Welcome to Berean’s Local & Global Outreach!
Our Purpose is to
To bring the love and life transforming power of Jesus Christ to the unsaved person and the unreached peoples of the world.
Christ’s call to make disciples of the nations is the joy-filled responsibility that He has placed within the heart of every born again believer. Christ’s mission – our mission – is the very heartbeat of the Church. God invites us to join Him in His redemptive work of drawing all nations to Himself so that they might grow in Him and exalt His name. It is God’s desire for us all to be involved with Him in this extraordinary task that brings Him joy and us into a closer relationship with Him.
As you explore this website you will discover the many peoples, places, and ministries that we are collectively committed to and you can be vitally involved in reaching with the love of Christ.
Our prayer for you is that you will find the role God has reserved for you in the greatest ongoing movement in history – the spreading of God’s story, the story of His glory to the ends of the earth.
Our mission is God’s mission. Your gifts and abilities count. Please prayerfully consider where they may fit into God’s purposes. We hope that as you read through these pages you will have a clearer vision of where God can use you and your gifts and abilities.
Our Key Verse is:
“… and you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Local Outreach & Partners
- Bethel Seminary
- Converge Mid-Atlantic
- Child Evangelism Fellowship
- Camp Burton
- Food Pantry Ministry
- Love Inc.
- Furniture Ministry
- H20 College Ministry
- Richland Pregnancy Services
- Master Provisions
- KidZone Tutoring
- Youth for Christ
- Other Local Partners
Awakening is a local parachurch organization that seeks to engage college-aged individuals in community, worship, and discipleship.
Awakening has grown to include regular activities like monthly worship nights, two weekly Bible studies (one at our local college campus), weekly social and physical activities, retreats, service projects and various partnerships among community organizations and churches.
Ecumenical in nature, Awakening at its core seeks to unite local evangelical efforts and has been blessed to facilitate several community events, including Light Our City, a community-wide Good Friday service, a community-wide Thanksgiving Eve service, and most recently a very unique Christmas Eve service, among other events.
The name of the group is derived from the verse Ephesians 5:14, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” We thank God that Jesus has shed His light upon us and awakened us from a spiritual death, and we hope to help others see the Lord’s goodness and love so that they may encounter Him in an authentic and meaningful way.
Primary contact: Jonathan Dech
At Bethel University, we’re committed to excellence.
But here, excellence means something more. It means taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, so we can accomplish incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.
We’ve been a leader and model in Christian higher education since 1871. For generations, our fusion of evangelical faith with top-ranked academics has transformed women and men, preparing them for unique callings in the kingdom of God.
Boldly informed and motivated by the Christian faith, Bethel University educates and energizes men and women for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service. We prepare graduates to serve in strategic capacities to renew minds, live out biblical truth, transform culture, and advance the gospel.
Bethel will be the Christ-centered university of choice for this century.
Rooted in faith. Committed to excellence. Bethel will become the leader in Christian higher education by building stronger communities, equipping confident leaders and gracious servants, and preparing passionate world-changers. Through our thoughts, words, and actions, we’ll demonstrate what it means for a university to be centered on Jesus Christ.
Bethel University is a vibrant, Christ-centered educational community. Here, students with a wide range of interests and backgrounds share a common goal: to become whole and holy persons. Throughout this transformational journey, we rely on core values to guide us spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.
First, we are Christ-followers, striving to live out the teachings of Jesus and to emulate His life as revealed in Scripture. We are also character-builders. Through healthy, supportive relationships and a culture of service, we develop the personal strength and emotional intelligence to make right choices in a broken world.
As learners, we are critical thinkers and problem-solvers committed to academic excellence and intellectual rigor. At the same time, we are truth-seekers, recognizing that all truth—scientific, artistic, philosophical, or theological—has its source in God.
We have been put on this earth for a purpose: God wants us to use our talents and compassion to be world-changers and reconcilers. As we humbly and honestly engage with our own biases and preconceptions, we grow closer to understanding Christ’s infinite love and selfless mission of redemption.
In this complex and troubled world, we aim to be both salt and light—preserving the good and reflecting the guiding light of Christ. This requires a mature faith that is grounded in a personal relationship with God and able to withstand the storms of life.
St. Paul, MN 55112
Jesus knew what His mission was, and He didn’t waste any time getting around to it. Everything He said, everything He did and everywhere He went was motivated by His life’s mission. Thus, it is no surprise that at the end of His life He was able to say, “I have completed the mission You gave Me….”
As His church – His very Body – should we be any less devoted to fulfilling the mission He left for us? We do not believe so. That’s why everything we do here in Converge is shaped by our mission:
The Mission of Converge MidAtlantic is to Start and Strengthen Churches. That ’s what we do, and we do it Together!
We are a Movement . . . a Network of Christ-centered, Gospel-driven churches that are passionate about seeing individuals and communities, all across our region and around the world, transformed by the power of the Good News of Jesus.
Converge MidAtlantic is one of 11 regional expressions of Converge, a dynamic movement of 1250 plus churches across the U.S., with global outreach in 29 nations worldwide. For more “Fast Facts” on our Converge MidAtlantic movement, http://www.convergemidatlantic.com/files/midatl/resources/docs/2016_fact_sheet_0.pdf
November 5, 2018
We’ve celebrated the grand openings of several new Converge churches lately. One of our newest church plants is Mission Grove Church, Phoenix, which welcomed 244 people to its October 7 launch at Wildfire Elementary School.
“It was a crazy and incredible morning,” lead pastor Jon Kragel told Converge Southwest. “From flooding closing two of the main roads to get to our church to people flooding into the worship service, it was such an amazing day. Our vision is to help every man, woman, and child experience Jesus, and Sunday was just the beginning.”
Kragel says one of the ways Mission Grove is becoming known in its community is through acts of service. On October 25, the church partnered with the Boys & Girls Club and the local homeowners association to put on a fall festival attended by nearly 800 people.
The most effective way to reach the world for Christ is by starting new churches. Thank you to church planters like Pastor Kragel who are reaching their communities with the life-changing gospel of Jesus.
New Facility in Utah
|What began with six people meeting in pastor Loren and Carrie Pankratz’s living room has multiplied into The Bridge Community, a growing church of over 300 worshipers in Centerville, Utah. After renting space in a retail strip mall for five years, the church moved into its own worship building in September.
Despite being in the United States, The Bridge Community is located among an unreached people group. On a given Sunday morning, only about 1 percent of South Davis County worships in a Christian church.
While at the strip mall, the church gradually expanded from one to four retail spaces to meet its growing needs.
About two years ago, church leaders recognized they were starting to feel cramped in their space and began discussing what to do next. The church was still functioning well, and they had put a lot of work into the space. So, they weren’t ready to abandon ship just yet. But God had other plans for them.
This February, Pankratz learned the church would have to move to a new location by the end of September. That news put their planning into hyperdrive. Over the next few months, they looked at every available spot in Davis County. Finally, they landed on a warehouse that could be converted into a church — with the help of a loan from the Converge Cornerstone Fund.
“We are a relatively young church and do not have a ton of capital, so having the Cornerstone Fund step in and provide us a loan was huge,” the pastor said. “They enabled us to purchase a building where we can establish ourselves and grow.”
The new facility, says Pankratz, is the first building an evangelical church has ever owned and operated in Centerville. The meeting place gives The Bridge Community office space it’s never had, more and bigger classrooms and a sanctuary that doubles the seating capacity of its previous facility. The church dedicated the building September 30, celebrating the event with two baptisms.
Congratulations to The Bridge Community on this new facility that will be used to share Christ in its unengaged community.
Child Evangelism Fellowship
As the Local Missionary Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship® (CEF®) of MARCK (Morrow, Ashland, Richland, Crawford, and Knox counties) chapter, I would like to invite you to consider partnering with CEF to reach the children.
Our CEF Christian Resource Center is located at 535 Beer Road, Ontario, OH 44906. Feel free to call (419-756-7799) or stop in to see what resources and training materials CEF has that could assist you in reaching children through evangelism and discipleship opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Lord called my wife, Sue, and I here to Ohio in 1997. We are very grateful for the Lord’s leading in our lives. He has blessed us with two wonderful children, Matt (22) and Sarah (20). We are thankful that our two children love the Lord with all their hearts.
