Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Y'all Do Missions Work?


An excerpt from Y'all Do Missions Work?
By Preston Masters, Men With Vision
November/December 2010

Men, I challenge you to get involved in a Men With Vision group, or start your own with others from your church. It’s a great time to pray together, support missions, do local outreach projects (help the elderly with yard work and fix-it projects, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, etc.), and study what it means to be missions active. You’ll be surprised how God can use you.

In 2006, Flint Hill Church received a gift. “We were pleasantly surprised when Flint Hill Church was honored with the Church of the Year Award at the Southeast Celebration of Missions on St. Simons Island, Georgia. We love our missionaries, and we want to make sure we can help them in any way we can,” noted Masters. The Church of the Year Award is given to WGM partner churches for achieving greater growth through their activities in the Great Commission.

MORE: Learn more about Men With Vision activities at www.wgm.org/mwv.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where is Your Faith?


An excerpt from Where Is Your Faith?
The Gift of Using Your Talents for His Purpose
By Deb Cunningham, Support Staff
November/December 2010

Are you ready for what the Lord will show you through cross-cultural service? Is the Lord whispering or even shouting at you to step out of your comfort zone? For me, it simply took my sister-in-law asking if I would be interested in going to Bolivia with her on a women’s work team. The Lord spoke through her by encouraging me to serve on this team. In the words from Isaiah 6:8 (NLT), “Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here I am. Send me.’”

Have you considered what God-given talents the Lord may be directing you to release through a cross-cultural experience? What excuses or justifications are you presenting to the Lord in defense of answering His call? Opportunities are available for any age, any skill, and anyone. God only requires that we be obedient. As Jesus asked of the disciples when they were in the boat after calming the waves in the lake in Luke 8, “Where is your faith?” Trust in Him and He will provide the resources, skills, and blessing through your obedience.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Gifts Inside an Internship


An excerpt from The Gifts inside an Internship
By Savanah Nisbett, Volunteers In Action Participant, Hungary
November/December 2010

On the hunt for a journalism internship for college credit, I stumbled upon WGM’s writing internship. I was excited about writing for a Christ-centered group and the possibility of doing the internship in another country. As the process unfolded, I decided Jesus was leading me to be at home in Arkansas for the summer. I was sad to not be serving internationally, but I knew God was at work in that decision.

Through my internship with WGM, I discovered that I loved writing about other cultures and issues that transcend national borders. I realized that my passion for writing is multiplied when it includes my passion for people of other cultures. This internship shaped my career plans through a personal realization that I desire to write about “big” things. Writing for WGM provided me a phenomenal outlet to achieve this, but I still had a desire to serve with them internationally.

ACT: Journalism internships are still available. To apply for a WGM internship, visit www.wgm.org/internships.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Show Me Where to Put the Sugar


An excerpt from Show Me Where to Put the Sugar
By Daniel Tolan, Special Assignment
November/December 2010

Daniel and his wife, Cindy, served at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya for several years. Now on special assignment in the U.S., Daniel and Cindy often lead short-term teams for World Gospel Mission. In the wake of the January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake, Daniel left on a short-term team to offer medical assistance to many hurting Haitians. Read more about his experience and listen to the advice he offers those taking part on a short-term team.

I kept looking for the sugar. Would it appear? Would it be used? I wish I could report to you that I saw hundreds of wounds now being treated with sugar. I wish I could say.… No, I cannot.

But there is sugar in Haiti. I know, because I drank it in my morning coffee and I watched as it was applied to one wound. My impatience told me to apply sugar myself everywhere, anywhere it was needed. I waited.…

The Good News must be like this. Missions must be like this. What we want to give, and even impose on others, will do no good unless the heart makes the decision as one’s own. It has taken me 53 years to learn something about this, and yet I still want to just have people do it my way or believe as I do.

Great good can come out of Haiti. The people are beautiful. They are fully capable of managing their lives, making decisions, and bringing about change that can lead to restored relationships, productive land, and a brighter future. Will we give them permission to do so? Will we communicate that we believe in them and support their decisions? Will we allow them to discover the joy of the kingdom of God that He wants for the Haitian people?

Change takes patience over time.

On the last evening before I left Petit Goave, as I was helping clean up from the day’s work, I noticed something. Sitting on a table under the white tarp in the wound clinic that was held under a large mango tree was a small coffee cup. It was not mine. The spoon in it was not mine. The sugar inside the cup was not mine. But there it was.

There is sugar in Haiti.

MORE: There is still much to be done in Haiti. To learn more click here: http://www.wgm.org/page.aspx?pid=6423

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life-Changing Experiences


An excerpt from Life-Changing Experiences
By Hubert Harriman, President
November/December 2010

The thing about these experiences is that they not only changed me, but also I know in my heart that they somehow changed those I connected with. God used little ol’ me! It just doesn’t get any better than that. I think this is what the apostle Paul must have felt when he went on short-term ministry experiences, taking others with him, such as Luke and Timothy. Do these names mean anything to us? You see, these short-term experiences changed these men, but these men also helped change the world. And look! Short-term experiences led them into careers. Once experiencing missions, they would always be involved in missions. How could it be otherwise? They had life-changing experiences and they would never be the same again.

One of the things I really like about WGM is that we offer the possibility of short-term service for anyone who wants to have a life-changing experience personally and relationally. Do you wish for an experience like that? I think every believer does. The beauty of these life-changing experiences is that you can do them when you’re young, but you don’t have to be young—just young at heart! WGM carries an abundance of stories and memories, both on and off the field, with the difference a short-term experience made in the life of a VIA participant, an MWV member, an MVP, or an MD. It somehow changed some part of the world—then and later.

Do you want to know what the initials VIA, MWV, MVP, and MD stand for? Do you want to know what these experiences hold? Go to www.wgm.org/go to learn all about it. But don’t just learn what they mean. Listen. Listen! Listen quietly. Listen carefully. Another Timothy? Another Luke?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gifts Bigger Than the Super Bowl


An excerpt from Gifts Bigger Than the Super Bowl
By Todd Eckhardt, Support Staff
November/December 2010

But do not think you have to leave the country to impact missions as a volunteer. WGM wants to be sure that you can find a role in the Great Commission to offer your skills and service. One of our volunteers regularly hosts missionaries in their home. What a great service they offer. Another regularly works to be sure missionaries are part of their church’s outreach plan. Without volunteers such as these, WGM could never be the extension of the local church that God has asked us to be.

To be sure we maximize the gifts of our volunteers, WGM has designed programs to fit the needs of the volunteers. For believers who have a burden to see their churches or communities go far in the Great Commission, WGM has a program to assist. We have tools to help others go deeper with their role in missions. This program is the Advance Volunteer Network. For the ones the Holy Spirit has touched to go to a country or field of service and offer their God-given talents, the Missionary Volunteer Partners program is designed with their burden in mind.

The great thing about volunteering short term in missions is that the impact lasts a lot longer than if you volunteer at this year’s Super Bowl.

MORE: To learn more about the Advance Volunteer Network, visit www.wgm.org/avn.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Gift of Love


An excerpt from The Gift of Love
Sharing Jesus on the Mission Field as a Short-term Volunteer
By Chrissy Greenwell, Mexico
November/December 2010

Some people believe they have nothing to offer on the mission field. Nevertheless, letting people see Jesus in you is what ministry is all about. So if you know Jesus, you can have an impact on lives. I moved back to Saltillo in August 2009. When some of the children saw me on the street, they came running to me to ask if Kevin was back. I have never met Kevin, but I found out he was on a team that ministered in Saltillo. The interest Kevin expressed and the love he showed for Jesus made a huge impact on the children in my neighborhood. Kevin opened a door for further ministry on the field. Although this is wonderful news, it also leads to a huge need: more missionary workers.

Please keep praying for missionary workers for WGM Mexico. Great possibilities for ministry exist but nobody to fill the need…or are you available?

ACT: Here are three ways you can support Chrissy in Mexico. Pick one and let her know you want to be her partner in ministry.

