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Presbyterian Mission Yearbook

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Mission Yearbook for August 20, 2014

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Philippines


Bryan Paler (front center) is a leader and organizer of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform youth.


Photo courtesy of Cobbie Palm


The youth of the Philippines cannot remember a time when their nation was free from internal war. In a society that has never fully shaken its colonial past, the desperation of those whose hope has been lost to poverty and landlessness remains the reason so many young people join movements for change.

Change is a sacred word in the Philippines. No one, young or old, would disregard the need for change in this country: change from the way society favors some and not all, change from the way the nation is governed, change from the way the country’s brightest youth are choosing to leave to find work elsewhere.

Change is so important that churches and the youth often fragment over the way to change. The options are many, including armed movements, nonviolent civic movements, and church movements.

Bryan Paler is a leader and organizer of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform youth. He inherited a world deep in conflict: war between the government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front has been waging for 44 years. But Bryan has chosen a path of peace, working with youth in the churches to build a movement of peace advocates that can exert pressure and bring the parties back to the negotiating table. These church youth are creatively advancing the possibility of formal peace talks, one step at a time.

Cobbie Palm, PC(USA) mission coworker, Dumaguete City

Let us join in prayer for:


United Church of Christ in the Philippines: Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, general secretary • National Council of Churches in the Philippines: Father Rex Reyes, general secretary • Philippines Christian University: Rev. Dr. Everett C. Mendoza, vice president • Silliman University: Dr. Ben S. Malayang III, president • Silliman University Divinity School: Dr. Lope B. Robin, dean • Southern Christian College: Dr. Proceso E. Umacob, president

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Elder Bill Moore, PMA
Jonathan Moore, PMA
Kay Moore, OGA

Let us pray

God, we thank you for the energy, courage, and creativity of youth. May their efforts in the Philippines bring to an end the harsh realities and circumstances that lead to war. And may their passion help achieve the dream of successful peace talks. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 15; 147:1-11
First Reading Judges 18:16-31
Second Reading Acts 8:14-25
Gospel Reading John 6:1-15
Evening Psalms 48; 4

Mission Yearbook for August 19, 2014

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Philippines

John Lumapay (third from right) with the cast of Redeeming Greta’s Dreams, an “inform-ance” promoting responsible behavior among teens.


John Lumapay passed the Board of Nursing licensure exam two years ago and was expected by family to begin practicing, preferably in the United States or Europe, where many Filipino nurses go. But something beckoned her to stay and respond to a deeper call.

In 2005, at age 16, John was one of 30 young people to participate in an educational-theater workshop in Dumaguete City, Philippines, that addressed the sexual trafficking of children. After giving a public performance on the issue, the group met and enthusiastically decided that they wanted to use theater to do more for children and youth. This pivotal meeting led to the formation of the Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts (YATTA).

John recalls her journey with YATTA as “one of the best gifts I received in my life. In the beginning, it was all about feeling thrilled to perform and be appreciated. But YATTA gave me a fresh perspective about life and mission. Concerns I had ignored before, like climate change or violence against women and children, suddenly became urgent and awakened a sense of responsibility. I came to believe that I can make a difference in the world and have taken advocacy theater to communities all over our province and beyond. I became an advocate and fell in love with community service. Now I know God has called me to use my gifts in this creative way.”

Dessa Quesada Palm, PC(USA) mission coworker, Dumaguete City

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

United Church of Christ in the Philippines: Rebecca Lawson, ecumenical relations/mission specialist, Dr. Rev. Paul Matheny and Rev. Dr. Mary Nebelsick, theology professors, Union Theological Seminary, Carlton“Cobbie” Palm , missions facilitator, Silliman University Divinity School, Modesta“Dessa” Quesada Palm , team ministry

Young Adult Volunteers

Duncan Kirk, Abigail Kraft, Shelby Miller, and Mallory Tober, ecumenical interns, United Church of Christ in the Philippines

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Nadine Monn, BOP
Bobbie Montgomery, OGA
Becki Moody, PMA

Let us pray

God of life and meaning, may your amazing design for your children unfold gracefully and in mysterious ways. “May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars, cut for the building of a palace (Ps. 144:12).” Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 123; 146
First Reading Judges 18:1-15
Second Reading Acts 8:1-13
Gospel Reading John 5:30-47
Evening Psalms 30; 86

Mission Yearbook for August 18, 2014

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Japan, continued


Students at Shikoku Gakuin University enjoy a seminar with their professor.


Photo courtesy of Shikoku Gakuin University


As a test of advanced Presbyterian knowledge, the following question might be submitted: What Presbyterian-established university took for its campus a former prisoner-of-war camp and used its barracks as classrooms? If you answered Shikoku Gakuin University in Zentsuji, Japan, you would be correct. In 1949, soon after the end of the Second World War, the Japan Mission of the former Presbyterian Church in the U.S., together with Japanese Christians, founded this liberal-arts institution on the island of Shikoku. Where Allied POWs had languished under severe conditions, this center of Christian witness and learning—and symbol of hope and peace for war-ravaged Japan—was established.

Starting out with only eight professors and 36 students, Shikoku Gakuin has blossomed into a comprehensive university offering 19 majors and several graduate programs. Under the able leadership of President Takaaki Sueyoshi, the university is endeavoring to meet the educational needs of young adults in Japan, especially those from Shikoku. The erstwhile POW camp has been transformed into a beautiful garden campus, as proof that violence and hatred can be overcome by love and learning.

Just as importantly, Shikoku Gakuin University has become a beacon for Christian witness. Only a small percentage of the students are Christian, and most have had very little contact with Christians and the Christian faith. Their days at university provide ample opportunity to learn about the faith that transformed a hellish POW camp into a beautiful and happy center of learning. Seeds of faith are planted, and God brings the increase.

