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Salvadoran with passion for collaborating with PC(USA) to serve as International Peacemaker

Noemí Sánchez and fellow Peacemakers to arrive in September

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

Noemí Sánchez

LOUISVILLE ꟷ A mother of two who’s active in the Calvinist Reformed Church of El Salvador (IRCES) will serve as an International Peacemaker next month for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Noemí Sánchez, a member of the IRCES Board of Directors, is part of this year’s class of Peacemakers, who will be visiting presbyteries around the country in September and October.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program brings individuals like Sánchez to the United States to share stories about their lives and ministries and the issues facing their countries. The visits are designed to increase understanding of peace and justice concerns around the world, broaden the sense of God’s inclusive family, and help equip the church to build a culture of peace and nonviolence for all of God’s children.

Sánchez is scheduled to visit Mid-Kentucky, Winnebago, Shenandoah and Eastern Oregon presbyteries. (Check the schedule to see if a Peacemaker is coming near you.)

“I (will) participate to share the testimony and joint work that we have done with the PC(USA) and to learn about the experiences and work of other people in the world,” she said. “… We need peace in a world and a country so full of violence. I want to reaffirm that with my work, supporting this great and necessary mission of building peace.”

The presbyteries that welcome Sánchez will hear about various challenges facing the people of El Salvador and how her church and local communities strive to address many of them. The challenges include climate change, food shortages, migration, corruption, common crime and gender-based violence. “For example, we work in culture of peace programs, develop alliances with other churches and sectors of civil society, work to prevent irregular migration, train people in family garden projects and provide education so people can produce better quality organic foods,” she said.

Sánchez also will discuss how IRCES and the PC(USA) have worked together over the years.

“For more than two decades, the PC(USA) has collaborated with my church in several areas, beginning with emergency attention and housing construction for people affected by earthquakes,” she said. “In recent years, this collaboration has been with the development of projects in culture of peace, migration and leadership formation, among others.”

Also, “we currently have a missionary brother (Joseph Russ) from World Mission with whom we are establishing a cooperation and mission network for migration in the north of Central America,” said Sánchez, adding that she looks forward to future collaborative or “twinning” opportunities with PC(USA) and  the time when  “delegations of Presbyterian brothers and sisters can visit our country.”

Along with doing church work, Sánchez enjoys being a parent.

“Being part of the church helps me to better guide my family,” she said. “I feel proud of my children because I work to understand how to inspire them in the best possible way. I guide them so that in the future, they can be good people and can support whoever needs help.”

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is one of the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Its work is made possible by your gifts to the Peace and Global Witness Offering.

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