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 a 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
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 into 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 pick ups 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!
Summer is underway and underwater! It’s been so rainy here that the sump pump in my basement is constantly running. KSU students are in summer classes and our kids are involved in all sorts of fun summer activities – tennis camp, cross-country camp, soccer, basketball, summer reading program, VBS, etc! Life hasn’t slowed down for us, but it’s been a lot of fun. I’m still recovering from bi-lateral knee surgery (both knees at the same time) from the end of May. The doctor said it would be a quick and easy recovery but 3 weeks out and I’m still hobbling around. I’m seeing a physical therapist three times a week and praying that the surgery will help take away the increasing knee pain I’ve been feeling and give me several more years of pain-free activity. Please pray for me as I rehabilitate.
We’ve had a steady increase in the number of young people worshipping with us on Sunday evenings so far this summer. We’ve combined with H2O Akron and have had over 70 people in attendance for the past few weeks! Many of those are students and some are recent graduates who have found jobs in the area and want to stay involved in the mission to reach college students. We’ve been blessed by a local church here that lets us use their building in the afternoon and has invited us to join them for picnics. This has been such a blessing to us because we are unable to reserve consistent rooms on campus through the summer.
We continue to have two life groups that meet during the week for those in town. One of the groups (led by two of our younger staff) is studying the book of Acts and the other group (led by a married couple in H2O) is studying the Holy Spirit. And there is a variety of fun activities happening throughout the summer, mostly spontaneously, as students extend invitations to activities that they are already doing. I’ve grown to love summers in Kent over the years (though we are always sad when we aren’t in Colorado helping with our Leadership Training Program). The laid-back nature of summers in Kent provides the space for a deeper relationship with a smaller amount of people. And the variety of activities provide opportunities to get to know people outside of the normal rhythms of a semester.
While we “hold down the fort” here in Kent, 4 of our staff members (and one intern) along with 15 students from KSU are in Estes Park, Colorado working at the YMCA of the Rockies and learning about biblical leadership. This is always huge for the students that go (and an extremely refreshing ministry experience for our staff). Please pray for God to move mountains in their lives over the summer. And thank you for your partnership in this mission! We are already starting to pray and plan for the fall – when 6000 new freshmen arrive. Please join us in praying for this critical mission.
The Slack Family (Jason, Lindsay, Carter, Maddy, & Bryce)
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.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:1-2)
Greetings from Colorado! It kind of feels like we just got here, yet we’re already down to our last week in Estes Park. I’ve been meaning to send out a prayer letter for a while, but I haven’t gotten many opportunities to sit down behind a computer out here — and even when I have, it’s hard to know how to put words to our experiences from this summer. These five weeks of the Collegiate Mentoring Program have been rich, intense, and fast.
This year makes three out of the last four summers in which I’ve been a part of an initiative within our network of churches called the Collegiate Mentoring Program (launched in 2016). In our previous summers out here in Colorado, the majority of my time and attention has been focused on the Leadership Training program, which helps to equip college students for life and ministry. And a smaller portion of my time has gone towards the Collegiate Mentoring Program, which is directed towards staff. This summer, however, the leadership of the Collegiate Mentoring Program has been my primary focus, and it’s really felt like a dream job.
The Collegiate Mentoring Program is aimed towards the development of church leaders and church planters. It seeks to establish foundational truths and practices for the long-term health and sustainability of vocational ministry workers in our Collegiate Church Network. And from everything I’ve observed over the last few years, this program seems to be having a great effect on staff retention, the health of staff marriages, the growth of well-adjusted children in staff families, the ordination of new pastors, the level of effectiveness in campus ministry, and catalyzing the multiplication of disciples and churches on college campuses across the United States and potentially around the world, as well.
We meet as a group four times per week: twice to interact with established ministry leaders about a variety of different areas of interest, once to strengthen our practice of the spiritual disciplines, and once to focus on theological training.
In addition to these group sessions, each participant spends two hours each week in an individual mentoring session, where two experienced pastors provide space to process what God is doing in the individual’s life. And, wow! It feels like God has been doing some amazing work in these individual sessions! One of the participants started weeping within the first ten minutes of the first individual mentoring session, so great was the level of openness and trust established right from the beginning. Another participant said at the end of our fourth individual mentoring session that he felt almost like he’d been born again, again, so great was his relief from working through some shame that he’d been carrying since childhood. Almost every session has felt included an intense experience of God’s holiness and power — and though I tend to leave these sessions emotionally exhausted, my soul is filled with awe and appreciation for the ways God works in the lives of His children.
