Renewing Hope

By / Mar 5

Every year, the Global Outreach Commission seeks projects for the Easter Sacrificial Offering (ESO) at Tenth. This long-standing tradition is a humble attempt to echo the great renewal we celebrate at Easter, as Jesus defeated death and began the process of making all things new. By giving sacrificially to these projects, we hope to continue the renewal of God’s people around the world. Each project is connected to Tenth global partners and ministers to people currently experiencing great need. Allow me to introduce you to the ministries we are supporting this year.

The Aftermath – Pastors in the Middle East

A man stood, his hand intertwined with his wife’s, looking out at the fallen buildings, broken shop windows, and smashed cars. In the distance, he could see the tents of the people displaced by the earthquake which shook the country a week before. It was time to reach out; time to bring these hurting people the everlasting hope that surpasses earthly needs. Pushing back his tears, brought on by personal loss, he began speaking to the people passing on the street. He heard their stories: missing children, spouses, parents, friends, nowhere to live, nowhere to get water. Where he could, he helped with practical needs; when he could, he offered prayer and the hope of salvation. This work continued for weeks, which turned into months. This pastor, who never had any formal pastoral training, found himself faced with theological questions that delved deeper than he was prepared. He began reaching out to other pastors in his area who were going through the same issues. They found a Tenth global partner willing to find a way to get them the education they need, while continuing ministry, to better love the people they serve. The Global Outreach Commission hopes that your donations to the Easter Sacrificial Offering will help grow this little seminary into a ten-course program that will provide immediate encouragement and guidance to these pastors ministering among the many earthquake victims in the Middle East.

A Refuge – War Refugees in Northern Africa

Zahra let the heavy burden fall from her shoulders and plopped on the ground. For weeks her family had been running from the war spreading through their country. They had barely slept, eaten little, and walked farther than she imagined possible. But today they were safe. They had crossed the border out of their country, and they were finally out of harm’s way. Or so she thought. It turned out that there was a new challenge ahead of her. The few things she and her family had carried with them out of Sudan were not enough to sustain them. They asked the people around them for places to sleep, food to eat, clothing to wear, and occasionally medicine for the illnesses that ravaged their bodies after the long journey. But repeatedly they were turned away by the neighbors in the predominately Muslim community.

Zahra’s story is not unique. Many Sudanese refugees tell the same story. But there is hope for them! This year we will be sending a portion of the Easter Sacrificial Offering to provide for the medical, nutritional, housing, and educational needs of these refugees. Christian brothers and sisters in the area will deliver this practical help. Historically, this practical help opens a way for the gospel to take root in hearts, especially when the Muslim community has not been as compassionate.

A Final Step – Los Olivos Church in Colombia

Over the past few years, Tenth has been supporting a church plant in a poor neighborhood in Colombia. They are building a new sanctuary so that the congregation can comfortably gather for worship and for their mission to become more evident and inviting to those who pass by their doors. This year, the sanctuary is in its final stages, and we hope to use the Easter Sacrificial Offering to help them complete the work they started years ago.

Thank you for prayerfully considering giving to the ESO. Please stay tuned next week to hear about our other two projects. You can give online here.

Europe, Africa & South America

By / Mar 28

A couple of weeks ago we started to share regarding Tenth’s Global Partners who will be receiving funds from our Easter Sacrificial Offering this year.

In Europe, our partner, Gethin Jones and his wife Katie, will be planting a new church in Lille, France.  Gethin has been serving as a pastor in France for many years, and with the support of their denomination, the International Presbyterian Church, they are launching out to a new city to plant a new church to reach one of the most secular societies on earth.  Funds are needed to cover start-up costs such as venue fees and furniture. Gethin will be joining us at Tenth for a Global Partner lunch on April 16 to provide us with an in-person update on this exciting new opportunity in Lille.

Dr. Kempen with a patient

Going south from Europe, we have two projects in Africa.  First, our global partners, Dr. John and his wife, Lori Kempen, serve in Ethiopia where John serves as an ophthalmologist.  His medical ministry has proven very fruitful among the poor and needy who cannot afford to pay for medical care.  The ESO will help fund surgeries and medicine so that the poor in Ethiopia will receive quality care in addition to the preaching of the gospel as the Kempens partner with local churches and missionaries. Below is an update from John Kempen introducing us to one such patient:

