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Moravian Mission News

Compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany

Number 2015-08

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, 25.08.2015, Phone: +49 35873 487-26, E-Mail: a.tasche(at) English websites here.

Eastern West Indies - Synod on Antigua elects new bishop

On the 13th of July 2015 Conrad Spencer was elected bishop of the worldwide Moravian Church at the 31st synod of the Eastern West Indies Province. He is married, has three children and was ordinated 33 years ago. Until recently he worked in the “Faith Moravian Church” on the island St. Crox. The church leadership calls for prayers for the new bishop - see here. The episcopal consecration is going to take place in the “Spring Gardens Moravian Church” in Antigua on the 22nd of November 2015. Cortroy Jarvis was reelected chairman of the province, his deputy is Errol Connor. Winelle Kirton-Roberts is general secretary. More here. During the synod there was an extensive commemoration of Jan Hus’ martyrdom 600 years ago - see here. A video recording of the two hour ceremony can be watch online - here.

Nepal - Three months since the earthquake in Kathmandu

A new report from Kathmandu (Nepal), which was destroyed by an earthquake on the 25th of April 2015, is available - see here. They are far from having a normal daily routine. Tidying, removing debris and rebuilding is still going on. People are still ill and traumatised. The reality of life has changed through the sudden catastrophe. Although the preschool of the Moravian Church still shows some static problems it has been reopened. The construction of a temporary church in Khokona next to a rice field is well advanced. The church is already being used for assemblies every Saturday. Building houses is necessary for individual families, but having a church space with greater capacity is vital to provide shelter and support for the community, especially during difficult times.

Tanzania - Two special services in Tukuyu

Two special services took place in Tukuyu in the Moravian Church in Tanzania, Southern Province. First all church members as well as many guests from the whole province were invited to the festive retirement of Bishop Lusekelo B. Mwakafwila and Clement J. Mwaitebele on the 9th of August 2015. Both of them have recently resigned their active work. Furthermore there was a special partnership service on the 16th of August 2015. It has been celebrated by the Moravian Church Tukuyu and a church group from Ulm (Southern Germany), led by Eckhard Hauff and Walter and Brigitte Süß. The partnership between those two churches is very close and exists since more than 34 years including many reciprocal visits.

Tanzania - HIV/Aids-seminar in Mbeya with 45 attendees

Recently a seminar that promoted the church in its battle against HIV/Aids took place in the Moravian Church in Tanzania, Southwest Province. 45 men and women gathered in Mbeya in a hostel. The seminar was mainly aimed at managing staff who should learn to prevent or stem the spread of HIV/Aids at the working place with targeted measures. They concluded that at communal as well as churchly level there still isn’t enough being done to beat HIV/Aids and to provide necessary help for affected people. Isabela Kaonga, HIV/Aids-coordinator of the province, composed a short report with pictures about the seminar - see here. The National Health Strategy encourages the churches to do more against HIV/Aids.

Tanzania - School in Tanzania: success and problems

Since 2005 approximately 3,500 new secondary schools came into being. Still there are many classrooms without windows, doors and benches. On average three students have to share one textbook. The government estimated the deficit of teachers at 43,441. On average there are 45 students per teacher. 16% of the young people are analphabetic. Altogether 14 Mill. People can’t read and write. Many schools are lacking money because money from the state is distributed partially and with delay via district administrations. The newspaper “Daily News” reported on a mother of three who attends the same primary school as her children. She joined in year 5 and is only one year ahead of her oldest daughter.

Palestine - Sternberg recieved gold and silver at the SO

Almost 7,000 athletes from 165 countries competed in 25 sports at the “Special Olympics World Games” in Los Angeles in the big “Memorial Coliseum” from the 25th of July to the 2nd of August 2015. Like in previous years two young people from the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre of the worldwide Moravian Church were part of the ten-person team from Palestine. Amid loud applause of their friends and caretakers they received medals: Jane Awwad won silver with 3.93 meters in women’s shot put and Halimeh Ladadweh won gold with 1.84 meters in women’s broad jump. The athletes also competed in other disciplines. Congratulations! More pictures here. The Palestinian results here.

Nicaragua - Landgrabbing endangers diet of indigenes

Landgrabbing in the regions of the Miskitos and Mayangnas in Northeast Nicaragua by Western settlers has increased to a point where the coverage of the indigenes’ diet is endangered. Repeatedly violent conflicts happened between indigenes and strangers, recently with 21 casualties. The situation in the regions of Wanky Twi, in Waspam and in Tasba Raya is especially tense. By now 200 families with 800 people settled down in the area of Musawas with the Moravian community Bethlehem. More and more indigenes can’t till their fields and forests anymore, is emphasizes by Brooklyn Rivera, president of the commission for issues of the indigenes. Newspaper report here. Photo: a house of invading settlers.