In the third week of the program, I helped to lead a Wilderness Retreat as a part of the Collegiate Mentoring Program. Our whole group went out into the Rocky Mountain National Park for two days of solitude, silence, fasting, prayer, reflection, and interaction with the Lord. It provided an opportunity to cement some of the things that have been coming up through our group sessions and individual sessions, and I’ve been really encouraged to hear about the ways that God met these young leaders out in the Wilderness, and in the weeks since then.
I’m praying for Chris, Mike, Andy, Kyle, Jason, and Ben — and I would love to invite you to pray with me, as we finish up this year’s edition of the Collegiate Mentoring Program this week. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in their lives, as they head back to Indiana, Missouri, Texas, and Michigan and lean into the truths God has established in their hearts this summer.
Please keep praying for our family, too. We’ve loved our time in Colorado, but we’re also looking forward to re-establishing ourselves back in Ohio. Our work here is finished this weekend, and then we’ll take five days to drive “the scenic route” through Arches National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park before zooming back east. And then, of course, before we know it the new school year will be upon us! Thanks, as always, for everything you do to partner with us in ministry. 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.
It’s summer! Many students have gone home or out to internships, so our college church community stands at about 20 people, but it is standing strong! One newcomer this summer is a senior who hasn’t pursued faith in college. He met us playing soccer outside a residence hall and stayed to sit in on our bible study. Now a few weeks in he is with us at every church service, bible study and hang out we host. Praise God!
Another student, Tyler, was inspired to help reach out to a nearby community, Barberton. With ALL THE RAIN recently came flooding in unusual places. We encouraged Tyler to get organized and reach out, and the same week of the flooding we were holding a food drive at bible study and helping distribute supplies. It is exciting when we get to see students not only get to know Jesus better, but also walk like Jesus did to love and serve those in need.
We also have 8 students (that’s a lot when your whole church is 60-70 students :^) attending spiritual Leadership Training in Estes Park, Colorado this Summer. Kelley and I loved what God did in our lives through this program and can’t wait to see what God does in these student’s lives! Aubrey, who is currently at LT and just graduated from the Univ. of Akron in May had a lot to say about her time in
H2O. Let me share some of her words:
“I joined H2O when I was a freshman in college…. I was not expecting my life to change in such an amazing way. My whole freshman year was when H2O was first building itself up as a church. I participated in the Well and it was this discipleship program that made me realize that I wanted to rededicate my life to Christ and to start pursuing the plans he had for my life.
I never thought God would be able to use someone like me to grow his kingdom. I never saw myself as a leader or thought I could evangelize to my friends or other students. I put my identity in how well I performed in school and in sports, and I didn’t even realize it. Throughout these past four years, I learned who I am in Christ, the importance and impact of Christ’s death for me and others, that I do not have to prove my worth or have to be perfect, but that I was created to do the work of the Lord using the gifts that he so graciously gave me.
I have seen so many young men and women grow as leaders in the church and it is an amazing thing to witness. The staff and community of H2O helped me grow in my relationship with Christ and they all helped me become the person I am today. Looking back, God had his hand in every little thing and I could not be more grateful for the opportunities I have had through this amazing ministry.”
At home, I am starting to get a handle on being a seminary student (I think, ha!) Kelley has enjoyed gardening and tackling house projects, Caroline got her first EVER haircut at 3.5 years old, and Josiah has had a lot of fun in his first team sport, T-ball!
Thank you for your baffling generosity of prayer and giving. In the past month, about half of our financial need has already been covered. God is SO good!
Please continue to pray that we see the remaining $2000 in special gifts for seminary and $700 in monthly gifts come in before Fall semester starts!
Todd, Kelly &
Richland Pregnancy Services
- 24/7 Help
All of our services are free of charge and available regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or income.
Limited Ultrasound Exam
After Abortion Support
Free Support Services at Richland Pregnancy Services include:
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.
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 2018-2019 school year has been fruitful because of the Lord and you. Brian has been able to: 1. Help with Event Management (Gospel to 400 at Indians game; 78 decisions at the All-Nighter, etc.); 2. Lead a Training day in January or the volunteers of six chapters in PA & OH; 3. Conduct Interviews with dozens and help fill at least one key position & have other possibilities; 4. Schedule a trainer for our staff almost every month for 7 years; 5. Design the graphic for our YFC bus & coordinate vehicle repairs; 6. Connect our City Life Center to a friend that has done hundreds of thousands of dollars of repairs; 7. Network our Jail ministry staff with the Cavs team chaplains for another game outreach; 8. Negotiate three locations for our Campus Life outreaches and provide the material; 9. Travel to Denver and serve on the National Council of Delegates; 10. Invest in various Youth Leaders and help with the Motus network.
