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World Mission
World Mission Work
Mission/Habitat Trip to Jordan
 
In March 2017, a group of eight volunteers, including Mary Ginnebaugh, Sally Langan, leaders Todd and Sue Mattison, Tom, Tammy, and Kevin  Escott, and Michael Clark from Ohio traveled to Amman, Jordan to build a concrete block home for a deserving couple and their three children. The children had developed asthma from living in poor housing conditions, which is part of the reason why this family was chosen to have help building their home. The couple got a loan from the CBO, a community based program that works with Jordan Habitat, and will be paying the loan back in monthly installments.
 
The house being built was in the village of Ammar Ben Yasser which is near Pella, northwest of Amman in the Jordan River valley. The team worked under the direction of a local builder who spoke enough English so they could all communicate. In addition, Mohammed Al Malkawi, a program manager for the CBO, stayed with volunteers and provided interface between the family, builder, and others. Mohammed ensured that they had as much time as possible with the Jordanian people – a very loving, open, generous people who were incredibly appreciative.

Each day when the volunteers arrived at the buid site (the home was being built as the third floor of a building that housed extended family on the first and second floors), all of the cement blocks, sand, and water needed for the day had been moved the third level by young teens, recruited by the builder. The team made their own cement on a daily basis on the floor of the home. Everyone was very attentive to the volunteers' needs, ensuring they had gloves, safety hats and glasses, and dust masks, as well as water to drink.
 
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It was a 6-day build and the group was able to accomplish a tremendous amount, working from 8 to 5 each day, with an hour lunch break on the second floor with the extended family, providing opportunities for conversation and interaction. Even with breaks for sweet hot tea and cakes from the ladies of the family, the volunteers were able to build all of the exterior and interior cement block walls. This will allow the contractor to pour the concrete roof for the 700 square foot home which contains three bedrooms, a kitchen, shower, toilet, and a hallway. It is very basic, but the new home will be comfortable and safe, allowing for better health. Abraham - the builder - told the build team that he appreciated their professionalism and the great work ethic they brought.

Once again, the mission volunters wish to thank the congregation for the support they provided during this time. Your prayers and blessings helped the group to connect with the people of Jordan, to learn more about them and their culture, and to bring back that level of comfort, familiarity, and acceptance of each other's differences and celebration of our similarities that they hoped for. They and the family are deeply grateful.
 



Mission/Habitat Trip to El Salvador

Our team of 15 volunteers traveled to El Salvador in early 2016 to build a 450 square foot, 2 bedroom concrete block home for Abrahim and Jancy, a young couple who currently live in a plastic structure. The 15 volunteers ranged in age from a 22-year-old new college graduate to a retired married couple, to 76 and 73-year-old grandparents, and included 11 from Green Bay/Fox Valley. Three volunteers are members of First Presbyterian Church - Todd and Sue Mattison, leaders of the trip, and Mary Ginnebaugh, chief adventure officer. Three members were fluent Spanish speakers, including a native of Ecuador who works construction in Atlanta, Georgia. We experienced several cultural events, including visiting the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero, witnessing the granite wall of names of the 80,000 civilian victims murdered during the civil war, visiting a coffee plantation, and visiting one of the most beautiful and surprising churches in the world.
 
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On the build site, our team worked with a professional mason, Antonio, who was the most patient and kind teacher of mostly inexperienced but enthusiastic volunteers. Besides covering all of our expenses, the cost of the trip includes donations to Habitat for Humanity El Salvador to assist with the costs of construction. The work we were able to accomplish in 5 days moved the building forward in time, and reduced the cost even more for the family. Abrahim and Jancy work at local markets and were not able to assist with the day-to-day building, but relatives were at the build site to attend to our needs.  Our tasks were to make sure building materials were in the best locations (move mountains of dirt and sand) and begin laying the foundation and first rows of concrete block. Tools were simple - shovels, trowel, wheelbarrows, buckets, a hammer and plumb-bob - but we worked together as bucket-brigades and concrete mixers, sand movers and bricklayers. The volunteers formed strong bonds of friendship and fellowship with each other, the family, and the workers. Our van drivers were so inspired by our work that they joined in the fun, mixing concrete and moving wheelbarrows of sand and rocks, and promised to return to the build-site to volunteer weekly and send updates.  The final day of building was very emotional for everyone. Abrahim and Jancy took the day off from work to join us. They could not stop thanking us and wishing us blessings.

To the members of First Presbyterian Church who commissioned us with prayers and blessings, please know that you helped support building a decent home for a wonderful young family, and helped build community among our volunteers and the people of El Salvador. We are extremely grateful for your support.      
 


Mission Trip to Armenia

In the summer of 2014, five members of First Presbyterian Church and five other volunteers formed a global Habitat for Humanity team that worked in Armenia.  The team was led by Todd & Sue Mattison and included Mary Ginnebaugh and Randy & Ann Argall.

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Worldwide Mission

Pendon_logos_medianos_final_opt_smThrough its Unified Mission Pledge, First Presbyterian supports the worldwide mission of the PC(USA). 
 
Presbyterian World Mission works alongside global partners. It also helps congregations and presbyteries like ours as we engage in mission partnerships and build relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. 
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Winnebago Presbytery has a partnership with the Presbytery of Uraba in Colombia. We have visited one another, prayed for one another, and shared the ways God is working in our lives and communities. The most recent visit of a team from our Presbytery to Colombia was in March of 2014.
 


Mission Trip to Russia

In the summer of 2012, a team from First Presbyterian Church travelled to Russia to help two Baptist churches with Vacation Bible School. The team consisted of Ann & Randy Argall, Mary Steeno, Phil Mikulsky, Donna Jansen, Bobbi Schimmel, Emma Smith, and Holly & Robyn Gehri. The team leader was PCUSA mission worker Ellen Smith. The team brought supplies for crafts and provided some games and music.
 
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smith-alan-ellenMission Co-Workers

Alan and Ellen Smith are mission co-workers serving the PC(USA) in Russia and Germany. In August of 2011, First Presbyterian Church commissioned them for another term of service. Ellen works with the twinning project, matching congregations in the U.S. with sister churches in Russia. Al works with the Roma people and other minority groups. First Presbyterian Church makes an extra commitment to the Smith's ministry through the Outreach Foundation.
 


Mission Trip to Haiti

In October of 2010, about one year after the devastating earthquate in Haiti, a team of four people from First Presbyterian Church travelled to the country to volunteer at orphanages.  The four were Ann & Randy Argall, Mary Steeno, and Phil Mikulsky.  The team brought supplies and gifts from the church, but the greatest gift was their time and love.
 
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