“Jesus came to them and said ” All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28 18:-20
El Salvador. Ireland. Argentina. Peru. Highland has been around the world expressing God’s love and service. Offering Him all that we have. We are very passionate congregation that is active in mission and outreach. We’re on a mission to learn, build, teach, and grow with other cultures.
We enthusiastically support the ministries and work of eight missionaries around the world. When they come to the area, we regularly host our PCUSA missionaries and feature them for speaking and fellowship opportunities so that we can learn and grow through their journeys. In addition, Highland members go on a number of mission trips, globally, where we will be hosted through our PCUSA missionaries that we support.
Meet Our Missionaries
Caroline Kurtz grew up in Ethiopia as a “mish kid,” inspired and infused by her parents’ 23-year-old service as missionaries in that country. She returned with her own family in 1990 where she taught English in Ethopia, Nairobi, Kenya, and the Sudan’s Kakuma Refugee Camp. After returning to the US where she wrote a book reflecting on her experiences, she has returned to Ethiopia to help American churches connect with their growing partner church.
Ryan & Krista Ginn
Ryan and Krista grew up attending Highland Presbyterian church and three years ago they sensed God’s call as missionaries in Yaoundé Cameroon. They serve in a Christian boarding house as hostel parents to children of missionaries. Highland supports them financially and in prayer.
Heather & Habtom Kedebe
Heather and Habtom are sharing the Good News of the Jesus Christ with underprivileged youth through sports and education. Both trained nurses, they are currently serving outreach camps in Sandafa, Ethiopia as members of the Antioch Partners, a missionary organization affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.
Rev. Dr. Noe Juarez, formerly Highland’s associate pastor for mission and family ministries. Originally from Peru, completed his Master of Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, NC; Doctor of ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary, before he came to Highland in 2014 he was a pastor of a multi-cultural congregation in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He is also an adjunct faculty for practical theology at Lancaster Theological Seminar. He is married to Laurie and have two Kids: Paul and Ella. In his free time he enjoys reading, playing Latin music, traveling and soccer.
Erin Atkinson (Wycliffe)
Erin previously served in Oaxaca for several years before meeting Jesse at SIL-UND. They got married, finished their studies in linguistics, and also received theological training at Reformed Theological Seminary. Now, they can’t wait to arrive in Mexico and begin putting all of their training to use as Wycliffe Bible Translators.
From their home base in Manila, Philippines, Cathy Chang and Juan Lopez help global partners address issues of migration and human trafficking. The UN’s International Labor Organization estimates 21 million people are victims of coerced labor and/or forced sexual exploitation. While human trafficking is a worldwide problem, countries in Asia are increasingly vulnerable. Cathy and Juan will work with Asian churches and non-governmental organizations to help coordinate efforts related to the scourge of modern-day slavery. They will also resource various programs of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and U.S. congregations concerned about the issue.
Highland Presbyterian has truly made a difference in the lives of people around the United States and the world. From 2012 to 2017, Global Outreach sponsored eight mission work trips to provide the labor to help residents recover from hurricanes in Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina and South Carolina. We are currently working with Lighthouse Imani Church as partners to help fund the construction of a new church in Kenya.
Over the past ten years, Highland has sponsored PCUSA missionaries serving in Argentina, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, and the Philippines. Their work covers a variety of areas—from helping repair the rift caused by the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland through a youth sports program, helping farmers grow sustainable native crops in El Salvador and Uruguay, addressing the needs of urban ministries in Argentina, and combatting women trafficking in Southeast Asia.
Ten members of Highland traveled to the town of Añasco, Puerto Rico along the western coast of Puerto Rico to assist residents there recover from the devastation brought about by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The team spent a week sealing the roofs of ten homes in the area so homeowners could then start the process of making indoor repairs. The team spent a day in the city of Ponce; exploring the art, culture, and history of Puerto Rico’s second largest city.
A group of young adults from Highland traveled to Ayachucho, Peru to work with the non-profit group, Puriyninchik. This agency works to develop a sense of community and spiritual awareness in the Andes mountains. The team worked with children there to help deepen their relationship with God through teaching Bible stories. A small Presbyterian church in the community welcomed the team’s painting of benches used in services. The team spent a day in the region traveling to an Alpaca farm and learning about community development.
Highland’s eighth visit to El Salvador since 2004 saw members travel there to work with our mission partner, the Reformed Calvinist Church of El Salvador (IRCES). IRCES sponsors a school—Juan Calvino School—in the city of Soyapango. For the past 10 years, Highland has sponsored scholarships and school-improvement projects for this school that serves over 100 students, their families, and is the home for the local Presbyterian church. One Highland member felt called to explore the possibility of funding a new initiative—”Angels Inclusive Project” that helps students with special needs, provides the funding necessary for a counselor to come to the school to provide emotional support, and to assist students and their families overcome learning disabilities. Highland has made a 10-year commitment, until 2030, to sponsor this program.