New Work

Ministry Experiences in Peru

What a joy for Judy Ganz and Sam Gray to be able to share in several aspects of Moravian life with sisters and brothers in Peru! Fifteen people (eight in Chiclayo and seven in Lima) were received into the membership of the Moravian Church through adult baptism (nine of the candidates were youth and young adults).

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Baptisms in Chiclayo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baptism Preparation-Chiclayo

In Lima, a young couple became the first to be married in the Moravian Church in Peru. And in Cruz de la Esperanza, Chiclayo, the congregation joined with the Rhemanente Moravian congregation to celebrate Holy Communion, officiated by Judy and Sam.  At that service, several women asked for intentional and focused prayer for situations they face in their lives, and two women asked to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.

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Communion Service-Lima

While the stated purpose of the trip to Peru was to meet with the leadership and work on progress toward becoming a Mission Province (national conference, Book of Order ratification, election of official board, movement toward sustainability, development of worship and educational resources, etc.) it was these life-sharing moments that really remind us of the blessings of being joined together as the Body of Christ and having a part in our worldwide Moravian Unity.

Reflection on Kernersville Peru Mission Trip

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Kernersville Team Departs for Peru

Before our team left for Peru, Mrs. (Señora?) Hilda Regalado offered us a number of good pieces of advice (including “bring a roll of toilet paper”- a recommendation I echo!), but she especially emphasized that we would need to open our hearts. This applies in the case of any mission trip, but it was particularly necessary for us to “go to ground” (phrase credit to Col. Dave Gignac) in a place like Peru.

I cannot underscore enough how warm and loving our reception in Peru was.  I felt like we were constantly eating because the pastoral families kept giving us snacks even though resources for their churches were limited.  Further, at every gathering, each person would greet every other person in the room with a snug embrace (and a kiss on the cheek for the women).  This created a loving atmosphere right from the get go! That’s how the Peruvians we met were about everything. With open hearts, they live by “in all things love,” and that was evident from the moment they met us at the airport with big smiles on their faces.

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Facepainting

I have always been a shy, reserved person– an introvert to Myers-Briggs, or a timid sheep as I described myself to the Peruvians. My faith journey has matched my personality, as I have rationally thought about and evaluated what I have learned about God, liking and accepting what I have learned along the way.  I have felt overwhelmed by my awareness of God a few times– mostly in moments of great mercy or at times spent looking up at the night sky on a certain mountaintop in North Carolina.  But even in these more intense moments, my relationship with God was still largely restricted to what was in my own head.

Peru showed me another dimension of God, which gave a new depth to my faith.  One of the things that really struck me is that some Peruvian Christians do not dance outside of church. When I first heard this, I thought that it was an unnecessarily puritanical rule.  Let the people dance!  After further consideration though, I have a newfound appreciation for the concept.  Dance is an expression of joy, and these Peruvians choose to live their most joyful moments when they are worshipping!  How awesome!  They bring their best, the fullest version of themselves before God in worship.  For so long, I have reserved worship as serious time for respectful and peaceful thought about God.  I still believe there is a place for this, and I value this type of worship and truly benefit from it.  However, there is also a place for an overwhelming, expressive, unrestrained, exuberant type of worship! The Good News is GREAT News, and the worship services we took part in in Peru really channeled this message. The churches where we worshipped in Lima and Chiclayo have such a focused, genuine faith, and participating in their worship was a privilege.

One song particularly encapsulated my experience in Peru.  We sang “Open the Eyes of My Heart” a few times, and it was really neat because the Peruvians would first sing it in Spanish, and then we would sing it in English, and it created this really cool blend in the end. The meeting of differences made the song special in one way, but the lyrics also hold significance for me. For so long, I have seen God with my mind, as I discussed already.  But, the mind is the last on the list of places where we are supposed to love God! (And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind… (Luke 10:27a ASV)).  So Peru blessed me by opening the eyes of my heart so I could see more of God.  It is difficult to describe how a heart is changed.  Words are much more useful for describing changes in the mind, so I apologize for leaving unsaid the things I do not know how to say.

