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A letter from Tom and Judy Harvey in England

April 20, 2009

Latest news of the Harveys in Oxford

From an email sent this month from an Overseas Center for Mission Studies (OCMS) scholar.

Thank you very much for your email and concern for my studies. I am in Beni now. I was coming from Kainama and Boga. I also went to ISTHA-Bunia for fieldwork. My problem is that I left my data for the correction of my chapter in Goma and so is my research guide. I was expecting to be there as quick as possible. But the news I hear on the road do not encourage me to travel on that road. It is said that killings are still going on. Those Hutu militias called Interahamwe have been scattered pursued by Rwandaan and Democratic Republic of Congo forces. Therefore they take their revenge on civilians. They ambush those on the road. Any car stopped is burned and the people killed. So, I have been in Beni for one month waiting until the situation improves. Nevertheless, I have decided to send my chapter as it is as well as my self-assessment done without my research guide. These two documents will reach you on Monday, since here, technical difficulties are so many.

Doctoral research is daunting: how much more when armed militants lie between you and your data. Such are the kind of obstacles OCMS research students surmount to study at OCMS. Why? Because OCMS provides the research training and resources needed to change their broken worlds.

Photo of three girls about 9 years old sitting together at a desk. Other students can be seen sharing desks behind them.

OMSC student Philippe Ouegraogo has helped establish schools for girls in Burkina Faso.

Thus, when Philippe Ouedraogo saw that 85 percent of women and girls in Burkina Faso were illiterate, he and his church established schools where girls would be welcome to learn. OCMS enhances Philippe’s work by research into education, gender inequity and the history of Burkina Faso. Though from one of the world’s poorest nations, Phillippe continues his quest to transform his world through generous contributions to OCMS.

Photo of two men standing together in bright sun. Behind them appears to be a fence or corral and part of a roof.

Reginald Nalugala, right, is an OMSC student studying the roots of poverty in Kenya.

Working among the poorest of the poor of Kenya, Reginald Nalugala’s research pursues not only the roots of poverty, but what actually works to alleviate it. Though many work to alleviate poverty through self-empowerment, not all initiatives are equally effective; so Reginald seeks to know what works and what doesn’t and why. His work is crucial to understanding development work from the perspective of those receiving development aid, education and guidance from Western nations as well as what role African churches play in this.

Laxmi Kantha Rao Thota developed and marketed television programs in India. In response to the devastation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in India, he developed an entertainment, multimedia project in which daytime dramas informed women how to protect themselves from being infected by HIV/AIDS. His current research is to examine the actual impact of these programs especially amongt the poor.

Photo of about 30 people in a room engaged in worship.

OCMS student Judy Berinal is studying worship among the indigenous tribes of East Malaysia.

Examining worship renewal amongt the indigenous tribes of Borneo is the work of Judy Berinal. The growth of Christianity among the native tribes in East Malaysia and the need to identify and nurture indigenous forms of worship are critical to the ongoing development of the churches, which plays a critical role in providing a place for Christianity with Malaysia, a majority Muslim country.

These are but four of some 140 students pursuing doctoral work at OCMS. As Dean, Tom’s job is to serve these students by guiding the academic side of the program in these difficult times. Do keep him and OCMS in prayer. We are steadily growing both in numbers and impact, and to keep this going we need the dedicated financial and spiritual support.

As for the family, we will make our way to Davidson, North Carolina, in May to see Joe’s graduation. Paul is finishing his junior year at Wheaton and is busily looking for work this summer. Emma has had a good year at St. Clare’s here in Oxford. Next year the formal International Baccalaureate begins, and she will be a very busy young lady. Judy continues to teach English and garden. Our garden is lush with flowers planted last fall and the weather has been glorious.

It has been a very busy and productive year this far at OCMS.

Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Blessings

Tom, Judy, Joe, Paul and Emma


How to support the Harveys

Individuals may direct their contributions to one or both of our ECO accounts.

For salary and living support write our name and the ECO number (E200358) on the subject line of the check.

To support Tom’s travel expenses, write his name and the ECO number (E052057) on the subject line and send a check to

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Or contribute online.

Churches and presbyteries should give to our Directed Mission Support account, D506421. Put our names and account number on the check and send it to your normal receiving site or to

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643678
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3678

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