* Contact Chrissy at www.wgm.org/greenwell and ask to be added to her prayer letter list so you will know how you can better pray for her.

* If you would like to financially partner with Chrissy, go to www.wgm.org/greenwell and click on the Donate button.

* Work beside Chrissy on the field. Are you available to serve God in Mexico? Contact Troy Simpson at recruiting@wgm.org to ask what opportunities are available.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gift Exchange: Work Team


An excerpt from Gift Exchange: Work Team
By Serena Dunbar, Honduras
November/December 2010

God often wraps special gifts for those who serve on work teams to change people’s lives.

Gift one: Faith
Gift two: Relationships
Gift three: Ministry


God called me to the mission field while on a work team to Mexico. He chose to use high school students with poor Spanish to witness to the people there. Seeing their hunger for spiritual things convinced me that I needed to be part of God’s plan to take the good news to the rest of the world. In fact, if you ask those who serve as missionaries today, you will find that a large majority of them were called to service during a work team experience. God built in me a desire to serve in missions full time.

Can’t wait to open your missions gift? Go on a work team! You just might find God entrusting you with a greater mission than ever before.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Missions Trip Changed My Worldview


An excerpt from A Missions Trip Changed My Worldview
By Chris Cunningham, Advance Volunteer
November/December 2010

I met the children of Manuelito. This article cannot do justice to the sights, smells, and a thousand struggles of these young people. An estimated 1.4 million people live in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, and 6,000 to 8,000 children live on the streets.

Yet God is there.

Pastor Jorge Pinto; his wife, Marta; and their church provide a safe haven for several street children. They took us on a trip to the streets where we gave simple food and water to the street children of Tegucigalpa. We found children who were poor beyond belief and yet rich in treasure through Jesus’ love. They had simple peace that only God can provide, and I found myself yearning for that peace.

My “self-motivating statement” is James 2:17 (NIV), “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” I had faith. I had faith, but without works. A missions trip changed my worldview, and it continues to bring passion to my life. If you don’t believe me and you, too, are feeling a little jaded, I invite you to go, see, and taste the riches that God provides.

ACT: Give yourself a gift of changing your worldview through a missions trip. Trips are available all year round. To view a schedule and pick a time, visit www.wgm.org/teams.

Where is Your Destination?

An excerpt from Where Is Your Destination?
How Do You Get There?
By Noritta Carter, Support Staff
November/December 2010

Perhaps you could take a trip as a family vacation or give your children or grandchildren a trip as a Christmas, birthday, or graduation gift. Your college friends, youth group, or Sunday School class could also make up a team. On the field, you and your team will work side-by-side with the missionary you support or may have heard speak in your church. If you are new to missions trips, WGM offers training for team leaders.

How do I get started?
1.Determine a time frame for the trip, giving yourself plenty of lead time. This will allow you to get a good team developed, trained, and financially covered.

2.Decide where you want to go. You can review what WGM teams are available at www.wgm.org/teams.

3.Determine the length of stay and possible dates for your trip.
Call 765.671.7204 or e-mail workteam@wgm.org to get your place and dates confirmed and approved.


MORE: If you have further questions or want to schedule a team, e-mail workteam@wgm.org, call 765.671.7204.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Missions in your Sixties


An excerpt from Missions in Your Sixties
Serving Is a Gift at Any Age
By John and Cherryl Mann, Advance Volunteers
November/December 2010

What were we thinking? People in their sixties should be ready for retirement, enjoying their grandchildren, and planning winter trips to warm climates. In God’s beautiful plan, we were able to go on a number of short-term missions trips. We attended a Finishers Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, and learned that many people were opening their hearts to the Lord’s call to short-term missions as an alternative to the typical retirement lifestyle.

We said yes to His call. The Lord led us through the applying, preparing, raising support, renting of our home, and building relationships with our family and friends. He will lead you, too.

The Manns had several excuses they could have given for why now was not the time for them to serve on the mission field. Instead, they said yes to His call. Are you offering excuses? Have you been missions-minded but not actively seeking God’s call in your retirement years? The World Go! Manual can help you get in the Word and spend time with the Lord, seeking your call. To order a copy, call Tara Mast at 765.671.7244.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Gift of Salvation

An excerpt from The Gift of Salvation
A Short-term Trip Offering More Than Missions Experience
By Brandi Tevebaugh, Volunteer, with Allen Atkinson, WGM Partner
November/December 2010

Two years after returning from the short-term missions trip to Arizona, Allen Atkinson gave his life to Christ. Although he has not returned to the mission field since, he hopes to in the future.

“I would love to go back to the American Indian Field and see the changes that have been made and to experience missions as a Christian,” Atkinson said. “It helped me understand how missionaries work on the field and how much they trust in God. I truly believe a short-term missions trip is a life-changing experience.”

Short-term missions allow people of all experience levels and at all places in their faith journey, even people who have yet to begin their walk with Christ, to experience the mission field and the love of Christ for His world.

ACT: Does a person in your life need the same sort of life-changing experience Allen had on his missions trip? Could you take him or her on a short-term trip and trust the rest to God? To find available trips, visit www.wgm.org/teams.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Gift of Investing in Others


An excerpt from The Gift of Investing in Others
By Rachel Pyle, Volunteer, with Jonny Adkins, Missionary Kid and Volunteer
November/December 2010

In Kenya, Jonny found that he changed the way he used his energy by investing the time to see more of the culture and understand the people. Jonny reminisced fondly about a Kenyan coworker, “I was able to spend a lot of time working with (him) and building up his talents.”

The progression from short-term trips to a year-long VIA experience allowed Jonny to give more of himself. He invested more time, worked alongside fellow missionaries and nationals, and gained a different insight than that of his childhood.

“Any missions experience is different from the experience of growing up on the field.” However, Jonny stated about all his missionary experiences, “Every trip presents its own challenges and opportunities to draw you closer to God.”

ACT: Can you offer yourself as a gift, investing in the lives of others? Or maybe someone came to mind while reading this story. Pass this article on and together find out more about the VIA program at www.wgm.org/via.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Confessions of a Runaway Prophet


An excerpt from Confessions of a Runaway Prophet
The Gift I Almost Missed Out On
By Rachel Elwood, Support Staff
November/December 2010

Hi, my name is Jonah, and I’m a runaway prophet.

I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my life, many of which are chronicled in great detail in a little book you might have heard of. Yeah, it begins with me high-tailing it away from my calling and ends with me getting the scolding of my life from the Almighty.

And I’m here today to tell you not to be like me. Sure, I got the job done, but I was a piece of work, let me tell you. (And I wish I could have gotten it done without having to spend a long weekend in the belly of a whale!)

ACT: Read the book of Jonah, and then look up the places in the New Testament where Jesus mentions him: Matthew 12:38-45 and Luke 11:29-32. Meditate on how God used this reluctant man for His glory.

Read more of this story at www.wgm.org/call during the months of this issue.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fundraising: No Novocaine Required


An excerpt from Fundraising: No Novocaine Required
By Kyle Dubois, WGM Partner
November/December 2010

I’m the finance and facility director for a nonprofit arts and entertainment facility. I’ve also been part of six short-term missions projects, both domestic and foreign. Does that make me qualified to write this article? Absolutely not! However, that just may be the point. A lot of times we don’t feel “qualified” to do missions work, but God uses us for His purposes anyway.

When going on any short-term missions trip, the first obstacle for many is the financial commitment that is often required to make it happen. Looking at what’s required financially to go can be overwhelming. When we set out four years ago to go to Jamaica with a large number of students from our youth group, our goal was to raise $24,300 for our group of 18 to make the trip.

While fundraising is part of working for any nonprofit organization, with my occupation and background in accounting, I’m close to it. However, it isn’t always on the top of the list of favorites for any of us. Fundraising for me rates just ahead of being in the dentist’s chair with gauze stuffed in my mouth, hoping that I’m numb as they come at me with that needle.

With that thought in your mind and your mouth now slightly sore as you think about it, I’m going to give you some suggestions for ways you can help make your missions goals a reality.

