Leaders from partner denominations and organizations around the world visit the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) each year to interpret issues of peace and justice. These visits inform Presbyterians, open hearts and minds, touch lives, establish relationships and inspire new ministries. By sharing stories of their work and witness, the peacemakers help us understand peace and justice concerns around the world and provide insights that can inspire us to greater faithfulness. Their visits broaden our sense of God’s inclusive family and help equip us to build a culture of peace and nonviolence for all God’s children. Since 1984 more than 350 International Peacemakers from 60 countries have been hosted through the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. The International Peacemakers Program is made possible by your generous gifts to the Peace and Global Witness Offering.
Options for Connecting with International Peacemakers: 2022
IN-PERSON – In 2022, Peacemakers will itinerate throughout the church from September 16 to October 10 at the invitation of mid councils and Presbyterian-affiliated institutions. Visits generally last 3-5 days, excluding travel days. Not all visits must or may include a weekend. Midweek visits can be ideal for colleges, universities, or theological institutions. Mid councils, clusters of congregations and educational institutions may apply to host a peacemaker.
Request a Peacemaker In the event of pandemic-related travel restrictions or safety concerns, the Peacemaking Program will consult with the peacemaker and hosts to determine if the visits should be cancelled, postponed or moved to a virtual format.
SYMPOSIUM – Beginning in 2020, the Peacemaking Program added a Virtual Symposium as a means to connect with our past International Peacemakers. The Virtual Symposium provides a number of pre-recorded interviews, panel discussions and presentations by our past International Peacemakers. New guests will be featured each year during the Season of Peace and will remain on the Symposium webpage. You are invited to view and make use of one or all of the Symposium segments.
The Areas of Focus for Our Peacemakers and the Matthew 25 Church Initiative
In 2021, our peacemakers have been selected to help the Presbyterian Church (USA) live into the “Matthew 25 Church Initiative,” which seeks to ensure that the PCUSA continues to confront racism, address environmental concerns, stand against violence and militarism and advocate for the dispossessed. The initiative calls for the whole church, at all levels, to locate itself with the poor and to advocate and take risks for and with the poor…”in the soup kitchens and catholic worker houses, among the immigrants, with those working to end mass incarceration, and with those who seek to protect all of us, especially the poorest of the poor around the world, from the vagaries of climate change.” The International Peacemakers will also focus their time on the three priority areas of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s work: Racism, Poverty and Church Vitality. And they will help us become a Matthew 25 Church by sharing unique experiences and stories from their work in the following areas:
Hunger Ministries: I was hungry and you gave me food
Clean Water/Environmental Justice: I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink
Immigration/Migration/Refugee Welcome: I was a stranger and you welcomed me
Poverty Alleviation: I was naked and you gave me clothing
Health and Wellness: I was sick and you took care of me
Racism/Systems of Oppression and Violence: I was in prison and you visited me
International Peacemakers: A Partnership Between Peacemaking and World Mission
Thanks to a collaborative effort between the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and World Mission, International Peacemakers who need interpretation assistance are often accompanied by either a PC(USA) mission co-worker or a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) alumnus. This partnership allows Presbyterians to hear firsthand from both a peacemaker and a mission co-worker or young adult volunteer who represents or has represented the PC(USA) in the region. Together the peacemaker and mission co-worker or young adult volunteer share stories of connection and partnership between the PC(USA) and our ministry partners.
Planning the visit
It is best for a team representing the mid-council, institution or a cluster of congregations to work together to host the international peacemaker and to plan a meaningful and complete visit. The hosting team is asked to design a schedule for the peacemaker’s visit that provides many opportunities for meaningful engagement between the peacemaker and various groups and gatherings. Schedules should be planned carefully and thoughtfully to make good use of the peacemaker’s time and talents without being overwhelming or exhausting for either the peacemaker or the hosts. Including a variety of groups and settings enriches the experience both for the peacemaker and the mid-council or institution.