But I do want to say that Peru captured my heart and, just after I came back to the US, it felt like I was only left with a big hole and the hope of return.  But thankfully that is not true!  I am left with countless memories and new connections (hooray for Facebook) and a newfound internal passion for God because the eyes of my heart were opened. Te amo, Perú! Gracias!

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Presenting Chalice to Church to Rheumanente Church

* We evangelized the morning of EBDV (which took place in the afternoon) at both Cruz de la Esperanza and Rhemanente, and we had about 65 and 75 kids attend each, respectively.  We thought that was amazing, especially compared with how far in advance VBS in America is usually planned in order to draw in that many kids.

* I was in an evangelizing group with Pastor Walter and Monica’s one day, and it was really cool to be able to watch them reach out to their neighbors by inviting them to EBDV.  I had never participated in door-to-door evangelizing before this, so they were a great example.  I also appreciated how they found a way to let Thor and me help, even though we didn’t speak much Spanish.

* Pastor Christopher from Iglesia Rhemanente told us about how he was drawn to the Moravian faith because of its historical roots and the Reformation.

* About a week after the trip, I was chatting with Tomy Lee on Facebook, and he was speaking to me in English because he is trying to learn it.  At one point, he said, “I am Moravian heart”— I thought that was just perfect!

Alex (Alexandra) Ford
Kernersville Moravian Church

 

Braimas Extend Stay in U.S.

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Safie Braima

Rev. Mohamed and Safie Braima, Moravian missionaries to Sierra Leone, have been on break in the US and now have had to delay their return to their home.

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Mohamed Braima

Bro. Mohamed writes:

As of today we are still in Charlotte waiting to see the outcome of the spread [of the Ebola virus] and then we will go back. There is no set date for that yet. So if you or your church would like us to visit let us know. We will be very glad to visit you. …

God is in control of all things and we just have to wait on him as we endeavor to do his will of spreading the gospel and building the kingdom here on earth.

Please continue to pray for Safie and I as we wait on him.

The area where this outbreak of Ebola started is very close to our village. We are located in the eastern part of the country of Sierra Leone near the borders of Liberia and Guinea were the outbreak occurred. The town in Guinea where it all started Guequedu is a very industrious town that has market day on Tuesday every week. People travel all the way from Sierra Leone and Liberia to come to this town to buy and sell on Tuesdays. A week or two after the outbreak my wife Safie made such a trip and she was there for three days and came back. At that time people were not taking the outbreak very seriously. It was known to have spread over to Sierra Leone after we have left the country for US.

Once more, God is in control  of all things, good or bad. And he has his reason for letting things like this to happen of which we have no idea. However in all things

let us give him thanks. He loves us above all understanding. Let us give him the glory. He is good all the time.

Mohamed Braima

 

Sierra Leone Ministry Update January 2014

God is certainly working in the Official Mission Area of the World Wide Moravian Church in Luawa Yiehun, Kaihlun, Sierra Leone, West Africa.  We are blessed to be able to join Him in this important mission.  Many have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and the Church grows in its outreach to the village through worship, study, baptism, and community service.  Luawa Yiehun Community Church (Moravian) is truly a visible example of the love of Jesus.

Many blessings were experienced in 2013.  The senior wing of the Moravian Secondary School is completed, and ready to receive the first class of Senior Secondary 1.  Please pray that the Sierra Leone government officials will sign the last document required to recognize the Senior Secondary School as part of the country’s education system.  In doing so, the government will pay for the teacher salaries.  This is the last hurdle before the Secondary School may open to receive its first class of students.  The Junior Secondary School students consistently receive some of the highest marks in the country.

Dedication of the entire school (Junior and Senior Secondary Schools) was celebrated December 14, 2013, with several hundred in attendance, including Section and Town Chiefs, and many visitors from other villages.  The USA was also represented with members from Little Church on the Lane, Home Moravian Church, and those that had grown up in the village that are now residing in Virginia and Maryland.  A glorious full-day celebration was enjoyed by all, with the Chiefs cutting the ribbons to officially open the school.  Rev. Steve Wilson (retired, Little Church on the Lane) officiated at the Yiehun Moravian Secondary School dedication service.  The school continues to provide a Christian-based education to all of the 200+ students.

