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Moravian Mission News

Compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany

Number 2015-05

Here is the next edition of »Moravian Mission News« compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany. - God bless our Moravian Church. "Our lamb has conquered, let us follow him!" - Andreas Tasche, Herrnhut, 12.05.2015, Phone: +49 35873 487-26, E-Mail: a.tasche(at) English websites here.

Nepal - The Moravian Church is affected by the earthquake

On the 25th of April 2015 an earthquake hit Nepal with thousands of dead and bad destruction. The Moravian Churches in Kathmandu and Khokana have been affected too. Nagendra and Shanti Pradhan, the church leaders, report that no one in the families and in the congregations was hurt. The houses of eight families were destructed. The church buildings are currently unusable. All people had to live outdoors for several days. By now clearing and building up has begun. Mission Societies in Europe and North America and the »Moravian Church Foundation« gave emergency aids in the amount of 25.000 Euros. As soon as they know how well the local Moravian Church is able to give support, they will help more. Donations are welcome. Read more here. Some Pictures here and here.

Tanzania – A fence protects seedlings in Sumbawanga

»What is the point in having 67.500 tree seedlings, which have been planted in Sumbawanga in the Rukwa province in Tanzania on 20 hectare land, if hungry animals come in this area and eat them?« This is what people who are responsible for reafforestation and work with Nebort Sikazwe, head of the provincial board, asked themselves. And they asked the Moravian Mission Society in Germany for money to build a wire fence to enclose the area. Now the fence has been built over several days and the seedlings are protected now. Soon a little house is meant to be added where a guard will watch over the big planting area that is supposed to be vastly enlarged. 10.000 Euros were provided for fence and guard house. Many people in Germany have donated money to this successful ecological project after receiving a special mailing.

Star Mountain – Palm Sunday celebration at Easter

While Christians in Europe celebrated Easter, staff and members of the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center of the worldwide Moravian Church near Ramallah (Palestine) still celebrated Palm Sunday. The reason is the following: the date of Easter according to the Julian calendar which is valid in many places in the Middle East is one week later than according to the Gregorian calendar. The buildings on the Star Mountain were decorated with palm trees and pre-Easter ornaments. On the 6th of April 2015 a ceremony with singing, dancing and talking was held in the vocational training centre. Eating cake, eggs and chocolate topped the event off. On the 9th of April 2015 Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center has celebrated Easter with Rev. Imad Haddad from the Lutheren Church in Ramallah and with guests from Germany.

Albania – A joint celebration of Easter

Traditionally the different groups of the Moravian Church in Albania celebrate Easter together in the capital Tirana. This Easter 160 people – children, young people and adults – from Tirana, Bathore, Elbasan, Burrel and Pogradec came to the community centre. A short report says: »The first part of our gathering was a church service and prayer time. The second part was open for greetings. We listened to reports and watched sketches that every group had prepared for this day. We were glad to feel how the Holy Spirit works in us and through our work. We want to take this opportunity to say thank you for all support in thought, prayers and actions.« Overall, about 1,000 people visit the different meetings of Moravian Church in Albania; most of them are female.

Albania – Seminar on the topic "covenant”

Under conduct of Klas Lindberg from the Moravians Society in Stockholm another seminar for present and soon-to-be youth group leaders took place in the community centre of the Moravian Church in Tirana (Albania) on the 24th and 25th of April 2015. The Moravian Church in Albania mainly consists of children and young people and needs many volunteers for the regular meetings as well as for the special church events. The seminar was on the topic “covenant”. On the one hand it covered the alliance between people and God, on the other hand God’s old and new covenant and a third topic was marriage covenant. Interesting discussions developed with and amongst the young people about biblical-theological and ethical questions. A cheerful service in Tirana with the local church members was included in the seminar.

