Missionary to Africa.Tom is a native of Iowa and is trained in agriculture and community development. He works with the Evangelical Church of Niger in community development programming and also helps teach future pastors at the Dogon Gao Bible School. He also helps them to develop income-generating skills, such as rearing goats and gardening, so they will be able to preach and support their families. Such training is a key part of building the church in a country as poor as Niger, where people are not able to support a pastor. Niger is a land-locked country in the heart of Africa. It is the size of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona combined. Because eighty percent of the country lies in the Sahara Desert, it is among the poorest nations in the world. In this primarily Muslim country, only one half of one percent of the people are Christian.
As an extension of our concern for the poor, especially children, individuals within the congregation sponsor over a hundred children, especially in Rwanda, Haiti, and Latin America through Compassion International. We offer Christmas and Easter cards, and take the sponsors' pictures to include in the mailing.
For His Children, Ecuador
For His Children (FHC) is an evangelical Christian residential ministry to homeless children with normal needs and special needs in Ecuador. Currently, 50 to 60 children are cared for in two homes in Quito and a home in Latacunga, in the Province of Cotopaxi. The environment provides physical and emotional support, spiritual nurturing, and lots of tender loving care. The residents of FHC range from newborn to 18 years of age.
Founders Clark and Melinda Vaughn and their two young children moved to Quito in 1990 and began caring for abandoned and orphaned children, receiving referrals to care for severely malnourished, premature, and disabled children. Supported by God’s provision of prayer, donations and encouragement, the ministry grew from one child in 1990, to now over 700 children who have been held in the arms of FHC.
In addition to ongoing financial support, Windham Presbyterian Church has sent four mission teams to serve at For His Children. For more information see www.forhischildren-ecuador.org
Mercy Ministries Rwanda is a multifaceted Christian ministry to the people of Rwanda, especially the communities of Ndera and Rubavu. Mercy Ministries staff work to bring together church, government, and community leaders to address the many needs of these communities. They always begin with Christ-centered “Healing the Wounds of Ethnic Conflict” workshops to address trauma from the 1994 genocide, and then help people move forward together toward sustainable development. In addition to the reconciliation workshops, some of their projects include providing encouragement for pastors and their families, creating economic development groups, introducing energy efficient stoves, caring for widows and orphans, and reachinCg out to support and encourage schools and health clinics.
In addition to our financial support, Windham Presbyterian Church has sent 3 mission teams to Rwanda. Our next trip is scheduled for January, 2015.