USA Mission Experience

The USA Mission Experience is a trip that gathers a group of women from across the country to a region of the United States to meet with local partners, learn about their history and culture, and participate in worship and mission opportunities. The USA Mission Experience equips women with an understanding of the existing ministry of the church in the area as well as the challenges faced by women and children living there. Participants serve as ambassadors for the region during two years of itineration following the experience.

The USA Mission Experience and Global Exchange take place in alternating trienniums.

2023 USA Mission Experience to Arizona and the Border Region

During this faith-deepening and relationship-building trip in October 2023, a group of 18 Presbyterian women visited partners in Phoenix, Tucson, and the Arizona–Mexico border region. They learned about immigration and refugee issues, violence against women and children throughout the immigration process, and challenges facing indigenous people living in Arizona. The group worshiped with local congregations, joined a weekly vigil at the Arizona–Mexico border, and visited with mission partners including Frontera de Cristo (a Presbyterian border ministry and 2021 Thank Offering recipient), and Café Justo (a fair-trade coffee cooperative).

Learn more about the trip and the topics it focused on by

  • reading the November/December 2023 issue of Horizons, which includes reflections from USAME participants
  • inviting a USAME participant from your synod or region to present at your next PW or church event
  • reading one or more of the books suggested as background reading for the trip:
    • The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story by Aaron Bobrow-Strain—a biography of a young woman who lives at and across the U.S.-Mexico border (Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Mexico), and struggles against domestic violence and arbitrarily enforced immigration laws while trying to build a life for herself and her son
    • The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible and the Journey to Belong by Karen González—a thoughtful and faithful book that weaves together the author’s family’s immigration experience, examinations of refugees and migrants and the Bible and suggestions for welcoming refugees in your communities together
    • Infinite Country by Patricia Engel—in this novel, Talia is a young woman, torn between living in Colombia with her father and grandmother, or her mother and siblings in the United States
    • Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora—the author tells the story of his journey, guided by coyotes and supported by other migrants, as a 9-year-old from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with his parents

What can I do?

  • Pray to end suffering and division regarding immigration. Pray for safety, well-being and opportunity for all of God’s children.
  • Order coffee from Café Justo, a farmer-owned co-op that ensures living wages for coffee producers in Mexico and Guatemala. Buying your coffee from such cooperatives helps farming remain a viable livelihood in countries with limited employment opportunities.
  • Learn from and support Frontera de Cristo, a Presbyterian bi-national ministry with deep roots in the border region that supports community members through a variety of programs (the lower right corner of their webpage includes an email sign-up)
  • Give a gift to the Children’s Enrichment Ministry at New Hope Community Center. The books, toys and supplies requested by CEM staff will help children in Agua Prieta who go to CEM for childcare and school support.
  • Advocate for immigration reform. The Southern Border Communities Coalition promotes policies and solutions that improve the quality of life of border residents. In addition to creating a new border vision, they provide updates on proposed legislation and suggestions on communicating with congressional representatives.
  • Find the needs in your community. Remember that individual migrants, refugees and asylum seekers will have their own unique needs and circumstances. Building relationships that allow their desires to be expressed will be the most helpful, and the relationship itself will be a blessing to everyone involved.
  • Search online with the name of your city, county or state and “immigrant or refugee.”
  • Ask your pastor, mission or justice committee if your congregation is already working in this area.
  • Check with presbytery and/or synod leaders about existing programs or committees that are dealing with immigration.
  • Follow local and state news.

To ask a question or to learn more about the USA Mission Experience, contact Cheri Harper.

What We Do

Recent News

Let Justice Roll Down Introduction/Lesson One
Lesson One: Environmental Justice Scripture: Ezekiel 33:21; 34:8; 17; 18–19 It has been over ten years since my first environmental Bible …
All News