Awards of Affirmation to be Given at GM International Dinner at General Assembly
During the Global Ministries International Dinner at the General Assembly in Nashville, TN at 5:30pm on Monday July 11, 2011 in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel, several Global Partners and former Missionaries will receive the Global Ministries Award of Affirmation. If you are attending General Assembly, you won’t want to miss this event.
For more information and to order your dinner tickets:
The Global Ministries Award of Affirmation recipients are as follows:
Ms. Marjorie Hill served as a missionary in India for 42 years. She began through the United Christian Missionary Society at Jackman Memorial Hospital in Bilaspur in 1951 where she was a social worker. She interviewed patients entering the hospital and followed up on them after they left. She worked with the baby ward and built up a program of care and adoption of orphaned babies. She developed a nursery school for children of the hospital staff and taught in the nursing school. Marjorie was also responsible for the distribution of Church World Service food supplies locally.
From 1971-73, Marjorie worked at Ludhiana Christian Medical College Hospital in Pubjab, this time through the Division of Overseas Ministries. She set up a Social Service Department at the Hospital. In 1973, she was appointed to serve as a teacher of nurses and helped develop the Diocesan Health programs at Holy Cross Hospital in Kunkuri. Marjorie taught psychology, sociology, English and Hindi to nurses. She surveyed public health needs in villages of the diocese and planned with the diocese for development of a program of community health. From 1976 to 1987, Marjorie was Organizing Secretary of Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association and from 1987 to 1991 she was at the Graduate School for Nurses in Indore where she taught and worked in the library.
Marjorie, like her missionary parents, devoted herself to the people of India. She served as we today understand Critical Presence: “…Timely and appropriately meeting God’s people and creation at the point of deepest need: spiritually, physically, emotionally, and/or economically.”
Ms. Alice Porter served as a missionary in India for 36 years. She began in 1955 through the United Christian Missionary Society at Jackman Memorial Hospital and the Jackman Memorial Nursing School in Bilaspur. Alice worked primarily in public health nursing and nursing education.
In 1970, Alice started the Holy Cross School of Nursing where she had teaching and administration responsibilities and continued in community health nursing.
In 1979 she taught Public Health Nursing at the Graduate School for Nurses, an ecumenical school in Indore. This school was started by two Disciples nurses, Anna Bender and Ruth Mitchel on the veranda of the Jackman Hospital and has gone on to be a degree granting school. This is where Alice served until her retirement in 1991. Her many students went on to very responsible positions including the head of the Salvation Army in South India and a health director working for 18 non-government organizations in Central Nepal., and one who became the World Health Nurse for Mauritious Island. Holy Cross School of Nursing now gives Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Nursing.
Asked what her most joyful memory of her many years of service was, Alice replied, “Well, it’s the same answer you’ll hear from many nurses, seeing people get well and go home.”
Retirement saw Alice return to her home, Shelburne, Ontario, where she began the Shelburne and Area Chaplaincy Network.
On January 28, 2010, she was appointed to the Order of Ontario for dedicating her life to others and setting a shining example of selflessness.
Johnson Mbillah representing the Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA)
The Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA), under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Johnson Mbillah, and founded in 1959 is the only Christian organization in Africa that is dedicated to building bridges of understanding, promoting mutual respect and peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims throughout the entire continent.
PROCMURA has successfully assisted many of the churches in Sub-Saharan Africa to embark on positive tolerance and acceptance of religious plurality as an African heritage, as well as provide forums for solving conflicts between adherents of the two faiths and collaboration on national issues. It pioneered Christian and Muslim joint peace missions to the Sudan in the early 1990s and met with leaders of opposition groups in both Liberia and Sierra Leone persuading them to negotiate peace in their respective country. Apart from its peace initiatives, PROCMURA has been proactive in bringing Christian and Muslim women and youth together to discuss issues of common concern, as for example, the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
PROCMURA’s success story is founded on its principle of ensuring that its field workers go through formal education, at least to Master’s level, in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations so that they may avoid the usage of inconsiderate or offensive language in their bid to constructively relate with Muslims. This award is an affirmation of PROCMURA’s faithful contributions towards peace between the religions and serving as an effective Christian witness in Africa, often as the unsung hero.
