Ethiopia #4: Pinyudo Refugee Camp

by Frank Dimmock

From Thursday, November 8th, through Saturday I was visiting the Pinyudo refugee camp, 5 painful hours South of Gambella. The camp has approximately 86,000 refugees with more than 50,000 children. One zone of the camp has refugees remaining from the conflict in South Sudan in the 1990’s. The Outreach Foundation has helped to train eleven refugees in Pinyudo 1 camp and three more in the smaller sister camp Pinyudo 2. I was able to meet most of them and learn of their progress with healing and listening groups. I also met four of the children who participated last year in the children’s trauma healing camp. I am encouraged by the efforts of these committed volunteers. There is much work to be done in helping the refugees understand and release their trauma, experience forgiveness and rebuild hope. In Pinyudo there are 8 parishes and more than 40 churches where we are working to build communities of healing. It is exciting! 

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Ethiopia #3: Audio Trauma Healing Training

by Frank Dimmock

There is too much to report since my last blog. Day two of the audio trauma healing training was focused on rape and domestic violence in the morning and on releasing our pain at the foot of the cross and forgiveness in the afternoon. Needless to say, we went overtime and were exhausted. Personal stories were shared, tears were shed and we ended in prayer. On our final day of the training, we covered “How can we live as Christians in the midst of conflict?” and “Looking ahead.” The participants had the opportunity to practice using the audio devices and solar speakers. As they graduated, a designated trainee from each camp was issued the recorders and speakers to take away. They have plans for forming listening groups.

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Ethiopia #2: Trauma Healing for Refugees

by Frank Dimmock

It has been a very busy and long day 1 with the audio trauma healing trainees.

We reviewed 6 lessons, listening to the Nuer audio recordings and going through the discussion questions. They remembered many of the stories and exercises we had done in the June training. It was a good review. There are 6 women and 7 men representing five of the six camps in the region. They are part of a team of trained trauma healing refugees from each camp.

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Ethiopia #1 - Greetings from Gambella

by Frank Dimmock

Greetings from Gambella, near the border with South Sudan. I arrived here on Saturday following two busy days in Addis. I managed while there to: get permission from the authorities to visit the refugee camps in this region; buy and transport a bicycle for the South Sudanese education and trauma healing coordinator in the camps; meet with the evangelist in charge of the Nuer Presbyterian Congregation in Addis (Gabriel Chieng Tot); visit with a South Sudanese medical doctor completing specialty training in OB/Gyn; spend time with an American group from Shenandoah Presbytery; and have dinner with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) President Rev. Yonas Yigezu Dibisa.

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China #7: So, what did you DO in China?

by Nancy Fox

In Shanghai on Tuesday, October 23, we met with six of the top leaders of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), which is the official Protestant church (a single denomination) in China and the largest Protestant body in any country. In Jiangsu Province alone (where we have spent most of our time), there are about two million members. The “three-self” element is drawn from what was new Protestant mission thinking around the end of the 19th century, that newly planted churches should be self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating. That approach was shown to be highly successful in Korea and was embraced by the Chinese church after foreign missionaries were expelled in 1949 and the re-opening of churches following the Cultural Revolution. Because of this three-self emphasis, the Protestant church in China is truly Chinese.

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China #6: Humility

by Laurie Denham, National Presbyterian Church, Washington DC

October 21, our group split the day between Jiangyin and Suzhou. Those of us in Suzhou spent most of the day at Lion Mountain Faith Church with the delegation from University Place Presbyterian Church (UPPC) in Takoma, WA. We arrived at the church to discover they were having their annual rummage sale to benefit the surrounding community. As we entered the sanctuary, I immediately observed a wonderful diversity of age and socio-economic status in the congregation. This is a church that truly serves their community.

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China #5: Grasping the Lord’s Abundant Grace

By Julia Sensenbrenner, for the team

On October 19, we left Nanjing and drove to Suzhou, where we visited Dushu Lake Church and enjoyed a delicious dinner of Suzhou specialties. We marveled at the beauty of the church, opened in 2010, with its commanding statue of Jesus and beautiful stained-glass windows, including many by He Qi, a Chinese artist who trained and taught in Nanjing before moving to the United States. We enjoyed meeting Pastor He and Pastor Thomas, two of the four pastors of the church, which offers three worship services each weekend, including a Sunday afternoon service oriented toward young people.

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China #4: Amity Printing Company and Jiangsu Theological Seminary

by Dale Keller, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, NC

The Outreach Foundation Mission group visited two important Nanjing Christian centers on October 18, 2018: The Amity Printing Company and the Jiangsu Theological Seminary.

Amity Printing Company:

God’s Spirit is hard at work at the Amity Printing Company. Our group was warmly welcomed to the company, briefed on plant operations, toured the print operation, and hosted in an employee lunch dining room.

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China #3: A City Church, a National Seminary, and a Global NGO Founded by Christians

Day 2 in Nanjing 

Ten bleary-eyed new arrivals joined the Outreach team for our second day in Nanjing. They had arrived in Nanjing well after midnight from their long trip but were determined not to let fatigue stop them from seeing what God is doing in China.

Our first stop was Sheng Xun Church, a beautiful, 5000-seat church located in a new area of Nanjing which was the site of the 2013 Pan-Asian Games and the 2014 Youth Olympics.

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China #2: 20th Anniversary Celebration of Jiangsu Theological Seminary

Jeff Ritchie, Mission Advocate

We arrived in Nanjing early Monday evening and were greeted by another long-time friend of The Outreach Foundation, the Rev. David Shi (Chinese name: Shi Li). David got us checked in and deliciously fed, then told us to get a good rest so that we could enjoy the Jiangsu Theological Seminary 20th anniversary celebration the next day.

When we arrived at Jiangsu Seminary Tuesday morning, we saw parked cars and buses line up and down the street leading to the seminary. Something was about to happen!

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China #1: Remarkable Faithfulness and Growth

Days in Harbin, October 12-15

Reflections by Jeff Ritchie, Jimmy and Lynne Quinn, Choon Lim and Juan Sarmiento 

Five of the sixteen participants in the 2018 Outreach Foundation trip to China began their trip with a four-day visit to Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province in northeast China. Harbin was the place where most of the early Outreach Foundation trips to China centered on. For four of the five travelers, this was a homecoming to people who have become like family. For Juan Sarmiento, Associate Director for Mission of The Outreach Foundation, it was his welcome to the family.

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Pakistan #5 - Bathed in Prayer

by Rob Weingartner

Our final day in Pakistan (Wednesday) was a day of encouragement and rich experiences for Richard and me. We are deeply grateful for the hospitality and help that the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan Moderator, Rev. Dr. Majid Abel and his wife, Hina, provided to us during our entire stay.

Our first visit was to the new offices of the Presbyterian Education Board which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the denationalization of primary and secondary schools. The church’s educational ministry had been very strong up until the time that the schools were nationalized. When the opportunity to build and run schools returned to the church, PEB stepped up to provide strong leadership. Currently, PEB educates about 6,000 children in 12 high schools and six village primary schools. PEB seeks to serve “the poorest of the poor,” and they serve both Muslim and Christian students. PEB also directs a number of Women’s Empowerment Projects.

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