“Hiwot” (not her real name) was sent to the MCM Eye Unit for free surgery from a government hospital, where I, [John Kempen], am teaching residents. (She consented to let us use the picture.) A retina specialist working under our clinic, Dr. Tsedeke Asaminew, performed the eye surgery without pay and the Eye Unit used donated funds to pay for the marginal costs of the surgery, leveraging the infrastructure we have built over the years with many contributions. Our staff assisted as part of their regular job. Hiwot showed her appreciation by trying to kiss my feet when she told me she that she can now see her children for the first time in nine months. MCM Eye Unit is the only place in Ethiopia (a nation of 120M people) where a person with retinal detachments or other conditions requiring vitreoretinal surgery can receive surgery without paying about $1,000 out of pocket, which is close to the cost-of-living wage for one year. Paying patients can have difficulty to access such surgery, because fewer than ten doctors perform this surgery in Ethiopia, two of whom are affiliated with our clinic. Those who cannot afford to will lose their vision irreversibly and permanently. We aspire to grow our ability to perform these services over time. We (the Kempens] thank Tenth Presbyterian Church (through your Easter Sacrificial Offering) for supporting this kind of service to poor Ethiopians. We also thank our dear Savior Jesus Christ for giving us the opportunity and the skills to help patients like Hiwot.

In another area of Africa, our global partner, A., (who has had an outreach to Muslims for decades here in the States) has expanded his ministry to Kenya, where pastors and their families have been greatly hurt by COVID-19 and severe droughts that have devastated the economy.  ESO funds will go to relieve some of the suffering of these pastors and their families.  Funds will be used to buy food and medicine.

Finally, we move west again to the coastal city of Barranquilla in Colombia, South America, where our pastor Enrique Leal comes from originally.  Tenth has had a long relationship with churches in Barranquilla.  Last year, ESO funds were used to build the exterior of a new sanctuary building for the Los Olivos Church.  This year, ESO funds will help complete the interior of this new building.  Los Olivos Church is in a low-income, neglected neighborhood of Barranquilla and serves hundreds of underserved children in the community.  The sanctuary will be a huge boost to the church’s presence, visibility, and effectiveness to reach its community for Christ.

You can give to the Easter Sacrificial Offering online.

Easter Sacrificial Offering

By / Mar 14
Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags in the foothills of the Himalayas

The cluster of villages in the shadows of the Himalayas are an anthropologist’s dream: the exquisite wooden courtyard homes and the fertile lands at eight thousand feet elevation provide shelter and work for the P. peoples, one of the last matriarchal societies in the world. Property rights are handed down through the woman’s lineage and “walking marriage” is practiced widely, where the man visits the woman at night but then returns to his sister’s house the next morning to help her care for her children, often having no meaningful relationship with his own children. Their houses are adorned with colorful Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags flapping in the breeze as the aroma of incense wafts by, emanating from the snow-white stupas (mound-like places for meditation) nestled into every P. home. But this idyllic scene belies the rough edges and the dysfunctional social and family dynamics that are more suitable to the local name given to the P. peoples which translates as “Barbarians from the West.”

“Derma” and “Joshie” (not their real names) grew up in this context as neighbors and friends. When Derma was sick during her teen years and no local doctor, nor even the chanting of the best-paid lamas could accurately diagnose her, much less cure her, her family wrote her off as already gone. And yet, our merciful Father led an American physician across her path who accurately diagnosed her with acute tuberculosis, found medicine for her, and rescued her from the grave. It was then that Derma heard the good news about the Great Physician, and she believed in Him. Around the same time, Joshie was hearing parts of the same story and seeing it lived out in a teacher’s life, and he, too, came to believe. When Derma and Joshie married each other a few years ago, not only was it a rare example of true marriage for their culture, but it was also the first known marriage of two P. Christians in the history of the world!

A funeral rite in Asia.

“SEED” (not its real name) is partnering with Joshie and Derma in 2023 to grow three thousand cherry saplings and five thousand apple saplings for two years that SEED will then buy back to sell to future customers. This arrangement gives this young couple the promise of a living wage from their land, allowing them to stay and serve in their community, while also giving SEED a new source-nursery, after maxing out our own nursery space in our current city. Our consulting visits and nursery management training for this couple will also give a context for regular mutual encouragement and accountability in an environment where temptations for young believers are overwhelming.

With support from the Easter Sacrificial Offering (ESO), SEED will be able to make a difference in this couple’s life, and by God’s grace, bearing fruit in their family, their village, and the wider P. region, including fruit that will last.

This is just one example of how, through our Tenth global partners, this year’s Easter Sacrificial Offering will help accomplish God’s global mission to bring all nations to Himself, especially those who are unreached and hidden.

You can give to the Easter Sacrificial Offering online, or by check.

