From Mérida, Martha and I wish you all a Happy New Year!
We want to thank each of you, our blessed supporters, for your faithfulness during the past year. Additionally we want to thank the staff of The Antioch Partners, our sending agency, who take care of our insurance, tax and budgeting needs so we can focus on our ministry, and the team of The Outreach Foundation which supports theological education and leadership development around the world. May your cup overflow with the grace of the Lord.
This year we are also especially grateful to have Guillen with us. There were some scary weeks while he was in the hospital, six weeks in neo-natal intensive care.
The “Centre Presbytérien d’Amour des Jeunes” (CPAJ) is a faith based non-profit organization working under the authority of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. Started in 1998, CPAJ has a vision of reducing the social-economic vulnerability of children and their families/guardians. CPAJ focuses mainly on improving the well-being and developing life skills of children and youth from the most disadvantaged groups in Rwanda through mainstream education and skills (vocational) training.
The Current Situation of CPAJ In 2016, 51 street children came through CPAJ – 46 have been reintegrated either with their families or with foster families. CPAJ now has 36 children in residence,
The University Student Ministry of the Mekane Yesus Church (EECMY) ministers to students on many campuses by gathering them in small discipleship groups for training and growth. In collaboration with the EECMY congregation closest to each campus, USM facilitates leadership development and Christian growth conferences as well as Christian education activities. Seminars led by different experts are also held at each campus.
A female student network established by the Mekele EECMY congregation brings female Christian students from Mekele University in to share experiences, opportunities and challenges. Training is given on topics
There are 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, many of whom have been living in tents in dismal camps for years – and 60% of them are children. In a country of only four million, the Lebanese public schools are able to accommodate just a fraction of these Syrian refugee children. And so, in late 2015, the National Evangelical [Presbyterian] Synod of Syria and Lebanon came up with a vision: open a school for 200 of these children and offer them the Syrian curriculum so that they could both build upon their previous education and be prepared to return to their “normal schools” once the war was
Traveling to Cuba seems to be “in style” these days. With the easing of historically imposed restrictions by our government and the ensuing re-establishment of airline operations, the island is drawing increasing numbers of visitors from the U.S. Being here gives you a sense of the fast pace with which change is taking place: More and more of the architecture of the capital is now illuminated in ways that highlight its impressive contours, appealing restaurants are proliferating, newly installed digital screens announce the cultural offerings and the emblematic cabs from the 50’s and 60’s are now joined by a considerable number of recent models.
We were five pastors and five lay leaders who came from Oregon, Indiana, Nebraska, California, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. As the team leader, I was the only person who had actually met everyone before we gathered in Lebanon and then headed into Syria for 10 days and 9 nights to meet with congregations and pastors of the National Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church. On either side of our time in Syria, we spent days in Lebanon meeting with Outreach Foundation partners who are doing ministry with Syrian refugees, or, as is the case with Near East School of Theology, training the next generation of leaders to serve the Church in Syria. The ten of us quickly became a family,