Rev. Dr. Bill Moore, PC(USA) mission coworker, Nishitani

Let us join in prayer for:

Partners/Ministries, continued

Japan Oral School for the Deaf: Akinobu Nishigai, principal • Kinjo Gakuin University: Dr. Tetsuo Kashiwagi, MD, chancellor • Meiji Gakuin University: Dr. Haruki Ohnishi, chancellor • Shikoku Gakuin University: Dr. Takaaki Sueyoshi, president • Tokyo Union Theological Seminary: Rev. Dr. Katsuhiko Kondo, president • Tokyo Woman’s Christian University: Dr. Masako Sanada, president • Yodogawa Christian Hospital

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Eliza Minasyan, PMA
Diane Minter, OGA
Rhonda Mirarchi, BOP
Rosemary Mitchell, PMA

Let us pray

Gracious God, we thank you for your transforming power through our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. We pray that many young people may come to know you through the witness of Shikoku Gakuin University. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 135; 145
First Reading Judges 17:1-13
Second Reading Acts 7:44-8:1a
Gospel Reading John 5:19-29
Evening Psalms 97; 112

Mission Yearbook for August 17, 2014

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Minute for Mission: Youth in the Church


The National Presbyterian Youth Ministry Council at their 1997 meeting in Malibu, California


Photo courtesy of Gina Yeager


This is what happens when the church follows Jesus’ example and taps those who are younger but who demonstrate willingness or speak a prophetic truth—like the youth in this photo. We, the youth tapped as leaders, end up huddled on some steps, readying ourselves to step out—having been formed and re-formed by those before, beside, and behind us in the great line of saints.

This photo is a testament to this miracle. Today is a day to celebrate the younger people in our midst. To honor the person they are now and to stand with them on the steps of life and faith. This is the day to remember the one who, first as a 12-year-old boy, and then later as a young adult man, stood on the steps of a new way of living and then stepped off together with a gang of young people. See them. See the middle school girl with her friends, the lone high school boy made to attend worship, the college student. These are our young. They have been tapped by Jesus to follow him, and you have been the one tapping, on God’s behalf.

The youth in this photo are today pushing their mid-30s. They are the adults now. Through the holy act of being called, they stood on those steps then and they stand on the steps now—embracing the invitation; longing to serve. If you do nothing else today, a day when we celebrate youth in the church, simply notice. Take a look around you. See the youth. Really see them. They stand on the steps, hearts open—waiting for us.

Elder Gina Yeager, associate for youth ministry, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Let us pray

Loving God, stand with us all, we pray. Remind us to notice, encourage, and listen, and inspire us to lead with your Son’s heart. Teach us again how to follow, how to learn, how to lead—all in your merciful manner. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Gen. 45:1–15
“Now Thank We All Our God”
HB 9, PH 555

Ps. 133
“Behold the Goodness of Our Lord”
PH 241

Rom. 11:1–2a, 29–32
“There’s a Wideness in
God’s Mercy”
HB 110, PH 298

Matt. 15:(10–20) 21–28
“In You, Lord, I Have Put My Trust”
PH 183

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 19; 150
First Reading Judges 16:15-31
Second Reading 2 Corinthians 13:1-11
Gospel Reading Mark 5:25-34
Evening Psalms 81; 113

Mission Yearbook for August 16, 2014

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Japan


Peace Camp participants enjoy a break.


Photo by Ann Moore


Although it was well past midnight, the Japanese and Korean high school students were wide-awake and chatting like fast friends on the last day of Peace Camp in South Korea. When camp began a week earlier, we could not have imagined the animated scene before us. Due to linguistic and cultural barriers, the Japanese and Koreans were at first reluctant to interact, but now they were happily reaching out to one another in genuine friendship and unity.

The idea for Peace Camp came from the Kobe YWCA (where I recently served as president) right after the great earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster of northern Japan in 2011. Kobe also experienced a disastrous earthquake, in 1995, so the Y felt moved to serve its neighbors to the north. One way has been to provide those who live in areas affected by nuclear radiation times of respite elsewhere. Because the Kobe Y has a sister relationship with the one in Seoul, we joined hands to take a group of Japanese youth from the radiation areas to Korea for a peace camp with Korean peers.

With its long history of invasions, colonialism, and mutual antipathy, and now an escalating territorial dispute, the relationship between Japan and Korea is difficult. However, seeing Japanese and Korean youth find friendship and come to realize that peace cannot be achieved by force inspired me with hope for the future. It is as if Isaiah’s prophecy—“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them” (11:6)—is coming to fruition.

Ann Moore, PC(USA) mission coworker, Nishitani

Let us join in prayer for:


United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan): Rev. Tetsuo Nagasaki, general secretary, Rev. Makoto Kato, executive secretary on Ecumenical Ministries, Rev. Teruki Takada, Ecumenical Ministries staff • Korean Christian Church in Japan: Rev. Song Wan Hong, general secretary • Reformed Church in Japan: Rev. Takashi Yoshida, moderator, Rev. Ken Iwasaki, vice moderator • National Christian Council in Japan: Rev. Kouichi Kobashi, moderator, Rev. Kano Yoshitaka and Rev. Makoto Watabe, vice moderators, Rev. Wataru Arizumi and Rev. Hiroko Hiraoka, secretaries, Rev. Shoko Aminaka, general secretary

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Elder Martha Miller, OGA
Nadeen Miller, BOP
Matthew Milliren, BOP

Let us pray

Loving and gracious God, you sent your Son, the Prince of Peace, into the world. Help us to work for peace in our time and to raise a new generation of peacemakers. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 104; 149
First Reading Judges 16:1-14
Second Reading Acts 7:30-43
Gospel Reading John 5:1-18
Evening Psalms 138; 98

Mission Yearbook for August 15, 2014

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Japan



Kwassui Girls’ School entrance ceremony


Photo courtesy of Rev. Yukiko Mikawa


Rev. Yukiko Mikawa came as a young seminary graduate in 2011 to serve as chaplain for more than 500 teenagers and staff at Kwassui Girls’ School in Nagasaki. She is busy with responsibilities for daily chapel services, classes about Christianity, and extracurricular activities such as the Young Women’s Christian Association. For most pupils, Kwassui is the place where they first encounter the Bible and hear God’s word. She tells them, “The Bible contains the most important things for you to live,” and, “Prayer is wonderful.”