Eternal Rest

By / Apr 5

Requiem aeternam, dona eis Domine, “Rest eternal grant them, O Lord.” These words are probably familiar, especially if you have attended a funeral at a Roman Catholic or Episcopal church. As Reformed Christians, quotations from the Requiem Mass can raise our spiritual hackles a bit, and rightly so. We do not believe that praying for the dead is something we should do. But taken on its own as a prayer, “Rest eternal grant them, O Lord” is quite appropriate. It all depends on who the “them” is!

St. Augustine highlights the universal need for rest in his Confessions, “You move us to delight in praising you; for you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” We need little convincing that we live in a restless world. Wars, pandemics, inflation, injustice, information overload, familial strife, job stress, emotional stress, or simply the dog barking next door, all contribute to the turmoil within most of us.

Rest is a very significant concept in the Bible. From the beginning God established rest as part of the regular rhythm of our existence in the Sabbath ordinance. God himself rested on the seventh day from his work of creation, blessed it, and made it a holy day.

The people of Israel were instructed to keep the Sabbath day as a holy convocation, a holy gathering, both because God had worked six days and rested one day (Exodus 20:11), but also because he had rescued them out of slavery in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). God promised that when they inherited the land, they would have rest from their enemies (Deuteronomy 25:19). The point of this was to provide his people with a place to worship him which was unencumbered by the nations’ armies and gods. They would be distraction free.

God promises David rest from his enemies, and that he will build a house for him and establish his throne forever (2 Samuel 7:11-13).

Jesus, the Son of David, came offering rest: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).

The author of Hebrews points to the fact that the “rest” offered in the book of Joshua pointed ahead to a greater rest, “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:8-10).

The book of Revelation says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” (Revelation 14:13).

Finally, Revelation speaks more fully of the joy and blessedness of the redeemed: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ He also said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (Revelation 21:3-5).

This year, the Good Friday Choral Concert features a work entitled “Requiem for the Living” by Dan Forrest. This five-movement work combines words from the traditional Requiem text with words from Scripture. Movement one is a prayer that God would grant eternal rest to all the living. Movement two sets words from Ecclesiastes emphasizing the vanity and hopelessness of those outside of Christ. Movement three sets the traditional “Agnus Dei” text, looking to Christ, the Lamb of God as the one who takes away the sin of the world. Movement four is a setting of the Sanctus, extolling the holiness of God and praising him for the salvation offered through Jesus Christ. Movement five concludes the work with Jesus’ invitation from Matthew 11 to come to him for rest and points forward to the eternal blessedness of those who die in the Lord.

The second work to be presented is the Te Deum by Herbert Howells. This is a stunning twentieth century choral setting of the ancient hymn extolling the Holy Trinity.

This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce a friend to Tenth and share with them the rest which can only be found in Christ. Join us as we praise our risen Savior together!

“But Now Is Christ Risen”

By / Apr 12

Easter Sacrificial Offering

By / Mar 5

Each year as we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection at Easter, the Global Outreach Commission seeks out beneficiaries for our annual Easter Sacrificial Offering (ESO). This offering is collected and distributed to those who are working to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the global church in some of the harshest parts of the world.

This year we’re excited to announce that after much deliberation and prayer, the Commission and Session have decided to support five ministries that are working in areas of mercy ministry while also faithfully proclaiming the gospel around the world.

Our ESO ministries are operating in the following parts of the world:


In connection with our long standing partner, Rafael Leal of La Roca Church, we’ll provide structural, aesthetic, and material improvements to three facilities providing care for at risk, homeless, and underserved children in Barranquilla and Santa Martha.


Working to build up the local church, this ministry’s goal is to see Christians grow in their faith and have their physical needs met, all while being trained to faithfully proclaim the gospel in their towns. Our contribution will enable their ministry to develop new training centers, raise up new leaders, and meet the physical and medical needs of many Egyptians.


In connection with a long-standing Tenth partner, this ministry’s goal is to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to Lebanon. They provide holistic care while also sharing the gospel. They’re also working to build up the church by training pastors, leaders, and laymen in sound theology.


In connection with a long-standing Tenth partner, this ministry is providing physical and spiritual care for widows and orphans that have suffered as a result of recent unrest. This ministry is helping the women and children re-establish themselves, offering schooling, job training, food, and spiritual care.


Caring for the hearts, bodies, and souls, this ministry is providing food, education, and gospel ministry to the thousands of Koboko refugees that have recently been displaced.

We encourage you to pray for the work taking place around the world and invite you to give as you feel so led.  You can learn about ways to give here

What Are You Suffering For?

By / Apr 21

“He Is Not Here, He Is Risen”

By / Apr 21

Seeing Is Believing

By / Apr 5

Rising Doubts

By / Apr 20