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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Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell - February 2019 Update

Dear friends,

Greetings from Brazil in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church here had a difficult fall. Several members of the church have people in their families who are seriously ill. I thought I would be officiating funerals any day but am glad to report that I was wrong. One of the men has recuperated nicely. He has home care around the clock but is doing very well. Another gentleman has had a brain tumor for many years. This past year, he has been in the hospital numerous times. He also has home care 24 hours a day and continues to be in very fragile health. His 25-year-old nephew, Valter, is responsible for taking care of him. Valter does not receive much family support, so church folks are giving him extra tender loving care and encouragement.

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Girls' Education and Rescue Centers in Kenya - January 2019 Update

Dear friends,

We recently visited Grace Girls’ High School and brought a friend who is interested in bringing water to the school. We met with Winnifred, the head teacher. She told us that the school will need another dorm for next year and a large food storage building next to the kitchen.

Our first class graduated last year – 23 girls! We have 80 new students. We have almost completed the dorm for the new girls. This is our fourth dorm; each one holds around 50 girls. With the new arrivals, the student population is about 200.

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Refugee/Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Appeal - January 2019

Generous friends,

Late last fall, we sent this word on behalf of the three Christian refugee ministries with which we partner in Lebanon and Jordan: “winter is coming.” Your response over the next month allowed us to make available $25,000 to be shared by Together for the Family and Our Lady Dispensary in Lebanon and the Orthodox Initiative of the Middle East Council of Churches in Jordan. Soon, food parcels, blankets and heaters plus medicines and assistance with rent were bringing Light and Hope to thousands of Syrians and Iraqis, both Muslim and Christian. In Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, where Together for the Family serves many who live in tents, the context turned dire recently when intense winter storms brought bitter temperatures along with rain and snow. On January 16th I received an unsettling update on these vulnerable Syrian refugees from Mrs. Izdihar Kassis, founder and director for Together for the Family:

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Bill and Bette Bryant Crisis Nursery - January 2019 Update

Dear friends and partners,

The following stories of young lives being transformed in Zambia would not be possible without your partnership and support for our work of caring for vulnerable children.

Alex
Alex (name changed for privacy) was admitted to the House of Moses on September 25, 2018. Although his actual date of birth was unknown, the House of Moses staff believed that Alex was about two months old. The staff always attempts to find the child’s immediate relative or parent but were not able to do so with Alex. The police in the Eastern Province where he was brought were unable to find his mother, who had dumped him in an unfinished house close to St. Francis Hospital.

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Musalaha - January 2019 Update

As part of promoting reconciliation in the community, we conducted a joint Christmas training for our women's groups from Bethlehem and Aboud, emphasizing the value of giving. The weekend focused on sharing our love and message of reconciliation with children who have physical and psychological needs, many of whom would not be able to spend the holidays with their families. The women prepared gift baskets and gave them to neighbors in need as part of learning to celebrate Christmas through giving, love, and reconciliation.

University students are hard to pin down. For many, their energies are devoted to their studies. They are at the mercy of rigorous course and exam schedules and have too much to do with their limited time.

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Home of Hope - January 2019 Update

We greet you, dear fellow believers, in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So much has happened and is happening around the world. We realize more than ever before that without Jesus, we can cope with nothing and achieve nothing. He is our source of life, provision, and strength, our battle is his battle, and our victory and hope are in him alone.

We wish to begin this news update with the wonderful story of Tinotendaishe (pictured above with Joan) and God’s provision in his young life. He experienced Joan’s caring heart in the early 1990s when she was distributing food and sharing the gospel on the streets in central Harare with the help of her three young sons. Joan’s youngest son, Craig, is still serving in this ministry.

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Iraq Appeal - January 2019 Update

In October my colleague Rev. Nuhad Tomeh and I brought a small team to Iraq to meet the three Presbyterian congregations there – Basrah, Baghdad and Kirkuk. Rev. Ginny Teitt, Ms. Gretchen Tilly, Mr. Sichan Siv (a former ambassador to the UN) and Rev. Tony Lorenz were an encouraging presence to the Faithful Church there and we were all, in turn, moved and inspired by those who can say with confidence that they, “rejoice in their suffering, because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Rev. Teitt shares here her reflection on our time in Basrah.

Marilyn Borst, Associate Director for Partnership Development

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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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CCAP Community Schools/CCAP Church Construction in Zambia - January 2019 Update

The Outreach Foundation recently received the following message from CCAP Moderator Rev C. Chundas:

Dear friends,

The CCAP Synod of Zambia is so thankful to the Lord for his love and mercy towards his people in our Synod. I want to thank all of the CCAP members for their support and contributions – spiritual, physical and financial. I also want to thank our overseas partners who have contributed by sending us mission co-workers together with prayers and financial support. The Synod really appreciates this support. Partners have supported us in developing the church in many areas; they have also facilitated the funding of many projects. The CCAP Synod of Zambia has various projects which are ongoing, such as construction of the Synod offices and construction of the Chasefu Theological College classroom block.

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Namumu Orphanage Center - January 2019 Update

Dear Outreach friends,

Greetings and Happy New Year! In September 2018, an Outreach team spent three days visiting the children at Namumu Orphanage Center (NOC) near the district town of Siavonga along the shores of Lake Kariba. People in the district rely mainly on fishing and tourism for economic support. Unemployment is very high, and the times are challenging for them.

The Outreach Foundation has been partnering with Namumu Orphanage Center since the early 2000s to support vulnerable and orphaned children with residential care and education. There are currently 22 children in residence (12 girls and 10 boys) ranging in age from grade five through secondary school. We have been working with the NOC board to strengthen this ministry.

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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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Sureste Presbyterian Theological Seminary - December Update

Sureste Theological Seminary in Villahermosa, Tabasco is a place of strategic involvement for ministry in and from Mexico. Its youthful student body reflects the enthusiasm present in the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico as both the largest Protestant denomination in the country and the largest Reformed body in the Americas.

During 2018, with the help of congregations and individuals in the United States, The Outreach Foundation provided up to half of the tuition as well as room and board for fifteen promising students. Hear from some of them in their own words:

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News on Holistic Evangelism in Tete Province

Update from Outreach Trustee Berry Long

Thank you for the many expressions of sympathy that were sent after Nedson Zulu's death. The outpouring of support was a great source of comfort to Nedson's family. Thank you also for all of the gifts sent to The Outreach Foundation earmarked for the Nedson Zulu Family Fund which have been used to defray funeral expenses and will be utilized to address other family needs. These non-deductible gifts are still welcome.

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