You’ll never get there if you don’t ask!
First and foremost, you need to come up with a fundraising letter.

Feed me!
A very successful fundraiser for groups wanting to raise money for missions is having a lunch or supper geared toward the cause. With getting some donations of food and local business sponsorships, you can raise a large amount of money in a short amount of time.

Pizza! Pizza!™
Little Caesars™ has a pizza kit program designed for fundraising that is really easy to organize. Go to www.pizzakitfundraising.com to learn how Little Caesars Pizza™ can help you raise “dough” for your next trip.

Shop ’til you drop!
If you like shopping, this one’s for you! Through Great Lakes Scrip (www.glscrip.com), you can get rebates from many of the stores where you shop on a regular basis.


These are just a few ideas that can help get your missions fundraising off to a good start. If you can survive the dentist, this will be no problem.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christmas in Argentina


An excerpt from Christmas in Argentina
By Bonnie Gouge, Argentina
November/December 2010

You have come to see and understand that missionaries have a unique lifestyle, being available at all hours of the night and day. Dads and moms are pouring themselves into the people of Argentina, impacting lives through daily living, teaching, discipling, and much more. The responsibility of teaching their children on top of missionary service is overwhelming at times. And so, there you are, in Argentina, making a difference in the lives of missionary children as you teach and shape them; making a difference in the lives of missionaries who are freed up for ministry; and making a difference in the lives of the Argentine people you have come to know and love.

As gifts are exchanged, you are thankful for God’s gift to you—His Son, Christ Jesus. You rejoice in the gift of a year in Argentina that God has given to you. And you are thankful that your life has been a gift to the missionary families and to the people of Argentina. You smile and wonder what next year will bring. When you are following Jesus, you never know!

You don’t have to just imagine Christmas in Argentina—you can be the gift for a missionary family. WGM Argentina desperately needs teachers willing to give a year or more investing in the lives of missionary kids. Will you ask God if this is the ministry to which He is calling you?

Called to Serve


An excerpt from Called to Serve
The Gift of Serving as a Family
By Joey Nunez, Volunteers In Action Participant, with Steve, Lori, and Caylah Baldwin, American Indian Field
November/December 2010

Lori stated the following as final encouragement for you and me.

“I think that every person is a missionary in his or her own way, whether it’s walking across your yard, working in your community, or going across the country or across the sea. But remember, God didn’t have a Plan B after Christ died on the cross. We were His Plan A. We were it.

“It’s our job to carry out His plan and spread His Word throughout the world for all mankind. We serve because we are called. God asks each of us to help evangelize the world. The job belongs to every Christian. We all have been called to serve.”

ACT: What is God calling you to do? Maybe it’s going on a short-term missions trip, ministering to children in your church, or serving alongside the Baldwins in Arizona. Several existing ministry opportunities need willing people to become partners. Contact Troy Simpson at 765.671.7226 or recruiting@wgm.org for more info on ways you can serve.

To learn more about the Baldwins ministry click: www.wgm.org/baldwin

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bigger Than Us



An excerpt from Bigger Than Us
Good Things Come in Small Packages!
By Laura Nelsen, Work Team Member
November/December 2010

Five months later, I was across the aisle from Shelly on another plane ride, this time to Kenya and to a little boy named Jesse. It always amazes me that the most beautiful experiences in life are orchestrated by God, not by me. All He requires of us is to listen and obey Him. God says this perfectly in Zechariah 4:6 (NIV), “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.”

It turns out that by listening to God’s simple request on the plane to Florida, I have been able to connect other people to Kenya. I love how God works. One of my best friends from college needed to fulfill an intercultural nursing requirement for school, so I told her about Kenya. She went in May, and now our friendship is even stronger as we share a love for the Kenyan people.

Our God has amazing plans for all of our lives. If we are in tune with His Spirit, He can take us to places that we could never even dream of. Listen for Him today. Let Him guide you to life-changing experiences or to people who need to hear from Him through you.

MORE: Learn more about the work at the Africa Gospel Church Baby Center at www.agcbabycenter.org.

ACT: To plan your own trip to Kenya, contact Noritta Carter at workteam@wgm.org.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Zambia: Rural Education


Kids who live in the Zambian countryside can’t get to school. It’s not that it’s too far—it’s that there are no schools to get to.

Rural education development is one of the most pressing needs for many communities throughout Zambia. Access to quality education is a challenge for many. Lack of a nearby educational facility has been a long-standing issue. As a result, classroom attendance, participation, and performance are all significantly low.

WGM will be working in partnership with the Samfya Bible School in Samfya, Zambia. Samfya Bible School is an institution run by Christian Missions in Many Lands and equips men and women for Christian ministry, focusing on rural church ministry. Billy Wayne and Jenny Fuller, veteran WGM missionary couple from Kenya, have relocated to Zambia to assist with pastoral training.

ACT: Send the Fullers your prayers and well wishes in their new ministry at wgm@wgm.org.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No Missionary Presence

BURUNDI, TANZANIA, INDIA, NICARAGUA, HAITIAN AMERICAN MINISTRIES,
AND MUSLIM MINISTRIES USA

Burundi: Light University, located in Bujumburu, Burundi, offers quality education intertwined with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. However, the university is in need of short-term professors.


Tanzania: This East African nation has benefited from a growing economy over the last few years but is still lagging behind on key development goals for safe water, income, and health.


India: Did you know that one out of every seven people lives in India? Over 83 percent of the population practices Hinduism or animism, and India also has one of the largest populations of Muslims in the world. India is a country with tremendous opportunities for evangelism.


Nicaragua: WGM would like to establish ministries in Nicaragua alongside the Honduran Holiness Church and AMSLA (Latin American Holiness Missionary Agency). Evangelism will be a main thrust with the ultimate goal of developing and establishing churches.


Haitian American Ministries: Identity is a big problem among Haitian American youth. As children of first-generation Haitian immigrants, they live in a mix of Haitian and American cultures.


Muslim Ministries USA: More than 7 million Muslims live in the U.S., and 99 percent have never heard the gospel message presented in a way in which they understand it.

ACT: To review the ministry positions available in these areas, visit www.wgm.org/go.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kenya: A Million Orphans


The AIDS epidemic in Kenya has left more than 1 million children orphaned. Poverty and disease leave innocent, helpless children in their wake.

In response to this serious need, Africa Gospel Church partnered with World Gospel Mission and opened the Africa Gospel Church Baby Center located in Nakuru, Kenya. The AGC Baby Center provides hope to orphaned and abandoned babies through loving care.

The baby center opened its doors to the first two babies in April 2006. The need for abandoned children to find a safe haven continues to grow, so the AGC Baby Center Board decided to allow babies up to 24 months old to enroll, up from the previous maximum entrance age of 12 months old. Today, enrollment is over 30.

ACT: You can partner with the AGC Baby Center and share love with a precious little one. Your commitment to give $10 a month for six months will provide support and care to one baby living at the center (account # 21193-CALL). You can learn more and choose the baby you would like to “adopt” by e-mailing Staci Keter at director@agcbabycenter.org.

Say this prayer for Kenya:

Dear Lord, thank You for meeting with us as we pray for the needs of our world. Thank You for helping us understand how we can bring the life-changing message of Your love to the nations. Today, we bring before You the country of Kenya. Many things break Your heart about this area of the world, and today we want to lift up the 1 million children who have been orphaned due to the AIDS epidemic and other diseases.

We know how important a child’s growing-up years are and how those years form who the child becomes and the direction of the child’s life. What happens if they have no parents and are shunted to relatives or orphanages or are simply abandoned to fend for themselves? Lord, thank You for leading the Africa Gospel Church to establish the Baby Center. It’s so wonderful to know that there is a place where these orphaned or abandoned little ones can be taken. Thank You for rescuing these children. Thank You for the Kenyan and American caregivers who minister to them until they can be adopted into good Christian homes.

Lord, I ask that You will continue to lead Kenyan men and women to adopt these children. Help the staff of the AGC Baby Center as it is almost at capacity with the number of babies right now. Thank You for leading churches in the U.S. to partner with this ministry, helping it to grow and be sustainable.

