Tuesday, September 30, 2014

God Opens Doors: The Story of Living Word Academy

An excerpt from...

God Opens Doors: The Story of Living Word Academy

By Billie Sue Dunn, American Indian Field
July-September 2014
God Opens Doors

What happens when you are pastoring a small Kentucky church in the 1970s and God calls you into missions? Leland and Carol Conway found themselves in this very place. This is the story of how God was faithful to show them the plan He had for their family.

After Leland and Carol Conway applied to two different missions organizations and were turned down, they were a bit confused as to how God would use them. It wasn’t long until a different door of service opened for the Conway family. They began serving on World Gospel Mission work teams to Southwest Indian School in Peoria, Arizona, for two-week time periods. Leland left the pastorate in Kentucky and was asked to supervise building projects at SIS.

After completion of the building, they returned to Kentucky, still seeking God’s will and way for service to Him. An unexpected door opened. Leland received a phone call from a pastor on the Tohono O’odham reservation to come and build a church building for them. Leland was eager to help and headed to the reservation. Meanwhile, Carol remained in Kentucky while their youngest daughter finished her last year of high school. When Leland arrived on the reservation, neither the funds for the building nor the pastor was there. He was asked to replace the pastor for a while and to be the administrator of the Christian private school the church had established. The school used the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum. Leland was soon off to Lewisville, Texas, the headquarters for ACE, for training. He returned to the reservation to accept this new challenge. Was this the open door for which they had been praying?

In the late summer, Leland returned to Kentucky. He had decided that the opportunity he had been offered with the church and the school was not God’s will for them, but he was offered a job working for a small Native American–owned construction company. He rented a small mobile home for his family to live in. After giving away most of their personal belongings, they stuffed what was left in Leland’s work van, and headed west.

On a scorching hot day in September 1984, Leland and Carol arrived in Sells, Arizona. They began to attend the Sells Nazarene Church, making friends and establishing relationships with some very special children in the neighborhood. Forming relationships while living among the people was important to pointing the people to Christ. However, God was about to open a very special door to lead others to Jesus.

They began homeschooling their third-grade son using the ACE curriculum. Using the teaching aids sent with the curriculum, Carol began tutoring other children in the community who needed extra help with their schooling. Some of the families expressed an interest in homeschooling. Permission was granted to operate a Christian private school out of the Conway’s home, and Living Word Academy was officially established in 1985. The Conways now had the opportunity to meet the need of the community and use that means to present the gospel on a daily basis.

For the first nine years, school was held in the three-bedroom mobile home that doubled as the Conway’s residence. The gospel message was proclaimed to the students and their families.
God opened many doors in those next several years. He brought volunteer help through parents, WGM missionaries, and family members. More space was also provided at each stage of growth. In the early 1990s, the school moved into the Sells Nazarene Church and classes were conducted there for two years. Then God orchestrated another move. A mobile unit was purchased, a piece of land was leased, and classes began in a regular classroom. Even though the classroom was rather crude, the ministry continued with the Lord’s help.

It became evident to Leland and Carol that the time had come to relinquish the school into the hands of people who could give more direction and establish a more efficient and permanent work. The Conways contacted WGM because of its reputation of good work in education with the Native people and its strong biblical standard and holiness doctrine. Once again God opened the door. In the spring of 1999, staff from Southwest Indian Ministries Center met with Leland and Carol, and the transition was made that put Living Word Academy under the supervision of WGM. The school became Southwest Indian School/Living Word Academy. Carol continued to be involved in the school as a teacher.

Living Word Academy continues to present the gospel and trusts the Lord to change lives today.

Could you ever imagine that the Conway’s journey from their small Kentucky church would bring them to opening a school that would inspire policemen, teachers, and community leaders? That could only be God’s doing.

GoGO: God is still opening doors. Is He opening a new door for you? Be part of teaching Native American children about Jesus in an educational setting. Living Word Academy has short-term and career opportunities available. Visit www.wgm.org/aif to learn more.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Prayer Calendar: September 28-30, 2014

Your missions prayer point inspired by The Call magazine for September 28-30 is:   

PRAY that God will continue to open doors fro ministry on the American Indian Field.

