Welcome to Berean’s Local & Global Outreach!
Our Purpose is to
To bring the love and life-transforming power of Jesus Christ to the unsaved person and the unreached peoples of the world.
Christ’s call to make disciples of the nations is the joy-filled responsibility that He has placed within the heart of every born again believer. Christ’s mission – our mission – is the very heartbeat of the Church. God invites us to join Him in His redemptive work of drawing all nations to Himself so that they might grow in Him and exalt His name. It is God’s desire for us all to be involved with Him in this extraordinary task that brings Him joy and us into a closer relationship with Him.
As you explore this website you will discover the many peoples, places, and ministries that we are collectively committed to and you can be vitally involved in reaching with the love of Christ.
Our prayer for you is that you will find the role God has reserved for you in the greatest ongoing movement in history – the spreading of God’s story, the story of His glory to the ends of the earth.
Our mission is God’s mission. Your gifts and abilities count. Please prayerfully consider where they may fit into God’s purposes. We hope that as you read through these pages you will have a clearer vision of where God can use you and your gifts and abilities.
Our Key Verse is:
“… and you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Local Outreach & Partners
- Bethel Seminary
- Converge Mid-Atlantic
- Child Evangelism Fellowship
- Camp Burton
- Food Pantry Ministry
- Love Inc.
- Furniture Ministry
- H20 College Ministry
- Richland Pregnancy Services
- Master Provisions
- KidZone Tutoring
- Youth for Christ
- Other Local Partners
Awakening is a local parachurch organization that seeks to engage college-aged individuals in community, worship, and discipleship.
Awakening has grown to include regular activities like monthly worship nights, two weekly Bible studies (one at our local college campus), weekly social and physical activities, retreats, service projects and various partnerships among community organizations and churches.
Ecumenical in nature, Awakening at its core seeks to unite local evangelical efforts and has been blessed to facilitate several community events, including Light Our City, a community-wide Good Friday service, a community-wide Thanksgiving Eve service, and most recently a very unique Christmas Eve service, among other events.
The name of the group is derived from the verse Ephesians 5:14, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” We thank God that Jesus has shed His light upon us and awakened us from spiritual death, and we hope to help others see the Lord’s goodness and love so that they may encounter Him in an authentic and meaningful way.
Primary contact: Jonathan Dech
At Bethel University, we’re committed to excellence.
But here, excellence means something more. It means taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, so we can accomplish incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.
We’ve been a leader and model in Christian higher education since 1871. For generations, our fusion of evangelical faith with top-ranked academics has transformed women and men, preparing them for unique callings in the kingdom of God.
Boldly informed and motivated by the Christian faith, Bethel University educates and energizes men and women for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service. We prepare graduates to serve in strategic capacities to renew minds, live out biblical truth, transform culture, and advance the gospel.
Bethel will be the Christ-centered university of choice for this century.
Rooted in faith. Committed to excellence. Bethel will become the leader in Christian higher education by building stronger communities, equipping confident leaders and gracious servants, and preparing passionate world-changers. Through our thoughts, words, and actions, we’ll demonstrate what it means for a university to be centered on Jesus Christ.
Bethel University is a vibrant, Christ-centered educational community. Here, students with a wide range of interests and backgrounds share a common goal: to become whole and holy persons. Throughout this transformational journey, we rely on core values to guide us spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.
First, we are Christ-followers, striving to live out the teachings of Jesus and to emulate His life as revealed in Scripture. We are also character-builders. Through healthy, supportive relationships and a culture of service, we develop the personal strength and emotional intelligence to make right choices in a broken world.
As learners, we are critical thinkers and problem-solvers committed to academic excellence and intellectual rigor. At the same time, we are truth-seekers, recognizing that all truth—scientific, artistic, philosophical, or theological—has its source in God.
We have been put on this earth for a purpose: God wants us to use our talents and compassion to be world-changers and reconcilers. As we humbly and honestly engage with our own biases and preconceptions, we grow closer to understanding Christ’s infinite love and selfless mission of redemption.
In this complex and troubled world, we aim to be both salt and light—preserving the good and reflecting the guiding light of Christ. This requires a mature faith that is grounded in a personal relationship with God and able to withstand the storms of life.
St. Paul, MN 55112
Jesus knew what His mission was, and He didn’t waste any time getting around to it. Everything He said, everything He did and everywhere He went was motivated by His life’s mission. Thus, it is no surprise that at the end of His life He was able to say, “I have completed the mission You gave Me….”
As His church – His very Body – should we be any less devoted to fulfilling the mission He left for us? We do not believe so. That’s why everything we do here in Converge is shaped by our mission:
The Mission of Converge MidAtlantic is to Start and Strengthen Churches. That ’s what we do, and we do it Together!
We are a Movement . . . a Network of Christ-centered, Gospel-driven churches that are passionate about seeing individuals and communities, all across our region and around the world, transformed by the power of the Good News of Jesus.
Converge MidAtlantic is one of 11 regional expressions of Converge, a dynamic movement of 1250 plus churches across the U.S., with global outreach in 29 nations worldwide. For more “Fast Facts” on our Converge MidAtlantic movement, http://www.convergemidatlantic.com/files/midatl/resources/docs/2016_fact_sheet_0.pdf
November 5, 2018
We’ve celebrated the grand openings of several new Converge churches lately. One of our newest church plants is Mission Grove Church, Phoenix, which welcomed 244 people to its October 7 launch at Wildfire Elementary School.
“It was a crazy and incredible morning,” lead pastor Jon Kragel told Converge Southwest. “From flooding closing two of the main roads to get to our church to people flooding into the worship service, it was such an amazing day. Our vision is to help every man, woman, and child experience Jesus, and Sunday was just the beginning.”
Kragel says one of the ways Mission Grove is becoming known in its community is through acts of service. On October 25, the church partnered with the Boys & Girls Club and the local homeowners association to put on a fall festival attended by nearly 800 people.
The most effective way to reach the world for Christ is by starting new churches. Thank you to church planters like Pastor Kragel who are reaching their communities with the life-changing gospel of Jesus.
New Facility in Utah
|What began with six people meeting in pastor Loren and Carrie Pankratz’s living room has multiplied into The Bridge Community, a growing church of over 300 worshipers in Centerville, Utah. After renting space in a retail strip mall for five years, the church moved into its own worship building in September.
Despite being in the United States, The Bridge Community is located among an unreached people group. On a given Sunday morning, only about 1 percent of South Davis County worships in a Christian church.
While at the strip mall, the church gradually expanded from one to four retail spaces to meet its growing needs.
About two years ago, church leaders recognized they were starting to feel cramped in their space and began discussing what to do next. The church was still functioning well, and they had put a lot of work into the space. So, they weren’t ready to abandon ship just yet. But God had other plans for them.
This February, Pankratz learned the church would have to move to a new location by the end of September. That news put their planning into hyperdrive. Over the next few months, they looked at every available spot in Davis County. Finally, they landed on a warehouse that could be converted into a church — with the help of a loan from the Converge Cornerstone Fund.
“We are a relatively young church and do not have a ton of capital, so having the Cornerstone Fund step in and provide us a loan was huge,” the pastor said. “They enabled us to purchase a building where we can establish ourselves and grow.”
The new facility, says Pankratz, is the first building an evangelical church has ever owned and operated in Centerville. The meeting place gives The Bridge Community office space it’s never had, more and bigger classrooms and a sanctuary that doubles the seating capacity of its previous facility. The church dedicated the building September 30, celebrating the event with two baptisms.
Congratulations to The Bridge Community on this new facility that will be used to share Christ in its unengaged community.
Child Evangelism Fellowship
As the Local Missionary Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship® (CEF®) of MARCK (Morrow, Ashland, Richland, Crawford, and Knox counties) chapter, I would like to invite you to consider partnering with CEF to reach the children.
Our CEF Christian Resource Center is located at 535 Beer Road, Ontario, OH 44906. Feel free to call (419-756-7799) or stop in to see what resources and training materials CEF has that could assist you in reaching children through evangelism and discipleship opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Lord called my wife, Sue, and I here to Ohio in 1997. We are very grateful for the Lord’s leading in our lives. He has blessed us with two wonderful children, Matt (22) and Sarah (20). We are thankful that our two children love the Lord with all their hearts.
Love for the children
14282 Butternut Rd
Burton, OH 44021
Come and experience an unforgettable week of life-changing relationships, fantastic games, exciting activities, and amazing food. One visit and you’ll want to come back for the rest of your life!
