Posts in Africa
Daniel and Elizabeth Turk - March 2019 Update

Madagascar is one of the poorest nations in the world with over 90% of the population living in poverty. It has one of the highest rates of child stunting (impaired growth and development due to poor nutrition, etc.) in the world.

The FJKM (Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar), the largest protestant church in Madagascar, feels strongly that the church’s ministry is to both share the Gospel and to help people meet their physical needs. Recognizing that fruit trees offer a way out of poverty, mission co-worker Dan Turk has been working for over 15 years with the FJKM, with help from The Outreach Foundation, to bring in some of the world’s best fruit tree varieties including over 60 varieties of mangos.

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Doug Tilton - March 2019 Update

Dear friends,

It is hard to believe that 2019 is already here, shouldering out what turned out to be a very full 2018. Thank you for your prayers, your notes of interest and encouragement, and your generous gifts that have enabled me to accompany the wonderful work being done by our partners and mission personnel in Southern Africa.

The past year has featured a significant amount of travel. It has been a joy to be able to spend time with colleagues at the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM) on two occasions in 2018. In April I had the privilege of traveling part of the time with a group from Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. Fifth Ave PC has a number of people of Malagasy heritage in the congregation and it has long been involved in supporting the work of the FJKM.

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Bob and Kristi Rice - February 2019 Update

Dear friends and supporters,

Theophan the Recluse, a well-known saint and mystic in the 19th century Russian Orthodox church, once said, “To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all-seeing, within you.”

I recently began teaching Spiritual Formation to our fresh intake of students, our “junior” class (I will soon begin teaching the same class to our new diploma students as well). It has been encouraging and even inspiring to see my students’ hunger for learning, their humility, and their desire for growth in the Christian life. I shared how theological reflection helps us to open our minds to God’s truth and wisdom. In most of our classes at Nile Theological College, we reflect on the major themes of our faith and look back to the church of the past for guidance as we step out into the future.

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Frank Dimmock - February 2019 Update

Greetings in Christ Jesus, peace to you all. In reflecting over this past year with The Outreach Foundation, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the privilege of working with such wonderful, committed colleagues and international church partners. It has been a year of challenges and victories, healing and encouragement. All praise is due to our wonderful Heavenly Father, from Whom all good things come.

I recently reflected on PEACE. What does it mean in the context where I serve? In and around South Sudan there is violence and conflict. Where can one find peace?

In John’s gospel when comforting his disciples (14:27), Jesus says, “... my peace I give you… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” And again, following his resurrection when Jesus appears to his disciples, he comforts them saying, “Peace be with you!” All refugees have been traumatized, and their hearts have been wounded by their experiences. In order that Peace can be restored in their souls, the heart wounds must be healed, and forgiveness given and accepted.

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Dustin and Sherri Ellington - February 2019 Update

Dear friends,

Do you live your life as though you will be here forever? We recently attended the funeral service of a dear colleague and friend who died at the age of 51. The homily, given by another dear colleague, Dr. D.T. Banda, reminded us and the many other Christians and pastors in attendance of a key message: We shouldn’t conduct ministry as though we have forever. Only God is forever. We are subject to time.

Our whole community has been reminded of this truth in a shocking way learning of the death of Rev. Gerald Phiri, pastor in the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian and assistant coordinator of the Booth Center, a program of Justo Mwale University devoted to training “evangelists” (volunteer lay ministers) for ministry and to training ministers, whether volunteer or full-time, in how to sustain their ministries through side work in agriculture, tailoring, electricity, and other fields.

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Girls' Education and Rescue Centers in Kenya - January 2019 Update

Dear friends,

We recently visited Grace Girls’ High School and brought a friend who is interested in bringing water to the school. We met with Winnifred, the head teacher. She told us that the school will need another dorm for next year and a large food storage building next to the kitchen.

Our first class graduated last year – 23 girls! We have 80 new students. We have almost completed the dorm for the new girls. This is our fourth dorm; each one holds around 50 girls. With the new arrivals, the student population is about 200.

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Bill and Bette Bryant Crisis Nursery - January 2019 Update

Dear friends and partners,

The following stories of young lives being transformed in Zambia would not be possible without your partnership and support for our work of caring for vulnerable children.

Alex
Alex (name changed for privacy) was admitted to the House of Moses on September 25, 2018. Although his actual date of birth was unknown, the House of Moses staff believed that Alex was about two months old. The staff always attempts to find the child’s immediate relative or parent but were not able to do so with Alex. The police in the Eastern Province where he was brought were unable to find his mother, who had dumped him in an unfinished house close to St. Francis Hospital.

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Home of Hope - January 2019 Update

We greet you, dear fellow believers, in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So much has happened and is happening around the world. We realize more than ever before that without Jesus, we can cope with nothing and achieve nothing. He is our source of life, provision, and strength, our battle is his battle, and our victory and hope are in him alone.

We wish to begin this news update with the wonderful story of Tinotendaishe (pictured above with Joan) and God’s provision in his young life. He experienced Joan’s caring heart in the early 1990s when she was distributing food and sharing the gospel on the streets in central Harare with the help of her three young sons. Joan’s youngest son, Craig, is still serving in this ministry.

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Michael and Rachel Weller - January 2019 Update

Dear friends and supporters,

Yes, it’s been too long! We've been to the States and back, maybe a couple times since we wrote last. We were there briefly a year ago for the wedding of our son, Thomas, and to meet our newest grandson (Brian's third). And then we were there in the summer for about three months for Interpretation Assignment.