This center is just one of many homes for orphaned or abandoned children in Kenya. Lord, it seems so overwhelming. Help us to know how we can be a part of restoring the future of these children. Help us to trust You and believe that our efforts to help even a few have kingdom benefit.

We read in Your Word that we are to help the powerless and the oppressed and that You are the Defender of the weak. Thank You for that promise. Help us to remember that as we go from here. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Honduras: Disadvantaged Youth


The Honduran constitution formally stipulates that minors have to have their educational needs met; however, many Hondurans arrive at adulthood without learning to read or write. More than half a million people in this country are illiterate, which is the equivalent of the entire population between 15 and 40 years old.

Many children find themselves in single-parent homes with a necessity of increasing the family income. Children are often required to leave school prematurely to work.

WGM Honduras has responded to this issue through Escuela El Sembrador (School of the Sower). El Sembrador is a boarding school for underprivileged Honduran boys founded in 1954. The primary purpose of the school is to teach the Word of God with love and a genuine concern for the boys.

ACT: Consider sponsoring a student at El Sembrador. WGM Honduras invites sponsors to take an active role with their students—writing letters and praying for the students on a regular basis. Just $125 per month provides a student with an academic scholarship (account # 23493-CALL). Other options for sponsoring are available as well. Learn more at www.escuelaelsembrador.org.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ukraine: Unemployment


In 2009, Ukraine’s unemployment rate was at 10.5 percent. With approximately 50 percent of the population under the age of 25, that’s a lot of youth with spare time on their hands. Alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic abuse, and lack of jobs have demoralized young people, giving them little hope for the future.

WGM Ukraine has a vision to provide a safe environment for troubled youth to interact with each other and with Christian counselors, and also to create a base for other community-oriented ministries through the Home of Hope Ministry Center.

ACT: Share the Home of Hope ministry needs with others. Download a free speaker outline at www.wgm.org/ukraine.

Each day, the WGM website will highlight a specific compassionate ministry during the concert of prayer. Come back often to learn more and to share your prayer for the field.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Paraguay: Prostitution


Prostitution is legal for adults in Paraguay. Late at night in certain parts of each city, young people will congregate around street corners and work by selling their bodies. Young women are enticed into going to neighboring countries and, while being away from family ties, are often forced into prostitution. New cases of this are exposed regularly in the Paraguayan press.

WGM Paraguay knows that these lives can be transformed through the love found in Christ Jesus. Paraguay has one of the smallest percentages (3 to 4 percent) of evangelical Christians among South American countries. WGM Paraguay and the national church are looking for ways to evangelize and bring hope to the hopeless.

ACT: You can support the ministry efforts of WGM Paraguay through financial partnership. Consider a love gift to the field as an encouragement to those serving. Please write account # 46695-CALL on the memo line of your check.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Peru: Flooding


In January, a record amount of rainfall caused flooding in the southern portion of Peru. Thousands have been affected by heavy rains. In the Cusco region, downpours prompted landslides that trapped 3,500 visitors in and around the tourist site of Machu Picchu. The railway that ferries 90 percent of the 1,000 people that visit Machu Picchu each day was damaged in the floods, and Peru Rail warned that repairs could take several months. Peruvian businesses that rely on the influx of tourists have reportedly suffered from the heavy rains.

ACT: In order to better equip national pastors to evangelize their own people, WGM Peru and the national church are seeking to start a center for pastoral instruction. This training would include courses on conducting children’s and youth ministry, basic theological training, and other outreach needs in the community. Do you know someone who needs to be involved in this opportunity? Invite them to visit www.wgm.org/peru.

Beginning at 8 a.m., WGM’s Prayer Lifeline will feature a prayer for Peru. Call 671.7232 (Marion, Indiana, area) or 1.800.426.0846 (toll free) to join the prayer intercession. You may also access these prayers at www.wgm.org/lifeline.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hungary: Depression


Due to the prevalence of depression, Hungary has been called the “gloomiest nation on Earth” by writer Krisztina Fenyo. The widespread problem of depression in Hungary can be attributed to the vast social changes that the country has undergone since the 1950s. According to the World Health Organization, Hungary currently has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Economic uncertainty and the breakdown of the family have added to the problem.

ACT: You can be the hands and feet of Christ in Hungary. Consider serving six weeks to a year in Hungary’s church ministries. To learn more, visit www.wgm.org/gowithwgm.

Pray this prayer for Hungary:
Father, having the title of “gloomiest nation on Earth” is a heavy load to bear. We know that You can bring light and hope to Hungarians. God, we ask that You will help the churches to rise up and bring encouragement to a nation that needs to hear from You.

We ask that You grant wisdom to the small WGM missionary staff serving in Hungary. We pray that You will guide and direct as they minister to the hurting through Your church. We pray that they will be able to share Jesus to those with whom they come in contact and that Your light, joy, and hope will shine brightly through them.

I want to pray for others today in our lives who are struggling with depression. Give us the courage to pray for them by name. As we lift their needs before the throne today, help us to remember those in Hungary who are sharing those same feelings and burdens. Jesus, we ask that they will cry out to You and that You will provide care for their needs. We ask this in Your name. Amen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Japan: Suicide Rate


Recent figures released by the Japanese authorities show that the country's suicide rate continues to climb despite government efforts to reduce the figure by 2016. The fastest rise of suicides appears to be among elderly Japanese, a growing sector of the population that is also experiencing rising poverty.

Over 33,000 Japanese committed suicide in 2007. This indicates a rise of 3 percent from 2006, and it is the tenth year in a row that the figure has exceeded 30,000, says Japan's national police agency.

ACT: Missionaries and national Christians need your help to continue expanding ministries in Japan. Is the Lord leading you to support the efforts of WGM Japan through a financial gift? Please make checks payable to World Gospel Mission and write account # 26400-CALL on the memo line.

Interested in hearing more about WGM’s compassionate ministries? Listen to podcasts online or download podcasts to your computer and listen to them later. You will need iTunes to download the podcasts.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bolivia: Street Children


According to the 2001 census, 45 percent of Bolivia’s population is children and adolescents under the age of 18. Children’s rights are not widely recognized in Bolivia’s culture. Children are often viewed as objects and their parents' property.

Even then, many parents are discarding their “property.” According to UNICEF, an estimated 3,700 children and adolescents live on the streets in the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Tarija, and Sucre. This represents a growing social problem in Bolivia. The living conditions of street children are deplorable, affecting their physical and emotional well-being. Street children are susceptible to sniffing glue, consuming drugs and alcohol, and being involved in prostitution. Most of these children have been living on the streets since their birth.

ACT: You can partner with WGM Bolivia’s ministry to street children. Support Rick and Lori Lampen with a monthly gift to account # 21620-CALL. Please note the account number on the memo line of your check.

Beginning at 8 a.m., WGM’s Prayer Lifeline will feature a prayer for Bolivia. Call 671.7232 (Marion, Indiana, area) or 1.800.426.0846 (toll free) to join the prayer intercession.

You may also access these prayers at www.wgm.org/lifeline.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Taiwan: Social Pressures


In 1949, 2 million Chinese people fled to the island of Taiwan to escape Communism and find religious freedom. Today, nearly 23 million Taiwanese enjoy that freedom, but it is coupled with new societal pressures to seek wealth, power, and the mysteries of traditional religions. The Taiwanese are searching for the truth, and that truth can only be found in the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.

ACT: The Taiwanese are searching for the truth. Will you help shine God’s light in Taiwan? Short-term opportunities for serving in Taiwan are available. Please contact Troy Simpson at recruiting@wgm.org.

Click on the comments link below to tell us how you are using the concert of prayer in a small group, a Sunday School class, or another creative way.

Monday, October 4, 2010

PNG: Superstition


Papua New Guinea’s culture is steeped in superstition. Because people from Papua New Guinea believe in many spirits, they are open to hearing about Christ and the Holy Spirit, but the truth of Christianity often becomes entangled with traditional tribal beliefs. Once a person embraces the Lord as their personal Savior, they often struggle to stop worshiping and fearing other spirits.