Love for the children
14282 Butternut Rd
Burton, OH 44021
Come and experience an unforgettable week of life-changing relationships, fantastic games, exciting activities, and amazing food. One visit and you’ll want to come back for the rest of your life!
Food Pantry Ministry
200 Ashland Rd
On the 3rd Saturday of every month, we gather as a team to show the love of Christ through delivering food. We have consistently fed approximately 90 families a month for over a decade. We thank the Lord for our delivery teams who go out each month. Currently, we have around 35 people from Berean making these monthly deliveries and are in need of 2-3 more teams to help us in the “sharing of God’s love”. Anyone who is interested in volunteering to deliver boxes or is in need of a box of food, that attends Berean, should contact Sarah DeYarmon at 419/756-3300, ext. 222. Those that are in need, that do not attend Berean, should contact Love, Inc at 419/566-1432.
The Mission of Love In the Name of Christ is to mobilize the Church to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ.
WHO ARE WE, AND WHAT DO WE DO?
- Each chapter of Love INC is a 501c3 affiliation of local churches working together to minister to people in need
- Each local office functions as a clearinghouse which matches neighbors needing short term help with area resources providing assistance
- The clearinghouse model allows us to network with churches and agencies, minimizing redundant or overlapping services
- We strive to offer a “hand UP”, allowing our neighbors to maintain dignity and empowering them to be able to personally deal with adverse circumstances, rather than being on the receiving end of a “hand OUT”
HOW DO WE DO IT?
- Each prospective client-neighbor participates in a telephone interview with a trained LOVE INC volunteer to discuss their particular situation and specific needs
- The caller is offered an opportunity for prayer with the volunteer at the conclusion of the interview, in order that we might share the love of Jesus and offer God’s hope, strength, and healing for the caller and his/her entire family
- After the individual signs and returns some basic information to the office for verification, we relay the needs requests to partner churches or area agencies who provide a variety of goods and services geared specifically to the needs in question
WHAT DON’T WE DO?
- We do not conduct walk-in interviews at the office.
- We do not have cash on hand to help with rent, utility payments, or other emergency issues
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
- We follow up to make sure that our new neighbors have received the help they need to lift them out of their current circumstances
We encourage them to become active in a local church of their choice where they can become part of a worshiping community, continue to experience God’s grace and mercy, and have their spiritual, emotional, and daily living issues addressed on a personal level.
IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE
200 Ashland Rd
Berean’s Furniture Ministry is a great way for the Church to meet our neighbors in Richland County!
The Furniture Ministry is a volunteer group that works out of Berean’s Building 2:16, on Ashland road. Ken Giesige and his volunteers, organize and put into action the pickup and deliveries of furniture. On four or more days each week, they meet the needs of our neighbors by delivering furniture and fellowshipping with them and their families. Our group of male volunteers often pray with the families and asked questions about salvation. They’re able to form friendships and share the gospel of Jesus Christ!
The Berean receptionist, Abby Young, communicates directly with the volunteers, relaying the information on donations. Also speaks with the recipients from Love INC, about their request. If you have an item(s) they would like to donate, call the church and speak with Abby. The receptionist will be able to take your request and inform the volunteers.
Love INC of Greater Mansfield is an amazing partner for the Furniture Ministry. For our neighbors in the community to be placed on the list, they would have to call into Love INC’s office at 419-522-1432 and talk to a volunteer. Office hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 am until 12:00 noon. Their information will be received and then passed onto the furniture deliverers at Berean.
If you’re a member or committed attendee of Berean and need furniture, call into the church. The receptionist will be able to take your request directly.
Volunteers Needed to help with pick ups and deliveries call Abby 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.
Annual Update from Lindsay!
Merry Christmas from the Slack family! We are so incredibly grateful for your sacrifice for our ministry. We literally would not be on Kent State’s campus dedicating the amount of time that we do and having our attention undivided to give to the students on this campus if it weren’t for you all. Thank you.
Along with meeting individual students and hosting a life group in our home every Sunday evening, this semester has been a desire of mine waiting to happen for a couple of years. I and my sister, Tiffany, are leading a study called “Soul Healing.” The heart of this study is to look at past wounds (which we all have) and “living beyond the pain of your past.” By identifying the wounds (and the lies that are attached to the wounds) we can replace those wounds with God’s truths. Writing it out like this makes the process seem so orderly and neatly packaged but the reality is that it is messy.
So far it has been 12 weeks of hearing the same seven people’s pain and watching them wrestle with what they know (head knowledge) to be true and what they truly believe in their hearts to be true. And this is a journey that I am learning to not rush but rather sit back and watch the Lord pursue His daughters each week. I do like ideas to be more black and white, right or wrong, believe it or not, but I am learning more and more that Jesus is more about the journey.
I am finding myself NOT squirming and NOT feeling responsible when I hear the same woman share that she is in the same spot she was last week in believing the truth or that she is still in denial that what she is doing is a sin. Because what I know to be true is Jesus DOES want to heal but EVEN MORE THAN HEALING He desires our hearts, our attention, our desperation for Him. Our gaze to be turned upward asking Him, “What do you say about me?”
And I believe He meets us in this journey with such an excitement to lavish grace and with such anticipation to extend mercy and tell us the truth. I love this quote from our chapter this last week, “How exciting for us that we are more than the sum total of our hurts and wounds. If we cooperate with God’s Spirit, we will find that there is no corner of our soul that cannot be redeemed. In this chapter, as we search ourselves for what level of damage we have suffered, there is no greater promise than to realize that all of heaven is committed to repairing each and every scratch, rip, divot, and tear of the masterpiece He created in us. Give Him praise!” -Soul Healing, Tammy Smith
We believe that even as Christians we need to continue to hear the gospel over and over and allow the Good News to work itself into every corner of our life. Please pray for these women and for my sister and I leading.
Update on the kids…
Carter started middle school this year. We were anticipating the size of the school being overwhelming for him, so we made a couple of trips this summer to walk the halls and help him get his bearings. That worry did not seem to phase him when the time came but we have had discussions about other areas of concern like how to figure out the dynamics of group work, helping him not feel responsible when other kids are acting out, how to show patience and compassion to peers he is assigned to work with and many more. I need to remind myself that this is Carter’s journey with God of figuring out how to work his faith out in the day to day. Prayers for our almost teenager to see God in the day to day and for his desire for justice to not outweigh his compassion for others.
Maddy started public school this year at the same elementary school Carter attended. Having her start this year felt very different than when Carter started because Maddy was very familiar with the school and a lot of the teachers and she is a very social person. The other day I asked her if she missed homeschooling and she said, “I miss you, but I love school and being with people.” Perfect answer for me 🙂 She is active in soccer and basketball. I can’t tell if she likes the sports themselves or just being on a team with other people. Either way, she is a pretty good athlete. Our prayer for Maddy is that she would continue to be a light in her school and that she would cling to what God says about her more than what anyone else does.
Bryce is still being homeschooled this year. He is in 1st grade and is really making strides with reading and desiring to work more independently. It is such a fun process to watch happen! Bryce is not very competitive but was willing to try a few different sports this past year. He tried a basketball camp this summer, flag football in the fall and is on a K-1st-grade basketball team right now. We have found the benefits of having our kids involved in different sports teams to be a real blessing when entering public school and when entering middle school (where all the Kent elementary schools combine). So whether Bryce continues to do sports long-term, we see the benefit of him doing them now. Our prayer for Bryce is that he finds things that he enjoys and becomes confident in the person God made him to be. Also, that comparison of himself and his siblings would not have a stronghold in his life.
Thanks for loving our family and supporting our passion for sharing Jesus with the college students at Kent State University. In the busyness of the Christmas season let us all find joy in that God came to earth to be near us and because of Jesus’ death and resurrection He continues to be near us with His Spirit. We are blessed with gifts upon gifts!
Lindsay (on behalf of the Slack family)
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.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now… (Philippians 1:3-5)
Greetings from Kent! How were the holidays for you? Our family was very grateful for a break in the schedule and some extra time together — but we’re also pretty excited to get back in rhythm now that the New Year (and Kent State University’s Spring Semester) is upon us.
All the way from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, God gave me many opportunities to cultivate the spiritual discipline of Gratitude. Part of this came through the holidays themselves: fostering the giving of thanks, celebrating a generosity of spirit, and promoting reflection on the old and new things in our lives. In addition, I started studying the book of Philippians over the Winter Break, to prepare for H2O’s Spring message series — and its abundance of joy and gratitude has been infectious. I mean, look at the words quoted above: “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…” That’s the kind of life I want to lead!