Trips to Virginia are a delight! (Please see the photo on the left for our recent President’s Day weekend visit). College at Liberty University is going fast. Grace is planning photo shoots this summer. Faith is officially accepted into the nursing program. Joshua is playing trumpet for the school musical and about to start his pilot’s license. Maria is enjoying teaching.
Unfortunately, our support has declined over time. At the current point, we are projected to be short over $9,000 by the end of the fiscal year (June 30th). If in the short term, you can help make a special donation to help avert this deficit it would be appreciated. Long term, if you aren’t already committed to monthly or consistent donations, it would be even more appreciated. If you can’t do either, please pray for the situation.
“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
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 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 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
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 which 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.
We have been in “catch up” mode since we returned to the field after Cirilo’s proton beam therapy treatment in San Diego. His prognosis has been very good. We rejoice that the prostate cancer has not slowed him down. On the contrary, he has been traveling more frequently because of emerging new ministry opportunities. He traveled to Mindanao twice for speaking and ministry strategic planning. Last month, he spoke at the district conference held in Burias island. And, last week he traveled to Cebu for church planters coaches training and meetings.
Here are a few highlights in our ministry in the last couple of months.
A Mindanao district zone formed!
The acceptance of five churches opened Converge work in South Cotabato. The churches were planted by the Converge Filipino church in Seattle. Cirilo and William Taghap, ConvergePhil church planting director visited the churches and conducted training for pastors and Christian workers on June 14-17. The area has the potential of developing into a launching pad for ministry to the least evangelized people groups in the southern Philippines.
Equipped To Lead Continues…
Our extended two trips back to the US slowed down the implementation of ETL (Equipped To Lead). This is the lay leaders training process for ConvergePhil churches. Cirilo led the contextualization of this program. We are encouraged that one District and two churches stayed on course while we were away. Both are two sessions away to complete the 10 months program. Cirilo will travel to Negros Occidental in two weeks to launch ETL in the district there. Meantime, the pastors from Burias island who completed the training are scheduled to attend Overcoming the Darkside of Leadership retreat in August that Cirilo will facilitate.
Bigger Kingdom Opportunities…
Cirilo’s ministry engagement has expanded working with key leaders of the Philippine Council of Evangelical churches in spearheading iTIM, (Institute for Training In Ministry). This a creative discipleship, leadership and pastoral training program for local churches. It’s a joy to see one of Cirilo’s mentee serving as national coordinator for the program.
Closer to home, the prospect of hosting a cell group in our subdivision is developing. We made initial contacts to homeowners who are interested. Cirilo will share a devotion in the HOA meeting on Saturday!
We continue to covet your prayers on our behalf. We are scheduled to make another medical trip to CA in October for a follow-up with Cirilo’s oncologist in San Diego. We are hopeful that this will be the last ministry interruption trip this year.
Pray also for additional financial support. Currently, we are $400 short in our monthly commitments. You may give a one time gift and/or additional monthly commitment. We figured out that if each of our ministry partners will give an additional $20 in monthly contribution that would be enough to cover our deficit.
Again, we would like to thank you for your faithful partnership.
Cirilo & Dory
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.
Easter in Spain
On Easter Sunday, we joined 1000 voices in grateful praise to our risen Savior at a gathering of evangelical churches in a park in Malaga, Spain. As this joyous service ended, we walked toward the historic area of Malaga in time to catch the end of a series of processions passing Malaga’s main cathedral. The processions of the statues contrasted with the joy of the earlier service. The first celebrated the completed and triumphal work of Jesus, while the processions spoke of the need to add ritual and merit. We are told that less than one percent of those living in Spain enjoy the freedom of knowing Jesus through faith alone.
Helping to Change the Face of Missions
This month, we are in Malaga, Spain, learning how another mission agency, Christar, engages refugees and economic migrants from unreached lands with the gospel, cares for them as whole people, and plants churches. This mission organization is incredibly innovative using market place missions and working effectively with government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Our goal is to learn and develop how Converge can partner with Christar in ways that help both missions in furthering the gospel.
There and Back Again
We will return to the States on May 2 and begin to process with Converge leadership what we are learning in Spain to determine a course going forward. In June, we return to Europe for a series of diaspora missions meetings with the Lausanne Global Diaspora Network, with leaders of the South Korean churches in Europe, and finally with our Converge missionaries from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
In every presentation and personal meeting, our goal is to help missionaries and churches be fruitful among people on the move.
