Ten new Presbyterian mission co-workers complete orientation
Ten new Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) mission co-workers and a long-term volunteer completed orientation at the end of January and will be going to their places of services in coming weeks.
The new mission co-workers include:
César Caruachín, who will teach biblical studies and theology at the Reformed University of Colombia in Barranquilla. Cesar has been serving as coordinator of Hispanic/Latino ministries with the Presbytery of Charlotte, supporting English-speaking congregations in their outreach to the Hispanic/Latino population. Prior to joining the Presbytery staff, he helped found a Hispanic congregation in Charlotte and served as a pastor in Argentina. He has taught part-time at seminaries in the United States and Argentina. He is a member of the Presbytery of Charlotte.
Cindy Corell, who will facilitate the Joining Hands network in Haiti. Cindy will help connect presbyteries and congregations in the United States with a network of churches, grassroots groups, and nongovernmental organizations in Haiti. Around the world, Joining Hands, a ministry of the Presbyterian Hunger Program, strives to alleviate poverty and suffering through community education, advocacy, alternative economic activities, lifestyle changes, and spiritual grounding. Cindy comes to mission service from a 27-year newspaper career. Most recently she was community and conversations editor with The News Leader in Staunton, Virginia. She is a member of Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church in Fishersville, Virginia.
Kurt Esslinger and Hyeyoung Lee, a married couple who will coordinate the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) site in South Korea, one of 17 YAV sites in the United States and overseas. YAVs commit to serve one year in a community of need. In addition to service, the program emphasizes spiritual formation, vocational discernment, and living together in intentional Christian community. Prior to his mission appointment, Kurt, a member of Chicago Presbytery, was director and campus minister of Agape House Campus Ministry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Hyeyoung was program director of Korean American Community Services in Chicago. Hyeyoung is a member of Lake View Presbyterian Church in Chicago.
Suzette Goss-Geffard, who will serve as a partnership facilitator in Haiti. Suzette will assist mission teams that visit Haiti by matching them with Haitian partners, coordinating logistics, arranging study opportunities that explain the context of Haiti, and providing other types of support to enable the teams’ effectiveness. Her work is part of a long-term Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) response called “Walking with Haiti, Walking with Christ.” Previously, Suzette was a special education teacher in Decatur, Georgia, and also has served in education-related roles in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali.
Leslie Vogel, who will be the Intercultural Encounter facilitator with the Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies of Central America (commonly known by its Spanish acronym CEDEPCA) in Guatemala. CEDEPCA’s Intercultural Encounter program offers people from North America the opportunity to participate in immersion and work projects, enabling them to serve alongside Guatemalans and experience the everyday life of Guatemala. In the 1990s, Leslie served under Presbyterian mission appointment in El Salvador. Immediately prior to re-entering mission service, she was a student services specialist and ESL learning associate at Paradise Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. A member of the Grand Canyon Presbytery, Leslie has also served as a hospice pastoral counselor in Phoenix and in congregational ministry.
Two other mission co-worker couples attended orientation and will serve in places where their names and assignments cannot be published because of security concerns.
In addition, Marcia Murray, a long-term volunteer, completed orientation and is serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the Christian Medical Institute of the Kasai. Marcia, a retired faculty member at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, is teaching math and other courses. She previously served under Presbyterian mission appointment in Congo from 1966 to 1983 and in Haiti from 1985 to 1987.