Great Britain - Missionary donations by youth groups

Now we know the final outcome of missionary donations by youth groups of the British Province. Young people from 16 Moravian Churches were engaged in it. Altogether 9,410 Pounds (13,082 Euros) were collected. Donations are supposed to support the following projects: Purchase of a school bus for the school in Khalatse (Ladakh, North India); Purchase of motor bikes for the church work in Tanzania (Western province); Purchase of water filter boxes (primitive equipment to prepare drinkable water) for several schools and private households. Collecting donations in the youth groups of the British unity province happens as a competition. The best collectors are honoured by the church leadership every year.

Suriname and South Africa - Better living conditions

Three out of about 60 projects supported by “Zeister Zendingsgenootschap”, the Dutch sister organization of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany, will be presented in the following: Laptops are now available in Pelgrimkondre, a village in the Surinamese rainforest which is provided with power by a diesel generator. This way the local school of the Moravian Church can prepare children better for their future life. + + Tyrone Hitzeroth, director of a brass band in the Moravian Church in South Africa, rescues young people from a social decline with brass instrument lessons. Joining brass choirs then leads them to church. + + Young, pregnant girls in Surinam receive support at home so they can complete their school education. It is no rarity that a 22 year old has four children.

Russia - Former missionary base Sarepta turns 250

August 1765: the first missionaries from Herrnhut arrive in the steppe between Volga and Sarpa and settle down near Tsaritsyn – later Stalingrad, now Volgograd. Because other mission plans didn’t work out, they started to work with the nomadic Kalmyks with hardly any success. Not only agriculture but also trade prospered in the soon established community Sarepta which was laid out like a German Moravian Church. Their mustard production got famous. You can still buy mustard of the brand “Sarepta”. The community was abolished in 1892 and became part of Stalingrad as a German Lutheran church. After deportation of the Germans the church hall remained undamaged during the fight for Stalingrad.

Labrador - Abraham is waiting for his funeral since 130 years

A sad story that affects the Moravian mission history marginally comes from the “Inukitut Magazine”. In 2009 the Inuit elder Johannes Lampe came across the skulls and skeletons of five Inuit from Labrador in the Museum of Natural Science in Paris. Together with some fellow countrymen they had been recruited by the German Circus "Hagenbeck" to be exhibited at ethnological shows in Europe. Almost all of them died soon, among them four Inuit who were baptist by missionaries from Herrnhut: Abraham (35), who had worked in the mission store in Hebron/Labrador, his wife Ulrika (24) and their children Sara (3) and Mary (1). It wasn’t known that the Inuit had not been buried but transferred to the museum. Canada is now negotiates with France about their return. More here.

Global - Agreement on new development goals until 2030

On the 22nd of August 2015 the United Nations have agreed upon new developmental goals until 2030. From the 1st of January 2016 on these targets are supposed to replace the so called “Millenium Developmental Goals” from 2000 which were mainly failed. To achieve the 17 goals a sum of 2,5 billion US-Dollar has to be raised by governments, charitable organisations and private economy from then on. The first goal is the eradication of poverty “in all forms and everywhere in this world”. About one million people worldwide are affected by poverty and have to live with less than 1.15 Euro a day. Most of them live in Africa and Asia. Also terminating starvation and a free primary education for everybody are part of the goals.

Several short news

89 attendees and six staff members, three of them from Sweden, came together for the summer camp of the Moravian Church in Albania mid of July 2015. The camp was under the motto “Lord, bring us together”. Some events were held with the entire group, others happened in smaller groups for children, teenager, youths and young adults. See a report with pictures here. +++ The Moravian Church in Latvia has a new web presence. It is aimed at children and young people and contains resources for the work with children and young people: +++ In august 2015 Elke Dietrich from the agency “Manager for People” will travel to Tanzania for three months to evaluate two projects by the Moravian Church: the orphan project in Dar es Salaam and the construction of the new secondary school for girls in Ifakara. + + + Due to construction in 1956 built "Basseterre High School" on the island of St. Kitts the tuition for some classes until January 4, 2016 can not take place in the familiar rooms. A school class is therefore recently moved into premises of "Zion Moravian Church". + + + On August 25th, 2015, the birthday of the great Tanzanian missionary Traugott Bachmann marks the 150th time. Traugott Bachmann had with its modern missionary approach significance for the Moravian mission far beyond Tanzania also.

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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