Thank You for Your Prayers and Partnership
Our time in March with the Egyptian Christians in Orlando was successful. Many followers of Islam had significant gospel conversations on the university campus.
Over the next few months, we need clarity and wisdom concerning this potential partnership with Christar, and specifically what our role will be in the collaboration.
Our other work continues even while we are in Spain. I continue to co-direct NextMove, the research and consulting ministry that helps mission leaders lead their organizations in the area of global migration and missions.
Having completed our research phase, we are putting final touches on a comprehensive tool that enables mission agencies to examine their ministry methods then rethink and retool for more effective engagement with the millions of unreached people moving around the globe.
We are excited that eight mission agencies are in the initial group to use our consulting process.
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,
The months just seem to fly by! We have so much news to share since our last newsletter! We really appreciate your prayers and love as we journey forward in Gembu!
We have had 10 students receive their empowerment tools and have started their new businesses in their villages or in Gembu since April 1. We are so excited to see these young lives that have been changed and given hope. To see them blossom into confident individuals who can read, do math, and problem solve in their respective businesses is truly a blessing to us as their teachers, but also to their families, future children, and their communities!
We have 17 students in business class, we will take our final business test on June 21 and our final prep class for this session on June 20. Those that pass in the prep class will be interviewed with their caregivers before they start with their trainers in their career of choice.
Our reading classes are going well, Monday-Wednesday classes are for pre-readers as well as beginning readers, Thursday Classes are for transitional readers, and on Fridays, I am teaching English words, reading, writing, and spelling for children that know little to no English.
We have had a lot of building projects going on these past months and we are working on getting them all finished before we leave for home assignment at the end of June. A new clothes washing area for the family center has been added, as well as underground drainage gutters to drain all the water from rainy season out safely, the retaining walls around the new cleared out area for future building has been finished as well as stairs beside the current computer training center, the newly remodeled registration/triage area is working wonderfully and traffic flow is so much better with this space! The new fire escape from the upper level of the Hospital building is done. The Infectious Ward renovation is moving forward as the building has been enclosed after raising the roof so that during the rainy season the inside work can be completed as funds come in.
We celebrated World Glaucoma week at the Eye Centre with free glaucoma checks and informational meetings, World Hand Washing Day with a talk at the Clinic on proper handwashing techniques and the benefits of that, also for Menstrual Health Day on May 28 we had a reproductive health talk in our hall here at GECHAAN and distributed Days for Girls kits to Cameroonian Refugee women living in the Gembu area. Because of our location being so close to Cameroon we have many refugees living here in our area as well as IDP’s from tribal violence and crisis. Tina also trained 4 women to go with more kits to the more remote areas and do reproductive health and hygiene talks and distribute kits. We have 375 half kits and 270 Deluxe kits that have gone to Cameroonian Refugee women in May and June so far.
We had two visiting nurses, Larry and Paula, come to GECHAAN for about a month to visit and work with our nursing staff on training, technique, encouragement, as well as procedures during their time here as well as praying for people and helping us determine which medical equipment to add next as funds come in. The hospital has seen many people recover well these past months and we are so thankful for that.
Here is a brief report from the Hospital Chaplain about three people that he has been able to share the Gospel message with. Names are withheld for security:
“I the Chaplain shared the gospel message to many patients/relations during devotions in Lifeline Service Center, (GECHAAN Hospital). Devotion at Lifeline is done on daily basis and out of many who heard the messages, the following persons recently accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior from sin by clearly making it known to the Chaplain:
A lady was admitted in GECHAAN hospital with a critical health problem, the chaplain shared about free salvation which Christ offers to everyone without discrimination to the patients in the ward where she belonged and she decided to accept Christ immediately after listening to the message. She said “Yes I believe that Jesus died for me and I accept Him as my Savior from sin and damnation” I (the Chaplain) prayed with her regularly until the day she was discharged.
A lady was seriously frustrated by her family members who abandoned her in her hospital bed because she was HIV positive. I shared the message of Christ to her. I told her that Christ loves her no matter her condition and even if no one loves her Christ still loves her so much and cares about her and will never abandon her as her people did to her. After so much conversation with her, she said “I have believed” I want to identify myself with that Jesus who forgives my sins. She confessed that she will go home and identify herself with any local church in her village and be baptized when she is discharged.
A man brought his sick wife to GECHAAN hospital where she underwent surgery. I shared the gospel message about salvation to them and the two of them accepted Christ. The man and his wife were full of thanks over the love and care they received from the hospital staff. They pleaded that I should pray for them and their entire community to receive Christ.
