Eight recently appointed Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission personnel, along with three mission workers who are assuming new roles, attended orientation last month in preparation for their assignments.
All will depart in coming weeks for places of service around the world. They include:
Andrew Berg and his wife Margarita, who are going to Guatemala to serve as intercultural encounter facilitators with the Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America, commonly known by its Spanish acronym, CEDEPCA. Andrew’s home church is First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Michigan, while Margarita’s home congregation is St. James Presbyterian Church in Chicago,
Ruth Brown, who will work in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a food security and development specialist with the Presbyterian Community of Congo. Ruth is a member of Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia.
Sharon Bryant, who will be coordinator of volunteers for the Church of Christ in Thailand. Sharon, a member of Grace Presbytery, until recently was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Stephenville, Texas.
Miriam Maldonado Escobar, who will serve at the United States/Mexico border with her husband, Mark Adams. Mark has worked at the border for several years as U.S. coordinator of Frontera de Cristo, one of six ministry sites of Presbyterian Border Ministry (PBM). PBM is a joint ministry of the PC(USA) and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Her home church is Iglesia Presbiteriana Lirio de los Valles in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.
Derek Forbes, who will work in Zimbabwe as a consultant for administration with the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa—Zimbabwe Presbytery. A member of Denver Presbytery, he was pastor of Bennett Presbyterian Church in Bennett, Colorado, before entering mission service.
Chris McReynolds, who has been a long-term volunteer at the U.S. Mexico/border since 2007. He is now a mission co-worker. Chris is U.S. coordinator of Proyecto Amistad, which like Frontera de Cristo, is a ministry site of PBM. His home church is First Presbyterian Church in Del Rio, Texas.
Dennis and Maribel Smith, who will be moving to Argentina for new assignments after many years of service in Guatemala. Dennis is now the regional liaison for the Southern Cone of South America and Brazil. He will be supported in this role by Maribel. They are members of San Juan Apóstol Church in Guatemala City.
Josh and Kim Vis, who are going to Brazil, where Josh will teach biblical studies at the Ecumenical Institute of Graduate Studies, an institution supported by the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil and other Protestant denominations. Kim will assist Josh in this ministry with future pastors. They will be accompanied by their daughter, Mahalia. Their home church is First Presbyterian Church in Durham, North Carolina.
Presbyterian mission personnel work in more than 50 countries around the world. They serve alongside global partners to address the root causes of poverty, witness to Christ’s good news in word and deed, and work for reconciliation in some of the world’s most troubled places.