The host team provides hospitality for the peacemaker during the visit. They arrange for the peacemaker’s lodging, meals and local transportation. Ordinarily the team shares responsibility for the logistics of the visit and each team member has a role to play. Sometimes the team members each take responsibility for a day or a region, but it is best if hospitality is shared amongst many rather than done by just a few. If possible, for the sake of the peacemaker, it is best to provide lodging in one place for the duration of the visit rather than to move the guest from place to place each night. However, if your peacemaker is moving across the geography of your region and not return to a “home base,” it is less ideal but may be necessary to pack up and move during the visit. Please keep this hospitality issue in mind as you plan the peacemaker’s schedule.
Costs and travel
The hosting organization is asked to contribute $475 to help defray the cost of the program. The Peacemaking Program covers all international and domestic airline travel costs. We will make travel arrangements, purchase tickets, provide honoraria and health insurance, and inform hosts of travel schedules. As soon as your peacemaker’s visit has been confirmed, instructions for making the payment of $475 will be sent to you.
Application and notification
Please use the online application form to apply to host a peacemaker. Apply early but no later than June 1. Applicants will be notified automatically that their application has been received. If you do not receive an automatic reply, please check with the Peacemaking Program at 502-569-5805 to confirm receipt of your application. Placements will be made as soon as possible following application. Late applications will be filled as space is available.
Nta William Nche is an ordained pastor from the Momo Division Northwest Region of Cameroon and serves as the National Peace Coordinator with the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon. With his deep knowledge and experience with peace work, he has been instrumental in efforts to stop the armed conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon. He has participated in Cameroon’s National Dialogue, served as chairman of the steering committee of the All Anglophone General Conference and presently serves as founder of Peace Action Cameroon and as interim coordinator for Together 4 Peace Cameroon. He holds a master’s degree in Peace, Conflict and International Relations from the Pan African institute for Development West Africa, Buea. He is married and the father of four children.
Carmen Elena Diaz Anzora
Carmen Elena Diaz Anzora is a member of the executive committee of the Calvinist Reformed Church of El Salvador, where she works as Coordinator of the church’s Education Program and forms part of the coordinating team for the church’s Migrant Ministry. She holds a degree Educational Sciences, specializing in Peace Education, with additional training in Psychosocial Care and Psychotraumatology.
Carmen has experience in the management, execution, evaluation, and systematization of social projects, especially in community formation, peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Her work includes psychosocial care for migrants and people in emergency situations due to disasters. In addition, she designs, implements and systematizes learning processes for children and youth in violence prevention, community building, and peacebuilding.
Interpreter: Joseph Russ
Joseph Russ has a passion for intercultural human rights work. He is based in El Salvador, where he serves as the PC(USA)’s Coordinator for Migration Issues, Advocacy, and Mission in the Northern Triangle of Central America. With Central American partners, he works to inform advocacy around migration issues. He is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Latin American Theology from the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón in San Salvador, doing research on migration theology from the perspective of deportees. For the past five years, he has lived in El Salvador where he has interpreted for international visitors, worked in human rights education through Cristosal, helped found the Santa Marta Anglican Center to provide shelter and support to unhoused LGBTIQ+ youth and young adults. In his free time, he likes to dance, hang out with his cats, and play Dungeons & Dragons.
Psychologist and human rights activist Efi Latsoudi is one of the founders of Lesvos Solidarity, a grass-roots organization based on Lesvos Island in Greece. Efi was also the coordinator and founder of the first open, independent welcoming shelter (Pipka Camp) for refugees fleeing to Greece primarily from Africa and the Middle East. Pipka Camp had operated for 8 years, until it was forcibly closed by the Greek authorities in Oct. 2020.
Efi’s determination and commitment to advocate for the vulnerable remains strong. Lesvos Solidarity, which is focused on a strong advocacy presence for the rights of the refugees, runs housing, educational, employability, psychosocial and medical programs. The organization’s vision is to inspire society and to expand its solidarity model, which promotes equality, trust, creativity, empowerment, active participation, and respect for each other and for the environment. Lesvos Solidarity’s beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable refugees hosted in camps across Lesvos, including people who suffer from serious medical conditions, victims of torture and violence, large families with children, pregnant women, newborns, LGBTQIA+ persons, single adults, and victims of shipwrecks who lost loved ones at sea.
