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

Awakening

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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

Learn more about Awakening on their website

https://www.awakeninggeneration.com/

Bethel Seminary

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.

Get the full story on Bethel’s history.

Mission

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.

Vision

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.

Values

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.

Bethel University Seal

Bethel University

3900 Bethel Drive
St. Paul, MN 55112

651.638.6400

https://www.bethel.edu

Converge Mid-Atlantic

Mission

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  .  .  .  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

http://www.convergemidatlantic.com/

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
Dale Baer

cefofmmark.com

Camp Burton

Camp Burton

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!

http://campburton.org

https://youtu.be/Wd9Df8YB2ZA

Food Pantry Ministry

Building 2:16

200 Ashland Rd

Mansfield, OH

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.

Love Inc.

OUR MISSION

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

Call us during our office hours at 419-522-1432 for a telephone interview. If you cannot reach us during those hours, leave a voicemail message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
Hours
Tuesday—Wednesday: 9:30 AM–12:00 PM

Furniture Ministry

Building 2:16

200 Ashland Rd

Mansfield, OH

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 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.

Website: reliant.org/jason.lindsay.slack

Hello from Kent!

October 2019

Hello from Kent!

We are finally getting to a point in the semester where we can find some healthy rhythms of work, rest, and family time. The initial “blitz” efforts have slowed down and we’ve followed up with all of our initial contacts with students. I am still meeting many of the new students who have been getting plugged in with our small groups on campus. Our family is enjoying a brief “pause” in between sports seasons. This year Carter is a 7th grader at the middle school, Maddy is a 5th grader at Holden Elementary and Bryce is a 2nd grader (still home-schooled with Lindsay). These are fun ages and most of the time I actually enjoy the opportunities to shuttle my kids to all the various events, practices, concerts and games. Homelife is busy, but I can imagine the day when I will look back on this time and miss all of the running.

Fall Retreat…
Every year our fall semester efforts culminate with the Fall Retreat. This is an event we spend a lot of time planning and inviting people to. It has become one of the most effective and powerful tools we use all semester! New relationships are solidified and new commitments to Christ are made. In fact, this year we were so encouraged to baptize 4 students during the retreat! Each student shared their story with the 140 others who were in attendance and it was clear that God has been working! It’s hard to describe the level of excitement and cheers as Alli, Erin, Jenny, and Regan came up out of the water as we all stood on the riverbank. These students are now plugged into life groups on campus as they return to Kent and lean into spiritual community while their new faith begins to grow.

We invited a pastor in our network from Wayne State University in Detroit to be our guest speaker, and He taught on the Kingdom of God. It was encouraging to see our young people engage with the messages and process what they were learning in small group breakdown times at the retreat. Of course, we had lots of fun as well! The H2O Olympics is highly competitive and entertaining. The teams (based on their region of campus) go all-in with colors and cheers. I love the blend of fun, deep conversations, teaching, worship, and nature at the fall retreat. And as these students return to campus they are energized – hungry to grow closer to God and share their faith with classmates and co-workers. You play a vital role in these efforts with us as we come alongside God’s work here. Thank you for your partnership and your friendship!

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.

Website: www.ericasp.com

O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
(Psalm 40:5)

 

 

Greetings from Kent! We’re about a week-and-a-half into Kent State University’s Spring Semester, and I’m continually amazed at how quickly life in this college town goes from zero to 100 miles per hour. All our regular rhythms for H2O Life Groups and Worship Gatherings have resumed. We’ve jumped back in with both feet already…

But I started writing this letter while the college students were still on their Winter Break. When I had more time to think. This process of reflection helped to heighten my awareness and appreciation of everything God has been doing this school year. You’ve been a part of this, through your prayer and financial support! But since you’re not able to be here in Kent, witnessing the events as they unfold, I want to use this year’s “State of the Ministry” prayer letter to share a list of my Top Ten Ministry Moments of 2019, in reverse ranked order. It’s not an exhaustive list of everything God has done over the last year… But I hope these ten snapshots of ministry life will be an enjoyable and insightful look into the past, with glimmers of hope for what the future may hold as well. (And as usual, we’re still excited to share a more substantial Family Update, after the list of Ministry Highlights).

Also, as usual: these January prayer letters tend to be loooooong! I hope the bold headings will help you to read at length or to skim and dial in on the areas of greatest interest to you. The hope with a longer letter like this is just to make sure that you’re well-informed and well-equipped to continue praying with us and for us. Your ministry partnership is very important to us, and we want you to share in the joy of what God is doing. So anyway — without any further preamble, here are some highlights from the last year in ministry:

  #10 – The Aspen Project

One of the things that led to the establishment of H2O Kent in northeast Ohio was the area’s density of college students. Of course, we loved the idea of reaching out to the 30,000 students at Kent State University. But we also recognized that there were over 150,000 students at 44 institutes of higher learning within a one-hour drive from Kent State University. So back in September, we borrowed the imagery of an Aspen grove, from nature, and started talking about how to send out “runners” to other parts of the Northeast Ohio “forest” to see new life sprout on new campuses. This “Aspen Project” took a significant step forward when we secured commitments from ministry investors to fund four student-internships to focus on four different campuses. We’ve commissioned our first intern to explore Youngstown State University this spring, but it’s still very much on the front end of things. We’re excited to think about what God might be starting to do through this, and we invite you to pray with us in the months to come.

#9 – Ministry at the Rec

Back in January of 2019, I bought a membership for the Beverly J. Warren Student Wellness and Recreation Center on campus at Kent State University. This was partly because I wanted access to a swimming pool, where I could start training for a triathlon. But it was also partly because I was intrigued by the ministry possibilities that could come with spending more time at this hub of activity on campus. In August, we experimented with some Welcome Week outreach at the Rec — and it ended up being one of the most effective ways to make connections with international students that we’ve experienced in recent years. I’ve also gotten to know more students through regularly playing basketball on Saturday mornings. In this, I’ve had to adjust my level of intensity for the sake of prioritizing my own health and maintaining relationships over winning basketball games. But I’d say it’s been a good process of practicing 1 Corinthians 9:22-23, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

#8 – Focus on Ministry Team Development

Fund-raising is a part of my job. This can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. I feel incredibly grateful for the relationships that undergird the work we do in prayer and financial support. Raising support helps to keep me freshly-envisioned for the strategic implications of ministry to college students. And the freedom and flexibility that comes with support-based ministry are unparalleled. God reminded me of these benefits over the last year. And He walked with me in my renewed focus on Ministry Team Development (MTD) through 2019. We’ve seen almost $800 in new monthly support commitments over the past year, and even though we still have about $700 in new monthly support yet to raise, the last year has given me the confidence to pursue the remaining shortfall in the year to come.

