Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church supports a variety of national and international missions both in person and through donation fundraisers. A brief description of each mission CMPC supports is provided below.
The Bethel Free Health Clinic
The Bethel Free Health Clinic is a faith-based medical clinic that serves the uninsured/underinsured in need of basic care and as well as medical treatment for chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension etc. Founded in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, it is located in Biloxi, MS. Originally run out of Bethel Lutheran Church, it has now built its own facility on the grounds of a city-run low income housing unit. The clinic consists of 2 intake rooms, 3 exam rooms, dispensary, waiting room, conference room and 2 offices. In 2012 over 2,700 were seen at the clinic. Funding for the clinic comes from many sources but primarily from the original grant related to the BP oil spill and support of several churches including local Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran churches.
International Students Inc (ISI)
ISI exists to share Christ’s love with international collegiate and post-graduate students and to equip them for effective service in cooperation with the local church. ISI is a student-centered ministry designed in response to the needs of international students and their families, treating every student with dignity, compassion, and sensitivity. The M & LO Committee supports Tim and Lyn Newbranders, who are ISI staff in the Philadelphia area.
Pine Springs Camp located in Somerset Country in Jennerstown, PA welcomes over 600 children each summer along with over 50 college-aged young adults and dedicated adults from local churches. Campers model their faith and share the camp’s mission statement of providing every camper with a vital encounter with Jesus Christ that leads to growth in Christian faith and discipleship. The site also hosts special outings and is used for retreats during the year. CMPC is contributing to the Capital Campaign to raise funds to construct a dining hall/ multi-purpose building that will improve the facility.
General Global Missions:
Association for Christian Conferences, Teaching, and Service ( ACCTS)
The ACCTS mission is to assist in the development of Christian leaders in the armed forces of the world and in the establishment and growth of military Christian fellowships. Today’s military personnel are at the forefront of peacekeeping and delivering humanitarian aid. With military personnel from so many countries stationed around the globe, there has never been a more strategic time to share the life-changing gospel of Christ with the semi-closed society of international military personnel. Positively changed lives among military personnel will result in positive changes for the nations of our world.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
PDA enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic events. (PDA is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Its core budget, including staff and administrative costs, is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing, and its program work is additionally funded through designated gifts. Program work includes long term recovery of disaster impacted communities and training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods. PDA works collaboratively with church partners and members of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) internationally, and nationally with other faith based responders. It connects partners locally and internationally with key organizations active in the response — United Nations, NVOAD (National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster), World Food Program, Red Cross, FEMA and others.
Rise Against Hunger’s meal packaging program is a volunteer-based initiative that coordinates the packaging of highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, and 23 essential vitamins and minerals. The program gives individuals and organizations, like CPMC, the opportunity to participate in a hands-on international hunger relief program and to become educated, engaged advocates for the world’s hungry. Since the inception of the meal packaging program in December 2005, these packaged meals have been used primarily to support school feeding programs in developing countries. This year two groups of 40-50 CMPC volunteers of all ages packaged 10,000 meals in two hours in Fellowship Hall for a total of 20,000 meals.
Dustin Garner at Youth With A Mission (YWAM). CMPC is supporting Dustin Garner who is currently full-time staff with YWAM which is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Dustin is based in Kansas City where he serves with the training department. His primary focus is YWAM’s Discipleship Training Schools which equip young people to serve the Lord and to share the gospel and the love of Christ abroad. Classes combine theory with practical application. To date Dustin has been on mission trips to Nepal, India, South Korea, The Caribbean and other countries in East Asia where he has visited many remote communities. YWAM requires participants to raise their own financial support for their ministry which is an ongoing challenge. All donations are welcome.
In the fall of 2015, the Mission and Local Outreach Committee went through a process of discernment that led the members to conclude that CMPC should initiate a long term relationship with a missionary in the field. Research that was part of the discernment led the committee to the Rev. Michael Weller and his wife Rachel.