I know that I have shared the gospel message to many people who came to our hospital and I believe that those that the Lord has called, the Holy Spirit will one day convict them to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Many of the patients asked me to pray for them whenever I visited them in the wards. Some even requested a copy of the Bible. Others engaged me with discussion and questions on what the Bible teaches on salvation and Christian conduct etc.”
We will arrive back in the US in early July. Please download the attached schedule, keep it handy and come visit us where we will be sharing. We will be talking more about how the bad lightning strike we had in October affected the organization and how God has used that to open new doors. As you can see we will be in Minnesota most of the time. We would love to come and share with your small group. Let us know when is good for you.
In His Service,
Dan & Tina Gibbs
Visit our website at www.StandingBeside.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 a 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 though Exploitation and Debt
Physical and Mental Abuse
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Orphan and Rescue Care
THE PILE OF STRAWS BREAKING YOUR BACK
Greetings from Thailand!
You may have noticed that these posts follow our own experiences. One of the biggest mistakes I have made in life (and in faith) was to presume to talk about what I hadn’t yet learned from experience.
I am coming to believe the more valuable thing we can offer our neighbor is not so much correct information (i.e. you should think, believe this…)
but personal experience (this happened, then I did this and then….).
Positively, this means our failures can be as valuable, or even more valuable to share than our successes.
Which means that even our failures, the things we just really screwed up, can have value to benefit others.
Which is pretty amazing if you stop and think about it.
(I am stopping right now because I am feeling frustrated at all the stuff I have messed up lately).
Twice in the span of 5 minutes my son, Ezra managed to spill smoothie on me.
Normally, this should be mildly amusing and a little sticky.
But today I almost lost it.
Seeing my son’s face at this undeserved outburst of anger on my part, brought me back to my senses.
What is wrong with me?
It’s just a little bit of passion fruit and mango smoothie. It took 2 minutes to clean up and actually was kind of funny.
Where did the anger come from?
The answer is from the pile of straws I have been carrying around that is breaking my back.
Do you remember the old saying about the straw that broke the camel’s back?
The idea is that enough little things can eventually become a big thing, and break us down.
What are you carrying around with you today?
I am remembering how I dropped the butter dish Audrey brought from the US and it shattered on the floor yesterday.
I am carrying the credit card payment I messed up and had to pay foreign transaction fees.
And the embarrassment I felt after spraying my own pants in the bathroom so it looked liked I wet myself.
And the talk I gave that I didn’t feel very good about.
And the guy who cut me off yesterday.
And that situation at work that never seems to get resolved.
The list goes on and on.
So when my son spills smoothie on me, I erupt in anger.
Not because of the smoothie, but because of all the other baggage, I am carrying around.
Have you ever been on a hike with a pack that was too heavy?
That is essentially what we are doing when we carry all our failings and disappointments around with us.
I said before in another post that one little stone in your shoe can blind you to the glory all around you.
Carrying around all our disappointments and failings does the same thing, and even worse, it makes us grumpy.
So when we come to a summit (a beautiful place in our lives) all we can do is grumble about how hard the journey was.
So instead of getting to have a good laugh, and lick smoothie off your face, you yell at your 2-year-old son.
So what does the camel do to keep his back from breaking?
He dumps the straws.
We don’t need to carry all that around.
Audrey didn’t really care about the butter dish, why am I wasting time still thinking about it?
Jesus once said that worrying has no actual power to produce positive change in our lives, so we should just stop.
It is good advice, just not easy to practice.
For me, it takes conscious effort.
I think about the guy who cut me off or the situation at work, and I take a deep breath:
This too shall pass.
This is not worth carrying around.
And carrying it around isn’t actually helping anyone!
So get those straws off your back.
See the view again, laugh with your kids.
This was another thing Jesus tried to teach people; if you are tired from carrying around all these mistakes, all these burdens, all these not-good-enoughs, Jesus said come to him and he will show you a new way to live.
My way is easy, and light.
Because that is just it.
Life gets heavy when we carry all this garbage around with us.
Let each day begin afresh. (Maybe each hour)
It is amazing how good it feels to set that heavy pack down and see the sunset.
And to leave all the work stress at work and play with your kids.
And to realize that messing up is ok. You are still loved, you are still valuable.
This is the secret to humble people’s happiness:
When you don’t take yourself too seriously, you don’t take your mistakes too seriously either.
And when you don’t take your mistakes too seriously, you can be gentle with the mistakes of others.
