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Moravian Mission News

Compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany

Number 2015-09+10

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, 02.10.2015, Phone: +49 35873 487-26, E-Mail: a.tasche(at)ebu.de. English websites here.

Eastern West Indies – Patricia Morris a women’s rights activist


Patricia T. Morris from the Moravian Church in St. Croix (Eastern West Indies Province) has been an internationally known women’s rights activist. She is travelling through the whole world to argue for gender equality in front of leading personnel from politics and economy. Recently she was elected head of the renowned organization »Women Thrive Worldwide« based in Washington/DC. She understands herself as women’s lawyer who wants to bring to bear their voice all over the world and she calls her work a work of love that helps to remove poverty, violence and inequality. Besides her mother and grandmother she was essentially influenced by women from her hometown Moravian Church »Friedensberg«. More here. An interview here.

Eastern West Indies – Handbell-workshop on two islands


The newsletter of the Eastern West Indies Province from August 2015 reports on a first handbell-workshop which took place from the 14th to the 21stt of June 2015 on the Virgin Islands St. Thomas and St. Croix. St. Thomas is the island on which the first missionaries from Herrnhut, Leonhard Dober and David Nischman, landed in December of 1732 and started to work among plantation slaves. The workshop was held by Kathleen Ebeling-Shaw who is head of the »Westminster Choir College Concert Bell Choir« since 21 years. She knew exactly how to motivate and instruct the participants. On St. Thomas there have been handbell players before whereas the »Handbell Choir on St. Croix« was newly established.

Suriname - Pikin Poku Konmakandra 2015


Every year all 73 schools of the Moravian Church in Surinam meet for a Children’s music festival, called »Pikin Poku Konmakandra«. Organiser of this meetup is the »Stichting Onderwijs«, the School foundation of the Moravian Church in Suriname. This years’ festival took place in the »Anthony Nesty Sporthal« in Paramaribo and several hundred children attended it. It became an impressive talent show of children from the narrow shoreline as well as the broad interior land. The whole day was filled with traditional and modern music pieces and dances, all accompanied with applause from the spectators. Manifoldness and colourfulness of the costumes was also very impressive. Many pictures here.

French-Guyana – Exchange with Suriname


On the 26th/27th of July 2015 Lillian Callender, Grace Malm-Lackin and Hesdie Zamuël, three members of the Provincial Board of the Moravian Church in Suriname, attended a work-related dialogue in the neighbouring French-Guyana, a missionary territory of the Moravian Church. The council of elders from the church St. Laurent named the following urgent matters: Purchase of private land with a building for worships, advanced training for church staff especially for people who work with children and youth, a solution to the problem of transport for church members who live outside the city. Many children attended the gathering with sermon on the 26th of July. A book to register members was handed over to the church.

Palestine – Field trip beyond wall and barbed wire


In the week of the 24th to the 30th of August 2015, directly before the start of school and training, many children and young people from the »Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre« of the Moravian Church near Ramallah (Palestine), went on a field trip in the vicinity. Most of them never had the chance to see the area behind wall and barbed wire. The overall 50 people together with teir teachers were divided into two groups and visited Jerusalem, Tiberias, Tabgha, Accra and the beach of the Mediterranean Sea. They went on a tram and horse carriage, they went swimming and climbing, they visited famous Christian memorial places and amusement centres, they ate together and learned several new things.

Jamaica – Tourism versus bauxite mining


Is was made public that a bauxite mine is supposed to be established in the county Manchester on Jamaica. As a consequence the farmers in Mile Gully - many of them members of the Moravian Church - would lose their land. Mile Gully is a very special place. It emerged on top of the former coffee plantation »Maidstone« which was bought by the Moravian Church in 1840 to give land to liberated slaves. This is why Mile Gully is considered the first »Free village« in Jamaica. With help of the parliamentarian Mikael Phillips and available subsidies the attempt will be made to avoid the expropriation through a good tourism concept. A museum, a commemorative trail, a picnic site are examples for existing ideas. The newspapers in Jamaica reported on the project - see here and here.

