of the earthquake. Now, 40 years later, while the needs have changed over the decades CEPAD continues to be one of the strongest organizations working for the development of rural communities in Nicaragua.
As an expression of its support for education, the PC(USA) relates to the Baptist Seminary, the Politechnical University of Nicaragua, and the Evangelical Faculty of Theological Studies (FEET). These three institutions provide Nicaraguan Christians with theological education as well as basic high school and university courses.
FEET is a project of the Interchurch Center for Theological and Social Studies (CIEETS), which does research on the development of the evangelical church in Nicaragua and also carries out community development projects in the countryside. Through the efforts of FEET the Evangelical University of Nicaragua (UENIC) has been established.
For more on CEPAD, visit their web site, http://cepadnica.org/