Efi is also a filmmaker who has created short documentaries and films and written scripts for fiction films. Efi holds degrees from the University of Athens, School of Philosophy, the University of Picardi-Jules Vernes in Maitrise de Psychology Clinic and the University of Paris. In 2016, she was awarded the Nansen Award, conferred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to those who go beyond the call of duty in helping people forcibly displaced from their homes.
Helivao Poget was ordained as a pastor in the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (known by its Malagasy initials, FJKM) in 1989. Early in her career she was assigned to work with the Federation of Protestant Churches in Madagascar (FFPM) where she directed the FFPM social center in Isotry, a poor neighborhood of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo. She began developing a “street ministry,” living and sharing the gospel with the area’s marginalized people – sex workers, drug addicts, street kids, street families. In 2009, she started a ministry to socially and economically displaced people, known as SAFFIFAA, within the FJKM’s Chaplaincy program. SAFFIFA works in a number of sites across Antananarivo and around the island providing a wide range of services aimed primarily at marginalized communities: youth, women, migrants, and developmentally challenged people. Much of SAFFIFA’s work helps to provide young people alternatives to criminal activity, substance abuse and sex work. In 2010, after one of the women she knew from Isotry died while working as a domestic worker in Lebanon, Pastor Helivao began to learn about and expose human trafficking networks and to help Malagasy women abroad to escape abusive situations. In addition to her ministry at SAFFIFAA, Pastor Helivao has worked to foster national reconciliation and to address the factors that have contributed to the country’s cyclical political instability.She also teaches missiology at the FJKM Theological Faculty in Antananarivo. She has pioneered a field research program for her students that exposes them to the realities of social problems such as poverty, violence and exploitation and equips them to address these challenges more effectively as pastors.
Jonathan Drake Vumu is the Executive Director of the Livingstonia Synod AIDS Programme (LISAP), a department of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), Synod of Livingstonia in Malawi. Jonathan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s in Business Administration. He has over ten years’ experience in program management especially in HIV and AIDS, Nutrition, and Early Childhood Development. A devoted Christian, Jonathan likes sharing Christ with others through preaching, prayer sessions and one-on-one evangelism. Jonathan enjoys watching soccer during weekends and is a diehard fan of Chelsea football club.
Peter Michael Egwudah
Peter Michael Egwudah currently serves as the Program Coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE), a Nigerian national-based NGO working across multi sectors and geographical locations in Nigeria to eradicate poverty and suffering. CISCOPE involves over 80 civil society organizations working on diverse development and humanitarian issues. With the support of UN-OCHA, he facilitated the formation of the Network of Adamawa Non-Governmental Organization (NANGO), comprised of national, communal and faith-based organizations operating within Adamawa State, to enhance coordination, reporting and information sharing and management, among humanitarian and development actors in the State. He is a foundation member, and the current Vice Chairman of the North East Civil Society Organization’s (NESCO), a grouping of civil society organizations operating in the north east region affected by the acts of the dreaded terrorist groups, Boko Haram. He has been an activist, advocate for peace and policy influencer for positive change through his 17-year career in Nigeria with civil society.
