Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Unplanned Crisis

Unplanned Crisis Relief


Don Moon, Missionary, Argentina
October-December 2015

Don and Glenda Moon serve at a missionary training center, where they equip Latin American missionaries to serve cross culturally.What do you do when extensive flooding occurs close to home? When floods struck major portions of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, a few years ago, we were able to respond almost immediately because of the President’s Crisis Relief Fund provided through WGM. Our ministry is in training and mobilizing Latin Americans as cross-cultural missionaries, but we could not stand by and just hope that those affected by the flooding would somehow receive the help they needed.

Through a series of contacts, we found a trusted ministry leader who lived and worked in the affected area. He helped us understand that the immediate needs of clean water and shelter were largely being taken care of by the government and other groups.

We found out that the unserved need was one that would happen a couple of weeks later when all the children from the affected families began to make their way back to school. Because of the flooding, all of the children’s school supplies and books were ruined and would need to be replaced in order for the children to restart classes. (In Argentina, as well as many other countries, children must provide their own school supplies or they cannot attend classes.) Many families who lived in the affected areas had few resources, and the expense of buying new school supplies was impossible along with all the other expenses they had with rebuilding their homes and lives.

Our partner and his ministry team contacted the local school and interviewed the teachers to find out which children were most likely to need supplies. Supplies were bought in bulk and were divided into packages that were then delivered directly to the families. The local church became the distribution center, with people of the church working to package the supplies. Local people heard what was happening and stopped by to volunteer.

The community impact was far reaching. In the process, WGM partnered directly with two Argentine ministries and indirectly with two more Argentine ministries that supplied contacts and information. In the end, approximately 1,000 school supply kits were placed directly in the hands of children who needed them most. Parents were extremely thankful and appreciated the quality of the materials they were given, since they could have never afforded them on their own. Gospel material was included in each kit as well as a letter that told how the kits were provided and the location of a nearby church. To God be the glory for a job well done!

Give to WGM's President's Crisis Relief Fund.
GIVE: The President’s Crisis Relief Fund is available to help with the next crisis because of financial partners like you. Your gift can replenish the fund so that WGM can act at a moment’s notice. Give now at www.wgm.org/crisisrelief.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Prayer Calendar: December 27-31, 2015




Your partnership matters. Thank you.

Praise God for ministry partners who help WGM respond to natural disasters.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

He Will Faithfully Guide

He Will Faithfully Guide


Lisette Lewis, Missionary, Uganda
October-December 2015

Lisette Lewis, missionary to UgandaWhen I graduated from high school, one of my last writing assignments was to predict where I would be and what my life would be like in 15 years. I have vague memories of writing about teaching in some interesting city. Even back then, I wasn’t entirely sure where I would end up. Still, if you had told me that almost 15 years later, I would be traveling around the U.S. and talking to people (public speaking!) about community development in Uganda, I would have never believed you. Even if you had told me two years ago, I would not have believed you.

In 2006, God called me to teach missionary kids for two years at Tenwek Hospital. I was surprised, but I happily left the American public education system. I quickly fell in love with Kenya, MKs, and the Tenwek community. When God called me back to Tenwek in 2013, I thought it was a long-term call.

I headed back to Kenya, preparing to be a part of that community for many years. I had a wonderful school year with many of the same kids I had taught before, but once again, my path curved unexpectedly. The very last day of classes, I got the call I had been dreading: my request for a work permit had been denied. I would not be able to stay at Tenwek.

I returned to the U.S., perplexed and brokenhearted. I had been so sure that God would provide the work permit. I looked at other MK schools in Africa, but one by one, God closed those doors. Even my fallback option in the U.S. was not available.

But one door flew wide open: Community Health Empowerment in Uganda. Once again, God changed the course I had expected my life to take, but I am so grateful for His clear leading that I serve a God who is bigger than any of my ideas or plans.

As I (once again) make my way through this unknown territory, I am thankful for a God who loves abundantly and guides faithfully. I am (slowly) learning that as long as I am walking in obedience, I am exactly where God calls me to be.