I appreciate the opportunities that a new year provides for retrospection. My own reflections have helped to heighten my awareness and appreciation of everything God has been doing. And I thought it might be fun to share my Top Ten Ministry Moments of 2018, in reverse ranked order. It’s obviously not a scientific exercise, and it’s different from how I’ve typically done our January “State of the Ministry” prayer letters… But I hope this list will be a fun and fresh look into the past, with glimmers of what the future may hold as well (and we’re still excited to share a more meaningful Family Update, after the list of Ministry Highlights).
One thing, however, has not changed from previous years: these January prayer letters tend to be loooooong! Still, 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. I just want to make sure that you’re well-informed and well-equipped to continue praying with us and for us. Your partnership in the gospel is very important to us, and we want you to share in the joy of what God is doing. So anyway — without further ado, here are some highlights from the last year in ministry:
We celebrated the 10th birthday of H2O Kent in October, with a bunch of different activities including a 5K race, a brunch, a tailgating party, a banquet, and a worship gathering (I was also proud of the fact that I wore a different H2O Kent T-shirt to each activity!). We figured it would be a fun time of reunion and celebration, but we weren’t completely prepared for how envisioning that weekend would be: both then and still. Our church is certainly not perfect, but we’ve fostered a strong culture of plurality, humility, and family that has lent itself to slow, steady growth through the last ten years — and it felt like our students and alumni got a fresh sense of vision and perspective for the next ten years to come, as well.
I’m super-proud of Aidan and Chelsea Rinehart. They were sent out from Kent in the Fall of 2017 to join a missional movement in Stockholm (Sweden) which seeks to establish outposts of Gospel engagement throughout the city. They’ve had their ups and downs, as should be expected with any cross-cultural move, but they’re doing really well: educating themselves, building relationships, and reaching out to the campus of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and others in the Östermalm section of Stockholm. They’ve also started praying more for the Södermalm section of the city, and I really appreciated the opportunity to visit these neighborhoods with them in September. We look forward to continued partnership with them to fulfill the Great Commission in 2019, and beyond.
I felt convicted at the end of 2017, when I realized that I failed to use nine days of vacation time from that year. It was a signal to me that I was becoming more inclined towards self-reliance, workaholic tendencies, and “American” attitudes that felt so foreign when our family first moved back to the United States from our decade of ministry in Europe. We started talking as a Staff team about the way that resting well is an act of Gospel proclamation — trusting Jesus to be the Savior of the world, not ourselves. With some extended conversation and careful planning, I believe we succeeded in using up all our allotted vacation time in 2018. The church kept going through it all, and I’d like to think that we’re in an even healthier position, moving forward.
Spring Break is not really a “break” for those of us in Collegiate ministry. We recruit students to join us for mission trips that help us to serve those in need, expand our vision for Collegiate church-planting, and foster Spiritual Disciplines. Last March, I worked with a couple of Staff and Interns to facilitate our Spiritual Disciplines trip in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. While it was an excellent trip for all the students involved, those of us who worked to lead the trip were pretty burned out towards the end of the week. At one particular breaking point, I went for a walk with two of the key leaders. Over the course of this hike along the Old Settlers Trail of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, we processed the week’s happenings, prayed through some relationships in crisis, and just generally encouraged one another in the Lord. It was a spontaneous part of a heavily-programmed week, but I felt like it may have been the most strategic moment of ministry that I was personally able to facilitate for that trip.
In all my years of preaching, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more insecure going into, during, and immediately following a sermon than I did for this message on the “Dividing Wall of Hostility” back in February of 2018. I learned a lot about the sin of Racism and the institutional justices to which I’ve been largely blind, as a person of privilege. I was very thankful for the support I received from my friends Eric and Darnell; still, it was challenging to address an issue as complicated and convicting as this one. In any event, though, I feel like I grew a lot through that sermon — and I hope some others from the church were able to grow from it, as well. We continue to prioritize Gospel-centered efforts on campus to build bridges with those who are different from us.
This was one of the wilder moments from a wild week of Welcome Activities in August. Even though we had a lot of student leaders helping to pull off this event, somehow, I — the 41-year-old pastor — ended up in a group composed entirely of freshmen who walked up while we were explaining the Scavenger Hunt we had organized. Even though we were perfect strangers to each other when things kicked off, we ended up having a really fun time together running throughout campus, meeting more freshmen, and completing assigned activities like the one where a freshman allowed his body to be used as a surfboard for another freshman, on the University Esplanade. There have been plenty of other outreach events since then, of course, but that particular evening stands out in my memory as a good example of living on a mission at Kent State University.
I’m very proud of everything God has done in the life of my friend Hunter. When I first met him, at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, he was dealing with a lot of challenges including addiction, obstacles to his education, challenges to employment, strained family relationships, and lack of community. I started sharing the Gospel with him late on a Thursday night, in downtown Kent, and eventually, other friends like Nathaniel, Dylan, and Armand helped to live out the Gospel for Hunter to see. As a result, Hunter gradually developed a relationship with Jesus and ultimately proclaimed new life in Christ through baptism. He joined the Army this fall, and his unit is currently preparing to ship out to Iraq — so he definitely needs our continued prayers — but it seems to me like Hunter has come a long way since that first night we met.
Over the last three years, the Collegiate Church Network has developed a unique program for stimulating and supporting the staff from our churches. It’s coordinated with our summer Leadership Training program in Estes Park, Colorado, where the staff work to facilitate a transformative experience for college students — but this Collegiate Mentoring Program is designed to be a transformative experience for them. This summer was my second time helping to lead various elements of this initiative, but it was the first time I took the reins for the group’s time of Spiritual Solitude in the Wilderness of the Rocky Mountain National Park. This year’s group had to overcome some unique challenges, such as a nursing mother and a couple of completely uninitiated outdoors-men… But they ended up being a really fun group, and I pray that their experience fasting and seeking God out in the wilderness helped to enhance their ministry effectiveness for this year and years to come.
When I was a college student at Bowling Green State University, one of the key inflection points for my spiritual development was a daily practice developed with other men on campus — where we made a point to spend time with God at the beginning of the day and then catch up with each other and process the things God was teaching us, over breakfast on campus. At the end of this past August, I felt like God prompted me to revive this practice with some student-leaders; and we’ve been having a good year as a “Breakfast Club.” We meet at the Kent State University Library around 8:00 AM, and by 8:10 AM we’re off to different sections of the Library to spend time reading the Bible, journaling, and praying. Around 8:40 PM, we reconvene in the lobby of the Library, and then we hang out there or in the Hub of the Student Center until we have to leave for other obligations. There’s not much glitz or glamor in this type of ministry (much of the time it’s just me and one other student), but I’m really glad to be doing it. I’m praying that more may join us in the Spring Semester!
Our Staff team is in a really good place right now. We’ve got a fine crop of new Staff, just graduated within the last year or two. There are a couple of us, pastors, who have been doing ministry for the better part of two decades now. But I’ve been especially encouraged this year by the development of our Staff’s “Middle Class.” Three in particular — Lauren, AJ, and Daniel — have been doing ministry for a few years, now, and it seems like they’re really taking ownership within our ministry, each shouldering unique burdens according to their personalities and spiritual gifting. I meet with all three of these leaders every Monday morning, usually while drinking coffee — and I’m very excited to see how God is developing this next generation of leaders to take the church places we would never otherwise be able to go.
What did you think about the “Top Ten” format?!? If you enjoyed it, you might be interested to know that I also made a list of Top Ten Family Moments for 2018 (and, for that matter, I also posted about my Top Ten Songs of 2018, Top Ten Books of 2018, and Top Ten Hikes of 2018). I think it’s fun to see the way that the “specific” so often gives insight to the “universal,” even though it would seem to be more limiting!
To give you a more succinct report on our family, though: It’s been a great year of growth: physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I’m really thankful for everything God has been doing in and through our family.
