Posts in Missionaries
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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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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John McCall - January 2019 Update

Dear friends,

Several months ago, a friend who is one of the program secretaries at the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan national office asked me if I would be willing to visit his daughter's elementary school before Christmas to share the Christmas story with the students there. Even though only four percent of Taiwanese are Christian, it is a very tolerant culture here toward all religions. So, I was not surprised that the school was willing to have me come.

This pastor and his wife, who is also a pastor, have four children, which is double the norm for families in Taiwan. Their eldest is a first grader at this school and the youngest is just a year old.

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Todd and Maria Luke - January 2019 Update

Gary is from Memphis and was scheduled to have both knees replaced on December 19. Last summer, he and a coworker (Greg) joined a cistern-building mission team that consisted mostly of folks from another church. Neither Gary nor Greg had been to Xpujil before, nor had anyone else from their church.

A couple months later, Gary sent me an email. He touted an affordable, easy to use, long-lasting water filter that attaches easily to a bucket. The Sawyer PointONE filter pores are so small (0.1 micron absolute) that no bacteria, protozoa, or cysts like E.Coli, Cholera, and Typhoid can get through. It has been used for years throughout the world in places with living conditions similar to the Xpujil region. To hammer home the filter’s effectiveness, Gary sent me a video. In it, he poured pond water into a bucket equipped with the filter, and then drank the water that flowed from it.

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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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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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José Carlos Pezini - December 2018 Update

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in Christ Jesus, the Lord of the Church. Another year is ending and as we look back, we can see how God was gracious to us and blessed us greatly. I know this happened because of the faithfulness of the beloved brothers and sisters who have been praying for us. We want to thank you all for your loyalty. Odete and I are so grateful for you and the care that you have demonstrated towards us.

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