Welcome to Berean’s Local & Global Outreach!
Our Purpose is to
To bring the love and life-transforming power of Jesus Christ to the unsaved person and the unreached peoples of the world.
Christ’s call to make disciples of the nations is the joy-filled responsibility that He has placed within the heart of every born again believer. Christ’s mission – our mission – is the very heartbeat of the Church. God invites us to join Him in His redemptive work of drawing all nations to Himself so that they might grow in Him and exalt His name. It is God’s desire for us all to be involved with Him in this extraordinary task that brings Him joy and us into a closer relationship with Him.
As you explore this website you will discover the many peoples, places, and ministries that we are collectively committed to and you can be vitally involved in reaching with the love of Christ.
Our prayer for you is that you will find the role God has reserved for you in the greatest ongoing movement in history – the spreading of God’s story, the story of His glory to the ends of the earth.
Our mission is God’s mission. Your gifts and abilities count. Please prayerfully consider where they may fit into God’s purposes. We hope that as you read through these pages you will have a clearer vision of where God can use you and your gifts and abilities.
Our Key Verse is:
“… and you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Local Outreach & Partners
- Bethel Seminary
- Converge Mid-Atlantic
- Child Evangelism Fellowship
- Camp Burton
- Food Pantry Ministry
- Love Inc.
- Furniture Ministry
- H20 College Ministry
- Richland Pregnancy Services
- Master Provisions
- KidZone Tutoring
- Youth for Christ
- Other Local Partners
Awakening is a local parachurch organization that seeks to engage college-aged individuals in community, worship, and discipleship.
Awakening has grown to include regular activities like monthly worship nights, two weekly Bible studies (one at our local college campus), weekly social and physical activities, retreats, service projects and various partnerships among community organizations and churches.
Ecumenical in nature, Awakening at its core seeks to unite local evangelical efforts and has been blessed to facilitate several community events, including Light Our City, a community-wide Good Friday service, a community-wide Thanksgiving Eve service, and most recently a very unique Christmas Eve service, among other events.
The name of the group is derived from the verse Ephesians 5:14, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” We thank God that Jesus has shed His light upon us and awakened us from spiritual death, and we hope to help others see the Lord’s goodness and love so that they may encounter Him in an authentic and meaningful way.
Primary contact: Jonathan Dech
At Bethel University, we’re committed to excellence.
But here, excellence means something more. It means taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, so we can accomplish incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.
We’ve been a leader and model in Christian higher education since 1871. For generations, our fusion of evangelical faith with top-ranked academics has transformed women and men, preparing them for unique callings in the kingdom of God.
Boldly informed and motivated by the Christian faith, Bethel University educates and energizes men and women for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service. We prepare graduates to serve in strategic capacities to renew minds, live out biblical truth, transform culture, and advance the gospel.
Bethel will be the Christ-centered university of choice for this century.
Rooted in faith. Committed to excellence. Bethel will become the leader in Christian higher education by building stronger communities, equipping confident leaders and gracious servants, and preparing passionate world-changers. Through our thoughts, words, and actions, we’ll demonstrate what it means for a university to be centered on Jesus Christ.
Bethel University is a vibrant, Christ-centered educational community. Here, students with a wide range of interests and backgrounds share a common goal: to become whole and holy persons. Throughout this transformational journey, we rely on core values to guide us spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.
First, we are Christ-followers, striving to live out the teachings of Jesus and to emulate His life as revealed in Scripture. We are also character-builders. Through healthy, supportive relationships and a culture of service, we develop the personal strength and emotional intelligence to make right choices in a broken world.
As learners, we are critical thinkers and problem-solvers committed to academic excellence and intellectual rigor. At the same time, we are truth-seekers, recognizing that all truth—scientific, artistic, philosophical, or theological—has its source in God.
We have been put on this earth for a purpose: God wants us to use our talents and compassion to be world-changers and reconcilers. As we humbly and honestly engage with our own biases and preconceptions, we grow closer to understanding Christ’s infinite love and selfless mission of redemption.
In this complex and troubled world, we aim to be both salt and light—preserving the good and reflecting the guiding light of Christ. This requires a mature faith that is grounded in a personal relationship with God and able to withstand the storms of life.
St. Paul, MN 55112
Jesus knew what His mission was, and He didn’t waste any time getting around to it. Everything He said, everything He did and everywhere He went was motivated by His life’s mission. Thus, it is no surprise that at the end of His life He was able to say, “I have completed the mission You gave Me….”
As His church – His very Body – should we be any less devoted to fulfilling the mission He left for us? We do not believe so. That’s why everything we do here in Converge is shaped by our mission:
The Mission of Converge MidAtlantic is to Start and Strengthen Churches. That ’s what we do, and we do it Together!
We are a Movement . . . a Network of Christ-centered, Gospel-driven churches that are passionate about seeing individuals and communities, all across our region and around the world, transformed by the power of the Good News of Jesus.
Converge MidAtlantic is one of 11 regional expressions of Converge, a dynamic movement of 1250 plus churches across the U.S., with global outreach in 29 nations worldwide. For more “Fast Facts” on our Converge MidAtlantic movement, http://www.convergemidatlantic.com/files/midatl/resources/docs/2016_fact_sheet_0.pdf
November 5, 2018
We’ve celebrated the grand openings of several new Converge churches lately. One of our newest church plants is Mission Grove Church, Phoenix, which welcomed 244 people to its October 7 launch at Wildfire Elementary School.
“It was a crazy and incredible morning,” lead pastor Jon Kragel told Converge Southwest. “From flooding closing two of the main roads to get to our church to people flooding into the worship service, it was such an amazing day. Our vision is to help every man, woman, and child experience Jesus, and Sunday was just the beginning.”
Kragel says one of the ways Mission Grove is becoming known in its community is through acts of service. On October 25, the church partnered with the Boys & Girls Club and the local homeowners association to put on a fall festival attended by nearly 800 people.
The most effective way to reach the world for Christ is by starting new churches. Thank you to church planters like Pastor Kragel who are reaching their communities with the life-changing gospel of Jesus.
New Facility in Utah
|What began with six people meeting in pastor Loren and Carrie Pankratz’s living room has multiplied into The Bridge Community, a growing church of over 300 worshipers in Centerville, Utah. After renting space in a retail strip mall for five years, the church moved into its own worship building in September.
Despite being in the United States, The Bridge Community is located among an unreached people group. On a given Sunday morning, only about 1 percent of South Davis County worships in a Christian church.
While at the strip mall, the church gradually expanded from one to four retail spaces to meet its growing needs.
About two years ago, church leaders recognized they were starting to feel cramped in their space and began discussing what to do next. The church was still functioning well, and they had put a lot of work into the space. So, they weren’t ready to abandon ship just yet. But God had other plans for them.
This February, Pankratz learned the church would have to move to a new location by the end of September. That news put their planning into hyperdrive. Over the next few months, they looked at every available spot in Davis County. Finally, they landed on a warehouse that could be converted into a church — with the help of a loan from the Converge Cornerstone Fund.
“We are a relatively young church and do not have a ton of capital, so having the Cornerstone Fund step in and provide us a loan was huge,” the pastor said. “They enabled us to purchase a building where we can establish ourselves and grow.”
The new facility, says Pankratz, is the first building an evangelical church has ever owned and operated in Centerville. The meeting place gives The Bridge Community office space it’s never had, more and bigger classrooms and a sanctuary that doubles the seating capacity of its previous facility. The church dedicated the building September 30, celebrating the event with two baptisms.
Congratulations to The Bridge Community on this new facility that will be used to share Christ in its unengaged community.
Child Evangelism Fellowship
As the Local Missionary Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship® (CEF®) of MARCK (Morrow, Ashland, Richland, Crawford, and Knox counties) chapter, I would like to invite you to consider partnering with CEF to reach the children.
Our CEF Christian Resource Center is located at 535 Beer Road, Ontario, OH 44906. Feel free to call (419-756-7799) or stop in to see what resources and training materials CEF has that could assist you in reaching children through evangelism and discipleship opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Lord called my wife, Sue, and I here to Ohio in 1997. We are very grateful for the Lord’s leading in our lives. He has blessed us with two wonderful children, Matt (22) and Sarah (20). We are thankful that our two children love the Lord with all their hearts.
Love for the children
14282 Butternut Rd
Burton, OH 44021
Come and experience an unforgettable week of life-changing relationships, fantastic games, exciting activities, and amazing food. One visit and you’ll want to come back for the rest of your life!
