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Presbyterian Missionaries Share Their Stories



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Presbyterian Missionaries Share Their Stories

Five members of Community Presbyterian Church in Newtown attended the sixth annual Women’s Retreat on April 14 and 15 at Lakeside Conference Center in Pittsfield, Mass.

The retreat was sponsored by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. More than 100 women were in attendance from the presbyteries in New England, including Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut.

Attending from Newtown were Hazel Kessler, Carolyn Boulay, Vicki Boshka, Julie van der Kroef, and Maria Prawius. Mrs Kessler, the wife of Rev William Kessler of Community Presbyterian, led one of the workshops entitled “Encouraging Our Missionaries.” Mrs Kessler grew up in Chile in a missionary family, and she and her husband recently served as missionaries in Ghinda, Eritrea, until the country was closed to missions. Mrs Kessler invited three missionaries to share their stories at this year’s retreat.

One of the three speakers, Maria Prawius, spoke of her experiences as a medical missionary’s wife. She and her husband, Dr Herb Prawius, a physician, and their five children have spent the last two and one-half years serving God in a medical ministry of mercy for the Kamba Tribe in Eastern Province, Kenya. In July they plan to leave for another missionary trip to Northeastern Uganda.

Other workshops at the retreat included, “Have You Heard God’s Call for Your Life,” “When Others are Big and God is Small,” “Women Ministering in Small Congregations,” “Time Management,” “A Day of Delight – The Sabbath,” “A Servant for All Seasons,” and “A Financial Guide for the Virtuous Woman.”

This year the keynote speaker for the retreat was Constance Wieler, who has a master’s degree in divinity. Her ministry to women offered instruction in scripture and the practical application of the Word of God to our everyday lives. Her lessons at the retreat centered on John 15:1-8 and were entitled “Abiding in Christ: Bearing Fruit.”

Anyone who is interested in more information about next year’s retreat can contact Hazel and Bill Kessler at 270-3730. Anyone interested in learning more about Dr Herb and Maria Prawius’s missionary trip is invited to a slide presentation at the Kesslers’ at 6 pm on May 13 for potluck supper and 7:30 pm for the presentation. Call 270-3730 to join in this event.

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