At each entrance ceremony, Rev. Mikawa tells the pupils that all of them are called by God, because of God’s love for them. Some, for whom Kwassui was not the first choice, listen to these words in tears at first. But every morning, as they hear the words of the Bible, they grow. After three years, they are sent out at the graduation ceremony with a blessing, smiling with confidence. Rev. Mikawa is planting seeds for Christ’s church that she believes will certainly bear fruit because God is faithful, even if the fruit is slow in developing.

Rev. Mikawa knows from her own experience that young people attending Christian schools will be influenced by what they hear and sing daily in chapel. Her hope comes from God’s presence with her, so she is eager to share God’s love with her pupils and colleagues. Christian schools throughout Japan are striving for this same purpose.

Dr. Barbara Easton, PC(USA) mission coworker, Nagasaki

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan): Dr. Barbara Easton, professor of English, Kwassui Women’s University, Nagasaki, Sanford Taborn, English professor, Kinjo Gakuin University, Emiko Taborn, team ministry • Reformed Church in Japan: Rev. William Moore, new church development, Ann Moore, team ministry • Hokusei Gakuen University, Sapporo: Rev. Thomas Goetz, professor of English

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Ada Middleton, PMA
Terri L. Milburn, PMA
Carla Miller, PMA
Emily Miller, PMA

Let us pray

Loving Creator, open the hearts of pupils in Christian schools, so that they can encounter you. Guide teachers by your Holy Spirit to work for this aim. Give them sincere joy in their work, according to your power and wisdom. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 51; 148
First Reading Judges 14:20-15:20
Second Reading Acts 7:17-29
Gospel Reading John 4:43-54
Evening Psalms 142; 65

Mission Yearbook for August 14, 2014

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Korea (North)


In 2000, with direction from World Mission, the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse and Pyongyang Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) formed an international partnership in order to serve God better together through mutual exchanges and joint mission.

One of its priorities is mission in North Korea. Pyongyang Presbytery’s initial efforts focused on the building of Pyongyang Seminary, a prayer house, and two greenhouses. Based on the trust Pyongyang Presbytery established with the Korean Christian Federation (KCF) in North Korea, the Presbyterian Men of the PCK were able to help build the Bongsoo Church in Pyongyang. Both presbyteries funded the printing of Bibles for the KCF.

Inspired by the work of Sue and Art Kinsler, then PC(USA) mission coworkers, the partnership in 2007 shifted its focus to addressing growing hunger in North Korea. Because the food crisis was so extensive, Cayuga-Syracuse submitted an overture to the 219th General Assembly (2010) to mobilize wider support for mission and ministry in North Korea, an overture approved following amendment.

In 2011 the partnership facilitated a shipment of powdered milk, and PC(USA) and PCK jointly funded a shipment of corn. Today, the PC(USA) supports the Children’s Nutrition Program (E051775).

The food crisis in North Korea continues. In the face of evolving geopolitical realities, answering the call to carry out God’s mission in North Korea becomes ever more challenging. PC(USA) and PCK continue the struggle to find government-approved ways for denominations to accept financial donations and turn them into food deliveries. And the partnership continues to seek ways to be faithful to its calling to serve the people of North Korea.

In October 2013 the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse, with assistance from Rev. Ed Kang and Sue Kinsler, delivered $3,000 of food aid in the form of livestock (pigs, goats, rabbits, chickens, ducks) to be raised for food for an orphanage and a school for the deaf in Wonsan. Rev. Kang returned with an official receipt or “Confirmation of Donation” from the Korean Cooperation Office for the Disabled and Orphans in Pyongyang, DPRK.

Linda S. Russell, convener, Korean Partnership Mission and Ministry Team, Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

Korean Christian Federation: Jung Ja Hong, art and French teacher, Pyongyang Seminary


Korean Christian Federation: Rev. Jong Ro Li, director of international affairs • Pyongyang University of Science and Technology: Dr. James Chin-Kyung Kim, president

Presbytery Partnership

Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse, with Pyongyang Presbytery (PCK)

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Gail Michael, PMA

Let us pray

God of grace, we ask that you would give us creative ways to serve the people of North Korea, and that they would one day claim the hope and joy of abundant life in Christ. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 97; 147:12-20
First Reading Judges 14:1-19
Second Reading Acts 6:15-7:16
Gospel Reading John 4:27-42
Evening Psalms 16; 62

Mission Yearbook for August 13, 2014

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Korea (South)




Anna Curl, Thomas Loyd, and Anna Shustitzky with students in the after-school program


As Young Adult Volunteers in South Korea, our main focus was building relationships with the children at after-school centers in underprivileged parts of Daejeon, a flourishing city of 1.5 million people.

With Korea’s sudden economic growth in recent decades, the gap between affluent people and people living in poverty has also expanded. Members of Senaru Church saw a need in their area, and their faith led them to take action. They joined with neighboring churches to provide daily meals for people in nearby communities. As YAVs, we were able to participate in this ministry by preparing and serving food and washing dishes.