Food Pantry Ministry
200 Ashland Rd
On the 3rd Saturday of every month, we gather as a team to show the love of Christ through delivering food. We have consistently fed approximately 90 families a month for over a decade. We thank the Lord for our delivery teams who go out each month. Currently, we have around 35 people from Berean making these monthly deliveries and are in need of 2-3 more teams to help us in the “sharing of God’s love”. Anyone who is interested in volunteering to deliver boxes or is in need of a box of food, that attends Berean, should contact Sarah DeYarmon at 419/756-3300, ext. 222. Those that are in need, that do not attend Berean, should contact Love, Inc at 419/566-1432.
The Mission of Love In the Name of Christ is to mobilize the Church to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ.
WHO ARE WE, AND WHAT DO WE DO?
- Each chapter of Love INC is a 501c3 affiliation of local churches working together to minister to people in need
- Each local office functions as a clearinghouse which matches neighbors needing short term help with area resources providing assistance
- The clearinghouse model allows us to network with churches and agencies, minimizing redundant or overlapping services
- We strive to offer a “hand UP”, allowing our neighbors to maintain dignity and empowering them to be able to personally deal with adverse circumstances, rather than being on the receiving end of a “hand OUT”
HOW DO WE DO IT?
- Each prospective client-neighbor participates in a telephone interview with a trained LOVE INC volunteer to discuss their particular situation and specific needs
- The caller is offered an opportunity for prayer with the volunteer at the conclusion of the interview, in order that we might share the love of Jesus and offer God’s hope, strength, and healing for the caller and his/her entire family
- After the individual signs and returns some basic information to the office for verification, we relay the needs requests to partner churches or area agencies who provide a variety of goods and services geared specifically to the needs in question
WHAT DON’T WE DO?
- We do not conduct walk-in interviews at the office.
- We do not have cash on hand to help with rent, utility payments, or other emergency issues
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
- We follow up to make sure that our new neighbors have received the help they need to lift them out of their current circumstances
We encourage them to become active in a local church of their choice where they can become part of a worshiping community, continue to experience God’s grace and mercy, and have their spiritual, emotional, and daily living issues addressed on a personal level.
IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE
Tuesday—Wednesday: 9:30 AM–12:00 PM
200 Ashland Rd
Berean’s Furniture Ministry is a great way for the Church to meet our neighbors in Richland County!
The Furniture Ministry is a volunteer group that works out of Berean’s Building 2:16, on Ashland road. Ken Giesige and his volunteers, organize and put into action the pickup and deliveries of furniture. On four or more days each week, they meet the needs of our neighbors by delivering furniture and fellowshipping with them and their families. Our group of male volunteers often pray with the families and asked questions about salvation. They’re able to form friendships and share the gospel of Jesus Christ!
The Berean receptionist, Abby Young, communicates directly with the volunteers, relaying the information on donations. Also speaks with the recipients from Love INC, about their request. If you have an item(s) they would like to donate, call the church and speak with Abby. The receptionist will be able to take your request and inform the volunteers.
Love INC of Greater Mansfield is an amazing partner for the Furniture Ministry. For our neighbors in the community to be placed on the list, they would have to call in to Love INC’s office at 419-522-1432 and talk to a volunteer. Office hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 am until 12:00 noon. Their information will be received and then passed onto the furniture deliverers at Berean.
If you’re a member or committed attendee of Berean and need furniture, call into the church. The receptionist will be able to take your request directly.
Volunteers Needed to help with pickups and deliveries call Darlene at 419/756-3300
H2O College Ministry
The Slack Family
Jason, Lindsay, Carter, Maddy, & Bryce
Jason and Lindsay led a church planting team from Bowling Green, OH to Kent, OH in 2008 to start H2O Church on the campus of Kent State University. Jason serves as the pastor of worship and provides oversight and leadership of the church’s worship teams, the training and equipping of student leaders and staff members and teachers at worship gatherings. Lindsay is actively involved in discipleship and women’s ministry within the church. H2O started with 20 young people in 2008 has grown to include over 200 students and is now positioned to impact the lives of even more students at KSU.
Hello from Kent!
I pray that God is meeting you in the midst of self-quarantine and crisis. This COVID-19 pandemic is affecting so many people in so many different ways. Our family is holding up ok. The news of schools in Ohio staying remote through the end of the school year was especially hard for Maddy (our extrovert who is sad when she has a snow day from school). But we are staying healthy and even enjoying our evenings together as a family (as opposed to the busyness we would have been feeling with sports and music practices). I’m still able to work full-time during the days to help provide care and connection for our scattered college church. I’ve also been pursuing some personal development through online classes that I’ve been meaning to take for a while (in the area of spiritual direction and counseling). I’m seeing more and more opportunities for this type of care in my roles with H2O as well as our national network (Collegiate Church Network).
Caring for the scattered church…
Our college church is completely scattered now and the campus is closed. Students are completing course work remotely and trying to stay connected virtually. We’ve been doing our best to lean into this new environment of connection but it’s not easy. Many of our life groups now meet via video call on Zoom or in smaller groups called “1:12 Groups” – also on Zoom. It’s a little easier to connect on these platforms when it’s only 3 or 4 people in the conversation instead of 20! Our staff team is generating Bible study content and releasing videos weekly along with personal devotional reading plans and small group content. It’s been a blessing to have a unified study plan that the whole church is doing together right now. We’re in 1&2 Thessalonians until next week and then will do a study of the different themes in the Psalms. For a fun outlet, our staff team is also producing a weekly podcast to help people stay connected to the church! (called H2O & Friends). I love the creativity to help a scattered church stay connected to each other and to God during this challenging season!
Before this all started…
I had a lot to report before the pandemic hit and here’s one snippet from Lindsay on H2O’s Women’s Weekend from February which had the theme of “slowing down”
“During and after the weekend it seemed like most ladies were talking being impacted by our speaker who shared about God’s desire for us to rest. This led to us splitting up on our own to have an hour of being with God. This looked different for each person. Some people journaled, some people just sat and allowed the silence to refresh them and others dove into the scriptures. But overall this was the time that I heard most from women that they experienced God or God spoke something simple but yet profound to them. We also talked about what it can look like to be obedient in having a Sabbath (a day of rest) during the week. It actually takes a great deal of faith and trust to allow ourselves not to be “productive” for a day. It’s amazing how these lessons are now helping us during the present quarantine!”
Thank you for your partnership! The Gospel is so relevant here now (as always) as we navigate this together.
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.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (Psalm 46:10)
Greetings from Kent! There hasn’t been a lot of variety in our lives over the last two and a half months, but this past weekend was special. Our Elliot graduated from high school! And it was a particularly unique graduation experience, hosted at a local drive-in movie theater. Elliot made a couple of appearances on the big screen: one to deliver an address to his classmates (which was originally recorded in our living room), and the other to receive his diploma from school administrators who were wearing plastic face shields (recorded at the high school two weeks earlier). It was an unusual way to do commencement ceremonies, but also a memorable way to do commencement ceremonies. I tried to capture the experience in a couple of posts (with lots of pictures) on my website, www.ericasp.com, so you can take a look there if you want. In any event, we’re really proud of our graduate!
Anyway, I hope this letter finds you doing well. It’s good to have reminders of the regular rhythms of life — graduations, weddings, birthdays, and such — in the midst of all the chaos our country is currently experiencing from COVID-19 and protests following the death of George Floyd. This is a strange time for all of us. Still life carries on. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” We’re still seeing that. I’m especially proud of the way that today’s graduates (both from Elliot’s class and from Kent State University) are taking all the chaos in stride. I hope that the weirdness of these days will make the story-telling all the more wonderful in the years to come. And I pray that they will walk with God all the days of their lives.
Speaking of walking with God through the chaos (and beyond), our leadership team at H2O Kent has recently been wondering: What if COVID-19 has set us up better than ever to help our church stay connected over the summer months? Being on video conference calls isn’t always fun, and doing church from our living rooms still seems strange — but we’ve learned to make it work. So we’ve recently been talking with other H2O Churches from across the region to try and take this virtual momentum and leverage it for a summer of pursuing God together.
This week, we’re launching a new initiative we’re calling the H2O Network Summer Intensive. It’s an eight-week experience designed to deepen relational connections and provide a space for developing men and women who walk intimately with the Lord. It’s all based on the premise that God and His mission cannot be stopped. He is still pursuing people, transforming people. And we’re getting more and more excited to see what He will do this summer.
Honestly, summer is always a little weird. Students move back home. Or people stay in town and wonder when everyone is coming back. They get jobs and work long hours. Or suffer through summer classes. It’s always a season of transition, of the in-between. Factoring in the losses and frustrations that COVID-19 has ushered into our lives, it may seem like a summer destined for spiritual dryness and relational disconnect. But we believe that God has a way of meeting us in the in-between and speaking new and fresh truths into our lives.
