World Mission Conference 2021
World Mission Conference:
Click to View Recording of Friday, February 12 at 7 pm
Click to View Recording of Saturday, February 13 at 9 am
Click to View – Sun February 14 at 11 am Worship Service – Keynote Cheryl Burke
If you have trouble viewing during these times, please visit the streaming worship page of this web site.
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(BE SURE TO ENTER WORLD MISSIONS IN THE “DESIGNATE FOR” BOX.)
COOK OUR FRIDAY EVENING DINNER AT HOME, so that we will still be having dinner together!
Click here for recipes and cooking videos from members of the WMC Committee.
God Calls us to “Go into all the world” and to seek to share His love for us with others who do not know Him. At First Presbyterian Church, we begin each year by celebrating God’s work around the world through our annual World Mission Conference (WMC). In 2021, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will celebrate our 22nd WMC virtually by bringing each of our supported missions activities and missionaries to you via video presentations. Scheduled for February 12-14, we will learn more about how the pandemic has affected our missionaries worldwide and how God has led them to respond! The entire conference will be live streamed through the internet throughout the weekend. Please refer to The Call for times of each presentation.
Our world mission response is focused in four areas of the world; Central America and The Caribbean, the 10-40 corridor (the area where most people have not been exposed to the Gospel), Africa and world-wide . Annually, our goal is to raise funds beyond the church’s annual operating budget to support missionaries in each of these areas. For 2021, the goal is $108,000. Several other church groups, including Adult Sunday School classes, also contribute substantial funds toward these and other world mission needs. FPC is indeed a globally-oriented and mission-minded church family.
FPC SUPPORTS THE FOLLOWING WORLD MISSIONS:
CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
- Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR) -Guatemala
AIR-Guatemala is a U.S. based non-profit organization whose mission for the last 25 years has been to seek gifts and grants to support the improvement of human and environmental health in Guatemala. Widespread deforestation has increased mudslides and devastated the soil, food security, and water sources in Guatemala, negatively impacting the impoverished Mayans the most. AIR recognizes the best way to help the people in this country is to improve the land where they live. While reforestation is a primary way to assist, AIR has also developed a multi-dimensional approach beyond the obvious necessity of planting trees. For example: establishing community run tree nurseries; working closely with local farmers to train and support them in the practice of regenerative farming; building vented fuel-efficient wood stoves to provide a healthier home environment; and working with middle schools to adopt environmental education programs. Opportunities in addition to financial support include summer mission trips to plant trees and install stoves.
- Haiti Education Foundation (HEF)
There are essentially no government services provided to the citizens in the southern mountains of Haiti. There is no electricity, no running water, poor roads, and no government schools. Prior to the earthquake of 2010, there was a feeding program for children in need, but even that was discontinued. HEF, through an alliance with the Episcopal Church of Haiti, strives to provide educational opportunities for the children from those southern mountains. They continue to build on the vision that Mrs. Frances Landers and Pere Jean Wilfrid Albert began in 1981 and depend upon God to guide that vision. Since 1981, HEF has built and continues to run 34 elementary schools and 4 high schools which annually serves over 6,000 students. For many years FPC has been the sole sponsor of the St. Joseph of Arimathea School in Haiti. In 2028, we built a new school on the site of the original school building which had been destroyed by the earthquake. Additionally, the church supports a feeding program for all students and teachers through a sister agency, Trinity Hope.
- Trinity Hope
Trinity Hope has been called to be God’s instrument to reach thousands of hungry children in Haiti and give them hope. By providing a nutritious meal during the school day, they not only fill their stomachs with life-sustaining food, but also enable them to be fed spiritually in Christian schools. A common phrase in Haiti is “An empty stomach has no ears.” Trinity Hope understands this and work diligently to give children a better future. They serve in over 160 Christian schools throughout Haiti, including the St Joseph of Arimathea school, where 170 students, teachers and kitchen workers are fed each school day.
- Solid Rock International (SRI)
Solid Rock International (SRI) is a Christian nonprofit 501(c)3 organization focused on transforming the body, mind, and soul of the poor in the Dominican Republic. SRI maintains and operates the Revolution Clinic in San Juan de la Maguana providing medical care, surgery, and dental care. In 2018, it added a vision clinic. SRI is currently building a second medical facility in the southwest region of the Dominican Republic. They also operate an infant survival project and clinic for malnourished children. SRI also operates schools for children who cannot afford fees to attend the other schools available to them. FPC sponsors a one-week medical mission trip to SRI each January, taking physicians, nurses, medical support staff and others from Gainesville as well as other parts of the country, depending on the specific need at the time.
- La Iglesia De Arrowhead Website: email@example.com
The Herrera Family has a multi-faceted outreach ministry of Sidney (one of FPC’s home grown missionaries) and Carlos in Arizona supported through “La Iglesia de Arrowhead” which has a heart to reach Spanish speakers both locally and in Central America. Their work is with refugees to meet both spiritual and physical needs and assure smooth transition and assimilation in their new home. They are working with the church team to take trips to various areas in Central America where the two families have served as missionaries. Carlos is also running a coffee shop through the church which raises money to support international missions. Carlos has also had the opportunity to partner with RISE sports ministry which provides chaplain services to professional baseball teams (many of which have players who only speak Spanish). He has launched a podcast for this ministry to reach out to players and put gospel teaching and testimony into their hands.
The 10-40 CORRIDOR
- FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP, formerly Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship
The goal of Frontier Fellowship is to invite believing communities to engage people groups where the Good News of Jesus and His Kingdom is not yet known. This occurs primarily in what is known as the 10-40 corridor. Their method is to connect the Western Church with the world’s least-reached people and places, cultivating long-term, collaborative relationships with indigenous partners working for the physical and spiritual flourishing of their communities. FPC support is for Dr. Cody Watson, (the original “home-grown” missionary from FPC) who is an associate director for Frontier Fellowship, where he “spends most of his time focused on India, Nepal and Bangladesh. His ministry promotes church planting using the strategies of Disciple Making Movements and Oral Bible Storying, and he is an advocate and instructor for the “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” course.