Labrador – Restoration of the church in Hebron


Since a few years the Canadian government makes an effort to protect the indigenes’ heritage, among it the Inuit’s heritage. As part of a restoration project for the Labrador area the church of the Moravians in Hebron is currently being preserved. It was built in 1831 and listed as a protected monument in 1976. Due to the lack of wood in North Labrador the church hall was once built in Niesky (Germany) and then shipped as components to Labrador. On the 30st of August 2015 the radio station »Canadian Broadcasting Corporation« reported on the well advanced project which more and more turns into a tourist attraction. See here.The indigene population is deeply involved in the project.

Nicaragua – Miskitos and Mayangnas reach for weapons


The many years lasting conflict between indigenes in Northeast and East Nicaragua and invading Western settlers gets more intense. Miskitos and Mayangnas from 18 communities have started to arm themselves and to expel the armed settlers by force. There is talk of an »offensive against the invaders«. Over the last days there have been several casualties on both sides in the area of Li Aubra, at Rio Coco and in Waspam. Multiple politicians emphasise that all attempts to prompt the settlers to retreat have failed. The extensive cultivation of the great good »tropical rainforest« by the indigenes should not lead to the rainforest being perceived as no-mans-land that can be simply taken.

Honduras – Deacon ordinations


On the 21st of August 2015, which is the 283rd anniversary of the Moravian mission, several deacon ordinations took place in the Unity Province Honduras. The festive service was held in Bethel-Benck-Church in La Mosquitia. Among guests from the area was Judith Ganz, head of the North American »Board of World Mission« of the Moravian Church in Bethlehem/PA. Andrew Fields from the USA reported on the benedictory ceremony. He teaches at the »Instituto Biblico« of the Unity Province in Puerto Lempira and is involved in the training of future theologians. In Honduras there is not only a Unity Province but also a Mission Province of the Moravian Church. Both provinces together count about 45,000 members.

Honduras – New project to process drinkable water


The leadership of the Mission Province Honduras wants to start a project to process and provide drinkable water for health care at Costa Atlantica. The Moravian Mission Society Germany will support the project with donations and collections. Although there are water fountains in the villages the obtained water doesn’t meet drinking water standard, which frequently leads to diseases and fatalities. 2,000 families in Brus Laguna and 6,000 families in the area »Gracias a Dios« would benefit from processed drinking water. The government does little to address the problem of dirty water. Bottled water is too expensive for the mostly poor People in Eastern Honduras.

Tanzania – Introduction of new bishop in Tukuyu


On the 20th of September 2015 the newly elected bishop of the Moravian Church in Tanzania, Southern Province, Kenan Salim Panja, born in 1963, was inaugurated. He is married, has three children and comes from a non-Christian family background. The five hour service was held in the stadium in Tukuyu and was attended by about 1,000 church members, six choirs, five more bishops as well as other guests, among them the vice president of Tanzania, Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal. Bishop Volker Schulz (Basel) who contributed to the inauguration has sent pictures of the festive service with a sermon held by bishop Alinikisa Cheyo. The service was preceded by a bishop retreat managed by Volker Schulz. Kenan Salim Panja is the 358. bishop of the worldwide Moravian Church in their history. Pictures here and here.

Tanzania – School bus for »Herrnhuter Academy«


The »Herrnhuter Academy – Primary and Nursery School« of the Moravian Church in Zanzibar, which was opened 18 months ago, was able to purchase a private school bus with support from the Moravian Mission Society in Germany. Up until now the children had to be carried in a rented van. The school is located remote of the popular tourist places in the village Mwera and is still under development. Osia Siwelwe is the only pastor in the Moravian Church in Zanzibar and had initiated the school project. He sent a few photos of the initial operation of the new bus which cost about 15,000 Euros. They show that the first use of the bus was a celebration for the children. The motto of the school is: »Education is the key to success«.