Make an impact on your knees.
PRAY: When God’s plans for us change, it is often hard to understand. Many who have experienced this would relate to Lisette’s feelings of being perplexed and heartbroken. Will you commit to praying this month for a missionary facing a change in ministry assignment or someone in your life whom God is redirecting? They need your prayer support now more than ever.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Prayer Calendar: December 20-26, 2015




In life, sometimes God calls us to be still and other times He asks us to change direction for His kingdom sake. 

Pray for Lisette Lewis who is following God’s leading and embarking on a new ministry opportunity. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Pray...

Pray…Then Just Stand Back and Behold What God Can Do


Linda Rogers, Team Leader
October-December 2015

Linda Rogers's work team to McAllen, Texas.It began in the winter of 2013 with a sign-up sheet for those interested in being on a work team to McAllen, Texas. But God began preparing hearts long before. The story of what He accomplished using our willing hands is nothing short of amazing. We watched what originally seemed an impossible task (to earn monies for 12 work team members) become “little is much if God is in it” as funds began to increase.
Providing all the needed funds was reason enough to praise God for His faithfulness, but other stories unfolded that can only be described as His amazing grace.

One of the signatures on the original sign-up sheet was a man who was fairly new to the church. His wife, under conviction, had gone to the altar one service after “putting out a fleece.” She basically said to God, that if a certain song is ever sung in that church, she will know she needed to go to the altar. It didn’t take long. One evening, the youth held a service with a special guest singer. You guessed it: that song was part of his program, and she was obedient.

Still her husband hadn’t gone to the altar as yet. As the preparation for the team began, God began working on his heart.

Originally, only the man had signed up for the team, but we kept praying about his wife. She really wanted to go but was unable to take the time off from work without pay. Then her place of employment offered her a new position that opened the door for her to go as well.

While on the mission field, we worked very hard. There seemed so much that we could put our hand to and so little time to do it. On the third day of the trip, the gentleman of our story received a telephone call that his father had suffered a major heart attack. We knew it was a struggle, but even though we offered to fly him back home immediately, he unselfishly decided to stay with the team, knowing he was needed. A few days later, he received a call that his father wasn’t expected to make it through the night. By this time, we were nearing our departure. Incredibly, he was able to speak to his father by phone. His family told him that his father was weakening by the minute and he most certainly would pass away before we could get back. We continued to pray and so did our church family at home and the missionaries in McAllen. Upon landing in Columbus, Ohio, this man and his wife drove to the hospital and were able to see his father. We praised the Lord and let our missionaries in McAllen know how God had worked. A full month after we returned from our missions trip, the man’s father recovered enough to go home!

Many of us from our work team from a small church in central Ohio have stories about the goodness of God. These experiences give us a deeper appreciation for the missionaries’ day-to-day lives. They not only deserve our admiration, but also our earnest prayers. After all, we know what prayer can do!

Do you want to go on a WGM team?GO: Is God asking you to serve on a short-term team? Take time to pray over your concerns and then step out in faith. Join a team at www.wgm.org/teams.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

No Regrets

No Regrets


Jeff and Christine Stanfield, Missionaries, Uganda
October-December 2015

Ugandan marketHave the winds of change been rustling your way lately? Could God really be calling you out of a 25-year career path into something new? Does that change feel uncomfortable? Jeff and Christine Stanfield have been there.

When we arrived at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya 25 years ago, we were committed to serving there as long as God allowed. We grew to love the people and the ministry. We were glad to raise our children there. Our sense of belonging and depth in relationships increased. We loved living in rural Kenya.

Then, a few years ago, God let us know He was stirring the winds of change. Jeff was already “working himself out of a job” at Tenwek Hospital. He trained two Kenyan men to manage the IT department. Many Kenyan nurses had joined the staff at Tenwek School of Nursing, making it possible for Christine to reduce her involvement. Plans were in place to prepare Kenyans to take the lead in administration and teaching.

We maintained a listening posture and actively prepared for change. We read books, visited various ministries in East Africa, continued to pray, and did in-depth Bible study. In the fall of 2010, God directed us to Genesis 11:1, where He told Abraham to leave his father’s place, his people, and his country and go to a land God would show him. As we prayed that Scripture, it was clear to us that God was leading us to leave Kenya and go to a place He would show us. In December, God revealed He was leading us to participate in His work with World Gospel Mission in Uganda.

