Monday, March 03, 2008

Mission Team

CitiHope Mission Team 2008

Delegation: Representative of the United Methodist Global AIDS fund (that sponsored the UMC HopeHome); representative of the UMC Center for Church and Global AIDS (a sponsor of PACCT); adolescent psychotherapist (volunteer); builder (volunteer); lead by representative of CitiHope.

Mission: launch PACCT program, evaluate HopeHome project, coordinate village well projects, and participate in R.I.C.E. program.

Projects: host PACCT IV conference, visit Mzuzu United Methodist Church and HopeHome, dig and dedicate two village wells, and participate in RICE distribution program at selected sites

Ministry Partners: CitiHope International, Hopegivers International, United Methodist Global AIDS Fund

Hosts in Malawi: Gabriel Wesley Msongole and Dennis Singini

Team Leader: Dr. Michael J. Christensen, Ph.D., National Director, Shalom Initiative, Drew University, and CitiHope’s Project Director for PACCT

Mission Team Members:

Dr. Donald Messer is a professor Practical Theology at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, and Director of the Center for the Church and Global AIDS; author of Breaking the Conspiracy of Silence: Christian Churches and the Global AIDS Crisis, used in PACCT training sessions. His organization co-sponsored PACCT III for youth in September, 2007, and his interest is in training youth and adults in HIV/AIDS prevention and congregational care. Don also serves on the board of the UMC Global AIDS Fund.

Dr. Robert Robinson is a pastoral counselor by training, working as a Child, Adolescent and Family Psychotherapist at the Family Center in Ellicoit City Maryland. Dr. Robinson has both personal and professional interests in understanding and helping youth-at-risk in Malawi, and is eager to volunteer where needed most.

Chappy Valente is a former minister, accomplished painter, and businessman from North Carolina who represents donors who want to sponsor a village well project in Malawi. His interest on the trip is to volunteer where needed and to help dig or dedicate a village well project for CitiHope.

Robert Brumberg was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where “my Mom led me to the Lord when I was a youngin. She's a great lady.” Robby, as he likes to be called, graduated from Auburn University in 2004, started working with Hopegivers International in the summer of 2005, and currently serves as Mission Outreach Manager, which he says is “a wonderful blessing and honor.” His interest on the trip is to see first-hand the HopeHome project his ministry has funded, and to help break ground for a new village well project for which he found a sponsor. Rob also hopes to visit orphan care centers and community leaders in order to interview children and guardians about the difference the support of Hopegivers and CitiHope has made in their lives.

Stacy Radmore serves as a Deacon at Oxford Second Presbyterian Church where she helped initiate and expand a local ministry called "Bountiful Sharing." She also serves as in a leadership role in the Presbyterian Women's Fellowship. Working in the travel industry, Stacy has developed a deep appreciation for other cultures and has volunteered with CitiHope in order to have the opportunity to offer a ministry of presence. She hopes to be a source of encouragement and affirmation to the woman and children of Malawi during this trip.

Sarah Harrington hails from Louisville, KY, and attended the University of Evansville where she earned a B.A. in French with a minor in History. She is a wife, and proud mother of a 5 yr old, and currently a QA manager at Oracle Corporation. Sarah serves as an ambassador for the Center for the Church and Global AIDS and a member of the board for ONE Mother-- a sustainable income-generating program for impoverished women, both HIV positive and negative, in India. She also is a member of the ONE campaign and a volunteer for Bread for the World.

Michael Christensen teaches practical theology at Drew University where he directs a training institute and community development network known as Communities of Shalom. Dr. Christensen is as project director for CitiHope’s PACCT program, and has been involved with CitiHope either as a volunteer, staff, consultant or board member since 1990. This will be his fourth mission trip to Malawi. He plans to post daily travel blogs about the Malawi mission trip on his blogsite at http://michael-christensen.blogspot.com