NEDSON ZULU ENTERS CHURCH TRIUMPHANT

A service of witness to the resurrection celebrating the life and faith of the Reverend Nedson Zulu will be held this Saturday, December 1, at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3900 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37205. Refreshments and a time of visitation in Goodpasture Hall will follow the service.

For those unable to attend the service, it will be live-streamed on Westminster's website at http://www.nashvillewpc.org at 10:30 a.m. Central time. In the days following, a video recording of the service will be available on The Outreach Foundation's website.

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New Church Development in Egypt - December Update

Note: In November I led another team to Egypt with a key focus of our journey being visits to some of the new church developments and church revitalization initiatives of the Synod of the Nile. Of the 400 congregations which comprise the Presbyterian Church in Egypt, 100 have been planted or revitalized in the past 10 years! “Revitalized” churches are historic congregations – some more than 100 years old – which had dwindled in size usually because members moved to larger cities for jobs. In danger of disappearing completely, they could no longer support a full-time pastor or basic ministries. Often their building was deteriorating. The Synod, with help from partners like The Outreach Foundation, has supplied full-time pastors and other resources to “restart” these congregations, and many are thriving again. Below are excerpts from my journal which give glimpses into these Spirit-infused efforts which are strengthening the witness of Jesus Christ in Egypt. Marilyn Borst, Associate Director for Partnership Development

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Philip and Bacilia Beisswenger Update

Greetings Guatemala mission partners and friends!

“We have come from a far country,” said the Gibeonites to the Israelites. “Now therefore, make a covenant with us.” (Joshua 9:6) Thus we note the enduring biblical interest in making international connections. The practice continues today in “far countries” like Guatemala, with covenant partners witnessing personally to one another, enabling Christ’s mission to grow deeper and wider.

Presbyterian Complex: Five amazing groups traveled to Cobán, getting involved personally in all areas of ministry.

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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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City Evangelization, Busanza Vocational Training Center - November 2018 Update

The Vocational Training Center in Busanza has almost reached the end of its second academic year. The training lasts from January to December. After the first 10 months, the students are required to do an internship in a different area of Kigali city.

The current students started their two-month internship on November 1. Like last year’s group of graduates, we are sure that this group of students will perform well in the skills they acquire from our school. Their success demonstrates the importance of the school and the impact it has on changing the lives of our community and nation in general.

This year’s class has 44 students. There are 21 students in sewing and 23 in hairdressing. Our first class had 34 students who all graduated at the end of 2017 (17 in sewing and 17 in hairdressing).

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Hope for Syrian Students - November 2018 Update

They were expecting forty-five refugee children this year at the school in Tripoli. When they reached one hundred and twenty-five, they had to stop enrollment as their resources were at capacity….

In 2015 with more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon (60% of those were of school age) the National Evangelical Synod [Presbyterian] Synod of Syria and Lebanon came up with a vision: open a school for 200 of these refugee children and offer them the Syrian curriculum so that they could both build upon their previous education and be prepared to return to their “normal schools” once the war was over. The Synod was not a novice in the field of education, as they have operated schools in Lebanon for over 150 years. Two refugee schools were opened in the Beqaa Valley where vast tent cities of refugees had been formed. Another one would evolve north of Beirut in Minyara, and a fourth was needed south of the capital in Tyre.

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Keith Vandegrift and Lana Bell - November 2018 Update

Greetings friends,

On October 15th our home assignment came to an end. We are in Antigua, Guatemala for two months of language learning and study. Following that, our plan is to go directly to Cuba when we have a visa in place.

In August I made contact with some friends in Cuba and said in so many words, “It’s now or never.” To our surprise, a pastor friend got back to us quickly with a plan. That’s right: a real, logical, doable plan to obtain a visa to live and work in Cuba. We’ll believe it when we see it, of course, but this is the best shot we’ve had so far of getting permission and a visa, so we are encouraged.