Our theme for the Summer Intensive is: Sit. Listen. Respond. This is the description that we wrote on the fact sheet we’ve been distributing to potential participants: “As we live in transition, step into new realities, and face new challenges, we are more desperate than ever to hear the voice of God. But in order to listen, we must first learn to sit. And after we have heard Him speak, we have to act in obedience. It’s never enough to do one or two of these things. The rhythm of soul formation and Gospel courage rides on all three.”
To stimulate, support, and develop these themes, the program has three major elements to which we’re asking our student participants to commit:
- Main sessions + Discussion Groups on Thursday evenings: These sessions will include worship, testimonies, and a teaching that will lead straight into small groups of 3-5 people from the same H2O church. The teachings will end with questions and prompts for group discussion. We will live-stream these worship gatherings from one of the H2O churches and discussion groups will be prepared to meet over video (or in person depending on location of members and COVID allowances) right after the teaching.
- Life groups on Monday evenings: These groups will contain both men and women and will have at least one designated male leader and female leader. There will be challenges presented each week that will help participants put what they’re learning into practice outside of group time.
- Workshops on Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM: Staff from the various H2O churches will offer workshops on topics related to the overarching theme of hearing from God. These will cover a greater breadth and depth of content that we can during a main session. A list of available workshops will be provided a week in advance so that participants can sign up and receive the details of how to join virtually. Workshops will occur on seven Sundays through the Intensive and we are asking participants to attend at least three of them.
Here in Kent, we’d initially been praying for 10-15 participants from our church. But we already have 18 students from Kent State University signed up to participate in the Summer Intensive — and I wouldn’t be surprised if we topped 20, with a few last-minute entries! People seem to be even more enthusiastic than we anticipated. They’re eager to have a way to move forward in their faith this summer. We’re scheduled to launch on Thursday, June 4 with a main session, and we will end with a celebration gathering on Thursday, July 30. So please, please, please be praying for us! I’m really excited that I, personally, get to be the one heading things up for our group from Kent. At the same time, I must admit there’s also a level of anxiety because of all the untested dynamics. So we’d love to have you pray with us for everything to come together smoothly.
This is not “normal life” or “normal ministry.” Nothing seems to be “normal” these days! But maybe that’s a good thing. I’m eager to share stories from the Summer Intensive in the months (and maybe even years) to come. We’ll be in touch…
Todd & Kelly
After working as a missionary to college students for several years at their alma mater Bowling Green State University, Todd, his wife Kelley and their two children are now part of planting H2O, a campus focused church at the University of Akron! Less than 10% of the young generation know Christ, and through H2O the Schlereth’s are a part of working with the Lord to change that statistic during the formational college years. Their heart is to see students experience new life in Christ and embrace how God has made them to love and serve.
It’s May already!? The Quarantine has done funny things to time. For sure, this has been a stressful season for us all! At the Schlereth house we had several quite difficult weeks. My allergy medicine pushed depressive side effects on me, we had two weeks of anxious waiting as we had yet another scare over Kelley’s pregnancy (thankfully now resolved), we saw some support lost and the stress of grad school hung on. And of course, the pandemic.
BUT, God is SO good. We sing the Doxology often around here. Join us in praising God and counting blessings:
•Though some ongoing support was lost, we have at the same time seen new generosity as folks have shared tax returns and
stimulus checks with us.
•Despite several scares with this pregnancy, Kelley and baby are healthy!
•Once the stay at home order relaxed we were refreshed with family time. You can see below, we are training up a third generation of mushroom hunters! :^)
Covid can’t stop God, look what He has been doing!
•God is raising up new young leaders, this summer my Lifegroup has a new student Leader. Pray for Martha!
•Virtual Church has brought two new students into our community as roommates started tuning in with H2O’ers online, and joined our Lifegroup Bible studies too!
•We had a great time listening to our seniors share their testimonies of God’s work in their college career at an end of the year Zoom gathering. What an encouraging time!
•Lastly we have seen God doing what only He can do- making people new! I was able to meet outside last week with Cassandra, a student who came to H2O occasionally, to hear how God has used this season (and one wild story) to lead her to put her faith in Christ! Praise!
This summer I am continuing seminary, and focusing some extra time on raising support. As our country slowly re-opens, I will be contacting many of you to ask how you are doing, how I can pray and how you can help even more! With baby on the way, recovering lost support and increased insurance costs I am praying to raise $1000 in new monthly support. Please prayerfully consider:
•Increasing your giving
•Giving a special gift
•Connecting me with more people and churches to share about God’s work? (We all know it’s about WHO you know ;^)
ALSO- I totally understand if you too are feeling the pinch right now financially. If you need to adjust or pause your giving please reach out so we can discuss and pray together!
We love you all and are so blessed to be about God’s business with you- thank you!
Richland Pregnancy Services
- 24/7 Help
All of our services are free of charge and available regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or income.
Limited Ultrasound Exam
After Abortion Support
Free Support Services at Richland Pregnancy Services include:
Master Provisions serves God by connecting resources to needs until every physical and spiritual need is fulfilled.
We work in partnership with agencies that directly serve people in need, distributing resources to them. By spending less time and money obtaining resources, these partner agencies are able to focus on their core mission.
We have a BIG announcement!
Learn more about our monthly giving program here!
Connect your heart to hundreds of others by giving monthly.
Your friend in serving others,
P.S. Special thanks to Local 12 Reporter Liz Bonis for narrating and Broadview Motion for creating the video.
For 12 years Berean has provided an after-school tutoring program for Mansfield City School children. For 11 years we worked with Prospect Elementary students and this past year with Malabar Intermediate School students. Our program is 4 days per week for 2 hours each day from October through May. The focus of our program is one on one adult/student interaction. We ask adults to give one hour one day per week to work with a student. We provide a healthy snack, reading practice, homework help, Spiritual Character Quality lessons and free time each day. We have several parties at Christmas, Easter, and the end of the year.
If you are interested in participating please contact Pastor Bill Heaton, 419/756-3300, email@example.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
“The Glory of God, and, as our only means to glorifying Him, the salvation of human souls, is the real business of life.”
Quote by C. S. Lewis
Other Local Partners
Compassion In Action
Contact: Kris Sparks
Emergency Response Team
Contacts: RuthAnn Chirico & Tim Miller
Harmony House, Homeless Services
Local English Camp
Contact: Bruce Dunlap
Local International Student Ministry
Contact: Tom Prendergast
LOVE INC. (Love In the Name of Christ)
Contacts: Tiffany Montgomery & Brenda Schwamberger
Mansfield Salvation Army
Contacts: Brenda Nelson
Nursing Home Ministry
Contacts: Tom Prendergast & Lisa Caldwell
Operation Christmas Child
Contact: Elizabeth Dawson
Contacts: Faith Kidwell & Ted Ryan
Public School Prayer Ministry
Prays monthly over Lexington Schools
Contact: Valerie Hunter
Shared Hope – STOP Sex trafficking
Contact: Susi Maiyer
- Middle East
- West Africa
- Dominican Republic
- Converge Southeast
Jerusalem Baptist Church, Pignon, Haiti
I returned to Haiti after my studies in the United States in 1996. We had prayed that God would glorify himself by using us as an instrument to transform lives in Haiti. Looking back, God has answered every prayer that we asked from that November day long ago.
He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
Jerusalem Baptist mission (JBM) began in 1977 by Rev Sidoine and Mrs. Athenienne Lucien for the purpose of winning souls for Christ. Pastor Sidoine had nine children and in 1996 his son Jephthe (the fifth of the nine children) joined him in the ministry. Pastor Jephthe has a degree from Washington Bible College in Maryland and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois.
Since pastor Jephthe joined JBM, he has been busy continuing the work that his father started by planting sister churches and Christian schools and developing economic structures for local families. Pastor Jephthe seeks training for his pastors and continues to develop businesses through which church members can support their families without being forced to flee to the big city.
The island of Haiti has ten departments and JBM now has a presence in 6 of the 10. We continue to work hard for the Lord, because “we know he is not done with us yet!” says Pastor Jephthe
Jephthe, his family and the JBM staff are working hard every day to continue the work that God entrusted to them. We prayed for blessings and now God is doing above and beyond what we ask or even think of.
Pastor Jephthe and his wife Widmide “Mitoue” Lucien are so thankful that God has put them in Pignon Haiti to serve at such a time as this!
Daniel 2:21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise knowledge to the discerning.
