Alternative Christmas Gift Market

2022 Alternative Christmas Gift Market

The First Presbyterian Church Alternative Christmas Gift Market for 2022 was a HUGE success!  The market raised over $18,000.00 to be dispersed to the wonderful missions that were highlighted for this year.   

The missions represented this year are all listed below.  Please enjoy reading about the ministries online from: Church World Services, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Faith in Practice, FINCA, Living Waters for the World, Our Journey Academy, Heifer International, Guayabales Project, Haiti Education Foundation, Solar Under the Sun, and Rahab’s Rope.

Alternative Gift Market

Church World Services

The goal of Church World Services (CWS) is to build a world where there is enough for all.  After working toward this goal for seven decades, CWS has the faith and experience to know the goal can be reached.  CWS has seen gardens flourish in barren land, migrants and refugees find a home even after every other door has been closed, and houses standing strong against nature’s worst disasters.  That’s the power of CWS’s compassion linked to human resilience.  CWS needs your compassionate support to keep moving towards it’s goal.  To read more about Church World Services, here is a link to their website at

 Your donation to CWS through our church online giving platfrom will support areas of greatest need. 

FINCA International

FINCA’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs, and raise their standard of living.  Its programs benefit millions of people across five contenents by offering small loans or access to savings accounts to low income people.  FINCA is using innovative technology and new approaches to reach more financially excluded people, especially women.  FINCA’s loan recipients are among the most responsible and trustworthy  borrowers in the world.  Without access to credit, poor people have no way of investing in their own hard work and good business ideas.  When helping people in remote areas, FINCA’s mobile phones allow loan recipients to bank their proceeds from sales, instead of being required to bury their money or carry it on their bodies.  To read more about FINCA, here is a link to their website at

Your donation to FINCA through our church online giving platform will support areas of greatest need. 

Faith in Practice

Faith in Practice is a non-profit, ecumenical medical ministry that is guided by Christian principles in its service to the poor in Guatemala. Its volunteers share their faith through their gifts, talents and deeds, which are performed in a manner reflecting respect for all people as those created in the image of God. They appreciate the cultural differences and nurture and encourage community volunteer support. Over 1500 U.S. volunteers each year donate their time and cover their travel expenses to bring hope and healing to more than 30,000 Guatemalans.

Faith in Practice has a core group of 100 Guatemalan volunteers who provide continuity of care to those who live in the most remote areas.  These Guatemalan leaders become like family to the patients in their journey to be healed. They identify patients in the greatest need and manage the logistics of securing clinic space and local volunteers.  Over 1000 additional volunteers are trained and used to help set up local clinics.  Last year, Faith in Practice received its 17th consecutive 4 start rating from Charity Navigator.  To read more about Faith in Practice, here is a link to their website at

Your contribution to Faith in Practice through our church on-line giving platform will support areas of greatest needs.

Haiti Education Fund

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and does not have free public education.  Frances Landers and Pere Albert had a vision to bring schools to the rural and mountanous areas of southern Haiti.  Forty-one years later that vision has grown to include 33 schools!  HEF partners with Living Waters for the World, Solar Under the Sun, Trinity/Hope and Haiti Healthcare Partners to bring more than education.  These partners provide clean water and solar power to the schools as well as a free meal and healthcare to students and their families.  The majority of Haiti’s children continue to search for hope as they  grow up against a backdrop of poverty, unemployment, civil unrest, disease, disasters, hunger and illiteracy.  Almost half of the Haitian population over the age of 15 is illiterate.   Haiti’s future depends on the education of the upcoming generations.  100% of your donation goes directly to Haiti with nothing deducted for administration.  This ministry has a matching donation opportunity that ends November 30. To read more about HEF, here is a link to its website

Your contribution to the Haiti Educational Foundation through our church on-line giving platform will support areas of greatest needs.

Heifer International

Heifer helps address the issue of hunger with programs that begin with agriculture and build sustainable businesses.   These programs not only cultivate a secure source of income for individual families, but also help build a future with farmers and private sector partners who share Heifer’s values. Heifer International has been an ongoing ministry fighting hunger and poverty for over 75 years. It works with communities in 21 countries around the world to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that guarantee a living income to local farmers. In Ecuador, in indegenous communities high in the Andes, the efforts of Heifer International are helping shape a future full of hope an dsecurity for the Quechua people.  Ancestral fiber arts are being revived, using the wool spun from alpacas, which are uniqely suited to the Andean highlands.  The Alpaca also can be used for breeding stock, their meat can be eaten, and they provide fertilizer for crops.  Futhermore, they are good for the environment of the paramo, a sponge like terrain which is the source of water, because their padded feet do not disturb the ground beneath them and they have a gentle way of nibbling the tops of grasses, rather than yanking their food out by the roots.  Heifer’s philosophy of a hand up rather than a hand out is changing hunger and poverty into hope. To read more about Heifer’s programs, here is a direct link to its website

Your contributions to Heifer International, through our church online giving platform will support areas of greatest need.

Living Waters of the World

Living Waters for the World is a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters, PC(USA). Its mission is to train volunteers to establish and lead water mission teams that partner with communities to implement and operate sustainable water purification systems and provide health education programs. LWW supports every phase of a water project as its volunteers work with and empower communities to treat available but contaminated water.