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Secondary School Dedication

The Feed the Children Program continues to provide meals to the students during school days.  This program not only provides necessary nutrition for students (in the past, many have come to school hungry), but also provides employment for women in the village that help prepare the meals.  You may provide funds for this program by visiting the website www.sierraleoneinmission.org.  There you will find videos, and means through which you can feed the students in the Secondary School.

The mission continues to spread to nearby areas.  The village of Morfindor had requested that Mohamed Braima provide spiritual direction and education in Moravian doctrine so that a new Moravian Church may be planted in their area.  In December, the new Morfindor Moravian Church was ready for finishing.  Their pastor is being mentored by Mohamed, and the congregation already fills the hand-made benches.  Just as exciting is the recent request from another village, Mbaoma, to bring the Moravian Church to their area as well.  The Good News is spreading! Mohamed also continues his weekly radio ministry, which may be heard within a 60-mile radius of Luawa Yiehun.

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Steve and Claire Wilson, Safie and Mohamed Braima, Donna Hurt, and Jeff Fulp at Dedication

Now that the Senior Secondary School has been completed, our initiative for 2014 is to “Power-up” the school with Solar Power.  This is no luxury! The Sierra Leone government requires that a computer laboratory is constructed in every Senior Secondary School.  Not only will the school provide computer training but by installing solar power, classrooms may also provide an area for student evening study (currently only the Church can offer a small lighted space) and provide a place where adult villagers may attend evening classes in health and nutrition.  Consider ear-marking your contributions in 2014 for the Solar Power Project.

Again, thank you for your support during 2013.  The work of Mohamed and Safiatu Braima is such an important part of the lives of the villagers; it has been expressed through the most recent land grants from the Section Chiefs, who voted to quadruple the land already given to the mission.  In the words of the highest Section Chief, “…the entire community is supporting this mission, including the Muslim community.  There is excitement about the future, especially for the expansion of education to the university level.  Whatever land is needed, will not be withheld.”

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Secondary School

 

God IS good, indeed.

In Jesus Christ,

For Mohamed and Safiatu Braima, Missionaries of the Moravian Church

The Sierra Leone Ministry Committee

Little Church on the Lane

 

Sierra Leone

As we enter 2014, I tell myself the same God who was in charge in 2013 is the same One now, and the same One will be in 2015.  That is an assurance and a comforting thing to feed on.  I do thank Him for taking care of us, believing that He is the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow and I have nothing to worry about but just leave everything in His care.

I do thank God for all of you who stay committed to giving to this mission – you give your prayers, you give your money, you give your support.  Safie and I were specially blessed this dedication time to have receive so much gift from you for the dedication of the Moravian Secondary School in Ngiehuin.  Our “thank you” goes out to all of you.  Your partnership in this mission and all that you are have made us so special among our people.  We are very blessed because of you.  And we do thank the Almighty God for all you do to keep this mission going.

God is good.  Right after the dedication some brothers from a village by the name of Mbaoma came to me and asked that we have a meeting.  They asked that they will like to have a Moravian church in the village and asked what was involved in having a church.  To cut long story short Safie and I paid them a visit in their village.  We had a meeting and told them all that is involved.  They will be coming for a visit in the church to have further instructions.

Now that we will not be into much building this year, I plan to get serious with my radio preaching and educating in the next three to six months.  I do thank God that many people are eager to hear me over the radio.  Radio Moa covers a radius of about 60 miles, as far as Kenema which is the next big town from the village.  Well, I am not the only pastor to speak at Radio Moa, Steve did too!

All the brothers and sisters in the listening area, if you know of someone who has a used /old musical instrument like saxophone, flute, guitar, trumpet, drum, etc please think of the Moravians in Sierra Leone.

My New Year resolution is to live more and more for Christ this year.  And talking about living for God, the people of Ngiehun has again added more land to the school land, and Safie and I will be busy clearing that land this year.

Once again I thank God Almighty for all of you and do pray that He will continue to use us in this special way in His kingdom.

