Missionaries in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq
Elmarie and Scott Parker are Associates for Ecumenical Partnerships for the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) of the Presbyterian Church USA. PSPC supports their missionary work through PMA.
As regional liaison, Elmarie’s work focuses on strengthening ties between PC USA and partner churches and other organizations in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and on developing practical ministries that grow out of these relationships. She facilitates PC USA support for these ministries, and group learning and solidarity visits to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Elmarie is convinced the ongoing witness of the many indigenous Christian churches in the region is essential for a peaceful future in the Middle East.
Scott serves with the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC). As writer in residence, he writes stories to communicate the experiences and views of the Middle East people and church to PC USA and other MECC partners in the U.S. and Europe. He also leads MECC’s efforts to help children traumatized by unrest and war in Iraq and Syria who now live with their families in Lebanon. Out of this came the Strong Kids Program, which helps children develop emotional and spiritual resiliency through structured play in multi-faith groups.
Missionaries in Guatemala
Carl and Lisa Norton, previously members of PSPC, work in the San Lucas region of Guatemala where they partner with orphanages and children’s homes to provide love and care to displaced and special-needs children, host Bible groups, and teach reading. PSPC supports their missionary work through Commission To Every Nation (CTEN).
Recently, working with a local pastor in one of the poorest villages in their area, the Nortons expanded their ministry to include 1) providing scholarships for children to go to school, and 2) caring for foster children in their home. In this village, many of the children don’t go to school because their family cannot afford the cost, and many mothers don’t seek work because they are afraid to leave their kids alone who are not in school.