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Mission partnership: We all have something we need — and something to give


Ministry better with relationships of trust and encouragement

By Stephanie Caudill | Mission Crossroads Magazine

In Malawi, a member of the Women’s Guild assists partners from South Sudan and Pittsburgh in planting a mango tree to celebrate the opening of Gondwa Prayer House. Sharon Carver

A church doesn’t have to be wealthy to be a giving church.

That was the message that the Rev. Dave Carver shared as part of a panel on transformative partnership at the 223rd General Assembly (2018) in St. Louis. Dave is pastor of a Pittsburgh congregation, First United Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights. He shared how a three-way partnership in faith among the Pittsburgh Presbytery, the Synod of Blantyre in Malawi and the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church is transforming the lives of those involved.

Here’s an excerpt of his remarks:

“I was sitting with a Malawian colleague, a pastor who has a sincere heart for the Lord, for his people and for the communities in which he’s been planted. And this beautiful man was in tears. I asked him to speak about those tears, and he said, ‘Dave, the gospel came to Malawi in 1876 — well over a hundred years ago. And it has grown. And it has shaped me and my culture. But listen to this, Dave: My whole life, I’ve been taught that my church is filled with poor Africans who could only be recipients of mission. I’ve ‘learned’ that we don’t have anything to offer anyone, and in fact that anything good that happens is because some nice, white Westerner has been willing to bring it to us. But now, I have learned that my church — the African church — can be a giving church. We are a mission-sending church. Our brothers and sisters need something that we have — not what you have, Dave, but what we have. We can help. I am so happy. This feels so good.’”

Dave went on to say, “Partnership has taught me, again and again and again, that we all have something to give. And we all have something we need. And it works better when we share these things in relationships of trust and encouragement.”

In recognizing the mutually transformative benefits of international mission partnerships and guided by General Assembly policy, World Mission offers support and resources to all Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) groups involved in or considering connectional partnerships. This support is primarily provided through the office of Equipping for Mission Involvement in collaboration with area office coordinators and PC(USA) mission co-workers.

For more information on beginning or strengthening partnerships with mission co-workers, global partner churches, institutions and organizations in 70 countries around the world, contact Stephanie Caudill, mission associate with Presbyterian World Mission, at 800-728-7228, ext. 5279, or

Support for mission partnerships

Get better connected to PC(USA) mission co-workers and global partners through these and other World Mission resources.

Want to learn more about establishing an international partnership?

Visit to find our international partnership manual (shown left), the PC(USA)’s partnership policy statement and other resources to help you discern your call to partnership.

Interested in planning a short-term mission trip and visiting one of our partners?

Visit to find planning tips, reflection pieces and contact information for mission co-workers serving as partnership facilitators.

Passionate about a particular country?

Join a mission network. Visit to find a meeting schedule and contact information for each network convener.

Looking for more ways to connect with World Mission?

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This article appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of Mission Crossroads magazine, which is printed and mailed free to subscribers homes three times a year by Presbyterian World Mission.

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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