Elliot is now six feet tall and still growing, with huge hands that come in handy when he plays basketball with the college boys (and their middle-aged pastor) on Saturday mornings. Even so, Elliot prefers soccer to basketball. He earned his first varsity letter with the school team this fall, and he’s already looking forward to his senior season (now just seven months away!). We’ve started to think, talk, and pray through life after high school, currently considering further education in Business, Communications, or Journalism. Whatever he chooses to do, we feel like Elliot is poised for success. Please keep praying for him (and for his parents!) through the coming years of significant life transition.
Olivia has also hit a growth spurt in the last year; in fact, she’s now taller than Marci! She started high school this year, and she’s carrying a heavy academic load with the majority of her classes being “Advanced Placement” or “Honors.” I’ve also been really encouraged to see the ways in which she’s deepened her walk with God this year, through regular devotions and intentional pursuit of community. She’s joined a small group Bible study with other high school women. She helps to care for the children of H2O during our weekly worship gatherings and periodic babysitting gigs. And she also continues to hold her unofficial title as “the most artistic person in our family,” with skills in drawing, singing, and creative writing.
Cor is now in middle-school, half-way through sixth grade in Kent City Schools. He still loves sports — both playing and watching — with a particular interest in soccer, basketball, and (more recently) snowboarding. At school, Cor has developed a special affinity for social studies and keeping up-to-date on current events, to the point that he asks to watch the evening news or historical documentaries with us! He’s not all “hard-Cor” about life, though. He would say that his favorite film and music album of the year was “Mary Poppins Returns,” and I think he might have most of the song lyrics from the soundtrack memorized.
Marci graduated from Kent State University in May, with her Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). She taught at Cuyahoga Community College this fall, and this semester she’s just picked up two courses at Kent State University (please pray with us that this could be a “foot in the door” for a full-time position in the future). She’s a natural teacher, which benefits any students in her classes and the students in our own household. This summer, she took advantage of our family’s time in a small Colorado cabin to teach Elliot, Olivia, and Cor how to plan, prepare, and produce several meals that we ate together over the course of our time at Estes Park Leadership Training. She and I also celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary in May, which felt like a pretty special milestone.
As for me, I hope you get a pretty good sense of my ministry roles (and some of my personal peculiarities) through these monthly updates. But something about me that I don’t always share about explicitly is my love for the wilderness. Forests and fields are deeply refreshing on both the spiritual and emotional levels. And I feel blessed that I had plenty of opportunities to spend time in God’s Creation this year. Spring Break and summer ministry opportunities took me to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, respectively. Family vacation time also provided the chance to visit the Badlands, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks this summer. My favorite of them all, though, is Northeast Ohio’s own Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). This year I finally completed a personal quest to hike every step of every trail in the CVNP. Next quest: the Northeast Ohio loop of the epic, statewide Buckeye Trail!
What a year it’s been! And what a joy it is 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…
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.
- Thanks to God for changing lives this year at H2O!
- For students going home to difficult home situations.
- My family and the 3 Akron students here at Colorado LT, that we lean into God’s moving.
- For full provision as I raise support this summer.
September 2018 Newsletter
It’s the Craziest Season for Campus Ministry! And God is Here.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” -John 13:35-
Though God has been using H2O Akron to bring life to campus, it is our prayer that He would bring New Life to the hundreds of students we interacted with this past month. Please pray that the new relationships H2O students made with these freshmen would result in them forming a new relationship with Jesus. Our staff team and dozens of our student leaders are currently in the process of following up
with those who filled out connection cards, and specifically those who marked they wanted to talk
about starting a relationship with God. In fact, just yesterday I got a text that from one of our student
leaders saying a girl just entered into a relationship with Jesus, and another today! Praise God for what he is doing!
This weekend is our Fall retreat where we are hoping that new students get solidified into our community and experience God in a profound way. Currently, we have 51 people registered; Pray for us on this important weekend of ministry for H2O. God isn’t done yet! In the busyness of all the work that goes into loving these students, I thank God for you all, my ministry team, who are praying
for us and financially supporting us to do this work with college students at Akron. THANK YOU!
As I mentioned in my last prayer letter, the beginning of the fall semester is immensely important in
reaching incoming students since the trajectory of a person’s college career is often set in that first 10
days. So we go ALL IN in an effort to reach as many as possible in any way possible. I am pleased to report that God blessed our efforts! In 10 short (but exhausting) days, we passed out
• Over 2000 water bottles (with H2O’s name and
website on them)
• About 4000 H2O cards (these are discount cards
with deals from 12 local businesses)
• A BA-Jillion H2O pens, stickers, candy, & cotton
As a result of doing this, we had over 400 students fill out spiritual interest cards and over 100 of them
indicated they want to have a conversation about how to have a relationship with God! What is more, we
had over 30 new people at our kickoff event!
Richland Pregnancy Services
- 24/7 Help
All of our services are free of charge and available regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or income.
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Free Support Services at Richland Pregnancy Services include:
Master Provisions serves God by connecting resources to needs until every physical and spiritual need is fulfilled.
We work in partnership with agencies that directly serve people in need, distributing resources to them. By spending less time and money obtaining resources, these partner agencies are able to focus on their core mission.
For 12 years Berean has provided an after-school tutoring program for Mansfield City School children. For 11 years we worked with Prospect Elementary students and this past year with Malabar Intermediate School students. Our program is 4 days per week for 2 hours each day from October through May. The focus of our program is one on one adult/student interaction. We ask adults to give one hour one day per week to work with a student. We provide a healthy snack, reading practice, homework help, Spiritual Character Quality lessons and free time each day. We have several parties at Christmas, Easter, and the end of the year.
If you are interested in participating please contact Pastor Bill Heaton, 419/756-3300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth For Christ
Brian Walls is the Operations Director for Youth For Christ in Cleveland. He is responsible for training and recruiting staff; developing new areas; overseeing Events and Assemblies.
Youth for Christ/USA has had a distinctive history of youth evangelism. In 1944 Billy Graham and Torrey Johnson held a Youth for Christ rally in Chicago. The ministry of YFC spread like wildfire across the USA. Today at thousands of community centers, high schools, middle schools, juvenile institutions, coffee shops, and local hangouts, YFC staff and volunteers meet with young people who need Jesus. For more about the national movement of Youth for Christ,
FRIENDS & TEAMMATES at BEREAN –
Thanks so much for being one of the biggest reasons I got on the mission field and have been able to stay on the mission field for close to 25 years! I covet your prayers for the following upcoming items:
- Missionary to Cleveland – Did you realize that the crime rate with most stats (murder, rape assault) is 145% higher in Cleveland than the National average (per Area Vibes) and the poverty rate is twice the National and State rate (per the Tallmadge Express). It has been my privilege to battle Satan here in Cleveland for over twenty years by training staff, equipping staff, creating tools, establishing new outreaches and doing outreach myself. Please pray for our outreach at the local jails (county and state lock-ups), our urban west side teen center, and various local schools – and wisdom for me as to try to guide the staff that leads them.
- Indians Game Outreach – On Saturday, September 22nd will be our big annual Indians game outreach that we have been doing for close to 25 years. Last year, God used it to share the Gospel with over 500 young people and 69 made some form of decision for the Lord. I was blessed to interview the players (Cody Allen, Yan Gomes, and Ryan Merritt). Please pray that the Lord uses it again this year!
Appreciative of your partnership in the Gospel since the beginning, Brian Walls; Operations Director; Greater Cleveland Youth for Christ; www.yfccleveland.org
BEREAN BAPTIST –
Thanks so much for your prayers. Thanks for praying for our Indians game outreach on Saturday, September 22nd. It was a success for the following reasons:
·Despite some batting practice and stretching that conflicted with our outreach, we were able to at least get one player, pitcher Jon Edwards, share about his faith in Christ. I was blessed to do the interview.
·Hundreds of students, mostly lost young people, heard the Gospel/life-saving message of Jesus Christ through the pre-game program.
·Roughly two dozen raised their hands to make some form of decision. Our staff is working on their follow-up now.
·The creative event allowed us to build better relationships with hundreds of lost
youth and serve them; including many hurting kids from the inner city.