Jerusalem Baptist Mission
From Pastor Jephthe – May 2019
I am having such a very happy new year. Thank you very much for all your wishes at the beginning of the year. They have all come true.Dr. Paul Jorden from Bethel Baptist Church in Chicago has been coming to Haiti for over 4 years and he has been helping with leadership conferences. He was with me for the first two weeks of January leading training for the pastors. We took a special trip with pastors from churches of all denominations from Pignon who are part of the Pastoral Coalition, to the beautiful Belly Beach at Labadee in Cap-Haitien. We ate, had fun and reflected on leadership principles. We also spent another special whole day of teaching the word to the community of Haitian evangelical leaders and pastors in Cap-Haitien (CLEPH).
In the second week of January, all the pastors from the Jerusalem Baptist Mission came to Pignon for training. At the end of the pastoral conference, we had a graduation for the Jerusalem Bible Institute. Six Pastors completed the 4-year program this year. We were so honored that Pastor Paul Jorden was there to give the commencement address.
So many of you have witnessed, first-hand, the many facets of the ministry. However, while everything else continues to go on, it is my priority and obligation to make sure that the leaders are trained in the church of Jesus Christ, which we believe is the hope of the world. I trust God will use this training to transform lives and communities.
There is a young man from a church in the U.S. who went to Haiti this past summer for ten weeks as an intern. His job was to visit as many JBM churches as possible. He took a picture of every church that he visited. He also took a picture of every leader and family. He asked about the history of the church, attendance, needs, vision, prayer requests and anything relevant to the church’s health and growth. During his 10 weeks, he visited 77 of our 121 churches. He concluded that on a given Sunday morning, just among the churches that he visited, 40,000 (forty thousand) people are meeting to worship the Lord. I would call this the return on your investment. We thank God for you.
Please continue to pray for:
JBM University Fundraiser – June 1, 2019, from 6 pm • 8 pm
For years we have raised money and sent JBM high school graduates to university in Cap-Haitien, Port-Au-Prince and the Dominican Republic. It has always been a dream to build a university within the ministry to alleviate the need to send kids so far away with the added cost. We are pleased to announce that on August 17, 2019, we are starting Universite Jerusalem de Pignon. To keep the cost down, we will begin with an online program where all of the instructors are Masters and Ph.D. holders who will volunteer their time and will teach via webcast. We are so pleased to able to start this ministry. For the 1st year, we will provide English and computer science courses. Starting with year two, we will begin with programs in Biblical Studies, Counseling, and Education. If you are in Chicago and Indiana and would love to learn more about this ministry, please join us on June 1, 2019, from 6 PM to 8 pm at Bethel Community Church, Chicago- 7601 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60656 where Pastor Jephthe Lucien will share how this University will bring new hope and opportunities to a community desperate for education, income, and employment.
Enjoy an amazing Haitian dinner and finish it off with some amazing desserts and Caribbean Punch with Sugar Cane. We will have a silent auction, including amazing experiences such as tickets to a Cubs game, and a weekend in a vacation home in Michigan. We look forward to seeing you.
JBM 1st annual family Day- July 20, 2019
We invite you to join us on this great fun day with activities for the entire family on July 20 beginning at noon. We will have hotdogs·, burgers and activities such as races, bouncy houses, and many more surprises for the entire family. At this event, we will be able to accept school supplies and donations for our fundraiser. We have a group going to Haiti in August who will able to take all donations to Haiti. This group will conduct a teacher’s conference, VBS and will facilitate a fun day for the JBM school students. Location TBD; if you are in the Chicago area and want to help with the planning of this event, please call 847-338-8326 or email info@ jbmhaiti.org
JBM AnnualFall Banquet – Please Mark your calendar for our annual banquet scheduled for November 2, 2019, from 5-7 pm. This banquet will be at the Chapel, Palatine Campus located at 431 N Quentin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067.
Stability in the country. We do so much through short term mission trips and most have canceled because of the turmoil in the country this year. Please pray for our family. One of our son’s US visa was not renewed and finances are tight.
-Financial stability and support for leaders
-The University project
-School scholarship project
-Jerusalem Baptist Mission
In our last newsletter, we shared that we were behind in paying the teacher’s salary for the previous school year. I am so pleased to report that because of your generous contributions combined with our annual fundraising banquet, we raised enough money to pay all the teachers for the 2017-18 school year. We continue to trust that God will provide for this school year as he always has so we won’t fall too far behind again. At the moment we owe teachers April salary, but we know God will make a way! Please continue to pray.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to connecting with you! Blessings!
Grace Church – Brovary, Ukraine
Special Needs Family Camp – July 6 to 19, 2020
Conversational English School – July 20 to 31, 2020 – Need 8 Adults
See Pastor Bill Heaton or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Berean started short-term missions with Grace in 1996. For 12 years we have lead Children’s Adventure Camps (VBS). In 2008 we started teaching Conversational English at Pastor Boris Medyanik’s request.
We continue to teach two weeks each summer to about 150 mostly college students and young professionals. In 2012 we were asked to help Grace with their ministry to Families of Special Needs Children. Tanya Kolodey heads up this Grace ministry. We go for two weeks in the summer to help with their Special Needs Family Camp which ministers to about 40 moms and 80 kids. We send teams of up to five to Special Needs Family Camp and up to ten to Conversational English School. Attending both weeks of ministry are possible.
Berean Christmas 2018 – Greeting from Brovary, Ukraine
Drew and Sarah
Drew and Sarah R. – Middle East
The R. family are Converge Global Workers currently serving in the Middle East. In partnership with a local church, they are engaging Syrian refugee families with the gospel. The ministry includes a combination of humanitarian aid efforts as well as open and intentional presentations of the Gospel. Drew’s primary responsibility within the ministry is discipleship and leadership development among new believers. This is a vital role in strengthening the local church and establishing local leadership for many years to come. God is actively working among Syrian refugees throughout the Middle East and around the world. Please continue to pray for them and that God would reveal himself to them.
Dr. David & Margalit
Shabbat Shalom friends,
Here is some local news from Israel:
This week, Israel’s Air Force struck a military base in Syria where Iran has been deploying troops and doing R & D (research and development) of military import. Israel will usually carry out such a strike if intelligence shows that weaponry is being manufactured or transported to such a base, for use against Israel. Nine Iranian troops were killed in the air raid. Iran has vowed a revenge attack against northern Israel for this and prior Israeli Air Force attacks on Iran’s growing military presence in the region.
This week PM Netanyahu was in Moscow, not for soccer’s World Cup final game, but to talk about Israel’s ‘take’ on Iran’s presence in Syria. It was reported that Russia will not interfere with Israeli attacks on Iranian troops there, as long as no Russian assets are harmed.
All this makes more sense when we realize that Iran and her allied troops (such as the Hizbullah terror group that rules over Lebanon), were creeping right up to Israel’s northern border with Syria (just over the Golan Heights). Iran and Syria have supplied Hizbullah with about 200,000 rockets that are being deployed in south Lebanon. So the Iranian threat is real. Israel could no longer live with this development, and began efforts, both diplomatically and otherwise, to clear our Syrian border of Iranian and allied troops. Iran has often stated publicly its desire to annihilate Israel, and so Israel is always on the alert about the danger.
Please pray for wisdom for Israel’s government, to know how to deal with the threat on our northern border. Let’s also pray for many people to turn to Yeshua in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. That is the only hope for those nations, period.
God will someday turn the Middle East into an area that leads the world in worshiping Him (see Isaiah 19). But until that day, a great darkness has come upon our area. Yet there are wonderful promises in the Bible about His heart towards us and His plan of redemption.
More Personal news:
David is teaching his seminar in London this weekend. We’d appreciate prayer for safe travel there and that he’d be able to excite his students about studying the Bible.
We got word this morning from our friends in the Galilee – who have been preparing a house/center that will be used for weekly Bible training – are nearly finished with the project. That means we can begin to travel north for this training. We will be taking turns with our son and his wife plus another young couple who will be team teaching with us. We are very excited about all these young families in the north who are serious about studying the Word. Please pray that we can get this very complicated schedule worked out and that we will have the finances to help support this center.
David leaves on Sunday for Ireland and England. Margalit will join him in a weeks time. This is a combination of teaching/family and baseball.
August At the Shalom Conference in Oswiecim, Poland, David will speak about God’s perspective on this very issue. Please pray that he can be sensitive to the emotions and feelings that will be present, and speak with God’s merciful heart. Scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 13 will be at the heart of his talk to the gathered Israeli, Polish and European believers. David will teach that God wants to unite Israeli and Polish believers in love, sympathy, and prayer for each other. This could be a very healing moment for us there, so please pray that God would have His way. This is a yearly conference where 300 or so of us gather to pray for Poland, Israel, and Germany to walk in our God-given destinies.
And from there we are traveling to Romania to teach at the first-ever Holocaust reconciliation conference there.
