An Update on the Ministry of The Outreach Foundation
Thank you for your support of The Outreach Foundation and our mission partners around the world. Sometimes I get the question, “Where in the world is Outreach?”
In Antananarivo and Zagazig, in South Sudan and Northern Pakistan, The Outreach Foundation is reaching out in Jesus’ name.
If you spend time with Outreach staff or trustees, you will hear words like connect, equip, listening, humility and partnership. These words describe our approach to sharing in God’s mission. Our focus is on the church, most often coming alongside the church in places where a witness to the gospel is thriving or threatened – or both. We are learning from our partners what it means to follow Jesus, what it means to shape congregations that exist for the sake of others.
Some of you are familiar with our work in particular places – such as Kenya where we have come alongside the Presbyterian Church of East Africa to help them build over 350 churches and scores of schools in the last twenty years. There are more Presbyterians in Kenya than in the U.S.
We have taken many church mission leaders to Tete Province, Mozambique, where villages and lives that were torn asunder in revolution and civil war have been lovingly knit together through a holistic initiative that includes churches and schools, boreholes and clinics, health training and leadership development programs. Public health nurse Sebber Banda leads this hopeful ministry.
Often when people are trying to get out of someplace, Outreach staff are trying to get in. As I write we have a team in Iraq. With our team are church leaders from Syria and Egypt. Why do we go? To connect with the church. To stand with those who are suffering. To strengthen their hands. To join them in serving their neighbors, often people of other faiths, in ways that make God’s love real. And how these partners change OUR lives!
I wish that I could take you:
• To see the ministry of the Presbyterian women from the church in Kirkuk, Iraq, in the women’s prison where such beautiful love is shared; where a Muslim woman who was leaning toward grace constructed a cross out of cigarette packages.
• To sit with a house church in Iran that is watching our own Sasan Tavassoli teach on satellite TV about what it means to be the church. The Iranian church is one of the fastest growing churches in the world today and Sasan is in the middle of what the Spirit is doing.
• To experience the joy of South Sudanese refugees who gather for worship in refugee camps where they are living across the border from home and to share in the classes that our Frank Dimmock is leading, training teachers and pastors in how to care for those who need healing from trauma.
• To meet the formidable “church lady” Mercedes in Sabanilla, Cuba whom you just know would not permit any dictator, any government, any ideology, to close her small but mighty church.
• To meet the pastors in Brazil who say of our colleague Pezini, who has come alongside them as a mentor and friend, “He didn’t just save my ministry; he saved my life.”
• To hear Ethiopian and Egyptian and Chinese Christians talk about their calling to plant new churches and to reach out to other lands sharing the good news, and to see them going out in unprecedented numbers.
Thank you for your support of God’s work through The Outreach Foundation. We want you to know about our friends. We want you to know our friends. So we invite you. Come with us as we go – pray with us, learn with us, give with us, grow with us.
Yours in Christ’s service,