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Moravian Mission News

Compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany

Number 2016-01

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, 25.01.2016, Phone: +49 35873 487-26, E-Mail: a.tasche(at)ebu.de. English websites here.

Information of the Unity Business Administrator


The Tortola Fellowship of the Moravian Church (Eastern West Indies) is truly humbled to be designated as the recipient of the 2016 Unity Offering. The funds will provide much needed financial assistance towards construction efforts (photo) as well as to support the implementation of proposed activities, programs and events for 2016 and beyond. More here. + + The Moravian Church in Germany has drawn a watchword for the year 2016 for each province of the Moravian Church - list here. + + + The next Unity Synod (43rd Synod of the Old Unitas Fratrum and the 27th Synod of the Re-newed Church) is scheduled to be on August 12th to 9th, 2016. It is now decided that the venue of the Synod is the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Rose Hall, Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica.

Alaska – More room for preaching the gospel


Edward Dehnert, head of the Theological Seminar of the Moravian Church in Bethel (Alaska), pointed out a short video (download here) that talks about the difficult conditions and hardships in the rural areas of Alaska, as well as the challenges in mission and the recent expansion of the seminar. The video was produced by the aid organisation “Samaritan’s Purse”, which supported the construction project that involved many volunteers. It demonstrates the essential improvement of conditions of studying and living. But still not everybody who wishes to receive education or further training can be admitted. A letters (download here) tells of the plans for the future and the need for assistance regarding the seminar.

Albania – The growth of the Moravian Church in Bathore


Haxhi Murati, founder and manager of the work within the Moravian Church in Bathore, which is a poor district in Tirana (Albania) with a population of about 90.000 people, drafted a letter at Christmas (download here) that tells about himself and his work and that asks for support for the indigent children and teenagers he is looking after. The former primary school teacher, well builder and father of four is looking for sustainable help in particular. At the end of his letter he says: “It’s not enough to give the young people fish to eat, we also need to teach them how to catch fish.” Haxhi Murati often akes his own home available for church acitivities. His daughter Etmonda assists him in this. Many events still take place in rented rooms.

Albania - Big joy in Elbasan


Sunday, January 17th, 2016, was a day of big joy in the Moravian Church in Elbasan, located in the center of Albania. The gathered men, women and children first time used their new rooms after a time of modernization. The Moravian Mission Society in Germany helped to raise money for the house and for the reconstraction. Elona Mandro, Assistant to the Board, sent photos (download here) from the new rooms and the new equipment. She thanks all donors at home and abroad. On the weekends the worships and the group meetings will take place in the new rooms. From Monday to Friday here are working Irena Xhaferi, a psychologist, and Majlinda Muca, a social worker of the church and offer their help.

Cuba – Feeding of people at New Year’s Eve in Jaguey Grande


In her most recent newsletter (Download here) Judith Ganz, head of “Board of World Mission” of the North American unitiy provinces, talks about New Year’s Eve in Jaguey Grande, where a little Moravian Church is located. The sisters participated in a charitable oecumenical initiative of the four churches in town. They got up early to cook a delicious meal which afterwards was distributed to each 25 to 40 poor people. After their return the sisters prepared the same meal for themselves and ate it with their families for dinner. Obed Martinez, pastor of the church, says: “We were happy when we returned home, because many poor people in our city were able to eat the same meal as us." In Havanna they have weekly gatherings in a poorer area for around 70 disadvantaged children. 

Cuba – Big meet up of sisters in Havanna


Fifty women from Moravian Churches in Havanna, Matanzas, Camagüey and Holguin met up between the 10th and 12th of December 2015 in Havanna in ordner to pray, to learn and to exchange experience. Virginia Tobiassen and Judith Ganz were guests from the USA. Workshops were meant for discussing problems that concern the sisters in Cuba. Since the sisters are active throughout the country the meeting was also supposed to establish connections. Helping people in need is always a topic. Tania Sanchez and Alay Gonzalez Rosado hope to be the first women to be ordinated in Cuba. Prayers are requested for Craig Atwood, Riddick Weber, Samual Gray and Thomas Baucom. They want to offer church seminars in Cuba in January 2016.

Nicaragua – More and more Miskitos flee to Honduras


As of late an increasing number of Miskitos, who were native to East Nicaragua, most of them members of the Moravian Church, flee via the border river Rio Coco (photo) to adjacent Honduras, where they are safe. Recently it was about 100 to 150 people a day, especially women, children and seniors. Reasons for the escape is the land grab by Western colonists and resulting violence, but also hunger, social rejection and insufficient protection from the government. Four children have already died of malnutrition. The government in Honduras is trying to help the refugees with welfare programmes. Norwin Goff, a leader of the Miskitos, said during a phone call from Honduras: “We would have never thought to lose our homeland in 2015”.

