Global mission has focused on Malawi, Africa.
In the last five years our long term friendship with the "warm heart of Africa" built a school, established a non-profit, funded two new Presbyterian missionaries, and enjoyed the blessing of a 15 member choir who toured the North Country for a month.
In 2005, a group of members from First Presbyterian renewed our longstanding partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Malawi, Africa. During this visit, we encountered a dynamic malaria coordinator named Grace Chiumia.
As our friendship with Grace grew so did our awareness of the plight of Malawian widows. Widows in Malawi are often "cleaned out" by in-laws after the loss of a spouse. It is a frightful and painful tradition. In 2007 we began working on a "widow's fund" that would allow for the most vulnerable in Malawi to find hope. Each year on Christmas Eve, we take an offering that goes directly to those in the greatest need. The Widows' Fund has now become a standalone non-profit organization. For more more information please visit http://womenofgracewidowsfund.org.
Beginning in 2006, First Presbyterian Church has raised funds to provide for more than 150 shallow wells in the sub-Saharan Africa countries of Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. Working with the able Marion Medical Mission organization, our humble donations become new life for villages enduring the absence of clean, drinkable water.
Numerous individuals have volunteered to take part in their installation.
click here for the Watertown Daily Times article about Shallow Wells in Malawi!
The Crisis Nursery is a temporary orphanage for babies 0-2. In Malawi the first two years of an infant's life is one the most crucial in concerns to development but also the most strenuous financially, physically and emotionally for the parents. To make sure these infants were taken care of properly for these first two years the Crisis Nursery was set up In Lilongwe and Mzuzu. The Crisis Nursery in Mzuzu was the operation of the North Country's own Rev. Paul and Darlene Heller. Several Church members have spent weeks working within these Nurseries giving donations of baby's clothes but also volunteering their time taking care of the babies in various ways. In an exciting new development, the Crisis Nursery is working to purchase a new building in 2013 to serve as its permanent home.