In addition to being a place for people to gather and enjoy a hot meal, Senaru provides a loving after-school program for students from elementary school through high school. Many come from single-parent homes or homes where parents must work very long hours in order to get by. This after-school program is somewhere they can come for tutoring, art classes, and field trips—and, best of all, to experience God’s love.

We were called to teach English at the centers, our native speaking abilities being the only qualification. We failed early and often but were accepted and lifted up by our students as we grew together in understanding and friendship.

—Anna Curl, Thomas Loyd, and Anna Shustitzky, Young Adult Volunteers, 2011–12

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

Rev. Choon Lim, regional liaison, East Asia, Presbyterian World Mission, Yen Hee Lim, team ministry • Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK): Rev. Kurt Esslinger and Hyeyoung Lee, YAV site coordinators/partnership facilitators, peacemaking

Young Adult Volunteers

William “Bennett” Alldredge, Molly DeWitt, Eric Gleason, and Quantisha Mason, community development interns, PCK, Hannam University


Presbyterian Church of Korea: Rev. Dr. Hong-Jung Lee, general secretary, Rev. Chang-bae Byun, executive secretary, planning and ecumenical relations • National Organization of Korean Presbyterian Women: Elder Kyung Ja Min, moderator, Rev. Yoon Hee Lee, general secretary • Women Ministers Association: Rev. Sook Jae Lim, moderator, Rev. Hye Sook Kim, general secretary • Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK): Rev. Tae Jin Bae, general secretary, Rev. Min-heui Cheon, executive secretary, ecumenical relations • National Council of Churches in Korea: Rev. Young Ju Kim, general secretary • Christian Literature Society: Rev. Ji Kang Chung, president • Hanil University and Presbyterian Theological Seminary: Rev. Dr. Duck-ho Oh, president • Hannam University: Dr. Hyung Tae Kim, president •Hanshin University: Dr. Soo Il Chae, president • Honam College and Theological Seminary: Rev. Dr. Young Sang Ro, president • Keimyung University: Dr. Ilhi Synn, president • Kwangju Christian Hospital: Dr. Byung Ran Park, MD, director • Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary: Rev. Dr. Myng Yong Kim, president • Presbyterian Medical Center, Chonju: Chang Young Kwan, MD, director • Siloam Eye Hospital: Rev. Dr. Sun Tae Kim, director • Soongsil University: Dr. Hun Soo Han, president • Yonsei University: Dr. Kap-Young Jeong, president • Yonsei University Health System (Severance Hospital): Dr. Chul Lee, president

Presbytery Partnership

Hanmi Presbytery, with Jeonju Presbytery

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Kate Metz, BOP

Let us pray

Thank you, Lord, for relationships formed, experiences deeply rooted in another culture, the Korean language, kimchi and rice, heated floors, unconditional hospitality, meals shared with metal chopsticks and wonderful people, and a community growing in faith and hope and love. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 89:1-18; 147:1-11
First Reading Judges 13:15-24
Second Reading Acts 6:1-15
Gospel Reading John 4:1-26
Evening Psalms 1; 33

Mission Yearbook for August 12, 2014

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Hong Kong


Hong Kong students join in an antinuclear protest.


Photo courtesy of the Hong Kong Christian Council


Every May to July, the Hong Kong Christian Council cosponsors a summer internship to engage theology students and church youth in the rich tradition of the ecumenical movement. The Ecumenical Summer Institute gives Hong Kong young people from various church backgrounds the opportunity to reflect on the relationship between Christian faith and social justice and to explore how churches are involved in the development of society.

Interns serve in different Christian NGOs, human rights groups, and local churches. They also attend group forums and participate in social movements as an introduction to hot topics such as democratic reform, gender justice, poverty, the environment, sexuality, and rights for ethnic minorities. By involving interns in the work of the gospel at the ground level, the multifaceted program is training a new generation for Christian leadership in Hong Kong.

“I have learned to pay more attention to how theology is challenging our society today,” said one seminarian. “Action and reflection take place at the same time. Through direct action, our ability to reflect is even faster.” Another inspired youth remarked: “Being a Christian is not just sitting in an air-conditioned room and talking about justice. We must go out and act justly as Jesus did. It is his power that moves us to love and care for others.”

Rev. Judy C. Chan, PC(USA) mission coworker, Hong Kong

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

Hong Kong Christian Council: Rev. Judy Chan, communications specialist


Hong Kong Christian Council: Rev. Po Kam-Cheong, general secretary • Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China: Rev. Eric S. Y. So, general secretary • Christian Family Service Center: Mr. Kwok Lit-tung, director

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Marvin Mendoza, BOP
Andrea Meriwether, PMA
Marcia Metlin, BOP

Let us pray

Dear Lord, you desire that all would enjoy the fruits of their labor and live in peace. Please open a path for Hong Kong to be a place of your blessing. May your kingdom come and your will be done. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 42; 146
First Reading Judges 13:1-15
Second Reading Acts 5:27-42
Gospel Reading John 3:22-36
Evening Psalms 102; 133

Mission Yearbook for August 11, 2014

Sun, 08/10/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     China


Project Torch wedding


Photo by Judy Chan



University education is a dream for most young people in mainland China. The entry system is highly competitive, and only those with exceptional ability and grades get the chance to study at the university level. However, some outstanding students who are accepted cannot afford the cost. Some come from rural areas where their parents’ income cannot pay expenses for four years, an inability that has even led some to commit suicide.

