PC(USA) Mission Co-Workers Mark Hare and Jenny Bent
Promoting environmental sustainability
Between the two of them, Mark Hare and Jenny Bent have been working with Presbyterian World Mission since 1997. Mark led agricultural training programs in Nicaragua and Haiti before he and Jenny moved to the Dominican Republic in 2012. While Mark continued serving in Haiti, commuting monthly, Jenny began partnering with the Dominican Protestant Church as it prioritized outreach to marginalized communities served by its churches, equipping them to mobilize their own resources while working for sustainable change.
In January, Mark and Jenny accepted a new call to promote environmental sustainability and community outreach alongside Latin American Biblical University (UBL), an ecumenical seminary on the eastern edge of San Jose, Costa Rica. A critical objective will be to nurture a common vision and mutual understanding among staff, students, professors and local communities, leading to workable strategies for ecological practices and holistic food production.
Mark feels honored to be working with UBL, a seminary that recognized the connection between theology, community and the environment. Through his work in Nicaragua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and now Costa Rica, he has developed a deep appreciation for practical theology. “I realize how important it is to address people’s spirituality as they move towards sustainable change,” Mar said.
Jenny’s work in Community Health Evangelism in the Dominican Republic has given her abundant opportunities to practice love through walking alongside, listening to and supporting communities as they determine what they need to do to thrive.
Mark – December 9
Jenny – October 9
Keila – July 16
Annika – July 10
To learn more about the wonderful work these two remarkable missionaries are doing, visit https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/missionconnections/mark-hare-and-jenny-bent/
PC(USA) Mission Co-Workers Carlton “Cobbie” and Dessa Palm
Sharing a spirit of reconciliation and resilience
Cobbie and Dessa Palm work alongside The United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). Cobbie has served in mission for more than 20 years, while Dessa accepted mission appointment in 2012.
Both Cobbie and Dessa were born in the Philippines. While Dessa is of Filipino descent, Cobbie is the son of longtime Presbyterian missionaries who have a deep understanding of the struggles of the Filipino people.
Dessa works as the artistic director of Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts (YATTA), which partners with local UCCP churches that use theater for evangelism and advocacy. Through YATTA, young artist/teachers/advocates use theater arts to address challenging subjects, such as human trafficking, gender-based violence, children’s rights, teen pregnancy and sexual abuse.
Cobbie facilitates several UCCP mission priorities. He leads church development seminars for pastors and spiritual formation for seminary students. He also coordinates projects related to clean water, waste and sanitation, and develops curriculum and church training programs to promote peace and reconciliation for the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform. Cobbie appreciates the Asian proverb “To hear is to forget, to see it to remember, but to feel is to understand.”
Cobbie and Dessa serve as site coordinators for the PC(USA)’s Young Adult Volunteer Program in the Philippines.
Find out more at www.pcusa.org/cobbie-and-dessa palm.
Living Waters is the global mission program of the Synod of Living Waters (Presbyterian Church USA) that trains and equips church mission groups and others to share the gift of clean water with communities in need, and to empower their partners to continue purifying their water on an ongoing basis. Clean waters systems are provided both in Appalachia and other countries. A local Board member is from our church, and this program receives funding in the outreach budget of the church.