Latvia – New minivan for Christian-David-School

The German association »Lettlandhilfe e. V.« that supports »Christian-David-School« near Madona in Latvia has established a new website and is present on Facebook. Furthermore the association published another newsletter in which the head of school Astrida Vavere reviews school life over the last few months. Members of the association, which is located in Schönebeck (Elbe), headed off to Latvia in a truck on the 29th of April 2015. Beforehand the truck was loaded with a lot of good furniture for classrooms and boarding homes and with other useful things.. In January 2015 the association was able to provide the school with a welder unit and a pre-owned Mercedes minivan. In the 18th and 19th century there were about 100 Moravian meeting places in Latvia. After the long communist era the Moravian church is now rebuilt.

Star Mountain – Carwash training

A new training scheme for young people with mental disabilities started in front of the new Vocational Training Centre on the Star Mountain (Palestine) on the 7th of April 2015. Cars were parked there to be cleaned by the young people from the inside and outside under professional instructions. Of course the boys enjoyed this task and were interested in doing it particularly. Consistently staff at the rehabilitation centre of the worldwide Moravian Church are looking for activities that enable young people to take a share in the family income after they finished their training and that occupy their time in a meaningful way. Young people with disabilities in Palestine still have only a few chances to develop. The support of the worldwide Moravian Church is still required because most of the young people come from poor families.

Star Mountain – Exhibition of artwork

In the inner-city of Bir Zeit, a Palestinian town north of Ramallah and the home to the Birzeit University, an exhibition of artwork took place in April 2015. The exhibited pieces were created in the painting therapy which is held at the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre of the worldwide Moravian Church near Ramallah (Palestine). Friends of the centre as well as celebrities from near and far were invited to attend the exhibition. Visitors were amazed and surprised by the beauty of art. The painting therapy plays an important role in the support programme at the Star Mountain. Children and young people with disabilities are often able to express through art what they can't communicate otherwise. At art competitions within the country and abroad the children and young people from Star Mountain have won several prizes in the past.

Jamaica – Devon Anglin was elected bishop

The 74th synod of the Moravian Church in Jamaica which was held in Bethlehem/JAM has elected pastor Devon Anglin, born on the 15th of June 1962, bishop of the Moravian Church. He is only the third bishop that comes from Jamaica. Until now Devon Anglin was working as a pastor in the church Salem in Westmoreland. Before that he studied theology at the »United Theological College of the West Indies« in Kingston (Jamaica), which is supported by the Moravian Church in Jamaica. He also completed studies in education in Bethlehem/PA. Furthermore the synod elected a church leadership of seven people of which Paul Gardner is part as a re-elected chairman of the provincial board. In Jamaica, the mission work of the Moravian Church began in 1754. Here the Unity Synod to be held in 2016.

South Africa – Jan-Hus Exhibition open

The Czech embassy in South Africa points out in a press release (see here) that an exhibition on Jan Hus’ life, achievements and work is soon to be opened in several places in the country. Jan Hus was a Czech reformer and lived between 1369 and 1415. The exhibition was established in cooperation of the Moravian Church in South Africa with the theological faculty of the University of Pretoria. From the 28th of April to the 22nd of May 2015 the exhibition will travel from Cape Town via Pretoria and Genadendal to Port Elizabeth. Occasion of the exhibition is the 600. anniversary of Jan Hus’ martyrdom on the 6th of July 1415 in Konstanz, South Germany. The press release also acknowledged the important work of the Moravian Mission in South Africa.

South Africa - Hope for AIDS orphans

A child-headed-household is quite common in South Africa, a country which counts about one million AIDS orphans. Mandisa Gxolo, a care worker of the »Masangane HIV and AIDS Project« of the Moravian Church, is supporting such households with money from Germany. In one of those families six children are living together, crowded into a small two-room prefab, with no running water and no electricity. When their mothers and two sisters died in 2010, five children were left behind completely on their own. The oldest girl of this child-headed-household just gave birth to her first child. The family lives from the child grants. Mandisa Gxolo looks for ways to improve the living conditions of the family. Many of the care workers of the project are HIV-positive themselves and yet they show that it can be possible to live a normal life.

