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God's Mission Matters

Stand by me!

Dependency to independence to interdependence

By Cláudio Carvalhaes
Bear one another's burdens.” (Galatians 6)

When you think about mission, how many people do you think are involved? When I grew up, I learned that mission had basically three parties involved: God, the missionary and the people that the missionary would work with on God’s behalf. 

However, when I became a missionary myself from Brazil to the United States, I learned that mission work was a much more complex networking of people and institutions with lots at stake. Any work I did or hoped to do was inextricably connected and dependent on what had happened before me and on the relationships that happened through my work. People whom I didn’t know had dreamed, cared and loved about a people they didn’t know. Because of their love for this people, I ended up working with them. Church bodies were involved as well as leaders and lay people, here and abroad, all connected making mission work possible. We were strangers from different cultures and languages blessing each other, and working together for the sake of God’s love for the world.

When this mission grew, the blessed people started to bless others. This little church to which I was appointed in New England started to do mission work with four poor churches in Brazil. As a result, 150 little children received two meals every day. 150 children and their families interrelated with the people of this small church in Massachusetts who were also deeply connected to the people who loved them in United Stated and Brazil. Interconnection, interdependence, intercorrelation: that is what mission is all about.

Listen to this month’s episode of “God’s Mission Matters” and hear stories by Karla Koll, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission worker in Guatemala for 10 years, and by Kristin Anne Schmor Rice, former Young Adult Volunteer in Guatemala from 2001-2002.

Stand by me episode toolkit

Use these resources to equip your congregation, network, youth group and other groups in your church for mission involvement. You may use any of these for activities in the context of Bible studies, Sunday Bible class, Sunday worship service and committee or session meetings.

What is Mission Crossroads?

Mission Crossroads is a web-based wisdom community which facilitates networking among mission participants, aids communication among members of mission-related groups, and provides a forum in which those engaged in mission may share ideas and experiences, both good and bad, so that future mission endeavors can be more effective.


What is Mission Crossroads Magazine?

Mission Crossroads magazine is a free, three-times-a-year periodical focused on the 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.