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Moravian Mission News

Compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany

Number 2015-11+12

Christmas 2015

Kind regards and good wishes for Christmas 2015 from the »Moravian Mission Society in Germany« (Herrnhuter Missionshilfe, HMH). God bless our worldwide Moravian Church in the new year 2016! - »Our lamb has conquered, let us follow him!« Picture: Christmas in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Thank you for reading this newsletter and for your prayers.
Andreas Tasche, Herrnhut, 24.12.2015

Nepal: Youth groups in Kathmandu organises advent singing

In groups of 10 to 15 people the youth of the two Moravian Churches in Kathmandu and Khokona is on the move for advent singing since end of November 2015. Equipped with bibles, song books, guitars and madals (lokal percussion instruments) they are singing and dancing in the houses of church members as well as in public places. Sometimes they get invited for a little snack, often they get some donations and regularly non-Christians are interested and listen. In Nepal Christmas is a national holiday only since 2013. Approximately 400 people are expected at the Christmas service 2015 that will be held at a school yard, which boarders a prison, so prisoners can listen to the Christmas songs. Many Nepalese long for the end of the terrible year 2015. More here.

Nepal: Kindergarten back to working routine

The “Pre School” of the Moravian Church in Kathmandu (Nepal) is working normally again after the earthquakes in April/May 2015. At first it was not easy to gain the parents’ trust in the stability of the damaged building. The staff received a training concerning correct behaviour in case of an earthquake. Security exercises were made with the children. The house now has a seismic detector. Initially the kindergarten was open only until noon, but since the summer the children are there full-time again. A report states: “Our routine is much the same as it was. The children are learning the Ka, Kha, Ga (Nepali alphabet), they are laughing, being silly and running around. They behave like healthy childrens”. More hier (pages 18+19).

Canada/Czech/Germany: Moving meeting with the Delaware

Fascinating encounters with five members of the Delaware tribe, who live in the Canadian reservation “Moraviantown”, happened in Suchdol, Herrnhut, Bad Boll and other places in November 2015. On the one hand, the guests were looking for traces of their ancestors in archives and museums. On the other hand, they wanted to meet the members of the Moravian Church, the descendants of those who lived with the Delaware in missionary settlements between 1740 and 1902. Since the history of the Delaware and people from Europe has mainly been a tragic one, the meeting was rather moving. The missionaries didn’t manage to prevent the Delaware from being wiped out to a great extent and deprived of their culture. More here.

Tanzania: Controversial elections

The parliamentary and presidential election that took place on the 25th of October 2015 in Tanzania led to nationwide protests and civil commotions. The "Party of Revolution" (CCM), which had been the governing party since the independence, won the election with their top candidate John Magufuli (58,5 %) despite clear losses. Election offices and registration of voters had been criticised previous to the elections. Election campaigns were very emotional and without any clear content. The voter turnout was 42,8% and thereby higher than the last time. Vote counting happened without transparency and was flawed which led to manipulation charges in many places. In Zanzibar elections were even annulled. There is now quiet again, the new government has started work.

Tanzania: Theological education

Changes of management were made in three theological seminars of the Moravian Church in Tanzania. L. Kamwela replaces A. Malambugi in the college in Utengule. After J. Lwinga from the college in Lutengano died A. Mwakalinga took over. Now D. Mwalyolo has become the official new dean. The most exciting change happened in summer 2015 at the theological faculty of the “Teofilo Kisanji University” in Mbeya (Southern West Province). Mary Kategile took over the office of T. Mwenisongole. This makes her the third woman within the Moravian Church worldwide who manages a theological seminar. Before her Urmie Mingoen and Angelene Swart were heads of the theological seminars of the Moravian Church in Paramaribo (Suriname) and Heideveld (South Africa).

Tanzania: Responsibility for 1.9000 orphans

On her blog Christiane Klingner (Königsfeld, Germany), who currently volunteers in the „Isoko Hospital“ in the Tanzanian Southern Province, talks about Enea Kajange. She is the manager of the orphan project of the Moravian Church there which at the moment encompasses 1.9000 orphans. A repetitive goal is to enable the orphans to contribute something towards their living, because the households that adopted them are usually big but the family income is small. Questions of preventive health care as well as opportunities for additional earnings were discussed at a recent meeting for orphans and care takers. A beekeeper and a chicken and pig breeder gave professional comments on the topic. The meeting was – despite the beginning rainy season – well attended.

