Posts in Projects
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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Forman Christian College - Update

Dear friends,

On behalf of Forman Christian College (FCCU) in Lahore, Pakistan, thank you for your generosity and partnership. In this update, we share some stories about what the Lord is doing at Forman, equipping and educating men and women to serve the great nation of Pakistan.

Mrs. Gaylen Baxter, Friends of Forman Christian College board chair, notes: “I visited the campus first in 2011 and again in February of this year and was impressed by the number of new buildings and other improvements that were made in eight years. What hasn’t changed is the energy on campus: students, Christian and Muslim, are enthusiastically learning, playing, and growing together, supported by excellent faculty and resources. Friends of Forman has served as a key partner with Forman to make these and many other improvements happen. Visiting the school made it clear how important this work is. The Forman motto is brought to life, “by love serve one another,” as young people of a variety of faith and ethnic backgrounds prepare to serve as the next generation of leaders in Pakistan. They will bring with them the foundation of an excellent education gained in an environment of tolerance, mutual respect, and love.”

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Scholarships for Presbyterian Students at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) and Kay Day - Update

Dear friends and family,

In August, I witnessed what God has been doing with your support through the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) for the ministry and the church here, and I was humbled by it.

Each August, the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda holds a church-wide-evangelism rally for four days, hosted by a different presbytery each year. The culmination of the rally is the annual ordination service on Sunday. This year the event was held in Zinga Presbytery, in the eastern region, about four hours from PIASS. Ten new pastors were ordained. Seven of them had been my students. I had preached at five of their weddings, baptized two of their children and been on the dissertation team of four of them as they completed the requirements for graduation. I was delighted to watch as they raised their right hands to pledge to serve Christ and the church and to see the presidents of their respective presbyteries place robes and stoles on them. Then all ordained pastors in the congregation were invited to come forward and lay hands on them as they were prayed for. What a joy to be a part of these bright young men and women accepting the call of Christ on their lives.

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The Presbyterian Church of Rwanda - Update

We received this letter from the Rev. Julie Kandema, who serves as vice-president of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR) and is in charge of church growth for the denomination:

Dear friends,

Over the last five years, we have been teaching our people about decentralization within the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda. As a result of many training sessions, people have testified that they now understand the idea of taking responsibility for church operations in general and the development of its people in particular. The results have been positive, leading people to take charge of projects such as building new churches and renovating existing church buildings.

To accomplish these projects, the parishioners organize fundraising activities and collect tithes and contributions. When the church is blessed with a partner in support of these activities, it is truly an encouragement and means that the congregation is not alone.

Last year when the government decided to shut down churches which were not meeting standards, the EPR was not spared. Many of our congregations struggled and our members had to work hard to have their building reopened.

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Clean Drinking Water in Kenya - Update

The Outreach Foundation and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), along with various local churches, have been partnering to provide clean drinking water in Kenya. Much of this work has concentrated on Maasai households in the Loodokilani Mission Area. The work provides water tanks to families and boreholes in communities.

The PCEA Women’s Water Tank Project in Loodokilani Mission Area was initiated by Presbyterian women in 2015 in partnership with The Outreach Foundation. This project is a wonderful mission agent, bringing many Maasai to Christianity through the Presbyterian Church in Kajiado West Sub-County.

The focus of the project is to address the acute need for water in the Maasai community. Through this project, 441 water tanks have been distributed to Maasai households (88% of the targeted 500 households). The Presbyterian women, Maasai families (the beneficiaries of the project) and PCEA Loodokilani Mission Area thank Outreach and U.S. Presbyterians for the generous financial support that has led to the success of the initiative.

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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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PCEA Church Construction in Kenya - August 2019 Update

Enjoy these joyful stories about church dedications from Stu and Annie Ross, Outreach East Africa Mission Consultants. They work in partnership with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) and U.S. congregations.

PCEA Karima Church
Located near the town of Maai-Mahiu, this church began in 1967 when a group of Christians from many denominations gathered to worship under a tree. In 1977, the PCEA sent an evangelist to gather the Presbyterians for worship in an elder’s house. By 1979 they raised enough funds to buy a plot of land and continued to raise funds to build a church in 1984. By 1995, there were 75 members! Unfortunately, the congregation began diminishing between 1995-2005 due to tribal clashes and the condition of the 1984 church, which was slowly falling apart. A decision was reached in 2016 to build a modern church, which we dedicated several weeks ago. This new church will allow the congregation to grow once again and provide ministries to the surrounding communities. At the dedication, the church was overflowing with visitors and friends. We had a good time with everyone on that day of celebration.

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Pakistan Bible Correspondence School - August 2019 Update

Dear friends,

We are thankful to God for all the mercies and blessings he has poured upon us. In 2018, we issued 4,603 certificates. We sent 217 Bibles, 704 New Testaments and 4,000 Christian books to Christian and non-Christian students. We received these encouraging student testimonies:

“I am thankful to PBCS for providing me this opportunity. It is very beneficial for my understanding of specific aspects of the Christian faith.”

Another student shared: “During PBCS courses it is very encouraging to learn that through the Holy Spirit, God himself helps people live godly lives that would otherwise be difficult for anyone on their own.”