#7 – The H2O Kent Teaching Team

In May, we bid farewell to one of my co-pastors: Matthew McClure. One of his key responsibilities had been leading the H2O Teaching Team and doing much of the preaching and teaching at our Sunday Worship Gatherings. Without Matthew, others (including myself) have been forced to step up. And it’s been really beautiful to watch the way this has worked. I’ve enjoyed the uptick in my own teaching responsibilities — but even more, I’ve enjoyed helping other, younger, leaders develop their skills in teaching and preaching. For example, I think of feedback sessions with Daniel, who’s preparing to lead a church plant from H2O Kent in the next couple of years. Or, I think of co-teaching a session of The Well with Nick, in his first year on staff with us. The process doesn’t always go smoothly, but it’s a great privilege to see our Teaching Team grow and develop.

#6 – Walking with Jake and Delaney through their Preparations for Marriage

This has been a big year for Jake and Delaney. They’ve both graduated from college (Delaney in May; Jake in December). They’ve both started their careers (Delaney with a non-profit called Rahab; Jake with Progressive Insurance). They’ve gotten engaged to each other. And on January 26th, I will be officiating their wedding. All along the way, they’ve continued to pursue God in really beautiful ways — including a really special moment when Jake decided to get baptized this fall — and I’ve especially appreciated the ways they’ve invited Marci and me to walk with them through all these significant life developments. Premarital counseling (a pretty standard practice in our ministry) has been great. But we’ve also been invited into other aspects of their lives along the way, and Marci and I have really enjoyed the opportunity to do ministry together with these guys.

#5 – Celebrating Twenty Years of Ministry with Reliant

I went to our mission agency’s New Staff Training in January of 1999 and was released to assignment at Bowling Green State University in May of 1999. That means 2019 marked two full decades of ministry through Reliant Mission (formerly Great Commission Ministries)! I’ve stayed with Reliant through a transition to Amsterdam in 2003, another transition to Kent in 2012, and also a couple periods of organizational restructuring (including a process of rebranding in 2015). Each step of the way, I’ve seen God work in powerful ways. Twenty is really just a number, but it felt significant to mark this milestone in 2019.

 

#4 – The Collegiate Mentoring Program

This summer, I was invited to take a bigger ownership stake for our network’s “Collegiate Mentoring Program” in Colorado. I worked together with Mike Klunke, a pastor at Illinois State University, to mentor six emerging leaders from across the country. The group sessions were great: learning theology, spiritual disciplines, and practical ministry skills. The Wilderness Retreat was powerful (as I’ve gotten to experience in previous summers). But the individual mentoring sessions proved to be the most meaningful spaces where I saw God work this summer. Wow! I still get chills to think of the way the Holy Spirit moved in some of those conversations on the balcony of the Leggett Center at the YMCA of the Rockies. I’m eager to see how God will use these young leaders in the coming years.

#3 – Coaching H2O Kent’s Off-Campus Life Group

Ministry among Off-Campus students is more challenging than ministry On-Campus. The students are older. They’re further along in their studies, and this often requires a more intensive focus on class projects and professional development. They’re more spread out, in terms of their geography, their commitments, and their relationships. It’s very common for Off-Campus students to start out strong, in their commitment to the Christian community, but then fizzle as the school year continues. This year, however, I feel like we’ve had an exceptionally strong Off-Campus Life Group. Almost every Thursday night Bible study has felt lively and meaningful. Relationships actually strengthened over the Fall Semester, and I’m curious to see how the rest of the school year will unfold.

#2 – Leadership Transitions at H2O Kent

When my co-pastor Matthew moved to Bowling Green this summer, our team of pastors dropped from a plurality of three to a plurality of two: Jason and me. We were still plural (more than one). But we also recognized that our plurality was smaller, older, and more homogenous. Matthew was five years younger than Jason and me. His personality and leadership style were significantly different from mine and Jason’s. And even though Jason and I were prepared to move forward with the two of us — it didn’t feel as healthy for us, or for the church. So we started praying and talking with God about how to deal with the situation. Over time, it seemed like the Holy Spirit directed us to invite not just one (or two, or three) new person (or persons) to join us at the Leadership Table for H2O Kent. It felt like God envisioned us to invite four others to join us: Mark, Daniel, AJ, and Lauren. Leading with this group of six has been awkward at times, but it’s actually gone much more smoothly than I would have expected. We work well as a team. And I feel like the best elements of this leadership transition are yet to come.

#1 – Receiving the Hospitality of Syrian Refugees in Stockholm

I was a part of a small mission team from H2O Kent who traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, in May. Our visit happened to coincide with the Muslim observance of Ramadan. Over the course of our week in Stockholm, we actually got several opportunities to break the Ramadan fast with Muslim friends. But my favorite was the Syrian dinner prepared for us by a family we met in the park that week: Feras, Jasmina, Nadia, Mohammed, and Leah. We played with the kids while we were waiting for the sun to go down. We heard stories of the life Feras left behind in Damascus. We listened to the story of how Feras and Jasmina met each other. We learned about their process of moving to Sweden. We talked about Jesus. It was amazing. Feras and Jasmina were remarkably open, and I felt very welcome in their home. I hope to see them again in 2020, as I’m helping to lead a mission trip from Kent over Spring Break!