ACT: Could Papua New Guinea be waiting for you? Career ministry opportunities are available for those interested in church planting in PNG. To learn more, visit www.wgm.org/png or call Troy Simpson at 765-671-7226.

Interested in hearing more about WGM’s compassionate ministries? Listen to podcasts online or download podcasts to your computer and listen to them later. You will need iTunes to download the podcasts.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hispanic Ministries USA: Immigration


Of Hispanics living in the U.S., 62 percent are native-born citizens, and the remaining 38 percent are immigrants. Approximately half of the 38 million immigrants living in the United States are of Hispanic or Latino origin.

WGM’s outreach to Hispanics in the United States will focus on leadership training with the goal of starting more Hispanic churches. As Hispanic church leaders are trained, they will be able to take that spiritual foundation and leadership training with them. Whether they go to another state or return to their home countries, they can use their training to plant churches and lead others into the kingdom.

ACT: This is a ministry happening in your community and likely in your church. Start bridging the gap between cultures by inviting a Hispanic family in your neighborhood or church to have dinner with you this month.

Beginning at 8 a.m., WGM’s Prayer Lifeline will feature a recorded prayer for Hispanic Ministries USA. Call 671.7232 (Marion, Indiana, area) or 1.800.426.0846(toll free) to join the prayer intercession.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mexico: At-Risk Families


Mexico is the most heavily populated Spanish-speaking country in the world. With approximately 24 million Mexicans living in extreme poverty, many families have turned to drugs, alcohol, and even physical abuse to cope with their circumstances.

Desperate families are making decisions that are affecting the family structure. There is a great need to reach out to all ages, but especially the children. Some have been abandoned in orphanages (including newborns), while others have been left to the streets.

God has given the Mexico national church a burden for at-risk families. These families need an outreach of God’s love.

ACT: Career opportunities for serving alongside the national church in Mexico are available. Is God calling you to minister to families in Mexico? Contact us at recruiting@wgm.org to apply for or obtain more information about these opportunities.

Each day, the WGM website will highlight a specific compassionate ministry. Come back often to learn more and to share your prayer for the field below.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Kazakhstan: Alcoholism


Among many problems in today's Kazakh society, the problem of alcoholism is one of the top-ranking issues. Alcoholism damages and separates families. The Apple Tree House serves as a safe haven for underprivileged and abused children who are often living out the effects of alcoholism in their homes. As the children experience a few hours in a loving, healthy environment, may they establish the next generation of alcohol-free families.

ACT: The Apple Tree House ministry shares several needs in The Great Co-Mission Catalog. Find out ways to partner with this ministry at www.wgm.org/catalog or request a copy at wgm@wgm.org.

Click the comments link to tell us how you are using the concert of prayer in a small group, a Sunday School class, or another creative way.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stockton Peniel: Violence


Stockton, California, has one of the highest crime rates in America. Residents have a 1 in 11 chance of becoming a victim of a violent or property crime. Stockton also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Gang violence, substance abuse, addictions, and transient families are issues faced by thousands of people in this city.

World Gospel Mission is investing in the lives of children and families at risk due to this reign of violence. Through the ministries of The Center, at-risk kids from preschool through high school have a safe place to be after school. The majority of these children are from single-parent families, many of which are consumed by drugs and/or alcohol and the gang lifestyle.

Act: Interested in learning more about the ministries at The Center? You can visit www.wgm.org/thecenter to see what a “normal” day at The Center looks like and to download a speaker outline so you can share this ministry with others in your community.

Interested in hearing more about WGM’s compassionate ministries? Listen to podcasts online or download podcasts to your computer and listen to them later.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sudan: Sight


A health report in 2005 stated that Sudan has more than half a million blind people out of a total population of 40 million. Undoubtedly this figure has only increased due to having no eye specialists working full time in South Sudan.

Can this trend be stopped? WGM Sudan thinks it can. Sixty percent of blindness is caused by cataracts, which can be treated with surgery, while 18 percent is caused by trachoma, a preventable or treatable disease when diagnosed early. However, another 17 percent of patients have glaucoma, which is not treatable. Those people need extra prayer support. For those whose blindness cannot be treated, the WGM Sudan team has also developed an option of providing them with talking Bibles.

This compassionate outreach provides wonderful opportunities to impact both the physical and spiritual needs of the Sudanese.

ACT: Give someone the gift of sight. With a gift of $200, you can provide cataract surgery for someone in Sudan. Please write account # 25791-CALL on the memo line of your check.

Beginning at 8 a.m., WGM’s Prayer Lifeline will feature a recorded prayer for Sudan. Call 671.7232 (Marion, Indiana, area) or 1.800.426.0846 (toll free) to join the prayer intercession. You may also access this prayer at www.wgm.org/lifeline.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AIF: Youth Suicide


Suicide has become an acceptable response to a desperate life for Native American teens. However, WGM missionaries are actively sharing the hope that can be found in Jesus Christ.

The teen suicide rate on Indian reservations has become an epidemic. Across the nation, Native American teens living on reservations commit suicide at a rate of at least twice the national average. Risk factors include substance abuse, depression, lack of social support, and racial discrimination.

ACT: World Gospel Mission has centralized its American Indian Field (AIF) ministries in Arizona and New Mexico. Consider serving on a short-term missions trip to the American Indian Field. Plan your trip with Noritta Carter at workteams@wgm.org.

Each day, on the WGM website will highlight a specific compassionate ministry. Come back often to learn more and to share your prayer for the field below.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Haiti: Widespread Devastation


At 4:53 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital. With reports of the death toll climbing to 230,000 in February, many Haitians lost their family members, homes, jobs, and sense of peace.

Radio Lumière, World Gospel Mission’s key ministry partner in Haiti, is struggling to stay on the air. As the voice of the Protestant church, Radio Lumière reaches about 90 percent of Haiti as it spreads hope and help to countless in need. This station was largely supported by Haitian believers who sacrificially gave an average of $1 per month to keep Radio Lumière on the air. Of course, that is no longer possible, as many now have absolutely nothing.

ACT: You can support the ministry of Radio Lumière by offering a financial gift to the President’s Crisis Relief Fund. This will help keep the radio station operating and provide for the needs of our Haitian brothers and sisters. Please write account # 41116-CALL on the memo line of your check.

WGM’s Prayer Lifeline will feature a recording of a prayer for Haiti today. Call 671.7232 (Marion, Indiana, area) or 1.800.426.0846 (toll free) to join the prayer intercession.
You may also access these prayers at www.wgm.org/lifeline.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spain: Immigration


In the last few years, the number of immigrants arriving in Spain has increased dramatically, and Spain now has the second-highest immigration rate in the European Union. In 2007, over 4 million foreign residents lived in Spain, including many from Morocco and Latin America.

Since a huge number of displaced people are looking to make Spain their home, WGM sees the need for those individuals to have a personal relationship with the Lord and a church body to support them in transition.

Has the Lord called you to serve in Spain with your church or Bible study group as part of a work team? Plan to lead a trip next year to Spain. Send your RSVP to Noritta Carter by calling 765-671-7204.

Each day, the WGM website will highlight a specific compassionate ministry. Come back often to learn more and to share your prayer for the field below.

Grenada: Poverty


WGM missionaries in Grenada are ministering through the local church. According to the CIA, the poverty level in Grenada in 2000 stood at 32 percent and has likely risen since that time. Many people are unaware of the fact that this popular vacation spot is experiencing acute poverty and is in need of hearing the gospel.

WGM began working in Grenada in 2009 when veteran missionary couple Tim and Diane Bennett, who had spent 21 years in Papua New Guinea, moved to the island to help a new church plant. Grenada considers itself a Christian nation, but although many attend church, it doesn’t mean they have a personal relationship with Jesus. With the Lord’s help, WGM Grenada hopes to change that.

The national church in Grenada could use your teamwork. Commit to praying for church growth on this vacation destination over the next two weeks.

