A week ago, twenty women garbed in brightly printed batik dresses processed across the stage of a Baptist Church in Accra, Ghana, as they received their diplomas. They had printed the batik fabric themselves as part of the vocational training program which enables prostitutes to start new lives.
Tenth had the joy of funding their training through last spring’s Easter Sacrificial Offering. All told, Tenth members and attenders contributed over $115,000 to support five international projects. In this season celebrating Christ’s advent, we provide this progress report on how God is using those monies to dispel darkness with the gospel’s bright light.
Ghana update: For a decade, Tenth has partnered with African Enterprise’s program in Accra, which provides women wishing to leave prostitution spiritual care and counsel, training in baking and batik-making, and seed money and equipment to start businesses. This fall, Rev. Bernard Sachie who oversees the program, hosted a gathering for the program’s alumni. One hundred twenty five women who had been sponsored by Tenth attended and gave testimonies like this: “After my training with AE, my life has never been the same. All my trust now is in the Lord no matter the challenges I face. I will advise my fellow ladies to put their trust in Christ Jesus because he is capable of doing all things.”
Syria update: God enabled Tenth to send money both to help Christians trapped by fighting in Syria and to assist refugees—both Christian and Muslim—who had reached Lebanon. On our behalf, Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo’s organization, Barnabas Fund, distributed food packets to 230 families living under siege in Syria. We also entrusted funds to an evangelical congregation in Lebanon working with refugees. This small congregation of 75 members is serving 1,100 refugees. The refugees live in unbearable conditions—with two to three families crowded in a single room. The church reaches out providing clothes, food, and vocational training as well as nightly Bible studies. Already an Arabic-speaking congregation has started and its services are standing-room-only affairs. As the pastor explained, “People from parts of Syria where the gospel never reached are now hearing it for the first time.”
Ethiopia Update: Tenth was pleased to help kick-start the eye institute God is calling Tenth members Dr. John and Lori Kempen to open in Ethiopia. Since last spring, the Kempens report Sight for Souls has obtained nonprofit status, received a grant for Ethiopian leadership development, and applied to the Ethiopian government for permission to establish a medical facility. They hope to begin operations by August 2015 and have an immediate need for $400,000 as they negotiate for a land site. They ask us to pray for God’s continued provision.
Egypt update: Responding to a request from long-time partner, Think-Do, Tenth forwarded funds to strengthen the Egyptian church. Forty percent of Protestant churches have no pastor, and many nominal Christians have no church in their villages. Living under intense pressure, many adopt the views and way of life of the Muslim majority. Since Easter, Think-Do has conducted 82 evangelistic outreaches reaching over 7,500 people. It also distributed 107 Bibles and 491 New Testaments.
Colombia update: While still in Colombia, TIF Director Enrique Leal started an outreach to impoverished children in Barranquilla. Through prior help from Tenth, four coarse buildings were erected to house both an after school program and a church. Enrique’s father, Rafael, now oversees the site where, through a partnership with Compassion International, 300 children are fed and taught each day. Unfortunately, gutters and sidewalks were never installed and the building’s foundations had begun eroding. Thanks to funds God provided through the ESO, Rafael is now overseeing repairs.
Liberia update: Since the end of the Liberian Civil War, Tenth has used ESO funds to ensure food and education for children at Mother Comfort’s orphan home. The outbreak of Ebola this summer only deepened their need. The government ordered the close of all schools and food costs soared. Thankfully, none of the orphans has contracted Ebola. Although unable to attend school, they have had been able to have some home study courses at the orphan home. In a recent note, Mother Comfort wrote, “Praise be to God for giving his angels charge over the children and all the staff.”
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Terri Taylor. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org