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Musalaha - August 2019 Update

Musalaha’s summer camp in Bethlehem: Is it about serving 85 children with 20 volunteers and 7 interns in 6 days? Is it having fun, playing games, making new friends, and enjoying summer? Sure. But what makes a difference in the lives of the participants that lasts more than a few days?

That’s Musalaha’s intention: Planting seeds of RECONCILIATION between the participating children – half of them Muslim, half of them Christian – and teaching them the golden rule “…do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12). Seeds of bearing “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22:23). These two themes were the topics we planned this year’s camp activities around – that was the well-prepared plan for the group of kids with diverse backgrounds, coming from different areas around Bethlehem.

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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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Home of Hope - Update

Christ is Our Light!!

“the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16 NIV

Dear friends,

No matter where we are or who we are, no matter if we live in darkness no matter how great it is…when Christ comes darkness flees. Much darkness is here in our land but all we can say is that God the Light of the world is amazing, his mercies and love know no bounds. No matter how many sins we committed or how we failed him, he calls on us to remind us that we are created in his image and therefore he loves us, and through his great love and mercy we can turn to him as he sent his One and Only Son Jesus to die for our sins. Whosoever believeth in him will have eternal life. That eternal life is a great light. It’s Heaven living inside us when Christ lives in us. Amazing. We rest in Jesus only for our salvation.

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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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Scholarships for Presbyterian Students at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) and Kay Day - July 2019 Update

Dear family and friends,

Greetings from Rwanda. We are still rejoicing about the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) graduation held last month. Since we utilize a 12-month calendar for studies, graduation is usually held in late September or early October, but this year it was postponed until June so that we could hold it on the new campus of PIASS in Karongi, in the western province. The delay was so the new building could be finished and inaugurated. Although the building was not quite complete, the graduation was still held there. It was a major undertaking. Since most of our classes are held on the main campus in Huye, where I live, almost everyone and everything had to be transported to Karongi. Several of the staff went ahead of time to set up the venue. On graduation day, June 19, the rest of us followed in an elaborate caravan.

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Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - July 2019 Update

ETSC Celebrates 148th Graduation

Among the portfolio of tasks I am called upon to perform as president of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, none give me greater personal pleasure than presenting diplomas to our graduates. It was with great joy that I was privileged to hand diplomas and certificates to 29 graduates on May 31st at the 148th graduation ceremony held at Heliopolis Evangelical Church in Cairo. The graduation ceremony recognized 9 graduates who received Master of Divinity degrees and 14 who received Master of Arts in Theology (8 from Cairo and 6 from ETSC's online center in Minya). Taking advantage of our new online platform to complete their work, 2 graduates earned their degrees from abroad and 1 graduate earned a Master in Leadership and Management. 3 received certificates in Christian Ministry. ETSC is especially pleased to see the growth of the online studies program as it makes theological education accessible to students across Egypt, the Middle East, and Arabic speaking communities across the world.

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San Pablo Presbyterian Theological Seminary - July 2019 Update

Dear friends and companions in the ministry,

Warm greetings from Mérida, Yucatán. What follows is a brief overview of the recent activities and new initiatives that San Pablo Presbyterian Theological Seminary is undertaking. With your help, the witness of the church in Mexico and other Latin American countries is being strengthened.

Conferences
From June 2 to 4 we held our Continuing Education conference for pastors and leaders. There were 122 pastors and leaders of 10 different Presbyteries of the states of Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Mexico City in attendance. The theme was "The Theology of the Covenant" by Dr. Jonathan Gerstner, president of Yucatán International Academy.

Graduation
On Friday, June 7 we celebrated our graduation service and the end of the academic cycle that started in August 2018. We had thirty-six graduates:

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Near East School of Theology - Update

From the President to the Graduates
(excerpt from Near East School of Theology (NEST) President Dr. George Sabra’s commencement speech)

A report conducted and published annually by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania ranks countries as part of an analysis project called the “Best Countries Report.” Thousands of people from over 80 countries responded to questions on the basis of 65 country attributes, e.g. economic influence and quality of life, to determine each country’s success as a modern nation. In 2018, for the second year in a row, Switzerland ranked as the world’s best country. Nowhere on the list can any country from the Middle East be found. There is also a section on the best country to raise children – Denmark ranks first. Again, no Middle Eastern country on the list. If you check the report about the safest countries in the world, Iceland ranks first but no Middle Eastern country is anywhere on the list.

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Iraq Appeal - June 2019 Update

For many years, the Presbyterian Church in Kirkuk has ministered to women in the local prison. Led by Mayada (who has written the letter, below), the wife of Pastor Haitham Jazrawi, the church has found favor with prison officials. Mayada and her team bring Light and Hope to women who are usually permanently shunned by their families and society. If they have children, those little ones are incarcerated with their mothers as there are few other options. At a most fundamental level, this is the work Christ enjoined to his followers when he said, “I was in prison, and you visited me….”

Marilyn Borst, Associate Director for Partnership Development

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I'm writing to you today to share some updates from our most recent visit to the Kirkuk Women's Jail. On Tuesday, May 28, I visited the jail along with two sisters in ministry, Susan and Balsam.

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