Cirilo & Dory Doguiles
Leadership training and development of pastors, church planters, and seminary students
Cirilo & Dory Doguiles are back in the Philippines after serving 29 years in the United States with Converge Worldwide planting a Filipino church in California. After years of working at the denominational level in the areas of church planting, Filipino ministries, and Intercultural Ministries, Pastor Cirilo and Dory decided to solidify the commitment they made 28 years ago to return home to minister in the Philippines. In January of 2014, they left for the Philippines to embark on this new ministry.
Their vision is to see that disciples, leaders, and churches are multiplied by establishing centers for starting and strengthening churches (S2 Centers) in each of the 12 district ministries of Converge Philippines/BCP. They are also involved in leadership training and development of pastors, church planters, and seminary students through teaching and mentoring.
We write this missions update from our daughter’s home in San Diego. We left Manila two days before the total lockdown in the Philippines was imposed. We flew to LAX for a short trip related to Cirilo’s six month medical follow-up with his oncologist and to take care of other legal documents related to social security and medicare. We are scheduled to be back to the field on April 20, but at the rate of the progress of lifting travel restrictions from both ends, our return remains uncertain.
Social distancing, travel restrictions and lockdown limit our mobility, but do not stop our ministry. Our churches have responded proactively with creativity. Yesterday, we for the first time listened to three video-streamed sermons while staying at home. The word of God continues to spread unhindered.
We left with national and regional training events queued in our calendar. It is rather disappointing when everything is put on hold. However, a devotional thought that “delay does not mean denial,” put things in God’s perspective in this time of crisis.
Meantime, we continue to minister remotely thru e-mails, messenger and Facebook. Cirilo edits the Filipino translation of the Discipleship Training track lessons while enjoying quality time with our family in southern California.
Thank you again for your faithful prayer and financial partnership with us. Let us know how we can also pray with you and for you.
Cirilo & Dory Doguiles
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.
An encouraging story
While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed our international travel and work, it hasn’t stopped progress on initiatives for unreached immigrant people groups in North America. Since January when I returned from an economic missions training in Spain, I’ve been working to implement a new business-as-missions platform in Minneapolis-St.Paul. Quarantines slowed everything down, but the racial unrest pushed it forward, and interest has been growing. Church and local ministry leaders in the Twin Cities are recognizing the need for economic development in new-arrival communities which are often communities of color.
It is hard to have hope with little prospect of securing employment. The economic business start-up platform I’m bringing fits the need both for this moment and for sustainable growth in the future.The program gives young entrepreneurs the tools to start businesses but more importantly builds around a coaching relationship with a mature Christian businessman or businesswoman. These relationships offer valuable business expertise and an understanding of the gospel communicated life-on-life.
We pray, believing God, that through this tool we find people of peace who will become future leaders of movements of gospel multiplication in unreached immigrant communities.
Please pray with us, that we can launch a business start-up academy and our first business coaches training by fall.
As with most of you, 2020 has been a wild ride
January: When John returned from the business-as-mission training, we moved out of our house in Orlando we were sharing with our son Richard and daughter Eleanor. (We know–usually the “kids” leave, but this time it made more sense for us to.)
February: John and I visited church partners and church leaders in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. (Thank you, First Baptist Church of New Castle, for the use of your missionary home!)
March: While keeping an eye on the news, we began planning John’s summer and fall ministry schedule. With quarantines beginning, we unpacked, thankful not to be sharing space with Richard–a nurse at an Orlando hospital–and Eleanor–a finance assistant at a trucking company. Also, unable to contact John’s sister and brother-in-law, we discovered they were both hospitalized. Lots of phone calls and prayers followed before his sister passed away on March 30, not from the virus. His brother-in-law is recovering.
April: We received the heartbreaking news that my mom’s cancer had returned with a vengeance. I am very thankful I was able to be with her before she passed away April 29.
May: We are blessed that my family pulled together to plan Mom’s service and settle her affairs.
Going forward: We pray that you and your family have been physically well and spiritually thriving in this challenging time, and we ask that you pray the same for us.
As always, we sincerely appreciate your partnership in our ministry. Please let us know how you are doing and how we can more specifically join you in prayer.
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God” (Phil. 1:3 NLT).
GECHAAN was founded in July of 2004 by Art and Dorothy Helwig who chose to do whatever they could about the raging HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria. The Southern part of Taraba State was selected to begin a grassroots-focused approach to making the people aware of the problem and how they may prevent becoming infected. The emphasis on prevention.
The work grew quickly and grew into a full-service NGO that reaches out into the hinterlands in attempts to save the lives of as many people as possible. In 2014 Dan & Tina Gibbs joined the ministry in Nigeria. Today GECHAAN is covering eight local governments in Taraba State.
GECHANN is located in the far southeast part of Taraba State which borders on Cameroon. Having started in Sardouna Local Government Area (LGA), the work has expanded to include Gashaka, Bali, Kurmi, Takum, Donga, Gassol and Ardo Kola LGAs. There are four regional offices with managers who oversee many volunteers who assist people in need in villages
Dear Friends at Berean Baptist Church,
Greetings from Pine River Minnesota! We are healthy and safely quarantined. We pray this finds you the same.
You may have noticed that this newsletter looks different than it has for the past 6 years. During our time at home, we have been working on updating and changing our website and social media. We still believe the principle of Standing Beside is an important one but to make things clearer, we are leaving the Standing Beside branding behind. Tina has worked on changing it on Facebook and you can see our new Facebook page here (https://dtgibbs.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=926c02406b10652d2a77d75fa&id=eb5878b14c&e=d13301d6e5) . Denise Nelson has been rebuilding our website. You can view it here (https://dtgibbs.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=926c02406b10652d2a77d75fa&id=1410118c86&e=d13301d6e5) . All of the Blog posts can still be found there. Denise has also built a website for the Gotel initiative. You can view that here (https://dtgibbs.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=926c02406b10652d2a77d75fa&id=9a07c7329a&e=d13301d6e5) . You will want to visit that to learn more about the initiative. Thank you, Denise, for all your hard work!
Covid 19 updates from our area of Nigeria. Our state has had less than 10 confirmed cases. Most importantly these cases are from people that were traveling into the state and were tested and quarantined before entering. So effectively Taraba state is Covid 19 free. Please pray for our staff on the ground there in Nigeria. There is a lot of fear and misinformation and they have locked down any nonessential travel between States. Please pray that our staff keeps clear minds, stays healthy, and continues the hard work it is moving forward during this time. They are working hard to finish the remodel of the building that we can do isolation in. Thank you for all your donations toward this project. We have all the funds promised to finish it.
During this time we have purchased a Zoom subscription as it has been a wonderful way to stay connected with our partners in ministry as well as church and bible study. If you have a small group, missions committee, or pastor that is interested in learning more about the Gotel Initiative or possibly partnering with us in ministry, just hit reply to this newsletter and we will contact you to set up a meeting time.
This is a difficult time for all of us and while we wished we could return to Nigeria now we know that God will use this time for His good.
We have had some people who are if a good financial position and will be sending their stimulus check funds to support the work in Nigeria when it comes. If you are in the position to do that, it would be greatly appreciated!
In His Service,
Dan & Tina Gibbs
Visit our website at www.dtgibbs.com
Matt, Audrey & Ezra Pound
Faithful Heart Foundation
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Who We Are
Faithful Heart Foundation (FHF) is an “R&R” ministry…reach and rescue. Our foundation helps break the cycle of poverty by providing orphans with a loving Christian family to ensure that they have adequate food and nutrition, and access to quality education.
FHF is a Christian orphan care ministry. We seek to serve the poor and disadvantaged people in and around Northern Thailand, whose life circumstances can be improved through:
We strive to match our foundation resources with the greatest needs to have a lasting, positive
impact on as many lives as possible.
The dangers that at-risk children face in Northern Thailand:
Homelessness or Poor Housing and Living Conditions
Family Loss or Neglect
Food Insecurity, Hunger, and Malnutrition
Poor Water Quality and Access
Lack of Basic Hygiene and Increased Incidence of Illness and Disease
Lack of Education or Access to Quality Education
Discrimination and Prejudice
Risk of Trafficking, Kidnapping or Being Sold through Exploitation and Debt
Physical and Mental Abuse
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Orphan and Rescue Care
Hello Friends and Family,
A short update on our life in Thailand: This Unprecedented Present.
We love and miss you all. We were disappointed our trip this summer was canceled. We may try to come this winter, and would love to connect with you.
May God delight us in the new things He will do in the midst of hard times.
We are right there with you.
Love The Pounds
Faithful Heart Foundation
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Steve and Nopaluck Cable, Bangkok, Thailand
Steve and Nopaluck are focused on church planting and evangelism at Peace Fellowship Church (PFC) and Santisuk English School (SES) in Bangkok, Thailand. Since 1995, nearly 700 different short-term missionaries have been involved in 4-week (minimum) evangelistic outreaches at SES that have been instrumental in winning many Thai to Christ.