Food Pantry Ministry
200 Ashland Rd
On the 3rd Saturday of every month, we gather as a team to show the love of Christ through delivering food. We have consistently fed approximately 90 families a month for over a decade. We thank the Lord for our delivery teams who go out each month. Currently, we have around 35 people from Berean making these monthly deliveries and are in need of 2-3 more teams to help us in the “sharing of God’s love”. Anyone who is interested in volunteering to deliver boxes or is in need of a box of food, that attends Berean, should contact Sarah DeYarmon at 419/756-3300, ext. 222. Those that are in need, that do not attend Berean, should contact Love, Inc at 419/566-1432.
The Mission of Love In the Name of Christ is to mobilize the Church to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ.
WHO ARE WE, AND WHAT DO WE DO?
- Each chapter of Love INC is a 501c3 affiliation of local churches working together to minister to people in need
- Each local office functions as a clearinghouse which matches neighbors needing short term help with area resources providing assistance
- The clearinghouse model allows us to network with churches and agencies, minimizing redundant or overlapping services
- We strive to offer a “hand UP”, allowing our neighbors to maintain dignity and empowering them to be able to personally deal with adverse circumstances, rather than being on the receiving end of a “hand OUT”
HOW DO WE DO IT?
- Each prospective client-neighbor participates in a telephone interview with a trained LOVE INC volunteer to discuss their particular situation and specific needs
- The caller is offered an opportunity for prayer with the volunteer at the conclusion of the interview, in order that we might share the love of Jesus and offer God’s hope, strength, and healing for the caller and his/her entire family
- After the individual signs and returns some basic information to the office for verification, we relay the needs requests to partner churches or area agencies who provide a variety of goods and services geared specifically to the needs in question
WHAT DON’T WE DO?
- We do not conduct walk-in interviews at the office.
- We do not have cash on hand to help with rent, utility payments, or other emergency issues
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
- We follow up to make sure that our new neighbors have received the help they need to lift them out of their current circumstances
We encourage them to become active in a local church of their choice where they can become part of a worshiping community, continue to experience God’s grace and mercy, and have their spiritual, emotional, and daily living issues addressed on a personal level.
IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE
Tuesday—Wednesday: 9:30 AM–12:00 PM
200 Ashland Rd
Berean’s Furniture Ministry is a great way for the Church to meet our neighbors in Richland County!
The Furniture Ministry is a volunteer group that works out of Berean’s Building 2:16, on Ashland road. Ken Giesige and his volunteers, organize and put into action the pickup and deliveries of furniture. On four or more days each week, they meet the needs of our neighbors by delivering furniture and fellowshipping with them and their families. Our group of male volunteers often pray with the families and asked questions about salvation. They’re able to form friendships and share the gospel of Jesus Christ!
The Berean receptionist, Abby Young, communicates directly with the volunteers, relaying the information on donations. Also speaks with the recipients from Love INC, about their request. If you have an item(s) they would like to donate, call the church and speak with Abby. The receptionist will be able to take your request and inform the volunteers.
Love INC of Greater Mansfield is an amazing partner for the Furniture Ministry. For our neighbors in the community to be placed on the list, they would have to call in to Love INC’s office at 419-522-1432 and talk to a volunteer. Office hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 am until 12:00 noon. Their information will be received and then passed onto the furniture deliverers at Berean.
If you’re a member or committed attendee of Berean and need furniture, call into the church. The receptionist will be able to take your request directly.
Volunteers Needed to help with pickups and deliveries call Darlene at 419/756-3300
H2O College Ministry
The Slack Family
Jason, Lindsay, Carter, Maddy, & Bryce
Jason and Lindsay led a church planting team from Bowling Green, OH to Kent, OH in 2008 to start H2O Church on the campus of Kent State University. Jason serves as the pastor of worship and provides oversight and leadership of the church’s worship teams, the training and equipping of student leaders and staff members and teachers at worship gatherings. Lindsay is actively involved in discipleship and women’s ministry within the church. H2O started with 20 young people in 2008 has grown to include over 200 students and is now positioned to impact the lives of even more students at KSU.
Hello from Kent!
What a beautiful time of year! The colors of fall leaves, cooler temperatures, and even smell in the air all seem like blessings from the Lord right now – something to appreciate in the midst of the storms swirling in our world. I’m amazed and surprised to say that we have seen blessings all around us in this season. Though COVID numbers have been slowly increasing on campus and in the city of Kent we’ve still had many great opportunities to be a light for Jesus in this place. We are so thankful for the continued health of our family and church community. We are thankful that students are still receptive to the Gospel and are hungry for a community that cares for them. It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows, but it’s not hard to see that Jesus is still King.
Last month I made a plea for firewood, chairs, and fire pits to help us keep doing ministry in-person as the temperatures have been getting colder. I’m so excited and thankful to report that you provided in big ways! Several people responded and were able to provide essentially an endless supply of firewood as well as some fire pits for our leaders! We have already gone through truck loads of wood as our community of students, young graduates, and staff have spent hours around campfires! A partner church in the area has even opened up it’s building for us to use for small-scale gatherings when the weather’s especially bad. In addition to the many spiritual conversations and cultivated friendships we have felt so supported and encouraged by your response. This is just another way that God is using you to sustain our efforts in this ministry. I say a big THANK YOU with tears in my eyes thinking about the amazing provision we’ve been privileged to see.
A Few Ministry Highlights in October…
While we haven’t been able to have larger gatherings as a way to worship together and cultivate momentum, the smaller, more intimate gatherings have been both refreshing and effective. Instead of one big Fall Retreat with hundreds of people this month we had seven different fall retreats! Instead of one big class of The Well (our discipleship class for new members of H2O), we meet in 4 different meeting spaces in the student center simultaneously (linked by video). This is very strange, but exciting to still see 20 new students get plugged in! And we got to celebrate God’s transforming work in a student’s heart through baptism!
Campus is closing on November 20 for the remainder of the semester. Much of what we do will shift to online at that point. Please pray for this transition and for creative ways to still nurture community and share the Gospel.
Thank you so much for your partnership in this. I’m so glad we’re not in this alone. Please reach out if we can be praying for you and serving you in any way.
The Slack Family (Jason, Lindsay, Carter, Maddy, Bryce)
Our mailing address is:
Jason & Lindsay Slack
499 Marigold Lane
Kent, OH 44240
The Asp Family
Our family has been living in Kent – specifically focused on the campus of Kent State University since 2012, working through a mission agency called Reliant. We are joined with H2O Kent and the broader H2O network throughout Ohio (and the still-broader Collegiate Church Network) to reach out to the younger generations. We find many of the students at Kent State University are highly interested in spiritual things, yet they have never really initiated a spiritual journey. With this in mind, we promoted ourselves to the campus as “A Church for Your Journey,” and we focus our ministry efforts on making disciples, training leaders, and sending out missionaries.
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest…
Greetings from Kent! How are things with you? Our family has been doing well. The last two weekends have been especially nice, with time to rake leaves and watch Ohio State football games again. Before that, however, my weekends were tied up with officiating three weddings within the span of one month!
As a pastor for college students and young adults, I feel uniquely positioned to observe wedding trends. And let me tell you: September and October weddings are very popular with young people these days! I can also tell you that barns are big as venues. Outdoor celebrations are on the rise (even before COVID). And desserts are far more varied than the Big White Cake that was traditional back when Marci and I got married (I’ve enjoyed artisanal ice cream, cookies, s’mores, and many other unique sweet treats at weddings over the last few years). I love this aspect of my job!
It’s a joy and a privilege to walk with students through the experiences of dating, engagement, and marriage. Not just pronouncing “Man and Wife” and signing marriage certificates. I appreciate the whole process, with deep discipleship implications each step of the way. Marci and I have really come to enjoy the opportunity to share our years of experience with young couples. And the three new marriages I’ve recently officiated seem to be particularly good case studies of the ways that we get to minister to people through the process of casual conversation, premarital counseling, practically preparing for a wedding, and guiding the ceremony itself.
Nick and Kelly
Nick and Kelly met each other through their involvement with the H2O Life Group in Stopher Hall and Johnson Hall (a.k.a. “Sto-Jo”) back in 2015. They were just friends through their first year-and-a-half of college. The second semester of their sophomore year, however, things started to change. I actually have a very specific memory of the day they first shared the news that they had started dating. It was at an end-of-the-semester celebration brunch for that semester’s H2O Interns at the Blue Door Cafe in Akron. (I like to think that the H2O Internship Program is beneficial for a lot of reasons, though I believe that Nick and Kelly are the first marriage to come out of the program!).