Tanzania: Short seminar units about midwifery

Every Tuesday after morning devotions Christiane Klingner and Luise Schiewe, two medical volunteers from Germany, invite the staff of the midwife station at the Isoko Hospital of the Moravian Church in Tanzania (Southern Province) to short seminar units. Recently topics like hygiene, different positions for childbirth, the correct behaviour in the case of breech delivery and resuscitation of newborns were covered. As teaching material served a big poster, a pelvic-mockup, a demonstration dummy and educational films that had to be shown on two laptops due to the lack of a projector. There is a big shortage of educational material in Tanzania. Luise Schiewe speaks Swahili and helps writing down what was learned. Meanwhile, the two volunteers are back home with a lot of impressions.

Tanzania: Graduation ceremony in Sumbawanga

A graduation ceremony was held in October 2015 at the "African Rainbow Secondary School" in Sumbawanga (Tanzania, Rukwa Province) for the students who went to this school for four years (year 8-11). On this occasion Erord Rupia Simae, project leader of the province, reviewed the history of the new school which is now visited by 422 young people who are being taught by 18 teachers in 16 class rooms. There is also a boarding school for girls and an assembly hall. A wall protects the big school campus at the edge of the city. What is still missing are flats for teachers, a proper laboratory, good conditions for sports lessons and several equipment items. The school steadily achieved good results at official performance tests in Tanzania.

Tanzania: Fighting HIV/Aids in Mlowo and Uyole

The people responsible for the health service of theMoravian Church in Mbeya (Southern West Province) under leadership of Isabela Kaonga don't grow tired of fighting HIV/Aids. There is still a wide-spread fear of getting tested or even just talking about the disease. 178 people were tested during an educational event in Mlowo (Mbozi-District); five women and three men were HIV-positive and received consultation regarding this issue. A further event in Uyole was used by 266 people as an opportunity to be tested. Here nine women and three men were HIV-positive. Young prostitutes had themselves tested too. Church choirs invited to the public events with their songs. Read the two reports here and here.

D.R. Congo: New health care center

A new health care center for three villages at lake Tangayika in D.R. Congo was recently opened. The mission organization of the Moravian Church in Denmark reported on this. Three things that were supported by “Dansk Missionsråd” and “DANIDA”, a Danish development agency, are involved: a system of water tanks and pipes that will provide about 10.000 people with clean drinking water from the surrounding mountains (the water of the lake is contaminated), a small, modernized village clinic and premises for the basic health care with offices and flats. The center was inaugurated with a traditional tribal dance which was attended by prominent guests. One of them said: "The Center brings closeness, credibility and acceptance, which is quite important for this rural region".

Alaska: The whole bible in Yup’ik

On the 13th of August 2015, the 288th anniversary of the day of foundation of the Moravian Church in Herrnhut, the indigene members of the Moravian Church in Alaska received a complete bible in Yup’ik, their mother tongue, for the first time. The news of the ship with the eagerly anticipated freight having arrived in the harbour of Bethel/AK spread like wildfire. People rushed to the “Moarvian Bookstore” to buy a bible in Yup’ik. When leaving the store, they pressed their newly purchased bible fondly to their chest like a small baby. Someone who can obtain many bible translations in their native language can’t imagine how happy the Yup’ik were about “their” bible. Read more here (page 29).

Eastern West Indies: Report on missionary work

Over three pages the Eastern West Indies Province reports on their missionary work - see here. Almost everywhere the work has grown internally and externally. For example in Grenada where there are now more than 60 members of the Moravian Church and where a newsletter »Moravian Times« was published for the first time. Or in St. Maarten, where the province is responsible for services in English for about 80 people. Also in Haïti where now you can find three churches and two students of Theology. Only in Tortola work stagnated. An evaluation revealed 16 things that need improvement. The province has paid 15.000 USD towards the Unity Mission and Development Fund that finances the work in Cuba among other things. Investments in internal mission and education were made as well.

