About José’s ministry: In a country in which the PC(USA) church partners have a long-standing commitment to transforming lives through education, José will assist the CPK education department in the development, support and implementation of strategic plans to expand and strengthen the churches’ primary and secondary education programs. This work will involve walking with our partner and learning from their experience and context in order to engage them purposefully in locally sustainable initiatives that will move their educational ministries towards excellence. These initiatives will include building their capacities in infrastructure, teacher skills and training, administration and community involvement.
José work closely with PC(USA) mission initiators engaged in this work, seek to facilitate their active involvement with the CPK in achieving the CPK goals for education excellence, help make connections with NGOs working in related fields and seek to assist the CPK in its education work through collaboration with the RL for Central Africa.
His essential position tasks and responsibilities will include facilitating new visioning and goals for the churches in education, enabling adequate links for training of staff and infrastructure and equipment/supplies needs, offering a positive presence of the PC(USA) participating in the church life of the CPK developing decision-making skills in education leadership, conveying understanding of the importance of regular communication with PC(USA) partners, accommodating capacity building for locally sustainable initiatives, identifying discipleship opportunities for PC(USA) partners, establishing criteria for measuring progress with the CPK, working collaboratively and as a team with CPK partners, the PC(USA) congregations and Congo Mission Network
Country Context: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a country roughly one-quarter the size of the United States. It is a land that has been ravaged by conflict. The havoc wrought by 40 years of dictatorship under Mobutu followed by multiple wars and continued fighting by pockets of militia have kept this resource-rich country from developing its potential. The majority of DR Congo’s people struggle daily for survival. Despite these circumstances, the church in the DRC continues to witness to the good news of God’s word through their multifold ministries.
About José: José writes, “I am from a family of preachers, ministers, and people active in churches of various denominations. From a very young age, I have sensed a call to go out and share Christ’s love in the world, not as a minister, but in a support role, to end human suffering and build up the body of Christ. The invitation to serve as an educator and an educational program specialist in the Democratic Republic of Congo is an answer to all my prayers. While in Kinshasa, I will support our partners of the church schools of the Presbyterian Church of Kinshasa with teacher training, program evaluation, and implementation. The goal is for me to serve as a bridge for mutual learning and connection. I believe that all people have the same needs to love, be loved, and occupy themselves with something significant to themselves or society. My love of people and sharing Christ’s love has been very helpful to me in engaging families and communities in the educational process and for advocating for their children and their communities.”
José heard the call to be a bridge-builder while he served in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic context. He has lived out his professional life in underserved communities as a teacher and as someone who has supported broad educational endeavors. Most recently, he has served as the Coordinator of the Hispanic Ministry of the College Hill Community Church in Dayton, Ohio.
The call to serve in the Congo has a vital connection for José, who reflects, “Many of the enslaved Africans of the United States came from the Congo. As an African American, the opportunity to engage with the culture and peoples of the “motherland” is exciting. It is an opportunity to learn about a part of my heritage that has not been fully captured in the narrative presented here in the United States.”
José continues, “I pray that my service will help develop, empower, and liberate all Congolese generations as they fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. I pray that God will give me eyes to see opportunities and ways to overcome barriers, hands that are strong enough to break down walls to build sustainable and equitable structures, feet to walk paths that take our cooperation far and wide, a mouth from which wisdom and truth flow and, most importantly, ears to listen and understand. I pray that my service will help develop, empower, and liberate all Congolese generations as they fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. I go as a living testimony riding on the shoulders of the witness of the saints who came before me, with the Lord and Holy Spirit as my guide.”
Jose’s family is extremely important to him and he is grateful that his wife Evelin will be accompanying and supporting him in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Position Start Date: February 2020