Interested in hearing more about WGM’s compassionate ministries? Listen to podcasts online or download podcasts to your computer and listen to them later.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Uganda: Rural Education


Approximately 90 kilometers east of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, are the Buvuma Islands, a chain of over 50 islands in Lake Victoria. WGM Uganda first arrived on Buvuma in 1999. Most adults living on the island are illiterate and cannot speak English, Uganda’s official language.

WGM Uganda discovered that those living on the island did not have the same access to educational and health facilities as the people on the mainland. Because of this, WGM Uganda started Kikongo Primary School on the Buvuma Islands with the purpose of providing a quality primary education in a Christian atmosphere for children in this remote area of the country. Currently, 250 children, including 100 orphans, attend Kikongo Primary School. These students are in first through seventh grades and vary in age from 5 to 15.

A $12-per-month donation will provide an orphan with a good education, a loving Christian environment, textbooks, and school lunches. Give kids hope and a chance to hear the gospel. By mailing a check for $144, you will sponsor a Ugandan orphan for an entire year. Please write account # 23340-CALL on the memo line of your check.

To learn more about the Concert of Prayer visit the WGM website at www.wgm.org/call.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Argentina: Youth Ministries

Like youth around the world, young people in Argentina are bombarded with temptations and lifestyle choices. WGM Argentina wants to give this vibrant generation a hope that can only be found in Christ. “Wherever we go, the Argentine people are concerned about their youth,” shared Ron and Bonnie Gouge, field leaders in Argentina. “As we [WGM Argentina] have shared some of our projects and ways that we hope to work with youth, the Argentine people have responded positively.”

WGM Argentina desperately needs new, young missionaries to help share the message of salvation and redemption through Jesus with the youth of Argentina. Learn how you can be a part of this ministry at www.wgm.org/argentina.

SHARE: Click comments to tell us how you are using the concert of prayer in a small group, a Sunday School class, or another creative way.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

El Salvador: Healthcare


Offering preventative healthcare screening and teaching other healthy lifestyle practices while treating, curing, and responding to the physical needs of patients can change a community.

WGM El Salvador is the operating partner of the David V. King Memorial Clinic in Jucuapa, El Salvador. The project is under construction and slated for completion in October 2010 and should begin operating in early 2011. The clinic will provide two operating rooms and two procedure rooms for ambulatory surgeries as well as an area for general healthcare and dialysis. The ministry will also include a mobile clinic that will go into Eastern El Salvadoran communities to do health education, dental restoration, and health screening and diagnosis. Each patient will be offered the opportunity to learn about God's plan for their lives while receiving medical attention.

Career opportunities for serving in El Salvador are available. Could God be calling you to use your medical skills and education in El Salvador? Contact us at recruiting@wgm.org to apply for or obtain more information about these opportunities.

Interested in hearing more about WGM’s compassionate ministries? Listen to podcasts online or download podcasts to your computer and listen to them later. You will need iTunes to download the podcasts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Men's Ministries


People in the Virgin Islands enjoy the same freedom of religion as people in the U.S. The greatest need for the church in St. Croix is revival. The Christian Union Church in St. Croix is also facing the challenge of reaching out to men. Although it is globally common for women to outnumber men in churches, on the island of St. Croix the disparity is especially extreme. The church hopes that by focusing on ministering to boys and young men, they will eventually step up to leadership positions.

Short-term missions trips are available to St. Croix. Is He asking you to reach out to the people of St. Croix? Plan a trip at www.wgm.org/teams.

Beginning at 8 a.m., WGM’s Prayer Lifeline will feature a recording of each day’s prayer. Call 671.7232 (Marion, Indiana, area) or 1.800.426.0846(toll free) to join the prayer intercession.You may also access these prayers at www.wgm.org/lifeline.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Middle East: Religious Freedom


It is estimated that roughly 360 million people live in the Middle East, the majority of whom are Muslim. Mass evangelism is illegal in most Middle Eastern countries. However, Christian radio broadcasts, economic conditions, and increased exposure to the rest of the world are creating a new generation of seekers.

The Lord has opened a door for WGM to minister in the Middle East. Main outreaches to the people of the Middle East include church ministries through evangelism, discipleship, and church planting.

ACT: Scripture instructs us to pray for the persecuted church. Read Psalm 122:6.

JOIN THE CONCERT: Each day, the WGM website will highlight a specific compassionate ministry. Visit www.wgm.org/concert to learn more and to share your prayer for the field.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

T Minus 6

The countdown for the concert event of the year is underway! Just six more days until believers around the world pray together lifting WGM's compassionate ministry needs before the throne.

If you have your magazine you are ready to go. If you have misplaced your magazine never fear. You can catch the action each day at www.wgm.org/call.

See you at the concert!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Save the Date!



If you love missions, then it’s concert-going season!

From September 20 through October 15, believers just like you from around the world will pray together once a day for compassionate ministry needs on a specific mission field during WGM’s concert of prayer.

Each day, the WGM website will highlight the compassionate ministry shared in the September/October 2010 issue of The Call magazine. Join us by dropping by the site to share your prayer for the field.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gustavo's Search

An excerpt from Gustavo's Search
By Lori Lampen, Bolivia
July/August 2010

“Does God care how much I’m hurting right now?” “Does He listen to my prayers?” “Why does He feel so far away?” Over the next 20 minutes, I listened and silently prayed for wisdom and guidance to know how to respond to Gustavo. What a loving God we serve! God saw an unsaved man struggling with the pain of life’s circumstances. God cleared a busy salon’s schedule and orchestrated the need for pictures on my really bad hair day—only to prove to a searching man that He exists. That He knows. That He cares.

Saying goodbye, Gustavo was reflective. I knew God had spoken to his heart through the Bible verses He had brought to my heart to share. “Gracias, gracias!” Gustavo said as he gave me a cultural kiss on the cheek and then followed it with a big hug. “I’ll be praying for you, Gustavo,” I assured him.

God uses His people on a daily basis to share with those seeking His truth. Are you willing to be used? Take a moment to have this conversation with God.

God,
I want to be salt and light to those I come in contact with, whether in a beauty salon or while walking down the street or shopping in the mall. I am Your servant, willing to listen and to share Your truth with those who are seeking You. Please send seekers across my path so that I may be Your witness.

Jesus, I also pray that Gustavo will continue to seek and find the truth that he can only find in You. Speak to his heart and draw him close.

I ask these things in Your name.
Amen.

Trash to Treasure


An excerpt from Trash to Treasure
By Laura Coulter, Volunteer
July/August 2010

Char Dabill with Honduran kidsOne man’s trash may be another man’s treasure, but in Baxter, Minnesota, Char and Bob Dabill and their friends use other people’s trash to build up treasures that will last for eternity. Each year, the Dabills hold garage sales to raise money for World Gospel Mission projects in Honduras. In 2009, they held five garage sales and raised about $12,000.

This kind of ministry can easily be repeated. Get together with family or friends and hold a garage sale for missions. Visit www.wgm.org/catalog for some ideas on projects you can raise money for.

Gloves

An excerpt from Gloves
By Zach Motts, Japan
July/August 2010

Yet, as I thought about why I felt so empty and used, I wondered if I was just like that homeless man. I’m a missionary who is supported by a large number of amazing people who believe in reaching out to other people. So, I asked myself, “Do my supporters feel that way?” Is that what I do to them? Do I say, “God will bless you. God will bless you,” and then walk away without even asking their names? Are they just expected to give and not know where the money goes?

I would feel like a selfish idiot if I started yelling at a homeless man that he should ask me my name. However, if our interaction was more than a simple transaction of money or goods, if our interaction was on the level of a dignified human exchange, if it was something that transformed both of us, then we would care about each other, and then we would both receive.

If you are a missionary, has it been a while since you have contacted certain members of your support team? Who on your contact list could benefit from a call or a handwritten letter? Is there someone who has been faithful to you whom you know very little about? Take time to contact that person this week.

