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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Philemon Project Preschool - June 2019 Update

Dear friends and supporters,

Leading in 2019!What has God called you to in 2019? As I look back, I can see how God has called and equipped me to lead the Philemon Project into its next phase of growth.

Our team of 17 sees their work missionally, and we are committed to providing excellent Christian early childhood development (ECD) and adult mentoring (AM) ministry throughout Lebanon. In the last 12 months, our primary focus has been on strategic growth and organization development. It was an honor to witness God’s hand at work through the project, and we look forward to what’s in store for us. Thank you for standing with us. It’s your faithful partnership that allows us to provide the best Christian early childhood development and adult mentoring possible.

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Bethlehem Bible College - June 2019 Update

Greetings on behalf of Bethlehem Bible College, dear friends!

Summer is upon us, and another academic year is nearly finished at Bethlehem Bible College (BBC). We give thanks for BBC’s 40 years of service to Bethlehem, Palestine and around the world.

Ongoing Journey of Faithfulness: Overcoming the Challenges!
Was it easy to start a Bible college from scratch, and build it to be one of the most important Christian educational institutions in the region? What kind of challenges have we faced? How did we manage to overcome them? We endured two Intifadas, several wars on Gaza, lack of money, increasing emigration, and much more. How did we survive? “He was faithful,” answered Dr. Bishara Awad, founder of Bethlehem Bible College.

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Holistic Evangelism in Tete Province - June 2019 Update

Dear friends and supporters of Tete Province,

Our trip to Tete Province, sponsored by The Outreach Foundation was great. Our thirteen-member team included fellow Trustee Tom McDow and his daughter Anne and granddaughter Julie, Outreach Foundation Associate Director Marilyn Borst, seven members of North Lake Presbyterian Church, and my wife Elizabeth and me. We gathered in NYC on Monday June 3 and departed for Africa the next day. After flying most of Tuesday and Wednesday, we met Sebber in Blantyre, Malawi. We enjoyed a delightful lunch at her home and unpacked the medical supplies donated by our home congregations.

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Palestinian Bible Society - June 2019 Update

The Palestinian Bible Society (PBS) is a national office of the UBS (United Bible Societies) with its office in Jerusalem. The work was started in the Holy Land in 1816 and is still going on to this date. The work among the Palestinians was established in 1993. It is an inter-confessional Christian society committed to making the Word of God available to the Palestinians and has a strong vision for inviting Muslims to trust in and follow Jesus. We recently received news from PBS:

Trauma Healing Workshop
The Palestinian Bible Society staff led a trauma healing workshop in Ramallah at the end of May. The sixteen participants are now in small groups to implement what they learned.

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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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PCEA Tumaini Children's Ministry - June 2019 Update

Dear friends of Tumaini children,

On behalf of Tumaini/Huruma children, we want to bring you this update concerning the current situation of the homes. The Outreach Foundation is very grateful for your generosity that allowed the PCEA Riamukurwe parish to start and operate Tumaini and Huruma homes. As we write, the Ministry is struggling to maintain high-quality care for the children who are served by the homes. As we work with other close partners to help the parish in Nyeri to carry on its witness for Christ by serving the needy in their midst, we have been actively engaging the local board, encouraging them to find solutions to several issues and challenges facing the homes.

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Syria Appeal - June 2019

In February I took another Outreach team to Syria, thanks to an invitation from our partner, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, and their General Secretary, the Rev. Joseph Kassab, who was with us in Syria for much of the time. At the end of this update, you will find a timely word from him: a reminder that support for the families that make up these faithful congregations still requires our help until the economy of Syria recovers. In this trip update two of our travelers, Julie and Steve Burgess, share their reflection on our time in Homs, which suffered much through the war, including substantial damage to the Presbyterian Church.
Marilyn Borst, Associate Director for Partnership Development

Come and See, Go and Tell
Once again we found ourselves saying good-bye, this time to friends at Yazdia Presbyterian Church. We try to turn our “goodbye” into “until-we-meet-again,” but it is always bittersweet to look behind the car and see these places get smaller. Dark clouds, heavy rain and thunder kind of added to the bitter part along with our tears, and yet we made our way down the road and through the checkpoints.

