First Presbyterian Church


Jonathan's House for Orphans



Jonathan’s House for Orphans, an Acts 2 Collective ministry, is located in the Central African Republic. This mission is directed by a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Marshalltown, Iowa, and has been financially and prayerfully supported by the church since its beginnings in 2011. The Central African Republic suffered through a brutal war from 2013-2015, an AIDS epidemic for decades, and has ranked last of all countries in the world on the Legatum Prosperity Index and the world hunger index for the several years. The threat of potential violence is ever present. All of these factors have contributed to a significant orphan crisis. Jonathan’s House for Orphans is home to dozens of children that have been rescued from dangerous and desperate situations. The orphanage is a life saver for children who often come severely malnourished and homeless. At Jonathan’s House for Orphans, they find restorative nourishment, a home with a caring family, safety, education, and the opportunity to know their Savior. Several Central Iowa families have adopted children from the orphanage. The ministry also includes the Eugene Rosenau Christian School, which provides a Christian education to approximately 300 students. Evangelistic outreach includes church planting and regular showings of “The Jesus Film” in villages throughout the central part of the country. The leader from our church, Carter Strand, visits the orphanage and school regularly.

The most recent component of the ministry is the Margery Benedict Medical Center, which is named after a missionary who devoted her life to Christian medical service in the same building that now houses the current medical center. Medical services are a critical need in this region. In addition to medical services, the medical center provides the opportunity for evangelistic outreach. Our church and the Presbytery were very involved in the financial support that allowed the medical center building rehabilitation to open. Short term medical and dental mission trips to the medical center are available and are of great benefit to the people of CAR.

The challenges in this part of the world are many, but the rewards are great. For the children served by this ministry, the support and prayers of the church and a host of believers is making a world of difference.