FCPC Names Co-Worker for Romania Orphanage

Kristen Harris, director of Christian education at First Central Presbyterian Church, will soon be headed to Romania, where she will serve part time as co-worker for the church’s mission work there.

She will leave in mid-October to spend a few weeks in Romania getting the lay of the land. Once she returns to the United States, she will spend her time preparing for longer stays in Romania and the work she will do while she is there.

Harris will be ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) at First Central Presbyterian at 4 p.m. Nov. 20. Harris’ permanent residence will be in Abilene, where she will continue to work with FCPC and the Palo Duro Presbytery, while serving in Romania part time. A message from the church’s pastor, Cliff Stewart, explains her additional duties.

“In one sense, she is not leaving us but extending our church’s ministry and mission to our work with NOROC orphans in Tulcea, Romania, and also to share in the formidable task of serving refugees from Ukraine,” he said.

Kristen Harris

NOROC stands for New Opportunities for Romanian Orphan Children, an orphanage started by First Central Presbyterian Church members Fred and Carolyn White in 1997. The orphanage has been assisting with relocation of Ukrainian refugees to Romania since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Harris will work half time in Romania and the other half with FCPC and the Palo Duro Presbytery, which includes FCPC among its 40 churches. The majority of her financial support will come from those churches.

“Kristen did not seek this position but was recruited to interview by both our Presbytery and NOROC,” Stewart said. “I want to say Kristen is really excited and ‘called’ to this new opportunity.”

For the immediate future, Grace and Carlo Sosa-Ortiz will assume Harris’ duties in Christian education at First Central Presbyterian.

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