Throughout the process of transition from the country of service we loved so dearly into the land God showed us, God spoke to us through His Word, through experiences, and through the wise counsel of others. Over the two-year process of leaving Kenya, we knew for sure God was leading us to Uganda. Our excitement in following Jesus grew.

We moved to Uganda in 2012. We experienced God’s affirmation many times. Even though it was not easy starting over, we knew for sure we were there at God’s leading. He continues to bring a peace that passes all understanding. He is revealing more of Himself as we learn to live out the gospel of Christ in a new place. We enjoy participating in transformational ministry, empowering people of Africa to connect to Jesus and allow Him to transform lives, families, and communities. Our joy has multiplied and we have no regrets.

Read Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.
MORE: The study resource used by the Lord in the lives of the Stanfields during this time of transition was Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. “It helped us stay focused on hearing the voice of God amidst all the other voice-options,” Christine shared.

Connect with the Stanfields.ACT: Take time to learn more about the Stanfields’ ministry journey on their blog at http://stanfieldblog.blogspot.com.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Prayer Calendar: December 13-19, 2015


PRAY for someone in your life who has responded to God’s call to take a step of faith.

God know just what they need for the next steps of their faith journey. You may have several names that come to mind with this request and that's great. Take as much time as you need to pray for those in your sphere of influence.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's Not about Me

It’s Not about Me


Lessons from a Ministry Team
Susan Knapp, Volunteer, with Rachel Elwood, Support Staff
October-December 2015

Papua New Guinean woman and child.It took our medical team four days of solid traveling to get to the clinic in Papua New Guinea where we were volunteering. We were so excited to serve! But once we got there, the clinic staff didn’t seem very welcoming and we found ourselves with nothing to do.

That’s a hard blow to face after long plane rides, long layovers, months of planning and fundraising, and being away from family. After a day of just basically standing around and not doing much, I’ll admit it: I was angry.
I went to bed that night thinking to myself, “What will I tell everyone who helped me get here?” I prayed and told God that this was not what I had signed up for. (I know, it’s never a good idea to give God a talking-to!) I knew God had cleared the way for me to come; I knew I was supposed to be there. But in that moment, I felt cheated and I needed to clearly hear from Him.

The next morning, the first thing that came to mind was to open the Bible and read. My Bible fell to Ecclesiastes: “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless.” Basically, Solomon is saying that you can have everything in the world—all the work, all the power, all the importance—but unless you’re following God and doing what He has called you to do, everything is meaningless. And it hit me: even though I hadn’t done much in the clinic the day before, God was working.

And then, before I knew it, that week at the clinic ended up being a great week. We became friends with the clinicians, and the barriers started to come down. Our group did some teaching on Thursday, and I taught about infant resuscitation and infant assessment. Several staff shared that they really appreciated this information, which they had not gotten much training in before. This feedback seemed to be confirmation that I was supposed to be there.

I learned that my job is to be a servant, and servants do what they are told to do. We are called to do what God would have us to do, even if we don’t understand it. It solidified my purpose here on this earth. I don’t know all that my role was or what difference it made or didn’t make, but I learned a very big lesson that has stayed with me. It’s not about me, my expectations, or the money the trip cost; it’s about listening, trusting, and then doing what God has called me to do.

Do you want to go on a medical team?GO: Short-term medical teams, work teams, and prayer teams are available year round. Is God calling you to serve outside your comfort zone? Learn how you can go at www.wgm.org/teams.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Prayer Calendar: December 6-12, 2015



Short-term medical teams, work teams, and prayer teams are available year round through World Gospel Mission. Partner with WGM by praying for those who are currently serving in this capacity.

ASK God to give work team participants grace and strength as they serve cross-culturally.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Directing Our Paths

Directing Our Paths


Sharon Garrett, Ministry Partner, with Kacey Ginn, Volunteer
October-December 2015

Missionary Maintenance Services Aviation repairs aircraft and trains mechanics for missionary organizations.If my husband, Mike, and I have learned anything from our ministries in four different countries, it’s to be content where we are. God has taken us on a lot of detours.