Other Local Partners
Compassion In Action
Contact: Kris Sparks
Emergency Response Team
Contacts: RuthAnn Chirico & Tim Miller
Harmony House, Homeless Services
Local English Camp
Contact: Bruce Dunlap
Local International Student Ministry
Contact: Tom Prendergast
LOVE INC. (Love In the Name of Christ)
Contacts: Tiffany Montgomery & Brenda Schwamberger
Mansfield Salvation Army
Contacts: Brenda Nelson
Nursing Home Ministry
Contacts: Tom Prendergast & Lisa Caldwell
Operation Christmas Child
Contact: Elizabeth Dawson
Contacts: Faith Kidwell & Ted Ryan
Public School Prayer Ministry
Prays monthly over Lexington Schools
Contact: Valerie Hunter
Shared Hope – STOP Sex trafficking
Contact: Susi Maiyer
- Middle East
- West Africa
- Dominican Republic
Jerusalem Baptist Church, Pignon, Haiti
On November 18th, I celebrated 17 years of ministry in Haiti. This is the day that I returned to Haiti after my studies in the United States in 1996. We had prayed that God would glorify himself by using us as an instrument to transform lives in Haiti. Looking back, God has answered every prayer that we asked from that November day long ago.
He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
Jerusalem Baptist mission (JBM) began in 1977 by Rev Sidoine and Mrs. Athenienne Lucien for the purpose of winning souls for Christ. Pastor Sidoine had nine children and in 1996 his son Jephthe (the fifth of the nine children) joined him in the ministry. Pastor Jephthe has a degree from Washington Bible College in Maryland and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois.
Since pastor Jephthe joined JBM, he has been busy continuing the work that his father started by planting sister churches and Christian schools and developing economic structures for local families. Pastor Jephthe seeks training for his pastors and continues to develop businesses through which church members can support their families without being forced to flee to the big city.
The island of Haiti has ten departments and JBM now has a presence in 6 of the 10. We continue to work hard for the Lord, because “we know he is not done with us yet!” says Pastor Jephthe
Jephthe, his family and the JBM staff are working hard every day to continue the work that God entrusted to them. We prayed for blessings and now God is doing above and beyond what we ask or even think of.
Pastor Jephthe and his wife Widmide “Mitoue” Lucien are so thankful that God has put them in Pignon Haiti to serve at such a time as this!
Grace Church – Brovary, Ukraine
Berean started short-term missions with Grace in 1996. For 12 years we have lead Children’s Adventure Camps (VBS). In 2008 we started teaching Conversational English at Pastor Boris Medyanik’s request.
We continue to teach two weeks each summer to about 150 mostly college students and young professionals. In 2012 we were asked to help Grace with their ministry to Families of Special Needs Children. Tanya Kolodey heads up this Grace ministry. We go for two weeks in the summer to help with their Special Needs Family Camp which ministers to about 40 moms and 80 kids. We send teams of up to five to Special Needs Family Camp and up to ten to Conversational English School. Attending both weeks of ministry are possible.
Berean Christmas 2018 – Greeting from Brovary, Ukraine
Drew and Sarah
Drew and Sarah R. – Middle East
The R. family are Converge Global Workers currently serving in the Middle East. In partnership with a local church, they are engaging Syrian refugee families with the gospel. The ministry includes a combination of humanitarian aid efforts as well as open and intentional presentations of the Gospel. Drew’s primary responsibility within the ministry is discipleship and leadership development among new believers. This is a vital role in strengthening the local church and establishing local leadership for many years to come. God is actively working among Syrian refugees throughout the Middle East and around the world. Please continue to pray for them and that God would reveal himself to them.
Dr. David & Margalit
Shabbat Shalom friends,
Here is some local news from Israel:
This week, Israel’s Air Force struck a military base in Syria where Iran has been deploying troops and doing R & D (research and development) of military import. Israel will usually carry out such a strike if intelligence shows that weaponry is being manufactured or transported to such a base, for use against Israel. Nine Iranian troops were killed in the air raid. Iran has vowed a revenge attack against northern Israel for this and prior Israeli Air Force attacks on Iran’s growing military presence in the region.
This week PM Netanyahu was in Moscow, not for soccer’s World Cup final game, but to talk about Israel’s ‘take’ on Iran’s presence in Syria. It was reported that Russia will not interfere with Israeli attacks on Iranian troops there, as long as no Russian assets are harmed.
All this makes more sense when we realize that Iran and her allied troops (such as the Hizbullah terror group that rules over Lebanon), were creeping right up to Israel’s northern border with Syria (just over the Golan Heights). Iran and Syria have supplied Hizbullah with about 200,000 rockets which are being deployed in south Lebanon. So the Iranian threat is real. Israel could no longer live with this development, and began efforts, both diplomatically and otherwise, to clear our Syrian border of Iranian and allied troops. Iran has often stated publicly its desire to annihilate Israel, and so Israel is always on the alert about the danger.
Please pray for wisdom for Israel’s government, to know how to deal with the threat on our northern border. Let’s also pray for many people to turn to Yeshua in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. That is the only hope for those nations, period.
God will someday turn the Middle East into an area that leads the world in worshiping Him (see Isaiah 19). But until that day, a great darkness has come upon our area. Yet there are wonderful promises in the Bible about His heart towards us and His plan of redemption.
More Personal news:
David is teaching his seminar in London this weekend. We’d appreciate prayer for safe travel there and that he’d be able to excite his students about studying the Bible.
We got word this morning from our friends in the Galilee – who have been preparing a house/center that will be used for weekly Bible training – are nearly finished with the project. That means we can begin to travel north for this training. We will be taking turns with our son and his wife plus another young couple who will be team teaching with us. We are very excited about all these young families in the north who are serious about studying the Word. Please pray that we can get this very complicated schedule worked out and that we will have the finances to help support this center.
David leaves on Sunday for Ireland and England. Margalit will join him in a weeks time. This is a combination of teaching/family and baseball.
August At the Shalom Conference in Oswiecim, Poland, David will speak about God’s perspective on this very issue. Please pray that he can be sensitive to the emotions and feelings that will be present, and speak with God’s merciful heart. Scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 13 will be at the heart of his talk to the gathered Israeli, Polish and European believers. David will teach that God wants to unite Israeli and Polish believers in love, sympathy, and prayer for each other. This could be a very healing moment for us there, so please pray that God would have His way. This is a yearly conference where 300 or so of us gather to pray for Poland, Israel, and Germany to walk in our God-given destinies.
And from there we are traveling to Romania to teach at the first ever Holocaust reconciliation conference there.
Cirilo & Dory Doguiles
Leadership training and development of pastors, church planters, and seminary students
Cirilo & Dory Doguiles are back in the Philippines after serving 29 years in the United States with Converge Worldwide planting a Filipino church in California. After years of working at the denominational level in the areas of church planting, Filipino ministries, and Intercultural ministries, Pastor Cirilo and Dory decided to solidify the commitment they made 28 years ago to return home to minister in the Philippines. In January of 2014, they left for the Philippines to embark on this new ministry.
Their vision is to see that disciples, leaders, and churches are multiplied by establishing centers for starting and strengthening churches (S2 Centers) in each of the 12 district ministries of Converge Philippines/BCP. They are also involved in leadership training and development of pastors, church planters, and seminary students through teaching and mentoring.
The last three months of our missions activities were trips to conduct trainings in different ConvergePhils churches and four districts. There were a few times that those trips were delayed due to typhoon warnings. But otherwise, ministry went on unhindered. Here are a few exciting things that we would you to rejoice and praise the Lord for us and with us:
- Cirilo completed a two-month teaching (July – August) at Cebu Graduate School of Theology on the subject of Contextual Theology. He had to fly to Cebu from Manila every other week and in between class schedules continued with discipleship and leadership development trainings on week ends.
- We conducted monthly Equip To Lead trainings in three churches in Metro Manila. In one of those churches, Cirilo preached once a month.
- Cirilo serves with Converge Metro Manila pastors in developing strategic plans for starting and strengthening churches.
- ConvergePhils had two church planting summits in Manila and Cebu on September 18-20. Cirilo spoke on both events. The summits concluded with establishing the goal of planting 250 churches by 2025.
- Leyte/Biliran, Waray, Negros and Masbate Districts continue under Cirilo’s coaching in implementing the ConvergePhils national curriculum for discipleship and leadership development trainings.
We are currently in Corona CA for medical treatment related to Cirilo’s prostate cancer. As of this writing, we are waiting for the green light at Loma Linda University Medical Center for Proton Beam Radiation Therapy. Studies indicate that it is a better option than traditional surgery. We will know by next week the level of treatment is needed or to continue with active surveillance.
We continue to covet your prayers for us.
