A Letter from Betsey and Eric Moe, preparing to serve in Guatemala
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Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery) Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)
As a child, I visited my grandparents’ house at least once a week. In fact, my middle school was located right across the street from their house, so on many days I would walk over after school, help myself to a cookie from the Tupperware on top of the fridge, and sit myself down on their couch, or “davenport,” as they called it. I remember telling them every detail about my day, from the book I was reading in English to the boy I wanted to ask to the dance. They told me about the mundane but interesting things in their lives, too – faucets fixed, peaches canned, church friends who had stopped by. When I visited them, I felt known and loved – which is just what this awkward 13-year-old needed. My adult self now imagines the delight they experienced in these visits as well.
Eric and I recently made a special visit – to our new friends and colleagues in Guatemala. We decided that after all this time of waiting and wondering, the time had come to make an exploratory visit to the country we would soon call home. I cannot describe the joy we felt when we stepped into the CEDEPCA office and saw 20 fellow staff members we had only previously talked to on Zoom. There at the office, we enjoyed a hybrid Enneagram retreat with the CEDEPCA staff and a group from the Baltimore Presbytery, then we shared a delicious chicken lunch.
Visiting together is how we live out the mutuality we were created to experience. Visiting is how we see one another and validate one another’s experience. During this time of year, I think of Mary and Elizabeth at the beginning of the gospel of Luke – two pregnant women unsure about what the future held coming together for mutual encouragement. There was no miraculous healing or feeding in this story; it was just a visit. Yet, in this encounter, the kin-dom of God became real for them and set the stage for the reconciling, bridge-building work that Jesus came to do.
These are the kinds of encounters we cannot wait to facilitate on the Intercultural Encounters team at CEDEPCA. Encounters in which people can look into each other’s eyes and really hear each other’s stories. In the coming year, we expect to start welcoming in-person groups to Guatemala once again. We expect it will be slow at first, as people gain confidence in traveling under stricter protocols. We do hope that if you are a part of a church, presbytery, community or university group looking to come to Guatemala, you consider making a trip through CEDEPCA. Our team is skilled at facilitating many types of trips – immersion trips, work trips, trips to strengthen previously-formed partnerships. But our strength is in our visits – our face-to-face, story-to-story encounters that bring life and hope.
Wherever you are, may you set aside time during this busy Advent-Christmas season for good, old-fashioned visits. Visit the people you love. Visit a person who may not have family nearby. Visit a friend on the other side of the country via Zoom. Eric and I are gearing up for an especially busy Advent season filled with packing and getting rid of belongings in anticipation for our January 5 move, but we, too, intend to make time for visits with the people we love.
Thank you for being a circle of support for us. Your encouragement, your prayers, and your financial support have carried us through this long season of remote mission work. We are grateful to God that the next time we publish a letter, it will be written in Guatemala!
In faith, hope, and love,
Betsey and Eric Moe
Please read the following letter from Sara P. Lisherness, the interim director of World Mission:
Dear partners in God’s mission,
I don’t know about you, but daily my heart grows heavier. News about the pandemic, wars, wildfires, gun violence, racism, earthquakes and hurricanes cloud my vision. It’s hard to see hope; our world is in a fog. Yet we trust that God’s light and love transcend the brokenness of this time.
God is at work transforming the world, and you, through your prayers, partnership and encouragement, are helping us share this good news. Thank you for your faithful and gracious support of our mission personnel.
How can we see through the fog? What will the church be after the pandemic? Could it be that God is doing “a new thing” and is inviting us to perceive it? Through all the uncertainty we know that God’s steadfast love and care for all creation will prevail and that God’s Spirit is at work in each of us.
We all have an integral part to play in fulfilling God’s mission. As we seek to grow together in faithfulness there are three important steps I invite you to take in supporting our shared commitments to God’s mission:
Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel. Your support helps mission personnel accompany global partners as together they share the light of God’s love and justice around the world. Invite your session to include support for mission personnel in its annual budget planning.
Act – Visit The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study to delve deeper into the work God is doing through the PC(USA) and its partners in ministry around the globe: pcusa.org/missionyearbook.
Pray – Include our mission personnel, our global partners, and our common commitments to share God’s grace, love, mercy and justice in your daily prayers.
Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church. It is my prayer that you will continue to support this work with your prayers, partnership, and financial gifts in the coming year. We hope you will join us and our partners in shining a beacon of hope throughout the world.
In the light of hope,
Sara P. Lisherness, Interim Director
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
To give please visit https://bit.ly/PCUSAmission
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
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