Don and Martha Wehmeyer (Antioch Partners) - January 2017 Update

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. 

Presbyterian Street Children's Ministry - January 2017 Update

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, 

University Student Ministry - January 2017 Update

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 

Schools for Syrian Refugees - January 2017 Update

by Marilyn Borst

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 

Iraq Update - December 2016

From Marilyn Borst, Associate Director for Partnership Development for The Outreach Foundation:     
There are three Presbyterian churches still open in Iraq. Please know that your gifts to Outreach have supported the mission and ministry of all three congregations, which has been especially critical in the aftermath of ISIS’ takeover of parts of the country in the past two years.

Kirkuk – Rev. Haitham Jazrawi writes:
...although the Iraqi Army has managed to liberate many Christian towns surrounding Nineveh [Mosul] and even though the Christian refugees have been given permission to visit their hometowns and see what remains of their property...
 

The Outreach Foundation
José Carlos Pezini (Outreach) - December 2016 Update

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was a very busy and stressful year of my ministry here in Brazil. SARA Ministries is growing so fast that it is almost impossible to respond to all the demands. The number of pastors who are being mentored is growing day by day. This year I have trained more pastors to be mentors, bringing the total to thirty-eight. Each one of these new pastor-mentors serves an average of five pastors. 

Syria Appeal

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

In this city, which was once a heap of ruin following a three-year siege at the beginning of the war, the women of the Presbyterian Church in Homs could not ignore the needs outside the walls of their church. With so many people displaced from other cities and often with no family or resources, to be sick or wounded was a frightening prospect. And so Micheline Koudmani, wife of Homs’ pastor Rev. Mofid Karajili and president of the Evangelical Women’s Charitable Association of Homs, challenged her organization (which was founded in 1930 at the Presbyterian Church) to minister to those whose needs could not be met adequately by other agencies. With a grant from The Outreach Foundation they began to bring hope and the presence of Christ in lives unraveling...

The Outreach Foundation
Justo Mwale University - December 2016 Update

Dear friends,

From time to time we have conversations in ministry that help us to see afresh why we are here in Zambia, and also make us grateful for supporters who make our ministry possible. One of my students recently asked to talk with me in my office. I was a little surprised when he arrived and said he actually wanted to discuss what salvation means. He’s soon to graduate and be ordained, and my experience in America and in Egypt was that pastors and future pastors tend to know fairly well what they think about salvation. But this student was really wrestling with the topic, on account of what he had gone through in his various practical ministry experiences. 

City Evangelization, Busanza Vocational Training School - December 2016 Update

Brothers and sisters and partners in the work of the Kingdom,  

It is with great joy we greet you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord! First of all we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your friendship and Christian love shown over the years. Our partnership has deep roots, and the Gospel is bearing fruit in our country and our communities of EPR Kanombe including Ndera, Busanza and Kabeza. Our mission is to build a strong parish whose Christians are spiritually mature and able to testify to God’s Kingdom in the world. In our parish, evangelization is the main activity. 

Bethlehem Bible College - November 2016 Update

Dear friends of Bethlehem Bible College, 

We trust that the end of the year is wrapping up well for you! As the year 2016 comes to an end, we reflect on where we have come from but also plan for where we are headed. The past year has been full of amazing opportunities for BBC to reach out to our community through our students and staff, our faculty and those that partner with us from abroad or by coming and volunteering locally. Our hope and focus is that what is taught and modeled here at BBC will extend beyond the classroom, and that our students will be ambassadors to whatever workplace or ministry they work in on behalf of the kingdom of God.  

Outreach Announces Frank Dimmock as Africa Mission Specialist

The Outreach Foundation is excited to announce that Frank Dimmock will join the mission staff on January 1, 2017, as an Africa mission specialist. For thirty-five years Frank served the church in Africa as a Presbyterian Church (USA) mission co-worker, focusing on ministries of health and development. More broadly, his central interest is the welfare of children. Since 2013, he has worked with Presbyterian World Mission as the global poverty alleviation catalyst, based in Louisville. A native of North Carolina and graduate of North Carolina State University in pre-medicine, Frank has a master’s degree in public health and completed doctoral work in international public health and epidemiology from the Tulane University School of Public Health in New Orleans. 

The Outreach Foundation
Palestinian Bible Society - November 2016 Update

This is the third year that the Palestinian Bible Society carried out one of its biggest programs known as the Bible Day Event. The emphasis this year was on Palestinian youth and the role of the Bible in their lives. The event took place at the Cultural Palace in Ramallah with over 1,000 people attending! “So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” was the title of this special and long anticipated conference, with a focus on three main issues: love God and his word, love your neighbor, and love your country and citizenship. The conference attracted more than 1,000 youth from Palestinian cities ranging from Jenin in the north all the way to Bethlehem in the south. 

Being Strong and Courageous

"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

The church in the Middle East lives by these words of God to Joshua. They are strong and courageous despite their vulnerability. The church in Egypt is no exception. Christians represent only 10% of the population in Egypt, and Presbyterians are only 10% of the 10%! Nonetheless, they are bold in their witness as they live out the gospel message of loving their neighbors, no matter if the neighbors are Christian or Muslim. Whether a large city church or an old rural village church, they know their purpose is to reach out in love to each other and their neighbors.

Church in Korea: Repaying a Missionary Debt

Monday, October 3 two young pastors and I left for South Korea to begin the 2016 Emerging Leaders Vision Trip. Arriving in the evening one day later, we joined up with eighteen people who had been invited by the Rev. James Kwon, Moderator of the Northwest Coast Presbytery of the PC(USA). The Rev. Kwon had wanted to give people of the presbytery an opportunity to see the Church of Korea which is a fruit of the sacrificial labor of missionaries, many of whom were Presbyterian. Because the aims of our trips were so close, our two groups became one for a ten-day experience of the rich faith and mission outreach of the Church in Korea. 

Cuba Update - November 2016

Much has been in the news over the past months about the improving of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. For those of us who are not just “Cuba watchers” but “Cuba goers,” the changes occurring, as a result, are a mixed blessing. Charter companies were once the only way to get to the island and involved complex reservations and long check-in processes. Now, commercial flights have begun, and you can book online. On the other hand, more travelers are now flooding the island, both from the U.S. and elsewhere, making the limited number of hotel rooms both scarcer and pricier. Our partners in Cuba (the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba and the Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary) also see the “good and the bad” of it all. 

Tumaini Children's Ministry - November 2016 Update

Dear partners and friends of Tumaini Ministry and the Riamukurwe Parish,

Those of you supporting Tumaini Ministry in Nyeri are aware of its importance in a country like Kenya, where there are a growing number of children living on the street and orphaned due to various reasons. Currently over 250 children residing at Tumaini and Huruma attend both primary and high schools in the area. The hope brought by witnessing the love of Christ to these vulnerable children is bearing fruit in wonderful ways. Some talented young people have completed high school and, with help from this ministry, are pursuing vocational training and university studies at several institutions of higher learning. Their success is a great witness of the church in the gospel message to care for the least of these in Christ’s name and a great inspiration to the younger children in the program.

Syria Appeal - October 2016 Update

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.

Refugee/IDP Appeal - October 2016 Update

Beauty for Ashes

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.