Cirilo & Dory Doguiles
To join our support team, renew and/or up your monthly commitment, you may log onto https://converge.org/give/89349. We also need year-end gifts to cover the anticipated 2018 support shortfall of $6000.00.
STEVE & BARBARA WILKINSON
John & Jan Baxter
What We Do
Everything the Baxters do seeks to expand missions to and from the millions of people migrating around the globe. This mission strategy is called Diaspora Missions.
Millions of people from unreached and unreachable areas of the globe are moving into contact with the gospel in lands with an evangelical church. Our gospel strategies are working to connect these economic immigrants, refugees, international students, and others on the shores of Europe and in the cities of North America with an opportunity to hear the Good News.
This strategy includes training Christians from the Majority World who are finding employment in unreached lands to be strong in their faith and be effective witnesses to their host population and the other unreached immigrants around them.
This emerging missions strategy has the potential to release millions of lay witnesses into lands where career missionaries cannot go and among unreached people groups that missionaries cannot contact.
Director of Diaspora Initiatives, Converge International Ministries
- Overseeing all Converge work with unreached diaspora groups migrating into North America.
- As the International Leader for the North America Region, John and Jan oversee the work of fourteen Converge missionaries working among unreached people groups in the U.S. and Canada.
- John developed, and is implementing in two pilot cities, a city-wide strategy for Converge and other churches to work together to launch movements of gospel multiplication among unreached immigrant groups.
- Implement diaspora mission strategy within the global Converge IM Initiatives.
- Converge IM structures its work around large initiatives which include specific unreached people group projects. For example, our Spice Island Initiative in Southeast Asia includes ten unreached people groups in Indonesia. John and Jan work with a diaspora champion in each initiative to identify fruitful diaspora connections. For example, Indonesians working in Hong Kong who come to Christ through ministries in that city need to be identified and connected to fellowships when they return home to Indonesia.
- Implement a Converge Global Refugee Strategy
- Converge IM has been invited into a refugee ministry partnership which allows access to all UN High Council on Refugees work sites and funding. John and Jan will be based at this partnership headquarters in Malaga, Spain, for six months per year developing pathways and projects that will allow Converge IM missionaries and US churches to minister to unreached refugee groups around the world.
- This refugee strategy includes helping U.S. churches identify and train members who desire to work short-term in refugee projects.
Director of NextMove Diaspora Ministry
- NextMove is a partnership between Converge and Frontier Ventures (formerly the U.S. Center for World Mission). It is a research and consulting ministry for mission agency leaders with the goal of effectively integrating emerging diaspora missions strategies into each agency’s core ministry focus.
- Currently over thirty mission agencies are partners with NextMove. After three years of research by teams of representatives from the partner agencies, NextMove is offering comprehensive consulting services and tools to assist mission leaders. Diaspora missions have the potential to affect deep and lasting change in how we do missions.
Catalyst, Global Diaspora Network of the Lausanne Movement
- The Lausanne Movement created the Global Diaspora Network (GDN) at the Lausanne Congress in 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. The GDN mandate is to embed diaspora missiology and practice within mission training schools throughout the world. John represents GDN in the Western hemisphere.
- John has been working with mission training schools and seminaries in North and South America since 2011. During that period most schools have adopted the diaspora missions curriculum at some level.
- John facilitates a council of diaspora mission educators, drawn from mission schools across North and South America. This council creates curriculum and programs for diaspora missions training.
- Some seminaries and colleges desire to begin diaspora mission centers. The Baxters are helping the faculty of the South America Theological Seminary in Londrina, Brazil, develop such a center.
Diaspora Missions Advisor, Missio Nexus
- Missio Nexus is the primary missions network for North America. In a sense, it is the trade association for North American mission groups in which they participate in shared learning and practice.
- Several mission specialists work under the Missio Nexus banner in such areas as mobilization and funding, missionary care, church planting movements, financial and regulatory standards, etc..
- As the Diaspora Missions specialist or advisor, for Missio Nexus, John helps mission agency leaders understand and implement this emerging mission strategy.
A New Adventure (“Here we go again”)
We could be retiring–we are that age–but a significant overseas missions opportunity has been given to us. So, in today’s vernacular, we say, “Bring it.”
Historically, refugees are open to the good news of Jesus.
The U.N. High Council of Refugees works through a select group of organizations to provide services in refugee sites worldwide. Converge International Ministries is joining with another mission agency as a U.N. approved refugee organization allowing us to strategically place Converge missionaries and skilled lay workers from our U.S. and global partner churches among displaced, least-reached people. Many of these projects will be U.N. funded.
In early 2019, John and Jan will move to the headquarters for this new organization in Malaga, Spain. At the headquarters, they will create the pathways to bring our missionaries and churches into these U.N. projects.
What a unique opportunity for our churches!
Many of our missions and life experiences have led us to this place:
- As faculty at Baptist Theological College and Cebu Graduate School of Theology, training Filipino missionaries,
- Creating training for Filipino and Egyptian churches to prepare their overseas economic workers to be effective witnesses,
- Helping to create two influential diaspora ministries: the Lausanne Global Diaspora Network, and NextMove, a diaspora missions research arm of Frontier Ventures,
- As the Director of Diaspora Initiatives for Converge, guiding our missionaries and U.S. churches into engagement with least-reached migrating groups,
Because much has been given to us, we believe God is sending us to release laborers into the harvest fields of refugees.
When do we get started?
Our target departure is April 2019, contingent upon your help. The funds to bring Jan back on our mission staff and the increase in needed travel and ministry expenses must be pledged before we are given the go-ahead to depart. You can speed us on our way:
- by beginning to financially support the Baxters or considering an increase in your financial partnership, and
- by introducing us to others who have a heart for refugees and who may desire to invest.
Will you consider this kingdom investment?
John and Jan Baxter
GECHAAN was founded in July of 2004 by Art and Dorothy Helwig who chose to do whatever they could about the raging HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria. The Southern part of Taraba State was selected to begin a grassroots-focused approach to making the people aware of the problem and how they may prevent becoming infected. The emphasis on prevention.
The work grew quickly and grew into a full-service NGO that reaches out into the hinterlands in attempts to save the lives of as many people as possible. In 2014 Dan & Tina Gibbs joined the ministry in Nigeria. Today GECHAAN is covering eight local governments in Taraba State.
GECHANN is located in the far southeast part of Taraba State which borders on Cameroon. Having started in Sardouna Local Government Area (LGA), the work has expanded to include Gashaka, Bali, Kurmi, Takum, Donga, Gassol and Ardo Kola LGAs. There are four regional offices with managers who oversee many volunteers who assist people in need in villages
Matt, Audrey & Ezra Pound
Faithful Heart Foundation
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Who We Are
Faithful Heart Foundation (FHF) is an “R&R” ministry…reach and rescue. Our foundation helps break the cycle of poverty by providing orphans with a loving Christian family to ensure that they have adequate food and nutrition, and access to a quality education.
FHF is a Christian orphan care ministry. We seek to serve the poor and disadvantaged people in and around Northern Thailand, whose life circumstances can be improved through:
We strive to match our foundation resources with the greatest needs to have a lasting, positive
impact on as many lives as possible.
The dangers that at-risk children face in Northern Thailand:
Homelessness or Poor Housing and Living Conditions
Family Loss or Neglect
Food Insecurity, Hunger, and Malnutrition
Poor Water Quality and Access
Lack of Basic Hygiene and Increased Incidence of Illness and Disease
Lack of Education or Access to Quality Education
Discrimination and Prejudice
Risk of Trafficking, Kidnapping or Being Sold though Exploitation and Debt
Physical and Mental Abuse
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Orphan and Rescue Care
Pounds in Thailand
Faithful Heart Foundation
Hello Berean Family!
A quick greeting and prayer update from Matt, Audrey, & Ezra Pound in Thailand. Sept. 4, 2018
1. For Audrey and our baby girl. She is due October 28th and we can’t wait to meet her!
2. For our land purchase. Faithful Heart will hopefully be purchasing a piece of land on Friday, Sept. 7.
3. For 2 of our orphan girls, Becky and Laura. They are going through some difficulty and we really want them to know God’s love in the midst of it.
4. For our staff retreat September 11th. Matt will lead a special devotion on listening for God’s voice and becoming who God created us to each to be.
