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A Time of Transition

A Letter from Charles and Melissa Johnson, serving in Zambia

September 2020

Write to Charles Johnson
Write to Melissa Johnson

Individuals: Give to E200534 for Charles and Melissa Johnson’s sending and support

Congregations: Give to D507589 for Charles and Melissa Johnson’s sending and support

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)


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Dear friends,

As you are probably aware, much has taken place over the past six months both with regard to our work with our partner, CCAP Zambia, as well as personally. When we arrived in Atlanta in March, we both thought we’d be back in Lundazi by June or July — we couldn’t have been more wrong. As the days, weeks and months have passed, we, like many of you, have had to reevaluate the situation with regard to COVID-19.

Recently, Presbyterian World Mission extended a Voluntary Separation Package (VSP) to mission co-workers and other staff aged 63 and over. I received such an offer, but Melissa did not, as she’s several years younger than I am. We have been in discernment and prayer since early August as we tried to make a decision. Our driving vacation to Montana in August came at a good time as it allowed us an opportunity to spend time together discussing the retirement offer and do some fly fishing, too.

It is with mixed emotions that I have accepted the VSP and will retire effective September 17, 2020. Although I will be retiring, we have decided that Melissa will continue to serve in her position as the CCAP Zambia Health Department Health Education Program Facilitator. For the foreseeable future she will conduct her work remotely from Atlanta. When we are allowed to return to Zambia for her work, we will return to Lundazi together. I will do my best to support Melissa and her work as we continue on our journey.

Over the past twenty years God has led us down a beautiful path as we answered a call to mission. This call ultimately led us to Zambia to work in partnership with CCAP. I will be forever grateful for the many friends I’ve made in Vietnam, Peru, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. In particular, we’ve been blessed by the many people we’ve lived and worked with in Zambia since our arrival in 2016.

We have also been extremely fortunate to make many friends within Presbyterian World Mission. I especially want to thank all of those who have provided their prayers, love, leadership and support.

Finally, I want to thank you, our supporters and partners, for your love, prayers and financial support of the past five years. It has been a great pleasure to meet and get to know you. Although I’ll be retiring, please continue to support Melissa and her work with the CCAP Zambia Health Department. In addition, please keep both of us and Presbyterian World Mission in your prayers as we go through this time of transition. We will continue to pray for you, too.

Please join us for a Zoom meeting on September 30, 2020 at 7:30 EST so we can celebrate my ministry together. Here is the link you need to register.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

God be with each and every one of you. Taonga chomene (thank you very much).


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