In response to this situation, the Hong Kong Christian Council started Project Torch to help these deserving young people. This year 590 sponsored students are studying in Yunnan, Fujian, Nanjing, Sichuan, Henan, and Shantung. The program has thus far sponsored almost 900 graduates, who are now working and making significant contributions to the nation. The love and support from Hong Kong sponsors goes beyond financial aid. The sponsors become mentors and friends. A few years ago, 10 Project Torch graduates decided to have a group wedding ceremony. With guidance and assistance from “aunties” and “uncles” from Hong Kong, the 10 couples were united in holy matrimony. “The Bible says, ‘We love because God loves us first,’ ” one groom wrote. “We 10 couples will love each other, help future generations of Project Torch, and witness to the amazing grace that has been bestowed upon us from God.”

Rev. Judy C. Chan, PC(USA) mission coworker, Hong Kong

Let us join in prayer for:


Amity Foundation: Mr. Qui Zhonghui, general secretary • China Christian Council: Rev. Gao Feng, president, Rev. Kan Baoping, executive associate general secretary • Nanjing Union Theological Seminary: Rev. Gao Feng, president, Rev. Chen Yilu, vice president • National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China: Elder Fu Xianwei, chair, Rev. Xiaohong Xu, general secretary

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Nancy McWhorter, PMA
Don Meade, PMA
Melody Medley, PMA
Karen Meier, BOP
Kathy Melvin, PMA

Let us pray

Dear God, we give thanks for the dedication and sacrifice of all those who labor for education in China. May all students know the plans you have for them, to give them a future with hope. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 5; 145
First Reading Judges 12:1-7
Second Reading Acts 5:12-26
Gospel Reading John 3:1-21
Evening Psalms 82; 29

Mission Yearbook for August 10, 2014

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Minute for Mission: Higher Education/Collegiate Ministries


Presbyterian Student Fellowship of Auburn University at the College Conference at Montreat


Photo by Rachel Winter


“Why do you love campus ministry?” It’s a question I hear often from folks in all walks of life. There is so much joy to be found, so much to learn, and so many ways to walk with these young adults as they figure out questions of calling, of majors, of relationships, of who and what God is calling them to be. Psalm 105 reminds us to give thanks to God, and that is what college folks do.

They could be doing anything else in the world, but they choose to come to the church to eat, play, study, sing, question, and worship. They honor God here in so many ways—by singing in the choir, working with our youth, playing music in worship, laughing together, praying for each other. They come to seek the Lord’s presence continually because they have so many questions and concerns as they grow and experience so many things during college. They come here to seek the Lord and to ask for God’s strength as they face new things daily.

I give thanks each day for the good souls at First Presbyterian Church of Auburn, Alabama, and the many others like them who show God’s wonderful works as they invite students into their homes for meals, delight in their preaching, let them take their children on trips, and pray for them each and every day.

Rev. Rachel Winter, campus minister, First Presbyterian Church, Auburn, Alabama

Let us pray

Holy God, we are ever mindful of the baptismal vows we make to honor, raise, and love your children. Help us to remember that these vows do not cease when your children reach their college years. Inspire us to welcome these incredible folks into our midst and to pray for them, help them, listen to them, and love them as you do. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Gen. 37:1–4, 12–28
“Here I Am, Lord”
PH 525

Ps. 105:1–6, 16–22, 45b
“Praise the Lord,
God’s Glories Show”
HB 4, PH 481

Rom. 10:5–15
“I Love to Tell the Story”
HB 383

Matt. 14:22–33
“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”
PH 404

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 103; 150
First Reading Judges 11:1-11, 29-40
Second Reading 2 Corinthians 11:21b-31
Gospel Reading Mark 4:35-41
Evening Psalms 117; 139

Mission Yearbook for August 09, 2014

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Indonesia, continued


bu Siti Murkanti and Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta work together to empower the women in Yogyakarta


The majority of Indonesians of all faiths are committed to ending the marginalization of women and minorities. As a result of lobbying and educational efforts by women’s groups, several new laws now protect women from domestic violence and mandate their representation in political leadership and developmental policies. For example, Indonesia recently passed a national law requiring that 30 percent of candidates for political office be women.

Despite encouraging changes, the challenges remain daunting. National regulations are often blocked due to the suspicion of conservatives who fear that emphasis on human rights is just a new form of Western domination.

Presbyterian mission coworker Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta works at the grassroots to encourage people from all religious communities to recognize resources in their own traditions for appreciating and empowering women.

When Farsijana was nominated to be head of the Indonesian Women’s Coalition for her province, her Muslim friend Siti fasted and prayed for 40 days, asking that Farsijana would be chosen. Siti later explained that God spoke to her through her Christian sister’s work with people from all different religious backgrounds. She saw that if we share the love of God with all, then all women may have a better life. With the support of Siti and many other Muslim women, Farsijana was chosen. Siti has meanwhile been chosen as one of the overseers of this year’s national elections, to ensure that political parties implement laws intended to empower women in politics.

Let us join in prayer for:


Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS-Yogya): Siti Syamsiyatum, MA, PhD, director • Communion of Churches in Indonesia: Rev. Dr. Andreas A. Yewangoe, general chair, Rev. Gomar Gulton, general secretary • Christian Churches of Java: Rev. Dr. Andreas Untung Wiyono, general secretary • East Java Christian Church: Rev. Rudy Sewoyo, general chair, Rev. Tjondro F. Gardjito, general secretary • Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua: Rev. Jemima J. Mirion-Krey, chair, Rev. Hizkia Rollo, secretary • Indonesian Christian Church: Rev. Royandi Tanudjaja, general chair, Rev. Arlyanus Larosa, general secretary • Indonesian Christian Church, Central Java: Rev. Samuel Adi Perdana, general chair • Protestant Christian Church in Bali: Rev. Nyoman Suanda, general chair, Rev. I. Made Priana, general secretary • Duta Wacana Christian University: Dr. Djohan, MEM, PhD, rector, Rev. Dr. Yahya Wijaya, dean of theology • Jakarta Theological Seminary: Rev. Dr. Joas Adiprasetya, rector • Satya Wacana Christian University: Prof. Dr. John Titalay, rector

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Donald McKim, PPC
Andrea McNicol, PMA
Jewel McRae, PMA
Trisha McReynolds, PMA

Let us pray

Thank you, Lord, for the women of Indonesia, who are learning to serve their families and the wider society through taking part in the process of building a just society. We pray for them and for ourselves, that you would give us all strength to be doers of your will through the grace of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 63; 149
First Reading Judges 9:22-25, 50-57
Second Reading Acts 4:32-5:11
Gospel Reading John 2:13-25
Evening Psalms 125; 90

Mission Yearbook for August 08, 2014

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Indonesia


Malia Lenakoly represents the latest generation of Indonesians who respect and embrace diversity in their homeland.


