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Although there is a tentative cease-fire in Juba, South Sudan, Presbyterian mission co-worker Leisa Wagstaff remains in the city, with colleagues around the country and in the U.S. working on an evacuation plan to get her out of the country.
Longtime Presbyterian mission co-worker Leisa Wagstaff is currently “sheltering in place” as fighting escalates in Juba, South Sudan. Efforts are underway to evacuate her to a safe location. Other South Sudan mission co-workers are currently traveling in the U.S., visiting churches.
Together, we are among the largest Presbyterian faculties in the world. Our teachers instruct and preach in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic. Most teach aspiring pastors, but there’s also a robust commitment to congregational leadership formation and lay discipleship.
Tears flowed abundantly from Daniel Omot Nyingwo’s eyes, although his society is one in which men do not cry, especially not in public. Overwhelmed with emotion, Daniel said, “I thank God for choosing me to become a teacher.”
Despite its history of civil war and its current challenges with poverty and the refugee crisis, the city of Beirut remains fertile ground for those seeking wealth, status and power. For Muslims and Christians, the cultural ethos of pride/shame places a high value on education, success and providing for one’s family.
Dozens of church members, presbytery representatives, partner agencies, current Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) and program alumni were on hand June 26 as the Nashville YAV site celebrated 15 years of service to the community. The program will end its current incarnation this year and plans to regroup before relaunching in 1-2 years.
The pair of shiny, ankle-high boy’s boots sat in my kitchen most of that day. I’d seen Paul Sinette standing outside the gate when I left my house that morning. Paul Sinette works in my house, usually showing up about 9:30 each morning. She cooks, cleans house and generally makes my life better.
The Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, coordinator of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, has written the following prayer expressing “sorrow and horror” in response to the attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport has left at least 41 people dead and injured 239 more, and calling on the hope of faithful people to overcome all-too-common instances of violence in the world.
At last week’s World Mission Café, a GA 222 event, mission co-workers and staff, ecumenical partners, mid-council leaders and congregational representatives gathered to share stories of the joys and struggles of day-to-day mission partnership around the world.
I felt trepidation as I entered the auditorium at the Indonesian Islamic University (UII) in Yogyakarta. More than 500 students filled every seat and many sat on the floor. The women sat on the left and the men on the right. I knew I was not the main attraction. A radical Muslim cleric, who had been in and out of jail, was one of the speakers. Some of his students had been suicide bombers in Bali.