We are thankful that our partners in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Haiti Outreach Ministries, were not badly affected by Hurricane Matthew. However, they are reaching out to help others with food, supplies and other emergency needs. We welcome gifts in support of their relief work and will forward funds to them promptly for their efforts.
- Dr. Rob Weingartner, Executive Director
Stories of Transformation
Our God is a Transforming God...
While we sleep, Syrians flee from rockets and mortars.
War rages in Syria. But the Church is faithfully bringing spiritual, emotional and physical relief to the people. They desperately need our help.
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.
From Marilyn Borst, Associate Director for Partnership Development: For the past year, your gifts to the Syria Appeal have made it possible for the Presbyterian Church in Homs, Syria to offer a life-giving ministry of reconciliation entitled “Space for Hope” to young people in its war-ravaged neighborhood. Recently, the World Communion of Reformed Churches (www.wcrc.ch) posted an article about this ministry, which we share here with the blessing of its author, Phil Tanis.
Syrian Christians Create Space for Hope
In war-torn Syria, hope is fading for many. After five years of civil war, there are few who have not lost family members or close friends, but life needs to go on for those who are alive, for those who have stayed. They struggle to continue with their lives every day, to study and work, although jobs have become scarce, and to maintain as much normalcy as possible amidst the war and the ever-present threat of attacks, while dreaming about a better future and peace.
In a bustling, lower middle-class and predominantly Christian suburb of Beirut, thousands of “brokenhearted” refugees from Iraq and Syria are being “bound up” by ministries which The Outreach Foundation – because of your generous gifts – has helped to support. At the Our Lady Dispensary (OLD), a social service outreach center of the Middle East Council of Churches, social worker Grace Boustani and her small team are impacting the lives of 1,200 families. They come not only for food and medical care, but to participate in educational seminars as well as summer and holiday programs for themselves and their children which offer hope through a reminder that there is abundant life beyond their traumatic circumstances.
The Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (EPR), with over 300,000 members, was introduced in 1907 by Protestants from the German Bethel mission in what is known today as Zinga Presbytery. From the very beginning, the evangelistic work was done by Rwandans who accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church is growing by leaps and bounds, more than any other time in history. More churches are being planted in many parts of the country. After the genocide, much emphasis has been placed on reconstruction and expanding the church’s impact to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of Rwandans. There is a huge need for sanctuaries that are also multipurpose halls for various community interests such as schools and other gatherings. As in all places in Africa, congregation members have tried to provide land, stones and bricks as well as labor for their new sanctuaries.
Greetings from The Outreach Foundation and from the Namumu children in Siavonga, Zambia. Most children coming to Namumu have had difficult lives as a result of poverty, death of parents due to HIV/AIDS, lack of love, or emotional stress. Namumu provides elementary and high school education to all residents. Over 300 children, including those in residence, have access to elementary education at a community school started with the center’s involvement and now turned over to the community to benefit from available government resources. We recently received several stories from Namumu children and would love to share one from Antia Samende, age 14, so that you can rejoice with us.
I have just finished a two-week visit to Korea. Twenty-one of us took advantage of the invitation of the Rev. James Kwon to see the Korean Church at its best, and we were not disappointed. For those who have followed our trip blogs, I will not repeat our day-to-day observations (see www.theoutreachfoundation.org/news/trip blogs). What I would like to focus on in this blog is the biggest take-away for me from this trip, namely, the opportunity that non-Korean churches and mission organizations in the U.S. have to link with the Church in Korea and with Korean churches in the U.S. for greater faithfulness and fruit as we participate with God in mission.
On Sunday we wrapped up our visit to Suzhou and had the incredible privilege to worship with the Dushu Lake Church. After spending a few days experiencing this place and forming connections with the people here, the perfect ending was to join them for worship. Pastor Aaron was invited to preach on 1 Peter 2:4-10. We were moved to find the sanctuary was packed 30 minutes before the service began, and the congregation singing together to fill the time. 1,400+ people, worshiping together...it was beautiful!
We have had a very full and rich time since we arrived in Egypt visiting churches, meeting pastors, hearing about their struggles and dreams for the future. I am thoroughly impressed by their dedication, in some ways putting their own lives in harm's way due to their commitment to Christ. This evening I decided to stay back from the evening church service because I wasn't feeling 100% – I didn't want to ruin the rest of the trip with symptoms worsening. Several of us have been struggling with sickness (colds and/or stomach upset). We would appreciate your prayers.