May 29, 2022
Called to serve at the invitation of our global partners, Presbyterian mission co-workers are important bridge people, helping us understand issues of ministry around the world. Through their quarterly letters, mission co-workers describe how partners are engaged in the Matthew 25 vision in their own contexts. Here are a few highlights they have shared recently with their supporters:
In the last 14 months, the Migrant Resource Center has welcomed over 40,000 men, women and children who were expelled from the U.S. — persons from all parts of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Volunteer Maribel Lara reminds us to always look for the face of Jesus in each of our siblings who enter. Everyone is to be treated as “beloved,” and no one is to be seen or treated as “illegal.”
We are grateful to be a part of a binational community of faith that seeks to define the border as a place of encounter, opportunity and hope, even as there are powerful forces that continue to define it as a place of division, fear and death. We are grateful for your prayers and support that help make our life and ministry here possible.
Letter from Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar, mission co-workers serving at the U.S. Mexico border
Bchara used to work as an electrician making $5,000/month. And then, the Lebanese economy collapsed, starting in 2019, exacerbated by the global pandemic. The failure of elected officials to act in a coherent way for the good of Lebanon and the near collapse of Lebanon’s banking sector has only made the situation worse. Now Bchara works as a security guard, making around $60/month. Not enough to live on with the record year-on-year high inflation rate in Lebanon of 224.39% as of December 2021. In addition, he collects plastic bottles to sell per kilo from some extra money.
The Compassion Protestant Society (CPS), the diaconal arm of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL), accompanies families like Bchara’s. In 2021 alone, they assisted nearly 2,000 families. Mr. Fadi Riachi, executive director for CPS, reports that most measures indicate that 80% of Lebanese and 99% of Syrian families refugeed in Lebanon are unable to provide enough food for their families. “It is common that an average family goes for four months without meat or poultry.” Bchara echoes this when he says, “The least thing is that a person be able to eat … this is the least thing. It is a shame to mention it, but we are not even tasting meat.” CPS was able to give Bchara and his family an $800 debit card. This gift helped Bchara provide his family with essential medication, food and other supplies.
In addition to this kind of assistance, CPS provides supermarket vouchers. By early March, they will be distributing up to 1,000 vouchers a day through the seven schools overseen by the NESSL all across Lebanon. They are seeking to do more, however, than meet the immediate need. They are working to cultivate thriving lives for vulnerable families.
Letter from Elmarie and Scott Parker, serving as regional liaison for Syria, Lebanon and Iraq (Elmarie) and as Associate for Ecumenical Partnerships (Scott)
These are just two examples of many that describe how our partners are living out the Matthew 25 call to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor. To read more letters from our mission co-workers serving in 80 countries around the world, visit pcusa.org/missionconnections.
Stephanie Caudill, Mission Associate for Resources and Promotion in Equipping for Mission Involvement, Presbyterian World Mission
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, May 29, 2022, the Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year C)
Today’s Focus: Mission Worker Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Gracious God, your love knows no bounds. You call people to serve alongside your children, our brothers and sisters, around the world. We pray for our PC(USA) mission co-workers and the people with whom they partner. Protect them and encourage them. Help them and help us be encouraged, guided and taught by our partners in mission. In Christ’s name. Amen.