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME

Mohamed Braima

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Jeff Fulp, Safie Braima, Donna Hurt, Villager, Claire Wilson, Steve Wilson
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School
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Children
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Dedication

 

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Donna Hurt

 

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Students

 

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Students

 

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Steve Wilson, Claire Wilson, Safie & Mohammed Braima, Donna Hurt, and Jeff Fulp

 

 Jirina Cancikova Serves in Peru

When it comes to volunteering and helping somewhere, the big question is: Can you really make a difference in someone else’s life in such a short time? Usually, this applies to the people who go for two weeks to help to Africa – can they really make a difference in two weeks? It seems that usually the bigger difference is made in their hearts rather than in the lives of the locals (but I don’t want to say that this happens always and people shouldn’t go to Africa). I was fighting this question when I was coming knowing that I would be here “only” for 5 weeks. Is it enough? The same question came up concerning Peru. So I tried to make it as long as I could and I would be spending two months there.

 – Jirina Cancikova

 

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After serving at the Esperanza Ministry in Bethlehem, PA this year, Jirina traveled on December 17, 2013 to Peru to spend time in  ministry with the Unity of Brothers and Sisters in Peru, functioning under the Unity as a Mission Area assigned to the Southern Province.

 

Pastor Christopher Valencia Alcantara of the Rhemanente Moravian Congregation in Chiclayo, Peru reports on the planned ministry endeavors in which  Jirina will be participating.

Jirina will help us this week with evangelism and outreach in the Urbanizacion Latina neighborhood of Chiclayo and will be with us on Saturday for our inaugural Service of Celebration.  Next week she will help Walter in Cruz de la Esperanza, Chiclayo.  Jirina will spend Christmas with Teresa and her family (owners of the restaurant where she is staying) and also be with them for New Years.

Starting in January she will alternate each week between the two ministries.  Her presence is very important, especially due to the idiosyncrasies present in this culture (he is referring to the way people would receive her when she knocks on the door since she is from another country – kind of her ticket in the door, so to speak).  Today we were evangelizing from house to house and doing personal evangelism.  We had a total of 5 conversions and 6 people who expressed interest and openness to visits from us.  We will send you photos of the service on Saturday.

For current updates of Jirinia’s service in Peru go to her blog site below.

georgie-cr.blogspot.com

Christmas in Peru

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Celebrating Christmas

 

(Access the above blog site for photos and more information.)

Vánoční speciál Christmas special Slíbila jsem Vánoční speciál o tom, jak se slaví tyto svátky v Peru, tak jdeme na to.

I promised you a Christmas special where I would write about how do they celebrate Christmas in Peru. So here we go 🙂 

Velkou předvánoční tradicí tady jsou akce zvané Chocolatada. Jak název vypovídá, akce je založená na tom, že se vaří speciální místní čokoláda. K tomu se podává panetón – dalo by se říct, že to je takový jejich typ Vánočky, ale má to v sobě kandované ovoce, tvar nijaký, a chuť horší 😀 Čokoláda se vaří z vody, mlíka, čokolády, skořice, a zahušťuje se to buď vločkami, nebo maizenou.

There is a big tradition of event that happen before Christmas and they are called Chocolatadas. As you can see from the name, his event is based on cooking local hot chocolate and serving it. With chocolate, panetón is served. What is panetón? Well, it’s some kind of pastry filled with raisins, and candied fruit. It’s sweet, it has no realy shape and the taste depends on the brand. I thought it was ok but I didn’t have the urge of eating a lot of it. The chocolate contains water, milk, chocolate, cinnamon and to thicken it, they add oats or maizena. 

Nicméně chocolatada je buď trochu charitativní akce, anebo třeba firemní akce. Dělají jich tu hodně, a dávají se tam dárky dětem. Proto charitativní. Docela se mi to líbilo, protože si myslím, že třeba v Čechách se charitativní akce takhle před Vánoci moc nedělají, nebo já o tom nevím, a tady v Peru, kde situace není tak ekonomicky dobrá, se mnohem víc snaží. Je asi Ale pravda, že v Čechách jsou menší ekonomické rozdíly.