Our Personal Lives

So those are the Top Ten highlights from our year in ministry. It could have easily been a Top Fifty. But I think there’s something to the idea that “less is more.” If you enjoyed these Top Ten Ministry Moments for 2019, you might be interested to know that I also made a list of Top Ten Family Moments for 2019 (and my Top Ten Songs of 2019, Top Ten Books of 2019, and Top Ten Hikes of 2019): all accessible on my personal website, www.ericasp.com.

To save you the trouble of clicking around to catch up with our family, though, we’ve had a good year of continued growth and development. It’s especially amazing to watch our brood of adolescents navigate their way through the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Elliot is going to turn 18 in March. He will be graduating, with honors, from high school at the end of May. After high school, he’s planning to study business at either Kent State University or Bowling Green State University. The final decision will likely come down to financial aid packages, but we’re excited that either way he should be able (and seemingly eager) to get involved with an H2O Church. He’s been doing an internship at Hometown Bank, in downtown Kent, and it seems like he really thrives in such an environment with his unique blend of competitive drive and social skills. Even as he’s stepping into such adult environments so smoothly, he still likes to pester his siblings with his silly voices, take ridiculous photographs with his best friend, Danny, and plan elaborate stunts for senior prom this spring. He’s a fun guy who I’m proud to call my son, even as he’s about to become taller than me.

Olivia is in her sophomore year of high school. Almost every day since the Winter Break, she’s had enthusiastic stories to share from her “Glass and Fiber” art class at the high school. She should be getting her temporary permit to drive by April. And this has been the year of Olivia as a working woman. She’s been getting babysitting jobs for a couple of years now, but it’s really ramped up lately (many Moms report that Olivia is their kids’ favorite babysitter). She had her first official job in the Housekeeping Department at the YMCA of the Rockies this summer. Olivia and I really enjoyed the opportunity to drive out to Colorado together (a week and a half before Marci and the boys flew out) for our job assignments. We enjoyed Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Shakes in Chicago, toured the SPAM Museum in Minnesota, and stopped briefly at Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park in South Dakota. But Olivia’s favorite moment from that trip may have been when we were walking to see a historic segment of the Oregon Trail in Guernsey, Wyoming, and two Australian Shepherds (dogs) bounded up the trail to greet us. She’s a lovely person who’s easy for babies, dogs, and everyone else to love.

Cor is growing up, too, and his transition into adolescence feels like a pretty significant threshold for our whole family. He was a major contributor to his middle school soccer team this fall. And he gave me a run for my money at Canton’s Frosty Frolic 5K last month, which makes me think he might be pretty good at track this spring, too. But he’s not just a gifted athlete. He recently won an art competition at his middle school, and he’s become the third person in our household who knows how to play the trombone. I love the way that Cor sits with me at the end of a workday and sincerely asks about the things that happened in my ministry life that day. He cares well for others. He’s a genuinely sweet boy, who’s growing into a sweet young man.

Marci decided to step back for a while from her adjunct position at Kent State University to allow her more time to keep our household running smoothly through the first part of this school year, when soccer schedules, marching band performances, H2O ministry roles, and everything can feel so chaotic. As a result, this past fall ended up being surprisingly peaceful and rich. Now that the calendar has rolled into 2020, she’s started applying for jobs again — so we ask you to please pray with us for the right position that will complement the rest of our lives. No matter what her job ends up being, though, I love it when she puts on her Grandpa Hettinger’s heavy flannel work-shirt and applies herself to home improvement projects. She’s a lively woman who brings life to flower beds, living spaces, and workspaces alike.

As for me, I hope you get a pretty good sense of my ministry roles (and some of my personal peculiarities) through these regular updates. In addition to all of that, though, I’ve been cultivating some silent spaces in my life. I made it a goal to do more reading last year — and I feel like my life was truly enriched by all of the different sorts of books that I read. I deepened my study of the Bible by slowly working out my own translation of the New Testament book of Philippians, from the original Greek. And I also “walked with God” — quite literally — by way of another hiking project, completing a 565.8-mile circuit of the northeast Ohio loop of the Buckeye Trail. My hikes along the Buckeye Trail helped me to practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer and solitude. But they were also really fun. This year, I hope to continue walking closely with God, learning to find His extraordinary goodness in the ordinary spaces of everyday life.

If you made it all the way to the end of this prayer letter, I congratulate you! It is a joy to be partnered with you in all this. Thank you, again (and again and again) for your partnership in the Gospel! We’ll be in touch…

 

 

 

 

 

The Schlereths

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.

reliant.org/todd.schlereth

November Prayer Requests:

I don’t know about you all, but for us here in Akron, November got here so fast! I can’t believe that we are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving already. In a few weeks, you will be receiving an end of the year letter in the mail with a report on the year as a whole here at H2O Akron! So keep your eyes peeled for that. But in the meantime, I wanted to give you all some things to pray for with H2O:

Baptism Service: This coming Sunday, we are having a baptism service and Thanksgiving feast celebration; pray that the testimonies of those being baptized would impact those present and that the event would be a true celebration of what the Lord has done in their lives!

Christmas Service: December 8th will be our Christmas service, which is our last big “splash” of the semester with a Christmas party afterward. This service can have a tendency to draw people who don’t typically come around our services, so pray that through invitation, outreach, and word of mouth, new folks would be drawn to this Christmas service and party where they can experience the Gospel and our community before the semester ends!

Akron Hope: Every year, H2O partners with Akron Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Akron school system. This Christmas season, we are supporting two 4th grade classrooms, providing Christmas gifts for students in a low-income school district. We are also raising funds to help support a family to provide practical needs this holiday season. Please pray for this campaign we are participating in to help support the city we love!

Students Finishing Well: This is the busiest part of the semester academically for our students(including THIS seminary student, lol), so pray for their health in this stressful time. Also, pray that our students make the most out of their relationships before the semester comes to a close.

Giving Tuesday: As you may know, the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been dubbed “Giving Tuesday.” As such, I wanted to ask if you would pray about giving a special gift Tuesday, December 3rd to help offset special ministry needs. I will send out an email reminder on Giving Tuesday for those of you who would like to donate. Thank you for your prayerful consideration!