So don’t just take the straws off your own back, stop putting straws on other people’s backs.
And help others get rid of all the ones they are carrying around too.
A Quick Update:
Life here has been full.
We just finished our 3-day staff retreat at Faithful Heart and really had a great time with our house parents and staff.
We are preparing to come to Colorado for a few weeks in June.
We took in some rabbits and they are a big hit at the office.
We welcomed a new college student yesterday and we said goodbye to a college student the week before.
It is good. (I need to say that).
Nothing bad is happening. (I need to say that too).
So don’t worry. Don’t carry stress around with you. Rest.
Thank you for your prayers and support. They reach further than you know.
May your burden be easy and light. And may you enjoy all the good all around you.
Learning with you,
Matt, Audrey, Ezra, & Sienna
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.
A New Era Begins
You’ve been praying for Deb Guzman now for over a year. She raised all her support and arrived in Bangkok on June 19 after serving in Mexico for over 30 years. But that’s not all. Mary Larsen, a career Converge (BGC) missionary who served in the Philippines for over 25 years has transferred over to Santisuk as well, arriving June 28. They go together with 3 younger missionaries – Sarah Adams from S. Dakota who arrived in November and Mitch Solenap and Rhesa Gravino from the Philippines who arrived in March and on June 12. That’s 5 new career missionaries all in language school right now. (Rhesa was here for 2 years and is returning from home assignment.) These are the first 5 of at least 15 for completing the Bangkok 15/25 vision of 15 new career missionaries to help us start 15 new centers in the greater metro Bangkok area by the end of 2025. We met for the first time Wednesday night July 3, the first of a series of weekly training meetings to give everyone a thorough overview of the ministry here.
A Joyful Occasion
Last Saturday, June 29, our church, Peace Fellowship hosted the very beautiful wedding of Griang (Griangsak Sirikong) and Gaan (Kanjana Thungfon). Gaan has been a long-time member of our leadership team and Griang has been a cell leader and member of our school staff for about 4 years now. Around 150 witnessed their vows and celebrated starting their new life as husband and wife. Both Gaan and Griang came to Christ through the outreach at Santisuk English School.
Gaan and Griang’s wedding
For over nearly 3 decades we’ve had an annual outreach camp. First called English Camp then Oikos Camp they have now all merged for the last many years to be called Friendship Camp. This huge annual 3-day outreach will be July 27 – 29. Pray for great weather and hundreds of students seeking to learn more about Jesus Christ. Scott Harpe, Tong (Komet Saezhong), and I (Steve) will be speaking on the camp topic of “A Friend Along the Journey”.
Ben and Sarah surprised their mom with a visit to Thailand arriving a few hours after Charissa the end of May so we had all three of our kids together for about 10 days. Charissa is in N. Thailand this summer for a 2-month internship at the Center for Girls in Chiang Rai.
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!
Nice to Meet You
March 2019 – Updates from John and Elaine Mehn
We work with a lot of different groups of people. Here are some connections we have made over the last month. After all “Missions is Relationships.”
Clockwise from left: Elaine’s card class at Crossroad church, Japan Church Multiplication Vision Strategy Summit, Japan Baptist Rengo Pastors’ Seminar, Elaine’s western cooking class at the Mehn’s house
WHAT CAN WE PRAY FOR?
- Pray for the preparations for our very first Japanese Grace Week May 27−30. Ask God to grant wisdom, energy, and unity in preparing the presenters and mentors. Pray for registrations.
- We are very heavy with several writing projects right now. Elaine is trying to get out her bilingual bible study and John is working on the Japanese version of his church planting book and a new book on Japanese beliefs and the gospel.
- As registration for the November 13−15 CPI National Conference has opened, pray it will sell−out again! Pray for all the preparations busily going on.
- The new Converge Japanese Initiative leader, Brian Lusky, is visiting Japan this month. Pray
for meetings he will have with us, other missionaries, and key Japanese leaders.
- Elaine has a lot of preparation for our mission Field Council on April 9−11.
INTENSIVE PRAYER TEAM
John and Elaine Mehn – Converge International Ministries – Missionaries to Japan
Accelerating Spiritual Renewal and Church Multiplication Movements
See more information at www.GOspelRest.com or see us both on Facebook.
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
REJOICING WITH THANKSGIVING
From the Fountain of Life School
As I mentioned in our last letter about the first floor of our new classroom building having a roof, well, it just had that roof/floor put on yesterday, in spite of threatening rain. The little bit of rain that did fall was good for the cement pour, to help it cure better. The one difficulty that had to be resolved for this roof/floor to be poured was the road leading to the work site. It is a road that has been made over a field and needed to have crushed rock put down and graded to make it usable for the concrete trucks to come in and go out. We are grateful for the funds that have been provided for this project.
