Global Missions

In 1988, Jim and Sarah Hornsby went to Nicaragua to begin a ministry to youth. Jim, a Presbyterian pastor and founder of Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua was invited to come by the pastor of the Nazarene Church, Catholic Church leaders, and CEPAD.

Jim and Sarah had previously worked with Young Life in the US for 14 years. Jim felt a strong call to work in Nicaragua, especially with marginalized youth.

While living in Matagalpa, a town in the mountainous region of the country, they contacted youth through English classes and sports. They looked for adults in those neighborhoods who could build Christ centered friendships with local youth. Gradually clubs were formed.  A club involves a weekly neighborhood gathering; open to all youth, with games, music, skits and a short Bible message. Each neighborhood where a club is formed has a Committee of Parents to aid in the work.  Following several years of groundwork, the Nicaraguan government approved the program as a non-profit religious foundation in 1999.

While in the US, Young Life works primarily with middle class high school youth, in Nicaragua they work with youth from “the bottom of the barrios.”  Each week they work with 1,000 high school age kids.  They have a good relationship with both the Catholic and Protestant churches within the country.  They have built a healthcare clinic, and bring in doctors and other healthcare workers from the US.

In addition to the clubs, Young Life operates a camp in the mountains, where the young people go for several days away from the overcrowded cities. Near the camp, 25 acres are set aside for growing coffee, which is sold to raise funds for the organization. The workers are paid a fair wage and are provided with housing and healthcare through the clinic. The coffee is sold in the US.

With an average age of 16 years, and as the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, there is a tremendous need for programs to help youth to prosper mentally, culturally and spiritually.

Following the Hornsby’s retirement in 2008, their place was taken by Danny and Ann Sharpe. At this time, the organization is trying to transition to a Nicaraguan-led organization. Many of you will remember Hollman Mendoza, the young man who spoke to us early last year. Hollman has recently been promoted to one of the National Director positions.

In 2012, Trinity’s Global Missions Ministry has contributed $2,000 to Young Life in Nicaragua.

Among the missionaries we sponsor through the Presbytery of Western North Carolina is Rebecca Young. Prior to her ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1998, Becca, as she in known to her friends, had a career in nutrition. From 1989 to 1993, she worked for Church World Service in Jayapura, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, where she served as a nutritional consultant. Becca - yes, we are her friends - has a bachelor's degree, three master's degrees, and a doctorate. Her bachelor's degree is in psychology and international development from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She has a master of divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA; a master's degree in public health and nutrition from the University of North Carolina Public Health in Chapel Hill, NC; and both a master's of philosophy and a doctorate from Fordham University in New York, NY.

In July 2007, Becca was appointed to serve as Instructor of Systematic Theology at the Jakarta Theological Seminary in Jakarta, Indonesia. In addition, she has a part-time assignment with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance as a consultant for PDA's ongoing recovery work for the tsunami in Aceh Province of December 2004. Becca regularly writes interesting, and often amusing, accounts of her experiences in Indonesia. You can check these out on the Global Missions bulletin board.

 

Click HERE to view the You Tube presentation of Dr. Rebecca Young.