A letter from Cathy Chang and Juan Carlos Lopez Carrasco preparing for service in the Philippines
September 1, 2015
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Dear Family and Friends;
Greetings to you from Midland, Michigan!
This fall we will begin service as international mission co-workers through the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Cathy has been appointed as the Regional Facilitator for Addressing Migration and Human Trafficking, based in Manila, Philippines.
This call to international mission service brought us together when we were both serving in mission in Cairo, Egypt. Similar to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, both of our family stories included forced migration, internal displacement, and exile. Together we prayed that God might bring our dreams of serving as mission workers into reality, although seminary, work and a long engagement included steps along the way. Our work and service in Michigan, along with our family stories, have helped us to prepare for international mission service. Cathy has been serving as associate pastor of The Bertha E. R. Strosacker Memorial Presbyterian Church. Juan has been serving as site supervisor for school-based programs with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region and volunteering actively with the high school youth at church. As parents to an active 3-year old daughter, Aurélie, we continue to bring the best of ourselves and our cultures to raising her as a whole person.
Now God is calling our family to engage with individuals and families who are impacted by migration and human trafficking. Affirming the God who called Abram and commanded him to leave his home, we desire to serve as a channel of blessing to the families of the earth (Genesis 12). Through this ministry, it is our prayer that we will proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, address the root causes of poverty, and engage in reconciliation amidst cultures of violence.
We invite you to prayerfully consider joining us, through your prayers and financial contributions, in carrying out God’s mission in the Philippines. From November through January 20, we will visit churches, presbyteries and other groups to share the stories of our call and the work of the global partners in the Philippines and throughout Asia. We would like to schedule a time to visit with you before moving to the Philippines. Please send us your mailing address and preferred email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you!
During this time of itineration we will receive a salary, so we are not expecting an honorarium. As a hosting congregation, however, you are generally responsible for travel and meals and lodging. We are also available for homestays. Two or more congregations can share travel expenses, and in some cases World Mission is available to provide assistance.
As we move forward in this new call, we are grateful to God for your support throughout our individual lives and our life together as a family in mission. We look forward to sharing in this journey together, especially as we stay in touch through letters, a forthcoming blog, and other ways. We look forward to serving together as mission co-workers in the United States and throughout Asia to fulfill God’s mission.
Christ’s grace and peace to you,
Rev. Catherine Chang and Juan Carlos Lopez Carrasco
The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, Philippines, p. 249-250
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