Politically, a lot has happened in Ethiopia in the past two years. The good news is that a new Prime Minister was appointed in March. Dr. Abiy Ahmed is a committed Christian, having learned the faith through the witness of his mother, a member of our partner church, EECMY. His father is a Muslim. Dr. Abiy is the first Oromo Prime Minister, though the Oromo are the largest single ethnic group in Ethiopia. Most importantly, Dr. Abiy is a man of peace and unity. He spent his first months visiting each region and pointing out how each ethnic group in the country is a part of Ethiopia. He asked people to forgive each other and to work towards building peace.

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CCAP Community Schools/CCAP Church Construction in Zambia - January 2019 Update

The Outreach Foundation recently received the following message from CCAP Moderator Rev C. Chundas:

Dear friends,

The CCAP Synod of Zambia is so thankful to the Lord for his love and mercy towards his people in our Synod. I want to thank all of the CCAP members for their support and contributions – spiritual, physical and financial. I also want to thank our overseas partners who have contributed by sending us mission co-workers together with prayers and financial support. The Synod really appreciates this support. Partners have supported us in developing the church in many areas; they have also facilitated the funding of many projects. The CCAP Synod of Zambia has various projects which are ongoing, such as construction of the Synod offices and construction of the Chasefu Theological College classroom block.

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Namumu Orphanage Center - January 2019 Update

Dear Outreach friends,

Greetings and Happy New Year! In September 2018, an Outreach team spent three days visiting the children at Namumu Orphanage Center (NOC) near the district town of Siavonga along the shores of Lake Kariba. People in the district rely mainly on fishing and tourism for economic support. Unemployment is very high, and the times are challenging for them.

The Outreach Foundation has been partnering with Namumu Orphanage Center since the early 2000s to support vulnerable and orphaned children with residential care and education. There are currently 22 children in residence (12 girls and 10 boys) ranging in age from grade five through secondary school. We have been working with the NOC board to strengthen this ministry.

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Bob and Kristi Rice - Update

“The playground is transformed,” said Honorable Rebecca Joshua, government Minister of Roads and Bridges, “adorned with flowers and the presence of many dignitaries.”

It was true – the outdoor basketball stadium in Juba did not look like the same place where we had watched basketball practice the night before. The bold colors of the women’s dresses reflected in the bright sun highlighted an atmosphere of celebration. Families of the graduates brought buckets of home-made sweets from home that they passed out to everyone around them. Government ministers arrived with their security detail, and television cameras were poised to broadcast the event. But it was clear throughout the program that the ‘stars’ of the show were the 15 graduates of Nile Theological College (NTC) proudly receiving their diplomas.

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Daniel and Elizabeth Turk - December 2018 Update

Being a Witness for Christ in the Fight Against AIDS

How would you celebrate your 50th anniversary? One of the ways the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM) celebrated its 50th anniversary this year was by promoting free HIV testing at all of its commemorative events. FJKM President Irako Andriamahazosoa Ammi was tested publicly during the weeklong celebration in Toamasina in August, see photo above. This year’s theme was “Do not be ashamed to be a witness for Christ.”

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Church Construction in Jimma - December 2018 Update

During a recent trip to Africa, I was thankful for the opportunity to visit Jimma, Ethiopia, to get caught up on progress with the Ginjo Guduru Bethel Mekane Yesus Church, or, as it is often called, the Jimma University Church.

Work on the physical structure has proceeded gradually, moving forward when the congregation has had funds for construction, see photo at top of page. They have continued to prioritize their outreach efforts or “prayer houses,” and funds that they might otherwise have used on their own building they have used to help newly formed congregations purchase land. I love their passion for reaching out.

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Bob and Kristi Rice Update

Celebrating Peace in South Sudan

Wednesday, October 31 was a big celebration in Juba of the recent peace agreement in South Sudan. Several African presidents came, along with leaders of opposition parties in South Sudan. As the city of Juba was busy preparing for the celebration by painting curbs, picking up trash, and sending truckloads of soldiers to beef up security, we were not sure what to expect. Leaders who had been at war were going to be in the same location. We were advised to stay home and lay low rather than join the crowds at Freedom Field.

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PCEA Mabati Church Construction - November 2018 Update

PCEA Enengetia Church
Several weeks ago while I was in the U.S. visiting congregations, the dedication of PCEA Enengetia Church in the Narok area in Maasai Land took place. Enengetia Church was established in January 1985 with five members. It grew to about 40 members. Then during the election violence and the tribal clashes of 1994, the church shrank to almost nothing. Many of the members and families left the area due to insecurity about their safety. Only a remnant was left.

Despite the dwindling numbers, the remaining members kept the faith. That faithful few are now back to forty members and growing.

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Home of Hope - November Update

Dear friends and partners in the ministry,

We bring you greetings from Home of Hope in Harare, Zimbabwe. Greetings from the Tea and Bread Lady, Joan Trevelyan and her son, Craig Trevelyan; from Dave and Ria Rock and from others like Lucy and Ongai, with whom a team from Outreach – Ted and Sue Wright, Jennifer L. Ellis, Frank Dimmock and Ebralie Mwizerwa – had the pleasure of visiting in early September 2018. The Outreach team also enjoyed meeting with the CCAP General Secretary, Rev. Kingstar Chipata, and CCAP Moderator, Rev. Aston Galanti.

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Women's Ministries in Africa - October 2018 Update

First Tumekutana Prayer Letter After 2018 Gathering

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 did so again in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 15-21, 2018. We recently received this note from the Tumekutana President, Rev. Dr. Bridget Ben-Naimah:

Please join us in thanking God for traveling mercies to and from Johannesburg for all participants. By God’s grace, each participant arrived home safely.

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