We first went into an aviation ministry with WGM in 1994: Wings of Peace in Bolivia. Mike is a licensed Air Frame and Power Plant (A&P) mechanic, so he helped maintain the fleet of planes. I was a substitute teacher for preschool and taught home economics for a semester at Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center. But one year later, God closed that door. We resigned from WGM, but stayed involved in missions with our home church in Ohio.

In 2010, Mike and I felt the Lord calling us to be active in missionary work again, so we joined Christian Services International. We spent two months overseeing a medical clinic in Haiti and then traveled around the U.S., encouraging churches to organize work teams. However, due to a necessary downsizing within that organization, that ministry ended as well. Once again, God directed us to WGM.

We agreed to serve in Choluteca, Honduras, in what we thought was going to be a vocational teaching ministry. This time, God didn’t change the location, but the plan: we found there was a huge interest in learning English. We wound up teaching two different English classes. I’m still amazed how God used those classes to build precious relationships between us and our students.

In 2014, my mom was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Recognizing the need for me to be with my mom during her chemotherapy treatments, WGM asked if we would be interested in working at Missionary Maintenance Services in Coshocton, Ohio, which is near my mom. MMS is the facility where Mike received his training for his A&P license. Now he trains apprentices in airplane mechanics in this place where he first learned those skills. And now that my mom has made a full recovery, I’m looking for ways to plug into the ministry here as well.

When we originally started with Wings of Peace, we thought that was where we were going to be career missionaries. When we went to Choluteca, again, we thought that was where we would be until retirement. Now, we know that the Lord will be faithful to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6)—it’s just not always the direction we think He’s going to take us.

Learn more about MMS Aviation.
MORE: Learn more about MMS Aviation or invite a representative to share about the ministry with your church or small group at www.mmsaviation.org. The facility is also always interviewing for new apprentices.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Luis's House

Luis’s House


Ben Kempf, Volunteer
October-December 2015

Luis’s family was able to move into their new home last year, thanks to teams of students from Ohio State University.Luis had dreamed of providing a good home for his wife and three kids in Choluteca, Honduras. In a city where many of its 150,000 residents live without privacy, adequate shelter, or protection from unwanted visitors, it seemed too good to be true when Luis was finally given the chance to own a well-made home.

Known as the Honduras Sustainable Housing Project, The Ohio State University students from various disciplines had been working with Luis and missionaries Larry and Angie Overholt to create his dream home. This two-bedroom house would act as a model in creating additional homes in the community, providing residents with affordable housing and amenities such as a stove and a functioning sanitation system.

Students from OSU had been figuring out costs and designs. World Gospel Mission had been raising funds for construction. A local Choluteca credit union had even agreed to provide Luis with a loan for some of the costs. Things were falling into place for the dream house, and construction was scheduled to begin in May 2015.

But on the morning of March 12, 2015, while riding his motorcycle to work, Luis was struck by another vehicle. He died from his injuries on the way to the hospital.

As missionaries in Honduras since 1982, Larry and Angie have seen communities affected by common everyday difficulties and also by unexpected ones like the death of Luis. Through church planting, community development, teaching, and leading children’s programs, their work within Choluteca brought them close to those affected by this tragedy.
Through programs such as the Honduras Sustainable Housing Project, hope can still be provided despite times of sorrow. Throughout the years, the Overholts have been working with OSU students to find solutions to the city’s many needs, with the hope of reaching their hearts. As a result of this partnership, students of various disciplines, from nursing to agriculture, have been traveling to Choluteca to provide help and expertise. In 2015, OSU sent six student teams, including a nursing team with 45 students!

Although a tragedy occurred, OSU’s team of engineering students returned to Choluteca as planned, and they built the home that Luis dreamed of for his family. Together, the Overholts, the students, and the members of the community will continue to build up Choluteca in more ways than one.

Partner with the Honduras Sustainable Housing Project.
GIVE: Help build a home for others in Luis’s family’s neighborhood through a financial gift. Give online at www.wgm.org/community-development.

