Peace & Global Witness

International Peacemakers to return in 2021

April 29, 2021 by Darla Carter

Continuing a nearly 40-year tradition, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is once again hosting individuals from around the globe who will serve as International Peacemakers.

Each year, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program welcomes an international cadre of leaders from partner organizations and denominations. They visit churches in the United States to provide a global perspective about issues impacting the world.

June 1 is the application deadline to host one of this year’s International Peacemakers, who will share stories about their work and witness through a Matthew 25 lens. (After June 1, additional applications are considered based upon peacemaker availability.  Go here for more information.).

“The peacemakers help us understand peace and justice concerns around the world and provide insights that can inspire us to greater faithfulness,” according to promotional materials. “Their visits broaden our sense of God’s inclusive family and help equip us to build a culture of peace and nonviolence for all God’s children.”

Individuals who are able to visit the United States in person will be able to do so from Sept. 24 to Oct. 18, and virtual visits will be arranged for those who need alternatives, said the Rev. Rachel Anderson, Mission Specialist for the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

The Peacemaking Program also plans to bring back its Virtual Symposium, which consists of a series of pre-recorded interviews with past peacemakers. The symposium was held for the first time in 2020, and it was well-received by the public, Anderson said.

This year, International Peacemakers will be focusing on PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 invitation as it relates to six categories, said the Rev. Carl Horton, Peacemaking’s Coordinator for Mission. The categories are hunger ministries; clean water and environmental justice; immigration, migration and refugee issues; poverty alleviation; health and wellness; and racism, systems of oppression and violence.

Presbyterian Peacemaking Program Coordinator the Rev. Carl Horton with 2016 International Peacemaker Veronica Muchiri of Kenya. (Photo by Presbyterian News Service)

Since 1984, more than 300 International Peacemakers from about 60 countries have been hosted by Presbyterians. Those who have been selected (so far) to participate in person or virtually in 2021 include:

Nta William Nche Cameroon: An ordained pastor from the Momo Division Northwest Region of Cameroon. He serves as the Peace Coordinator with the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon.

Efi Latsoudi Greece: A founding member and coordinator of the Pikpa Solidarity Camp in Lesvos, Greece.

Jonathan Drake Vumu Malawi: Executive Director of the Livingstonia Synod AIDS Programme (LISAP), a department of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), Synod of Livingstonia in Malawi.

Julie Kandema Rwanda: An ordained minister from the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. Since 2014 she has served as vice president and deputy legal representative for the denomination.

Peter Yien South Sudan: Works with the South Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church (SSEPC) as its director and trauma healing facilitator, primarily serving orphans and widows.

Frances Namoumou Fiji:  Leads the Pacific Conference of Churches addressing the effects of climate change on Pacific Island communities.

Helivao Poget Madagascar:  Founded a ministry (SAFFIFA) within the denomination’s chaplaincy program that provides a wide range of services for marginalized communities (youth, women, migrants and developmentally challenged people) and provides young people alternatives to criminal activity, substance abuse and sex work.

Peter Egwudah Nigeria:  Serves as the Program Coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE), a Nigerian national-based NGO working across multiple sectors and geographical locations in Nigeria to eradicate poverty and suffering.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is one of the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. It is supported by your gifts to the Peace & Global Witness Offering.

This was published for Presbyterian News Service on April 27, 2021.

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The Peace & Global Witness Offering draws Presbyterians together and provides exposure to active peacemakers as well as education and resources to empower congregations and individuals to become peacemakers, themselves.  These collective efforts support resources in dealing with conflict, provide nurturing reconciliation, and stand in support of our global siblings, because the peace of Christ belongs to people everywhere.