Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pure Love

An excerpt from Pure Love
By Larry Overholt, Honduras

July-September 2012

Throughout our years of ministry in Honduras, my wife, Angie, and I have witnessed a vast outpouring of love, both from the Hondurans with whom we work and from people in the U.S. who encourage and support us in ministry. I cannot imagine getting through the tough times without the encouragement of fellow missionaries, work teams, family, and the local church. There is no scale with which to measure the depth of love that springs from a genuine heart.

Our most recent encounter with unreserved love has come from our grandchildren, Quinn and Colin. As grandparents, we wanted this trip to have a positive impact on their young lives. We were concerned that they might be turned off by the heat in Choluteca, get bored, or wouldn’t like the food. We wondered, “How will they act around the Honduran children?” Upon their arrival, we quickly realized that we had no reason to fear. Quinn and Colin immediately became new little short-term missionaries. (Quinn had accepted the Lord when he was 4 years old and later led Colin to the Lord.)

But all too soon, the end came. Goodbyes, I have found, are the hardest part of missionary life. Upon leaving, Quinn said, “I sure am going to miss my best friend, Marvin.”  Even now, however, we realize they will impact children in the U.S. by sharing about their experience here and their new “best” friends.

MORE: You can teach your kids more about missions through WGM Kids’ World. Visit the activity pages at

Monday, August 27, 2012

Others Before Me

An excerpt from Other Before Me
By Ryan Tyson, Volunteer, The Center

July-September 2012

Girls are not allowed outside without an adult male. Don’t sit near the windows, because they cannot stop a bullet. These were just a couple of our instructions given on the first day of my weeklong visit to The Center with my church youth group. This mission field in Stockton, California, is a safe haven for kids in the inner city.

The kids in Stockton have grown up in a society in which they are rarely shown options other than gangs, drugs, and violence. The kids at The Center have said “No” to all of that and have chosen to follow God. For them, this means a complete change in lifestyle. When I observed what a drastic change they had to go through, I realized that being a true disciple calls for me to change my whole persona as well.

Since the trip, I have been adjusting everything I do to focus on God. It is more than just following the rules; it means shifting my perspective. The biggest change is probably my selfishness. God calls us to be selfless, which I did not think I was. To this day, I still have to work very hard to put others’ needs before mine. This also means that I need to be more sympathetic and look at things from an objective view. From an outside perspective, these may seem like subtle changes, but from an inside perspective, the difference is enormous. This is not just a part of my life; it is my life.

PRAY: Is God calling you to make drastic changes in your life? Take time right now to pray that God will lead you to a change in perspective.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Food Given out of God's Love

An excerpt from Food Given out of God's Love
By Brent Duncan, Ministry Partner and Missionary Kid

July-September 2012

Uganda is traditionally known as a luscious green land with abundant food, which is part of the reason it has the nickname “Pearl of Africa.” But this country has recently experienced something quite different. Even though it borders the great Lake Victoria, is dissected by the White Nile, and contains many other lakes and swamps, it has suffered from drought. One may be skeptical as to how a place with such great sources of water could ever suffer from a shortage of it.

The truth is that Uganda is blessed with many great water sources. However, they do not service the whole country, leaving people who are too distant to reach such blessings to rely on the two rainy seasons.

Pastor Mugisha, Pastor Gabriel, and I traveled about six hours northeast of Kampala to a region called Soroti. This area with fertile land that normally receives an abundance of water was suffering from a lack of rain and, therefore, had sent a request for help. WGM acted through Africa Gospel Church to relieve some of those who live in the area. We wanted to not only give them food but also to provide seeds for planting, as the rains were expected to come soon.

He explained that food can come from the eastern part of Uganda bordering with Kenya, an area that had received rain. Yes, it was true that food was available, he said, but the people who lived in the village had no money to buy it. They are subsistence farmers who survive on the food they grow and sell their excess food in order to have some money for buying “luxuries” such as salt, sugar, onions, etc. If there is no rain and their crops fail, they do not have any food to eat and they have no food to sell. Therefore, even though food was available in the town market, it was out of reach for those in the village.

I am delighted to tell you that there are communities of people who have food to feed their children tonight. Due to your gracious heart, they also have seeds to plant for the expected rains this month. I write this as we are being blessed with a slow and steady shower from heaven. The rains are coming!