Make an impact on your knees.PRAY: Pray for Luis’s family and community as they adjust to daily life without him. Pray also that God will bless the housing project in Choluteca.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Prayer Calendar: November 29 - December 5, 2015


Luis had dreamed of providing a good home for his wife and three kids in Choluteca, Honduras. In a city where many of its 150,000 residents live without privacy, adequate shelter, or protection from unwanted visitors, it seemed too good to be true when Luis was finally given the chance to own a well-made home.

Known as the Honduras Sustainable Housing Project, The Ohio State University students from various disciplines had been working with Luis and missionaries Larry and Angie Overholt to create his dream home.

Praise God for the partnership between Larry and Angie Overholt and The Ohio State University.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Let Them Hear

Let Them Hear


Leatha Jenkins, Missionary, Papua New Guinea
October-December 2015

Let Them HearWould you expect somebody who has never been to school to speak multiple languages fluently? Not in our hometown in Ohio! Yet it is very common in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. If you had grown up in the Highlands, the local dialect would be your first language, but you would also learn to recognize neighboring dialects and eventually Melanesian Pidgin, which is the trade language. The official language of PNG is English, but only the fortunate few who get higher schooling speak it fluently. PNG is the most linguistically diverse country in the world. Papua New Guineans are very oral people!

Angal Enen, ‘True Talk,’ is the mother tongue of the Nembi and Wara Lai people, where the majority of our churches are located. One of our own missionaries, Ruth Tipton, researched and wrote the language script, then translated the New Testament into Angal Enen.
Recently, we were challenged to build on this translation. Why not record the translation? Good question, but we did not have a plan for that. Neither Butch nor I were 1) extremely technologically qualified, 2) we didn’t have equipment, 3) there was no recording room, and 4) we do not speak Angal Enen. This request was going to take a leap of faith on our part, trusting that God would care for the details.

Guess what? The God who created languages is the God who inspired the Bible, and it was God who broke down the logistical barriers one by one. We had a small hand-held recorder, readers from the village, a college student volunteer from America, a blanket-covered studio in the corner of an old medical building, and recent high school graduates to edit the recording on our computer.

Long story short: now we have a solar-powered audio unit that ‘speaks’ both the trade language and the local dialect. Many people who have not heard and understood the Word will now have that opportunity. However, even those who do read and speak multiple languages have a new advantage—hearing the Bible in their heart language. People like Silas, one of the young men on the editing team. Although Silas is fluent in English, he was impressed with how clearly he understood the Bible in his own language.

Thank you all for standing by us and helping provide the Word for the non-literate as well as the educated in their heart language. When God calls you to serve Him in a way that seems impossible, He is faithful to provide the resources you need.

Make an impact on your knees.
PRAY: Pray for missionaries like Butch and Leatha Jenkins, who trust God’s plan even when the risks seem high. Ask God to bless their efforts and to help them trust Him to work out the logistics.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Prayer Calendar: November 22-28, 2015



Translation work is a tedious, detailed process. Your missions prayer point reminds us to pray for those working on the Angal Enen Bible, but you can also pray for others who are called to this ministry around the world. 

PRAY for God’s blessing over the translation project of the Angal Enen language Bible in Papua New Guinea.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Choosing between Opportunities

Choosing between Opportunities


Josh Hallahan, Missionary, Uganda
October-December 2015

Josh Hallahan disciples a university student in Kampala, Uganda.As Kelly and I began our term as missionary disciples serving in Uganda, we were ready to come in, receive our clearly laid-out job description, and begin serving with new friends. That’s when our plan and the reality on the ground collided.

Our missionary experience started by allowing us to “try out” two new ministries. I began serving as the first-ever chaplain at Heritage International School in Kampala. Meanwhile, Kelly and I were also beginning to minister with United Faith Chapel, which is now part of the University Discipleship Movement. Because these ministry roles were new to both established ministries, finding the right balance of involvement was tricky.

Outside of missionary work, there are not many other opportunities that allow you to create your own job description and sometimes even allow you to choose between two really attractive opportunities, but that was where we found ourselves.

I spent the first year at Heritage finding out who had been doing “chaplaincy duties” in the past and what expectations there were for a school chaplain. While at UFC, Kelly and I spent time getting to know the students and national staff and asking lots of questions. We wanted to see what the needs were, where our skill sets could best be used, and pray about our roles.

