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Moravian Mission News

Compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany

Number 2016-03+04

Easter 2016


From around the world, the Moravian Mission Society in Germany received greetings for Easter 2016 in the last days: from Albania, Czech Republic, Latvia, the Netherlands, North India, South Africa, the USA, the West Indies, as well as the Delaware Indians in Canada. A card from Latvia shows in art classes painted Easter picture of Jazeps from the »Christian David School« near Madona. Also friends from all over Germany sent greetings and often words of thanks. Thank you so much!

Germany - Fair-Trade exhibition 2016


By now it has become a tradition that the Moravian Mission Society Germany participates in the convention »Fair handeln - International exhibition focusing on fair trade and globally responsible trade and activities« in Stuttgart. Recently the exhibition took place from 31st of March until 3rd of April 2016. At a booth shared with »Evangelical Mission in Solidarity« the Moravian Mission Society Germany will present several products from their »Moravian Merchandise«. Guests at this stand were Godfrey and Lesinda Cunningham from Elim (South Africa), to present Rooibos-products (teas and body care) that originate from Wupperthal (South Africa) and are bestsellers in the assortment of »Moravian Merchandise«.

Netherlands – Aart Schalkwyk is general secretary of ZZg


Since the 4th of February 2016 Age Kramer is no longer general secretary of »Zeister Zendingsgenootschap« (ZZg) in Zeist in the Netherlands. He took over this office on the 1st of December 2010. Aart Schalkwyk, who was already working at ZZg, has become his successor. Age Kramer will stay at ZZg and fill a newly created consulting position part-time. Additionally he will work as pastor of the Old Catholic Church in the Netherlands. On the 30st of January 2016 he was ordinated as a priest in St.-Agnes-Church in Egmond aan Zee and one week later he was introduced into the pastoral office in Den Helder. The Moravian Mission Society Germany wishes both brothers Gods blessing for their new duties. The Mission organizations in Europe want to work closely.

Tanzania – An encouraging story


Rachel Lwali, 63 years old, comes from Tabora in the Moravian Church in Tanzania, Western province. She recently participated in the »4. Unity Women's Consulation« in February 2016 in Surinam and shared her life experiences and successes with other women. After a divorce when she was still young she was left alone with five children. With help of the womens’ work of the Moravian Church and a small loan she managed to be economically successful. At first she was selling self-cooked rice with beans at a stall in front of her house. Then she extended her business and offered delicious food in the marketplace. With the achieved profit she was able to give her children a good education. Four of her children even studied at a university.

Tanzania – Exemplary partnership work in Mühlacker


Since more than 35 years a vibrant partnership exists between the Moravian Church in the Tanzania, South Western province, and the evangelic church district Mühlacker near Stuttgart. The newly designed websites of the church district inform on activities related to this partnership, which both sides profit from. Most recently a five-person delegation from Mühlacker stayed in Tanzania and explored new opportunities for cooperation (Highschool, hospital and orphanage in Matema, Teofilo-Kisanji-University in Mbeya, women groups). A mutual work project that lasted three weeks took place in January/February in support of the girls’ home at the vocational college in Mbeya. See wonderful pictures here.

Tanzania – Bettina Nasgowitz reports on her official trip


For the first time Bettina Nasgowiz, the new referent for projects and finances of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany, has visited projects, offices and churches of the Moravian Church in Tanzania (Eastern, South Western, Southern and Rukwa province). Fred Walch as well as Linda Hiller, the new manager of the fundraising-office in the Unity House in Bad Boll, accompanied her. Bettina Nasgowitz talks about this trip on three pages. They stopped in Dar es Salaam, Ifakara, Mbeya, Kakosi, Ibaba, Isoko, Rungwe, Matema and Zanzibar. Her report shows how hard the Moravian Church in Tanzania is trying to take the initiative in numerous area and to start up the projects. It also shows how they struggle to pursue them in a sustained manner and to finance them especially. 

Palestine – Gift-set for Mother‘s Day


In the vocational training centre of the »Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre« of the worldwide Moravian Church in Palestine dozens of gift-sets were wrapped artfully over the last days. They contain products that were produced by the people with disabilities who work at the Star Mountain. They are meant to be sold in the surroundings of the Star Mountain as a surprise for upcoming Mother’s Day. Many Mothers from near and far will certainly appreciate purest mountain honey, scented olive soap, premium decorative wax candles and popular Palestinian embroidering. On the Facebook page of the Star Mountain the unique gift-sets are open for purchase for a broader range of customers.

Palestine – Many new training courses


Several young people with disabilities, who are recorded in the ambulant village program (Community Work Program) of the »Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre« of the worldwide Moravian Church in Palestine, now receive a three-month training in cooperation with »Rozana Association« in the nearby city Birzeit. Abilities and skills concerning the designing of mosaics as well as the proper usage of medical herbs will be taught. Beyond that the village program of the Star Mountain currently maintains five support groups in Kober, Birzeit, Al-Jalazoun, Al-Mazaraah and Al-Qibaliya, who address the art of glas painting. The village program is the biggest program of the rehabilitation centre.

