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Joshua Heikkila

Joshua Heikkila

Mission co-worker in Ghana since 2009
Serving as World Mission’s regional liaison for West Africa

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Josh periodically visits the U.S. and is available to speak as his schedule permits.  Email him to extend an invitation to speak with your congregation or organization.

About Josh Heikkila’s ministry

Appointed as a PC(USA) mission co-worker in October 2009, Josh is regional liaison for West Africa. He facilitates support for the programs, relationships and activities of PC(USA) partners. He also provides support to PC(USA) mission personnel and helps connect partner churches with PC(USA) churches that want to be involved in ministry in the region.

West Africa has tremendous challenges. Niger, for instance, is the poorest country in the world. But the Christian churches of West Africa are some of the most dynamic on the continent, and they are committed to addressing the many problems that people of faith confront. The PC(USA) has partnerships with churches in three countries in West Africa. In Ghana, where our historical roots go back many years, PC(USA) maintains partnerships with two denominations, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. The PC(USA) also has newer partnerships with the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria and the Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger. Josh is responsible for maintaining relationships with all these partner churches.

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About Josh Heikkila

Commenting about his recent faith life, Joshua writes: “Over the last several months, I have come to experience more and more God’s powerful and transformative presence in the sacraments of the church. In the past, I think I tended to treat Communion as something we occasionally tacked onto the end of worship. But in gathering around a table, in sharing bread and wine—the body and blood of Christ—I have come to experience God’s presence in ways I never did before. Experiencing God in the sacraments of worship has also helped me appreciate more the sacramental quality of daily life. Most of us in our daily lives do pretty mundane things. We go to work, pay the bills, and take care of family responsibilities. Mountaintop experiences don’t happen very often. In the Lord’s Supper, though, God takes everyday items like bread and wine and makes them holy as a way to reach out to us. God uses water in baptism in the very same manner. How more mundane can you get than bread and water?”

Before his appointment, Josh served for five years as an associate pastor of the House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, a congregation with 1,600 members. He worked with the youth program there. He also coordinated activity for the Self-Development of People program in his presbytery.

Josh has a wide variety of overseas experience. He served as a Young Adult Volunteer for the PC(USA) in a one-year term (2002–2003) in Ghana, where he learned the Ewe language. He also spent four months in Argentina during high school, six months in Hungary during college, and six weeks in Croatia while in seminary.

In 1994 Joshua earned a bachelor’s degree in math and social sciences from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. He was awarded a Master of Divinity in 2002 from the University of Chicago, where he served as a student intern for both the University of Chicago and First Presbyterian Church. Before entering seminary he worked as a survey specialist for the National Opinion Research Center and as a paralegal for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Joshua was ordained as a PC(USA) minister of Word and Sacrament in 2004 in the Presbytery of Chicago and is currently a member of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area.

Birthday: November 15