It was definitely an exciting and difficult first year. We did not do everything right. We wanted to walk away many times. One day it felt like Heritage was the place for us to focus and the next we were sure it was UFC.

During our second year, we began really seeking the Lord as to where He wanted us to focus our ministry upon returning as career missionaries. We truly felt as if God would be honored with either choice. Students at HIS were becoming followers of Jesus, and developing student leaders at UFC became a clear need that we could fill. How do you choose between two really great opportunities? That kind of answer can only come through prayer.

Eventually, a peace settled that for the next season we were to focus our efforts with UFC and the University Discipleship Movement and help develop leaders who will change their communities for the kingdom of Jesus. We love Heritage and are still involved there, but for now God has asked us to concentrate on UDM.

What started as two possibilities with no job descriptions has become two passions of ours where we are excited to see God continue to work in great ways. We thank God for journeying with us. Will you pray with us that we will continue to honor Him in the years ahead?

Pray for the Hallahans.
ACT: Pray for Josh and Kelly as they serve in Uganda. Join their prayer team by signing up on their blog at http://thehallahans.blogspot.com/p/join-our-team.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Prognosis: A Change in Plans

Prognosis: A Change in Plans


Dan Jacobs, Missionary, Kenya
October-December 2015

Dan and Dana Jacobs with their children, Carson, Talia, and Hope.We had been at the Africa Gospel Church Baby Centre in Kenya for almost one year, and June 24, 2013, started out like a normal day. Dana and I attended a goodbye celebration for one of our babies that had been adopted. As we left that event, Dana noticed some tingling in her feet. As the week progressed, her symptoms became increasingly worse; and five days later, she was completely paralyzed from the mid-chest down.

I rushed her to Nairobi Hospital where we met Dr. Musau, a neurosurgeon. Over the next 48 hours, Dana was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, which had grown tumors in her spinal column and had compressed her spinal cord to the point that it could not be seen. The prognosis was very grim. Our well-laid plans for the next year had now been drastically altered. This was not in our plan when we came to Kenya to take care of babies at the baby center, but God knew we needed this detour.

Dana’s and my perspectives were very different, but I believe our course ahead was the same. God had brought us to Kenya, and if He chose to, He could heal Dana in Kenya. He did exactly that! At each stage we found ourselves in, we were thankful for all He had done and gave Him the glory.
The path has not been easy, but it has been filled with countless opportunities to share about Dana’s struggle and how God has seen us through. It’s also a wonderful launch into telling about our ministry at the baby center. Through this new plan, God opened up an entirely new mission field that we were not aware of.

Even though both of us are planners and organizers and like lists and schedules, God has taught us to follow Him each day as it comes. He has given us all the strength, peace, courage, and joy to make it through each day. He has shown us firsthand that He will never leave us nor forsake us even though He may drastically alter our path.

We praise Him for blessing us with this new path that has made our end goal even clearer. To Him be all the glory forever!

Learn more about the AGC Baby Centre.
MORE: Learn more about the AGC Baby Centre, and find ways you can partner with this ministry at www.agcbabycenter.org.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Prayer Calendar: November 15-21, 2015

World Gospel Mission partnered with Africa Gospel Church to build the Africa Gospel Church Baby Centre. The center opened its doors to the first two babies in April 2006, and April 2007, 24 babies were dedicated. As of July 2014, a total of 267 children have called the center home, and 109 children been adopted into their forever families. This ministry is the focus of our missions prayer point this week:


PRAY for Dan and Dana Jacobs and the staff of the Africa Gospel Church Baby Centre.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Willing to Be Made Willing


Mary Hermiz, Retiree
October-December 2015

In 1986, Mary Hermiz arrived in Kenya to help start Tenwek School of Nursing.I’ve wanted to be a missionary nurse from the age of 4 years old. Myra Martin, a WGM missionary nurse to India, spoke at my father’s church in New York. She was dressed in her nurses’ white uniform, cap, and all. I sat spellbound on the front seat and knew that that was what I wanted to be: a missionary nurse.

During junior high, I realized if I was going to be a nurse, I needed to make some money for nurses’ training. I began babysitting and cleaning houses and finally landed the job of my life: janitor at my father’s church. I made $6 a week! On Monday after school, I’d take my check to the local bank. I’d put $5 in the bank, take 60 cents to put in the church offering, and bought candy with the rest!

