"Amara a tu projimo como a ti mismo." Jesus, Mateo 22:39
"Love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus, Matthew 22:39
Springwood takes an active role in bringing to the Good News of Jesus Christ to people beyond our local community through service, giving, and partnerships.
And we can always use some extra hands, so go ahead and join us. If you have a question or want to contribute to our national and global mission work, please contact Jennifer Sutherland.
For brief descriptions of our ministries and partnerships, click on the item that interests you or simply scroll down.
|Mexico Mission Trips||West Virginia Mission Trip||Presbyterian Disaster Assistance|
|Just Coffee||Missionary Partner: Mexico||Missionary Partner: Peru|
|Missionary Partner: Nicaragua|
For several years, Springwood has partnered with Presbyterian Border Ministry to work with the Presbyterian Church of Mexico. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Mexico and make a trip each year to join them in mission.
Our mission teams of 6-12 people fly to San Diego and drive across the border to the church where they will live, work, and minister for the week. Our time is divided between worship, physical labor, outreach, and fellowship.
- Worship: Each day we spend time in song, devotion, study, and prayer as we worship God with our Mexican friends and as a team. On Sundays we do no work. We rest, play, and worship.
- Physical Labor: We spend about 2/3 of our workdays building, renovating, or painting. In the past we have helped build new churches, new homes, re-roof the church, renovate a kitchen, and we've done a lot of painting.
- Outreach: An important component of our work is coming alongside the Mexican church to reach out to the people in their communities. We do this by holding Vacation Bible Schools for the children, activities for mothers, and through evangelistic presentations of drama and music.
- Fellowship: Perhaps the most enduring result of our mission trips are the deep bonds that are formed between team members and with the Mexican churches. We learn much through the cross-cultural experience. And we have lots of fun playing basketball and jumping rope, kids and adults alike, or whatever fun we come up with as the sun sets.
While Presbyterian Border Ministry has seven sights along the US/Mexico border, we have partnered with Pueblos Hermanos, located at the border between California, USA and Baja California, Mexico. On the north side of the border are the American cities of Chula Vista and San Diego. While on the south side of the border are Tijuana, Tecate, and Ensenada.
Most of our mission has been to churches in Tijuana. Tijuana is a city of two million people, many of whom have come there in recent years from states in the interior and south of Mexico. New immigrants continue to flock to this city to start over. In numerous families the husbands and older sons work in assembly plants for meager wages, and the women stay home to care for their children, clean their tiny homes, and cook. The Presbyterian Church is fairly young in this part of California, but has experienced a lot of growth. They continue to focus on evangelism and starting new churches and missionary outposts.
Summer 2008 Springwood sent a team on a week-long mission trip to the Appalachian Mountains. We stayed at a Presbyterian Church in West Virginia and worked each day on improving the house of an impoverished family. This is through the West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy & Workcamps. Check out our Calendar of Upcoming Events for the month of August for more details.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) enables Presbyterian congregations like ours to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic events.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. It's core budget including staff and administrative costs is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing that we collect each year at Easter. Special offerings are regularly received to help with individual crises both here in the US and around the world.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance:
- Focuses on the long term recovery of disaster impacted communities
- Provides training and disaster preparedness
- Works collaboratively with church partners and members of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) internationally, and nationally with other faith based responders
- 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
- Manages a number of specialized volunteer teams to work nationally and internationally providing consultation, program design and training
- Cooperates with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in providing service structure for asylum seekers in the United States
- Cooperates with Church World Service in the resettlement of refugees to the United States
In the past, we at Springwood have collected and sent funds for people to clean-up, recover, and rebuild after catastrophes such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the great Southeast Asian Tsunami, and wildfires in California.
Through our Mexico Mission partnership, Springwood was introduced to Just Coffee. We now sell Just Coffee and use it for church events. It is a high quality coffee like that you would find in upscale coffee houses. But more than that, it is Just (justice), as their sub-line says: Caffeine with a Conscience.
Just Coffee is a coffee grower cooperative based in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas Mexico, with facilities Agua Prieta, Sonora Mexico and Douglas Arizona. Members are from a coffee growing community in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas Mexico and from the US.
Presbyterian Border Ministry site Frontera de Cristo joined together these people of faith from Mexico and the US to create a company to directly market organic, shade tree, high mountain, pure, fresh roasted Arabica coffee.
The idea behind Just Coffee is to address one of the root causes of labor migration from Mexico to the USA. Our business model is simple and optimizes profit for the growers. The coffee is harvested, cleaned and prepared for shipping as green beans, (what is called "oro" - gold) from the very southern tip of Mexico in Salvador Urbina Chiapas, to the far northern frontier of Mexico in Agua Prieta, Sonora. In Agua Prieta the coffee is roasted, ground and packaged in small, air-tight bags for crossing over into Douglas Arizona, USA and then shipped to customers.
