Posts in Africa
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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Daniel and Elizabeth Turk - October 2018 Update

Dear friends,

We arrived safely in Madagascar on August 14. It is good to be back in our home, even though we miss family! Dan spent the next day at the national quarantine greenhouse with his colleagues potting up the over 500 trees we brought in our luggage. We then drove 10 hours to Toamasina on the east coast to participate in the celebration of FJKM’s 50th anniversary and the 200th anniversary of the first missionaries’ arrival in Madagascar.

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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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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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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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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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