Fursan Ayed Zumot serves as pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. He grew up in the Anglican church in Amman, Jordan. His studies were initially in accounting but, following a short career in banking, he sensed a call to ministry in 2003. That same year he began working with the deaf community. He studied theology at United Theological College of the West Indies in Jamaica and, in 2009, completed his degree and received a diploma in ministerial studies and counseling. After becoming ordained in the Anglican Church and serving several parishes in Jordan, a struggle with doctrinal and ritual questions led him to apply to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s partner denomination in the region. He has served the ELCJHL since 2014. In addition to serving as pastor of the Church of the Redeemer, Fursan uses his training and experience in communication with the hearing-disabled as ELCJHL as pastor for the deaf and serves the Church’s Ecclesiastical Court of Appeals in the capacity of judge. He is married to Rawan Zu`mot, a pharmacist, and they have a 2½-year-old daughter. As an International Peacemaker, Fursan looks forward to sharing the situation and challenges for the Christian Church in the Holy Land and the diminishing presence of Christians in the region. He will describe the ELCJHL’s efforts to support Christians spiritually and economically and to advocate for a just and lasting peace for all people in Israel and Palestine.
Julie Kandema is an ordained Minister from the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. Since 2014 she has served as Vice President and deputy legal representative for the denomination. She leads the church program in charge of Church Growth supervising church activities related to evangelization, women and youth activities, deacons and Sunday School. She serves on a variety of commissions for peace building at the national and international levels. As Vice President of the Interfaith Platform for Dignity and Peace, she organizes inter-religious dialogues and other activities on peace and reconciliation. She looks forward to sharing with the Presbyterian Church (USA) her experience of the genocide against the Tutsi people of Rwanda in 1994. She will also share the efforts of the church in post-genocide Rwanda and the work done by different categories of people, particularly women and youth, to bring about true reconciliation and development in Rwanda.
Peter Yien works with the South Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church (SSEPC) as its director and trauma healing facilitator, primarily serving orphans and widows who need help and psychosocial support due to the trauma of war. The SSEPC works to create safe places for those who suffer most from the trauma of war, especially those who are living in refugee camps. The church also works for peace by facilitating trauma healing and reconciliation between victims and perpetrators of violence and by promoting reconciliation between the Nuer and Dinka people of South Sudan. Peter is currently working on peace conferences for the communities in the Greater Upper Nile region affected by war. He has translated trauma training materials from English to the Nuer language, which has expanded the healing and trauma recovery for numerous people. One example is a man named Uncle Chuol who forgave the neighbor who killed his wife and children. Another example is five widows in Kakuma who each welcomed ten orphans into their homes, impacting the lives of fifty children. Peter looks forward to the opportunity to share his experience and stories with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and to help churches in the U.S. understand more directly what it takes to heal the traumatic wounds of violent conflict.
Mr. Maina Talia is from Tuvalu, an island country in the Polynesian subregion of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean. Talia started working for the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu (EKT) as their climate change officer in 2011 under the department of Peace and Justice. In his tenure of work, he coordinated the construction of the EKT theological statement called “Dancing with God in the rainbow.”
Talia currently holds the position of Tuvalu Climate Action Network (TuCAN) Secretary and the National Focal point of Pacific Network (PIN) in Tuvalu. In his capacity as the climate change officer for the church and for TuCAN, his work specifically focuses on climate change and theology merged with indigenous issues in Tuvalu. Talia has attended several United Nations conferences on indigenous issues in New York and Geneva. He has served on the Tuvalu government delegation to the Conference of the Parties (COP) 18 in Doha, COP21 in Paris, COP23 in Bonn, COP24 in Katowice, COP25 in Madrid, COP26 Glasgow and will be attending COP27 in Egypt this year.
Talia is married to Laingane Italeli Talia with four children. He holds a Masters of Theology degree, with an emphasis on Climate Change and Theology. Talia is currently a doctoral student at the Charles Sturt University in Australia.
FOLLOW THE PEACEMAKERS
2022 International Peacemakers Itineration
International Peacemakers will be visiting presbyteries between September 16 – October 10, 2022. Their itineraries are listed below. Please contact the lead host in each area to learn more about their schedule.
Beginning in 2020, the Peacemaking Program added a Virtual Symposium as a means to connect with our past International Peacemakers. The Virtual Symposium provides a number of pre-recorded interviews, panel discussions and presentations by our past International Peacemakers. These interviews are a chance to reconnect with these peacemakers, learn about and from their work, be updated on the pressing issues in their countries, and hear their perspective on life, ministry and events around the globe. New guests will be featured each year during the Season of Peace and will remain on the Symposium webpage.
