Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Love of a Lost Boy

An excerpt from The Love of a Lost Boy
By Tracy Dubois, Support Staff

July-September 2012

While most 5 year olds are learning to read and ride a bike without training wheels, Deng Jongkuch was running for his life across the African desert. Sudan’s civil war claimed more than 2 million lives and caused Deng to be separated from his family for 18 years. Deng is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

His horrific past started in 1987 when he walked for three months to find refuge in Ethiopia. Roughly 20,000 unaccompanied minors began the journey, but only 16,000 remained when the group arrived at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya in 1992.

The Lost Boys created makeshift families to survive, and the refugee camps provided security, food rations, donated clothing, and basic education. Deng began his schooling in Ethiopia but completed high school in Kakuma.

After living in refugee camps for 14 years, Deng’s life took an unexpected turn when he was given the opportunity to resettle in the United States. Through a government bill sponsored by the United Nations, Deng moved to San Jose, California, in March 2001 with 58 fellow Lost Boys. He earned an associate’s degree before graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in health services administration and a master’s in public health.

Deng lived in America until 2011 and now serves as site administrator at Memorial Christian Hospital in Werkok, South Sudan.

“I returned to Sudan for the first time in 2005 after 18 years,” Deng stated. “The war destroyed the healthcare system, and people are dying from preventable diseases. This tragic situation inspires me to be part of the change in Sudan. I am showing them love by praying for them and taking care of their needs.”

MORE: Watch the docu-mentary God Grew Tired of Us to learn more about the Lost Boys of Sudan and to see firsthand how love helped them survive.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Beep, Beep!

An excerpt from Beep, Beep!
By Minda Kleman, Honduras

July-September 2012

As I approached a curve, I met a car coming at me head-on in my lane while passing another vehicle. I immediately moved to the right as far as I could on the narrow shoulder. As the car squeezed by, the driver beeped his horn twice as he passed me.

Thirty years ago, without much understanding of the culture, I would have thought or even said out loud, “What nerve to honk at me after nearly pushing me off the road!” But having lived a good number of years in Honduras, where car horns are liberally used, I have learned to discern the meaning of different kinds of beeps in different kinds of situations. On this occasion, it took me only a second to process that particular “Beep, beep!” I knew immediately that the driver was saying thanks for getting over. Of course, at the same time, I was thinking he should be saying, “Thank you for getting over."

As I meditated on what had happened, I was reminded of how important discernment is for a missionary. Not only do missionaries need discernment on the road, we need discernment in understanding all the words and actions of the people with whom we work. And just as important, we need discernment in our responses to each of them.
PRAY: Pray that WGM mission-aries, like Minda, will have discernment when sharing God’s love in a foreign culture.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Love in Soccer Cleats

An excerpt from Love in  Soccer Cleats
By Tracy Dubois, Support Staff, with Gerson and Betsy Tejeda, MexicoJuly-September 2012

Carmen (name changed for privacy) woke up and wondered how she was going to feed her family. Her two children also needed new shoes and clothes, but she didn’t have the money. She was a new Christian and was feeling discouraged as she walked down her street in McAllen, Texas.

Gerson, who was born and raised in Bolivia, knows about poverty. He knows what it feels like to want new soccer cleats, and he knows what it feels like to be hungry.

The Lord also prompted Gerson to ask Carmen if she needed any rice or clothing.
“God sent you, didn’t He?” Carmen asked. “I was praying this morning because I didn’t have food to put on the table.”

“We realized that we can have all our programs and all our projects, but what really touches people is when we meet them where they are,” shared Betsy Tejeda. “They aren’t going to listen to the gospel until we feed them and clothe them and meet their needs."

ACT: With the help of a local Christian radio station and food and clothing donations from churches around the States, Gerson and Betsy want to start a clothes closet at Taylor Community Center. Want to help? Contact Gerson and Betsy at wgm@wgm.org to show Christ’s love in McAllen.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Blessings of a Work Trip

An excerpt from The Blessings of a Work Trip
By Gary Knox, Men With Vision
July-September 2012

A few years ago, I had an experience that totally convinced me that the blessings received as a result of a work trip come in many ways, at unexpected times, and never end.

In 1992, I led a work team to Paraguay. Much was accomplished on the trip, but the true highlight for me occurred at a Sunday evening church service. As we were waiting for the service to begin, I scanned the sanctuary and soon caught the eye of a little girl sitting across the aisle. I smiled, she smiled, and soon she was sitting next to me. Her name is Fabiola. She was 5 years old and as cute as cute can be.

Following the service, I met her parents and found out they were very active in the ministry of the church. I also found out that she and I have something important in common: we share June 29 as our birthday. Since then, we have stayed in contact through birthday cards, letters, and small gifts.

In 2004, I returned to Paraguay and was delighted when Fabiola joined our team and we were able once again to spend time together. Our communication abilities had improved and we were blessed with a joint birthday party her parents had for us. She was celebrating her 18th birthday, and I was celebrating, well, another year.

Fast forward to 2007. No, not another trip to Paraguay (regrettably), but a blessing some 15 years in the making. It happened this way:

While searching for a suitable container in which to ship an odd-shaped item I had sold on eBay, I came across an old suitcase that I had used during my trip to Paraguay in 2004. It was the perfect size. I worked on packing the item, and, in the process, a piece of paper fell out of a small pocket along the inner edge of the suitcase. It was a note from Fabiola. The note said, “1 Corinthians 15:58, Love, Fabiola.” I stuck the paper in my pocket, finished packing the item, and began to get ready for a meeting at the church.

