Presbyterian Mission at Work
On September 29th Melissa and Charles Johnson, Presbyterian Mission co-workers in Zambia, visited NorthPark Presbyterian Church. They are halfway through their four-year service commitment in Lundazi, Zambia, and are currently in the states to educate churches about their ministry.
Their story is an interesting one. They are members of Northwood Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, and several years ago went on a mission trip to Vietnam which got them interested in international mission. With grown children, and free of family responsibilities, they applied to Presbyterian Mission, PCUSA and were accepted and assigned to Zambia.
Charles has a background in farming and banking as well as an MBA, so he teaches courses in sustainable agriculture and community development. With his experience as a grower and distributor of fresh-cut culinary herbs, he was very interested in our new greenhouse. During his visit to NorthPark, he was given a tour by Rev. Brent Barry and Keri McCall.
Melissa works with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian ‒ Synod of Zambia, coordinating healthcare services with the Zambian government. One of her real interests is feminine hygiene. Girls in many parts of Africa are unable to leave their homes when their monthly cycle occurs. Melissa is teaching the women in Zambia to make feminine hygiene kits similar to those produced by Days for Girls International. They sell these kits, which not only serve to free the girls from embarrassment but also provide income for the women.
As mission co-workers the Johnsons receive a stipend from the Presbyterian Church, which covers some of their travel expense. However, they are responsible for raising $138,000 annually for their upkeep and ministry support. This is why they are visiting over 55 churches in the U.S. before they return to Zambia on November 6th.
Their schedule did not permit a Sunday presentation at our church, so below you will find link to their video. (The first 8 minutes consists of pictures, before the presentation begins.) If you want more information about supporting their ministry, please visit their Presbyterian Mission webpage.
Dr. David Haymes is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church USA and currently serves on the NorthPark Session. He is chair of the Mission Committee and together with his wife, Cherry, founded and operates Meds for Africa, a non-profit organization committed to meeting the health and educational needs of the people of East Africa.