Over the next few years, Marci and I got to know Nick and Kelly more deeply through coaching them (and others) in their role as Life Group leaders. Nick eventually felt called by God to go on Staff with H2O after graduation, so we’ve stayed close even as they’ve transitioned from college to the career phase of life. God is doing great things through Nick and Kelly already! Their wedding celebration was on a farm 20 minutes south of Kent, and it was wonderful. Still, would you please pray for their continued growth and development, both as individuals and as a couple?
David and Katie
Katie and David also got to know each other through their years at Kent State University. David, however, didn’t fully discover new life in Jesus until his last couple of years on campus. In fact, the first time I remember David was the day he got baptized (by the same Nick mentioned above!). Katie had been a part of our church previously. But I got to know both of them more deeply when they both joined the East Townhomes (Off-Campus) Life Group, which I was coaching, in the Fall of 2018. I was particularly impressed by the way they influenced others through their involvement with other campus organizations at Kent State University. Katie took the lead in the University’s “Dress Up for Downs” initiative — connecting the Kent State Fashion community with the Downs Syndrome community. David was a major contributor in his fraternity and in the University’s Flashathon philanthropic initiative.
They graduated and moved to Columbus last spring, but they still asked me to officiate their wedding. So we figured out some creative solutions for long-distance premarital counseling. And then I drove down to central Ohio on a beautiful Fall Saturday to officiate a small family ceremony for them and about twenty guests. They hope to have a bigger celebration with more guests for their one-year anniversary, but for now they’ve got everything they need to start their new life together. Please be praying for their relationship, as they live out the first year of their marriage in a place that’s relatively unknown to them.
Joshua and Evelyn
Joshua and Evelyn were also a part of H2O during their college years. I remember Evie as a tiny little sophomore, boldly engaging with people at the University’s beginning-of-the-year Blast-Off event (she more than held her own, getting to help make connections with hundreds of new students). I remember long, serious conversations with Josh about things God was doing in his heart.
So even though we hadn’t stayed in close contact since their graduation in the spring of 2018, it was cool to have them reach out and ask if I would be willing to officiate their wedding. The weather was cold but sunny on the Saturday of their wedding, and their families seemed to really appreciate the way that the Gospel was presented throughout the ceremony. Both families had international elements, too, so it was especially fun to hang out with them at the Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding Reception. They’re starting their marriage in a town about 30 minutes north of Kent, and they’re just getting involved with a good church in that area. Please pray with me for God to surround them with deep community in this new church.
I don’t know about you. But it does my heart good to see life carry on throughout a weird year like 2020. It’s not just weddings, either. Within the course of a two-week span here in Kent last month, our Staff team got to celebrate the aforementioned wedding, a baptism celebration for a student from the church, an engagement, a birth, and the announcement of a new pregnancy! Isn’t that amazing?!? Life goes on, even through a pandemic and a contentious election! We have reason to be thankful for the signs of life happening around us. And how much more can we celebrate eternal life in Jesus!
Thank you for your faithful support in prayer and finances that allows us to be doing what we’re doing. We’re so glad to have ministry teammates like you. We’ll be in touch…
Todd & Kelly
After working as a missionary to college students for several years at their alma mater Bowling Green State University, Todd, his wife Kelley and their two children are now part of planting H2O, a campus focused church at the University of Akron! Less than 10% of the young generation know Christ, and through H2O the Schlereth’s are a part of working with the Lord to change that statistic during the formational college years. Their heart is to see students experience new life in Christ and embrace how God has made them to love and serve.
Hello from sleepless Akron, Ohio! :^) Well… it’s Kelley losing most of the sleep, but life with an infant is a blessing that comes with lots of stretching. Keeping up with baby Theo, Caroline in preschool and dance class (you can find her dancing in every room of the house,) and Josiah homeschooling with Kelley, we are keeping busy. Our family has been participating in our county’s annual Fall Hiking Spree trying to get out of the house too. We enjoy the activity, but we are tired like many of you, as covid continues to strain every area of our lives.
As a church we found covid in our midst recently. One girl in our house church community tested positive, but thank God she has recovered. This tested our wits and faith, but because of careful contact tracing, communication, precautions and prayer our one case was not spread. It made us thankful for our current house church structure- three house churches of around 20 people instead of one corporate church of 60. During that time the house church I lead moved to digital video gathering for a couple weeks, and the other house churches carried on in person. So far, with God’s help we have been able to handle the curve balls that just keep coming.
Speaking of God’s help, we have been seriously hooked up. I’ve been regularly reminded of two passages recently, the first being Christ’s Words from Matthew 6:8, “…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” The second is one of strong praise in Ephesians 3:20-21 as the Holy Spirit
speaks through Paul, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Why? Well, our campus church has been given a home away from home. Since University health restrictions keep us from gathering on campus (they are caring for 20,000 students so must be ultra cautious), our family of faith was stuck outdoors. As you know, the weather has turned and the outdoors are not a good gathering place anymore. So what do we do? We are blessed. Through the grapevine some ministry supporters who
had some connections heard about our situation and opened the doors for us to temporarily use an enormous space in downtown Akron for our gatherings. A short 10 minute walk from campus we have more space than we can even use, which is perfect for this time of social distancing! We are able to be safe, warm and dry near campus for all of our gatherings. Oh, and through some additional generosity it is ours to use free of charge! This is just another reminder of God’s goodness and generosity. He knows our needs before we do, and is eager to meet them. And I’ll be the first to tell you, this is way more than I imagined. As Paul said, glory be to God!
“Covid can’t stop the gospel!!” was the cry as some young men I disciple met outside in a parking lot for lack of better options. I was so inspired to see them opening scripture together, tapping into resourcefulness and desire for God, as seen above.
Please pray…-For divine creativity and opportunity with outreach as it is difficult to connect with students in this season.
-For renewed desire and discipline in faith and ministry in this trying season
-For energy, love and patience for our growing family
Thank you for partnering with us in the gospel!
Richland Pregnancy Services
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Master Provisions serves God by connecting resources to needs until every physical and spiritual need is fulfilled.
We work in partnership with agencies that directly serve people in need, distributing resources to them. By spending less time and money obtaining resources, these partner agencies are able to focus on their core mission.
We have a BIG announcement!
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P.S. Special thanks to Local 12 Reporter Liz Bonis for narrating and Broadview Motion for creating the video.
For 12 years Berean has provided an after-school tutoring program for Mansfield City School children. For 11 years we worked with Prospect Elementary students and this past year with Malabar Intermediate School students. Our program is 4 days per week for 2 hours each day from October through May. The focus of our program is one on one adult/student interaction. We ask adults to give one hour one day per week to work with a student. We provide a healthy snack, reading practice, homework help, Spiritual Character Quality lessons and free time each day. We have several parties at Christmas, Easter, and the end of the year.
If you are interested in participating please contact Pastor Bill Heaton, 419/756-3300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth For Christ
Brian Walls is the Operations Director for Youth For Christ in Cleveland. He is responsible for training and recruiting staff; developing new areas; overseeing Events and Assemblies.
Youth for Christ/USA has had a distinctive history of youth evangelism. In 1944 Billy Graham and Torrey Johnson held a Youth for Christ rally in Chicago. The ministry of YFC spread like wildfire across the USA. Today at thousands of community centers, high schools, middle schools, juvenile institutions, coffee shops, and local hangouts, YFC staff and volunteers meet with young people who need Jesus. For more about the national movement of Youth for Christ,
FRIENDS & TEAMMATES at BEREAN –
Thanks so much for being one of the biggest reasons I got on the mission field and have been able to stay on the mission field for close to 25 years! I covet your prayers for the following upcoming items:
- Missionary to Cleveland – Did you realize that the crime rate with most stats (murder, rape assault) is 145% higher in Cleveland than the National average (per Area Vibes) and the poverty rate is twice the National and State rate (per the Tallmadge Express). It has been my privilege to battle Satan here in Cleveland for over twenty years by training staff, equipping staff, creating tools, establishing new outreaches and doing outreach myself. Please pray for our outreach at the local jails (county and state lock-ups), our urban west side teen center, and various local schools – and wisdom for me as to try to guide the staff that leads them.
