Juan Sarmiento has been named Associate Director for Mission of The Outreach Foundation. He will officially begin his duties on November 1. Since 1979, The Outreach Foundation has connected congregations and people in the United States with church partners around the world in Christ-centered evangelistic mission. Today, Outreach focuses on Presbyterian partners in places in the world where the church is growing and where it is facing opposition. Sarmiento will join the Outreach team that focuses on building mission relationships that help global partners around the world train leaders, start new congregations, expand their outreach programs, and strengthen their ministries of compassion.
Have you ever met someone for the first time and instantly you’re drawn to the person, feeling as if he has been your friend for years? That is the way you feel when you meet Dr. Tharwat Wahba.
Dr. Tharwat, as he’s commonly known, is head of the Mission Department at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo (ETSC) and serves as Chair of the Pastoral and Outreach Ministries Council of the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt. He has a deep love and passion for evangelism, the church, and Jesus Christ. His warm and inviting personality makes everyone feel special. And, he is the epitome of the reason for The Outreach Foundation’s existence and mission.
It can be depressing to hear the daily news from around the world. So much division among people groups, among political parties and their supporters, even among church folks. So, I have been convicted by the Apostle Paul’s challenge to the church at Corinth and to us, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
Precious (not his real name) has the warmest smile and the biggest bright eyes. He has been in the care of Christian Alliance for Children in Zambia, our partner in caring for vulnerable children, since he was 13 days old. CACZ has helped him grow and thrive to the best of his ability. The staff, made up of caregivers, teachers, nurses and housemothers, has been there for him cheering him on from the minute he took his first step, caring for him when he got sick and showering him with love and endless care. Precious’s warm spirit has captivated the hearts of not only his caregivers, but also those working in the administration department and visitors.
There is much in the news about the vulnerability of the Church around the world, where it finds itself persecuted and oppressed in the midst of war and other enormous challenges. It is inspiring and convicting to see how the Body of Christ witnesses to the Good News despite their circumstances. This is the Church of which Paul wrote, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) Suffering in God’s name is nothing new. It’s been happening for 2,000 years. Our Lord Jesus, even before he went to the cross for the ultimate in suffering, warned us of persecution.
At Outreach, we’re honored that God calls us to work with partners around the globe to help bring the gospel message to those in need of his saving grace. With gifts from people like you as well as churches and organizations, we work with our partners to build churches, provide relief to beleaguered Middle Easterners, train evangelists to share the Good News and so much more. But, we cannot do it without your help. Once a year we reach out to ask our donors and friends to help us continue this work. We invite you to make a gift to our annual appeal to continue our work with our global partners. Your gift will make a difference in the lives of people who need to know his love.
A Few Cistern Numbers
2016 Cisterns Built: 32
2016 Repayments: $17,000 Pesos
Total Cisterns Built: 401
Number of Cisterns to Be Built Later This Summer: 3
Two of the next three cisterns will be built by partnering with families run by single mothers. The third cistern is for a family living in Cristobal Colon. It will be our first time working in that village. That cistern will have 1/3 more volume. The family will cover 40% of material costs up front and all the expenses related to the larger size.
Dear family and friends,
It was a joy receiving five new members into our church recently. They are very different, bringing a variety of spiritual gifts to our congregation. The wife of one of them had been praying for over 40 years that her husband would accept the Lord as his Savior. He was always happy to have their children raised in the church but never wanted to take that step personally.
The Outreach Foundation invites your congregation to hold a special offering on World Communion Sunday, October 2 to support Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon. In wartime, school is often a luxury. But the National Evangelical (Presbyterian) Synod of Syria and Lebanon is doing something about it. They are providing education for Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon.
In late July, I brought a team of eight women from the U.S. to participate in a week-long conference in Lebanon which was sponsored by the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. Held in the mountains north of Beirut at a retreat center owned by the Synod, it gathered in more than 100 women for rich days filled with Bible study, worship, fellowship, recreation and learning – the “stuff” which comprises similar events everywhere. But there was one major difference: most of these women had come from the Presbyterian churches in Syria and had traveled over dangerous roads, endured long waits at border crossings and left loved ones behind in the midst of war.
Sue Kinsler and two pastors, Canadian Korean Rev. Song-Keun Kook and Korean American Rev. Choon Lim, visited North Korea on a GreenTree International (GTI) trip in May. What was the purpose of the visit? Not only was it important to confer about the Disabled North Korean Athletes’ Team plans to attend the Brazil Paralympics in late August, but each pastor had ideas about new ways to help North Korea’s disabled people.
In a small, aluminum prefab classroom, baking under the relentless summer sun that nurtures the lush vegetable crops for which the nearby Beqaa Valley in Lebanon is famous, hope is being incubated. 40 young Syrian Muslim women, mostly refugees from Aleppo and some of them mothers and widows, are learning to sew. Izdihar Kassis, a local pastor’s wife and a dynamo for Christ’s Kingdom, has run several faith-based non-profits and has now created Together for the Family to address the refugee crisis.
It is truly amazing what God has accomplished through the SARA ministries this year. The number of pastors in the mentoring program is growing every day. In this update I would like to tell you about a mentor training retreat we held in May in Curitiba.There were thirty-three pastors from six different denominations in attendance. SARA works with the Presbyterian Church of Brazil, Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil, Lutheran Church, United Presbyterian Church, Bethany Evangelical Church and Congregational Evangelical Church.
In late July, I brought a team of eight women from the U.S. to participate in a week-long conference in Lebanon which was sponsored by the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. Held in the mountains north of Beirut at a retreat center owned by the Synod, it gathered in more than 100 women for rich days filled with Bible study, worship, fellowship, recreation and learning – the “stuff” which comprises similar events everywhere. But there was one major difference: most of these women had come from the Presbyterian churches in Syria and had traveled over dangerous roads...
Greetings in Christ’s name from an exceptionally hot Cairo! The seminary has become quieter with most of the students away on their summer internships, so it is a good time to look back and reflect on the busy end-of-session period. Amid all the excitement and preparation for graduation in May, the ETSC community received a double blow as it learned of the deaths of Jack Lorimer and, two weeks later, Ken Bailey. Both were missionary giants, who in their different ways made an immense impact on the life of the Egyptian Church and indeed internationally.
Warm greetings from Bloomington, Illinois! It has been a blessing to be back in the States and to enjoy time with family and friends, and to even witness and experience the changing of the seasons (Bob was taught how to use a snow blower!). This year we are in the United States for our Interpretation Assignment and several months of personal leave. During this time we hope to have a short respite but also make meaningful connections with supporting churches and individuals, helping to interpret the work of the church in Congo so that American Christians feel connected to our sisters and brothers in that part of the world.
Hope eludes many young Maasai girls in Kenya. Through tradition, their culture dictates two tragic events for girls: female circumcision and early marriage to considerably older men, old enough to be their grandfathers. It was from these two untenable situations that nine year old Mary (fictitious name) ran away from home for the Girls’ Rescue Center.
Have you ever traveled somewhere and left a part of your heart there? It happened to Berry and Elizabeth Long on their first trip to Africa in 2000. After returning home to Florida, they couldn’t get Africa out of their hearts and minds. For sixteen years, they have been faithful volunteer workers for The Outreach Foundation.