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Venezuela Appeal - May 2019 Update

Power shortages, global powers, and God’s transforming power

On May 23rd, The Outreach Foundation team had the privilege of receiving the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Venezuela (IPV), Rev. Zulema Garcia de Rojas and her husband Douglas Rojas. During our time together, we discussed efforts for providing meals and food bags in 23 locations throughout the country. In addition, we discussed various ways in which Outreach is helping connect local vegetable growers to their two presbyteries to supplement the produce that they are currently able to find. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Outreach has been able to provide funding to other trusted church-based efforts that are engaged in agriculture and emergency relief. We are thankful for the generous response from individuals and congregations to Outreach’s appeal.

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Scholarships for Presbyterian Students at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences - May 2019 Update

Dear friends,

We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Outreach Foundation is committed to helping equip the global church with capable leaders, particularly in areas like Rwanda where the church is growing. Our partner there, the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (EPR for the French name “Eglise Presbyterienne au Rwanda”), needs trained pastors for their many young and vibrant congregations. In recent years, Outreach and partners have helped train five pastors who graduated from the theology department at PIASS and are now leaders of EPR congregations. There are currently twelve Presbyterian students sponsored by The Outreach Foundation in the theology program. This update includes stories from several of these students who are studying at PIASS thanks to your generous gifts.

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Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - May 2019 Update

The President’s Word

The middle of May finds ETSC stirring with excitement and anticipation as students and faculty scramble to finish the semester. One group of students is especially task oriented. Our prospective graduates are laser-focused on completing the last few days of their seminary experience. They will soon assume positions as pastors and teachers. They have accomplished the goal they set when they entered the seminary. It was a daunting challenge for them to leave homes and jobs and come to Cairo. Another group of our students faced an equally difficult challenge. Our MAT (Master of Arts in Theology) students remained in their jobs and their church positions while taking classes. They juggled multiple responsibilities while completing their course work. Now, they have run the race and finished the course. I congratulate them, even as I give thanks to God for making their achievements possible.

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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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New Church Development in Egypt - May 2019 Update

DRY BONES?

Then he said to me [Ezekiel], "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, `Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.’”

A ninety minute drive south of Luxor, along muddy canals and through sleepy villages, brings you to Adaima, a place that, like much of rural Egypt, seems a bewildering mix of past and present: a languid donkey “parked” alongside a dusty Toyota in front of a farm stand selling Pepsi and plump pomegranates, batteries, and bananas…

We pull up to a colorless, three-story mud-brick façade, where the only obvious clue that we have arrived at the Presbyterian Church is the equally colorless cross over the well-worn courtyard door. The door swings open and out bursts Rev. Shenouda Girgis to greet our Outreach Foundation team – we have arrived at our family-by-faith!

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Girls' Education and Rescue Centers - May 2019 Update

Dear friends,

This verse describes Rev. Charles Maina, a servant of God who puts his life on the front line defending and rescuing girls by providing a place to increase knowledge and understanding and educating society to recognize the plight of the girl child. Rev. Maina is a pastor and missionary to PCEA Loodokilani, Kajiado Presbytery where Mother Esther’s School and Rescue Center is located.

A group from Outreach recently traveled to Kajiado, Kenya and visited Mother Esther’s. Our group included Ebralie Mwizerwa, Outreach Projects Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer L. Ellis, First Presbyterian Church Clarksville, TN, and Frank Dimmock, Outreach Africa Specialist. We were accompanied by Stu Ross, East Africa Mission Consultant for Outreach, and Rev. Lauren Scharstein, Antioch Partner (TAP) missionary who works with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA).

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Namumu Orphanage Center - May 2019 Update

Dear friends and supporters of Namumu,

Greetings in the name of Christ our Lord. As we shared in our previous update, a team from Outreach traveled to Siavonga, Zambia where Namumu Orphanage is located in September 2018. The purpose of the trip was to visit the children and meet with the Namumu leadership. This picture shows the Outreach team and Namumu board members after a very productive meeting to map out strategies for care for the children.

We are pleased to share this message we recently received from the Namumu Orphanage coordinator, Mr. Siakwale:

“On behalf of the Namumu Orphanage Center management, board, and children, I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Outreach Foundation and local partners for continued support.

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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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