———————

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I want you to know how truly thankful I am for all of you. I thank God often that I have a team of people who are constantly praying for me and giving to my ministry. You are a huge reason that I am able to do the work that God has called me to! Thank you for your hearts to support the work of H2O at the University of Akron!

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” -Psalm 100:4

Love,

Todd, Kelley, Josiah, and Caroline :^)

 

Richland Pregnancy Services

1560 West Fourth Street
Mansfield, OH 44906

info@richlandpregnancy.com

All of our services are free of charge and available regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or income.

Pregnancy Testing

Limited Ultrasound Exam

 STD Testing/Treatment

After Abortion Support

Support Services 

Free Support Services at Richland Pregnancy Services include:

Master Provisions

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.

Website: https://www.masterprovision.org

KidZone Tutoring

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.

Image result for malabar middle school mansfield oh

If you are interested in participating please contact Pastor Bill Heaton, 419/756-3300, bheaton@bereanfamily.com

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

April 2019

MINISTRY UPDATE:
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.

Praise the Lord 19 young men at our State Juvenile Detention Center service were baptized this year!

FAMILY UPDATE:
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 photoshoots 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.

FINANCIAL UPDATE:
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

Websitehttp://www.compassioninactionohio.org/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/compassioninactionohio/

Emergency Response Team

Contacts: RuthAnn Chirico & Tim Miller

Harmony House, Homeless Services

Website: http://harmonyhousehomeless.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Harmony-House-Homeless-Services-108697389174177/

International Caring

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

Website: http://mansfieldlinc.org/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/mansfieldloveinc/

Mansfield Salvation Army

Contacts: Brenda Nelson

Websitehttps://neo.salvationarmy.org/northeastohio/mansfieldnew

Nursing Home Ministry

Contacts: Tom Prendergast & Lisa Caldwell

Operation Christmas Child

Contact: Elizabeth Dawson

Websitehttps://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OCCshoeboxes/

Prison Ministry

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

Websitehttps://sharedhope.org/

Haiti

PASTOR JEPHTHE LUCIEN

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.

Daniel 2:21

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

Praise Report

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!

Pignon, Haiti

Ukraine

 Grace Church – Brovary, Ukraine

Ukraine 2020: 

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 bheaton@bereanfamily.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

Middle East

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.

https://journeytobefaithful.wordpress.com

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.

Summer Trips

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.

Shabbat Shalom

Philippines

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.

Facebook: cerdoguiles77

cirilod@convergeww.org

November 2019

We write this update in the midst of a month’s trip to the US for Cirilo’s medical follow up and family vacation in San Diego. We are also taking the opportunity of visiting three supporting churches before returning to Manila by the end of the month. Cirilo’s prostate check-up with the oncologist and the most recent PSA test result are both encouraging six months after the proton beam therapy treatment – the Lord is answering prayers on our behalf! This is also true with our ministries in the last three months and those that await us when we return.

Ministry Developments! 

Our last three months of mission engagements are fruits of months of prayers and preparations. The series of training events that Cirilo conducts continue to excite ConvergePhil pastors and church leaders.   Two churches in Metro Manila completed the 10 months Equipped To Lead program.

We had a productive first Master Teachers training for the Institute of Training in Ministry (iTIM) with 45 participants representing 5 denominations. This ministry is sponsored by the Philippine Council of Churches.  Cirilo serves as the primary Trainor and Dory assists in the logistics of the training event.

Exciting Ministries Await Us!

Here are a few ministry events that await us next month:

  • Institute of Training in Ministry Master Teachers’ Training in Tacloban and South Cotabato for BCP churches
  • ConvergePhil Church Planters Summit training in Metro-Manila.
  • Converge Philip[pine Field Mid-year Meeting in Manila

Involvement in the greater kingdom . . .
Cirilo leads the advisory task force of the Philippine Council of Evangelical churches and serves as the interim dean of the Institute of Training in Ministry. The curriculum is being implemented as a 2-year “Alternative Bible School Training System” and a discipleship multiplication system. Cirilo is scheduled to conduct the training in Tacloban for Converge pastors in that district.

 

 

New church planting thrust . . .
The Baptist Conference of the Philippine’s five-year goal is to start at least 251 churches. Cirilo serves alongside the leadership of William Taghap, BCP church planting national director.  A summit training for current and potential church planters will be held in Manila on Nov. 18-20. In the photo are 18 church planters commissioned at the sub-district conference in Burias Island, Masbate.

 

 

Again, we would like to thank you for your faithful partnership.

Cirilo & Dory

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEVE & BARBARA WILKINSON

Steve and Barbara Wilkinson minister in the Philippines. Steve teaches at the Baptist Theological College / Cebu Graduate School of Theology preparing young men and women as new workers for the harvest.

October 2019

TRAINING ASIANS TO REACH ASIANS

Dear Ministry Partner,

Last school year in Cebu, Pastor Ryan Ermac finished Greek 1, 2 and 3 with me. He is now extending his skills in an advanced study of the language as we read Galatians in Greek. Thanks to the technology of the digital age, our class can be conducted two to three times a week using Skype. We have discovered that this is an advantageous way to do this class because every time that we meet it saves Ryan almost two hours of round-trip travel time from his home to the BTC campus. Please pray for Ryan and the others pastors enrolled in this advanced subject: that they will have the discipline to accomplish their assignments, will find additional time for the on-line sessions with me, will preach and teach Galatians more faithfully, and will be able to fulfill their family and church responsibilities as well.
Church partnerships are vital in stimulating multiplication among the least-reached parts of the world today, especially in Asia. I encourage you to follow this link to a recent article that tells about an American pastor who traveled to Cebu to promote greater missionary outreach by the churches of Cebu City: https://converge.org/article/converge-churches-making-global-gospel-impact.
We who are part of the Asian Impact Team are asking God for a Gospel movement among every less-reached people group throughout Asia in our lifetime. We seek to develop effective strategies that will multiply churches and disciples among the less-reached areas of Asia. To this end, please pray for an upcoming trip to two large Asian countries that I will make with two Converge colleagues. I will conduct a training seminar for 50 pastors on “Preaching what the Word Actually Says.” This team will assess the possibilities of adopting ministry initiatives in these places. Pray that we observe carefully all of the crucial local realities and that we understand adequately the needs in both regions so that our Converge partners might have more opportunity to collaborate to meet the needs of the least reached of Asia.