God Opens Doors

 After giving away most of their personal belongings the Conways  headed west. The Conways now had the opportunity to meet the need of the community and use that means to present the gospel on a daily basis.

Discover how God opened doors at http://www.wgm.org/doors

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

“We Will Rebuild…by the Grace of God”

An excerpt from...

"We Will Rebuild...by the Grace of God"

By John Kunkle, Hispanic Ministries USA
July-September 2014

"We Will Rebuild…by the Grace of God"
The church where I pastored a small congregation of Spanish-speaking believers on the Texas/Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, faced a trial of its own. The church building, now around 60 years old, had some major structural issues in the roof. The central ties in the rafters were breaking loose and the ceiling was at the point of collapsing.

We were amazed at God’s timing in the matter. It happened, without our knowledge of this need, that a year before, God had placed it on the hearts of our WGM field leaders to request that the Men With Vision project for 2010 be set for refurbishing the Laredo, Texas, church buildings. In our minds, we saw the potential of getting other needed items repaired around the property. God eventually led us to see the urgent need to repair the church roof, and plans were put in place to have work teams come to help us with the project. In March 2012, Pastor Steve Parker led a church work team from the Lighthouse Ministries Church in Columbus, Ohio, and helped install strong braces to keep the roof from falling more.

Then in May 2012, we received Gaylen and Marilyn Roades and their work team from Winchester, Ohio, who began the tedious task of doing the actual repairs. Because not all the repairs could be done in their time here, the Lord provided a local Christian contractor who donated his time and workers to come and finish the structural part. Over the following weeks and throughout the summer, several contractors installed new electrical conduits and wiring, air-conditioning ductwork, and drywall ceiling, all at a discounted price! As we rejoiced in seeing our new sanctuary come back to life, we were reminded of God’s undying love and care for His people, supplying all our needs in due time.

Let us never shake our fist in God’s face again. Let us humbly let Him rebuild those areas of our lives that have come under His discipline so that we can be molded and shaped into His purpose and image again. Then we can truly say, “We have rebuilt, by the grace of God.”

More!MORE: The MWV project for 2014 is helping two churches in central Mexico expand so that they may minister more effectively. Watch the MWV Annual Project video to learn more and find out how you can get involved at www.wgm.org/annual-project-2014.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Prayer Calendar: September 21-27, 2014

Your missions prayer point inspired by The Call magazine for September 21-27 is:

PRAISE God for His perfect timing.

 “We Will Rebuild…”

Let us humbly let Him rebuild those areas of our lives that have come under His discipline so that we can be molded into His purpose again. Then we can say, “We have rebuilt, by the grace of God.”

Read more about the rebuilding process at http://www.wgm.org/rebuild

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Maasai Reach Out to the Samburu

An excerpt from...

Maasai Reach Out to the Samburu

By David Adams, Volunteer
July-September 2014

Maasai Reach Out to the Samburu
Five believers from Maasai Africa Gospel Church in Kenya traveled to minister to the neighboring Samburu tribe in August 2012. However, they experienced difficulties in their outreach, and “the work was stymied,” wrote Margaret Farnsworth, missionary in Kenya. But the church did not give up.

Believers gathered again on August 17, 2013. They collected donations of money, livestock, and clothing to fund the outreach, and a team of 26 signed up to travel to Wamba, where the Samburu live. The Maasai could sense God’s calling, and they took the falling rain, which was sorely needed, as a sign that God’s blessing was upon them.

After the meeting, 51 Maasai believers—nearly double the number who had signed up—began their outreach. By the end of their three-day trip, 45 Samburu gave their lives to Jesus, and 500 fell on their knees and asked God to send His Word into their villages—a request He was already answering.

Even before the Maasai team left, they began to witness God’s transforming work among the Samburu. Government officials said they would no longer have to send as many police to the village because the rampant alcoholism began to decline.

