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Once rescued, survivors of human trafficking are often reluctant to talk about their experiences. This is usually because they are afraid of being blamed by family and community for the exploitation and abuse they’ve suffered at the hands of bosses and employment agencies.
Dave believed so strongly that in life and in death, we belong to God,” said Mary Katherine Robinson, pastor and head of staff at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church in Black Mountain, North Carolina, the home church of the Rev. David Vines Miller and his wife, Polly, since their retirement from mission service in 1994.
“As a missionary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 40 years in Africa, he spread that good news all over Congo, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and every corner of the world he touched!” Robinson said of Miller, who died at his home in North Carolina, surrounded by family members, on Dec. 23, 2019 at age 93. “Even though our hearts are broken over the loss of this vibrant and faithful servant of God, may we continue to be a people of hope as we witness to the resurrection.”
If you were to visit Maula Prison, built on a hill in the capital city of Lilongwe, Malawi, you might notice that it feels very outdoorsy and open. There are multiple layers of fences, but in between them is open, undeveloped space. The lack of shrubs and low trees allows clear sight for a long distance.
With support provided by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP)’s Synod of Zambia created a Health Department in 2016. During its first three years, the CCAP’s Health Department has focused on building and improving infrastructure, strengthening the health of women and girls and ensuring availability of preventative medicine and personnel.
When I was a child in East Germany in the 1950s, oranges were hard to get. This was still the case when we had our own young children in the 1970s and 1980s. But in all those years one of the special things about Christmas was that we were able to buy oranges! We labeled them “Christmas quota oranges” and they came from Cuba. We rather loved them for their juicy sweetness even though they had a leathery surface and chewy flesh inside. And we learned later those oranges were originally a variety not meant for eating, but for juice production.
I got off the train after a four-hour ride along the Pacific Ocean and headed to the exit to be met by a pastor from Bunun Presbytery, an aboriginal presbytery on Taiwan’s east coast. I was on my way to lead the fourth pastors retreat in three weeks.
Like a lot of people, I look forward to Christmas. It is one of the most meaningful times of the year. But being from the Caribbean, our Christmases are a little different than the typical American celebrations.
For the Rev. Shelvis Smith-Mather, the road to the majestic halls of Oxford University took a journey of nine years and three continents. But it is, he says, a “crazy, wonderful, beautiful story.”
“And… a long story, but the details of the many stops and starts along the way speaks to how it has come together now in God’s time,” he said.
The Rev. Heidi Worthen Gamble makes a bold promise for the February and March Travel Study Seminar to the U.S. Southern border.
Living in intentional Christian community looks different this year for Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) in South Korea. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s two Korea YAVs — Susannah Stubbs and Amanda Kirkscey — are living in a school dormitory and a church guest house instead of the previous site model where they lived together, next door to the YAV site coordinator.