- Indians Game Outreach – On Saturday, September 22nd will be our big annual Indians game outreach that we have been doing for close to 25 years. Last year, God used it to share the Gospel with over 500 young people and 69 made some form of decision for the Lord. I was blessed to interview the players (Cody Allen, Yan Gomes, and Ryan Merritt). Please pray that the Lord uses it again this year!
Appreciative of your partnership in the Gospel since the beginning, Brian Walls; Operations Director; Greater Cleveland Youth for Christ; www.yfccleveland.org
THE WALLS FAMILY MINISTRY UPDATE
GREATER CLEVELAND YOUTH FOR CHRIST
“The Glory of God, and, as our only means to glorifying Him, the salvation of human souls, is the real business of life.”
Quote by C. S. Lewis
Other Local Partners
Compassion In Action
Contact: Kris Sparks
Emergency Response Team
Contacts: RuthAnn Chirico & Tim Miller
Harmony House, Homeless Services
Local English Camp
Contact: Bruce Dunlap
Local International Student Ministry
Contact: Tom Prendergast
LOVE INC. (Love In the Name of Christ)
Contacts: Tiffany Montgomery & Brenda Schwamberger
Mansfield Salvation Army
Contacts: Brenda Nelson
Nursing Home Ministry
Contacts: Tom Prendergast & Lisa Caldwell
Operation Christmas Child
Contact: Elizabeth Dawson
Contacts: Faith Kidwell & Ted Ryan
Public School Prayer Ministry
Prays monthly over Lexington Schools
Contact: Valerie Hunter
Shared Hope – STOP Sex trafficking
Contact: Susi Maiyer
- Middle East
- West Africa
- Dominican Republic
- Converge Southeast
Jerusalem Baptist Church, Pignon, Haiti
I returned to Haiti after my studies in the United States in 1996. We had prayed that God would glorify himself by using us as an instrument to transform lives in Haiti. Looking back, God has answered every prayer that we asked from that November day long ago.
He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
Jerusalem Baptist mission (JBM) began in 1977 by Rev Sidoine and Mrs. Athenienne Lucien for the purpose of winning souls for Christ. Pastor Sidoine had nine children and in 1996 his son Jephthe (the fifth of the nine children) joined him in the ministry. Pastor Jephthe has a degree from Washington Bible College in Maryland and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois.
Since pastor Jephthe joined JBM, he has been busy continuing the work that his father started by planting sister churches and Christian schools and developing economic structures for local families. Pastor Jephthe seeks training for his pastors and continues to develop businesses through which church members can support their families without being forced to flee to the big city.
The island of Haiti has ten departments and JBM now has a presence in 6 of the 10. We continue to work hard for the Lord, because “we know he is not done with us yet!” says Pastor Jephthe
Jephthe, his family and the JBM staff are working hard every day to continue the work that God entrusted to them. We prayed for blessings and now God is doing above and beyond what we ask or even think of.
Pastor Jephthe and his wife Widmide “Mitoue” Lucien are so thankful that God has put them in Pignon Haiti to serve at such a time as this!
Daniel 2:21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise knowledge to the discerning.
Jerusalem Baptist Mission
From Pastor Jephthe – May 2019
I am having such a very happy new year. Thank you very much for all your wishes at the beginning of the year. They have all come true.Dr. Paul Jorden from Bethel Baptist Church in Chicago has been coming to Haiti for over 4 years and he has been helping with leadership conferences. He was with me for the first two weeks of January leading training for the pastors. We took a special trip with pastors from churches of all denominations from Pignon who are part of the Pastoral Coalition, to the beautiful Belly Beach at Labadee in Cap-Haitien. We ate, had fun and reflected on leadership principles. We also spent another special whole day of teaching the word to the community of Haitian evangelical leaders and pastors in Cap-Haitien (CLEPH).
In the second week of January, all the pastors from the Jerusalem Baptist Mission came to Pignon for training. At the end of the pastoral conference, we had a graduation for the Jerusalem Bible Institute. Six Pastors completed the 4-year program this year. We were so honored that Pastor Paul Jorden was there to give the commencement address.
So many of you have witnessed, first-hand, the many facets of the ministry. However, while everything else continues to go on, it is my priority and obligation to make sure that the leaders are trained in the church of Jesus Christ, which we believe is the hope of the world. I trust God will use this training to transform lives and communities.
There is a young man from a church in the U.S. who went to Haiti this past summer for ten weeks as an intern. His job was to visit as many JBM churches as possible. He took a picture of every church that he visited. He also took a picture of every leader and family. He asked about the history of the church, attendance, needs, vision, prayer requests and anything relevant to the church’s health and growth. During his 10 weeks, he visited 77 of our 121 churches. He concluded that on a given Sunday morning, just among the churches that he visited, 40,000 (forty thousand) people are meeting to worship the Lord. I would call this the return on your investment. We thank God for you.
Please continue to pray for:
JBM University Fundraiser – June 1, 2019, from 6 pm • 8 pm
For years we have raised money and sent JBM high school graduates to university in Cap-Haitien, Port-Au-Prince and the Dominican Republic. It has always been a dream to build a university within the ministry to alleviate the need to send kids so far away with the added cost. We are pleased to announce that on August 17, 2019, we are starting Universite Jerusalem de Pignon. To keep the cost down, we will begin with an online program where all of the instructors are Masters and Ph.D. holders who will volunteer their time and will teach via webcast. We are so pleased to able to start this ministry. For the 1st year, we will provide English and computer science courses. Starting with year two, we will begin with programs in Biblical Studies, Counseling, and Education. If you are in Chicago and Indiana and would love to learn more about this ministry, please join us on June 1, 2019, from 6 PM to 8 pm at Bethel Community Church, Chicago- 7601 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60656 where Pastor Jephthe Lucien will share how this University will bring new hope and opportunities to a community desperate for education, income, and employment.
Enjoy an amazing Haitian dinner and finish it off with some amazing desserts and Caribbean Punch with Sugar Cane. We will have a silent auction, including amazing experiences such as tickets to a Cubs game, and a weekend in a vacation home in Michigan. We look forward to seeing you.
JBM 1st annual family Day- July 20, 2019
We invite you to join us on this great fun day with activities for the entire family on July 20 beginning at noon. We will have hotdogs·, burgers and activities such as races, bouncy houses, and many more surprises for the entire family. At this event, we will be able to accept school supplies and donations for our fundraiser. We have a group going to Haiti in August who will able to take all donations to Haiti. This group will conduct a teacher’s conference, VBS and will facilitate a fun day for the JBM school students. Location TBD; if you are in the Chicago area and want to help with the planning of this event, please call 847-338-8326 or email info@ jbmhaiti.org
JBM AnnualFall Banquet – Please Mark your calendar for our annual banquet scheduled for November 2, 2019, from 5-7 pm. This banquet will be at the Chapel, Palatine Campus located at 431 N Quentin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067.
Stability in the country. We do so much through short term mission trips and most have canceled because of the turmoil in the country this year. Please pray for our family. One of our son’s US visa was not renewed and finances are tight.
-Financial stability and support for leaders
-The University project
-School scholarship project
-Jerusalem Baptist Mission
In our last newsletter, we shared that we were behind in paying the teacher’s salary for the previous school year. I am so pleased to report that because of your generous contributions combined with our annual fundraising banquet, we raised enough money to pay all the teachers for the 2017-18 school year. We continue to trust that God will provide for this school year as he always has so we won’t fall too far behind again. At the moment we owe teachers April salary, but we know God will make a way! Please continue to pray.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to connecting with you! Blessings!
Grace Church – Brovary, Ukraine
Special Needs Family Camp – July 6 to 19, 2020
Conversational English School – July 20 to 31, 2020 – Need 8 Adults
See Pastor Bill Heaton or email him at email@example.com for more information.
Berean started short-term missions with Grace in 1996. For 12 years we have lead Children’s Adventure Camps (VBS). In 2008 we started teaching Conversational English at Pastor Boris Medyanik’s request.
We continue to teach two weeks each summer to about 150 mostly college students and young professionals. In 2012 we were asked to help Grace with their ministry to Families of Special Needs Children. Tanya Kolodey heads up this Grace ministry. We go for two weeks in the summer to help with their Special Needs Family Camp which ministers to about 40 moms and 80 kids. We send teams of up to five to Special Needs Family Camp and up to ten to Conversational English School. Attending both weeks of ministry are possible.