However, chocolatada seems to be either a charity or company event. And they do a lot of these. They always include gifts for all the kids. I liked it because I saw the kids faces when they got the gifts. I was surprised that a country like this make this much effort to give to those who have less when it’s charity event 🙂 

Chocolatadu jsem zažila v jedné z těch církví, kde pomáhám – Cruz de la Esperanza. Tam je to hodně chudá, a tím i nebezpečná čtvrť. A tím, že je to chudá čtvrť, tak bylo super něco takového dělat. A přišlo strašně moc děcek. Asi 50 jich tam bylo. Čokoládu jsme uvařili, panetón nakrájeli, a pak všechno i s hračkama rozdali 🙂 bylo to moc pěkné 🙂

I experienced chocolatada twice. The first time it was in one of the churches where I am helping – in Cruz de la Esperanza. It’s a very poor and also dangerous neighbourhood. And because it’s poor it was great to be doing something like this. And many kids came. There were around 50 kids! So we cooked the chocolate, cut the panetón and then gave it all away with the gifts. It was really nice 🙂 

Ta další byla tady v restauraci, kde bydlím. Byla to firemní chocolatada, takže mě pozvali, jestli se nechci zúčastnit. Přišlo mi strašně pěkné, jak majitel, který se občas zdá být nepřístupný, balil dárky pro ty děti sám, a vypadal, jakoby měl strašnou radost z toho, jak každému z těch dětí udělá radost 🙂 Fakt mu patří obdiv, že ví o všech dětech svých zaměstnanců, a že jim koupil a zabalil dárky. Mají totiž 3 restaurace. Jedna tady v Lambayeque, druhá nově otevřená v Chiclayo, a jedna v Piura, která je odsud 3 hodiny cesty. A odtamtud dokonce dorazily matky s dětmi. Mimochodem po téhle akci jsem se dozvěděla, že je tady naprosto normální ptát se lidí, jestli jsou svobodní, nebo zadaní. Prý je tu navíc asi 7 žen na jednoho chlapa, tak prostě všichni tak nějak zjišťují 😀 Taky se tam tancovalo, a mě, jako místního exota chtěli několikrát donutit k tanci, ale já jsem se styděla, protože jsem věděla, že by všichni na mě exota strašně koukali, a zadruhé protože jsem neuměla ani salsu ani merengue. A ti peruánci tak hezky tancovali. Díky tomu jsem se pak ale dala do řeči s klukama, co tu pracují, a co skvěle tancovali, a jeden řekl, že mě může naučit 🙂 A taky mě donutili večejně do mikrofonu vyprávět, jak se v Čechách slaví Vánoce. Jen teda tady neznají kapra. Ale jediné, co je vlastně na tom kaprovi zajímá je, jestli ho smažíme, nebo pečeme 😀 A já jsem si nemohla vzpomenou 😀 já jsem fakt ten pravej, co by tu měl vyprávět o českých tradicích 😀

The other chocolatada I experienced was in the restaurant where I am living. It was a company event and I was invited to participate. It was really nice that the owner, who sometimes seems to keep his distance, was packing the gifts for the kids himself and he seems to be happy about making the kids happy 🙂 I thought it was really cool because he had to find out about all the kids of the employees and I think he also bought the gifts himself. They have three restaurants so there were many people at the party, even mother with their kids from Piura that is 3 hours away arrived. Anyway, after this event I found out that it was normal here to ask people if they were single. Until then I felt really strange when some guy asked me. But I was also told that there are about 7 women for 1 man in Peru and so everybody is trying to find out who is taken and who is not 😀 At this chocolatada we also danced and being the person from outside here they wanted to make me dance but I was really shy and I knew everybody would be looking at me because I am the person from the outside. And also I didn’t know neither salsa or merengue. And I don’t like dancing on disco songs even more. But these people knew to dance so good! So after this event I talked to the guys who danced so well and one said that he could teach me these dances. I would love to know them 🙂 Oh, and also they made me to talk into the microphone about the Czech Christmas traditions, about how we celebrate it. But here they don’t even know the fish we eat for Christmas. But actually the only thing that seemed to interest them about the fish was if we prepare it in the oven or if we fry it 😀 and I didn’t know 😀 I think I am just the right person to talk about Czech traditions 😀 ehm 😀 