Photo by Febrianti Rante


Malia Lenakoly, a student at Jakarta Theological Seminary, plans to become a pastor in Maluku, in eastern Indonesia, after graduating. Throughout her life, she has been accustomed to making friends with people of other religions. Her family visits Muslim neighbors during special days on the Islamic calendar. At Christmastime, the same neighbors stop by to wish her family a merry Christmas.

Malia acknowledges that over the past 10 years a fundamentalist movement tied to bombings and violence has emerged within Islam and Christianity. But those incidents did not affect her or anyone she knows, because they were aimed at Westerners and international media.

According to Malia, only a very small percentage of the people in Indonesia are fundamentalists. The vast majority of Indonesians respect their country’s motto, bhinneka tunggal ika (unity in diversity). “Our constitution respects and includes diversity,” she says. “It’s great when our young people learn about other faiths in school and in their daily interactions.”

Rev. Dr. Rebecca B. Young, PC(USA) mission coworker, Jakarta

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

Communion of Churches in Indonesia, Duta Wacana Christian University: Dr. Bernard Adeney-Risakotta, professor of ethics, Dr. Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta, professor of social science, faculty of business • Jakarta Theological Seminary/Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: Rev. Dr. Rebecca Young, instructor of systematic theology

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Rev. John McFayden, BOP
Carol McGinn, BOP

Let us pray

Our loving God, thank you for the gift of the young adults in Indonesia who reach out to their friends in a spirit of love. May their example be a light to the world, that all may live in peace. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 84; 148
First Reading Judges 9:1-16, 19-21
Second Reading Acts 4:13-31
Gospel Reading John 2:1-12
Evening Psalms 25; 40

Mission Yearbook for August 07, 2014

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh—a city many still know as Saigon—is a place of bustling activity, with motorcycles flooding every intersection like bees swarming a hive.

But the church in Vietnam is buzzing as well. It’s not in grand cathedrals that one will see this activity of the Spirit but in a network of house churches tucked away in small neighborhoods and out-of-the-way places.

These house churches—some 120 compared with only nine formal church buildings—have grown into the 7,500 members of the United Presbyterian Church of Vietnam (UPCV). Its largest church has more than 200 members; the smallest, close to 20. There are 24 ordained pastors, 33 evangelists, and 16 elders.

Because Vietnam is historically and traditionally a Buddhist country—and currently a Communist country—many are surprised to find that the Christian church is taking root here.

Though government persecution has lessened, it remains a live issue for the UPCV, limiting the size of gatherings, dictating that events such as weddings and ordinations be held in hotel ballrooms so as not to arouse suspicion, and creating a need for caution when bringing visitors into some of the more remote churches.

But this does not stop the UPCV, which continues to seek ways to plant new churches and to reach out to indigenous tribal groups as well as university students studying in cities away from home.

For the United Presbyterian Church in Vietnam, the harvest has been fraught with trials but is beginning to bear much fruit.

Erin Dunigan, tentmaking designated evangelist, Presbytery of Los Ranchos

Let us join in prayer for:


Church World Service–Vietnam

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Denise McCoy, PMA
Doris McCray, BOP
Terri McCurdy, FDN

Let us pray

Lord of the harvest, be with your laborers, so that their faithfulness may bear much fruit. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 116; 147:12-20
First Reading Judges 8:22-35
Second Reading Acts 4:1-12
Gospel Reading John 1:43-51
Evening Psalms 26; 130

Mission Yearbook for August 06, 2014

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend    

Hiroshima Day




Poramet Charoynoot at baccalaureate, Luce Chapel, Payap University, Chiang Mai


When Poramet Charoynoot was 12, his father left. About the same time, he began attending one of the schools of the Church of Christ in Thailand. Poramet is from a Buddhist background—like 95 percent of Thai people. “When I first came to the school, I saw the school motto was ‘Respect to the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,’” he says. “But I didn’t understand, and I thought, ‘Why does a school have to respect the Lord? And who is the Lord?’”

Can you imagine being 12 and never having heard of Jesus?

Poramet came to know the Lord Jesus as he studied the Bible at school and realized that God’s love could fill the emptiness he felt in his heart when his father abandoned him and his mother.

Poramet is not only a person of strong faith but an outstanding leader. He was the president of the student body at Payap University for two years. He has won numerous national awards, including the Royal Outstanding Student Award from His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Now working on an MDiv in Payap’s international program, Poramet seeks to “strengthen my potential to serve God and the people of God in every part of the world that I can.”

God is calling young people to himself in Thailand—young people who are motivated and being equipped to become the ethical leaders Thailand needs. And Payap University is privileged to be one of the communities God is using to shape these precious young leaders.