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Iraq Appeal - November Update

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity.” Psalm 133:1 Those words kept running through my mind our first night in Kirkuk. As their children laughed and played, we sat in the church yard with members of three families including Nashwan, whose brother had been killed in Mosul by ISIS, and Zena and their two children, who still live here at the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Kirkuk. We listened as they told us about what had happened four years ago when ISIS attacked the Nineveh Plain, home to a number of historically Christian villages including Qaraqosh, where these families had lived. We heard them speak about leaving their homes with only a few moment’s notice and fleeing, first to Erbil and then to Kirkuk. We cried as they told us about knocking on the doors of the Presbyterian Church, hoping to find a place of safety and refuge.

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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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Cuba Trip Journal

The Outreach Foundation’s Marilyn Borst and a team of travelers enjoyed a rich time with Presbyterian partners in Cuba in September. Camille Josey, Small Church Mission Catalyst for Outreach, coordinated a trip journal written by team members with interesting details about the week as well as a brief history of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba.

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Pakistan Update

In September I was privileged to travel to Pakistan with Rev. Richard Paddon, a retired pastor and member of my presbytery. Our host was the Rev. Dr. Majid Abel, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan and pastor of the Naukala Church whose guest quarters we occupied.

I remember, years ago, watching with amazement a 16mm film that told the story of how Dr. Norval Christy, a Presbyterian medical missionary at the historic Taxila Christian Hospital, pioneered a new surgical procedure for removing cataracts. Imagine being a missionary, or a pastor, or simply a follower of Jesus in a country of 212 million people where 2% are Christian.

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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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ECO Egypt Initiative - October 2018

In late 2015 11 ECO churches in the East Central Presbytery came together to create a new mission project called the ECO Egypt Initiative. In conjunction with the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt, the focus of the project was new church development (NCD) and church revitalization in Egypt.

Imagine a denomination of slightly more than 400 churches (the Synod of the Nile) and 106 or 26% of the churches being new church developments! In a country that is only 10% Christian, it is amazing to think the church is growing. “But with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). In addition to NCDs, there are many old, small country churches that need help. Some of these churches were started in the late 1800s by Presbyterian missionaries and they have continued their service for more than 100 years. But with populations shifting from the country to the major cities, the churches have suffered and need revitalization.

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Refugee/Internally Displaced Persons Appeal - October 2018

And winter is coming …

They are Iraqi Christians who fled ISIS and Syrian Muslims were driven out by war. They found safety in Lebanon and Jordan but not much else, as they quickly overwhelmed the capabilities of the governments who opened their borders to receive them. International aid agencies came to their assistance but so much more was needed, especially considering that more than 60% of them are school-age children. The numbers are hard to grasp: 1.3 million Syrians came to Lebanon – in a country of only four million people. In both Jordan and Lebanon, many want to go home but their countries are not yet stable. Others are in the long queue to immigrate to the West. Most just do not know what the future holds for them and their families. Some have made a temporary life in tents. Others crowd together in small rooms. Despair is found in abundance. Hope is a rare commodity.

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Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary - October 2018 Update

I just came back from my 15th trip to Cuba leading another team from The Outreach Foundation. I am usually asked a simple question by those who are surprised to hear that there is a Presbyterian presence there: “Oh, really…how did you find the Church there (i.e. what is going on with it)?” My simple answer: “I find that it is persevering…”

Often you meet a person on these Cuban journeys who seems to embody this like Mercedes Cardenas, an 89-year old elder in the village church of Sabanilla. Rail thin, with thick glasses and an effervescent personality, this Afro-Cuban retired school teacher models an inspiring life of faithfulness – of perseverance. She remembers the first Presbyterian evangelist who came to town in the 1930s when she was a small child.

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Nancy Collins - October 2018 Update

A Model of Faith, Love, and Action

Dear family and friends,

In 1988, Victor Chilenje graduated from Zomba Theological College, Zomba, Malawi, with a licentiate in theology and prepared to return from Malawi to eastern Zambia with his wife and two young children to begin pastoring a congregation of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Synod of Zambia (CCAP Zambia). Because the synod had not provided the Chilenjes with any travel funds, the family went by bus to Nkamenya near the Zambian border. From there, Chilenje walked three kilometers to a village where he was able to hire an ox cart to take his family across the border to the first village in Zambia. At the border, the family waited while Chilenje used a borrowed bicycle to ride three hours to his home village in rural eastern Zambia.

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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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