Další chocolatadu jsem měla mít 24. ráno, ale musela jsem to odmítnout, protože mi bylo hodně špatně, přišlo mi to jako tenkrát ten úpal, ale naštěstí jsem se z toho vyspala a “vypila” 😀

I was supposed to be helping with another chocolatada on the 24th but in the end I had to call it off because I was sick, everything hurt me and I was hot at one moment and cold at another. But luckily after some sleeps and a lot of water, I felt better 🙂 

Co se týče Štědrého večera, do poslední chvíle jsem neměla pořádně ponětí o tom, jak to bude probíhat, jen jsem věděla, že půjdeme k synovi. Ale přišlo mi strašně divný, že se v 19h furt nic nedělo, až mi napsala kamarádka z Limy s tím, jak se mám, a že už má hlad a ještě musí čekat do půlnoci. Tak jsem zjistla, že tady se večeří o půlnoci. To teda nevím, co to je za zvyky. Člověk jen celej večer hladoví, a čeká na noc 😀 My jsme nakonec začali jíst už asi ve třičtvrtě na dvanáct. Nicméně o půlnoci se všichni zvedli, začali se objímat, a přát si pěkné Vánoce 🙂 To bylo pěkné. Pak teda začali líbat panenku miminka Ježíše, a to mě už moc nebralo, a byla jsem ráda, že po mně to nikdo nějak nechtěl. Rodna u které bydlím, jsou totiž katolíci. K jídlu byl jinak krocan s takovou sladkou omáčkou 🙂 K tomu empanadas – pečivo plněné masem, a pak nějaký i nasladko neplněné. A nesmím zapomenout panetón 🙂 Pila se čokoláda, nebo káva, přípitek byl se šampáněm, a později se začalo pít víno. Byl to veselý večer, měla jsem konečně možnost poznat celou jejich rodinu. Většinu večera se ale téma logicky točilo okolo restaurace, protože to je to, čím všichni žijí, a kde většina z nich pracují 🙂 A já jsem měla možnost fotit jídlo, protože mi říkali, ať fotím a fotím 🙂

Concerning the Christmas Eve, I didn’t know well until the last moment how would they be celebrating it. I just knew we were going to their son’s house. But it seemed kinda weird that it was already 7pm and nothing was happening. Everybody was just resting and watching TV. And then my friend from Lima wrote me asking me how was I doing and that she was already hungry and had to wait till midnight to eat. And I thought. Wait, till midnight? So I asked her about the traditions and she explained everything to me 🙂 So I don’t know what kind of traditions are there, Why one has to be hungry all afternoon waiting for the midnight… Well, we started eating at about 11:45 in the end. But at midnight everybody got up and started hugging and wishing each other “Feliz Navidad”. They also started kissing a little doll like baby Jesus but luckily noone wanted me to do that 😀 That’s because they are catholic that they were doing that. Anyway, the Christmas meal is a turkey. Surprise! 😀 With it we ate empanadas – a pastry filled with meat, and then some empanadas that were sweet and not filled with anything. And I cannot forget panetón 🙂 We drank chocolate or coffe, we had a toast with champagne and then we started drinking wine. It was a happy fun night, I finally got to know their family. And most of the night they were talking about the restaurant because that’s something they live and most of them work there 🙂 and I had the chance to take pictures of the food because they encouraged me to take many pictures of it so I didn’t feel weird 🙂 

Sierra Leone

Current Update

The new school building is almost complete.  They hope to begin the painting in June.  The “feed the children” program is moving along nicely.  They are consistently feeding the kids one day per week because at this time of year food is rather plentiful.  When school starts next fall they will feed them twice per week because that is when food is more scarce and there is more of a need.  They are also experimenting with growing their own beans and cassava root for protein.

Mohamed has been given an opportunity to preach for one hour on the local radio every Sunday and of course he has accepted the challenge.  He has already done this for the past 3 weeks and it has been very well received.  Radio is the main means for the people to gather information, so many people listen.  He is preaching in English and Creole because those languages can reach more people than just preaching in Mende.