SANTISUK ENGLISH SCHOOL
SES is both an effective evangelistic tool and a high-quality conversational English educational center. We will use methods that are creative, wide-reaching, relationship-oriented, need-based, sacrificial, efficient, and self-sustaining in Thailand that engages and empowers Thai Christians to reach the Thai.
We ultimately exist to glorify God by being a significant bridge-building tool enabling God to transform lives and assisting Peace Fellowship Church to reach N.E. Bangkok for Jesus Christ.
Find out more about the Santisuk English School at www.santisuk.org.
Stepping Out in Faith
Seven years ago, we temporarily left Peace Fellowship Church (PFC) and Santisuk English School (SES) in NE Bangkok for a year to run our Ladkrabang branch while the leaders there were on home assignment. I managed to lead PFC and SES while working and living at the Ladkrabang branch. PFC and SES were able to function pretty well without us and Ladkrabang went very well in some ways. We saw a huge increase in the number students but we didn’t see much success in our outreach. It was a good year, it was a unique year.
We’re now going to do it again, only this time more challenging, much more risky, longer, in a different place, for different reasons.
Todd and Karen Indehar have led Santisuk Silom for 5 1/2 years. They have decided to move into a new phase in ministry and desired to have someone take over Santisuk Silom. They contacted us April 23 with this news and we had until the end of May to decide what to do. After lots of wrestling with which way to go, knowing that the downtown Silom location is a prime spot for ministry with huge potential, yet after 3 months of Covid-19 shutdowns that have affected everything, we decided to again temporarily leave PFC and SES to run Santisuk Silom for the next 18 months. This will also allow us to bring Santisuk Silom into Bangkok 15/25 because we’ll be seeking to establish a new church there. Santisuk Silom is one of our branch centers begun before Bangkok 15/25 started. Bangkok 15/25 is our goal of 15 new missionaries recruited to plant 15 new churches in the Bangkok Metro Area by the end of 2025. It is a 10-year goal that has driven just about everything we’ve done now for the past 5+ years.
We’ll not be going alone. Awe, who was the first director there from January 2015 until early 2018, and Ern, who taught there some back in 2015 and also was involved there for that first year, will go together with us as the core team. In addition, nearly all of Awe’s cell group will be going as well, so from the beginning, we’ll have a good core group for cell ministry and outreach.
Nopaluck and I just today put a deposit on a place to rent for the next 11 months that is 4 sky-train stops away from the Santisuk Silom location. Awe and Ern will commute from their condos which are a minute’s walk from PFC and SES, but at least 90 minutes one-way to Silom.
The challenges are, as you can imagine, huge. But we have a huge God! Pray for the following:
1) Student attendance at all Santisuk branches is exceptionally low, not just because of quarantine, but for many months before that as well.
2) We’re shifting much more responsibility onto our leaders at PFC and SES because in the coming 18 months, I (Steve) will be doing much less at PFC and SES than I did the year we were in Ladkrabang so we can focus more fully on Silom. We have a very capable team of people, but pray they will be up to the new challenges as well.
3) We don’t just want to see Santisuk Silom go well economically (more students), although it has to go well in that regard as well, but we want to see MANY students come to faith in Christ!
4) We all are a temporary transition team. The 18 months are what we believe is the maximum amount of time needed to get a permanent team ready to take over and run Santisuk Silom. Pray for the make-up of the permanent team to run Silom, possibly as early as the end of next year.
5) We want a good start working together, for the 4 of us. We are part of the bigger PFC/SES team and know each other pretty well. But we all have new jobs now with new challenges.
If Bangkok 15/25 is going to move ahead there has to be a shifting of Steve’s responsibilities at PFC and SES and there has to be a movement of people getting trained to lead 10 additional centers in the next 5+ years.
Pray this next step goes well for everyone involved.
Website Help (STILL) Needed
Our website, www.santisuk.org, has been without an administrator for almost 6 months now. The administrator is someone who can write website code, who knows everything about running websites, can design them and fix them and can make additions to them. We’ve not had a person serve as our administrator in any capacity since Dec. 31, 2019. We need security updates and someone who can add additional sites as we expand for Bangkok 15/25. The person does NOT need to speak Thai or read Thai, but about half of the site is in Thai. We can post the Thai and English content, we need help with special pictures and the fancy stuff of any good website.
Thanks for reading and thanks for praying!
Steve and Nopaluck Cable
John and Elaine Mehn
John is the Director of the JEMA Church Planting Institute. Their primary ministry is to cross-cultural church planting, direct evangelism and outreach, mobilization and equipping for church planting, leadership development, and spiritual renewal mentoring.
“Advancing God’s Kingdom by mentoring leaders to be part of a movement that is multiplying churches that are multiplying disciples through the power of the gospel.”
The Church Planting Institute is a core ministry of the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association. Our purpose is to foster a ministry vision for what God has in store for Japan and the world. This is a cooperative effort by missions, missionaries, and Japanese leaders and workers to see indigenous gospel-driven church planting movements fostered in this needy country. We welcome you to join us in this adventure of faith and ministry.
To view or download the CPI informational PDF brochure in Japanese click here: jcpi-brochure-jpn.
God has been doing some great things through the Institute since its inception in 1994. It started with 29 missionaries meeting with Dr. Steve Childers–a veteran church-planter and now a professor of practical theology–which gave birth to a vision for CPI. Since that time, nearly 3.000 Japanese and foreign gospel workers serving with 150 organizations and coming from over 20 different countries have been involved. There are also about 180 people from throughout the world using our internet services. Missionaries from Hokkaido to Okinawa have been involved with CPI, touching practically every prefecture in Japan.
Check out their introductory video in the link below!
Nice to Meet You
March 2019 – Updates from John and Elaine Mehn
We work with a lot of different groups of people. Here are some connections we have made over the last month. After all “Missions is Relationships.”
Clockwise from left: Elaine’s card class at Crossroad church, Japan Church Multiplication Vision Strategy Summit, Japan Baptist Rengo Pastors’ Seminar, Elaine’s western cooking class at the Mehn’s house
WHAT CAN WE PRAY FOR?
- Pray for the preparations for our very first Japanese Grace Week May 27−30. Ask God to grant wisdom, energy, and unity in preparing the presenters and mentors. Pray for registrations.
- We are very heavy with several writing projects right now. Elaine is trying to get out her bilingual bible study and John is working on the Japanese version of his church planting book and a new book on Japanese beliefs and the gospel.
- As registration for the November 13−15 CPI National Conference has opened, pray it will sell−out again! Pray for all the preparations busily going on.
- The new Converge Japanese Initiative leader, Brian Lusky, is visiting Japan this month. Pray
for meetings he will have with us, other missionaries, and key Japanese leaders.
- Elaine has a lot of preparation for our mission Field Council on April 9−11.
INTENSIVE PRAYER TEAM
John and Elaine Mehn – Converge International Ministries – Missionaries to Japan
Accelerating Spiritual Renewal and Church Multiplication Movements
See more information at www.GOspelRest.com or see us both on Facebook.
Bill and Kathy M.
Serving with Converge in the capital city of a West African country, predominantly Muslim
Bill: University student outreach through teaching English as a foreign language
- leading discussions on Biblical topics, themes, and passages
- developing relationships with particular students
- studying the Bible with them
- the long-term goal is to see an expanding network of house churches
Kathy: Teaching high school and middle school art at the school for missionary children
- eighty percent of the student body are missionary kids, whose parents serve all over West Africa
- to be a godly example to the students in all that she does and says (for some students, the school is the only exposure they have to a Christian worldview)
- hosting Bill’s students for meals and providing support for special events and visiting teams
- a population of about 14 million, 95% Muslim, 4% Catholic
- two largest people groups are unreached, with only 100 believers or so in each
- freedom of religion, but social & family ostracism for those who become Jesus-followers
- politically stable, with the democratically-elected president & Parliament
- the very high unemployment rate, common for one wage earner to support the extended family of 12-15 persons
- a developing country, with slowly improving infrastructure
Please check out their introductory video in the link below!!
Paul and Linda McMillan
Fountain of Life Christian School
Our mission is to provide children with an unmistakable inner conviction of who they are, what their life purpose is, and where they will go to in eternity as defined in the irrefutable Word of God.
Our purpose is to prepare citizens to be fully equipped academically, morally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
We help students define and fulfill their life goals by acquiring the intrinsic values of individual achievement, patriotic support, personal independence, family loyalties and productive contributions to the local and global communities.