Palestine/South Africa - Exchange of experiences


In 2015 the management team of the »Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre« of the worldwide Moravian Church had visited the »Elim Home«, a similar institution of the Moravian Church in South Africa, now Godfrey and Lesinda Cunningham were guests in Palestine. The first is a Moravian pastor in Elim, the last is the head of the »Elim Home«. The Moravian Mission Society in Germany supports this exchange of experiencees which brings both institutions ahead, although they are located in very different contexts. In the period from 19th to 30th March 2016 they not only worked and discussed together, they also celebrated and explored the surrounding area. Excursions led to the historic sites in Aboud, Jericho, Nablus, Qalqilya, Jenin and Bethlehem.

Albania – First fruits of the third generation


Easter is a big celebration in the Moravian Church in Albania. Members of all groups and every age come together for one day. Even the youngest member of the Moravian Church attended this occasion: Zaira Fortuzi. Zaira was baptized a few days ago by Jørgen Bøytler, the pastor of the Moravian Church in Albania who operates from Denmark and also functions as Unity Business Administrator. Zaira is a special child. She is the »First fruit« of the Moravian Church in Albania of the third generation. Her grandmother Viola Grillo (right) was one of the first members who built the Moravian Church. Her mother Dena Grillo-Fortuzi fills responsible positions for the church since many years. Pictures of Easter 2016 in Albania are available here.

Suriname – Three baptisms in Coropinakreek


Baptisms in natural waters with complete submersion aren’t a common thing in the Moravian Church in Suriname. However three new members of the Hindustani oriented Moravian Church in Soesamatjaar requested this special ritual while retaining the Herrnhut baptism liturgy. The event took place on the 13th of March 2016. Three sisters together with the pastor Ferdinand Lachman stepped in river Coropinakreek near Beerseba (former plantation »La Prosperité«) and received new names after their baptisms. Church members as well as relatives were gathered along the shore and took part in the ceremony. Two videos of the event can be watched at the website of the city mission in Paramaribo - see here.

Suriname – Bad accommodations don’t attract good teachers


Altogether there are more than 70 schools of the Moravian Church in Suriname, many of them are located in the economically underdeveloped inner land. To make these schools more attractive for good teachers modern accommodations are built. In several cities flats could already be renovated or newly built over the last years, not in Klaaskreek (district Brokopondo) though. The accommodations for teachers there don’t meet present requirements anymore. This is why »Zeister Zendingsgenootschap«, the Dutch sister organization of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany, wants to help the Moravian Church in Suriname to renovate these houses during this year. 5000 Euros are being estimated per house.

Cuba – Moravian Church wants to offer more services


The members of the Moravian Church in Cuba are eager to learn about and acquire the rich heritage of the Moravian Church in an appropriate way. Joe Jarvis was reporting on this in »Onward« (issue 02-2016) of the US-American South province - see hier. The learning of our Cuban brothers and sisters is not only of an intellectual manner. They also learn to take on social responsibilities, as the Moravian Church does worldwide. This is why they want to build a home for people with disabilities, who currently live under very bad conditions, in Jaguey Grande. The North American »Armando Rusindo Mission Foundation« is supporting their project. Furthermore a children’s home »Johann Amos Comenius« in Havana and several agricultural projects are planned.

Cuba – Prospects for poor children


Since a few years the small but active »Iglesia Morava en Cuba« offers every week a meeting including a meal for 20 to 40 children from the poor district of Havana. The helpers tell stories from the Bible, talk with the children about current topics and try to teach them Christian values. So far the meetings were held open-air in a church members’ backyard, which isn’t always ideal. But a solution as found: Thanks to a grant of »Zeister Zendingsgenootschap«, the Dutch sister organization of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany, and of other donors the church was able to purchase a building for their children and youth work. It was cheap but in need of renovation. The church members are going to take care of this themselves.

Nicaragua – Evacuation drill in Bluefields


Like almost all of Middle America Nicaragua is prone to earthquakes. Reasons for the seismic activities lie in the Pacific Ocean. There the Cocos Plate slips under the Caribbean Plate. The last big earthquakes in Nicaragua happened in 1972 and 1992. To be prepared in case of a catastrophe an evacuation drill took place on the 14th of February 2016 at »Colegio Moravo«, the secondary school of the Moravian Church in Bluefields. Within three minutes it was possible to evacuate the whole school building and to bring the more than 500 students to a safe place. Following the drill experts taught students and teachers correct behavior for earthquakes and consequential damages by experts.

Latvia – School life from the perspective of children


Staff of the association »Lettlandhilfe e.V.«, which also supports »Christian-David-School« near Madona, thought of something special for their spring newsletter 2016. Instead of teachers reporting on the news concerning school and boarding school, children talk about their experiences in the past months. This way the colorful happenings become visible in a new way. The children from year 5 to 7 already have learned how to express themselves in German. The teachers only put the final touches on the children’s texts. Daniels, Anrejs, Maris and Katrina addressed pet-breeding, construction of a barn, a school drama club performance an a regional music competition.

Several short news

In a board meeting on the 18th of March 2016 Fred Walch, referent for projects and finances of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany, left his office after 14 successful years. He had already introduced his successor Bettina Nasgowitz. + + + Thanks to a lot of voluntary commitment »mittendrin«, a second-hand shop of the Moravian Church in Königsfeld (Germany), has gain a profit of 25,370 Euros in 2015, which went to missionary work entirely. Already in past years similar amounts could benefit the Moravian Mission Society in Germany. + + + In the North American »Moravian Magazine« (issue 01/02-2016) a long, fundamental article on »The Ground of the Unity« can be found - see here.

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