PRAY: Pray that all the areas in Uganda that suffered from drought will receive the necessary amount of rain this season.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stay Awhile

An excerpt from Stay Awhile
For the love of ministry

By Frank Martin, International Ministries
July-September 2012

Sharon and I went to Southwest Indian School in the fall of 1977.

One day, as I was heading home for lunch, I walked past the junior high boys’ dorm. Then something unusual happened. It seemed as if the Holy Spirit jumped off the dorm roof and started walking with me. (Please don’t think I’m being disrespectful when I say He jumped off the roof. It seemed that way to me!)

As He fell into step with me, He started to talk to me and finally asked, “How do you like it here at SIS?” I replied, “I like it very much!” By this time, we were at my door. As I reached out to grab the doorknob, He finished His conversation by saying, “I want you to stay here awhile.” And then He was gone! As I opened the door, I knew in my heart that we were to stay at SIS.

How long did that “awhile” last? Believe it or not, Sharon and I and our three children ministered for the Lord on the American Indian Field for 19 years. Wow! During that time, we held many positions and were involved in many ministries. Although we had many ups and downs along the way, we wouldn’t change one bit of it!

ACT: Love to teach? Teachers are needed on the Tohono O’odham Reservation in Arizona.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Love Your Neighbor - Really

An excerpt from Love Your Neighbor - Really
By Melanie Miller, Honduras

July-September 2012

“Life isn’t fair!”

How many times have our spirits muddled in frustration over circumstances that just “wouldn’t have to be” if life was fair. We know—intellectually—that life isn’t fair, but our hearts still long for justice.

Kevin was a quiet little boy whom we got to know through our ministry at AFE (Amor, Fe, Y Esperanza, meaning Love, Faith, and Hope). AFE is a ministry that educates the children belonging to the families who live and work at the garbage dump in Tegucigalpa. Kevin was rarely seen with a clean face, and his soulful eyes were void of purpose.

Life began to change for Kevin when he enrolled in kindergarten at AFE. His smile was infrequent at first, but he learned what it was like to hold a crayon and color a picture. Despite a speech impediment that seemed to keep him a boy of few words, he learned to read and write.

The injustice of children working in the dump meant that on January 16, Kevin’s young life was lost beneath the wheels of a dump truck as he worked among the garbage. He left behind a mother and five younger siblings, along with his grandparents who provided love and consistency in his life.

There is nothing you and I can do to rectify the “unfairness” of what happened to Kevin. But it can challenge us to face the reality of life’s inequity that much of the world’s impoverished population lives daily. How am I sacrificing my life to make life better for someone in need? When God calls me to love my neighbor as myself, does it motivate my every action?

ACT: We can’t solve the world’s problems, but we can make a difference in the lives of those whom God brings to our paths. Are you loving your neighbor? Ask God today how He wants you to minister to those in your sphere of influence.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Orphans No More

An excerpt from Orphans No More
Adopted as Sons and Daughters

By Rachel Elwood, Support Staff
July-September 2012

The relationship between parents and children is one of the strongest bonds of human love we can fathom. For these missionary families, that bond has been forged with children they have joyfully adopted into their families.

Bill, Oksana, and Dennis Brower,UkraineOksana had already fallen in love with the then–5-year-old child and went home that night to talk to Bill. His response: “Oh, don’t worry, he’ll be ours. God’s already told me it’ll happen.”

In Ukraine, it usually takes 12 to 15 months to complete the adoption process, but Bill and Oksana were able to get all the paperwork done and finalized in just three months. Dennis immediately fit into his new family, calling his cousins “brothers.” Even Bill’s wary German Shepherd dog loved him from the start.

Wycliff, Staci, Gifton, Solomon, and Ellie Keter, Kenya
Eight months after Staci and Wycliff were married, they decided together to adopt Gifton and Solomon, two brothers who had been brought to the AGC Baby Center. Their family enlarged two years later with the birth of their daughter, Ellie.

One day, Gifton and Solomon asked Staci, “Mom, are we really a part of this family?” (A neighbor had tried to tell them that they weren’t.) She asked them, “Am I your mom? Is Wycliff your dad? Are you brothers? Is Ellie your sister?” They easily understood that the answer was “Yes!”

