Daniel and Elizabeth Turk (PCUSA) - May 2016 Update
We had an extra-special Easter this year. Robert had the weekend off from college, and we were able to be together as a family in Decatur, GA with the azaleas and dogwoods blooming.
You may have heard that Dan’s mother had a stroke in January. She is recovering well but has moved to an independent living community. We are grateful that we are in the U.S. and close enough to provide care and support. We appreciate your prayers for Dan’s parents and the entire family during this transition.
We also appreciate your understanding as we have not been able to visit all of the churches that we had planned to visit. We have enjoyed the visits we could make to supporting churches and the time to share what God is doing in Madagascar. We deeply value everyone’s support and could not do what we do without it! Here are a few of the highlights from 2015:
Providing Technical Follow-up to Recent Seminary Graduates through the Fruit, Vegetable, and Environmental Education (FVEE) Project
The technical follow-up helps new pastors further master skills in gardening and fruit growing that they acquired while students in seminary. It helps the new pastors continue their work with gardens and fruit trees in their new churches and communities. The vegetables and fruits also provide food for the pastors and their families who often serve in very poor rural communities. Dan and colleagues have now provided follow-up in three FJKM synods. They provided trees and training for new pastors Haja and Iry (pictured above) and representatives from their nine rural churches. All of Haja and Iry’s churches west of Fianarantsoa now have fruit trees and native trees planted in the church courtyards. Pastor Haja grafts avocados and other fruit trees for distribution in his community. Technical follow-up to new pastors is being expanded in 2016. This is part of the FVEE project’s role as environmental and agricultural consultants to various structures of the FJKM church.
Getting Water to the FJKM Seminary in Fianarantsoa
This project was completed with help from PC(USA) churches, the Waterlines Foundation, the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea and the FJKM Development Department water specialists. The water will make life easier for the students and allow them to water their vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Dan and Pastor Haingo, director of the Fianarantsoa seminary, are pictured next to part of the water system.
50 High School Students Trained as Youth Peer Educators
The new peer educators were trained during Easter vacation 2015 in three cities. They learned about making healthy decisions based on biblical principles and how to communicate this with their peers. The power of this program is that it helps young people confront and explore the real issues/problems they face like violence within families, drugs, early pregnancy, infidelity and hopelessness. The peer educators share in classrooms, do skits and share one on one. A new component has also been added – peer educators now lead small groups with students for a few months. This allows them to explore topics more deeply. Trainers Dr. Voahangy and Mrs. Ony are pictured here preparing a packet of health education materials to give to each youth peer educator.
Seminary Students Trained at FJKM’s Four Seminaries by the FJKM AIDS Committee
Training pastors helps equip new generations of pastors to understand HIV, how to prevent it, and how to minister to those living with the virus. Seminary students practice counseling techniques with each other. This skill helps them better minister to their congregations.
Mahatsinjo Communities and School Receive Clean Water
This water will help improve health as well as provide water for vegetables and fruit tree production. The elementary school also received showers and an outhouse. The project was supported by the Presbyterian Hunger Program, a PC(USA) grant, The Outreach Foundation, and multiple Presbyterian congregations.
Madagascar is still suffering from extreme poverty and environmental devastation. The majority of the people have difficulty making ends meet. The church’s presence is vital to ensure hope and work for a better future. Our partner church, the FJKM, continues to serve and minister to the Malagasy people reminding them of Easter’s resurrection message. Our God is a God of hope and new life, more powerful than evil and sin.
Your partnership with us and the FJKM church is making a difference in people’s lives. You are helping to bring the Easter message to life in Madagascar and provide hope to many. Thank you very much for partnering with us. Your continued prayers and financial support will help ensure that we can continue to serve the people of Madagascar that they may know and experience God’s love in truth and deed (I John 3:18).
Peace in Christ,
Dan and Elizabeth
Amount needed in 2016
The Outreach Foundation seeks to raise a minimum of $10,000 or $850 per month for the Turk's support and $13,000 for FJKM Ministries and Outreach. To make a donation, click the Donate Now link in the sidebar.
The Outreach Foundation now offers the option of receiving missionary/project updates, newsletters, and receipts by e-mail. If you would like to sign up to start receiving these communications electronically, please send your name and e-mail address, along with that request, to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (615) 778-8881.