Rev. Esther Wakeman, PhD, director,Mae Khao Dormitories, Payap University

Let us join in prayer for:


Church of Christ in Thailand: Rev. Dr. Boonratna Boayen, moderator, Rev. Sayam Muangsak, general secretary • Payap University • McGilvary College of Divinity: Dr. Satanun Boonyakiat, dean

Presbytery Partnership

Presbytery of Los Ranchos, with McGilvary College of Divinity, Payap University

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Norma McConahay, FDN
William McConnell, PAM

Let us pray

Merciful God, continue to work through your people at Payap University to nurture those you are calling to serve your people and work for justice and peace. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 96; 147:1-11
First Reading Judges 7:19-8:12
Second Reading Acts 3:12-26
Gospel Reading John 1:29-42
Evening Psalms 132; 134

Mission Yearbook for August 05, 2014

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Thailand



James and Trinh, Petchaburi, 2012


Photo by Sharon L. Bryant


Rev. Dr. Sharon L. Bryant, a mission coworker serving at the request of the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), sent the following reflection from a young adult serving as a volunteer in one of the schools of the CCT.

God is calling, seeking those who will answer (Isa. 6:8). He stands in the places of our everyday lives, calling us to extraordinary experiences. In whatever places in life we are, God calls us, me . . . you.

I don’t have a lot of experience with mission; I just knew I wanted to be a part of it. I heard God call as I lived out my everyday life. I dared to answer, “Here am I; send me.” That’s just what God wanted.

I teach both elementary and upper-level grades in a CCT school and have been asked to help create the school’s first English-only program starting at the kindergarten level. Outside the classroom, I have opportunities to take part in local mission trips. I’ve seen Christ move in people’s hearts in areas of the country where the message of the gospel was not previously known. I also preach regularly in an English chapel service at the church I attend.

Yes, God has let me experience some extraordinary things in this everyday life, all because I chose to answer when God called. God is still calling. How will you answer?

—Rev. James Riggins, volunteer teacher, Padoongrasdra School, Phitsanuloke

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

Rev. Dr. Barry Dawson, regional liaison for Southeast Asia, Presbyterian World Mission, Shelly Dawson, team ministry, Presbyterian World Mission • Church of Christ in Thailand: Rev. Dr. Sharon Bryant, coordinator of Christian volunteers, Carol Fujii, team ministry, Rev. Leith Fujii, instructor in theology and evangelism, Bangkok Institute of Theology, Rev. Dr. Esther Wakeman, university administrator, Payap University • Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Churches: Amy Davisson Galetzka, ministry to Burmese refugees in Thailand

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Maria McAtee, BOP
Elder Tim McCallister, PMA
Dianna McCombs, PMA

Let us pray

Good and great God, you meet us in everyday life and call us to extraordinary experiences. Help us to hear your call for our lives and to answer in faith, “Here am I; send me.” We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 12; 146
First Reading Judges 7:1-18
Second Reading Acts 3:1-11
Gospel Reading John 1:19-28
Evening Psalms 36; 7

Mission Yearbook for August 04, 2014

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Sri Lanka




Herman Kumara


Photo by Valéry Nodem


After the deaths of more than 100,000 people during 26 years of civil war and a tsunami in 2004 that killed 30,000 and displaced another 500,000, the country of Sri Lanka is still trying to rebuild and to restore its fragile economy.

Part of the government’s recovery strategy is generating tourism, so resort and hotel development is under way along parts of the country’s vibrant green coastline and among the fragile lagoons where fisherfolk live and work. This means that fishing families continue to be displaced. Given the country’s egregious human rights record, those affected are afraid to speak up when water they rely on for food is sold off or leased to entertain paying tourists.

Herman Kumara knows the risks firsthand. A longtime human rights activist, Kumara is chair of Praja Abhilasha, the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s partner network in Sri Lanka, and coordinator of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement. He had to leave Sri Lanka in 2012 after foiling two attempted abductions—a common way for dissenting voices to “disappear” in Sri Lanka. “I will continue my engagements to make Sri Lanka a democratic and decent society,” says Kumara, who is now back home in Sri Lanka.

These organizations do not oppose every hotel project in Sri Lanka. But they do oppose resorts built in unsustainable ways that threaten Sri Lanka’s delicate ecosystems, and resorts that displace those with too little so that those who already have too much may add even more.

Valéry Nodem, associate for international hunger concerns,Presbyterian Hunger Program

Let us join in prayer for:


National Christian Council of Sri Lanka, Presbytery of Lanka: Rev. W. P. Ebenezer Joseph, general secretary

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Anne Marie Mazzone, BOP
Mary McAdory, PMA

Let us pray

Gracious God, where there are countless reasons to be hopeless, overcome them all, so that the world may see communities of people come alive, reborn and renewed in Christ’s name. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 62; 145
First Reading Judges 6:25-40
Second Reading Acts 2:37-47
Gospel Reading John 1:1-18
Evening Psalms 73; 9

Mission Yearbook for August 03, 2014

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Minute for Mission: Homelessness/Affordable Housing

Home is the foundation for families. But according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, more than 7.1 million American households find even a modest rental home is unaffordable and unavailable. In the United States, families are too often faced with the choice of paying rent or buying groceries.

The National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) was established as a provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The passage of NHTF legislation was a major victory for the lowest-income people in our country. The NHTF provides states and communities with funds to build, preserve, and rehabilitate rental homes that are affordable for extremely low-income households. Many states and localities have also established trust funds to complement efforts to address low-income housing concerns. To date, the NHTF has yet to be fully funded. Housing advocates are now seeking funding for the NHTF through mortgage interest deduction and housing finance reform, reestablishment of Freddie and Fannie contributions, and appropriations included in the 2014 federal budget.