The benefits of our school include:
- Education with a higher worldview rooted in the Word of God
- The pursuit of excellence above the lower standards of public schools
- Superior English classes, with access to native English speakers
- Caring teachers committed to the spiritual, academic, and personal development of the students
- Computer classes taught in a modern computer lab
- A close-knit community where students are always safe and welcome to play with friends
Students come to know God personally through Jesus Christ
What’s Happening in Juan Tomas?
June 13, 2020
REJOICING WITH THANKSGIVING
Praises from the Fountain of Life School
What is happening in Juan Tomas? I guess if you depended on my monthly letters, you may be left wondering what IS happening here. I must apologize for delaying this letter and basically skipping the month of May.
God has been faithful in guiding our teachers and school leaders during these difficult days. Working online is a real challenge for our teachers, but they have continued to plug along. Officially the regular classes ended at the end of May for Fountain of Life, however there were a number of students that needed recuperation. Presently our diligent teachers are working on their grade books and helping the students that needed extra help. June 19 will be the final day for all classes and we will be giving out the grades to the parents on June 25-26.
We can’t say for sure when we will be able to start classes in the Fall, hopefully it could be in September. We would like to have the graduation ceremony for our 12th graders in October.
We praise the Lord for a recent offer from the Samaritan Purse (Dominican division) to provide their evangelistic and discipleship materials and guidance for our grade school children when we open the school. They have attractive booklets and New Testaments that each of the children will be able to have and use for several months. This will be without any cost to us.
Praises from Juan Tomas Bible Church
The pastors of the Juan Tomas Bible Church have set July 19 as a tentative date to return to regular services. We realize this has to be tentative because of the unpredictability of this coronavirus. We are still having live services on Sunday mornings and Zoom services on Wednesdays.
Our church has received some funds to help several of the needy families with food and other kind of needs that they may have.
Our high blood pressure patients are still receiving medication, but it is difficult to minister to their needs in any other way for the time being.
REMEMBERING WITH INTERCESSION
We appreciate your prayers for our teachers as they finish filling out the report cards and teachers’ register books as well as helping students that needed recuperation.
Pray for our high blood pressure patients (over 300 of them) that they will be protected during this pandemic, and be able to have the medicines they need. Pray that somehow we will be able to have medicines brought in for this ministry. No groups are scheduled to come, so it is difficult to provide what they need when the medicines run out.
Continue praying for this ministry. God’s blessings on all of you. Paul, for the team.
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!
CONNELLS – Year 1 Overview
YEAR 1 – SUMMARY
The Connells completed their first year of a multi-year plan to develop a fully functioning missionary team operation in Latin
America & the Caribbean covering the territory where current Converge initiatives do not exist. The overall goal…we are asking God for a gospel movement among every least-reached people group in our generation.
In summary, it was both a challenging and successful year. There were certainly new obstacles to overcome as we gained experience living in the Latin American culture (Dominican Republic) for the first time, and there was also much progress in the development of the overall plan and in touching lives with the love of Christ. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came alongside us with their prayers and financial support…this would not be possible without you!
David’s role has been to 1) build the strategic plan for a regional Impact Team, 2) develop a team of missionaries across the Latin America / Caribbean region, and 3) lead the team as they pursue achievement of the goal.
His engagements through the year in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, the border of Haiti, and the United States helped shape and test strategic plans. He has outlined the vision & mission of the team, the team member roles needed, and the targeted countries for them to be located. So far he has one member on his team, located in Mexico. Recruiting more team members is a critical next step in the year ahead.
Stephanie’s role has been focused on growing / impacting young nationals locally, helping shape the next generation of leaders. She 1) was a high school English teacher this past school year at Fountain of Life school in Juan Tomas, 2) helped coordinate US short-term teams coming to the village, and 3) hosted a bible study in our home (missionary women, Dominican youth). Assisting more with the Impact Team recruitment and deployment will likely become a greater focus this coming year.
REGIONAL IMPACT TEAM OVERVIEW
We believe God is beginning to use the Latin American body of Christ to significantly impact the great commission in ways Americans no longer can in our world today. We want to provide assistance to their leaders with our lessons learned, training tools, and organizational relationships.
David is developing the team’s plan through Focus3’s 5-Driver performance model (Strategy, Process, Structure, People, Culture). For the sake of brevity, below are takeaways from two of the drivers.
Strategy: We will come alongside transformational national leaders and provide need-specific guidance and training over time to help them fulfill the vision God has for their ministry to impact least-reached people groups.
Structure: In time, will have team cells in 5 primary geographic areas (Mexico, Central America, N. Brazil, Caribbean, N. Argentina/Chile). Each team cell will have 2-3 team members (Leadership Coach, Strategic Program Lead, Training Specialist)
The Lord provided opportunities to test / shape the Strategy in the region and the results give us confidence in the direction we are headed. Impact has been seen with an Argentinian organization leader, a prosthesis ministry leader, bringing Bible understanding to diverse Mexican churches, expanding visions of church planters, deeper discipleship training, etc.
Next Steps: A heavy focus on team member recruitment is now needed. This may cause more time to be spent working with US churches & university as well as in countries where we are gaining early momentum.
|JUAN TOMAS, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC OVERVIEW|
We had the pleasure of experiencing the Latin American / Caribbean culture with the wonderful people in Juan Tomas, and our family was involved at various levels with four key ministries there: christian school, church plant, short-term teams, medical clinic.
Stephanie and Melina were fully integrated as teachers at the school, touching the lives of many kids every week. Stephanie taught 10th and 12th graders and Melina taught K-3rd graders. Our family was also involved with the various US team mission trips to the village, and Stephanie directly coordinated trips with our partner churches. We also engaged with / hosted / led the young adult / teens group at various times throughout the year.
David had the opportunity to preach at the church there (and elsewhere) and coordinate discipleship training for local leaders. He is also working towards a deeper discipleship program for the congregation and a church planting initiative. He continues to work with the Juan Tomas leadership to improve their systems and is part of the leadership team of Partners in Christ as they develop plans to make an even greater impact in the community in the years to come.
- Praise and gratitude for our Year 1 / Phase 1 fruitfulness and impact
- For wisdom and discernment regarding our team recruitment approach in Year 2 / Phase 2
- Asking the Lord to provide the right new team members
- For guidance on managing our family given a slightly different focus & dynamic in Year 2
- For strengthened financial support, which has weakened during COVID-19
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!
To see a growing Church in the Middle East and North Africa, confident in Christian faith and witness, serving the community and contributing to the good of society and culture.
To provide the churches and Christians of the Middle East and North Africa an opportunity to witness to Jesus Christ through inspirational, informative, and educational television services.
We’re making God’s love visible to 21 million viewers across the Middle East and North Africa through Christian satellite television. A potential audience of 500 million people can hear the Truth in their heart languages of Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish.
- SAT-7 Turk – In 2014, SAT-7 was granted a 10-year license to broadcast in Turkish, the only Christian television channel on the Turksat satellite – available to more than 55 million people. This channel has been on-air since early 2015 with very encouraging response and growth!
- SAT-7 PARS – After a year of prayerful negotiations with a company in the Arab Gulf, the hugely popular Yashat satellite system, SAT-7 PARS was accepted – here too, the only Christian channel on this satellite system. Consequently, over the past 12 months, the counseling centers have seen a huge increase in responses from viewers not only in Iran but especially from Afganistan.
- SAT-7 ACADEMY – In response to an incredibly widespread and acute need for education, and led by the Holy Spirit, doors opened to launch this breakthrough channel. The broadcasts bring the classroom, life skills, hope, and light to 20 million Arabic speaking children not currently receiving any proper schooling. Parents are deeply grateful.
Find out more by visiting our website https://www.sat7usa.org/
Founded in 1997, globalLead has trained over 25,000 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
Nothing Can Lock Down Our God
Although many in the USA are now moving about more freely, many of our friends around the globe are still limited from traveling
any distance from their home. Others are limited by a daily curfew. With all of these trying circumstances, it is easy to retreat
rather than move forward. We are reminded that the Apostle Paul faced restrictions in his life as a minister, yet the Gospel was still
boldly proclaimed. Paul wrote the following to the believers in Rome, and later in his life he would be in prison and on house
arrest in Rome. Being restricted from traveling is nothing new in Christianity.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans
Nothing can separate you or me or our ministry leaders around the globe from the love of Christ. In addition, nothing can lock
down God’s sovereign and powerful Gospel from going out to those in need. Your ministry in globalLead is helping leaders be
reminded of God’s inseparable love during these difficult times, so they can fully serve others. God has been working over the
past few months in your ministry with globalLead in the following ways:
Training Via Text Messages?
