Our church currently partners with several missionaries. Here is a brief description of their positions.
Donald and Martha have served for more than 30 years in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Donald is director of the School of Continuing Education at San Pablo Theological Seminary and also directs the school’s retreat center. In those positions he organizes conferences and workshops, teaches theology courses, and leads workshops in many of Mexico’s rural areas. San Pablo Seminary trains students from throughout Central America. Our youth group traveled to Merida with Son Servants on three different summers to help with construction of the new campus for the seminary. In the summers of 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2011 groups of adults and youth from First Presbyterian spent a week in Merida, helping with church and retreat center construction and leading Vacation Bible Schools. Martha, who is a native of Merida, ministers from the home as a volunteer medical doctor. Donald was born in Wisconsin and has an M.Div. degree from Austin Presbyterian Seminary. Martha earned her MD degree from the University of Yucatan School of Medicine. The Wehmeyers have three grown children. For a full profile, click here.
The Mwandi Christian Hospital is located in the village of Mwandi, on the Zambezi River, midway between Livingstone and Sesheke, in the southwest corner of Zambia. The hospital is a mission of the United Church of Zambia, which has been assisted in this work by the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Medical Benevolence Foundation, and Medical Missions, Inc. In addition, a management team, operating out of the Thyatira Presbyterian Church at Mill Bridge, Salisbury, N.C., provides leadership and logistical support, and guides the fund raising efforts for the hospital community. Up until 1986, the hospital was run by the government and was quite run down. In that year, the United Church of Zambia assumed control, and with the help of Presbyterian medical missionary Salvador de la Torre, rebuilt it into one of the better medical facilities in the country. In 1990 we joined more than 20 other area Presbyterian churches in raising funds and providing manpower for the construction of an electrical substation and electrical wiring at the Mwandi Hospital. Between 1990 and 1998 our church alone raised in excess of $55,000 for this and related projects. Through the years, seven of our members have joined work teams in Mwandi helping to install the wiring at the hospital, helping to install a walk-in cooler and a morgue cooler, helping with general repairs and maintenance, and assisting with a new computer system. In recent years we have contributed through our budget to the project’s ongoing expansion and ministry in and around the community of Mwandi. As of 2014, we have completed a three-year project to construct a new Sanctuary for the church in Mwandi.
Sasha Tsutserov’s parents were members of the Communist Party in Russia. They never spoke of God or the Bible. However, when he was five years old, his grandmother insisted that he was baptized in the Orthodox Church. This was all done in secret—miles outside of Moscow, inside a dimly lit sanctuary. Although he was young, the Holy Spirit touched a hidden yearning in his heart for spiritual reality. As an adult, Sasha became a member of the Communist Party and worked for the KGB. He had a beautiful wife Natasha, a precious daughter Julia, good friends, a bright future, and all that he dreamed of as a young man. Julia befriended an American girl whose father was a missionary in Moscow. Natasha became their Russian language tutor. As the head of his home and a KGB agent, Sasha felt obligated to investigate these foreigners who had made such an impact on his family. He was awestruck by the humanitarian aid distributed by their church, and he was irresistibly drawn to their joy for life, for each other, and for the Lord. Step by step, he began to realize their generosity and joy stemmed from their love for God. At first, he gave God a 50/50 chance: since no one could prove God’s existence, then no one could deny him either. Sasha stepped away from his aggressively atheistic lifestyle. Then, while praying at a church retreat, he had a vision. He saw God standing on the top of a mountain. He felt he was a jar of clay. God was pouring down the pure gold of the Holy Spirit into the jar—Sasha. From that moment on, he needed no evidence for God’s existence, for he knew God in Jesus Christ. He returned home that day, and when Natasha saw him, she said, “What’s wrong with you? You are smiling!” Sasha had never smiled before. But that day, Jesus made him smile. He admitted that he had become a Christian. Natasha, in turn, confessed that she had become a Christian earlier, but she was afraid to talk about it with her husband, a KGB agent! In July 1993, Sasha was baptized and openly proclaimed his faith in Jesus Christ. Sasha knew he could not keep his faith and his job, so he quit working for the KGB. He helped planted a church in Moscow. Sasha knew that God had called him to ministry in education. But no school in Russia offered a degree in biblical studies because the Communists had prohibited theological training. He attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and graduated with an M.Div. in 1997. In 2004, he earned a Ph.D. in New Testament at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. While studying, he also worked at the Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary by working in every position at the school—from a secretary to the provost. Sasha now serves as director and professor at the seminary in Moscow, where they are raising up a new generation of Christian leaders.
To learn more about ECO Presbyterian mission activities please visit: PARTNERSHIPS: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.