Our Sister Parish
Presbytery of Des Moines


The Pastoral Team has been serving the people of Berlín for more than 25 years. They organize and educate community leaders, facilitate requests for projects, financially manage projects in progress, fulfill basic requests for health, education, food, and clothing that come to the Pastoral House every day, and provide pastoral care to the people of Berlín.


The mission co-worker acts as a liaison between the Pastoral Team and the communities of Berlín in El Salvador and the Compañeros board, churches, and other partner organizations in Iowa and elsewhere. He/she helps churches plan and lead delegations, processes, translates, and communicates requests for projects, and generally acts as the communicator between all the different groups involved in the mission. He/she also lives and works alongside the Pastoral Team in order to help encourage Salvadoran communities and community leaders to work for a better future for themselves and their children.
​Kathy Bassett is currently serving as the Our Sister Parish Interim Mission Co-worker. She and can be reached at kathybassett@outlook.com. Kathy is a former Our Sister Parish Mission Co-worker and remains active with the mission.


​The Iowa side of the mission is managed by Compañeros, the coordinating body for the Des Moines Presbytery's El Salvador mission. Their responsibilities include educating people in the Des Moines Presbytery and others about the work of the mission, assisting churches that wish to organize delegations, promoting mission projects, fundraising, and helping the churches of Iowa to work together to improve the lives of people in Berlín.


Some of the impoverished rural communities around the municipality of Berlín, El Salvador have entered into a sister partnership through the mission. The following is a current listing of these church/community partnerships:
  • Ankeny, Ankeny Presbyterian Church with Canton El Corozal
  • Clive, Heartland Presbyterian Church with Caseríos Centro and Cerna, Canton El Tablón
  • Dallas Center, First Presbyterian Church with Canton Virginia
  • Des Moines, Central Presbyterian Church with the Pastoral House
  • Des Moines, Westminster Presbyterian Church with canton San Francisco
  • Indianola, Trinity United Presbyterian Church with Caseríos Casa de Zinc and Casa de Zacate
  • Presbytery of Des Moines, Southwest Regional Partnership with Caserio Alejandria
  • Presbytery of Long Island with Cantón Santa Cruz
  • West Des Moines, Covenant Presbyterian Church with Canton San Isidro
The following organizations partner with the Our Sister Parish to provide support to the mission as a whole or for specific projects:
  • Art for El Salvador
  • Des Moines Intentional Eucharistic Community
  • Baltimore Medical Deligation

2015 Our Sister Parish Annual Report

click to download

Our Sister Parish History

The mission began in 1990 when Rev. Robert Cook first visited Berlin as the Hunger Action Enabler of the Presbytery of Des Moines, Iowa.

Rev. Cook went to live in Berlin permanently in 2001 and retired in 2006. Rev. Cook is no longer associated with the Our Sister Parish Mission.

In January 2008, Kathy Mahler (now Kathy Bassett) moved to Berlin to become the Mission Co-Worker. Kathy was the Mission Co-Worker until 2012. She continues to be very active with the mission and returns to El Salvador often.

Rev. Katherine Pater served as the Our Sister Parish Mission Co-Worker from January 2013 till September of 2016. 

Our Sister Parish Historical Calendar