MEET OUR MISSIONARIES
Melissa Johnson’s call to service has been shaped by the struggles and joys life has presented her, most significantly the life and death of her severely disabled son, Holden, in whom she always saw God’s hand at work. After Holden’s death, Melissa and her husband, Charles, began turning their attention toward God’s work abroad and participated in short-term mission trips to Vietnam, Peru, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ultimately being drawn to full-time mission work in Africa. Melissa has been in Zambia since 2016 and is currently helping the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian’s Zambia Synod expand its holistic ministry of improved health. She is collaborating to identify important needs and gaps in general health education. Along with the health department coordinator, Melissa works to facilitate the development and implementation of health education programs that have been identified to improve maternal and child health, to address hygiene issues of girls and women, and to raise awareness about nutritional needs of children and adults.
“I have learned so much from my friends and co-workers in Zambia, but I think the most important change I have realized in myself is to move more slowly and listen more closely. In Zambia, people are so polite and treasure protocol and kindness – something I still try to remember daily and definitely need to practice more frequently.”
Chenoa Stock is the daughter of Presbyterian co-pastors who she credits for giving her a lot of exposure to global missions throughout her childhood. She made her first mission trip abroad to Lesotho Africa with Habitat for Humanity while she was in college and it opened her eyes more deeply to the opportunities to serve in different cultures around the world. Today, Chenoa has been a mission co-worker in Peru since 2019, and she serves as delegations and partnership coordinator for the accompaniment program, PERUSA, with the Evangelical Church of Peru and the Joining Hands Peru Network. She serves with her husband, Jose, and their three-year old son, Leandro. The trio builds both physical and emotional community with FPC partners, helping affirm the people they support and assuring them they aren’t alone in their advocacy efforts for basic human rights. Chenoa previously accompanied the Bolivian Joining Hands Network, UMAVIDA (Joining Hands for Life), for eight years in Bolivia, advocating for water and environmental rights. Prior to that, Chenoa served in Sri Lanka, serving with the Joining Hands Network there, Praja Abhilasha (“People’s Aspirations”), for land rights, after completing service as a Young Adult Volunteer in Kerala, India, where she taught English in a primary school.
“We had the joy of introducing FPC to a new partner in the region, Peace and Hope, that supports and advocates for students and families of the School for the Deaf. The families of this school do not receive any government support for their children’s education, which causes many challenges for them on a daily basis.
Even amidst these obstacles, we saw joy on the students’ faces, as we humbly offered our accompaniment of learning, playing, planting, and ‘being’ with them in community. We did not have the answers to their struggles or could not even truly communicate with them, in the conventional way. But God’s Spirit was certainly flowing through our interactions, demonstrating and communicating our love for them as God’s children, and that is something that will forever live in me.”
John McCall has been a mission co-worker in Taiwan for 25 years. He finds great joy traveling around the country, teaching seminary students courses on ministry and spiritual formation. He also mentors local pastors through retreats, spiritual formation groups, and educational courses. Almost every weekend he is preaching and teaching in a different church, providing guidance to the Taiwanese church leadership. He spends much of his time working and growing with the 17 tribes of aboriginal people in Taiwan — the aboriginal people make up only 2% of the country’s population but over 70% of them are Christian. Prior to his time in Taiwan, John pastored the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church and the Westminster Presbyterian Church (Greensboro, NC).