Monday, October 29, 2012

The Wrong Landmark

An excerpt from The Wrong Landmark

By Tim Rickel, Support Staff
October-December 2012

I looked at the landmark with disbelief and a bit of dismay. Yes, it was a landmark, but it was the wrong landmark. In fact, it was in a completely different direction from where I wanted to be going.

I began to have one of those conversations with God that was not so much prayerful as accusatory. “Lord, I’m out here serving You and trying to go to this meeting and the least You could do is point me in the right direction!” I have had a couple of these conversations with God in my lifetime, and you’d think I would have learned by now.

Well, the only thing I could do was to drive a bit farther south, catch the interstate back northeast, and then continue my journey to the WGM Northwest regional office where Men With Vision leaders were waiting to meet me. When I got there almost an hour late, everyone looked at me with amazement and asked, “How did you get here?”

I told them the route I had taken and they said, “That is the only way you could have come this morning. The whole area you were going to take is under water! We’ve been listening to it on the news.”

I had a very different kind of prayer time with God later that day, let me tell you! It was much more confessional in tone. I’m so glad for a Father who is guiding us, even when we are ignorant and ungrateful about it. I want to have the kind of faith that is confident of His leading even when I can’t see it from my point of reference.

GO: Is the Father guiding you to step out in faith—to take a new route you are unfamiliar with? Take time right now to pray and ask God for faith. If that calling is to serve in missions, check

Monday, October 22, 2012

Discover Missions

An excerpt from Discover Missions

October - December 2012

Here are some of the ways you can be involved with World Gospel Mission. Choose the option that best fits your current status.


  • I would like to represent WGM in my hometown for six months to a year. If you have a passion for making a difference in your local community, become involved in the Advance Volunteer Network. Contact Kristina Gleason at 765.671.7227 or visit
  • I am a college student wanting to gain professional experience. Do you need an internship for college credit? Use your skills for missions. WGM offers internships in graphic design, writing, marketing, and Web design. Contact Kristi Crisp at or
  • I am willing to donate only $30 a year to help WGM missionaries in their times of need. The Minutemen/Minutewomen program is for you! You will receive a maximum of three appeals each year, highlighting urgent needs from WGM fields of service. We ask that you send in a minimum of $10 for each appeal. To join, contact Bill Bucher at 765.671.7217 or visit


  • I am an adult willing to serve three years or more. Through the Missionary Discipleship Program, called individuals become full-time missionaries with WGM. The program consists of one year of fundraising, training, and orientation and two years of field service. Contact Jared Gleason at 765.671.7226 or visit
  • We are a family committed to serving for a week. WGM teams are custom-fit to you and your group. Family teams are designed specifically for parents and children to travel together and experience missions as a unit. Several families can even join forces to form a team, allowing all ages to experience the joy of serving God on the mission field. Contact Noritta Carter at 765.671.7204 or visit
  • I am 29 years old or younger and willing to serve at least six weeks. As a Volunteer In Action participant, you can serve in almost any type of ministry. You can also earn internship credit through your VIA experience. Contact Kristina Gleason at 765.671.7227 or
  • I am over 30 and prepared to serve four weeks or more. The Missionary Volunteer Partner program is designed to give you a taste of missionary life. You’ll work side-by-side with missionaries and nationals, getting involved with established ministries and discovering new ones. Contact Kristina Gleason at 765.671.7227 or visit

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nice Roads, Radio, and Making a Difference

An excerpt from Nice Roads, Radio, and Making a Difference

October-December 2012

There once was a little girl who grew up like most little girls in America. She went to school and had lots of friends and many birthday parties, and her life was great. She went on family vacations where she stayed in hotels and a couple of times even got to fly on large airplanes.

Well, it wasn’t very long before Jesus got a real hold of the young woman’s heart. She gave her heart to Jesus and promised to serve Him for the rest of her life. Soon after that, she began to see things differently—looking at others’ needs. 

One Sunday evening service, a couple of missionaries from Africa spoke at her church. She thought it would be great to hear about Africa! The couple began to tell stories of churches being started, people reading the Bible, and children being saved in Bible schools.

They wanted to let people know that whatever they gave, whether a little or a lot, it all made a big difference for God’s kingdom.

That day, she made a commitment to God to help those whom she couldn’t see in Africa but who needed to know about Jesus like she did. She thanked God for opening her eyes to the spiritually hungry in Africa, and she began giving again to the couple so they could return and tell the people of the One who died for them.

GIVE: Will you consider supporting a missionary financially or will you commit to give faithfully to the ministries in Africa or other places? Many people still need to learn about Jesus and know His love and forgiveness.

Monday, October 15, 2012

You Have (NOT) Reached Your Destination

An excerpt from You Have (NOT) Reached Your Destination

October-December 2012

Before coming to Mexico to live and serve full time, we spent a week here touching base with those we would be working with. Our first day, we went to León, the city in which we are now working. We plugged in our “trusty” GPS, which our family had given us when they learned we would be returning to missionary status and would be traveling a lot.

The GPS served us well, and we got to León in good time. We spent the day getting a feel for the city. However, we had forgotten one important thing—the address of where we were staying! Several phone calls later, someone finally gave us another street name close to where we were staying and Tomasa (our GPS’s name) “replanned” and we were on our way again. We eventually did reach our destination.

That whole experience reminds me that we have not yet reached our final destination—heaven. Each day we go to our GPS (God) and He “plans our route.” As Dennis and I travel around in Mexico telling others about the love of God, we can always trust our GPS (God) to guide us. We pray that He is your daily guide as you travel toward heaven and tell others you meet on the way about the love of God!