Berean Christmas 2018 – Greeting from Brovary, Ukraine
Drew and Sarah
Drew and Sarah R. – Middle East
The R. family are Converge Global Workers currently serving in the Middle East. In partnership with a local church, they are engaging Syrian refugee families with the gospel. The ministry includes a combination of humanitarian aid efforts as well as open and intentional presentations of the Gospel. Drew’s primary responsibility within the ministry is discipleship and leadership development among new believers. This is a vital role in strengthening the local church and establishing local leadership for many years to come. God is actively working among Syrian refugees throughout the Middle East and around the world. Please continue to pray for them and that God would reveal himself to them.
Dr. David & Margalit
Shabbat Shalom friends,
Here is some local news from Israel:
This week, Israel’s Air Force struck a military base in Syria where Iran has been deploying troops and doing R & D (research and development) of military import. Israel will usually carry out such a strike if intelligence shows that weaponry is being manufactured or transported to such a base, for use against Israel. Nine Iranian troops were killed in the air raid. Iran has vowed a revenge attack against northern Israel for this and prior Israeli Air Force attacks on Iran’s growing military presence in the region.
This week PM Netanyahu was in Moscow, not for soccer’s World Cup final game, but to talk about Israel’s ‘take’ on Iran’s presence in Syria. It was reported that Russia will not interfere with Israeli attacks on Iranian troops there, as long as no Russian assets are harmed.
All this makes more sense when we realize that Iran and her allied troops (such as the Hizbullah terror group that rules over Lebanon), were creeping right up to Israel’s northern border with Syria (just over the Golan Heights). Iran and Syria have supplied Hizbullah with about 200,000 rockets that are being deployed in south Lebanon. So the Iranian threat is real. Israel could no longer live with this development, and began efforts, both diplomatically and otherwise, to clear our Syrian border of Iranian and allied troops. Iran has often stated publicly its desire to annihilate Israel, and so Israel is always on the alert about the danger.
Please pray for wisdom for Israel’s government, to know how to deal with the threat on our northern border. Let’s also pray for many people to turn to Yeshua in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. That is the only hope for those nations, period.
God will someday turn the Middle East into an area that leads the world in worshiping Him (see Isaiah 19). But until that day, a great darkness has come upon our area. Yet there are wonderful promises in the Bible about His heart towards us and His plan of redemption.
More Personal news:
David is teaching his seminar in London this weekend. We’d appreciate prayer for safe travel there and that he’d be able to excite his students about studying the Bible.
We got word this morning from our friends in the Galilee – who have been preparing a house/center that will be used for weekly Bible training – are nearly finished with the project. That means we can begin to travel north for this training. We will be taking turns with our son and his wife plus another young couple who will be team teaching with us. We are very excited about all these young families in the north who are serious about studying the Word. Please pray that we can get this very complicated schedule worked out and that we will have the finances to help support this center.
David leaves on Sunday for Ireland and England. Margalit will join him in a weeks time. This is a combination of teaching/family and baseball.
August At the Shalom Conference in Oswiecim, Poland, David will speak about God’s perspective on this very issue. Please pray that he can be sensitive to the emotions and feelings that will be present, and speak with God’s merciful heart. Scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 13 will be at the heart of his talk to the gathered Israeli, Polish and European believers. David will teach that God wants to unite Israeli and Polish believers in love, sympathy, and prayer for each other. This could be a very healing moment for us there, so please pray that God would have His way. This is a yearly conference where 300 or so of us gather to pray for Poland, Israel, and Germany to walk in our God-given destinies.
And from there we are traveling to Romania to teach at the first-ever Holocaust reconciliation conference there.
Cirilo & Dory Doguiles
Leadership training and development of pastors, church planters, and seminary students
Cirilo & Dory Doguiles are back in the Philippines after serving 29 years in the United States with Converge Worldwide planting a Filipino church in California. After years of working at the denominational level in the areas of church planting, Filipino ministries, and Intercultural Ministries, Pastor Cirilo and Dory decided to solidify the commitment they made 28 years ago to return home to minister in the Philippines. In January of 2014, they left for the Philippines to embark on this new ministry.
Their vision is to see that disciples, leaders, and churches are multiplied by establishing centers for starting and strengthening churches (S2 Centers) in each of the 12 district ministries of Converge Philippines/BCP. They are also involved in leadership training and development of pastors, church planters, and seminary students through teaching and mentoring.
It’s exactly one month since our return to the field. The covid 19 and four typhoons pushed the country into unprecedented feeling of despair and fear. The most recent typhoon, left a large portion of Metro–Manila and northern Luzon provinces under water and in utter devastation due to heavy rains and strong winds. Relief operations by the government, NGO’s and religious organizations are underway.
We continue to minister online. Cirilo is preoccupied preparing the syllabus and lecture notes on the Pastoral Epistles. He will be teaching the course on line in January. Last week, had two online strategic meetings with the Converge Philippines board of trustees and district leaders from the island of Masbate. In both interactions, they addressed how to creatively continue their commitment to developing a disciple making movement and church planting.
Cirilo’s conversation with our neighbor revealed how uncertainty brought about by the global pandemic affected people inwardly. With tears, he asked Cirilo if he would be open to regularly walk in the neighborhood while sharing God’s word. We praise the Lord for such spiritual conversation opportunities.
On the family front, we grieve for the death of Cirilo’s mother, three days after we arrived from the States. She was ninety-one years old leaving a legacy of faith, prayerfulness and hard work.
Would you remember the following prayer concerns:
- Pray for the rehabilitation efforts of the Converge Metro-Manila/Luzon District churches to assist victims of the typhoon
- Two upcoming online training events of the Institute for Training in Ministry that Cirilo will conduct.
- Cirilo’s preparation for the second semester class at Cebu Graduate School of Theology
Cirilo & Dory
Training the next generation leaders in the Philippines
STEVE & BARBARA WILKINSON
John & Jan Baxter
What We Do
Everything the Baxters do seeks to expand missions to and from the millions of people migrating around the globe. This mission strategy is called Diaspora Missions.
Millions of people from unreached and unreachable areas of the globe are moving into contact with the gospel in lands with an evangelical church. Our gospel strategies are working to connect these economic immigrants, refugees, international students, and others on the shores of Europe and in the cities of North America with an opportunity to hear the Good News.
This strategy includes training Christians from the Majority World who are finding employment in unreached lands to be strong in their faith and be effective witnesses to their host population and the other unreached immigrants around them.
This emerging missions strategy has the potential to release millions of lay witnesses into lands where career missionaries cannot go and among unreached people groups that missionaries cannot contact.
In a recent meeting with Eldon Porter, the “guru” of missions networks, he observed that what I do is manage a dance floor.
I told him, “I doubt it. You’ve never seen me trying to dance.”
Eldon said that people don’t come to a dance floor to see the manger dance or to hear his lecture on dancing. They come to find an inviting environment and other people who want to dance too.
A lot of what I’m doing is creating and managing mission network “dance floors.”
In finding opportunities for missions to and then from the millions of people on the move, no one church or mission agency can do it alone. We need an active dance floor of people around the globe connecting, communicating, and collaborating. We also need people who can create and maintain those environments, the global migration mission “dance floors.”
Three Baxter “dance floors”
- Converge International Ministries, our sending agency: My job is to create pathways for cooperation among our scattered global initiatives, whether in Indonesia or Minnesota, for engaging with migrating unreached people groups.
- NextMove: I developed and now co-direct this research and consulting network of over thirty mission agencies with a growing number of international affiliates, that is learning together and helping others become effective in diaspora missions.
MissioNexus: This largest association of Great Commission churches and mission organizations in North America focuses on the global Great Commission. As the Diaspora Missions Advisor, I help create spaces for members to learn about and collaborate in Diaspora Missions.
The first prototype of a city-wide strategy I helped develop for engaging unreached immigrant groups in urban centers is underway in the Twin Cities. One pathway for entering these unreached, and often resistant communities, is through economic development.
When Jan and I were in Malaga, Spain, last year, we were learning about economic mission platforms and creating a partnership between Converge and this business-as-missions ministry.
Then, in August, John hosted a training event for business leaders, pastors, community development leaders, and Converge missions staff in the Twin Cities for using this economic development platform among unreached immigrant populations that have suffered economic loss in the recent rioting.
I was the training facilitator, but the attendees didn’t come to hear me. They came to work together. They came to “dance.” This groundswell of interest is spurring our launch of our first business start-up academy with immigrant entrepreneurs and Christian business people.
Our Family and Yours
You are allowing us to do this important work of creating global synergies that accelerate missions among people on the move. Thank you!
