Mission Crossroads

FAL 2018

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

Issue link: https://missioncrossroads.epubxp.com/i/1024538

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Page 16 of 23

Mission Crossroads | 15 become friends and to discover their connection as children of God. "One evening I was walking by one of the bedrooms in the old house where we were staying and heard some of the Taiwanese pastors counting in Mandarin as they did calisthenics together. And then I also heard Pastor Hugo from Guatemala counting in Spanish. ey were all exercising together in their own languages," he said. While staying with the group at Sylvan Lodge, he also interacted with a woman who was cleaning the room, a former prisoner on work release and a Christian. He recalled part of their conversation: 'When I cleaned each room,' she said, 'I prayed for the pastor who would be staying there.' For two days a group of about 20 U.S. Presbyterian pastors joined the group. Each U.S. pastor had an international prayer partner. "And while not everyone could speak English, they found a way to share prayer concerns and pray together," he said. "We shared the joys and challenges of doing ministry in this day. And the participants found how much united us. We learned to trust God in the process, and the Holy Spirit led us into deeper understanding of those from at least three diverse cultures. It was wonderful to watch the American pastors be renewed by the faith of these pastors from Guatemala and Taiwan." In addition to his work with pastors, John teaches courses on ministry and spiritual formation at the seminaries of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan. He spends a lot of time crisscrossing the country. Taiwan is about the size of Maryland and Delaware combined and has a population just a little smaller than Australia's. It is located south of Japan, north of the Philippines and just 100 miles from the southern coast of China. Taiwan has a diverse population with at least 16 indigenous groups. Scholars believe that some of these groups may have been on Taiwan for more than 10,000 years. On any given Sunday in the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, more than 15 languages are spoken in worship. e Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) partner church, is the largest Protestant denomination on the island. John hopes there will be other opportunities for pastors from Taiwan to find spiritual renewal at Montreat. "My hope for them in the North Carolina mountains was that they would have time to breathe deeply of God's love for them," he said. "I prayed that this time away from their families and their churches and communities would not be an escape, but instead a gift from God, and that they would return to high mountain villages and teeming cities to continue serving God with new joy, peace and vision. And now the U.S. pastors will have prayer partners halfway across the world they are connected to in Christ's trust and love." Kathy Melvin is director of mission communications with the Presbyterian Mission Agency. John McCall U.S. and Guatemalan pastors are prayer partners. John McCall Taiwanese pastors pray for pastors from Black Mountain Presbyterian Church in North Carolina. E N C O U R A G E C H U R C H L E A D E R S Support the work of John McCall in Taiwan. pcusa.org/donate/E200487

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