Suriname – Various messages

Because many voluntary organists have to lay down their work on account of their age, a training course for new church musicians is meant to be started soon. + + + All churches in Suriname are called to support renovation of the Salem Church in Coronie. A beginning to various fundraising campaigns was a sale of coconut products on the 15th of March 2015 in the large wooden town church of Paramaribo, the »Mother church«. + + + During February 2015 graduates of the Theological Seminar in Paramaribo had to defend their examination papers. Some of the topics were: »A comparison of interpretation of the bible by Martin Luther and Johannes Calvin«, »New ways to support the homeless people«, »The role of the Police Chaplaincy in Suriname«.

Nicaragua – Last chance to save the rain forest

The Nicaraguan daily newspaper »El Nuevo Diario« once again pointed out that little time is left to save the rain forest in Central America. If deforestation and settlement continue to the same extent, the forest may be gone in 20 years’ time. 1987 it covered an area of 580.000 ha. Over the last decade its’ size decreased by 280.000 ha. Recently about 42.000 ha were lost per year due to direct and indirect human influence. The »UN Bosawas Biosphere Reserve« is in danger to lose its status if the forest won’t be protected better in future. 20.000 Mayangnas and Miskitos live in the forest. Many of them are members of the Moravian Church and cultivate and therefor preserve the forest extensively. The indigenous people are driven out of the jungle by settlers more and more.

USA - Money for digitization of mission records

A federal grant to an archive in Pennsylvania could have a huge impact for Virgin Islands historians. The Moravian Archives in Bethlehem/PA, has received a US-Dollar 37,982 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conserve and digitize 120 linear feet of archival records documenting Moravian mission work in the Caribbean. The Moravian Archives primarily documents Moravian church activity in North America, South America and the Caribbean. Moravian records span more than 280 years of life in St. Thomas and St. John. The Moravian missionaries recorded information about the slaves, sometimes indicating which tribe or which part of Africa they were from, and their original names, information critical for people researching their own family histories. Documents include baptism, marriage and death records, but also diaries and letters. Read more here.

Germany – Charity run for education in Africa in Herrnhut

This year’s charity run of the »Evangelisches Zinzendorf-Gymnasium Herrnhut«, a Moravian secondary school, was held on the 16th of April 2015 as a beneficial event for education in Africa. 325 pupils as well as some teachers participated. Other pupils took care of catering and secured the route. It was more than 1,1 km long and went from the entrance of the open-air swimming pool in the forest alongside the old sports field and back to the swimming pool. The best children and young people managed to run more than twelve rounds within one hour. Rev. Revocatus Meza from Tanzania who is currently studying in Leipzig (Germany), gave the starting signal. The proceeds came to 8.000 Euros and will benefit two educational projects of the Moravian Church in Tanzania. The school in Herrnhut has a special mission profile.

Germany – Shop "mittendrin" transferred 42.250 Euros

During a visit in Königsfeld (South Germany) Raimund Hertzsch, chairman of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany, met the men and women who work devotedly as volunteers in the store »mittendrin« in the center of the village. The store sells second-hand goods and has become a popular meeting point in Königsfeld for residents and guests. It exists since May 2013 and is sponsored by the Moravian Church in Königsfeld. Raimund Hertzsch thanked for the unbelievable amount of 42.250 Euros which was transferred to the Moravian Mission in Society in Germany over the years. It was agreed upon that in future the store will collect money for varying concrete mission projects as well as for permanently current expenses.

Herrnhuter Missionshilfe
Zittauer Straße 20 · 02747 Herrnhut · Deutschland
Telefon: +49 (0) 35873 487-0 · E-Mail:
Inhaltlich Verantwortlicher gemäß § 55 Abs. 2 RStV ist Andreas Tasche.

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