Posts in Missionaries
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.

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Todd and Maria Luke - September 2019 Update

“Few things are more transformative than to go to another culture where many of your assumptions are not shared. You have to examine what you’ve always taken for granted – that your point of view is right.”

Dear friends,

Our little cistern partnership continues to roll along. Thank God for your participation.

Fifty-six family-owned cisterns were built in 2019. Our Mexican partners Victor, Raul, Isaias, Ezequias, Felipe, Lucas, and Diego guided nine American teams at the work sites. Seventy-six Americans came to Xpujil to lend a helping hand. They came from places like Jonesboro, AR; Los Angeles and Hollywood, CA; Northbrook, Gurnee, Evergreen Park, and Palos Park, IL; Caruthersville, MO; Roxboro, NC; Moncks Corner, SC; Brownsville, Collierville, Germantown, and Memphis, TN; and also towns in New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Our mission team members’ ages ranged from 14 to 77.

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Girls' Education and Rescue Centers/Linda's Libraries-August 2019 Update

Dear friends,

Several years ago, we partnered with Books for Development, a great organization in Houston that collects and sends books to needy schools and organizations. They have sent us two containers of books which have filled the shelves of two Linda’s Libraries and will fill two more we are constructing this year.

Thogoto Primary Library is one of our first primary school libraries and we are very happy with the outcome. We previously had a relationship with this school because we provided computers for their computer lab, which is now part of the new library. Our second primary school library is in Shalom Academy.

We have changed our library strategy slightly. We are still building Linda’s Libraries, two more this year, but we are also building smaller libraries at primary schools like Thogoto and Shalom.

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John McCall - Update

Faith in Adversity

Dear friends,

A number of years ago I was teaching at the Aboriginal Seminary on Taiwan's East Coast and a staff member told me that an incoming student had the same Mandarin name as me. When I came to Taiwan, I was given a Mandarin name (Ma Yueh-Han). Almost no one in Taiwan uses or even knows my English name. I am always referred to by my Mandarin name. Up to that point, I had never heard anyone else with my name. So, I called this incoming student, who is from the Bunun tribe. He didn't happen to be at home, but I met him on the first day of class. I told him that since we had the same name if I was ever sick, he could preach for me. He replied, "No if I am ever sick, you can take the test for me."

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Bob and Kristi Rice - Update

Embracing Hope: The Gift of Presence

Dear friends,

I looked over at the faces of the choir members, rigid with intensity and dripping with sweat as they sang and danced down the road. The drums beat loud, but the people sang even louder, lifting their hands in the air. I was humbled by their enthusiasm and energy. This was something of a “welcome parade” to greet the moderator and the team that accompanied him on a visit to Bentiu. We were walking (or dancing and marching, with the choir) through the large camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), ending with a celebration at the church. Being met by such an enthusiastic crowd was humbling, and then we were welcomed in traditional Nuer fashion by having our feet washed. I was overwhelmed by the welcome and realized how significant it was for this remote congregation to be visited by their leaders and feel connected to the church in other places.

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José Carlos Pezini - Update

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since Odete and I returned from the U.S.A. at the end of April, we have been traveling to fulfill an intense agenda with commitments in various denominations all over Brazil. The Brazilian church faces many dilemmas these days. God has given me the privilege of being able to help pastors, lay leaders, and congregations in different areas including mentoring pastors, lay leadership training, church revitalization, and discipleship.

In all these places, I feel encouraged by God to motivate Christians to engage in discipleship by sharing their faith with non-believers as well as helping new converts grow in their intimacy with God through prayer and meditation in the Scriptures. I have also led the church to rethink its missionary action in the context where it is located and to rethink the reason for its existence.

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Daniel and Elizabeth Turk - June 2019 Update

Dear friends,

The Ivato seminary campus is especially beautiful as the rains have turned the campus into a green haven. The four-story seminary building, pictured above, was constructed last year to commemorate the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM’s) 50th year anniversary and the 200th year anniversary of the first missionaries’ arrival in Madagascar. It is an impressive reminder of FJKM’s commitment in preparing pastors to serve the growing church. The FJKM is the largest protestant denomination in Madagascar with over 6,000 churches but fewer than 2,000 pastors.