Our classes have concluded for the school year, so, what remains to be done until we shut down is filling out student grades, giving some remedial classes and reregister continuing students and then register new students. We already have reached some classroom limits for next year, so we look forward someday soon to not have to turn away and students.
We are thankful for a landscaper who came down with a recent work team and could select some shade trees to replace the large shade tree that fell down last February.
Juan Tomas Bible Church
I’d like to add to the information from our last letter regarding the putting up of houses for needy people in our community. I mentioned that this project stipulates that our church provide help to erect these houses. Thus far a number of our young adults have been working with one of our pastors, Argenis, to build one of these houses.
He has a lot of knowledge in building and does a good job working with our high school students. He has been taking several of our church young adults and a few high school students (probably not believers) to work on this project. This has become a great opportunity for sharing with these unbelievers in a natural setting. They are learning about building along with the spiritual influence of a small group of believers.
REMEMBERING WITH INTERCESSION
Pray for our graduating seniors. They graduate the 21st, and this will be the last time they will be together here at the school. A few of them are believers, but most are not.
Continue praying for this ministry.
Thank you for your prayers.
Paul, for the team in Juan Tomas.
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!
We have been so blessed by many people here who helped us get settled into our new life and home as we dealt with electricity outages, obtaining water, crazy traffic, getting our car going when it died on a busy road, bug bites, lizards, language barriers, stomach sicknesses, internet connection, etc… what an experience! We are so grateful to the handful of Dominicans who have sacrificed so much time to help us. Hopefully, we can bless them as much as they have blessed us!
The kids are doing remarkably well despite the changes. They have sacrificed much to be here and we are proud of them for how they have handled everything so far. Please continue to pray for their adjustment.
ANOTHER NEW BEGINNING
June 26th marked our 20th wedding anniversary. In 1999, we never would have guessed we would be living in the Dominican Republic! The church in Juan Tomas was kind enough to help us renew our vows on that date in a wonderful ceremony where our girls also sang a special song for us.
We are intrigued to see what God has planned for the next 20 years!
ENGAGING OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
Last week we had the privilege to engage with Marte Missions in the mountains near Santiago…a beautiful place and much cooler! They are doing some wonderful things to be a light in this village, and we were honored to be part of it. It was wonderful to see friends from Ohio again and to watch Paulina be baptized while we were there.
We hope to return in the fall!
- For patience and grace as our family continues to adjust to our new way of life
- For rapid learning of the language and culture over the next several months
- For upcoming engagements with other organizations in several different cities
THANK YOU TO ALL IN THE US AND THE DR WHO HAVE COME ALONGSIDE US!!
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.
Founded in 1997, globalLead has trained over 15,000 Christian ministry leaders from 50 different countries around the globe. Our mission takes a unique approach of focusing on exponential multiplication of impact by skipping the step of sending a foreign missionary. We focus on developing local indigenous leaders so that they can reach and disciple others in their sphere of influence. This approach has enabled a huge global movement to occur with relatively low financial cost.
The purpose of globalLead is to serve those in ministry through training and mentorship in order to position Christian leaders for multiplication.
At globalLead, we offer both heart and skill-based training opportunities for a variety of church ministry leaders. We value the holistic leadership principle from Psalm 78:72:
“With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”
We offer three series of training currently that are designed to provide follow up and multiplication, not just a one-time event. Feel free to contact us about supporting the ministry or hosting an event by using the contact form at the bottom of the home page.
Church Ministry Leadership (for Pastors and Church Ministry Leaders): There is no better example of life and ministry than Jesus Himself. In our Church Ministry Leadership events, we explore the life and ministry of Christ and develop plans and programs for our churches in a team environment (when possible) in order for church leaders to be in sync with one another as they lead in ministry. These trainings offer local pastors and ministry leaders (when possible) the timeless principles from the life of Christ that have worked in a multitude of settings globally throughout history. (Church Ministry Leadership for Pastors and Church Ministry Leaders)
Heart of the Leader: With leaders leaving the ministry at an alarming rate we are tackling the needs of those in full-time ministry head-on with soul care events for full-time leaders and their spouse (if possible). Top leaders need a secure environment to process their life and ministry in a way that re-energizes them and puts them on a life-long healthy trajectory. Utilizing Biblical teaching and engagement as well as group camaraderie, we have seen God do great work in the lives of leaders. Heart of the Leader (Soul Care for Full-time Leaders in Ministry)
Youth Ministry Leadership Trainings: This series of trainings are offered for those leading the youth ministry in their churches. Whether youth pastor, leadership teams or both, participating leaders will be engaged in Biblical and transferable principles with local examples in order to develop a workable one-year ministry plan. Additional seminars enable times for evaluation, mentoring and follow-up. Youth Ministry Leadership Training (for those responsible for leading in youth ministry)
Chris & Penny Davis, Founder of globalLead
1 John 5:14 (ESV)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, if we ask for anything according to his will he hears us.