Jamaica: Museum opening in Nazareth

A museum was opened in a building of the All-Age School of Nazareth in Jamaica, that belongs to the community Manchester. The museum makes the regional heritage accessible to the public and promotes local tourism. It was established thanks to a lot of self-initiative and 76.000 Euros subsidies (Tourism Enhancement Fund) and it is located on the former 349-acre coffee plantation “Maidstone” which was bought by the Moravian Church in 1840 in order to give the land in small pieces to liberated slaves. Some descendants of ex-slaves are still residents of Maidstone. Altogether 45 people, all of them locals, were occupied with the museum project over a long period of time. It is part of a history trail. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, minister of tourism, attended the opening ceremony. He underscored the merit of the project. More hier.

Nicaragua: Tense calm in Waspam

"There is a tense calm in Waspam" - this was the headline of an article recently published in a Nicaraguan newspaper about the conflict between indigene Miskitos and Mayangnas in the East of Nicaragua and illegal setters from the West. An ecumenical committee managed to mediate in this conflict. Alex Zacarias, a Mayangnas speaker, admitted to the expulsion of several land-grabbers but he denied to have passed them on to gangs of murderers. He said: "We passed them on to the ecumenical committee". Steadman Fagoth, Miskitos speaker, reports that they chased away about 500 land-grabbers since the beginning of summer 2015. He blamed corrupt politicians to make money out of illegal sales of land.

Palestine: Big solar system for the Star Mountain

The "Energy Cooperative Baden-Württemberg", which originated from the work of the "Evangelic Academy Bad Boll", has built many solar systems, among them one on the roof of the "Unity House" in Bad Boll. In cooperation with the Moravian Mission Society in Germany they are planning a big solar system for the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre in Palestine. This was reported by "Stuttgarter Zeitung". The article said: "A photovoltaic system is going to be installed on the roof of the establishment. This way Herrnhut is not only doing something for the environment but they also save annually 13.000 EUR electricity expenses." Star Mountain will save annual 10.000 EUR after loan redemption.

Palestine: First aid course for staff from the Star Mountain

On the 21st and 26nd of November 2015 all staff from the rehabilitation center of the Moravian Church on the Star Mountain (Palestine) attended a first aid course. This course was implemented in cooperation with the "Palestine Red Crescent Society" (the equivalent to the German "red cross"). Different kinds of injuries and the appropriate treatment were covered. The course was very important to the Star Mountain team because of the politically unsafe situation in Palestine that often leads to physical violence and harm. There haven't been any violent conflicts at the Star Mountain area yet.+ + + A film on inclusion of persons with disability, which was produced in cooperation with Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center and Austrian Development Agency you can see here (in English).

Cuba: Moravian Church is growing

The Moravian Church in Cuba, a mission work of the Moravian Unity, has a partnership with the Moravian Church in North America and their “Board of World Mission”. The "Armando Rusindo Mission Foundation" supports work in Cuba too. “God is at work in Cuba!”, it said in a report of bishop Samuel Gray about a recent visit - read here. During this the new headquarters of the church in Havanna was inaugurated. Gatherings took place in several house churches of the country, among them one in Jaguey Grande, where a fatally ill farmer said he had nothing better to leave his family than lightweight church on his estate. In Santayana children gave a presentation. 23 people were baptized in Holguin, 14 were confirmed and four were admitted as members of the church.

South Africa: Raylene Williams will come to Germany

Raylene Williams (19) from the Moravian Church Humansdorp in South Africa, Easter Cape Province, is currently preparing for her stay in Herrnhut. She will work at “Herrnhuter Diakonie” for half a year. This was organized through the Ecumenical Youth Volunteers Program of the “Evangelic Mission in Solidarity” and will start in February 2016 after a short period of settling in. The young woman will leave her home country for the first time and already learned some German. She wants to become a teacher and is looking forward to the foreign country, to working with people with disabilities in the special-needs school and to joining the Moravian brass band in Herrnhut. She was interviewed by the local newsportal “News24” - see hier.

Christmas gospel in 15 languages

The Christmas gospel following Lukas is now available in 15 languages on the German websites and - see here. The offer is meant for the pastoral care with Christian refugees. “The story of lacking space in the inn has become scarily relevant over the last months”. This is how Katrin Brockmöller, head of the Catholic Bible Society, and Christoph Rösel, secretary general of the German Bible Society, describe the situation. “We know that the Christmas gospel in 15 languages can’t replace shelter or security. But the words can be a guide when you want to say “Welcome” this Christmas time.” Many members of the Moravian Church in Germany are engaged over Christmas and New Year for refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Nigeria and Somalia.

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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