– In June, Barbara, Paul, Tim and I flew to Anaheim, California to be part of the memorial service for Barbara’s mother, Betty Smith. We gave eulogies and visited her gravesite. We also packed up
many of her household furnishings to ship to Pennsylvania to become part of our new home.
– Paul is back at Grove City College for his third year. He still works one day a week as an in-home health care provider.
– Tim is a tenth grader at the local high school and has earned a spot on the varsity soccer team playing goalie.
– Thank you for your prayers concerning our relocation. In July we were able to purchase a very nice house in New Castle. In August we moved in. The house is a real blessing since it is has a room for my office, a bedroom for each boy, and a guest room for visitors whom we hope will be many.

Warmest regards in Christ,
Steve Wilkinson, for Barbara, Paul and Tim
Converge
Asia Impact

Orlando

John & Jan Baxter

What We Do

2018-19

Diaspora Missions

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.

 


John and I spent most of June and into July participating in four diaspora-related conferences. Between each one, we sandwiched in some vacation because,
well, all the conferences were in Europe!
Our first stop was in Liverpool, England. The Lausanne Global Diaspora Network gathering provided updates with missionaries, pastors, and other practitioners whose goal is to engage people in global migration with the gospel of Jesus Christ. On the way to visit a Chinese diaspora church, we stopped to tour the Liverpool Cathedral with Dr. and Mrs. Barnabas Moon (above).
We had an extra day before our next conference and spent it walking around Oxford, England, then on to Darmstadt, Germany, for the Next Generation Korean Diaspora Conference. How encouraging to speak to second-generation Korean-German pastors who are thinking missionally, planning and praying for gospel impact among immigrants and business workers in Germany. (Can you find John’s name on the banner?)

 

We had several days after Darmstadt to visit Trier, Germany, as well as the Bastogne War Museum and areas associated with where my (Jan’s) dad was 75 years ago with Patton’s 4th Armored Division.

Next, John spoke to a resource gathering of missionary leaders near Frankfurt, Germany, then we took a train to Normandy, France, to visit more historical sites associated with the liberation of France.
Our final week was a Converge Europe-Africa missionary conference in Neustadt, Germany. We were invited as diaspora advisors to help the many initiative leaders around the globe find opportunities for missions to and from people on the move. We returned to the U.S. with a growing list of projects.

Spain Update

Working in Malaga in April, we learned that the proposed refugee ministry partnership is not operating in the way we anticipated. During that month we renegotiated our partnership agreement with Interlink Resources International and are pleased that Converge leadership recently approved the changes.

We will move forward in overseeing UN refugee-oriented mission projects for Converge and our partner organization. Because of the need to add significant infrastructure, most of this will be done in the U.S. We will also oversee the implementation of a business for mission platform allowing our Converge missionary teams to reside in some highly restricted places around the globe. Our revised plans mean short stays in Spain each year, with the length expanding as the work grows.

Nigeria

Art & Dorothy Helwig, GECHAAN Founders.

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.

Dan & Tina Gibbs, Current Directors of GECHAAN

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,

Merry Christmas!

Our prayer is that this newsletter finds you well and celebrating our Lord Jesus’ birth.  This Christmas season finds us in Minnesota.  Not what we were planning on, but God is providing and we are thankful for His care. We are so thankful for your prayers for Dan’s health and the doctors, thank you!

Dan had a Neurologist appointment on December 3, he is not sure why Dan’s blood clotted after being on blood thinners and referred us to a Hematologist.  That appointment is December 23.  They found a number in part of Dan’s blood that was off, so we’re hoping that appointment will tell us if something else needs to be done to prevent more clots.

We got to spend Thanksgiving with our families and are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with our families. Because Dan’s mom did not go to Texas this will be the first time in about 20 years that most of his family has been together for Christmas.

Dan continues to work with our leaders in Nigeria who are keeping things moving forward there.  We are very proud of our staff that has worked tirelessly in our absence. We have also been working on how we are going to expand ministry in Nigeria and searching out ways that we can move forward.

Our schedule forwards this year…..

We are looking for some people that are interested in helping us develop a prayer team and coordinate some other teams with us.  If you are interested in being more involved with us in Nigeria please contact us and we will explore the options available right now.

We are scheduled to be in Long Beach, California for Converge Meetings at the end of January and in out Connecticut Churches in March so it looks like we will not have time to make it back to Nigeria before these trips. We are praying that we will have a health care plan in place before we need to make these trips.

Please pray for our staff as they continue a while longer in our absence.

As you end your year please consider an extra gift for GECHAAN. Just  a few ideas:

  • Sponsorships for a TTP student’s education are about $150, a full scholarship including start-up equipment is $600.
  • We are planning on shipping a sea container of equipment to Nigeria in 2020 that will cost about $10,000.
  • A Days for Girls kit is about $10 each
  • Could use support for the Mercy fund at the Hospital for Patients that can not afford health care costs.

Click here (https://StandingBeside.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=926c02406b10652d2a77d75fa&id=b1ff4e96f7&e=d13301d6e5) to give to the Project Funds.

Please also consider a monthly donation for our support. We are currently about $200 a month short and we have been notified there will be over a 20% Health Insurance increase next year. Click here (https://StandingBeside.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=926c02406b10652d2a77d75fa&id=1f47803360&e=d13301d6e5) to support us.

In His Service,

Dan & Tina Gibbs
Standing Beside
Visit our website at www.StandingBeside.com

Prayer Points:

Dan as continues recovery

The staff while we are away

Future planning

Wisdom in all we do.

Funding

Thailand

 Matt, Audrey & Ezra Pound
Faithful Heart Foundation
Chiang Mai, Thailand

matthewdavidpound@gmail.com

faithfulheartfoundation.org

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.