Thank you for your love, prayers, and support! May His Kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven!
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.
December 31, 2018
Santisuk Mission House
Dedication of the building will be January 6. It is 4 floors of super-nice bedrooms, 2 bedrooms per floor, for all main campus short-termers, located almost next door to us. We were able to purchase it at an auction for less than market value. We’ll rent out the ground floor to an outsider. This has been a major “time-eater” for Steve this year, designing and then supervising construction. We had a number of set-backs including not being able to get a loan to buy it, so we had to pay cash for it, draining finances in our school and Expand accounts.
Highlights of 2018
Just a quick summary of the major events from 2018:
* Eight people came to actual saving faith through the ministries of SES and PFC.
* One new career missionary arrived, Sarah Adams, in November.
* One new branch started in July (Bangkae) led by Scott and Michelle Harpe with a team of 3 Thai leaders sent out by PFC.
* One new leader (assistant cell leader) recruited and in-training for ministry.
* Huge Christmas outreach December 23 (see pictures below) attended by 170 people.
* Plans laid for a major Creation seminar, by Dr. Andy McIntosh, on January 19, 2019 titled, “The Wonder of Creation” and the three talks: “Creation – Why it is Important”, “The Evidence of the Rocks and the Fossils” , and “The Wonder of Hearing”. This will be an excellent outreach to non-believers looking for real answers to the question of “where did I come from” and a major blessing for believers offered to anyone in Bangkok hosted by us at PFC.
Some quick stats from 2018:
* SES (main campus only) averaged 183 students per month in 2018, dropping from a high of 320 in 2014. There has been a steady decrease in students these last 5 years.
* However, at all 7 locations together, there was a .6% increase over 2017 in number of registrations. This is due to a number of factors: Ladkrabang had a great year (increase over last year of 223 – a 46% increase!); Bangkae started (86 new registrations); and Pakkret increased by 57 over last year, an 83% increase! We can all take joy in the work of the whole team.
* A total of 4,374 registrations at all 7 branches in 2018! Our record was in 2016 with 4,793 registrations. But 2018 is the 2nd highest total registrations ever for all locations together. So while the main campus is decreasing, overall, the work is going on at a very high level! Praise God for the opportunity to reach out to over 1,000 different people in 2018 with the gospel!
Reminder: each student who studies at Santisuk studies for a month at a time (each class is a month long). The average student will study at Santisuk for 3 1/2 classes (3 and 1/2 months) so we can estimate over 1,200 different people took classes in 2018. Almost all students are hearing about Jesus Christ for the very first time. They aren’t coming to Santisuk to learn about Jesus, but to learn English – BUT they DO learn about Jesus as they study their English lessons as we’ve incorporated Bible lessons into our English text books. The English classes are a huge “net”. Think, “I will make you fishers of men….”. Continue to pray that our fishing will result in an abundance of “keepers”.
Photos below of our Christmas outreach Dec. 23. Nopaluck is sharing her testimony about her first Christmas.
The enemy is very strong. Opposition is VERY GREAT. There are major setbacks in many areas regularly. But our God is great, and the work of the Lord has, will, and must go forward! Please continue to pray for us regularly.
Our annual “Week of Prayer” will be coming up towards the end of January. I’ll send out more information about that in the next couple weeks. Please consider joining us for 30 minutes all week long, praying for our ministry, every day for that week, January 26 to February 2. Each day there will be lots of different prayer requests that you can also use throughout 2019 to pray for Santisuk and the various Santisuk ministries.
Thanks for reading and thanks for praying!
Steve and Nopaluck Cable
John and Elaine Mehn
John is the Director of the JEMA Church Planting Institute. Their primary ministry is to cross-cultural church planting, direct evangelism and outreach, mobilization and equipping for church planting, leadership development, and spiritual renewal mentoring.
“Advancing God’s Kingdom by mentoring leaders to be part of a movement that is multiplying churches that are multiplying disciples through the power of the gospel.”
The Church Planting Institute is a core ministry of the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association. Our purpose is to foster a ministry vision for what God has in store for Japan and the world. This is a cooperative effort by missions, missionaries, and Japanese leaders and workers to see indigenous gospel-driven church planting movements fostered in this needy country. We welcome you to join us in this adventure of faith and ministry.
To view or download the CPI informational PDF brochure in Japanese click here: jcpi-brochure-jpn.
God has been doing some great things through the Institute since its inception in 1994. It started with 29 missionaries meeting with Dr. Steve Childers–a veteran church-planter and now a professor of practical theology–which gave birth to a vision for CPI. Since that time, nearly 3.000 Japanese and foreign gospel workers serving with 150 organizations and coming from over 20 different countries have been involved. There are also about 180 people from throughout the world using our internet services. Missionaries from Hokkaido to Okinawa have been involved with CPI, touching practically every prefecture in Japan.
Check out their introductory video in the link below!
Sep-Oct 2018 – Updates from Japan Ministry
John and Elaine Mehn
The weather has turned to fall which is a great relief as the end of summer was hard with both the heat and many uncompleted projects. Fall will bring more seminars and training events. We hope these will bring the greater influence of the Great Commission. We feel maybe still young enough to accomplish all this. I guess we are really a kind of a new “thirtysomething” 39 years married, almost 33 years working in Japan. We press on.
We had an excellent CPI Leadership Team Retreat on Sep 4−5. A record typhoon kept three members stranded on the bullet train for over 10 hours. We planned for our next national conference in 2019 (our 25th anniversary!), brainstormed developing leaders and training, and other expanded ministry in the months and years ahead. Keep praying.
The registration for the Global Church Planting Network meeting in Macau in November is up. This is the first time we had registration in Chinese. Looks like bigger than last year’s Japan consultation.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT UPDATE
Thanks for praying for our financial support shortfalls. We have been encouraged by people increasing their regular support and others with special gifts. Though there is a lot of encouragement, we still are a bit short each month. Please continue to pray for this need and whatever you can give now − or maybe before the end of the year − would be appreciated.
• Personal Support: These funds support our basic living and ministry costs. The online giving link is: www.converge.org/give/49651
• Japan CPI Fund: These funds support special projects to support church planting mobilization and training. Japan CPI fund at Converge is # 31256. Please let us know if you need help.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR INTERCESSION − SEP and OCT
1. John continues to struggle with acute bronchitis. Pray for a complete recovery.
2. John trains at the Hiroshima First Steps seminar Sep 24, 25. Already we expect over 30 for our Church Planting First Steps training.
3. Elaine’s classes and Bible studies are off to a good start this fall. Pray that good relationships are built, and Elaine can share about Christ clearly.
4. We have to renew our Japan visas in a few weeks. Pray that the process will go smooth (unlike others we have heard of lately).
5. John preaches again at The Bridge Fellowship church in Shimo−kitazawa October 21st.
6. Continue to pray for a Japanese pastoral couple we are currently mentoring in spiritual renewal.
7. There are several key events coming up this fall. Pray for Preparation, good registrations, and great influence.
a. October 16−17 Church Planting Vision Festa in Nagoya. Already over 100 are planning to attend. This is all Japanese led, please pray for the leaders.
b. October 17−18 CPI-Urban Church planting seminar sponsored by City to City.
c. November 6−7 CPI Church Planting “Leaders, Staff, & Team” seminar in Osaka
d. November 13−15 The East Asia Region of Global Church Planting Network will be meeting in Macao. Othhttps://photos.app.goo.gl/G32MUf4r3KE4Lr6dAer regions throughout Asia will be joining us.
Bill and Kathy M.
Serving with Converge in the capital city of a West African country, predominantly Muslim
Children: Will(25), Sam(22), Caleb(in heaven) & Anna(16)
Birthdays: Anna-December 3, 2001 Bill-December 17
Caleb-January 14, 1999 Kathy-January 30
Sam-June 12, 1996 Anniversary-April 28
Will-April 9, 1993
Bill: University student outreach through teaching English as a foreign language
- leading discussions on Biblical topics, themes, and passages
- developing relationships with particular students
- studying the Bible with them
- the long-term goal is to see an expanding network of house churches
Kathy: Teaching high school and middle school art at the school for missionary children
- eighty percent of the student body are missionary kids, whose parents serve all over West Africa
- to be a godly example to the students in all that she does and says (for some students, the school is the only exposure they have to a Christian worldview)
- hosting Bill’s students for meals and providing support for special events and visiting teams
- a population of about 14 million, 95% Muslim, 4% Catholic
- two largest people groups are unreached, with only 100 believers or so in each
- freedom of religion, but social & family ostracism for those who become Jesus-followers
- politically stable, with the democratically-elected president & Parliament
- the very high unemployment rate, common for one wage earner to support the extended family of 12-15 persons
- developing country, with slowly improving infrastructure
Please check out their introductory video in the link below!!