By the time I finished high school, I’d saved enough to put me through nurses’ training. It was a diploma program where I got credit for the work I did in the hospital. So, this was my plan: go to nurses’ training, work my way through Bible college by being a nurse, find my husband, and go to the mission field.
During the summer of my junior year of high school, I went to camp meeting in Circleville, Ohio. One evening, a few girls from Circleville Bible College (now Ohio Christian University) came to our dorm and talked to us about attending CBC. When they started on me, I told them they should talk to the other girls. I already had my plans and, yes, I would come to CBC but not until I’d finished nurses’ training.

They left me alone, but God didn’t! I tried to go to sleep, tossing and turning for hours. Finally around 2:00 a.m., I told God how logical my plan was. Financially, I knew I couldn’t afford to go to CBC first: why, in one year all the money I’d saved would be gone! My parents didn’t have any extra money to help me.

Finally, the only thing I knew to pray so I could go to sleep was, “I’m willing to be made willing.” And with that, I went right to sleep. It was all I could honestly say because in myself, I wasn’t willing. At 6:00 a.m., the rising bell rang and I sat straight up in bed. Something had happened: all my desires had been changed! I now wanted to go to Bible college first! The change in me was the most dramatic I’d ever had, more so than my conversion.

After graduating from CBC, I went to nurses’ training, followed by midwifery courses, and finally in 1974 went to Papua New Guinea. I had every intention of staying in PNG to work until I retired.

After working about six years in PNG, the government asked me if I’d open another health center for them. After getting permission from my leaders in the USA, I told the government I’d be willing to do so.

One afternoon after returning from a government meeting in which I told them I would open another center, I decided to do my laundry. As I was washing my clothes, I was weighing in my mind the best way to open the new center. Should I move to the new center and just oversee this larger center or oversee the new center and remain at the larger center? As I was weighing the pros and cons, this thought came to me clearly: “Mary, your work here is finished.” My immediate response was, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” There was no way that could be God.

It took six months of struggle before I came to the conclusion it was God. I wrote to the missionary board and told them I would be resigning. Word got to Dr. Ernie Steury in Kenya, and in a few weeks I received a letter from him inviting me to come to Kenya and start a school of nursing for Tenwek Hospital. I quickly told him I was a “bush nurse” not a hospital nurse. I said I didn’t think I had the skills to do such a job, but I would pray.

When my term was over, I returned to the USA, not knowing what I would do. I investigated many universities to see the different types of master’s programs they offered. When I called Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, they said they had a course in community health nursing based on the World Health Organization model. Out of the many universities that I contacted, IUPUI was the only one that had a program that appealed to me. I applied and was thrilled to be accepted.

I was halfway through my program when God spoke to me through His Word. In my morning devotions, I had read the words in John 10:27: “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” Nothing jumped out at me at the time, but that evening as I was driving home from the university, those words came alive in my car—I knew exactly what God was saying! I rushed into my apartment, ran up the stairs, found the Scripture and re-read it. What a thrill that I was hearing God and He wanted me at Tenwek!
After finishing my degree (a master’s in nursing with a major in community health and a minor in nursing education), I went to Tenwek Hospital in Kenya in 1986. While God was preparing me for the task, He was also calling Barbara Pinkley from Burundi and Sylvia Finlay from England to join in the work. I didn’t need to worry about knowing everything about hospital nursing. He called others to come and fill the gap. That’s just like Him to work out the details!

Are they waiting for you?GO: Are you willing to be made willing? Several ministry opportunities are available through World Gospel Mission. See a complete list of these ministries at www.wgm.org/go.

Make an impact on your knees.PRAY: Pray that the students and staff at Tenwek School of Nursing will continue to grow in their knowledge of nursing care as well as their walks with the Lord. Pray also that they will accurately reflect Jesus as they “Care in Christ’s Name.”

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Prayer Calendar: November 8-14, 2015



For many, retirement opens the doors for ministry in new and exciting ways. Mary Hermiz shares her journey into missions in "Willing to Be Made Willing." God called her into nursing and now she continues to serve in new capacities in her retirement.