Our Vision
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:
Financial Aid
Family Care
Education Training
Counseling
Support Services
We strive to match our foundation resources with the greatest needs to have a lasting, positive

impact on as many lives as possible.

Orphan Rescue

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

Child Labor
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

https://youtu.be/x3irVsiYNHE

http://mattandaudreypound.blogspot.com

Greetings from Thailand!

Cold weather in Thailand is unusual

Ezra know how to work the fire

Redirecting Towards Justice and Joy

As I sat in prison on Christmas morning, I had time to reflect on my decisions that brought me to this point.

(No, I had not been placed there, but had chosen to go).

Josiah graduated from YWAM’s discipleship training program and is getting ready to enter college!

At Faithful Heart Foundation, we decided it would be good to visit some of the 8,000 men who currently live in prison in the town of Mae Taeng. If you have never entered a prison before (or an Asian prison) it is a strange experience to pass through security checks to enter a place that can feel very insecure.

But the prison was bright and clean. It was remarkably organized and non-threatening.  As I sat there looking at these men, young and old, who seemed not so different from myself, I couldn’t help wondering what set of circumstances had occurred which led them there.

And likewise for myself.

No photos were allowed inside, but this was our crew

 

One of my favorite authors, CS Lewis, once explained that life is like a race in which no one starts at the same start line and in which the contestants have all manner of different disabilities, health problems, and handicaps.

His point is that it is absurd for us to look at another and judge or measure.

A healthy sprinter with two legs, strong lungs, and a family that could afford to feed him cannot possibly be compared to a double amputee born with tuberculosis and living on the brink of starvation.

Our sweet friend May is expecting her first baby and needed some practice!

Few of us would cheer that sprinter’s victory or condemn the amputee’s loss.

For all we know, the sprinter may have been lazy and never reached his potential, where the amputee may have run the most heroic race anyone in his position possibly could have.

Yay Mountains!

So here I am in prison.

I grew up in a loving, supportive, educated family.  I never lacked for anything in my life.  I was born in good health and always had everything I needed to grow and flourish (and a lot more).

And here are 8,000 men in prison with me.

Where did they grow up?  What were their families like?  Did they have a chance to get a good education?  Did anyone tell them they were loved?  Did anyone believe in them and support their dreams?  Did they have enough to eat?

That is a room full of questions we don’t know the answers to.

It would be foolish to assume all these men are innocent of any wrongdoing.

But it would be equally foolish to assume all these men are guilty of wrongdoing, or at least, more wrongdoing than the rest of us are.

Singin’ in the cold

Two boys and a balloon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas carolers and snacks!

So what should we do?  

We need to redirect our lives towards justice and joy.

How we each will be able to do that will look vastly different, depending on our circumstances.
But it is something we can all do.

Life has a way of dragging us along with or without our consent.
And we often ended up directed by our circumstances, rather than directing them.

It seems tragic when so many of us have so much freedom to choose the direction of our lives, and we surrender without a fight to the highest paying advertiser.

Christmas exchange at church

We love these two!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sienna is ready!

 

 

As we begin a new year here, it is more inescapable to me that my good fortune is more than good luck.  I have been given tools to make my world better and it is a terrible wrong to deny them to those who most need them.

But the responsibility is two-fold.

God made all of us, those with plenty and those with little.
His concern is the joy and well being of all his creatures.

His secret is that those with plenty will find their highest joy in helping their brothers and sisters.

In a world where we are constantly told our neighbor’s gain is our loss, is it possible to believe our neighbor’s gain can be our joy?

Yes.

It’s all about the intensity

Unequivocally and absolutely YES.

I sometimes wince when people talk about charity.
Charity?

For someone with a background like me, before we can talk about charity there is first the question of justice and fairness (what Love demands I owe my neighbor).

And in all my “giving”, I have not yet come close to fairness.

But, contrary to much of our bad religious thinking, Justice and Joy are intertwined
(as are Justice and Mercy and Love—that for another time).

If you have joy without justice, you are selfish and cruel.

If you have justice without joy, you are unhappy and confused.

But if we direct our lives, not towards the greatest financial reward, not towards the greatest recognition of our peers, not towards

Sooo many people we love!

personal achievement, but towards the good and flourishing of our neighbors and our world, we will help the moral arc of history move forward…be it ever so slightly, and we will find our own highest joy.

In this new year, take up the tools you have been given to make our world a better place and put them to work.

Greatness is service and service is joy.  May they be yours.

 

 

Faithful Heart Update:

We have plowed right into the new year at Faithful Heart.  We had an all-day planning meeting to work on our calendar for the coming year and talk about our goals individually and as an organization.

We are excited to work on 3 new projects this coming year to extend our reach in helping children in Chiang Mai.

College students gift exchange

1.  We are starting a project to help single mothers keep and care for their own children so families are not broken apart.

2.  We also are working with several other foundations and the Thai government to introduce Foster Care in Thailand.  The government has said it wants to move away from large children’s homes to a foster care system where children are placed into families.

3.  Lastly, when children can be safely reunited with their biological families and wish to do so, we want to help them make that transition and provide ongoing support and encourage them to continue to pursue higher education.

First Staff Meeting of the New Year!

These all are exciting and very new to us.  Please keep us in your prayers as we try to do more to help children and families in need in our community.

Thank you for your support and love.  Here’s to a New Year of growth, joy, and justice together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your love and support.  Have a wonderful holiday season!

Love,

Matt, Audrey, Ezra (aka Fuzzy), and Sienna (aka Squishy) Pound

 

Poom is such a sweet boy. We are so glad he is part of our Faithful Heart Family!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Prayer Week 2020

PRAYER WEEK IS HERE!

Prayer Week 2020 is now 10 days away. It starts January 24, 2020, at 5 pm EST and ends on January 31, 2020, at 5 pm EST. Many of you have joined us in previous years. We’re hoping you and many more will join us again this year! We’d like to have at least 96 different people to fill 48 half-hour prayer slots each day for the entire week. Each person will commit to pray for Santisuk and the ministry here in Bangkok for the whole week, not just one day, praying in a 30-minute time slot that whole week. So for example, you may want to pray at supper time with your family so you’ll request the 6 pm EST slot. Or, you live in CA and would like to pray before you go to work, so you’d like the 6:30 am PST slot. Choose whatever slot fits best for you.  Then let me know what 30-minute slot you will pray for Santisuk each day for the whole week. We’ll send you our 2020 Prayer Guide chocked full of information to fuel your prayer time, with a different emphasis and set of prayer requests for each day.