North India – Movie star as a guest of the Moravian Institute


The 7th of December 2015 was a special day for many students at the “Moravian Institute” in Rajpur (North India, near Dehradum). Together with the TV broadcaster “Zee TV” Diya Mirza, a famous Indian actress, visited the school campus. The actress is working in Bollywood and was awarded the title “Miss Asia Pacific” a few years back. One student writes: “What an unbelievable day! I saw Diya Mirza! She even gave me a hug. I would have never dreamed that. A schoolmate and I were even allowed to interview her. I am the happiest person alive.” There is a short video of the assembly in honour of the prominent guest (download here). Almost 400 boys and girls from many nations are living and learning together in Rajpur.

Palestine – Four days of further education for Star Mountain


Advanced education for the 40 staff members is of great importance to the management team of the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre of the worldwide Moravian Church near Ramallah (Palestine). Whenever daily routine allows it they offer courses, mostly with external referents. Four topics were covered from between the 11th and 14th of January 2016: protection of children and youths from attacks and abuse, safety of children and youths in their everyday life, the crafting techniquie "Origami" and good public relations work associated to own activities. Professionals as well as assistants appreciated the offered courses. The big hall in the Vocational Training Centre is a good facility for events of further education.

South Africa – Return from a trip to twin town Bethseda


A group from the Moravian Church in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) has recently returned from a journey to Bethseda (South Africa, Eastern Cape province), their twin town. A first report says: “The trip was simply overwhelming. The local twin committee worked and organized so much for our visit. Living with several families in their private homes in groups of two or four was great. Furthermore we visited all branch churches that welcomed us dearly. Also we were able to get an idea of some important projects and establishments as well as the beautiful landscape.” During the second part of their journey the group met up with Cathy and Eckhard Buchholz in Port Shepstone, who previously worked in Germany.

South Africa - New hope in Matatile


On his trip to the Moravian Church in South Africa, in the end of 2015 Riley Edwards-Raudonat, Africa Liaison Secretary of the German "Evangelical Mission in Solidarity", met again a child-headed-household he visited a year ago in Matatile (Eastern Cape region). The adults who had originally lived in this household, died 2010 due to AIDS. During the six minors in November 2014 still lived in miserable conditions (two rooms with no water and with no electricity, no school), their situation had now improved considerably thanks to the program "Masangane". Now the unusual family lives in a four-room apartment, gets some state support and has new hope. The school-age children go to school with zeal. Read more here.

Surinam – Video about work at four primary schools


A short video (download here) about the work of ten Dutch teachers at four primary schools of the Moravian Church in Suriname during October 2015 was published on the homepage of “Zeister Zendingsgenootschap”, the Dutch sister organization of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany. Furthermore there are three articles with photos available, written by Ciska de Graaff for the magazine “Christian Teacher Union in the Netherlands” about her time in Surinam. One heading says “The secret of educational success at the coast: setting a good example”. Rijnolda Mavis Botho-Anini, head of "Leonard Leitzel School" in Pelgrimkondre says: "If you show respect and kindsness towards the children, they will give that back to you".

Tanzania and Malawi – Back from a job related visit


Recently Raimund Hertzsch, chairman of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany, and Fred Walch have returned from a visit in Tanzania and Malawi. The trip was filled with meeting church leaders and members in Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Ifakara, Iringa as well in South Western Tanzania, but also in churches in Malawi and the refugee camp “Dzaleka”. The aim of the visit was to figure out which projects need further support (“Herrnhuter Academy - Primery and Nursery School” in Zanzibar, “Elisabeth-Preiswerk-School” - for girls only - in Ifakara, Isoko Hospital) and which projects can be newly started. Everyone was happy about the visit and a big interest in more contact to Germany and the worldwide Moravian Church was noticeable. 

Germany – Refugees experience New Year’s Eve in Herrnhut


22 refugees from six countries (Afganistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Eritres, Somalia, Kosovo), among them three women and three children, spent their New Year’s Eve 2015/2016 in the guest house “Komenský” in Herrnhut - pictures here. The stay was financed through donations. Some of the mostly young people have been living in several refugee camps for quite some time. Every day two events were being offered: a guided tour through the city including a visit of “Moravian Star Manufactory”; board games, sports in the gym of the Zinzendorf-Gymnasiums and table tennis; trips to the dry toboggan run in Oderwitz and to the the butterfly house in Jonsdorf with a bus journey through the Zittau Mountains, trips to the ethnolocial museum and a model railway exhibition.

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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