ACT: How can you use your story in your own witness? Write the story of what God’s love has done in your life in 400 words or less. Once written, pray and ask, “Lord, who are the people who most need to hear this story?”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Making a Wrong Turn

An excerpt from Making a Wrong Turn

The journey that led to healing
By Daniel TolanSpecial Assignment
October-December 2012

Samwel was a pastor. We met in the tuberculosis ward at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya. From the beginning, his condition was obvious: extensive tuberculosis (TB) due to his seeking care very late. Lab tests confirmed the diagnosis.

Concerned that he may have AIDS as well as TB, we suggested testing for HIV. Samwel said, “Of course, please test me. However, I am a pastor and I have no risk of being positive for HIV. My wife and I have been faithful to each other. We have two children, and she is pregnant right now with our third.”

His HIV test was positive.

Arap Lagat, the hospital’s HIV counselor, a trained pastor himself, talked with Samwel about the result.
Samwel said, “This is a mistake. I have never been with anyone but my wife, and she has never been with anyone other than me. You must have mixed up my blood with another person. Please, is it possible to repeat the test?”

It was repeated and was confirmed positive.

Samwel’s face clouded as he continued: “My brother and I are very close, and I visit him once per year and usually stay about 10 days.”

With his voice now hushed and frequently breaking, he told us about his secret life. “My brother and I have often traveled to the capital city seeking fun and excitement. We never meant it to become like this, but one thing led to another, and in the last few years, I have been with several prostitutes.” His voice now choking, “I am sure the tests are positive. In fact, I suspected so, and this is the real reason I have delayed seeking treatment.”
It was an effort for him to continue, “I am so scared. Truthfully, this is really why I did not want to go anywhere close to my home. I am known as a successful pastor, but I have been living a double life. I do not know if I can find forgiveness.”

Arap Lagat spoke, “Samwel, God is forgiving you right now. God the Father is wanting to make your relationship with Him right again.” God was right there. Although I could not see Him with my eyes, I knew His incredible presence was there with us.

Arap Lagat, Samwel, and I sat on his bed together in the presence of God. We talked, we cried, and we prayed together.

“Tomorrow, my wife comes from home,” Samwel told us. “She does not know anything about this. I want to tell her everything, but I cannot do it alone. Will the two of you be here to give me strength, please?” Arap Lagat answered for us both, “Yes, this is something we must do.”

The next morning came and I woke wondering what  his wife would say.

Beatrice arrived around mid-afternoon, and Arap Lagat came to the outpatient clinic for me. We found Beatrice sitting on her husband’s bed, holding his hands. She was beautiful and looked so radiant, as only pregnant mothers can look. He was obviously happy to see her. Love was on both faces.

Samwel confessed everything to his wife. He held nothing back. In a quiet voice, she asked questions and he answered. He told her about praying together and how he had found his peace with God just the day before.
She was still holding his hands.

How could she? I wondered. The thought came to me, How would I respond?

I heard Samwel’s voice again, “What I have done I cannot ask you to forgive. I know that. I do want you to know I am sorry, and I do want you to know I love you, our daughters, and our baby.” He was sobbing.
Beatrice finally let go of her husband’s hands. She had to in order to take him into her arms. What we heard next was and is one of the greatest moments of my life.

“Samwel, you are my husband. I love you. And, I do forgive you!”

Could it be those were the exact words Samwel’s spirit needed to hear? I think so. In less than 24 hours, Samwel was home with his heavenly Father.

Healed forever.

(Beatrice tested negative for HIV and TB. Their son was healthy.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gift of Unsolicited Directions

An excerpt from Gift of Unsolicited Directions

By Billy Coppedge, Uganda
October-December 2012

 Is there anything more humiliating than having to stop and ask for directions? Maybe the only thing worse is when someone offers you directions without you asking. It always grates against my pride, particularly when I realize later that the unsolicited information was actually very helpful. In 2008, I was offered just this type of “directions.” Terry Duncan and John Muehleisen, both World Gospel Mission Africa regional leaders, approached Joanna and me about investigating an up-and-coming strategy within missions called Bible storytelling.

I found myself in Nairobi, Kenya, attending a conference on how to tell Bible stories. With almost 20 years of literate-preference education, changing lanes seemed risky for me. But by the end of hearing my first story and the ensuing discussion, I had my turn signal on.

After being lost, you find a certain relief to finally know you are headed in the right direction. I thank Jesus for Terry and John’s “unsolicited direction.”

ACT: Lots of people are asking for direction. Interestingly, whatever their education, language, culture, or economic status, they all will listen to a good story. So the next time someone asks you for directions, why not tell a Bible story?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No Matter the Destination

An excerpt from No Matter the Destination

By Joey Bocook, Mexico
October-December 2012

Sometimes I feel like Abraham when God told him, “Go to a land that I will show you.” Many people today cannot go from their home to work without something telling them where to go. However, to be Abraham and just start going takes faith. Not knowing the road ahead can be a frightening thing.

When Becca and I were called to the mission field, we were in that “Abraham state.” We knew we were to be obedient and say, “I will go” no matter the destination. It would have been nice to have turn-by-turn directions and traffic patterns and even to know where the final destination would be.

God is doing great things here (in Mexico), and if we hadn’t followed God’s direction to go to a land that hadn’t been “shown” to us, we would be missing out on far more than we could imagine.

ACT: Are you listening for God’s directions or redirection? Study Genesis 12 this week and choose to be obedient to God’s direction like Abraham.