The Rev. Debbie Braaksma, a mission worker with more than 20 years of experience in African mission, began duties this month as coordinator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s work in Africa.
Braaksma and her husband, Del, have served in Sudan since 2005 under a joint appointment between the PC(USA) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA). They were assigned to RECONCILE, an ecumenical organization seeking to bring peace to the war-torn country. They worked with African colleagues to facilitate training opportunities aimed at mitigating interethnic conflict.
Previously Braaksma was the RCA’s mission supervisor for Africa for seven years. From 1987 to 1998 she and her husband were mission workers in Kenya, serving in a community development ministry among the Orma people.
“I believe Debbie will be an active and dynamic resource for our mission personnel serving in Africa, other Presbyterians from the United States involved in Africa and our African partners,” said Doug Welch, Presbyterian World Mission’s associate director for mission partners and programs. “She brings a wealth of experience and commitment to her new role.”
Braaksma succeeds Welch, who has been serving as both Africa coordinator and associate director. Her appointment will allow him to focus exclusively on his responsibilities as associate director.
Braaksma is an ordained RCA minister. She holds a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Theology degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She is a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich.
The Braaksmas are the parents of four grown children. The couple will move to Louisville next month.