Tanzania – New building for primary school in Zanzibar


Although the »Herrnhuter Academy – Primary and Nursery School« of the Moravian Church already exists in Mwera in Zanzibar (Tanzania), the school is in great need of new rooms. However, because the available land is short of space the new building won’t be a flat-roofed building, as it is standard in Tanzania, but a two- or three-story house. This way of architecture complicates the construction and increases its price but there is no alternative. Architectural drawings and a quotation in the amount of 190,000 Euros were submitted by Osiah Siwelwe, the responsible pastor, to the Moravian Mission Society Germany that wants to support the school. Daniel Neuer (Architect from Herrnhut) will travel to Zanzibar in November 2015.

Tanzania – Rotarians fund two new orphanages


The Moravian Church in Tanzania, Southwestern Province, has run an orphanage in Nsalaga for quite some time. Now two new orphanages in Ilindi and Chunya have been passed onto them. They are funded through donations from the »Rotary Club Ravensburg« and related clubs. In the new establishments volunteers under the management of women’s work care for about 250 orphans, i.e. they are provided with essentials and equipment for school and they receive medical care. They experience solidarity and prepare for life in a rapidly changing society. With more financial help from the Rotarians the centre in Ilindi is being transformed into a Vocational Training Center, so children can learn a profession after their school education.

Tanzania - Moravian bookshop in Sumbawanga


A Moravian bookshop has recently opened in Sumbawanga which is located in the underdeveloped Tanzanian Rukwa province. Bibles and hymnbooks are sold there in great quantities. Other Christian books and small gifts are in demand as well. With help from the »Brødremenighedens Danske Mission«, the mission organization of the Moravian Church in Denmark, the store is run by Sandra Bøytler and a local assistant. Furthermore they are starting a book table project in regional churches. Although prices for books in general as well as for bibles and Christian literature in particular have been increasing lately, turnover in Sumbawanga and its environs is satisfactory thanks to several advertisements.

Tanzania – Uhuru Moravian Parish held a press conference


The Uhuru Moravian Parish in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) commented on the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections on the 25th of October 2015. The newspaper »Daily News« reported on that. Wilbert Mwasumbi, pastor of the church, wishes for more political commitment. He appealed to the public to peruse the party programmes and said: »We demand new politics that isn’t guided by poll ratings but by the poor and weak’s well-being«. It is important to pray for elections and the new representatives. The church invited to a public event on the 27th of September 2015 in the Uhuru stadium. »Efatha«, the youth choir of the church, sang special songs for the elections. The choir’s demand is: »Integrity is what we need«.

Tanzania – Final stage for building works in Ifakara


On the 16th/17th of September 2015 Elke Dieterich from »Manager for people«, who is currently working as project consultant for the Moravian Mission Society Germany in Tanzania, visited the »Elisabth-Preiswerk-School«. The still being built up secondary school for girls is located on the outskirts of the city Ifakara with 50,000 citizens. Things that have to be done before registration and opening of the school and things that can wait until after were discussed with school founder pastor Erica Ludela and builders. At the moment important documents are still missing and there is much to be done on the building site. Elke Dieterich writes in her blog: »Together with my confidence and persistency and my Tanzanian colleagues’ creativity we will rock this school!«

Global – Unity Women’s Desk introduces fund


The »Unity Women’s Desk« has introduced a revolutionary credit fund in the American newspaper »The Moravian«. The fund is called »Gretta Gene and Irvin Leimbach Funds«, named after a married couple that has supported Moravian Mission generously. The resources in the fund are supposed to be beneficial for people from all unity provinces who want to start their own business but are seen as not credit-worthy by banks or have a too little demand for credit. Requirement for the disbursement of the fund is a consistent business plan and the commitment to pay ten percent of profits to the church. The first resources have been granted Tanzania (four projects), Zambia (four projects) and Honduras (two projects).

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

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