Appointed as a PC(USA) mission co-worker in October 2009, Josh is regional liaison for West Africa. He facilitates support for the programs, relationships and activities of PC(USA) partners. He also provides support to PC(USA) mission personnel and helps connect partner churches with PC(USA) churches that want to be involved in ministry in the region. West Africa has tremendous challenges. Niger, for instance, is the poorest country in the world. But the Christian churches of West Africa are some of the most dynamic on the continent, and they are committed to addressing the many problems that people of faith confront. The PC(USA) has partnerships with churches in three countries in West Africa. In Ghana, where our historical roots go back many years, PC(USA) maintains partnerships with two denominations, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. The PC(USA) also has newer partnerships with the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria and the Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger. Josh is responsible for maintaining relationships with all these partner churches. Joshua was ordained as a PC(USA) minister of Word and Sacrament in 2004 in the Presbytery of Chicago and is currently a member of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area.
The RCJ’s (Reformed Church in Japan) Western Presbytery invited Bill and Ann Moore to begin a congregation in Nishitani, a rural and suburban community just north of the Osaka/Kobe metropolitan area. Bill is the organizing missionary and is responsible for evangelistic outreach, pastoral care, preaching, and organizational leadership. Ann directs the Sunday school and is involved in the women’s organization and the leadership council. First Presbyterian Church has supported Bill and Ann for over 15 years.
Only 30 percent of the people in Niger can read and write. Nigerians seeking literacy skills often approach pastors, typically the most educated people in their communities. Michael Ludwig will help pastors and evangelists in the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger (EERN) raise their proficiency as literacy teachers. He will also build their capacity to organize literacy classes. Literacy classes help people better their economic plight, and they often opens doors for witness. Michael will also be working with students and teachers at two Bible schools. In addition, Michael will familiarize the EERN with the Community Health Evangelism model, an initiative that integrates community-based development, evangelism, and discipleship. Rachel will be open to opportunities to serve with the church and in the community as God leads. Michael and Rachel have two children.
Living Waters for the World is a PCUSA ministry started in 1993 and dedicated to providing and maintaining good quality drinking water as well as the “Living Water of Christ” to communities around the world where this water is unavailable. Many health issues in these undeveloped countries are traced directly to bad drinking water. This ministry is striving to improve this. As of 2013, 500 systems in 24 countries have been installed and over 1500 people have been trained to operate and maintain these systems. Spirit Lake First Presb. Church has supported this ministry since 2010.
Mark and Jenny are mission co-workers serving with Farmer’s Movement of Papaye (MPP) and the Evangelical Dominican Church in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP) is a grassroots movement whose goal is to help small farmers improve their living conditions. It began in 1973 in the small community of Papaye and now has members throughout Haiti. Mark Hare works with the members, advising them on ways to increase food production. Jenny Bent, Mark’s wife, helps the Evangelical Dominican Church with their health clinics and with the development of its program to train health care leaders. Mark and Jenny have two children. First Presbyterian Church has supported Mark and Jenny since 2010.