Jan and I welcomed a new grandson, JB, son of Taylor and Caroline and little brother of Birdie in August in Chicago. COVID and distance sadly mean we won’t get to personally meet him yet.
While I was in Minnesota, Jan experienced a tornado in our neighborhood. No one in its path was hurt, but roofs and fences were badly damaged, and many beautiful oak trees were lost. We are praising the Lord that through this shared experience, we are getting to know a lot of our neighbors, a step toward talking with them about Jesus.
How are you? We’d love to hear how you’ve been doing during this unprecedented year and to know how to pray for you. Feel free to reply to this email and let us know.
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Colossians 1:3).
John and Jan
Dave & Stephanie Connell
David and Stephanie Connell desire to see the transformation of lives, families, and communities across the least-reached peoples in Latin America for the glory and worship of God.
They will recruit and strengthen leaders who will pursue the vision of reaching the least-reached peoples in the region (or across the world).
David, as Converge’s Church Strengthening Team Leader for Latin America, will provide regional strategic leadership, ensure team development/ guidance/health, ensure appropriate resources for effectiveness, and drive collaborative relationships.
Stephanie will home-school their children, teach the next generation of leaders at the local Christian school, and serve at their home church.
They invite you to partner with them through your prayers and financial support on this exciting mission!
ENGAGING THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC…differently these days
COVID has altered Stephanie and David’s living arrangement in the Dominican Republic, but they were able to spend a few weeks in September with friends and local leaders in Santo Domingo and Juan Tomas.
COVID has made life and schooling very, very different there. It was strange to walk around Fountain of Life school in the middle of a school day and find only a few teachers here and there doing lessons online. No hustle & bustle of kids changing classes, no kids playing in the school yard.
But online schooling is what has been decided for the entire year by the Minister of Education. As a result, Stephanie will continue to teach English to high school 10th and 12th graders but do so online via Google Classroom.
COVID continues to restrict things with evening curfews still in place, but David was able to spend time with leaders Richard and Argenis talking about the short-term and longer-term development plans.
Key Upcoming Plans / Activities at Juan Tomas:
- Marriage retreat planning and fund raising
- Proposal to the board to build new mission team dorms
- Begin efforts to build a 3rd story for the vocational school labs / plan to engage an Ohio college for a certificate program
- Help firm up several short-term mission trips for 2021
- Evaluate further outreach / church plant opportunities; consider unreached people
TRUSTING THE LORD’S PLANS
Despite COVID, our vision and work remain the same…
“We are asking God for a gospel movement among every least-reached people group in our generation.”
David continues to work with Latin American leaders through many virtual ZOOM calls as well as more and more face-to-face engagements. As mentioned, we were in the DR a few weeks ago and David will be going to Mexico in late October to meet with one of his team members and visit the Kumiai tribe.
In order to multiply impact though, David must recruit more US missionaries to be on his Regional Impact team. He met with Converge’s US engagement leaders and began laying out a multi-tiered recruitment plan, including meeting with many churches across southern USA in 2021.
Where we lay our head at night is changing…
COVID has shifted our living plans, but since there is a lot of flexibility in David’s role and Stephanie is leveraging the virtual classroom, we can continue to make the intended mission impact and live anywhere that has easy access to Latin America.
Please pray for clarity on where God would have us ‘lay our heads down at night’ going forward.
Immediate need…in 30 days, we must leave the make-shift office building we are staying at now and are not sure where we will live or where our son will go to school after that point.
For the time being…we cannot justify having the family in the DR. Engaging periodically is more viable at this time. In lieu of this, we will be evaluating Florida as a potential place to reposition for who knows how long due to its access to Latin America countries, close proximity to Converge headquarters, and the needed engagement with southern US churches in 2021.
COVID has impacted many budgets, including ours and our donors. We are in the 2nd year of our 4-year plan to create & then lead mission teams that will come alongside and help equip national / local leaders across Latin America who have a passion to impact unreached peoples.
Please help us meet our goals & the current budget need of $700/month.
- For clarity and trust regarding our living situation as we continue to walk down the path the Lord has marked out for us
- For the Lord to raise up people who are willing to serve in Latin America and be part of our team
- For safe travels in the midst of COVID
- For increased funding from current partners who can do so and for new financial partners.
EACH OF US HAVE A CRITICAL ROLE IN THIS KINGDOM WORK
…we are on the ground, you are equipping us, and both of us are doing battle in prayer…
WE ARE SO GRATEFUL TO STAND BESIDE YOU AND FIGHT THIS GREAT FIGHT OF FAITH!
GECHAAN was founded in July of 2004 by Art and Dorothy Helwig who chose to do whatever they could about the raging HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria. The Southern part of Taraba State was selected to begin a grassroots-focused approach to making the people aware of the problem and how they may prevent becoming infected. The emphasis on prevention.
The work grew quickly and grew into a full-service NGO that reaches out into the hinterlands in attempts to save the lives of as many people as possible. In 2014 Dan & Tina Gibbs joined the ministry in Nigeria. Today GECHAAN is covering eight local governments in Taraba State.
GECHANN is located in the far southeast part of Taraba State which borders on Cameroon. Having started in Sardouna Local Government Area (LGA), the work has expanded to include Gashaka, Bali, Kurmi, Takum, Donga, Gassol and Ardo Kola LGAs. There are four regional offices with managers who oversee many volunteers who assist people in need in villages
Dear Friends at Berean Baptist Church,
We have exciting news friends! We have purchased tickets for October 18! We are excited and thankful to get back to Nigeria! Our work permits expired in July and we have been told they have given a grace period in Nigeria to renew them, but we have had a hard time finding clear information as to what we need to do.
Dan is healing well and feeling good after his ablation. He is experiencing less A-fib, it will be a couple of months before we know if the surgery was successful in stopping the A-fib.
Tina had an appointment to check out a sore right leg and a little trouble breathing and we discovered she had a saddle pulmonary embolism in her lungs, other small blood clots in her lungs as well as a blood clot from her foot to her groin in her right leg. She was hospitalized, wearing compression socks now after lymphedema wrapping and on blood thinners now. We are very thankful we were in the States for this as well.
We made a trip to Indiana and Wisconsin to pick up medical supplies and Days for Girls kits and have over half a shipping container worth of items boxed, weighed, and numbered for when we get to pack our next container. We still are uncertain when that will be as the Nigerian government is just starting to get back in full swing so that we can apply for a duty waiver.
We have had a recent connection with a Nigerian who ships a container every month and we are shipping some of our luggage on that to save funds for getting things over there that we would typically take in our luggage as we usually have 12 or more bags.
Things are moving forward in Nigeria and the staff is doing a wonderful job of keeping things moving forward. We are so proud of them and anxious to join them!
We are looking for someone(s) that can join us in Nigeria. There are many areas that you could serve. We are currently focusing on finding someone that can help start and develop a disciple making ministry.
We know that in January of 2021 we will be losing some of our current support. Please pray with us about meeting this need. If you would like more information on how you can be a part of our financial support team please let us know.
In His Service,
Dan & Tina Gibbs
Visit our website at www.dtgibbs.com
Matt, Audrey & Ezra Pound
Faithful Heart Foundation
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Who We Are
Faithful Heart Foundation (FHF) is an “R&R” ministry…reach and rescue. Our foundation helps break the cycle of poverty by providing orphans with a loving Christian family to ensure that they have adequate food and nutrition, and access to quality education.
FHF is a Christian orphan care ministry. We seek to serve the poor and disadvantaged people in and around Northern Thailand, whose life circumstances can be improved through:
We strive to match our foundation resources with the greatest needs to have a lasting, positive
impact on as many lives as possible.
The dangers that at-risk children face in Northern Thailand:
Homelessness or Poor Housing and Living Conditions
Family Loss or Neglect
Food Insecurity, Hunger, and Malnutrition
Poor Water Quality and Access
Lack of Basic Hygiene and Increased Incidence of Illness and Disease
Lack of Education or Access to Quality Education
Discrimination and Prejudice
Risk of Trafficking, Kidnapping or Being Sold through Exploitation and Debt
Physical and Mental Abuse
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Orphan and Rescue Care
Greetings Friends and Family,
Every now and then, you write something that sums up so much of your heart. This blog port is one of those times. We are so grateful for each of you. May this holiday season bring renewed hope and strength to live and to love.
We love you all!