Since 1993, LWW has helped provide clean water to over 1,000 communities across 26 countries. Today the ministry focuses within 11 network regions. Network services are designed to facilitate the development of relationships between mission teams and international partners, develop the capacity of citizens to address water issues in their country, and further LWW’s ministry by enabling more efficient and effective operations in diverse social, political and ethnic settings. To read more about LWW here is a direct link to its website

Your contribution to Living Waters for the World through our church on-line giving platform will support areas of greatest need.

Our Journey Academy

Our Journey, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), grassroots non-profit working in Kenya with community based projects emphasizing self-reliance for children and families living in desperate poverty.  Our Journey Academy in rural Njoro, Kenya provides education, two meals a day, quarterly health screenings for students and families, community food programs, blanket distributions and the Joyful Sewing School for women.  During the past few years, Our Journey Academy has built a new classroom for its students and a new kitchen where the children and families get a nutritious daily meal.  The newest venture is a building for sewing classes where women in the community learn to cut and sew school uniforms.  Uniforms are mandated in Kenya, and the women hope to create a business of making and selling uniforms to other schools.  Your donation to Our Journey Academy will go a long way and make a big difference in feeding and educating young children.  A $25.00 contribtuion will provide a family a food bag that includes a month supply of rice, corn meal, butter, cooking oil, soap, cabbage, carrots, surgar, salt and wheat flour.  A $20.00 donation will provide a student a uniform which includes a set of pants/skirt, shirt, socks and shoes.  A donation of $360.00 will pay tuition for one year. To read more about Our Journey Academy, here is a direct link to their website

Your contribution to Our Journey Academy through our church online giving plastform will support areas of greatest need. 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

PDA is the emergency and refugee program of the PC(USA).  Most of its budget, including administrative and staff expenses, is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering at Easter time. However, designated gifts are used to provided or expand the response to a specific disaster area.  PDA responds to natural and human-caused disasters such as floods, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and wars.  It seeks to bring hope out of chaos in all parts of the world. Emergency relief helps improve health conditions, makes clean drinking water more accessable and provides food and non-food necessities. PDA is also involved in long-term recovery programs that address the physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of individuals, families and communities long after the initial crisis is over. To read more about where PDA is currently responding to crisis situations, here is a direct link to its website

Your contribution to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance through our church on-line giving platform will support areas of greatest need.c

Rahab's Rope

Rahab’s Rope exists to empower women and children in the fight against human trafficking.  Rahab’s Rope is a place that provides food, shelter, protection, education and training.  It also provides a place where the whole person is ministered to spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and financially.  It is a place of hope, and a place of transformed lives.  The ministry now serves in Goa, Bangalore, Mumbaie and Manipur. 

India is a country with four times the population of the United States but with a land mass which is about 1/3 the size of the United States. Over 100 Million families live in one-room houses with no refrigeration or running water.  Many of these people have no job because jobs which provide sufficient money for food, are scare or non-existent.  Sixty-five percent of Rahab’s Rope funding comes from product sales of jewelry and crafts the women have learned to make.  The remaining thirty-five percent comes from donations from churches. To read more about Rahab’s Rope, here is a direct link to its website

Your contribution to Rabab’s Rope through our church on-line giving platform will support areas of greatest need.

Solar Under the Sun

Solar Under the Sun is a ministry of the Synod of the Sun PC(USA), the Synod that includes our Mission Presbytery. Its ministry is to help alleviate energy poverty. Its solar schools equip team leaders with the necessary skills to form meaningful partnerships with communities in the developing world, assess their need for solar power, and design and install a solar power system. Since its beginning, graduates from the Solar Under the Sun school have installed solar energy systems that are powering Living Waters for the World water purification systems, wells, schools, churches, orphanages, health clinics, and homes in places that lack reliable electricity.  There are 1.2 billion people with no access to electricity. Solar Under the Sun’s ministry started in Haiti and has spread to Kenya, Uganda, Ukraine, Guatamala, Porto Rico and Honduras.  To read more about SUS, here is a direct link to its website

Your contribution to Solar Under the Sun through our church on-line giving platform will support areas of greatest need.


Guayabales, Guatemala Goals 2023

An ecumenical group  from First Presbyterian, others from  Kerrville, and still others from Dallas, Lubbock, Colorado Springs and Nashville will be converging on Guatemala the third week of January 2023 (Jan. 21-28) for a return trip of “walking the talk” with service to some of the world’s most needy.  Jane Ragsdale, Mitch Mitchell, Mary Ellen Summerlin and Deen Howell are church members who have been before, as well as Ross Newstead, who is now a member of First Presbyterian in Dallas. Others from our community who have been are Kristy Vandenberg, Barry Wall, and Solomán Salazar.

This year’s team will include Jane Ragsdale, Ross Newstead, Kristy Vandenberg, Barry Wall and others who have served before.

Our major goals for this trip:

  • Improved latrines for the Guayabales school, $775
  • Full scholarships for full tuition of five area secondary students, $550
  • Full scholarship for a specific nursing student to attend five semesters, $4,000 Her mother is a community nurse in nearby Chanlapa, and the student has pledged to return and serve our 23 area villages after graduation.
  • Funding for preschool programs in two villages by Aula Mágica (similar to Head Start here), $4,750