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Jeff and Christi Boyd

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Mission co-workers based in the Democratic Republic of Congo serving as Regional Liaison (Jeff) and Regional Facilitator for Women’s and Children’s Interests (Christi).

Contact: Christi Boyd (christi.boyd@pcusa.org)

Contact: Jeff Boyd (jeff.boyd@pcusa.org)

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Christi and Jeff occasionally return to the U.S. and are available to visit congregations. Email them to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.

About Christi and Jeff Boyd’s ministry

As regional liaison for Central Africa, Jeff Boyd facilitates support for the relationships and programs of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. He also mentors PC(USA) mission personnel and resources PC(USA) congregations that want to be involved in ministry with partner churches in the region. Besides the Congo, Christi works in Madagascar, Niger, Rwanda, and South Sudan. She accompanies global partners as they seek to remedy the marginalization of women and children in their communities and engages with Presbyterians in the US who wish to come alongside and promote those efforts.

Regional Context

Most of the countries where Jeff and Christi work are rich in natural resources, but only a small and powerful segment of the population benefits from the revenues they produce. In fact, poverty is rampant, educational access is limited, and disease is widespread. With little to no alternatives, the economic and sexual exploitation of women and children is all too common. Besides, the wealth created by the abundant natural resources often fuels regional conflicts that exacerbate their vulnerability to cultural and gender-based violence. The PC(USA) works with partners in all seven countries to address these challenges. Congo, Cameroon, Rwanda, South Sudan and Madagascar have large and growing Presbyterian/Reformed churches. The Reformed presence is much smaller in Equatorial Guinea, which is predominately Roman Catholic, and Niger, which is mostly Muslim.

About Christi and Jeff Boyd

In the Congolese city of Mbuji Mayi, parents proudly send their daughters to a new Presbyterian all-girls model school that was established in 2019 thanks to joint Presbyterian efforts brought together with the help of Jeff Boyd. In an all-girls educational setting, girls have proven to better thrive and excel as they are not held back by boys’ intimidation and the cultural norm that girls may not out-perform their male peers.

With about 1000 schools run by two Presbyterian denominations in Congo, education is a high priority of our Congolese partners. PC(USA) congregations across the United States are bundling their efforts in support of these educational ministries through the Congo Education Excellence Program (CEEP) that rallies to ensure quality education for Congo’s future generations. Following our partners’ strategic plan, the congregations help support school construction, in-service teacher training, pedagogical resources, and transport for supervisors.

Jeff, a former math teacher, brings to his duties as regional liaison more than three decades of experience as an educator and mission worker in Pakistan and different countries in Africa. Jeff says his agenda is guided by “what the local partner is already doing or is committed to do.”

Though trained as a physical therapist, Christi has longstanding experience bringing people together to address root causes of hunger and poverty. Having completed thirteen years as facilitator for the Joining Hands Initiative of the Presbyterian Hunger Program with partners in Cameroon, she has particular expertise in building bridges of solidarity that connect people to tackle problems from the local context to the globalized world. Across the African continent, the well-being of women and children is compromised —and authentic Christian witness undermined—by customary practices, inadequate laws and economic exploitation that deprive them of their rightful opportunities.

Christi fosters collaborative ministries that transform church and society. From faith-based trauma healing ministries in Congo to a trafficking prevention campaign in Madagascar, she comes alongside partners and their communities who take on issues that perpetuate hardship for women and children, like Mbombo. Fleeing a violent conflict in the Kasai, Congo, Mbombo not only lost sight of her parents and siblings but was raped by a militia member who fathered her child. In despair, Mbombo had made a plan to end her life and that of her son the day that she met and confided in Marie. When Marie, who had been trained as a facilitator for trauma healing by the Protestant Council of Churches in Congo, invited Mbombo to the Healing Hearts group she accompanied at the time, Mbombo’s life took a turn. A year later, Mbombo told Christi “I felt that, even if I have been raped, and even if I’m pregnant, I have value in God’s eyes. I was very glad about all the lessons. Because if it hadn’t been for these lessons, I would have lost my live. What gives me hope is that through these lessons, I have regained my confidence and hope towards God. And I have gotten a different perspective on my life.”

“Through the words of Jesus and the prophets, God consistently defends the causes of the poor, vulnerable and oppressed,” Christi said. “The Scriptures call us to follow in their footsteps.”

In her role, Christi helps bring together U.S. Presbyterians and African partners in response to Christ’s call in Matthew 25 to work on behalf of the ignored and overlooked who are members of His family, so as to do it to Christ Him-self.

For Christi, her efforts on behalf of the marginalized are rooted firmly in her faith. “Through the words of Jesus and the prophets, God consistently defends the cause of the poor, vulnerable, and oppressed,” she says. “The Scriptures call us to follow in their footsteps.”

Since arriving in Africa in 1990, the Boyds have lived in Tanzania, Cameroon and are now in Congo for the second time. As Christi puts it, “We discerned that the Author of all good things indeed had not yet finished the Congo chapter of our life in mission service.” Jeff and Christi feel a strong call to serve in Africa. “We feel this is where God wants us at this time,” Jeff says. “Christi and I are both constantly challenged in our work. There remains so much to learn and work on.”

Jeff, a native of California, holds a B.A. degree from Whitworth College and an M.A. degree from California State University. Christi earned her physical therapy degree from Academie voor Fysiotherapie in Groningen, The Netherlands, where she grew up.

They are members of Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church in Louisville KY and are the parents of three grown children, Matthias, Salome, and Naomi.

VIDEOS
Community-based Ministries of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan
Women Feeding the Nation: An agricultural project in South Sudan
Presbyterian Education Complex of Pochella, South Sudan
Mining for Gold: Challenges to education, health and food security in South Sudan
A school demonstration farm in South Sudan

Birthdays:
Christi – September 4
Jeff – April 9