Sara and Rusty will next be in the US visiting congregations in 2017. Email them to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About Sara and Rusty’s ministry
Sara Armstrong and Rusty Edmondson were appointed in January 2009 to serve in Peru as delegations and partnership coordinators. They host PC(USA) delegations visiting Peru and work with partner churches. Rusty and Sara serve at the invitation of the Peruvian Protestant Church.
Rusty and Sara organize, coordinate and translate for visiting delegations, helping to ensure that these visits reflect the mutual mission priorities of the partner churches. They set up in-country logistics, assist in planning the itinerary, and work with the trip leaders and the communities to be visited. They accompany and translate for the delegations.
Peru was home to several Andean civilizations, including the Inca Empire, which was conquered in 1533 by Spain. Due to the vast territory and gold and silver production, Peru was by far the most important colony held by Spain. Peru declared its independence in 1821 and, with the help of General San Martín of Argentina and Simón Bolívar of Venezuela, the Spanish were defeated in 1824. Most Peruvians have not benefited from the nation’s abundant natural resources. The majority of the wealth is controlled by a small group of people of Spanish descent. Millions of people in the indigenous population live in poverty. Presbyterian missionaries from the United States and Scotland were first sent to Peru in the early 1900s. The PC(USA) works in partnership with the church that resulted from those early missionary efforts, the Peruvian Protestant Church. The PC(USA)’s other major involvement in Peru is through the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Joining Hands initiative.
About Sara Armstrong and Rusty Edmondson
Sara grew up in Ithaca, New York, where the Presbyterian youth group traveled on mission teams each summer. Rusty led his first mission team to Nicaragua after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Since then they have led numerous teams to Mexico and Central America. They enjoy building bridges between diverse people and cultures and witnessing the huge impact that cross-cultural trips make on people’s faith and life. They serve on the board of a nonprofit organization in Mexico.
The joys and struggles of intercultural work have led to their call to live and serve Christ in Peru. Prior to this assignment, Sara was the associate pastor for mission and pastoral care at Central United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has also served bilingual Presbyterian congregations in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Alamosa, Colorado, and also Pioneer United Church in Del Norte, Colorado. From 1989 to 1997 she worked outside the parish as chaplain at Menaul School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and then as executive director of The Storehouse, a faith-based charity that serves people in need in Albuquerque.
Sara was ordained in Scioto Valley Presbytery, where she served Covenant, Amanda and Woodside Presbyterian churches. She holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and a Master of Divinity from McCormick Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. She is a minister member of the Presbytery of Santa Fe.
Rusty established Zapata Builders LLC, a commercial construction company, and SimpleVentures, a marketing/investment firm, in Colorado and New Mexico. Prior to that Rusty worked in the Maintenance and Interpretive Divisions of the National Park Service for 22 years. He enjoyed interpreting natural and cultural resources to park visitors, historical structure restoration, wild land fire fighting and the logistics of constructing and maintaining park infrastructure.
Rusty received an associate degree in agricultural engineering from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He grew up in Des Moines, New Mexico, served in the U.S. Navy from 1970 to 1974, and is currently a member of Alamosa Presbyterian Church in Colorado.
Sara – January 12
Rusty – November 8