Here in Thailand, we’re about 12 hours ahead of you, so if you can pray at a variety of times we need the most help between 12 noon and 6 pm EST (when most of us are sleeping).  But don’t feel you have to only pray during those times. Select whatever time works best for you. We’d like to have at least 2 people (total 96), and sometimes 3 people praying for Santisuk and the ministries here all week long, 24 hours a day, for the entire week.

We’re encouraging all of our Thai church members to join together and commit to praying during this week alongside our friends from around the world. For one full week (7 days) we will have a 24-hour prayer chain asking our great God to lead and guide and direct us in all we do and to bless all the activities of PFC throughout the year.

Would you join us this year? If so, just send me an e-mail with 3 things: 1) your name  2) your time slot where you are  3) what time zone you are in.  Example: 1)  Bill Jones   2) 4:30 pm 3)  Central Time.   Then, by January 23, I’ll send you our 2020 Prayer Guide as an attachment in an e-mail.

“With all prayer and petition,  pray at all times in the Spirit …be on the alert with all perseverance  and petition for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)

Thanks for reading, and thanks for joining us in praying for Thailand!

Steve and Nopaluck Cable
Converge Missionaries
Bangkok, Thailand

P.S. If you’ve not seen our 2018 video, you may want to watch that this week to further fuel your prayers for our ministry. You can find it at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psMnMu7ekfs&feature=youtu.be

Japan

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!

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AvOH5EYmrVaqgwU5gdw578E82T-9

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AvOH5EYmrVaqgxWZE6sZC1Z0nrjN

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.

West Africa

           

Bill and Kathy M.

Serving with Converge in the capital city of a West African country, predominantly Muslim

4 students from a bible study having lunch at our house

Ministry summary 

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

Bill (far left, back) with students and visiting volunteers at January 2018 English Camp

Country facts:

  • 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!!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/G32MUf4r3KE4Lr6dA

Dominican Republic

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

 

 

December 2019

REJOICING WITH THANKSGIVING

From the Fountain of Life School

December was a very busy month at the school since several of the classrooms received a variety of Christmas decorations and expressions. A full-size manger scene appeared in the open area between the elementary classrooms. It was a real temptation for the children, but it did make it to the end of classes during December.

All the school students enjoyed a Christmas party, with many gifts being distributed.

As this letter is being written, school is already in progress (January 16, 2020) even though all the students have not yet shown up. It is typical for many parents to delay in getting their children back in gear for school again. The school year began with a group of high school students from Dayton Christian School, Dayton, OH. Our 12th-grade students joined these students for a full week of working (also eating and sleeping) together –  painting the new classroom building and remodeling the front of the building we use as auditorium and church. Termites had eaten much of the wooden panels that were there, so all treated tongue-in-groove lumber was used to cover this area. It resulted in a very attractive appearance in the interior front of the building.

Juan Tomas Bible Church

As we have typically done on the 1st of the New Year, our church had a baptismal service (with two believers) and then an ordination service for recognizing three men as deacons, two in our church and one in our daughter church. We also recognized Pastor Pierre, from Haiti, as our Pastor to the Haitians in this community.

REMEMBERING WITH INTERCESSION

One of our Bible teachers resigned because of family-related difficulties, so this left us without not only a Bible teacher but also one who could handle disciplinary situations with students.  Just today, we were blessed with the acceptance of another Pastor friend of this position. Pray for Pastor Juan, as he joins with us next week to begin this important ministry of working with students that have conflicts and need the Lord.

Continue to pray for Pierre’s family as the children adjust to the Spanish language, and that soon the children will be able to enter the classes where they belong.

 

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!

converge.org/give/209737

davidc@converge.org

December 2019

ENGAGING YOUNG ADULTS

As part of the local church in Juan Tomas, we began meeting with a group of young adults once a month. We want to build relationships and begin planting & watering seeds for a life of service to God beyond ‘their four walls’. Perhaps God will use our engagements to raise up Dominicans who are willing to “go” and make an impact among least-reached peoples.

LATIN AMERICA MISSION PLANNING

Missionaries from across Latin America & the Caribbean came together in Costa Rica to discuss our regional mission plans and strengthen relationships.

We live in a time in history when US citizens are no longer welcome in many countries that have unreached peoples. But God is raising up the global south, especially Latino believers, to be the next wave of fulfilling the great commission, to go where we cannot. God is beginning to send them and we need to prepare them. That is our mission.

David and other regional leaders reviewed plans for how Converge will come alongside Latino leaders and what will be required to help fulfill that mission (additional in-region team members, church partners, training partners, and funding).

God is on the move in these last days… we live in exciting times, my friends!

DAJABON SPONSORS

David had the honor and pleasure of spending time with a team from Storyside in the town of Dajabon, which is near the border of Haiti.

The engagement with the organization, One Child Matters, revealed such a beautiful love between the sponsors who came and the children with whom they are connected. One of the visitors even expressed interest in evaluating the possibility to join my Latin America team. We’ll see what the Lord does.

Sponsorship of a child and short-term team visits remain important here. You never know how God may use it to not only change Dominican lives but the lives of those who visit as well. We are a testimony as now we live here as a result!

Prayer Requests

  1. For family language learning and deeper relationships
  2. For closeness with the Lord, walking and be led by the Holy Spirit and the Word in all things
  3. For new team members, training partners & funding to fulfill the mission
  4. For encouragement while here during Christmas & New Year.

 

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!

ONLINE INTERVIEW
Check out our conversation on YouTube!

https://youtu.be/cyROn96fSuI

SAT-7

OUR VISION

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.

OUR MISSION

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.

globalLead

About globalLead

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

Website: http://globallead.world

 

Many of you realize that globalLead now offers 3 distinct training experiences. Over the next few weeks, I will be leading each of these experiences in three different locations with our teams locally and globally.

