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 ( 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. 

Rwanda Church Construction

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. 

Namumu Orphanage Center - October 2016 Update

Dear friends of Namumu children,

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. 

Kay Day PC(USA) and Scholarships for Presbyterians at PIASS- October 2016 Update

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).

Sarmiento joins The Outreach Foundation Staff

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.

The Outreach Foundation
Paying it Forward

Have you ever met someone for the first time and instantly you’re drawn to the person, feeling as if he has been your friend for years? That is the way you feel when you meet Dr. Tharwat Wahba.  

Dr. Tharwat, as he’s commonly known, is head of the Mission Department at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo (ETSC) and serves as Chair of the Pastoral and Outreach Ministries Council of the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt.  He has a deep love and passion for evangelism, the church, and Jesus Christ. His warm and inviting personality makes everyone feel special. And, he is the epitome of the reason for The Outreach Foundation’s existence and mission.

John McCall (PCUSA) - September 2016 Update

It can be depressing to hear the daily news from around the world. So much division among people groups, among political parties and their supporters, even among church folks. So, I have been convicted by the Apostle Paul’s challenge to the church at Corinth and to us, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).  

Bill and Bette Bryant Crisis Nursery - September 2016 Update

Precious (not his real name) has the warmest smile and the biggest bright eyes. He has been in the care of Christian Alliance for Children in Zambia, our partner in caring for vulnerable children, since he was 13 days old. CACZ has helped him grow and thrive to the best of his ability. The staff, made up of caregivers, teachers, nurses and housemothers, has been there for him cheering him on from the minute he took his first step, caring for him when he got sick and showering him with love and endless care. Precious’s warm spirit has captivated the hearts of not only his caregivers, but also those working in the administration department and visitors. 

Stories of Hope

There is much in the news about the vulnerability of the Church around the world, where it finds itself persecuted and oppressed in the midst of war and other enormous challenges. It is inspiring and convicting to see how the Body of Christ witnesses to the Good News despite their circumstances. This is the Church of which Paul wrote, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) Suffering in God’s name is nothing new. It’s been happening for 2,000 years. Our Lord Jesus, even before he went to the cross for the ultimate in suffering, warned us of persecution. 

An Invitation to Make a Year-End Gift

At Outreach, we’re honored that God calls us to work with partners around the globe to help bring the gospel message to those in need of his saving grace. With gifts from people like you as well as churches and organizations, we work with our partners to build churches, provide relief to beleaguered Middle Easterners, train evangelists to share the Good News and so much more. But, we cannot do it without your help. Once a year we reach out to ask our donors and friends to help us continue this work. We invite you to make a gift to our annual appeal to continue our work with our global partners. Your gift will make a difference in the lives of people who need to know his love.

Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - September 2016 Update

A Few Cistern Numbers
2016 Cisterns Built: 32        
2016 Repayments: $17,000 Pesos
Total Cisterns Built: 401
Number of Cisterns to Be Built Later This Summer: 3

Two of the next three cisterns will be built by partnering with families run by single mothers. The third cistern is for a family living in Cristobal Colon. It will be our first time working in that village. That cistern will have 1/3 more volume. The family will cover 40% of material costs up front and all the expenses related to the larger size. 

Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell (PCUSA) - September 2016 Update

Dear family and friends,

It was a joy receiving five new members into our church recently. They are very different, bringing a variety of spiritual gifts to our congregation. The wife of one of them had been praying for over 40 years that her husband would accept the Lord as his Savior. He was always happy to have their children raised in the church but never wanted to take that step personally. 

The Outreach Foundation
World Communion Sunday Opportunity

The Outreach Foundation invites your congregation to hold a special offering on World Communion Sunday, October 2 to support Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon. In wartime, school is often a luxury. But the National Evangelical (Presbyterian) Synod of Syria and Lebanon is doing something about it. They are providing education for Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon. 

The Outreach Foundation
Syria Appeal - August 2016 Update

In late July, I brought a team of eight women from the U.S. to participate in a week-long conference in Lebanon which was sponsored by the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. Held in the mountains north of Beirut at a retreat center owned by the Synod, it gathered in more than 100 women for rich days filled with Bible study, worship, fellowship, recreation and learning – the “stuff” which comprises similar events everywhere. But there was one major difference: most of these women had come from the Presbyterian churches in Syria and had traveled over dangerous roads, endured long waits at border crossings and left loved ones behind in the midst of war. 

The Outreach Foundation
Compassion Ministries - August 2016 Update

Sue Kinsler and two pastors, Canadian Korean Rev. Song-Keun Kook and Korean American Rev. Choon Lim, visited North Korea on a GreenTree International (GTI) trip in May. What was the purpose of the visit? Not only was it important to confer about the Disabled North Korean Athletes’ Team plans to attend the Brazil Paralympics in late August, but each pastor had ideas about new ways to help North Korea’s disabled people. 

Refugee/Internally Displaced Persons Appeal - August 2016 Update

In a small, aluminum prefab classroom, baking under the relentless summer sun that nurtures the lush vegetable crops for which the nearby Beqaa Valley in Lebanon is famous, hope is being incubated. 40 young Syrian Muslim women, mostly refugees from Aleppo and some of them mothers and widows, are learning to sew. Izdihar Kassis, a local pastor’s wife and a dynamo for Christ’s Kingdom, has run several faith-based non-profits and has now created Together for the Family to address the refugee crisis.

José Carlos Pezini (Mission Staff) - August 2016 update

It is truly amazing what God has accomplished through the SARA ministries this year. The number of pastors in the mentoring program is growing every day. In this update I would like to tell you about a mentor training retreat we held in May in Curitiba.There were thirty-three pastors from six different denominations in attendance. SARA works with the Presbyterian Church of Brazil, Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil, Lutheran Church, United Presbyterian Church, Bethany Evangelical Church and Congregational Evangelical Church.