East Asia and the Pacific:
Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK)
Since its foundation in 1953, PROK has committed itself to realize the Reign of God, consolidating all its efforts for the mission of justice, peace and integration of creation in the Korean society.
Since the historical visit to North Korea in 1989 by the Rev. Moon Ik-Whan, a prominent leader in PROK, PROK has been at the forefront in the journey towards the peaceful reunification in the Korean peninsula.
Latin America and the Caribbean:
Rev. Dr. Vitalino Similox Salazar is a Christian pastor, activist, humanitarian and an advocate for the people of Guatemala. Rev. Similox is a native of the village of Panabajal in Chimaltenando, Guatemala. He was married to Rev. Blanca Margarita Valiente de Similox, who passed away in March of 2010. He is the father of Byron Eleazar, Ronaldo Otoniel and Layla Jimena Chuchil. In Guatemala he studied Business Administration, and he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from the Mariano Gálvez University of Guatemala. He also received a Master’s Degree in the Sociology of Religion from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and his Doctorate in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Salamanca in Spain. His doctoral thesis was entitled: Participation and political representation of the Mayan People. From their own beliefs, values and norms.
As a result of his extensive studies, Rev. Similox has written various books and research papers on spirituality, especially within the context of the Mayan people. He has also founded several ecumenical organizations in Guatemala such as the Kaqchikel Presbytery of Chimaltenango and the Brotherhood of Mayan Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church of Guatemala. Rev. Similox is the founder of two of Global Ministries’ ecumenical partners: the Conference of Evangelical Churches of Guatemala (CIEDEG) and the Christian Ecumenical Council of Guatemala.
In the political realm, Rev. Similox was a Delegate and Official Spokesman of the meetings of the Religious Sector and the URNG, during the Peace Process of Guatemala in the 1990’s. He was also the political advisor of the Goodwill Ambassador of the Peace Agreements, Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and he was a Candidate for Vice-President of the Republic of Guatemala during the 1999 elections. Currently, Rev. Similox is the General Secretary of the Christian Ecumenical Council of Guatemala and the Academic Director of the Reformed Theological Institute of the Kaqchikel Presbytery in Chimaltenango. Today he continues to work diligently for the peace and human rights of the Guatemalan people.
Global Ministries recognizes the extraordinary ministry of Rev. Dr. Vitalino Similox and his commitment to accompany the people of Guatemala with his “critical presence”. His “critical presence” is reflected in his ministries related to the following issues: people in desperate situations caused by civil war, the quest for justice of uprooted and indigenous people, gender affirmation of women, interfaith dialogue among Mayans and Christians, and peace with justice.
Middle East and Europe:
Mr. Mohammad Sammak representing the Arab Group for Muslim-Christian Dialogue
A tireless leader and strong supporter for modeling dialogue and positive relations among faiths, Mr. Sammak is the General Secretary of the Lebanese Committee of the Arab Group for Muslim-Christian Dialogue. Mr. Sammak is an outspoken advocate for peacemaking who has articulated this vision from a Muslim’s point of view, encouraging the overwhelming majority of peace-seeking Muslims the world to ensure that this religious vision prevails over other, more confrontational approaches that exist among people of all faiths. Mr. Sammak also affirms the importance of the Christian presence in the Middle East, and that its diminishment is a concern of, and loss for, the region’s Muslims. He also has called for increased dialogue between the people of the Middle East and of the West, especially through churches like the Disciples and United Church of Christ. Through the Arab Group for Muslim-Christian Dialogue, Mr. Sammak leads in promoting a common vision of mutual respect, civility, and rights, and of shared and equal citizenship
Due to the sensitive nature of the work of this recipient, his name and information can not be posted on the website.