Meet the Carters

An excerpt from Meet the Carters
July/August 2010
Brad and Elizabeth Carter

Brad Carter, Spain
“I am, ideally, an independent filmmaker. More realistically, I’m a computer/audio-visual geek. But a missionary? Now that’s stretching it. Or is it?


Elizabeth Carter, Spain

In Spain, I’ll be working at a Christian cultural center for immigrants from northern Africa and doing what I already love to do—helping individuals and families find solutions to problems and learn to live better than they’re living now. I’ll be teaching Spanish and life skills classes and might be able to do some formal counseling.


Although Brad and Elizabeth are not in Spain yet, they hope to be soon. The apprehension about their odd combination of skills and how that would work on the mission field is gone, and now they are excited to see what God will do.

So, if God can find a perfect ministry fit for a filmmaker and a family therapist, what makes you think He can’t use you? God created you for His purpose. Take the next step and talk to WGM about the skills and talents you have, and let’s explore what field has been waiting for you.

Explore current personnel needs on WGM fields at www.wgm.org/go.

Monday, August 9, 2010

How does the church do missions?

CHURCH CHALLENGE

Hanfield United Methodist Church
By Jenny Shaffer, WGM Writing Intern
January/February 2008 Call to Prayer

How does the church do missions? In the WGM community, many churches have found innovative ways. The Church Challenge shows how one church is doing missions today. Think about how your church could do missions and then by all means “Just do it!”

What comes to mind when you hear the word “missionary”? Is it a picture of a holy, righteous servant of God who gives up everything to work in a far-off country?

So often we have an up-on-a-pedestal image of who missionaries are and feel that we cannot relate to them. Maybe we haven’t traveled to a foreign country. Maybe we don’t like speaking in front of crowds. Maybe we think we’re not qualified enough. Whatever our hesitation is, it creates a divide between us and missionaries.

Eliminating the barrier that people seem to put up between themselves and missionaries is one reason Hanfield United Methodist Church in Marion, Indiana, established their Missionary in Residence program. Although similar programs have been in place on college campuses for some time, Hanfield has adapted the concept for the local church.

Hanfield has always valued missions. Their vision is to be “a church without walls, joyfully ministering to the felt needs of our community, nation, and world.” To improve their worldwide reach, they created this unique way to simultaneously educate their church members and minister to missionaries. By inviting missionaries to spend a month at Hanfield, they allow the missionaries and church members to build stronger relationships.

“Missionaries can’t develop relationships with the church when they fly in and out,” Pastor Tim Helm explained. “Hanfield wants to really connect with the missionaries we support, so the Missionary in Residence program is a win-win idea. It blesses the missionary and allows our church to be strategic about missions.”

During the time that the selected missionaries are on homeland ministry assignment, they commit to spending one month at the church. They teach in every adult Sunday School class, share in small groups, go out to eat with different families in the church, preach at least one message during morning worship, and work on a special project with the Hanfield missions committee.

“This is how relationships are built,” said Pastor Helm, “and how the missionaries learn our church’s DNA.”

The church makes a commitment, too. Supplying housing for a month is just the beginning. The church also commits to providing 1/12th of the missionaries’ monthly financial support and to continue investing in the field on which those missionaries serve. They send work teams that assist with projects and ministries and that see firsthand how the church’s investment results in changed lives.

Hanfield started their Missionary in Residence program in September 2002. The first couple they hosted were Kasonaga and Illunga Munza, United Methodist missionaries to Congo and Zambia. Since that time, the church has hosted WGM missionaries Bill and Lydia Allshouse (2003, 2007), John and Beth Muehleisen (2005), and David and Debbie Hawk (2006).

Encouraging church members to visit the fields on short-term missions trips is also part of the strategic plan. Pastor Helm shared, “[one of my dreams is] that every Hanfield-ite would go on at least one missions trip.”

For example, while David and Debbie Hawk were at the church in 2006, they traveled with a group from Hanfield to explore the possibility of WGM’s assisting the Honduran Holiness Church in beginning churches in El Salvador. When the Hawks—who had served in Mexico and Honduras previously—completed their homeland ministry assignment, they moved to El Salvador. They are working in church planting, community development, education, and ministries to at-risk youth.

One member of the 2006 Hanfield team that accompanied the Hawks was Aaron Johnson. In the summer of 2007, Johnson led another Hanfield team to El Salvador. The team helped with a basketball camp for youth and the remodeling of a home for use as a ministry center. After these two missions trips, Johnson says, “You may think of missionaries up here,” waving his hand above his head, “but you realize they’re just normal people, too.”

Hanfield United Methodist Church adopted a creative approach to solving two common church problems. With just this one program, they have enabled missionaries to feel plugged into the church and encouraged church members to feel pulled toward missions.

In Mark 16:15 (NIV), God calls us to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation,” but He doesn’t necessarily say how. Hanfield is working on fulfilling that commission in some creative ways. Don’t be afraid to be innovative in your approach to missions.

Giving the Gift of Connectivity

CHURCH CHALLENGE

Bauer Community Fellowship
Giving the Gift of Connectivity
By Sarah Westfall, Administrative Assistant/Copywriter
November/December 2008 Call to Prayer

Technology has become an essential tool for today’s church in the United States. If you tried, I almost guarantee you would struggle to find churches that do not have a website, never use PowerPoint or a projector, or do not at least have microphones or sound equipment. While many churches use these technologies during Sunday services or as a jump-start to their Christmas cantatas, Bauer Community Fellowship in Hudsonville, Michigan, decided to take it one step further.

About a year ago, BCF began to tackle how they might become better partners with the missionaries they support. Sure, the church sent money every year and had missionaries speak when they were in the States. But BCF wondered whether they were really connecting with their missionaries. As members of the Body of Christ, should their partnership in missions go deeper? The answer was yes—but how?

BCF’s lead visual tech, Bob Young, along with the missions committee decided to equip their missionaries with a webcam, a small camera used to transmit video over the Internet. A webcam allows people to hold a live video chat, connecting people in a way that far surpasses e-mail or a phone conversation because you not only hear the person’s voice but you also see his face and emotions.

Using webcams, BCF now spends five to ten minutes one Sunday morning a month having a live discussion with one of its missionary families to learn more about the family’s life and ministry. The webcam video feed is projected on a screen so the congregation can see and hear the missionaries; additionally, the missionaries are able to see the congregation on their end through a second webcam placed in the church sanctuary. This sanctuary webcam allows the missionaries to see what is happening in the church during the interview, and they can also remain connected after the interview and be a part of the worship service.

Bauer Community Fellowship has been able to give the gift of connectivity to its missionaries as well as its congregation. How can our churches better utilize technology we already have to connect with our missionaries? What can we provide in addition to financial and prayer support that will fuel a deeper commitment not only to the missionary but also to the cause of missions?

In a way that makes sense for your church, consider the following suggestions for using technology to enhance your missionary interface and to give the gift of connectivity:

Dedicate a page on your church’s website to your missionaries. Include missionary pictures, links to their websites or blogs, contact information, and updates or prayer needs.

Stream your worship services on the Web and invite your missionaries to participate. In addition to using webcams to interview missionaries, your church can use this same technology at a very minimal cost to have your worship services streamed live from your church’s website.

Record a two- to three-minute phone call interview with a missionary and play this missionary update over your sound system during your Sunday morning service. Consider projecting a picture of the missionary while the audio is playing to connect a face with a name and personal story. Ready to take the next step? Post the recorded interview to your website as a downloadable MP3 file.

Give your missionaries digital cameras and ask them to share their recent photos with your congregation from time to time. Be sure to also send the missionaries photos of church events and members of your congregation.

Make missionaries your Facebook friends! If your missionaries and members of your congregation are on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/) or another online community, encourage your congregation to add the missionaries as friends so they can stay in touch by posting photos, leaving comments, and sending messages.

Use PowerPoint or another visual medium to project missionaries’ pictures, prayer requests, current projects, or contact information before, at the beginning of, or after your weekly service. Getting the word out can be challenging, and a consistent, visual reminder is key to keeping people connected.