As the country of Ethiopia was engaged in a lock down scenario, I was talking with a youth ministry leader that we have trained
there in the past 2 years, Nebyou Yonas. During this conversation Nebyou said he and his wife Kidist (pictured above with Chris
Davis, globalLead Director) asked themselves what they could be doing during the lock down (instead of focusing on what they
could not do). They realized that all of the young leaders in their church were also at home. They remembered that they had the
globalLead training materials available to train these leaders. However, they faced several obstacles. The recipients had such
slow internet that they could not do a Zoom video meeting or an audio session online. However, they realized that these leaders
all had cell phones and could read short messages (text-like messages with some small graphics). But how could they teach
content that normally takes 3 full days in a face to face training by just using messages? They decided that since the leaders had
little else they could do, they started and finished the globalLead training one sentence, one ques<on, and one PowerPoint at a time. They were able to train over 100 leaders! All of this happened while in lock down!
Risky Trainings in Pakistan
Another leader that we have trained over the past 2 years from Ethiopia is Mulat Betsegaw (in the photo to the right wearing the blue checkered shirt). Right before the Covid outbreak, Mulat was planning to travel from Ethiopia, in Africa, to the country of Pakistan (officially called The Islamic Republic of Pakistan). Needless to say, doing Christian ministry in Pakistan is not easy. Many are persecuted in this country for their faith in Christ. It is illegal there to evangelize others through the Gospel of Christ. Of the 195 countries in the world, Pakistan ranks in the top 5 of the most persecuted nations in the world. I remember talking with Mulat in February about his desire to not just enter such a difficult country, but about the risk globally that was brewing around the Coronavirus. His answer was, “God has called me to go. God will protect me.” Mulat’s plan was to do 2 trainings in Pakistan with a local ministry partner over a 2-week period. However, after the 2 weeks were up, the virus had shut down all travel in and out of Pakistan. Mulat was now stuck in a hostile country and not able to freely move around. What did he do? He conducted 3 trainings for 25 key ministry leaders and had a deep level of follow up, since people were more available for phone based follow up and coaching. As restrictions decreased, he was able to launch a mothers prayer group for youth as well. After numerous flights being canceled, Mulat finally arrived in Ethiopia at the end of
May. Upon arrival, the authorities required him to be in quarantine for 14 days before he could go home. Today Mulat is back home and free from any virus. I (Chris Davis) just spoke with him by video recently. He had a smile on his face, knowing that God started a great work that will continue to grow in Pakistan. During his time in quarantine, Mulat finished editing his own youth ministry book that he hopes to publish soon! Together we are discussing his desire to train 2000 ministry leaders in the future. As supporters, know that your sacrifice is being multiplied in risky situations by risk-taking believers in Christ!
Global Trainings Online
Our staff and volunteers all around the globe have been moving ahead with trainings despite the home-based restrictions that many of them are facing. Beyond the Ethiopia teams already noted, we have trained leaders from 11 countries in various areas of need. A pastor-trainer with globalLead in the Philippines has been training whole church leadership teams in Austria over the past several months (as another Filipino and myself have assisted in the trainings)! We have offered two major soul care events for 104 pastors and ministry leaders. The trainers in Nepal also recently launched an on-going training for 24 youth ministry leaders online that will last over the next several weeks. Additional online trainings are being scheduled globally.
Beyond the spiritual and emotional needs of leaders, God has allowed us to meet some physical needs of our key leaders globally. Your support has helped you meet the needs of 57 leaders around the globe as we sent out $3,560 to help sustain them with food and other needs during the Covid lockdowns. As one of our leaders in the Philippines stated:
“The Lord bless your generous heart. I thought being part of globalLead was just for training and for personal development as a minister of the gospel but it’s way deeper than that. It’s about building relationships, which Pastor Alvan and Ethyl (Southeast Asia staff) constantly show. I’m so touched by your act of kindness.” Lloyd – Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
God is meeting spiritual, emotional, and physical needs through your work of globalLead as together we minister, mentor, and multiply the Gospel globally!
Chris Davis, Executive Director, globalLead
Steve and Becky Storkel
Steve has had the privilege of working as a Youth Pastor for over 33 years. During those years he planned multiple missions trips all over the USA. Through those trips God gradually placed in his heart a love and passion for missions. During a sabbatical in 1999, Steve and his family took their first oversea’s mission trip to Haiti. That was the beginning of his growing in love with the people there. He soon began organizing trips to Haiti for youth, college age, and adult groups. At first, the trips revolved around the building of schools and churches. Although these were helpful ministries, Steve began to see a bigger need that he desired to be part of. He began to see that one of the major needs of the region was the teaching and training of pastors for the equipping of their church members. Many pastors in the Caribbean countries do not have the resources available to grow in their faith, become grounded in God’s Word, and accurately teach the Bible to others. They are held captive to numerous false doctrines and beliefs that they have been indoctrinated with over the years.
By God’s grace, Steve is hoping that by training pastors Converge will be able to plant 100 multiplying churches in the Dominican Republic and 100 multiplying churches in Haiti in the next two years.
He is praying for partners who will join with him in this vital task of equipping pastors for the work of the ministry. Please prayerfully consider investing in God’s kingdom through this ministry God has called him to.
Caribbean // Pastor Jephthe, one of the national pastors of Haiti, has shared many times the pressing need for solid Biblical teaching for the pastors in his association of churches. He feels that there is a stagnation of growth of additional churches in Haiti because of the lack of qualified trained pastors to teach, admonish, equip, and instruct their church members.
WOW!!!! What a difference a month makes. Three weeks ago I was in Haiti training pastors and Christian leaders and now we are locked out indefinitely from Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican. With hundreds of millions of people now isolating themselves around the world, the novel corona virus pandemic has become a global event. It has effected almost every nation in some way. But in all of this our Lord says “Fear Not”.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
What a great visual picture this is of the Lord upholding us in His righteous right hand
Unfortunately this virus has effected our ministry. Due to the lock downs and quarantines, our travel and our TTI training has been put on a temporary hold. Nevertheless, the Lord had been blessing our TTI ministry in Cuba as our 16 (Pauls) reached out to 250 (Timothys) in the past month. Each Timothy will now be in the process of being trained and will be expected to reach out to 10-15 (Tituses) in the next 3 months. In Haiti we are in the process of meeting with 2 groups, one in the Northern section, Cap-Haitian, and the other in the Plateau region, Pignon. In Cap-Haitian, we have a 100 pastors who have committed to meet for 3 hours every Saturday, for training and accountability. Please pray for these groups of christian leaders as they share the gospel to those around them and disciple the new (Timothys). Our hope is to return to each country in May to continue training. In the meantime, we are working on printing and translating books for them to distribute. Please pray with us for these 2 oppressed countries where life is so hard. Pray that our (Paul’s) would continue to spread the gospel well and that many would come to know Christ as their Savior.
Haiti’s president has declared a state of emergency over corona virus. Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is under lock down, with airports, seaports, schools and factories closed. Unfortunately, their medical system is weak and understaffed and does not have the resources available to deal with this pandemic. Please pray with me that this virus does not spread in Haiti, as this will certainly lead to thousands of deaths in this country.
The Cuban government suspended the school year as of March 24, to prevent the expansion of COVID-19, a disease of which there were 40 confirmed cases on the island. The closure will extend for four weeks.
For me personally, this has been a disappointing time of cancelled trips, limited travel, and stay at home orders from our state’s leaders. Even in the midst of my disappointment though, I’ve been reminded from God’s word that the heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
My plans aren’t necessarily His plans, and my ways are not always His ways. His ways are higher than my ways, and his plans higher than mine.
Consequently, the Lord has opened up other doors of opportunity for ministry here in the southeast district. I have been preparing for and leading online zoom meetings with our district pastors in order to encourage, strengthen, pray for, and share ideas with them. Hopefully together, we can learn how to best minister, not only to our own congregations, but to the communities that we live in and the people who need to hear the hope of the gospel during these days of uncertainty, panic, and fear.
In addition, Becky and I have been focusing on our Highland Meadows community. We have had lots of time for “prayer walks” and for meeting our neighbors (from a distance of coarse), and just making ourselves known in the community. We feel God has given us this unique opportunity to make connections with people. During the evenings, tons of people are out gardening, biking, working on their homes, washing their cars, walking their dogs etc. We spend at least an hour every evening out and about hoping to form relationships for future ministry.
- That the Lord would open doors (literally) so that we can make connections in our neighborhood and hopefully share the gospel.
- Guidance, wisdom, and direction as I assist our district pastors in ministering and connecting to their congregations and communities.
- Gods wisdom and guidance as we print our TTI material in Cuba and translate and print books in Haiti and that funding for this work would continue.
- For the Lord to continue to use Becky to share the love and light of Christ to the elderly people she cares for in their homes.