A boy with a speech impediment was healed, and when the boy spoke well during a thanksgiving service, 10 people gave their lives to Jesus. Later some of the Maasai team visited the boy’s family to share Jesus with his father, who was unsaved. The team prayed over him, and the man’s wife said, “Today is the day of salvation.” At the evening fellowship that night, the man testified that he had received Jesus as his Savior.

The Maasai team also led lessons on topics such as holiness and prayer to help the Samburu who were just beginning their walks with God. The Samburu told one of the Maasai pastors they had no church they could attend. Several pastors volunteered to travel to Wamba and other villages every week to teach them—an ongoing ministry that continues to expand into new congregations of believers.

Believers from Maasai AGC praise God for His ministry among the Samburu and already look forward to a similar outreach in August. With a goal of raising more than five times as much support, they hope to lead even more people into God’s kingdom in 2014.

PRAY: Pray for more pastors to reach out to the Samburu. The need for pastors is great, but the people and funds are limited.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Desire to Serve Others

An excerpt from...

The Desire to Serve Others

By Rudy Bazin, Work Team Participant
July-September 2014

The Desire to Serve Others
For three years, I have been interpreting for missions teams that come to Haiti to serve. To be honest, at first I was interested only in making money so I could keep paying for transportation and books in college. My focus was on nothing else but my paycheck at the end of the week. But the more I hosted and interpreted, the more God was changing my heart, interests, and focus. He developed in me that desire to serve others and not just to be served.

I was part of a World Gospel Mission work/ministry team in Kenya in February 2014. This voluntary service allowed me to live and work one-on-one with missionaries and nationals. I assisted the missionaries and experienced God’s faithfulness in many different ways.

Before the trip, as I shared that with my friends and family around me, many of them asked me one question that had me thinking: Why do you want to go there?

Later on, I grabbed my journal and began to write down my motivation and what I wanted to see happen as I went to serve.

Being a servant means to be in the service of another, giving up yourself for the sake of another, leaving behind your selfishness, and seeking the interests of another.

In the past 10 years, short-term missions trips have become a huge movement that has changed the old reality of missions. In the past, someone would have the calling to be a missionary and be supported by the church. He would tell stories and show pictures when he was back and the church would cheer for him, be edified, and keep supporting him. With short-term missions trips, we can all be missionaries and all be a part of what God is doing, both in our countries and abroad.

In the past two years, I have come to know on a much deeper level that life is not just about receiving, but also giving, sharing the very little bit that you have. The time when you feel so helpless could be the time when you could be so helpful to someone.

But what is the purpose of all that? What is the reason to serve; spend money; and leave work, family, comfort, and everything behind to spend a week or two serving in a community?

How many times has it become more about us as we serve others?

If you find yourself serving without having a reason why you are serving, I want to share with you a couple of reasons why I serve.

First of all, I serve because the Great Servant—the One who gave a great example about how to serve—lives in me and has changed my selfish identity into a servant.

I serve to build strength through honor.

I serve to give courage through respect.

I serve to spread the joy and hope of Jesus Christ.

I serve to build value, dignity, and identity.

Serving is not a pass to go to heaven. Your relationship with God through His Son Jesus will be your pass, but serving is obeying one of Jesus’ commands in Mark 9:35 (NIV): “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Act!ACT: Have you lost focus on why God has called you to serve others? Take Rudy’s advice this month. Pray, read the Bible, and journal about service. Ask God to refocus your heart and to refuel the flames for your calling.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Prayer Calendar: September 14-20

Your missions prayer point inspired by The Call magazine for September 14-20 is:

PRAY that God will lead more men and women to serve long term and short term on the mission field.

The Desire to Serve Others
Serving is not a pass to go to heaven. Your relationship with God through Jesus will be your pass, but serving is obeying one of Jesus’ commands. Mark 9:35 (NIV): “Anyone who wants to be first must be very last, and the servant of all.”

Find out more about serving at http://www.wgm.org/desire

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Neighborhood House

An excerpt from...