- Friends of Forman Christian College (FCC), Website: friendsofforman.org
Forman Christian College (FCC) is a coeducational Christian college founded by Presbyterians 155 years ago in Lahore, Pakistan where students of all backgrounds – men and women, Christian and Muslim – interact and learn together. FCC is successfully demonstrating a model of interfaith harmony to a nation and culture historically deeply divided along lines of religion, class and gender. The co-educational university is built around the U.S. four-year Liberal Arts model, and includes BA and BS, Master’s and PhD programs. All classes are taught in English. Enrollment as of Fall 2020 stands at 7,700+ students. The college was returned to the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2003 after being nationalized along with all other foreign institutions in 1972. It is managed by a Pakistani Christian Board of Directors and in 2004, was granted Chartered University status, which allowed them to establish curriculum, give exams, and confer degrees. Most funds provided by FPC is used for the Christian Students Emergency Fund, for those who would otherwise not be able to earn a university diploma.
- Thirdspace Website: none
Unnamed and her husband have been serving in an Arabic language center in a middle eastern country for the past six years. They have participated in its growth from a vision to a vibrant center with 37 employees. From the center, the husband has begun to branch out to development of business enterprises in which low-income individuals can participate, such as hydroponics in this arid area of the world.
- India Gospel League (IGL)
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IGL’s mission is to touch lives and transform communities throughout South Asia. We do that four different ways… share the love of Jesus with those in need, We lead with the gospel and help indigenous pastors and their churches become self-sustaining; Work with children in need, but also care for the needs of the child holistically by working with their family and community; caring for the poor by emphasizing development rather than relief and ownership which is local rather than external; and caring for the sick by providing free or affordable medical care and being strategic in meeting healthcare needs.
- PCUSA mission (Malawi)
For over 200 years, Presbyterians have been responding to the call of Jesus, taking the gospel into all the world, and bearing witness to Christ’s saving love to the ends of the earth. Today the Holy Spirit is still on the move, calling us to share in what God is doing in the world. Rev. Cheryl Barnes, former pastor in of Sardis Presbyterian Church in Jefferson, Georgia, is the PCUSA missionary serving in Malawi and Zambia as an educational consultant. In this role she seeks to build a foundation of trusting relationships to better understand the challenges of educating Malawi children by developing relationships with parents, children and other stakeholders who are willing to share their experiences, hopes, and frustrations. This includes the way children are taught, how we advocate for them, being intentional about educating girls and students with special needs, and reforming how education is financed.
- The Outreach Foundation
Since 1979, the Outreach Foundation has connected Christians in the United States with church partners around the world. They focus on five priorities: capacity building of global church partners; sending and supporting missionaries; caring for vulnerable children; expanding support for compassionate ministries; and transforming lives through mission involvement. FPC supports the following activities in Africa with funds, prayers, and multiple mission trips by members: In Zambia: Crisis Orphanages; school fees for students from Namumu Orphanage and for seminary students at Justo Mwale Theological Seminary; and built St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church (which has subsequently opened seven additional churches)! In Ethiopia and Kenya: Support for Presbyterian congregations in refugee camps from South Sudan.
- Sisters of Zambia
WMC support has been devoted to a specific activity, which emanated from the initial trips to Lusaka, where there are two crisis nurseries currently funded through The Outreach Foundation. (The House of Moses for newborns and toddlers and the Bill and Betty Bryant Center for those from one-five years old). The toddlers at the Bill and Betty Bright Center needed a pre-school. As a result of presentations during annual WMC’s, Our Sisters of Zambia raised the funds to build this school, called “The Learning Center of Joy” in 2011. FPC funds provided since then have been devoted to paying the salaries of two pre-school teachers.
- John 4:14 Ministries
John 4:14 Missions operates in three countries: in Caloocan City, Philippines they run the S.A.L.T. Academy, a school for low-income children; in Pensacola Florida they run Waterfront Rescue Mission by providing Christian music and Biblical devotions for those who come to the facility needing help; in the Muchinga Mountains of Zambia, they provide support for building churches and assist in providing clean water by drilling and installing village wells. FPC support has been limited to providing funds for drilling additional wells each year in areas the John 4:14 Missions staff indicate there is the most need in Zambia.
- Education Congo
Education Congo is a U.S.-based nonprofit established to provide scholarships and raise funds to support programs aimed at enhancing the quality of higher education in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). All ministry locations are through partners in the DRC, primarily in Kinshasa at Congo Protestant University (UPC) and its outreach medical school training centers (currently, in the cities of Vanga, Tshikaji and Kempesse) and in Bukavu at the Universite Evangelique en Afrique (UEA). FPC funds scholarships for poor students and supports the relatively new medical school. The goal of the UPC Medical School founded in 2006 is to provide physicians for the areas of the nation where there are no physicians.
WORLD-WIDE MISSION AGENCIES
JAARS’ (Jungle Aviation And Radio Service) vision is that people’s lives and communities are transformed as they experience God’s Word in their own language. Its mission is to make Bible translation and language development possible, especially in the most remote and difficult places on earth. They do that by enabling locally appropriate and sustainable solutions in transportation, technology, media, and training. In all cases, JAARS works closely with global field partners to identify, design, test, refine, and implement solutions that can be sustained going forward. FPC supports Glen Ferguson, who began as a missionary pilot providing air transportation and rescue service and is now assigned to the CORE Operations Center.
Photos from Dominican Republic