Below are the descriptions and links to the interviews, panel discussions and presentations that comprise this Virtual Symposium. You are invited to view and make use of one or all of the Symposium segments.
JAFF BAMENJO – Fighting Hunger in War-Torn Cameroon
Jaff Bamenjo (Cameroon, 2019) is the Coordinator of RELUFA, the Network for the Fight Against Hunger, a Joining Hands partner of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Cameroon. He coordinates the advocacy campaigns on land and food justice and transparency in the extractive industries. Jaff was a featured Symposium guest in 2020.
LALA RASENDRAHASINA – Working for the Wellbeing of Madagascar
Lala Rasendrahasina (Madagascar, 2014) served as President/Moderator of the FJKM (Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar) from 2004-2016. During ongoing political, economic and environmental instability, he and the FJKM boldly spoke truth to power and fought for peace with justice. In this interview we discuss the challenges of healthcare, poverty, homelessness and violence in Madagascar, a country rich in resources but impoverished by its leaders. Lala was a featured Symposium guest in 2021.
MPHATSO MARY NGULUWE – The Challenges of Healthcare in the Remote Regions of Central Africa
Mphatso Mary Nguluwe (Malawi, 2017) serves as a Director of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Health Department, directing 3 major hospitals and overseeing 12 Community Health Centers, most in hard to reach areas. Mphatso was a featured Symposium guest in 2020.
JEROME BIZIMANA – Reconciliation and Healing in Post-Genocide
Jerome Bizimana (Rwanda, 2015 and 2018) serves as the President and Legal Representative of Remera Presbytery in the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda and is committed to the church’s ongoing work to reconcile the people of Rwanda twenty-five years after the atrocities of genocide. Jerome was a featured Symposium guest in 2020.
DEON SNYMAN – Transforming Disadvantaged Rural Communities and Responding Creatively to Covid-19 in South Africa
Deon Snyman (South Africa, 2015) has served as a minister of rural Zulu speaking congregations of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. For 13 years he served with the Restitution Foundation in Cape Town where he developed restitution theory and models to assist in addressing the South Africa’s colonial and apartheid legacy. Deon was a featured Symposium guest in 2020.
Lucy Awate (South Sudan, 2019) works with our PCUSA partner, RECONCILE, as a psychosocial peacebuilding expert. She has over 16 years of experience providing technical guidance for trainings and workshops. In this interview Lucy updates us on the work of RECONCILE and the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic have presented to her peacebuilding work. Lucy was a featured Symposium guest in 2021.
LYDIA NESHANGWE – Meet the Moderator of the Council for World Mission (CWM)
In August, Lydia Neshangwe (Zimbabwe, 2019) took on a new role, serving as the first woman elected as moderator of the Council for World Mission (CWM), a worldwide partnership of 32 denominations with a combined population of 22 million Christians in about 50,000 congregations spread across 40 countries around the world. Lydia was a featured Symposium guest in 2020.
JEROME BARIS – Justice and Human Rights Issues in the Philippines – An interview with Jerome Baris (Philippines, 2017)
Jerome Baris (Philippines, 2017) currently serves as the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Area Bishop of the East Visayas Jurisdiction and is a highly informed advocate for justice and human rights in the Philippines. Jerome was a featured Symposium guest in 2020.
Nicole (Nicqi) Ashwood (Caribbean, 2013 & 2014) represents the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands as the program executive for Just Community of Women and Men. Her presentation looks at the inclusion of women in the work of Peacemaking for Just Communities and includes a brief overview of the SyroPhonecian woman’s encounter with Jesus. Nicole was a featured Symposium guest in 2020.