The Neighborhood House

By Chris Amberman, American Indian Field
July-September 2014

The Neighborhood HouseIt’s just a tidy little stucco house settled in a generally rough-and-tumble-looking neighborhood. It’s not fancy inside or out. Many people drive by it every day, never knowing it has any significance. Nobody even lives in this house! Yet God has been using it for the last 10 years to teach kids about His kingdom.

This little house, known as The Neighborhood House, is home to the Neighborhood Club, a Christian after-school program in Kirtland, New Mexico. Every week, kids from kindergarten through high school meet there to eat, play, and learn about Jesus.

The Neighborhood Club was birthed from the fear of a missionary mom for her children who had been moved to a new place and a new culture, and also the heartbreak of seeing so many children wandering about with nothing to do and no one seeming to care. The neighborhood children were invited to come to this house to enjoy games, snacks, and stories one day a week for an entire summer. When school started again, the kids begged to keep coming, and so it has continued to this day. Those original kids are now in their 20s and the club has continued, adding other age groups to include siblings and others who wanted to come. Right now about 30 children are involved with the Neighborhood Club each week, coming from every school in Kirtland.

Recently The Neighborhood House has also begun to be used as the home of a ladies group called WHO, Women Helping Others. WHO was formed to give women a positive place to meet new friends, learn new skills, and help their community through projects and acts of service.

Also, a group of local pastors are meeting in The Neighborhood House once a month to fellowship and pray and seek ways to serve their community. They planned and organized the first-ever Kirtland Community Sunrise Service held on Easter morning at the local high school football field.

Soon a sign will be erected outside The Neighborhood House announcing its presence and stating its purpose to serve the people of Kirtland. Please pray that the people of this community will welcome and embrace The Neighborhood House, but even more importantly, the Master of the House, King Jesus.

GoGO: To learn more about the outreach ministries of the American Indian Field, visit www.wgm.org/aif.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Prayer Calendar: September 7-13, 2014

Your missions prayer point inspired by The Call magazine for September 7-13 is:

PRAY that the light of Jesus will shine from the various outreaches of the Neighborhood House in Kirtland, New Mexico.

The Neighborhood House
The neighborhood children were invited to come to this house to enjoy games, snacks, and stories one day a week for an entire summer. When school started again, the kids begged to keep coming, and so it has continued to this day.

Find out more about the Neighborhood House at http://www.wgm.org/neighborhood

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Inside Job

An excerpt from...

Inside Job

By Helen Ritchie, Missionary Kid, Kenya
July-September 2014

Inside Job
Someone once described witnessing as hanging on to a person’s ankles, begging them to stop as they walk straight toward hell. This colorful description is saddening when one thinks of entire people groups who, for as long as they have existed, have had no one to tackle them and warn them of the oncoming danger. It is a dilemma for sure, but it has a twist. What if these people have a climate, language, or culture so hostile and complicated that they are nearly impossible to reach? How can these souls be saved when it would take a lifetime just to earn their trust?

Solution: We make it an inside job.

What if those inaccessible people were to send one of their young men or women to a school to learn how to be a doctor? He or she could be taught to be a Christian missionary doctor and trained thoroughly in medicine. When ready, he or she could go back home. He would know the language, he would know the culture, and he would know Jesus. He could easily share his new knowledge and faith with his people.

Boom, problem solved.

This strategy is going to be utilized by a network of educators and Christians throughout Kenya. Kabarak University is beginning a Christian medical school. Their students, along with other family practice residents and interns, will come to Chogoria Hospital to be further trained in medicine and Christian doctrine. Chogoria Hospital is located deep in rural Kenya, on the eastern slopes of Mount Kenya. My daddy is an emergency room doctor with many years of experience teaching residents. He’ll be working with the other doctors in Chogoria to train our “inside men” and prepare them to do God’s work among their own people. Is that a genius plan or what?

Give!GIVE: Help the Ritchie family educate and train doctors at Chogoria Hospital by joining their support team. A financial gift can be made for this family at www.wgm.org/ritchie.