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.
What is involved in reconciliation, pardon and reconstruction? How does that relate to our call as Christians and our struggles within the world? What role can or does the church play in all of this? These were some of the topics of “Winter School” in February 2016 at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS). It was a “winter break” for twenty students and four faculty from The University of Geneva (Switzerland) who came to participate, but a welcoming summer for hosting the event at PIASS for our twenty students and theology faculty and four students and two faculty from ULPGL of Goma and Bukavu (DR Congo).
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.
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.
Today was a day of information gathering and exploring how our church might walk alongside our Chinese friends. After our morning team devotions we headed out to the Amity Printing Company of Nanjing. Their mission and priority is to serve the Christian Church in China, and they are the main Bible production company in China. In 1989 they printed 1,000,000 Bibles. Currently they produce over 20,000,000 a year in 90 different languages, including Braille.