Posts in Projects
We Have Come Together - Tumekutana 2018

by Caryl Weinberg

Tumekutana is a Swahili word meaning “We Have Come Together.” Founded 11 years ago, the Tumekutana conference began as a gathering of Presbyterian and Reformed Women’s leaders from 16 countries in Africa and 26 denominations. This year’s conference, the fourth Tumekutana gathering, will include women from 23 countries and 33 denominations.

Each conference focuses on a theme identified by the African women, relevant to the setting of the gathering. During the conference women receive training, are challenged and encouraged, and establish friendships and networks that go far beyond each meeting. Whether leading women in a denomination of five million people or “only” 250,000, these women leaders have important roles with the potential for significant impact on the women and families in their churches and countries.

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Mission, Measurement, and Interconnectedness - Part I
"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth."
1 Corinthians 3:6

“They are the very heart of all we do at our presbytery!” In an unequivocal way, Rev. Emmanuel Martey, chairperson of the Upper Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, described the importance of the 169 catechists and caretakers that endeavor to support congregations without pastors in their region, which is close to the borders with Burkina Faso, Togo and Ivory Coast. Under the name “Apollo’s Project” they try to visit the often remote locations and preach, teach and lend their support to the people of God gathering in those places. They do this out of a sense of call for being supportive to the congregations that are formed through the joyful, evangelistic efforts of Presbyterians in their ethnically and religiously diverse communities. Often times the catechists travel on bicycles or public transportation without receiving a salary or being reimbursed for their expenses. While the Gospel continues to be planted, the presbytery has identified the “watering” of those churches as what they need to concentrate their energy and attention on.

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Do More with Less?

by Marilyn Borst

"Do more with less" usually means to be (more) productive or creative with less money or resources. Business “guru” Bloomberg muses that: “The traditional view, from both the organization’s and employee’s perspective, is all about what employees need to do to help organizations accomplish more with fewer resources.” (Yea…. like that is gonna work!)

I just finished reading an in-depth report, written by one of The Outreach Foundation’s partners in Jordan, the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC). For the past few years, and with generous gifts from churches and individuals, TOF has supplied funds for MECC’s ministry with some of the 2.7 million – million – Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have sought a haven in this country, which, admirably and with great dignity, refers to them as “guests.”

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Loving God and the Bible with Chinese Leaders

by Juan Sarmiento

In his youth the Rev. Shan Wei-Xiang was the pastor of a typical Chinese congregation during those years: One that owned no Bibles. In fact, since the only copy of the Scriptures in town was found in the library, the congregation had agreed that nobody else but him would check the Bible out each week from the local library and they would help him write down by hand copies of the passage from which Pastor Shan would preach to have it distributed among the people. 

Things have changed significantly in recent decades but Rev. Shan’s commitment to sharing God’s message remains strong. He now heads a program of the Church in China that is responsible for the distribution of the Bible inside China. Since the late 1980s, tens of millions of Bibles have been distributed inside China as the church has tried to keep up with the growth of disciples of Christ. The most conservative estimate of the number of Protestant Christians in China is 46 million, up from less than one million in 1949 when the Peoples Republic of China began. 

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