Please lift up the following prayer concerns and praises for the month of July. We are grateful for your prayer support of globalLead and we are confident that God hears your prayers.
The purpose of globalLead is to serve those in ministry through trainings
and mentorship in order to position Christian leaders for multiplication.
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SOUTHEAST ASIA OFFICE
- Praise the Lord for the positive response of the recent level 1 students in Tarlac City.
- Praise God for providing two other volunteer trainers along with Windel our staff.
- For the wonderful time spent by Mike and Grace Mahek.
- For new potential supporters.
- Continue to pray for sustainable funding for SE Asia for 2019, more meet-ups, more effective and relevant fund-raising ideas.
- Pray for our training in restricted places through video and technology to be successful, useful, and relevant.
- Pray for Level 1 training in Baguio City with the underground church. Pray for Herman, Edwin, and Drake to handle the class.
- Pray for these possible local and international trainings:
- Nationwide training and follow-up training with Assembly of God Youth Leadership throughout 2019
- National trainings with Word International Youth Leadership
- Teaser training with Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches
- Pray for the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Southeast Asia on July 26-29, 2019 in Cebu, Philippines. Pray that the theme SHAPE the FUTURE be communicated and executed.
- Pray for the people who would come and join, for financial provision and schedules. Pray for more countries to be able to join especially our partners in China.
- Pray for the visit of the Crossroad Team and the Church Leadership Training to follow right after 20th Anniversary.
- Pray for the right people to commit to becoming Southeast Asia gL Advisory Board members.
- For each of our supporters, hosts, and ministry partners that the Holy Spirit will sustain their joy, vision, and means in giving to the ministry.
- Pray for each of the staff, Alvan and Ethel and the kids, Grace, and Windel. Pray for joy in what we do, guidance and wisdom as we follow the Lord’s leading this 2019.
- Continue to pray for our country, that the Lord will use more Filipinos to advance the work of the Lord.
NORTHWEST ASIA OFFICE
- We praise God as we have successfully trained 60 youth leaders in Youth Leadership, Pokhara training.
- We praise God as we have successfully completed our projects for this Fiscal year 2018/2019.
- We praise God for giving protection and safety for our staff, Board members and trainers.
- Please pray for our volunteer trainers as they need to plan for our upcoming trainings.
- Please pray for the good health and safety for our staff, trainers and B.O.D members.
- Our Nepali fiscal year ends on June/July so please pray for Jessica as she needs to do all the preparations for audit.
- Please pray for Chris and Jack Nepal trip in July 2019 and for all the meetings with Board, staff, and trainers.
- We thank God for good health and an opportunity to ‘serve him in the vineyard.
- For the upcoming seminar this month at the Assemblies of God youth Leaders.
- Please pray for the potential seminars that we have lined up to come to fruition. We are pressing on.
- We have started planning for the Heart of a leader conference 2020. We pray that we get favor from service providers and that the participants interested will start registering early.
- Grateful that Jack Dyson has begun his work with us at globalLead as the new Director of Operations.
- Thankful for the plans coming together for Chris and Jack’s Nepal/Philippines trip in July.
- Grateful for our wonderful team of staff, board, and volunteers.
- Praise and continued prayer of recovery for Jack’s wife, Gladys, for her successful knee replacement surgery.
- Pray for continued wisdom and actionable expansion plans for our international office and staffing needs globally.
- Continued wisdom as we add more board members and staff globally.
- For Jack Dyson, new Director of Operations as he continues to raise his remaining support needs.
- Chris and Jack’s travel plans for Asia (Nepal and the Philippines) in July.
- Pray for our Ministry Team strategy trainings for later this fall with The Chapel in Akron, Ohio, for their missions and church planting teams.
- Patty and Randy Stoops, long-time globalLead volunteers. Patty is finishing up her chemotherapy infusions and will be starting a pill form of chemo to continue to reduce the tumors. Continued prayers for healing and provision as they are without health insurance.
Continued growth in funding for staff globally and for expansion needs