Matt, Audrey, Ezra, and Sienna
Faithful Heart Foundation
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Steve and Nopaluck Cable, Bangkok, Thailand
Steve and Nopaluck are focused on church planting and evangelism at Peace Fellowship Church (PFC) and Santisuk English School (SES) in Bangkok, Thailand. Since 1995, nearly 700 different short-term missionaries have been involved in 4-week (minimum) evangelistic outreaches at SES that have been instrumental in winning many Thai to Christ.
SANTISUK ENGLISH SCHOOL
SES is both an effective evangelistic tool and a high-quality conversational English educational center. We will use methods that are creative, wide-reaching, relationship-oriented, need-based, sacrificial, efficient, and self-sustaining in Thailand that engages and empowers Thai Christians to reach the Thai.
We ultimately exist to glorify God by being a significant bridge-building tool enabling God to transform lives and assisting Peace Fellowship Church to reach N.E. Bangkok for Jesus Christ.
Find out more about the Santisuk English School at www.santisuk.org.
Stepping Out in Faith
Seven years ago, we temporarily left Peace Fellowship Church (PFC) and Santisuk English School (SES) in NE Bangkok for a year to run our Ladkrabang branch while the leaders there were on home assignment. I managed to lead PFC and SES while working and living at the Ladkrabang branch. PFC and SES were able to function pretty well without us and Ladkrabang went very well in some ways. We saw a huge increase in the number students but we didn’t see much success in our outreach. It was a good year, it was a unique year.
We’re now going to do it again, only this time more challenging, much more risky, longer, in a different place, for different reasons.
Todd and Karen Indehar have led Santisuk Silom for 5 1/2 years. They have decided to move into a new phase in ministry and desired to have someone take over Santisuk Silom. They contacted us April 23 with this news and we had until the end of May to decide what to do. After lots of wrestling with which way to go, knowing that the downtown Silom location is a prime spot for ministry with huge potential, yet after 3 months of Covid-19 shutdowns that have affected everything, we decided to again temporarily leave PFC and SES to run Santisuk Silom for the next 18 months. This will also allow us to bring Santisuk Silom into Bangkok 15/25 because we’ll be seeking to establish a new church there. Santisuk Silom is one of our branch centers begun before Bangkok 15/25 started. Bangkok 15/25 is our goal of 15 new missionaries recruited to plant 15 new churches in the Bangkok Metro Area by the end of 2025. It is a 10-year goal that has driven just about everything we’ve done now for the past 5+ years.
We’ll not be going alone. Awe, who was the first director there from January 2015 until early 2018, and Ern, who taught there some back in 2015 and also was involved there for that first year, will go together with us as the core team. In addition, nearly all of Awe’s cell group will be going as well, so from the beginning, we’ll have a good core group for cell ministry and outreach.
Nopaluck and I just today put a deposit on a place to rent for the next 11 months that is 4 sky-train stops away from the Santisuk Silom location. Awe and Ern will commute from their condos which are a minute’s walk from PFC and SES, but at least 90 minutes one-way to Silom.
The challenges are, as you can imagine, huge. But we have a huge God! Pray for the following:
1) Student attendance at all Santisuk branches is exceptionally low, not just because of quarantine, but for many months before that as well.
2) We’re shifting much more responsibility onto our leaders at PFC and SES because in the coming 18 months, I (Steve) will be doing much less at PFC and SES than I did the year we were in Ladkrabang so we can focus more fully on Silom. We have a very capable team of people, but pray they will be up to the new challenges as well.
3) We don’t just want to see Santisuk Silom go well economically (more students), although it has to go well in that regard as well, but we want to see MANY students come to faith in Christ!
4) We all are a temporary transition team. The 18 months are what we believe is the maximum amount of time needed to get a permanent team ready to take over and run Santisuk Silom. Pray for the make-up of the permanent team to run Silom, possibly as early as the end of next year.
5) We want a good start working together, for the 4 of us. We are part of the bigger PFC/SES team and know each other pretty well. But we all have new jobs now with new challenges.
If Bangkok 15/25 is going to move ahead there has to be a shifting of Steve’s responsibilities at PFC and SES and there has to be a movement of people getting trained to lead 10 additional centers in the next 5+ years.
Pray this next step goes well for everyone involved.
Website Help (STILL) Needed
Our website, www.santisuk.org, has been without an administrator for almost 6 months now. The administrator is someone who can write website code, who knows everything about running websites, can design them and fix them and can make additions to them. We’ve not had a person serve as our administrator in any capacity since Dec. 31, 2019. We need security updates and someone who can add additional sites as we expand for Bangkok 15/25. The person does NOT need to speak Thai or read Thai, but about half of the site is in Thai. We can post the Thai and English content, we need help with special pictures and the fancy stuff of any good website.
Thanks for reading and thanks for praying!
Steve and Nopaluck Cable
John and Elaine Mehn
John is the Director of the JEMA Church Planting Institute. Their primary ministry is to cross-cultural church planting, direct evangelism and outreach, mobilization and equipping for church planting, leadership development, and spiritual renewal mentoring.
“Advancing God’s Kingdom by mentoring leaders to be part of a movement that is multiplying churches that are multiplying disciples through the power of the gospel.”
The Church Planting Institute is a core ministry of the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association. Our purpose is to foster a ministry vision for what God has in store for Japan and the world. This is a cooperative effort by missions, missionaries, and Japanese leaders and workers to see indigenous gospel-driven church planting movements fostered in this needy country. We welcome you to join us in this adventure of faith and ministry.
To view or download the CPI informational PDF brochure in Japanese click here: jcpi-brochure-jpn.
God has been doing some great things through the Institute since its inception in 1994. It started with 29 missionaries meeting with Dr. Steve Childers–a veteran church-planter and now a professor of practical theology–which gave birth to a vision for CPI. Since that time, nearly 3.000 Japanese and foreign gospel workers serving with 150 organizations and coming from over 20 different countries have been involved. There are also about 180 people from throughout the world using our internet services. Missionaries from Hokkaido to Okinawa have been involved with CPI, touching practically every prefecture in Japan.
Check out their introductory video in the link below!
Along with Covid, Elaine and I continue to go through a major transition this year. John begins a new job in Asia and he has prepared a short video about his new position with Converge next month.
You can see the video at our webpage: https://www.gospelrest.com/the-asian-adventure/
Please help us and pass on this short email to those in charge of world missions in your church. That may be the pastor, a key staff member, a missions team, or a key church leader. We may not know that person so thank you for passing it on. If you received more than one copy of this email, please forgive us. We are trying to give this the widest possible readership.
The video includes John sharing about these key points.
· John begins a new position with Converge on November 1st.
· Why the Asia Impact Team is important what it does.
· The Asia Impact Team is based in the US but travels regularly to Asia.
· John is not retiring but pacing down to 3/4th pace. Elaine is retiring but still volunteering.
· Pray and Support Financially John in this new adventure.
· Please connect with us for updates or more information.
Thanks for your prayers, practical help, and financial support to accelerate Asian leadership and church multiplication movements.
John and Elaine Mehn
Converge Worldwide Missionaries to Japan
Bill and Kathy M.
Serving with Converge in the capital city of a West African country, predominantly Muslim
Bill: University student outreach through teaching English as a foreign language
- leading discussions on Biblical topics, themes, and passages
- developing relationships with particular students
- studying the Bible with them
- the long-term goal is to see an expanding network of house churches
Kathy: Teaching high school and middle school art at the school for missionary children
- eighty percent of the student body are missionary kids, whose parents serve all over West Africa
- to be a godly example to the students in all that she does and says (for some students, the school is the only exposure they have to a Christian worldview)
- hosting Bill’s students for meals and providing support for special events and visiting teams
- a population of about 14 million, 95% Muslim, 4% Catholic
- two largest people groups are unreached, with only 100 believers or so in each
- freedom of religion, but social & family ostracism for those who become Jesus-followers
- politically stable, with the democratically-elected president & Parliament
- the very high unemployment rate, common for one wage earner to support the extended family of 12-15 persons
- a developing country, with slowly improving infrastructure
Please check out their introductory video in the link below!!
Paul and Linda McMillan
Fountain of Life Christian School
Our mission is to provide children with an unmistakable inner conviction of who they are, what their life purpose is, and where they will go to in eternity as defined in the irrefutable Word of God.
Our purpose is to prepare citizens to be fully equipped academically, morally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
We help students define and fulfill their life goals by acquiring the intrinsic values of individual achievement, patriotic support, personal independence, family loyalties and productive contributions to the local and global communities.