The goal is to develop a Chiapan owned company providing viable economic incentives for young and old to remain on family lands, versus migrating to the US to find work. It also offers incentives for those who have moved out of Chiapas to return home.
You may purchase some Just Coffee at Springwood from our literature table in the fellowship hall. Or you may learn more and place orders directly by visiting the Just Coffee web-site.
Presbyterian Missionary Rev. Bill Soldwisch
Rev. Bill Soldwisch coordinates our Mexico Mission Trips. He lives along the California/Mexico border and leads Presbyterian mission work in that part of Mexico (Baja California), working with dozens of Mexican Presbyterian churches and working with thousands of Americans traveling there on mission trips each year.
Bill is a Presbyterian Church USA missionary. He is co-director of Pueblos Hermanos Presbyterian Border Ministry in Tijuana-San Diego with the Rev. and Mrs. Enrique Romero of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Mexico. This ministry is one of seven U.S.-Mexican Presbyterian collaborations of evangelism, new church development, community health and development, and mission education along our common border with Mexico (four along the Texas border and two along the Arizona border).
Bill graduated from Pomona College, Claremont, California, in psychology in 1965, worked three years in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Philippines in secondary math teaching and teacher training, and then graduated from the San Francisco Theological Seminary at San Anselmo, California, in 1971. From 1971 to 1979 he served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Quilcene, Washington, 40 miles west of Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula. He then pastored the English-speaking Interdenominational United Church of Guadalajara, Mexico, from 1980 through mid-1983.
Bill began serving in mission with the PC(USA) in June 1983. He studied Spanish for ten months in San Jose, Costa Rica, and has served in Tijuana since the summer of 1984. He is a member of the Presbytery of San Diego.
Bill and his wife, Susan, have two children: Shana Maria and Jonathan Luke.
For a photo of Bill and to read his regular newsletters about his ministry in Mexico, click here.
Presbyterian Missionary Jacob Goad
Jacob Goad was appointed to a two-year term of service in January 2007 to be the coordinator for receiving PC(USA) mission teams and delegations in Peru. He is based in the capital city, Lima.
Jacob serves at the invitation of the Evangelical Presbyterian and Reformed Church of Peru (IEPRP), which traces its beginnings to the arrival of John McKay from the Free Church of Scotland in 1916 and the arrival of missionaries from the United States.
Jacob's work as coordinator of delegations requires him to do everything to enable successful trips to Peru: logistics, planning, accompaniment, itineration set-up, translations, and all back-and-forth communication pre- and post-delegation.
Since the age of 15 Jacob has had a keen awareness that he is being called into mission service. He traveled to Peru at least once a year for the seven years preceding his call as a full-time missionary.
"When I worked with a human rights organization in Moyobamba, Peru," writes Jacob, "I saw that the best way to build a partnership with the church in Peru was to work with short-term mission teams. As delegations coordinator, I plan to emphasize mutuality. Each church has important gifts to share with the other. I want to see both churches sharing a unified vision in Christ's service.
Jacob holds a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina, where he concentrated in Romance languages. While in college he was the mission coordinator for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and part of Students United for Darfur Awareness Now.
After graduating from college, Jacob worked as an immigration paralegal for the Chapman Law Firm in Greensboro, North Carolina. He also served as the associate director for Latino ministry at First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro, North Carolina.
Jacob is a member of Alamance Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina and has visited Springwood Church to share about his missionary work.
Click here to read an article about his work with the impoverished people of Peru.
For a photo of Jacob and to read his regular newsletters about his ministry in Peru, click here.
Presbyterian Missionary Ellen Sherby
Ellen has been under appointment as a mission co-worker since January 1, 2000, serving with the Nicaraguan Council of Evangelical Churches (CEPAD). She facilitates communication between churches in Nicaragua and the United States, and she writes and edits the CEPAD Report, a newsletter in English about CEPAD's ministries.
Ellen also edits a newsletter focusing on CEPAD partnerships called "Bonds Without Borders," which is published both in English and Spanish. She helped coordinate the creation of CEPAD's first bilingual Web site, and she now maintains that Web site.
"Nicaragua is an intense place to live, says Ellen. "Most Nicaraguan families operate on a survival basis, living each day without knowing if there will be enough beans or tortillas for their children. There are a lot of historic, political, and economic reasons for the stark economic reality in which so many Nicaraguans live. Hope and hopelessness wrestle one another. This is the reality of the world, not just Nicaragua."
Ellen is married to the Reverend Elmer Zavala, and they live in Managua with their sons Galen and Kamil. Elmer is currently the pastor of an Evangelical Methodist church in the Hialeah neighborhood of Managua and is serving a second two-year term as his denomination's president. A native of East Lansing, Michigan, Ellen grew up in the United Church of Christ there and is now a member of the Methodist Church where Elmer pastors. Ellen graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a B.A. in religious studies and Spanish.
Ellen and her family have visited Springwood to share their missionary experiences with us.
For a photo of Ellen and to read her regular newsletters about ministry in Nicaragua, click here.