Mission is the purpose of the church !
We at First Presbyterian Church Valparaiso view missions as an essential ministry of our church. In addition to supporting Presbyterian Mission programs through the Presbyterian Church USA, we develop various mission projects with other organizations that involve all members of our church either corporately or individually.
A mission trip is also being planned for the spring of 2021. Please contact Ken McAloon if you are interested in being part of the mission trip. We are also helping with Pastor Henry's van.
Thank you for being Jesus hands and feet here in Valparaiso, in Indiana, in the United States and in the World! We are blessed to share our blessings! If you have ideas for future mission opportunities, please contact Beth Germann 477-9964. We meet the second Monday of the month at 6:30. You are welcome to join us!
Share in our Mission Experiences
Guatemala Mission - By Beth Germann
I returned from Guatemala with a passion to help the Guatemalan girls, some as young as 10, who have experienced violence and exploitation. Oasis is a ministry that lives up to its name – providing love, care, and the water of Life to girls being rescued from the desert of abuse. Oasis is a community of family-style homes for Guatemalan girls. At Oasis, the Kids Alive staff works with government authorities to provide a safe haven for girls who have been rescued from dangerous environments. These girls are in court-ordered protective custody and all come with the deep scars of exploitation. Sadly, Guatemala ranks among the worst countries for violence against women and girls.
Here the girls live in family units with Guatemalan Christian housemothers. They attend school – many for the first time – and have access to trauma-focused therapy to help heal their emotional wounds. They receive legal support as they face custody hearings and criminal proceedings against aggressors. And most importantly, they are introduced to and surrounded by news of the transforming, healing love of Jesus.
Within Oasis is a specialized program focused on caring for child-moms and their babies. “La Arquilla” provides specialized care to young girls, usually pre-teens, pregnant as a result of abuse, and also for their babies as soon as they are born. Typically arriving in crisis, these traumatized girls receive excellent medical, nutritional, and post-partum care as they navigate life simultaneously as a child and a mother. They receive all the normal Oasis services, as well as the benefit of onsite day care for their babies while they continue their much-needed education.
Here is just one of the girl’s stories I heard:
Carmen came to the Kids Alive home after being taken away from her parents. In a violent home, she was abused and neglected. She now has the opportunity to learn to heal from the trauma she has experienced. A good student, her goal is to graduate one day and work in a church ministry. She has many interests including soccer, dancing, skating, and creating art projects.
Oasis Keeping Families Together
The Oasis Keeping Families Together initiative is regarded as one of the more innovative programs in Guatemala, and the Oasis team often trains other organizations in implementing similar ministries. Since its beginning, nearly 50% of Oasis girls have been reintegrated into their family – nuclear or extended.
The primary goal is to reconcile and reunite an Oasis girl with her family and then provide the support needed for success. Even though some of the girls return to live with their families, they often still need our help. “Keeping Families Together” focuses on healing through the power of the Gospel so relationships can be restored, discipleship can continue, and the girls don’t feel like we have abandoned them.
Oasis KFT’s team provides education support, micro-businesses, and family discipleship that seeks to break generations of dysfunction and allow a girl to thrive in her own family.
I am passionate about helping Kids Alive show these young girls how much God loves them!
Talk to me if you want to know more!
For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help. (Psalm 22:24).
Cuba, November 5 – 12, 2016
Cuba was nothing like we thought it would be. Although we came with zero expectations, a thought of “what if” was always is there. We went with a belief that poverty ruled this country. But what I found is a people rich with humility, simplicity, and love. We found a country rich in culture. We found a country where the Lord is present in its people.
There is something so profound and yet so pure in the churches there. We saw the gospel in its purest form. Even if words are not spoken, the gospel speaks on its own. It speaks volumes through its makeshift “home” churches and tattered hymn books, through songs and prayers.
We were humbled by how the Christians doing the Lord’s work in Cuba. In the US we have so much and the ability to do so much of the Lord’s work. In Cuba, they have so little but DO so much work for the Lord. We worked with the Presbyterian Church in Sabanilla. There. This church has so many needs. It has not had a resident pastor for many year. The congregation carries out the ministry of the church on a daily basis. A church of 34 cooks and serves 60 meals to those in need every Sunday – WITHOUT running water.
First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso raised funds to help them do. purchase a home, with running water, that can house the church with rooms for Church School and youth activities AND provide living space for a resident pastor. There is still much to do.
This is what we found in the heart of Cuba’s Christians and their treasure as a culture: to love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, and to love people as yourself.