The benefits of our school include:
- Education with a higher worldview rooted in the Word of God
- The pursuit of excellence above the lower standards of public schools
- Superior English classes, with access to native English speakers
- Caring teachers committed to the spiritual, academic, and personal development of the students
- Computer classes taught in a modern computer lab
- A close-knit community where students are always safe and welcome to play with friends
Students come to know God personally through Jesus Christ
What’s Happening in Juan Tomas?
October 7, 2020
REJOICING WITH THANKSGIVING
Praises from the Fountain of Life School
Greetings to all: Well, another whole month has flown by, and all under this global pandemic! We praise God for His keeping presence and power. Fountain of Life School formally began classes September 7th. The school has been able to begin functioning rather smoothly in the virtual mode. Our teachers have been faithfully coming to the school each morning and, after our teacher devotions, they get into their small groups and begin working with their computers to connect with their students, giving the students the student devotional that I have prepared and then uploading the different class materials to the platforms we are using (Google classroom and Google Dojo). This has been a challenging, but rewarding, time as each of us in the school tries to do his or her part to make sure our students are receiving the necessary education and encouragement.
The most difficult challenge is for our computer teacher who has to work hard to keep the internet functioning. We are thankful for internet, since we know that many of our students have as big or more of a challenge to receive the virtual teaching. Many only have cellphones to receive their lessons, which makes it hard for them to follow all the classes.
Thankfully, the Lord has preserved our teachers from the Covid19 virus. The mother of one of our teachers did have it, but she is recovering. This teacher, of course, did remain at home and worked with her classes from her home.
As a private school, we are permitted to have classes, since the public sector will not begin classes until November 2nd. We are not permitted to give new material until that date, so our teachers are doing a lot of reviewing now.
Praises from Juan Tomas Bible Church
Our regular church services (on Sunday mornings, via YouTube) have been gradually increasing in numbers. We still insist on the face masks and distancing in the church and even after dismissing the members. It is hard for them to comply with this regulation, but we are still thankful that we can meet. We continue to broadcast the service via YouTube. A number of the high blood pressure patients are coming to the services and are able to receive their checkups and medication, thanks to a small group that came down from Ohio and were able to renew the supplies of medicine for these patients.
REMEMBERING WITH INTERCESSION
We appreciate your prayers for God’s protection on us and our families during these difficult days.
Continue praying for this ministry. God’s blessings on all of you. Paul, for the team.
To see a growing Church in the Middle East and North Africa, confident in Christian faith and witness, serving the community and contributing to the good of society and culture.
To provide the churches and Christians of the Middle East and North Africa an opportunity to witness to Jesus Christ through inspirational, informative, and educational television services.
We’re making God’s love visible to 21 million viewers across the Middle East and North Africa through Christian satellite television. A potential audience of 500 million people can hear the Truth in their heart languages of Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish.
- SAT-7 Turk – In 2014, SAT-7 was granted a 10-year license to broadcast in Turkish, the only Christian television channel on the Turksat satellite – available to more than 55 million people. This channel has been on-air since early 2015 with very encouraging response and growth!
- SAT-7 PARS – After a year of prayerful negotiations with a company in the Arab Gulf, the hugely popular Yashat satellite system, SAT-7 PARS was accepted – here too, the only Christian channel on this satellite system. Consequently, over the past 12 months, the counseling centers have seen a huge increase in responses from viewers not only in Iran but especially from Afganistan.
- SAT-7 ACADEMY – In response to an incredibly widespread and acute need for education, and led by the Holy Spirit, doors opened to launch this breakthrough channel. The broadcasts bring the classroom, life skills, hope, and light to 20 million Arabic speaking children not currently receiving any proper schooling. Parents are deeply grateful.
Find out more by visiting our website https://www.sat7usa.org/
Steve and Becky Storkel
Steve has had the privilege of working as a Youth Pastor for over 33 years. During those years he planned multiple missions trips all over the USA. Through those trips God gradually placed in his heart a love and passion for missions. During a sabbatical in 1999, Steve and his family took their first oversea’s mission trip to Haiti. That was the beginning of his growing in love with the people there. He soon began organizing trips to Haiti for youth, college age, and adult groups. At first, the trips revolved around the building of schools and churches. Although these were helpful ministries, Steve began to see a bigger need that he desired to be part of. He began to see that one of the major needs of the region was the teaching and training of pastors for the equipping of their church members. Many pastors in the Caribbean countries do not have the resources available to grow in their faith, become grounded in God’s Word, and accurately teach the Bible to others. They are held captive to numerous false doctrines and beliefs that they have been indoctrinated with over the years.
By God’s grace, Steve is hoping that by training pastors Converge will be able to plant 100 multiplying churches in the Dominican Republic and 100 multiplying churches in Haiti in the next two years.
He is praying for partners who will join with him in this vital task of equipping pastors for the work of the ministry. Please prayerfully consider investing in God’s kingdom through this ministry God has called him to.
Caribbean // Pastor Jephthe, one of the national pastors of Haiti, has shared many times the pressing need for solid Biblical teaching for the pastors in his association of churches. He feels that there is a stagnation of growth of additional churches in Haiti because of the lack of qualified trained pastors to teach, admonish, equip, and instruct their church members.
WOW!!!! What a difference a month makes. Three weeks ago I was in Haiti training pastors and Christian leaders and now we are locked out indefinitely from Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican. With hundreds of millions of people now isolating themselves around the world, the novel corona virus pandemic has become a global event. It has effected almost every nation in some way. But in all of this our Lord says “Fear Not”.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
What a great visual picture this is of the Lord upholding us in His righteous right hand
Unfortunately this virus has effected our ministry. Due to the lock downs and quarantines, our travel and our TTI training has been put on a temporary hold. Nevertheless, the Lord had been blessing our TTI ministry in Cuba as our 16 (Pauls) reached out to 250 (Timothys) in the past month. Each Timothy will now be in the process of being trained and will be expected to reach out to 10-15 (Tituses) in the next 3 months. In Haiti we are in the process of meeting with 2 groups, one in the Northern section, Cap-Haitian, and the other in the Plateau region, Pignon. In Cap-Haitian, we have a 100 pastors who have committed to meet for 3 hours every Saturday, for training and accountability. Please pray for these groups of christian leaders as they share the gospel to those around them and disciple the new (Timothys). Our hope is to return to each country in May to continue training. In the meantime, we are working on printing and translating books for them to distribute. Please pray with us for these 2 oppressed countries where life is so hard. Pray that our (Paul’s) would continue to spread the gospel well and that many would come to know Christ as their Savior.
Haiti’s president has declared a state of emergency over corona virus. Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is under lock down, with airports, seaports, schools and factories closed. Unfortunately, their medical system is weak and understaffed and does not have the resources available to deal with this pandemic. Please pray with me that this virus does not spread in Haiti, as this will certainly lead to thousands of deaths in this country.
The Cuban government suspended the school year as of March 24, to prevent the expansion of COVID-19, a disease of which there were 40 confirmed cases on the island. The closure will extend for four weeks.
For me personally, this has been a disappointing time of cancelled trips, limited travel, and stay at home orders from our state’s leaders. Even in the midst of my disappointment though, I’ve been reminded from God’s word that the heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
My plans aren’t necessarily His plans, and my ways are not always His ways. His ways are higher than my ways, and his plans higher than mine.
Consequently, the Lord has opened up other doors of opportunity for ministry here in the southeast district. I have been preparing for and leading online zoom meetings with our district pastors in order to encourage, strengthen, pray for, and share ideas with them. Hopefully together, we can learn how to best minister, not only to our own congregations, but to the communities that we live in and the people who need to hear the hope of the gospel during these days of uncertainty, panic, and fear.
In addition, Becky and I have been focusing on our Highland Meadows community. We have had lots of time for “prayer walks” and for meeting our neighbors (from a distance of coarse), and just making ourselves known in the community. We feel God has given us this unique opportunity to make connections with people. During the evenings, tons of people are out gardening, biking, working on their homes, washing their cars, walking their dogs etc. We spend at least an hour every evening out and about hoping to form relationships for future ministry.
- That the Lord would open doors (literally) so that we can make connections in our neighborhood and hopefully share the gospel.
- Guidance, wisdom, and direction as I assist our district pastors in ministering and connecting to their congregations and communities.
- Gods wisdom and guidance as we print our TTI material in Cuba and translate and print books in Haiti and that funding for this work would continue.
- For the Lord to continue to use Becky to share the love and light of Christ to the elderly people she cares for in their homes.