Paul and Linda McMillan
Fountain of Life Christian School
Our mission is to provide children with an unmistakable inner conviction of who they are, what their life purpose is, and where they will go to in eternity as defined in the irrefutable Word of God.
Our purpose is to prepare citizens to be fully equipped academically, morally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
We help students define and fulfill their life goals by acquiring the intrinsic values of individual achievement, patriotic support, personal independence, family loyalties and productive contributions to the local and global communities.
The benefits of our school include:
- Education with a higher worldview rooted in the Word of God
- The pursuit of excellence above the lower standards of public schools
- Superior English classes, with access to native English speakers
- Caring teachers committed to the spiritual, academic, and personal development of the students
- Computer classes taught in a modern computer lab
- A close-knit community where students are always safe and welcome to play with friends
Students come to know God personally through Jesus Christ
Dave & Stephanie Connell
Future missionaries to the Dominican Republic
David and Stephanie Connell desire to see the transformation of lives, families, and communities across the least reached peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean 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 & Caribbean, 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!
To see a growing Church in the Middle East and North Africa, confident in Christian faith and witness, serving the community and contributing to the good of society and culture.
To provide the churches and Christians of the Middle East and North Africa an opportunity to witness to Jesus Christ through inspirational, informative, and educational television services.
We’re making God’s love visible to 21 million viewers across the Middle East and
North Africa through Christian satellite television. A potential audience of 500 million people can hear the Truth in their heart languages of Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish.
- SAT-7 Turk – In 2014, SAT-7 was granted a 10-year license to broadcast in Turkish, the only Christian television channel on the Turksat satellite – available to more than 55 million people. This channel has been on-air since early 2015 with a very encouraging response and growth!
- SAT-7 PARS – After a year of prayerful negotiations with a company in the Arab Gulf, the hugely popular Yashat satellite system, SAT-7 PARS was accepted – here too, the only Christian channel on this satellite system. Consequently, over the past 12 months, the counseling centers have seen a huge increase in responses from viewers not only in Iran but especially from Afganistan.
- SAT-7 ACADEMY – In response to an incredibly widespread and acute need for education, and led by the Holy Spirit, doors opened to launch this breakthrough channel. The broadcasts bring the classroom, life skills, hope, and light to 20 million Arabic speaking children not currently receiving any proper schooling. Parents are deeply grateful.
Founded in 1997, globalLead has trained over 15,000 Christian ministry leaders from 50 different countries around the globe. Our mission takes a unique approach of focusing on exponential multiplication of impact by skipping the step of sending a foreign missionary. We focus on developing local indigenous leaders so that they can reach and disciple others in their sphere of influence. This approach has enabled a huge global movement to occur with relatively low financial cost.
The purpose of globalLead is to serve those in ministry through training and mentorship in order to position Christian leaders for multiplication.
At globalLead, we offer both heart and skill-based training opportunities for a variety of church ministry leaders. We value the holistic leadership principle from Psalm 78:72:
“With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”
We offer three series of training currently that are designed to provide follow up and multiplication, not just a one-time event. Feel free to contact us about supporting the ministry or hosting an event by using the contact form at the bottom of the home page.
Church Ministry Leadership (for Pastors and Church Ministry Leaders): There is no better example of life and ministry than Jesus Himself. In our Church Ministry Leadership events, we explore the life and ministry of Christ and develop plans and programs for our churches in a team environment (when possible) in order for church leaders to be in sync with one another as they lead in ministry. These trainings offer local pastors and ministry leaders (when possible) the timeless principles from the life of Christ that have worked in a multitude of settings globally throughout history. (Church Ministry Leadership for Pastors and Church Ministry Leaders)
Heart of the Leader: With leaders leaving the ministry at an alarming rate we are tackling the needs of those in full-time ministry head-on with soul care events for full-time leaders and their spouse (if possible). Top leaders need a secure environment to process their life and ministry in a way that re-energizes them and puts them on a life-long healthy trajectory. Utilizing Biblical teaching and engagement as well as group camaraderie, we have seen God do great work in the lives of leaders. Heart of the Leader (Soul Care for Full-time Leaders in Ministry)
Youth Ministry Leadership Trainings: This series of trainings are offered for those leading the youth ministry in their churches. Whether youth pastor, leadership teams or both, participating leaders will be engaged in Biblical and transferable principles with local examples in order to develop a workable one-year ministry plan. Additional seminars enable times for evaluation, mentoring and follow-up. Youth Ministry Leadership Training (for those responsible for leading in youth ministry)
Chris & Penny Davis, Founder of globalLead
Mark 11:24 (ESV)
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Please lift up the following prayer concerns and praises for the month of January. We are grateful for your faithful prayer support of globalLead.
- Praise the Lord for the 50 students of level 1 training last December 2018 in Iligan City
- For the meaningful family time of the staff during the holidays.
- For rest and restored strength.
- For the confirmed mentors, facilitators, and participants for HOTL in February 25-March 2 in Bacolod City, Philippines.
- Pray for sustainable funding for SE Asia. For new committed financial partners. For campaigns and meet-ups.
- Pray for financial provision for those who committed to attend for the Heart of the Leader in February.
- Pray for gL SE Asia’s fund raising for HOTL 2019 and for the ministry as a whole.
- Pray for these possible local and international trainings:
- Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches
- Mongolia. Pray that the work started will continue and have an impact on the entire country!
- East Asia. A continued Level 2 and 3 in areas where we have begun an additional Level 1 trainings.
- Pray for possible trainings with partners in Cebu
- Pray for the planning stage of the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Southeast Asia in July 2019. Pray for a clear purpose, a Jesus-centered celebration, and reunion.
- Pray for the right people to become our ADVISORY BOARD.
- Pray for each of the staff, Alvan, Ethel, and the kids, Grace, and Windel, for joy in what we do, guidance and wisdom as we follow God’s direction for 2019.
- For each of our supporters, hosts, ministry partners that the Holy Spirit will sustain their joy, vision, and means in doing the work of the Lord.
- Continue to pray for the Philippines, our president, and this administration.
- May the Great Commission will be accomplished in this generation.
- We praise God as we have trained 880 leaders/youth leaders this past year.
- We praise God as we were able to install 30 water wells that will directly benefit approximately 600 people from 150 families.
- We praise God as we distributed bags and stationery supplies to 300 students at Gimdi, Lalitpur districts.
- We praise God for the successful free medical camp where 600 patients were seen at the camp.
- We praise God for giving us good health, protection, safety to our staff, board members as we travel.
- Please pray as Jomesh and Dhiraj are traveling to Kohalpur for Volunteer care and training planning for the mid-west and far-west region. (Traveling on Jan. 5th.)
- Please pray for the good health and safety for staff, trainers and B.O.D members.
- We thank God for the new year 2019. We are looking forward to a fruitful impact year ahead.
- We thank God for the seminars that are lined up this quarter in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
- Chris is coming to Africa from the last week of January to the first week of February. Pray that the planning for his trip and all the activities that we have lined up will go according to plan.
- Pray for more contacts to continue streaming in as we start the year.
- Thankful for a very good 2018 with regard to global ministry impact.
- Grateful for our growing international board and their commitment to globalLead.
- Thankful for our December 2019 contributions. We were way behind financially for the year. (We still finished the year a bit behind). Pray for a good 2019.
- Grateful for several people interested in key ministry positions in globalLead here and abroad.
- Pray for Chris’ travel schedule to finalize for 2019.
- Pray for Lynn Reinbolt (globalLead international board member). He will be caring for his son, Shaun who had a bad car accident in December and will be needing extensive physical therapy.
- Pray for the staff and board funding efforts for the ministry for 2019.
- Pray for Chris, board member Mike Stigall, and Mike’s friend from his church, Marty Mast, as they travel to minister in Ethiopia and Kenya in late Jan. and early Feb.
Continued prayers for one of our volunteers as they battle with breast cancer.