Send missionary care packages that include CDs or DVDs of a particular sermon or sermon series. If any of your missionaries is a pastor on the field, this gift may be particularly helpful in encouraging spiritual growth and in fostering continued connection to the church.

When God Says Go

CHURCH CHALLENGE

College Wesleyan Church (Indiana)
When God Says Go
By Sarah Westfall, Contributing Writer
January/February 2009 Call to Prayer

Almost daily, we see the devastation caused by natural disasters or local crises on the nightly news. Do we as a Church simply shake our heads and wonder, “Why, God?” for a brief moment, only to go on with our daily lives? What if just part of the “why?” is that God wants His Church to actually step up and be the Church, the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to people in need?

Last summer, southern Indiana experienced the worst flooding in over 90 years. The city of Columbus, Indiana, was one of the hardest-hit areas. Several inches of rain came down in a very short amount of time, so the waters rose quickly. Many people had only minutes to get to higher ground before their homes were filled from the flooding. Most affected residents had very little time to rescue more than themselves.

The devastation left by the flooding was overwhelming. The interiors of homes were ravaged by the waters. Walls, floors, and family valuables were caked with the mud and debris that had been carried in by the strong flood currents. Most homeowners had to completely gut large portions of their homes, tearing out drywall, carpeting, and even wall framing in order to avoid decay and the growth of harmful molds.

However, many people did not have the time or resources to make their homes livable again. Although some homeowners received government aid to help with repairs, many either did not receive assistance or did not receive enough to cover all the expenses. Even if residents were able to purchase supplies, many did not have the needed skills or time away from their jobs to do the projects on their own. Hiring workers only costs more money. For many, the situation seemed impossible.

Only two hours north of Columbus, members of College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, decided that they needed to help.

“Earlier this summer, we had begun discussing how we as a church need to be ready to respond to emergency situations that come up locally, nationally, and globally,” said Jim Vermilya, College Wesleyan’s volunteer outreach pastor. “Then, just a couple of weeks later, we received word from Pastor Wes Jones of Flintwood Wesleyan Church (in Columbus) [who was] asking for teams to help them with post-flood clean-up projects. It seemed rather obvious that God was wanting us as a church to respond to the situation, so we did.”

Before heading to Columbus, the team did not know what to expect.

“Most of us had seen the brief television footage that was taken during the flood, but after the waters receded, the TV crews left,” said Pastor Jim. “So when we arrived there a month after the flood hit, what we saw [at] the outside of the city was quite different from what we saw on the insides of the homes.… When you walk into a home, seeing the water-stained line a few inches up from the floor where the flood waters once were, and when the smell of black mold hits you in the face as you walk through the door, you really start to get a sense of what these people are going through.”

On three separate Saturdays, flood relief teams from College Wesleyan traveled to Columbus. They gutted interior drywall and insulation, cleaned and packed away salvageable items, hung new drywall, cleaned homes, and took the time to talk to and encourage the flood victims. The teams went home tired and blistered, but they had learned what it meant to be a missions-active church, to say “yes” when God said “go.”

Maybe your church also wants to be more missions-active right where you are by responding to crises in your area. To you, Pastor Jim offers this advice: “Don’t just talk about it; do it. Plan ahead. Be preemptive so that you are ready when the crisis hits. You cannot respond to every crisis, but you must be ready to respond to those that the Lord prompts you, so be ready.”

Here are some practical suggestions for making it happen:

• Set aside crisis funding in your annual outreach budget, so you, too, can mobilize teams from your church to go and give hands-on relief.

• Create a list of crisis relief volunteers you can contact when a need arises.

• Have an annual Crisis Relief Supply Drive, asking each church member to bring in nonperishable items, bottled water, or cleaning supplies. You can then store the items until a crisis occurs and aid is needed.

• Research ways that other churches or organizations provide aid to people in need.

• Determine an area in your church building where you could house displaced families, if needed.

• In your Sunday service or small groups, have a prayer time focused on crisis relief. Ask God to prepare the church with the wisdom, spiritual sensitivity, and courage to act.


Is your church actively engaged in missions? I want to know. Write me at tellthecall@wgm.org.

How to Build a Church in Five Days

CHURCH CHALLENGE

Mount Olive United Methodist Church (Indiana)
How to Build a Church in Five Days
By Rachel Elwood, Writer
March/April 2009 The Call

Yes, it’s possible! With a congregation of mature, gifted believers and a desire to “plant” new seeds of faith in others, Mount Olive United Methodist Church in Marion, Indiana, helped grow a brand-new church in Honduras in five days. Here’s how they did it.

1. They viewed people with compassion.
Without question Mount Olive UMC takes a deep interest in bringing Christ’s love to hurting people. “It’s so important to realize that it’s not all about us,” says music minister Tim Becker. “It’s easy to get so caught up in ourselves that we don’t do a good job in reaching out to other people. It’s about God’s family.”

2. They offered missions opportunities at local, state, national, and international levels.
From volunteering at the local women’s shelter to building wheelchair ramps for disabled individuals, from bringing relief to flood victims in Indiana and Louisiana to organizing several missions trips a year to Honduras, the church desires to have a variety of hands-on experiences available for church members. “My goal for the church is to be faithful to God’s calling,” says Pastor Bob Dexter. “This has been a very exciting congregation to be a part of. Over a period of time, people have become very focused on how we can show the compassion of Christ to others.”

So how did Mount Olive get hooked on Honduras? According to missions chair Joy Wickline, “One guy badgered a couple other guys to go on a work team with him, and on the last night in Honduras, they met a group of street children at church. Their hearts were ripped to shreds, and when they came back, they decided they needed to do something.”

3. They showed commitment to a particular field or project.
Mount Olive had been sending teams to the Manuelito Project in Honduras for several years before the opportunity to build a church came up. Started by a Honduran church, the Manuelito Project rescues children from a life on the streets and gives them an education, a healthy lifestyle, unconditional love, and most importantly, the knowledge that they are children of God. Mount Olive has been—and continues to be—involved with construction at the project. “Anyone can go, no matter what age, what their profession is—there’s always something to do,” says Galen Clark, longtime church member who has been to Honduras multiple times.

Through serving at Manuelito, the church came to know Pastor Jorge Pinto, the founder of the project. Jorge is also a WGM board member, president of the Honduran national church, and a dynamic pastor who has founded several churches. Jorge approached the church with a vision to build a church for the Lenca Indians, an indigenous people group who live in a remote mountainous area.

4. They didn’t do it alone.
The team of men from Mount Olive was joined by a team from another nearby church, La Fontaine UMC, whose pastor is the son of Mount Olive’s previous pastor. In addition, a team came from the Honduran church where Jorge pastors. “It was so neat to have them all working together on the church,” said Colleen Hawk, missionary to Honduras who also traveled with the three-church team to the Lenca village.

For Tim Becker, it was an especially meaningful experience, “I expected God to show Himself during that trip, but I didn’t know it was going to be through relationships with people that I really didn’t have a lot in common with. But we had the same God and we had the same saving grace of Christ. It was obvious from the beginning that it was all one big family.” Since this trip in 2006, La Fontaine UMC has sent teams several times to the village and is financially supporting Amore y Vida (Love and Life), the Lenca church.

5. Most importantly, they worshiped the Lord together.
What a powerful moment, having just finished constructing the church, to worship with the Lenca people on Sunday morning in the building. And yes, they built the church in five days! And for the three churches—Mount Olive UMC, La Fontaine UMC, and Dios Es Amor (God Is Love)—who sent people to build, the worshiping continues to this day.

So how does the story end? It doesn’t! Like all good stories, this one keeps evolving. Amore y Vida has gone through some transition and is now awaiting the arrival of a new pastor to lead the church. Pastor Bob Dexter, who recently accepted the call to pastor Mount Olive, and the church are busily planning its upcoming trips to the Manuelito Project in Honduras.

Do you want your church family to be a part of “transplanting” their faith to new believers in new places? Do you want to know more about how your church can get more involved in missions? Contact Todd Eckhardt at church@wgm.org.