PRAY for Mary Hermiz as she continues to be active in missionary service in retirement. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Wow House

The Wow House


Saltillo Ministry Center
Mark Dunbar, Missionary, Mexico
October-December 2015

The Wow House in Saltillo, Mexico.When we first came to Saltillo, Mexico, we immediately saw that the guesthouse was barely adequate for our theological education classes and guesthouse needs. The house was not a place we could grow into; in fact, we had already grown out of it.

Our first plan was to ask our neighbors if they would sell us their property so we could combine the two areas. They were not willing. The WGM Mexico team then created a wish list of what the ideal guesthouse/ministry center would include:
  • Four bedrooms, three bathrooms
  • Parking for five vehicles
  • Classroom for 30 participants
  • Separate living quarters for hosts
  • Recreation area for children and youth
That same day, we looked at a house being sold by another missions group. We had heard that the house was built with work groups and training in mind. It included:
  • Five bedrooms, three bathrooms
  • Parking inside the property for up to 10 vehicles and additional parking outside the property
  • Classroom for 80 participants
  • Separate living quarters for hosts
  • Separate ministry office space
  • Back porch and garden space for group meals or recreation area
  • Nearby park for children’s/youth activities
After a quick walkthrough, we immediately referred to the property as the Wow House. It had everything we had dreamed of and more, and it was located in a growing part of town geared toward young professionals. Unfortunately, it also had a high price tag.

Since that time, God has worked miracles and confirmed that the Wow House is where WGM Mexico should be ministering from in Saltillo. A few God-given clues were that the owners were praying that the property would continue to be used for ministry; the owners were involved in their own building project that they called, interesting enough, the WOW (Walking on Water) project; and we received a partial bequest directed toward the project from a new supporter.

In faith, WGM Mexico made an offer much lower than the original appraisal. The owners, after much prayer, accepted the offer! They allowed us to move into the property in May, before all the funds were raised. Theological education classes and other ministries are already being held at the center, and the location is an open door to reach the younger generation for Christ.

Partner with The Wow House.
GIVE: Invest in the Wow House dream. Give online at www.wgm.org/saltillo-ministry-center or make checks payable to World Gospel Mission with account #31575 on the memo line. Send check donations to: World Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 948, Marion, Indiana 46952-0948.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Don't Miss Out

Don’t Miss Out


Sharon Hawk, Retiree
October-December 2015

Retired missionaries Tim and Sharon Hawk served with WGM for 42 years.Flexibility was certainly a key word for peace of mind and sanity for me on the mission field. It’s not something I learned quickly, but as I immersed myself in ministry, I found it to be so important.

Tim and I worked at El Sembrador farm school in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I fell in love with the ministry there. Watching the boys arrive at the beginning of the school year with so many needs, and then seeing the physical and spiritual changes in their lives throughout the year was incredible. Nothing compares to that. It was hard work, but so rewarding.

In 1983, Tim was asked to be the Honduras field director. That meant we had to leave the farm school and move to the capital city. I found it very hard to be flexible and leave the ministry I loved so much. How in the world could I love another ministry as much as El Sembrador? Packing up and moving to the city was very hard.

But it didn’t take long before we were content in our new responsibilities. Living in the city opened up a whole new world to us: the national church. We began meeting pastors and visiting churches, working with some of the greatest people we have ever met. I would have been happy to spend the rest of my life in this ministry.

But, once again, God had other plans for us. This time it was leaving Honduras and moving back to the United States to work at WGM headquarters. This move really did test my flexibility. I left Honduras with many tears and lots of apprehensions of what was ahead. Upon arriving at headquarters, I was asked to work in the Media Department. My main responsibility was helping missionaries put their slide presentations together so they could share their ministry with their support teams. I had no formal training in this area, but I was willing to do my best. Soon I realized the great opportunity I had to get to know every missionary in WGM. We worked many hours together making their presentations the best possible. I felt so blessed to have a small part in each missionary’s ministry. Those are memories I will never forget.

Being flexible is so important! If I hadn’t been, I would have missed out on so much that God had planned for me.

Surrender your fears to God.
ACT: Has God been asking you to make a change in your life? