Baryé Fè High School - September 2018 Update

Dear friends,

In a time in Haiti where only 5% of the children who start school will be able to earn their high school diplomas, we are pleased to announce a 99% passing rate for this past school year with 100% of our 9th graders passing the National Exam.

For the 2018-2019 school year, we will be adding 180 Pre-K students to our primary roster and welcoming 80 students who graduated from the 6th grade at Cite Soleil and Terre Noire to the 7th grade at Baryé Fè. A total of 228 students are expected to attend Baryé Fè this year. The projected completion of the second secondary building will allow for the accommodation of 10th grade students.

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Dustin and Sherri Ellington - September 2018 Update

Dear friends and supporters,

Sherri and I have served eight years in Zambia, a country that is officially over 95% Christian yet where 100 years ago there were hardly any Christians at all. Most of this growth has happened in the last 50 or so years.

The church here is dealing with second and third generation issues. On one hand, there’s been amazing numerical success, there are churches and Christian institutions everywhere, and even the constitution declares Zambia to be a Christian nation. But on the other hand, when everyone is supposed to be Christian and righteous and when prestige and power belong to those who control Christian institutions, there’s a challenge to stay supple before God and one another for the sake of ongoing deeper conversion.

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Bill and Bette Bryant Crisis Nursery - September 2018 Update

An Outreach Legacy Story

In Lusaka, Zambia an abandoned three-week-old baby boy was brought to the House of Moses where the caregivers named him Jacob and called him Jake. He spent his first two years living and thriving in this amazing rescue home. Although the social workers worked tirelessly to try and find relatives to care for him, they were not successful.

When Jake turned two, he transitioned to the Bill and Bette Bryant Crisis Nursery where he continued to develop as a healthy toddler. He enjoyed the Learning Center of Joy and interacting with the other children.

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The Outreach Foundation
Syria Appeal - September 2018

Bringing a child forward for baptism is always a sacred moment-holy ground-both for the parents and the congregation who, in our Reformed tradition, pledge to assist the family in raising that child to know Christ and to serve him. And there is little Christian Khatouf, pictured above with his two older brothers barely visible behind his mom, awaiting the water, old enough to know what is happening and seemingly “at home” in front of a “full house” in his home church in Nabek, Syria about 50 miles north of Damascus. As Christian looks up at the camera, he is also seeing a “wall of clergy” standing in the chancel, for his baptism had been delayed for just this moment in time – the rededication of his Presbyterian Church home that had been badly damaged by terrorists during the war.

On that Friday, August 10, an impressive delegation of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon had come: Rev. Jacob Sabbagh (Pastor of Fairouzeh Church), Rev. Hadi Ghantous (Synod Executive of Ecclesial and Spiritual Affairs Committee and Pastor of Minyara Church), Rev. Boutros Zaour (Synod Moderator and Pastor of Damascus Church), Rev. Joseph Kassab (Synod General Secretary) and Rev. Yousef Jabbour (Pastor of Homs Church), as well as local clergy from the Syriac, Melkite and Orthodox communities to celebrate the reopening of the church.

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José Carlos Pezini - September 2018 Update

Dear brothers and sisters of The Outreach Foundation, 

May God bless you indeed. Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. I would like to express my gratitude to you all. It is a great privilege for me to work with people like you who demonstrate humbleness to serve the Lord in motivating the church of Jesus Christ around the world.  

Since I concluded my sabbatical in July, I have been very busy traveling all over, teaching, training, mentoring pastors, and leading pastors’ retreats. God continues to open many doors for our ministry here in Brazil and also in other countries. Pastors are still calling us for help.

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The Outreach Foundation
Tumekutana Call to Prayer

We received the following prayer requests for the Tumekutana gathering of Presbyterian women leaders, which is being held in Africa this week:

Beloved friends,

Tumekutana is coming up this week, and the pressure is on for all the final details to come together. We ask humbly for you to fast and pray with us this Wednesday as each woman makes travel arrangements. There are issues arising with visas, airfare, and personal emergencies that are coming up in the last moments and we need desperate and consistent prayer against the spiritual warfare that is taking place this week attempting to hinder each of these outstanding women from attending. As you are praying, here are some specific requests we ask you to take before the Lord:

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Hope for Syrian Students and Refugee Appeal - September 2018

In late July I took a small team of women (Sheryl Wood, Evangeline Paschal, Julie Burgess) to Lebanon to participate (for the fifth year!) in a women’s conference held by the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. With almost 80 women joining us from the Presbyterian churches in Syria, our week together left us with hope as we heard many, many stories of how the war is winding down and peace is on the horizon. But the harder reality is that most of the refugees who fled into Lebanon from Syria are not yet able to return home, largely because they have no home to which to return….and will not, into the foreseeable future. The ministries which serve these refugees continue to engage deeply and compassionately in serving these “neighbors” in Christ’s name. Our team visited with two of them and Julie Burgess reflects upon that experience below (excerpt from trip blog published July 19).
Marilyn Borst, Associate Director for Partnership Development

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Bibles for New Christians - August 2018 Update

The year was 1986. The economy was thriving in the country with the largest oil reserves in the world. Still, most people in Venezuela lacked access to good education and health services. A group of teenagers had recently become exposed to the Scriptures. Somehow, what Jesus had initiated and instructed his followers to carry on sounded to them like real rebellion. Not just one seeking to replace a social elite with another but a real movement that calls people to repentance and a new life of faith and love for God and fellow human beings. The revolution was to move forward as people became aware of the unsettling ways in which the purposes of God have been carried out in history. If they could help other people read the Bible – they thought – then others too may have their lives filled with new meaning, purpose and compassion. After receiving a gracious donation of hundreds of Bibles, they got busy talking to whomever would pay attention to what they had to say.

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Frank Dimmock - August 2018

Dear friends, 

Greetings in the name of our wonderful savior, Jesus Christ!

In June I was back in Gambella, western Ethiopia, helping to facilitate two trainings in trauma healing with South Sudanese refugees. One of the pleasures of my work is being able to return to places I have been, to renew friendships and to encourage and share life with those living in the camps. I enjoy being in Gambella, seeing changes there and meeting many inspiring people. In the first training we used the newly developed audio trauma healing lessons that had been recorded in the Nuer language by a Sudanese American congregation in Tennessee. Over 80% of the more than 400,000 refugees are women and children. And many of them are unable to read the printed trauma healing material. Now they can listen to the lessons, share their own stories, and discuss with the trained facilitators in small groups.

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Philemon Project Preschool - August 2018 Update

The Philemon Project's GROW Center was founded to provide the best practices of quality early childhood programs for the underserved. We provide equity in child outcomes within those we serve by focusing and maintaining the highest quality possible.

GROW: Problems our Project Seeks to Address
Neuroscientists, economists and early childhood development experts all suggest that investing in a child's early years is the most powerful way to affect change in society. Reaching children in their earliest years is emerging as a top focus around the world.

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Stu and Annie Ross - August 2018 Update

Dear friends,

On Friday, August 3 we dedicated our second Linda’s Library at Ngecha’s Girls’ High School. This school is located in a poor area 50 kms (32 miles) north of Kikuyu. There are 280 girls attending Ngecha Girls’ High School.

In addition to the girls, many other people attended the dedication ceremony: the Moderator of the Presbytery as well as three other ministers, the Director of Education from the PCEA Head Office, several chiefs and sub-chiefs of the area, a representative of the local Member of Parliament, a representative from the Minister of Education, and many other dignitaries. In many ways it resembled a church dedication with choirs, dancing and speeches. 

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Women's Ministries in Africa - August 2018 Update

Tumekutana Prayer Letter

Tumekutana, which means “we have come together,” is a conference of Presbyterian women leaders in Africa who gather to support each other and to unite with the global church. The Outreach Foundation supported Tumkekutana in Ghana in 2015 and will do so again in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 15-21, 2018. We recently received this note from the Tumekutana Executive Committee:

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Daniel and Elizabeth Turk - August 2018 Update

Dear friends,

Greetings from the Unites States! Our time home this summer has been full and rewarding. In May we had the joy of attending our son Robert’s graduation from college. Having time for reflection and renewal at PC(USA)’s Mission Co-worker Sharing Conference in June was another highlight of the summer, and of course visiting family. It has been especially wonderful to have time with Frances, who just finished her freshman year in college, and Robert before he starts a nine-month Fellows Program with First Presbyterian Church in Orlando.

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Tumaini-Huruma Children's Ministry - August 2018 Update

Transformed by Love and Care     
by Amina, in her own words

I was born and brought up in an Islamic religion. One day while living at Tumaini, I had a dream where I was falling in a deep, deep hole and I could see a very bright light shining in my eyes. I called out the name of Jesus three times in my dream, and I saw Jesus' face. He saved me from falling down and picked me up. I woke up crying and prayed. I thought about the dream that morning and I saw that God was trying to speak something to me. Many times I had visions from God reassuring me that he loved me. The image of Jesus picking me up stuck with me. I converted to Christianity in the year 2012 when I was in class 8 (eighth grade).

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Scholarships for Presbyterians at Protestant University in Rwanda - Update

Dear friends and supporters,

Note from The Outreach Foundation:
Outreach partners with the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda in many programs including church construction, children’s ministries, and training pastors for the growing churches around the country. There are four students graduating this year who have been supported through this project. We would like to continue helping the church, particularly during this time of fulfilling Rwandan government requirements for churches. Please know that the need to train leaders for the Rwandan church is a priority for us. We would like to say “thank you” on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Rwanda and share with you these praises from the students themselves – in their own words.

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Musalaha Update

Musalaha Camp through the Eyes of a First-timer’s Mom
Testimony from Parent about Summer Camp

by Hadassa

Even before I first joined a women’s group at Musalaha I inquired about family activities, as I found it important to make reconciliation a family effort. Family gatherings currently take place only once every two years, so I was excited to hear about the summer camps for Israeli and Palestinian kids ages eight and up – the ideal age group for my daughter. I was resolved to sign her up no matter what, which turned out to be a bit of a challenge as she insisted on taking a friend with her and most of the people we asked already had other plans or were hesitant to send their children. Knowing my girl and her outgoing nature, I decided to take a leap of faith and register her anyway, praying that she would make new friends at camp. What a relief to find out later that a local friend had signed up without our knowledge – God is full of surprises!

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The Outreach Foundation
City Evangelization, Busanza Vocational Training Center in Rwanda - Update

The Busanza Vocational Training School opened its doors to students in early 2017 with 34 students, 17 in sewing and 17 in hairdressing. The school has a vision to help the surrounding poor community by building the capacity of its population to improve their lives through vocational training. The school was built by the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda in partnership with The Outreach Foundation and started with very few materials, which were donated.

Though the materials were few, we taught the students and they finished the academic year as planned, graduating at the end of 2017. Most of our graduates are employed. In March 2018 when Ebralie Mwizerwa, The Outreach Foundation Projects Coordinator, visited Rwanda she met with some graduates and their employers at their work places. Our graduates were very encouraged by her visit, and the employers spoke well of their job performances.

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Don and Martha Wehmeyer - July 2018 Update

Dear friends,

Greetings from Yucatán. Martha and I were traveling during much of May. We had a wonderful first-time trip to Israel. Our tour took us to see many sites that are mentioned in the Scriptures, and we learned a great deal. We really liked the Jordan River, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea, and of course Jerusalem. What surprised us most was just how small the country really is. We had heard that before we left, but now we know for ourselves that it is really small. Would we go back? In a heartbeat. We were blessed to have been able to go and will savor many memories.

After Israel we went to our retreat with The Antioch Partners, which is held every three years. Mission folks from around the world gathered about an hour north of Budapest. It was great to see friends and hear the great things God is doing in so many places around the world. This time, however, it seems odd to be two of the “seniors” in the crowd. I remember not so long ago looking at the white-haired missionaries and admiring that they were still serving in their older years. Well now we have the white hair and we still enjoying serving in God’s great task of shepherding in the Kingdom of God.

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