Will you engage in praying for me and those involved?

Akron, Ohio: I will be joined by Lynn Reinbolt (globalLead board member) and Jack Dyson (globalLead’s Int’l Director of Operations) in order to train leaders at The Chapel in Akron, Ohio from Jan. 10th-12th using our Ministry Team Strategy materials. In the trainings will be about 10 global mission team leaders who desire to learn, apply, and consider training other leaders in the mission locations that this church serves! Another group that will be in this session is the church planting teams from several of The Chapel’s church plants in the Akron region. They will be trained to be able to formulate additional Christ-Centered specific plans to launch and grow their churches! (We expect to have around 30 people involved). We also are recording these sessions for further usage globally.

Ethiopia, Africa: I will be flying on Tuesday, Jan. 14th to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Here I will lead a group of 50 leaders through our Youth Ministry Strategy materials so that these leaders can be certified trainers to take trainings to every corner of their country and beyond. I also hope to gather a report on the highly persecuted church in neighboring Eritrea and see what God may have us do those in need there.

Kenya, Africa: Beginning Sunday, Jan. 19th-Jan. 24th, I will be part of a diverse global team from the USA, Philippines, Uganda, and New Zealand who are leading in globalLead’s Heart of the Leader ministry (participants will be coming from Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, and India as well). We hope to have about 30 ministry leaders involved in this soul care event so that they can be healthy leaders in ministry!

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for praying and supporting the growing ministry both locally and globally.

Chris Davis
Executive Director – globalLead 

Romans 15:13 (ESV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Please lift up the following prayer concerns and praises for the month of January. We are grateful for your prayer support of globalLead, which allows us to proclaim the word of Christ to the world.

Blessings!
Patty
globalLead Volunteer
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 Points:

  • Thank you for praying for the donor development campaigns and effort; the Lord has heard your prayers for the provision of new partners and additional funds.
  • Praise God for the first training of the year January 9-11, 2020.
  • Praise God for the Christmas holidays, for catching up with family, friends, and ministry partners.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for the Heart of the Leader in Kenya, January 19-24. Two of our staff and 1 volunteer will be joining to help facilitate and minister to our African pastors and workers. Pray that funds will be raised 100%.
  • Pray for the expansion of HEART of the LEADER ministry here in SE Asia, God’s direction, staffing, and sustainable support raising.
  • Continue to pray for sustainable funding for globalLead Southeast Asia office; we need $2400 monthly. Pray with us that we will be 100% fully funded before the end of 2020. Help us pray for $500 to install ASAP security cameras and motion sensor lights and alarms. Help us pray for the protection of the staff and the staff house.
  • Pray for our training in restricted places through video and technology to be successful, useful, and relevant.
  • Pray for these possible local and international trainings:

  Nationwide training and follow-up with Assembly of God Youth Leadership
  National trainings with Word International Youth Leadership

  • Pray for the work started in some of these countries, that it will grow and be sustained. Pray for open doors and right partners and hosts who have the vision and heart.

   Mongolia
   Myanmar
o    Timor
o    Vietnam
  o   Malaysia
 o   Taiwan
    o   Indonesia

  • Pray for the right people to commit to becoming Southeast Asia gL Advisory Board members who have the vision and the heart for the Kingdom’s work.
  • 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 renewed commitment and sustained joy in what we do, guidance, and wisdom as we faithfully follow the Lord’s leading for 2020.

NORTHWEST ASIA OFFICE
Praise Points:

  • We praise God as we have successfully trained a total  65 leaders in Q4 (October, Nov., Dec.)

o   Youth Leadership Training ( Kohlapur) – Level 2 – 35
o   Youth Leadership Training (Kohalpur) – Level 1 – 30

  • We praise God for giving protection and safety for our staff, Board members and trainers.

Prayer Points:

  • Please pray as our Project 1: Water 4 life project is going to start on January 19th, 2020 at Chitwan. Pray for Dhiraj travel safety as he needs to travel frequently on his bike for this project.
  • Please pray for our trainers as they need to plan trainings for 2020.
  • Please pray for the good health and safety for our staff, trainers and B.O.D members.

AFRICA
Praise Points:

  • We thank GOD for the good close of the year having had two seminars in Uganda and Zambia. Both were Youth Ministry strategy seminars from level 1 and level 2.
  • We are also thankful for the protection and the health that we have enjoyed throughout the year.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for the Heart of the leader conference happening this month from the 20th – 24th. We have many international travels from Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia, India, Canada, New Zealand, Ghana, and the United States, so commit to the Lord for the traveling mercies and ease with immigration for the visas needed. For the logistics that are needed to be well coordinated.
  • Pray for impact and a life transformation time for the participants.

INTERNATIONAL OFFICE
Praise Points: 

  • Grateful for the engagement of our globalLead international board as they co-lead the ministry with the staff here, through prayer, support, strategic thinking, and donor engagement.
  • Grateful for our on-going faithful supporters of individuals and churches.
  • Thankful for several new strategic people and locations around the globe for ministry in Pakistan and Myanmar.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for Chris, Jack Dyson, and Lynn Reinbolt as they lead and participate in a local training of the globalLead Ministry Team Trainings in Akron, Ohio, January 10-12.
  • Pray for the first-ever Heart of the Leader in Africa, January 20-24 of 2020.
  • Please continue to pray for Lori’s husband, Gary; for his on-going recovery from the heart attack and dealing with other health issues. Please also pray for God’s guidance and provision.
  • Pray for our growing staffing needs locally and globally.
  • Pray for Jack Dyson as he finishes his fundraising so he can come on staff full-time.
  • Pray for our global ministry expansion. Asking God to continue to show us what locations to add in His timing.
  • Pray for our planning and prioritizing of ministry and management areas for 2020.
  • Pray for plans for Chris and Jack’s upcoming ministry trip to Africa. Also pray for Matt Lewis and Eric Byrom, and the other mentors who will be participating..

Pray for Chris’ ministry in Ethiopia January 15-18.