Nathan, Cydil, Ellie, and Reni Waggoner, Albania (Special Assignment)
Nathan and Cydil adopted their first child, Ellie, from Albania in 2005. “Our hearts became even more passionate and broken for the plight of the orphan as we had a former orphan living in our home,” Cydil shared. Now 7 years old, Ellie loves her role as big sister to 3-year-old Reni, who was also adopted from Albania.

Due to early-touch deprivation and severe crib confinement during her time at the orphanage, Ellie has some learning needs. Reni is a congenital, bilateral above-the-knee amputee. Still, he hasn’t let that slow him down as he walks and navigates stairs. Eventually, he will learn to use prosthetics.

“Sure, we encountered significant fear and we could have walked away and said, ‘No, this is too hard,’” Cydil said. “But we would have missed out on some of God’s greatest treasures and opportunities to see Him work in some pretty miraculous ways.

Chuck, Amy, Abigail, David, Lydia, Hannah, Shadrach, Elizabeth, and Esther Bemm, Kenya

In Chuck’s role as pediatrician at Tenwek Hospital and Amy’s ministry at local orphanages, the Bemm family was exposed early on to the plight of “unwanted” children. They adopted Hannah in 2006 and have since added Shadrach, Elizabeth, and Esther. They were all adopted from the Africa Gospel Church Baby Center, a home for orphaned and abandoned babies.
“We know that the Lord has placed them in our family at just the right time,” Amy said of their three most recent additions to the family. “While our house is a little crazy and loud, we are enjoying every minute of it!”

MORE: Use a concordance or resource like, and search for the word “orphan.” Prepare to be amazed at how clearly the Bible shows God’s heart toward these precious children.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Born with a Broken Heart

An excerpt from Born with a Broken Heart
By Shushan Richardson, Ukraine
July-September 2012

My nephew Isaiah was born with a broken heart. Actually, he had a number of problems that required hours of prayer and a number of surgeries, including two that doctors actually had to open his chest, sawing through his breastbone to repair his damaged heart.

Although things had been explained to him before the surgery, this was clearly more than he had signed up for. He was ready to be done. It hurt and he did not want it to hurt anymore. He did not want to be strapped to the bed; he wanted to get up. He was angry and upset. His mom sat by his bedside, stroking his face and trying to comfort him with words of love. Isaiah kept responding, “No love! No love!” as if he were crying, “This isn’t what love feels like.”

I often think of Isaiah’s statement when I share about God’s love with someone and they respond with questions such as “Where was God when this happened to me?” This world has so much brokenness. God is lovingly repairing our hearts, teaching us to love. Sometimes it hurts and it’s scary. Sometimes it is so much more than we “signed up for.” But God is right there, comforting us, stroking our faces, and telling us how much He loves us.

ACT: Love is one of the characteristics of a missions-active Christian. To teach your kids practical ways to love, study the love chapter in the Kids’ World Go! Manual. Visit to learn more.

Monday, August 6, 2012

To Argentina with Love

An excerpt from To Argentina with Love
By Bonnie Gouge, Argentina

July-September 2012

“Take a piece of paper and write one word that describes the World Gospel Church in Argentina.” It was a tough assignment, but we felt that this small group of pastors needed to answer this question: how do you describe your organization, your church, and your roots?

Understanding the challenges facing ministers in general, and this group of pastors in particular, we felt that God was asking us to challenge them first in heart issues—living and serving with integrity of heart.

As we looked into 1 Thessalonians 2, we questioned why Scripture compares leadership to being a father and a mother. From there we built on relationships, asking them why God created man (for fellowship) and why Jesus came to earth (to restore relationship with the Father).

Through discussion and studying the Bible, they realized that the World Gospel Church in Argentina is on their shoulders and that they are the ones who must take the church forward, united in love for one another.

God truly honored us with His presence and His love. We were ready to go out into the world with love! In the World Gospel Church in Argentina and in your church and community, people will see Jesus when we love one another.

Tell me, how would you describe your church in one word?

ACT: If your church would like assistance with creating a plan to love one another, consider inviting WGM to guide you through a Global Outreach Weekend in which you will discover what areas of ministry your church is most passionate about. Contact Todd Eckhardt at