To date, the NHT and its affiliates have accomplished much:

• Helped to save more than 25,000 affordable apartments in 42 states

• Preserved more than 5,700 affordable apartments through real-estate development

• Helped to save nearly 7,000 affordable apartments through lending

• Helped to save more than 13,300 affordable apartments through technical assistance

• Made loans totaling more than $8.7 million

• Leveraged more than $1 billion in financing

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has endorsed the NHT, as have 11 PC(USA) congregations and presbyteries. In addition, the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness is actively working to promote the NHTF

Douglas G. Grace, MDiv, STM, director, Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice

Let us pray

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of shelter and home. Challenge us to find ways to extend this gift as we work together to create just, sustainable communities for all. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Gen. 32:22–31
“Sing Praise to God,
Who Reigns Above”
HB 15, PH 483

Ps. 17:1–7, 15
“O Lord, Make Haste to
Hear My Cry”
HB 392, PH 249

Rom. 9:1–5
“The Day of Resurrection!”
HB 208, PH 118

Matt. 14:13–21
“Break Thou the Bread of Life”
HB 250, PH 329

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 108; 150
First Reading Judges 6:1-24
Second Reading 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Gospel Reading Mark 3:20-30
Evening Psalms 66; 23

Mission Yearbook for August 02, 2014

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     Bangladesh

Manuel Soren (right), graduate of St. Andrew’s Theological College in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and catechist for the new rural congregation in Hudrapur.


Photo by Cindy Morgan


Born into a poor Christian family, Manuel Soren grew up in the small Santal tribal village of Nosrotpur in northwest Bangladesh. Sensing Manuel’s zeal to serve God, his pastor recommended him for admission to St. Andrew’s Theological College in Dhaka, which trains all clergy and lay leaders in the Church of Bangladesh, a PC(USA) partner.

After Manuel completed a diploma in social ministry, the Church of Bangladesh chose him to be part of a team to share the gospel among other tribal people living in rural villages near his home. Through his ministry, several families in the village of Hudrapur came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Now a husband and new father, Manuel is serving as the resident catechist for Hudrapur. He sits with the new believers on a woven straw mat spread on the dirt floor of a 10' × 20' bamboo hut to lead them in worship. These landless families, who work as day laborers in the surrounding rice fields, are growing in the understanding of their new faith and in their devotion to God. And the Church of Bangladesh is growing in numbers and spiritual depth as a result of the faith and dedication of young men like Manuel.

May 2014 Update: The Church of Bangladesh has recently assigned Manuel to serve an even newer congregation in the village of Tatihati.

Cynthia L. Morgan, MD, MPH, PC(USA) mission coworker, Dhaka

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

Church of Bangladesh: Dr. Cynthia Morgan and Dr. Leslie Morgan, advisers for Health Ministries


Church of Bangladesh: Rt. Rev. Paul Sarker, bishop (Dhaka Diocese), moderator, Rt. Rev. Samuel Sunil Mankhin, bishop (Kushtia Diocese), deputy moderator

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Jessica Maudlin, PMA
Rev. David Maxwell, PPC
Sherree May, PMA

Let us pray

O God of mercy, bless Manuel and all those serving as catechists and pastors in the Church of Bangladesh. Grant them the faith and courage they need to proclaim the gospel of your Son, Jesus Christ. Anoint the new believers in the village of Hudrapur with your grace, that they may experience the abundance of life found only in you, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 122; 149
First Reading Judges 5:19-31
Second Reading Acts 2:22-36
Gospel Reading Matthew 28:11-20
Evening Psalms 100; 63

Mission Yearbook for August 01, 2014

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 22:00
Share with a friend     India





Sharmila’s music gives her courage!


Sharmila (Shar-me-lah) is a Dalit Christian and computer-science student in her final year at CSI Ewart Women’s Christian College, Church of South India. A member of a people denied education for 2,000 years, she reflects on her educational aspirations.

"I want to teach a class while my father watches me. ‘Study well; you can become a teacher,’ he told me when I was young. This is my desire, since no one in my family ever studied before. So many people who want to study don’t have the money. I can’t help everyone, but I can help one child, right from the start, all the way through college. I want to support one child’s education while I am teaching.

“I was very shy when I came to college, but now my shyness is evaporating. I really like to play the keyboard and sing. Our music teacher encourages me, and then I feel very happy. I never had the chance to learn at home, but our scholarship program includes music. Now I’m the song leader in church. Surprised? I am! Church choir gives me strength. I thank God for my college and for the chance to learn music as part of the leadership-skills program. Next, I need to complete my teacher training. I plan to share God’s love by giving opportunities to my future students.”

Becoming a teacher is still a miracle in many parts of India.

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission
Please pray for people in mission in India.


Presbyterian Church of India: Rev. Laldawngliana, administrative secretary • Church of North India: Most Rev. Dr. P. P. Marandih, moderator, Mr. Alwan Masih, general secretary • Church of South India: Most Rev. G. Devakadasham, moderator, M. M. Philip, general secretary • Baring Union Christian College: Dr. Edward Masih, principal • Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore: Dr. Sunil Chandy, hospital director, Dr. Alfred Job Daniel, principal of Medical College • Kodaikanal International School • Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology & Sciences: Dr. Mani Jacob, chancellor • Sangli Industrial School: Mr. Sandip W. Raut, principal • United Theological College, Bangalore: Rev. Dr. John Samuel Raj, principal • Wanless Hospital, Miraj Medical Centre: Dr. Nathaniel Sase, director • Woodstock School: Dr. Jonathan Long, principal

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

John Matekovic, BOP
Valerio Mateo, PMA

Let us pray

Beloved God, we want to love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help us to read your Word and understand the truth that will set us free. Teach us, dear Jesus, so that we too can teach like you. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 88; 148
First Reading Judges 5:1-18
Second Reading Acts 2:1-21
Gospel Reading Matthew 28:1-10
Evening Psalms 6; 20


Presbyterian Mission Yearbook

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