Four newly appointed mission co-workers completed orientation last month in preparation for Presbyterian World Mission assignments in the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Madagascar.
Jenny Bent will serve in the Dominican Republic, where she will be a consultant with the Evangelical Dominican Church’s health ministries. Her assignment will focus on the Dominican church’s work in sugar bateys, company towns where a large number of Haitians live and work. Jenny joins her husband, Mark Hare, in Presbyterian mission service. Since 2004, Mark has been an agricultural technician in Haiti with the Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP), a grassroots movement that helps small farmers work together to improve their living conditions. After Mark and Jenny married in 2008, she began serving as a volunteer with the health ministries of MPP. The couple will reside near the Haitian border, and Mark will continue his work with MPP. Jenny, the daughter of a Moravian Church minister, is originally from Nicaragua. Mark and Jenny will be moving to the Dominican Republic before the end of February, accompanied by their two daughters, Keila and Annika.
Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell have returned to Brazil to work in church planting and evangelism with the United Presbyterian Church of Brazil. The couple served under mission appointment in a similar ministry from 1990 to 2008 with the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil. They will aid the church growth efforts of the United Presbyterian congregation in Sacramenta Belem, help develop plans for church planting and facilitate evangelism training with the Erasmo Braga Presbytery. Gordon, the son of retired Presbyterian missionaries Bert and Sandy Gartrell, grew up in Brazil. He is a Presbyterian teaching elder and a member of Western Kentucky Presbytery. Dorothy is a member of Columbia Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Ga. Gordon and Dorothy arrived in Brazil on Feb. 7.
Jan Heckler has been appointed to serve with the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM) as an associate for planning, training and development. The church is involved in a variety of ministries, including health and rural development, evangelism, environmental concerns, HIV/AIDS prevention, Christian education and leadership development. Jan has been invited help its wide-ranging ministries be even more effective. She will assist with planning, goal setting, assessment and resource allocation. Jan has several years of experience working in education, public health, mental health and social service positions in Georgia and Florida. In 2000, Jan developed a small non-governmental organization and has donated her time as executive director. In this role, she has sought to improve basic education and literacy throughout the developing world. She is a member of North Decatur Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Ga. Jan will be doing language study in the United States until she leaves for Madagascar in early April.
Presbyterian mission personnel serve alongside global partners in more than 50 countries around the world. They address the root causes of poverty, share the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ and work for reconciliation.
World Mission continues to advance as the preferred mission-sending agency for hundreds of Presbyterian congregations across the country, and relies on the generous, over-and-above giving from our congregations and individuals in order to send and support these committed mission workers. If your congregation would like to become a sending congregation for one of these new mission co-workers—or one of our almost 200 mission workers around the world—please contact Bruce Whearty or Chris Roseland.
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