Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission personnel assigned to Mexico and along the 2,000-mile U.S. - Mexico border still need support as they continue in deployment and discernment. World Mission is committed to continue to answer Christ’s call to serve alongside Mexican Christians in the wake of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico’s decision to sever ties.
World Mission is also discerning new ways to work in Mexico and along the border, and expects to announce suggestions for future ministry in early 2012. “Because the issues of poverty among women and children, evangelism and violence have emerged as World Mission's highest priorities, our mission co-workers intend to continue serving our sisters and brothers in Mexico, and are excited about new possibilities that are opening up,” said Maria Arroyo, Area Coordinator for the PC(USA)’s mission with Latin America and the Caribbean.
World Mission is also committed to assist Presbyterian Border Ministry’s six local ministry sites and participating presbyteries in a comprehensive, collaborative evaluation of the shared work along the U.S./Mexico border, including providing a consultant in the discernment process.
“We seek to help Presbyterian Border Ministry identify things that might change as they prayerfully consider how to do faithful and effective mission in light of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico’s decision to sever ties,” Arroyo said.
The six local ministry sites are:
- Pueblos Hermanos, based in San Diego, California/Tijuana, Baja California
- Compañeros en Misión, based in Nogales, Arizona/Nogales, Sonora
- Frontera de Cristo, based in Douglas, Arizona/Agua Prieta, Sonora
- Pasos de Fe, based in El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua
- Proyecto Amistad, based in Laredo, Texas/Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
- Puentes de Cristo, based in McAllen, Texas/Reynosa, Tamaulipas
“We expect this process of discernment and evaluation to continue through the rest of 2011,” Arroyo said. “By the beginning of 2012, each site could move forward with a strategic plan for the future. We should be able to announce to U.S. congregations and Mid Councils our recommendations for how we can best engage in ministry along the border in early 2012.”
In the meantime, World Mission does not recommend that congregations plan any trips to Mexico for the time being, and giving accounts for projects with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico will be closed. World Mission is speaking with donors about ways to redirect their gifts.
Living Waters for the World, a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters, is currently continuing to install cleaning water systems to appropriate areas in the Yucatan.