Michael and Rachel Weller were appointed in 1994 to serve in Ethiopia with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY). Michael is the PC(USA)’s regional liaison for the Horn of Africa, where the PC(USA) works with partner churches in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Rachel is health coordinator for the East and West Gambella Bethel Synods of the EECMY in western Ethiopia. Rachel’s work with three medical clinics in one of the most remote parts of Ethiopia offers her many challenges, the largest of which is finding well-trained medical staff willing to live and work there. She is encouraged by the commitment of the East and West Gambella Bethel Synods to overcoming these obstacles so that the people of the area may have access to health care.
To read more about the Wellers’ work, please visit http://www.cmpcusa.org/the-wellers/
World Vision/ Drought in Ethiopia. In Spring of 2017, Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti) is experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades. Since 2016, repeated cycles of reduced rainfalls and persisting political instability have led to a significant deterioration in food security and to increasing numbers of internal and cross border displacement of affected persons. As of May 2017 an estimated 16 million people face the impact of severe drought, including in the Gambella region of Ethiopia where the Wellers are serving as missionaries with the support of CMPC. In response to this crisis, the Mission and Local Outreach Committee sent a donation to World Vision for drought relief.
Middle East Missions:
Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza
Al Ahli Arab Hospital is the only Christian hospital in strife-torn Gaza area. With well-tended grounds, it is a haven of peace in the middle of one of the world’s most troubled places. The political status of Gaza affects all aspects of life here because of restrictions on movement of materials and people in and out of the facility. Electricity, medicines, food, fuel, and personnel are all restricted to some extent. Al Ahli Arab Hospital continues to provide some of the finest medical care available in the region. For example, Ahli runs completely free of charge a program for early detection of breast cancer among women over 40 years of age. Two programs deserve special mention: the center for elderly women and the mobile clinic program which twice weekly provides free medical care and food to people from surrounding towns and villages.
Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is a non-profit medical relief organization that is working on the front lines of crisis relief in Syria and neighboring countries to alleviate suffering and save lives. SAMS was founded in 1998 as a professional society to provide physicians of Syrian descent with networking, educational, cultural, and professional services. When the conflict in Syria began in 2011, SAMS expanded its capacity significantly to meet the growing needs and challenges of the medical crisis. Today SAMS sponsors field hospitals and ambulances and pays the salaries of Syrian medical personnel who are risking their lives to save others. It also sends lifesaving humanitarian aid and medical equipment to where it is needed most. SAMS also supports Syrian refugees in neighboring countries with critical psychosocial support, medical and dental care, and art therapy programs.
Assyrian Aid Society – Iraq (AAS-I) is a non-profit humanitarian organization based in Dohuk in the Kurdish autonomous region of Northern Iraq. It is registered with the Kurdish authorities and has fundraising affiliates in the United States. Since its establishment in 1991, AAS-I has provided relief assistance to Assyrian and other minority communities affected by the ongoing crisis in the Erbil and Dohuk area. Recently, it has provided food baskets, personal hygiene supplies, educational supplies, clothing, and kerosene (for heating in winter) to thousands of families from the Plain of Ninevah and Mosul who were displaced during fighting with ISIS. Specialized mobile health units regularly visit to the villages to provide health and medical care.
Presbyterian Education Board – Pakistan
The Presbyterian Church’s involvement in education in Pakistan began by supporting primary school for girls in Sialkot in 1856 and continues to this day. Pakistan Education Board (PEB) is under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan and is supported by the Presbyterian Church USA. It provides high quality education based on Christian values to the local community. The scope of the Board extends to primary and secondary schools, higher education and vocational, professional and technical training. All students are educated to have a spirit of service and a quality of character that will enable them to contribute to society as citizen-leaders of their community, their church, their country and the world. CMPC provides a grant to PEB to continue its vital work in education.
Memorial Christian Hospital, Sialkot, Pakistan
Memorial Christian Hospital (a.k.a. Mission Hospital) is a 300-bed facility that provides a full range of health services and specialized care in obstetrics and gynecology. The hospital supports a highly-respected nursing school and extensive educational programs in infant health, hygiene, sanitation, and rural health care. It was established in 1880 by the Presbyterian Church.