Posts in Important News
Syria Appeal - December 2015 Update

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned….

So begins Isaiah’s poetic, prophetic chapter whose words echo in song and in sermon at this time of the year – and which crescendos to a naming of the when and the what and the Who which Handel set so perfectly to music that now very few of us can read it with our eyes without actually hearing it in our ears:

For unto us a child is born,
    unto us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders…

So why, you might ask, does this passage lead me to thoughts of Aleppo? Perhaps, because few places in Syria have been so hard hit for so long, so hammered by violent factions, so deprived of life’s basics, so seemingly stripped of hope and a future – its world-heritage sites decimated, its population significantly reduced…

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Update for the Iraq Appeal: Solidarity with Christians in Iraq - August 2015

Last summer, a fast moving disaster struck Iraq: the Islamic State set its sights upon making Mosul its capital. Once home to the highest concentration of Christians in the country, Mosul and the dozens of Christian villages in the surrounding Nineveh Plain were terrorized, as was the vulnerable Yazidi minority. Within weeks, your generous response to our Iraq Appeal (to date, over $600,000!) allowed us to quickly send resources to the region: to the Presbyterian churches in Kirkuk and Baghdad who began to minister to their displaced neighbors and to partners in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon who, within months, were called upon to serve, in Christ’s name, refugees who had fled Iraq.  

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Syria Relief Update - June 2015

Tucked up into the far northeast corner of the country sharing borders with both Turkey and Iraq, the Hasakah Governate is one of 14 provinces in Syria. Rich in oil and grain production, it has been the stage for intense fighting between government forces and various opposition groups, including ISIS. It is also home to three Presbyterian congregations: Qamishli, Malikiya and Hasakah (city). The province is geographically isolated, as of late, because ISIS controls the main travel routes which connect it to the rest of the country. The National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon – The Outreach Foundation’s partner and main recipient of your generous gifts to the Syria Appeal – sent a delegation to meet with these churches in May.

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Update for the Iraq Appeal: Solidarity with Christians in Iraq May 2015

In March, I was in Northern Iraq with a small team from The Outreach Foundation – Staci Graham, Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta; Rev. Mark Mueller, First Presbyterian Church Huntsville, AL; Ben McCaleb, First Presbyterian Church San Antonio. We had traveled there to visit partners, especially the Presbyterian Church in Kirkuk, who have been receiving funds from The Outreach Foundation for their ministry with fellow Iraqis displaced by ISIS from Mosul and the surrounding Nineveh Plain.

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