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Dustin and Sherri Ellington - May 2019 Update

Dear friends,

I’d like to share a conversation with a student from Mozambique, José Bazima. Ever since meeting him, I had been encouraged by José’s thoughtful comments in class and in the Bible study group I facilitate, but I knew I wanted to ask him more questions when he shared a simple song in chapel that really touched my faith. My experience with African Christians has been rich, and their powerful motivation to be of one heart and mind in service to their communities really challenges me. But it seems that only now and then have I heard personal expressions about Jesus, such as loving and serving him who, in the apostle Paul’s words, “loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). That’s something I want for my students as they prepare to be pastors, so their relationship with Jesus Christ inspires and sustains their life of service. Let me share with you some of my conversation with José.

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Hola Church in Kenya - Building Churches in Hard Places

We recently received the following information from Stu and Annie Ross, please pray for Hola Church:

The transporters and workers met at our workshop early in the morning to load the ten ton lorry and transport all the materials needed to build Hola Church. They loaded mabati (corrugated steel sheets), J-bolts to attach the roof to the steel, paint, a welding machine and other supplies and were packed and ready to go by noon.

The trip to Hola was long and treacherous. They drove eight hours until they reached a town called Garissa. T

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Don and Martha Wehmeyer - April 2019 Update

Dear friends,

This beautiful little girl with her pet was sitting on a doorstep in Lijiang, China. Martha and I traveled there for a two-week sixty-fifth birthday present. The trip was wonderful and in Shangri-La, Tibet we had a day of snow! Many of you see snow every year but for us, it was a cool novelty. This trip was mostly sightseeing. We did meet a few brothers and sisters but they had very limited English so we were not able to learn a great deal except that they had about twenty people in their home Bible study (without a pastor) on Mondays because Sunday is a workday. We are praying for a pastor to Lijiang as the population is Buddhist and atheist.

Our daughter Kristen is stronger now after the horrible accident in December. Thank you for your many notes of condolence. She is planning on going to Curitiba, Brazil to volunteer six weeks in a home the Independent Presbyterian Church has established for children of domestic abuse. She will be there from May 16 to June 26 so we ask for your prayers for her travel and being able to get along in Portuguese.

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Church Construction in Kenya - April 2019 Update

We recently received this joyful report from Stu and Annie Ross, The Outreach Foundation’s East Africa Mission Consultants:

PCEA Neema-Gilgil Church
On November 25, 2018, we dedicated a beautiful church, PCEA Neema-Gilgil. This church is located in Central Province about three hours north of Kikuyu and has an interesting history. The church was started in 2002 with just seven members. They came to us for help in 2005 and asked us to assist them in building a small mabati church. At the time, they had 25 members and were growing. In 2013 they started digging the foundation for their new, much larger church which will hold about 400 members. They will have to do some fishing to add to their current 75 members, and they will! This church now has the capacity to do outreach in the larger community in which they serve. They are also considering adding a nursery and primary school.

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John McCall - April 2019 Update

Dear friends,

I recently went to the Second Crematorium south of Taipei to participate in the funeral of a wonderful friend and mentor. I met Dr. Samuel Jang, an elder at the East Gate Presbyterian Church in Taipei, twenty-three years ago when we worked together leading an English Bible Study for that congregation. I was studying Mandarin at the time, so it was a gift to me to be able to lead a Bible Study in English.

Dr. Jang was a man who had a contagious joy. He became a Christian in China when he was very young. He went through a lot when China and Japan were at war and then managed to come to Taiwan where he continued his medical studies. He became a dentist. He married a Taiwanese and they had four children who all continue to walk in Christ's way. Dr. Jang always shared his faith with his patients.

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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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José Carlos Pezini - March 2019 Update

I believe that it is a good time to look back, consider, and evaluate our ministry. Let us see what God has done, using our lives as instruments in his hands, and reflect on what has been accomplished since we returned to Brazil seven years ago. We glorify God for his faithfulness and providence.

From the time that Odete and I arrived back in Brazil in May 2012, we sought to understand God's will and to discern the reason he was bringing us back to our country. We hoped that he would use us for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. God has done this, but in a different way from what we had expected.

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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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The Antioch Partners - February 2019 Update

Dear ministry partners,

On behalf of the entire TAP community, it’s my privilege to thank you for your partnership in ministry during 2018. I praise God for all the ways you have partnered with TAP and the missionaries (we call them “Partners”) serving through TAP around the world. I praise God for your prayer and financial support, as well as for all the other ways you care for and encourage the TAP community. The almost seventy TAP Partners being used by God around the world are able to do what God has called them to do because people, and churches, like you are committed to serving as senders. So again, thank you!

2018 Impact
As always, it’s been a privilege to see God at work in and through the TAP community over this past year. As a result of God’s work through TAP Partners, people have met Jesus and their lives have been transformed, churches have been strengthened,

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