The meeting was one that I really didn’t want to go to because I “knew” (truly led by the Spirit) I would have to take a stand on a subject that the rest of those at the meeting would not agree with. I was tempted to stay home, but I simply could not.

As I had anticipated, my point of view was not popular, but circumstances since have assured me beyond a doubt that it was the right thing to do. A few days later, I came across the note from Fabiola and looked up the verse. It says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (NIV). Wow! That was exactly what I needed!

God blessed me when I met Fabiola. God has blessed me through our communications since.

ACT: Do you want a blessing? Then go on a work trip. To schedule your work team, contact Noritta Carter at 765.671.7204 or teams@wgm.org. Teams travel year round.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Honor your Father and Mother

An excerpt from Honor Your Father and Your Mother
By Rachel Powdrill, WGM Partner
July-September 2012

Remember learning the Ten Commandments when you were a child? For those of us who grew up in the church, we were taught from a very young age that these were God’s standard for all Christians. However, the commandment “Honor your father and your mother” is often relegated to children’s lessons or pointed out to teenagers.

This commandment is given to us for the lifetime of our parents, not just when we live under their roof as children or teenagers.

Generations are living longer due to medical advancements. Therefore, there is a greater need for more care for the elderly in their latter years. Often, missionaries are faced with the dilemma of needing to return home to care for aging parents. Sam and I have been in this position for almost five years.

We could have said to our needful parents, “We are doing good by spending our lives on the mission field.” Although we were dedicated to the “temple” (for us, the mission field), Jesus desired us to live in obedience by caring for our parents.

We definitely grieved over the loss of serving overseas in ministry. When missions has been your entire life and you leave it all behind, a huge amount of loss floods your being. We have grieved as our parents have aged and lost their memories and ability to communicate. But Jesus still whispers, “Honor your father and your mother.”

ACT: Do you know someone who is a caregiver for an elderly spouse or parent? Give them a call or send an encouraging note today, thanking them for their loving service.

Monday, July 9, 2012

No Blessing Lost

An excerpt from No Blessing Lost

Sharing love on a missions trip
By Victoria Henderson and Alexandra Keister, Work Team Members
Photographs by Jer Nelson
July-September 2012

Our work team of nine seemed an unlikely group. Our ages ranged from 11 to 63 and our backgrounds were varied. Most of us met as strangers, but 18 days later, we parted as friends who had shared an unforgettable time on the mission field of Kenya.

Kenya is littered with many tragedies. Due to poverty and AIDS, many Kenyan children have been orphaned or abandoned. Our group visited the town of Salgaa, where prostitution is rampant.
The good news that Jesus Christ changes lives is penetrating the dark places of Kenya, thanks to Christians who are sharing their faith within their culture. Two of the tireless workers for Christ our team met were Staci Keter, director of the Africa Gospel Church Baby Center; and Meshack Habib, senior pastor of Ngata Africa Gospel Church. Both were inspiring in their passion for their ministries, their knowledge of their mission field, and their seemingly unending energy to fulfill their calling.

ACT: WGM teams are custom-fit for you and your group. Most teams minister on the field for one to two weeks. Are you ready to put love into action?

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Business of Miracles

An excerpt from The Business of Miracles

Jesus revealing His love to His people

By Dr. Jan Grzeszkowiak, Volunteer, with Lizz Bramble, Volunteer
July-September 2012
The Business of Miracles
Have you ever thought about how God uses His supernatural powers of conversion and healing to go hand-in-hand with the wonders of modern medicine? Let me tell you the miraculous story of Tapnyonbi Kipkemoi Borowo and how the Lord provided her with whole-patient care.

After arriving at Tenwek, we traveled with a mobile eye clinic to the village of Dikirr, about two hours away. More than 70 people were already lined up, waiting for us outside the local health center, which was nothing more than a rough concrete block house. These people were eager to receive the medical help we could give.

Earlier that morning, before we arrived in Dikirr, the Lord spoke to my heart and revealed He wanted to heal a deaf person that day. After sharing the gospel message, I asked the large group if anyone among them was deaf. All fingers pointed to an elderly lady sitting under a tree. She was known to many in the village because of her deafness. Richard and I laid hands on Tapnyonbi Kipkemoi Borowo and commanded the spirit of deafness to leave her body and asked God to completely restore her hearing.

As soon as the prayer was finished, a surprised Tapnyonbi announced with joy that she could hear again. Everyone who witnessed the miracle was astonished at what the Lord had done. Jesus came once again and revealed His love and power to His people.

Our God is in the business of miracles. He performs them every day and everywhere; we just aren’t always looking for them. Praise to the One who healed a woman’s deafness and poor vision and her soul in the same moment! May we not forget to look for God’s daily miracles in our lives.

ACT: Share with others the amazing ministries and miracles that are happening at Tenwek Hospital. Go to www.wgm.org/outlines for a speaker outline about Tenwek and other WGM ministries.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

President's Perspective: The Call to the Abandonment of Love

The Call to the Abandonment of Love

By Hubert Harriman, President
July-September 2012

John Wesley said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon earth.”

If the world will sometimes give themselves with such abandonment to certain causes, God’s people ought to be at the front of the line in complete abandonment for greater causes. We shouldn’t have to coax believers into missions. They ought to pounce on divine opportunities like a dog on a bone. Why don’t we?

Does the love of Christ dominate you? As you read through The Call, will you answer the call to the abandonment of love? To that end I pray! If we will, we can, as Wesley said, “shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon earth.”

ACT: Have you become too self-seeking? This is the time to make it right. Spend time in prayer with the Father. Return those things that are rightfully His and seek the call to the abandonment of love.