Please pray for the following:

  • Continued improvement for Safie’s leg.  The pain is less, but she still suffers occasionally.
  • That the government would issue the needed permits/licenses for the high school to open in the fall.
  • That Mohamed’s weekly sermon would reach many open hearts and minds and the result would be many more people becoming followers of Jesus.
  • Strength for Safie and Mohamed to carry on God’s work in the village.
  • Opportunity for Safie and Mohamed to get away for a needed 2 week rest (in Freetown or elsewhere)
  • Success in their gardening efforts

Thanks for your prayers and your support.

Claire W. Wilson (as reported by Mohammed Braima)

cwilsoncpa@gmail.com

History

–       Sam Gray met with Steve Wilson (Little Church on the Lane) to “check in” on the covenant relationship established in February 2012.

–       A scholarship program for the High School in Luawa-Yiehun has been started by Little Church and, at present, commitments have been made for about 50 scholarships.

–       Containers with food and other supplies have been sent by Little Church, Fairview and other groups, and discussions are taking place around the topic of establishing food programs that would not depend on outside sources and that might impact the local economy in a more positive way.

–       Donna Hurt continues to be a strong advocate for the Sierra Leone Mission Area and has shared her story with many local congregations and groups in the Southern Province.

–       Donna Hurt, Sam Gray and possibly Jorgen Boytler will visit Mohamed and Safie Braima in the Ngehun region of Sierra Leone in November.  They will have the opportunity to see the new work taking place in Morfidor and will have a special service of affirmation for brother Braima (since local folks were not able to attend his ordination in the U.S.).

 

Cuba

–       In June, 2012, the Cuban government gave the Moravian Church in Cuba provisional legal recognition.  They had to respond to 48 observations by the government.  Chair Armando Rusindo has done just that and as of January 11, 2013, they are fully recognized by the government.  This is the date that they will use as their official founding date.  This is a very important and significant step that allows the church to (among other things) own property, call meetings with fewer restrictions and be a full member of the Cuban Council of Churches.

–       A Women’s Conference is scheduled for November 15 – 19, 2012.  The Moravian Church in North America has been invited to send representatives or participants to this conference.

–       The Book of Order has been completed and will be reviewed and (hopefully) ratified at an Assembly in February, 2013.  At that time, the church will be able to proceed with the election of an official board.

–       The process for transferring funds to support the work is being developed and fine-tuned.  All support for 2012 (from existing Unity funds) has been transferred to Cuba by way of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.  A budget is being drawn up and support will be requested from the Southern Province and the BWM for 2013.

Peru

–       The ministries in Lima and Chiclayo continue to grow and flourish with minimal outside support.  At present, these groups are:

  • The Cell Group in Mangomarca (Manuel and Carmen Verástegui)
  • The Cell Group in Mosha (Ana María Huáman, whose husband passed away in May)
  • The Kids of the Kingdom Street Ministry in Huáscar, under the leadership of Jemima Rojas, while her mother, Mariana Córdova, completes her theological studies in Costa Rica, thanks to a scholarship from the Unity Women’s Desk.
  • The Cruz de la Esperanza Cell Group in Chiclayo (Walter and Monica Calle)

–       A team from Friedberg Moravian, led by Sister Hilda Regalado and Antioch partner Luís Regalado, visited these ministries in August.  This visit had a positive impact on all who were involved.

–       2nd Mile projects for the area have been prioritized and need to be publicized.

–       The Unity of Brothers and Sisters in Peru is working on legal standing with government (Personería Jurídica) and has requested support for this process.

–       Action required: decisions on funding for 2013 (finding a way to support the work in a positive way without creating dependency or a maintenance mindset.  Sam Gray’s recommendation is that a “symbolic” amount be sent to each of the ministries.  This would allow them to expand the work and do more than they are able to do without the support.

–       As previously mentioned, Sister Mariana Córdova is completing her studies in Costa Rica (at the Latin American Biblical University) and so was able to represent Peru at the Spanish Resources Summit in September.

 

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