LUIS FERNANDO SANMIGUEL CARDONA – “A Better World is Possible
Luis Fernando Sanmiguel Cardona (Colombia, 2016) is a pastor in Bogotá and executive director of the Communities of Faith – Teusaquillo Territory of Peace, an ecumenical and Interfaith consortium working for an integrated and lasting peace. In this interview Luis Fernando discusses how faith communities are working in solidarity with broader social movements to bring about change. Interpretation by Sarah Henken. Luis Fernando was a featured Symposium guest in 2021.
GERMAN ZARATE-DURIER – A Prophetic Witness for Peace in Colombia
German Zárate-Durier (Colombia, 2012 and 2013) most recently served as the director of the Office of Diaconia (Mission and Service) of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia (IPC), focusing on church development and the promotion of human rights. German was a featured Symposium Guest in 2020.
ERLINDA QUESADA – Environmental Justice and Labor Protections in Costa Rica’s Pineapple Plantations
Erlinda Quesada (Costa Rica, 2019) cofounded the National Front of Sectors Impacted by Pineapple Production (FRENASAPP), which seeks to address the negative impacts of the expanding pineapple plantations in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica. Interpretation by Karla Koll (Mission Co-Worker for Costa Rica). Erlinda was a featured Symposium guest in 2020.
Edelberto Valdés Fleites (Colombia, 2003 and 2015) is a pastor in the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba and serves, among other things, as Moderator of Central Presbytery and Synod General Secretary. In this interview he describes the economic and energy challenges facing Cuba, the history of his nation, the impact of U.S. Cuba policy on Cubans and his hopes for the work of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba. Edleberto was a featured Symposium guest in 2021 with interpretation by Tracey King-Ortega.
DELIA LEAL – Addressing Violence Against Women in Guatemala
Delia Leal (Guatemala, 2017) is the Regional Coordinator for the Women’s Ministry of the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America (CEDEPCA). CEDEPCA’s efforts aim to prevent and eradicate violence against women. Interpretation by Leslie Vogel (Regional Liaison, Mexico and Guatemala). Delia was a featured Symposium guest in 2020 with interpretation by Leslie Vogel.
Fabienne Jean (Haiti, 2018) serves as coordinator of FONDAMA, the Hands Together Foundation of Haiti network, part of Joining Hands, an initiative of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. In this interview she updates us on the work of FONDAMA to find lasting solutions to the problems that impoverish the population of Haiti. She describes both the priorities and challenges the organization has faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Fabienne was a featured Symposium guest in 2021 with interpretation by Cindy Corell.
Manolis Ntamparakis and Arlington Trotman: The European Churches’ Response to Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers
Manolis Ntamparakis (Greece, 2018) is a staff member of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) based in Thessaloniki, Greece. He provides capacity building support and consultancy to the Municipalities of Central and North Greece region to support refugee integration programs in their constituencies. Arlington Trotman (United Kingdom, 2019) is the former moderator of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), an organization of churches and ecumenical councils from 18 European countries that advocates for migrants, refugees and minority groups. Manolis and Arlington were featured Symposium guests in 2020.
ARDA A., ALEX AWAD AND NORA CARMI- The Palestinian Plight: A Conversation with 3 Past Peacemakers from Palestine
Arda A. (Palestine, 2011, 2012 and 2016) was Project Supervisor and Media and Advocacy Coordinator at the YWCA of Palestine. She currently works as a Communications Consultant. Nora Carmi (Palestine, 2017) has held leadership positions with the YWCA of Palestine, Sabeel Liberation Theology Center, and Kairos Palestine. She has served as a community builder in Palestinian society, advocating for a just peace and empowering women and the community through skill development and spirituality. Alex Awad (Palestine, 2018) served as Dean of Students and full-time instructor at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem where he served on the faculty for 24 years. Arda, Alex, and Nora were featured Symposium guests in 2020.
Salam Hanna (Syria, 2013) serves as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Latakia with the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL) and as the Director of the NESSL’s Relief & Rehabilitation Program. In this interview he describes the changes in Syria over the past few years and the work of the NESSL’s relief and rehabilitation program. Salam was a featured Symposium guest in 2021.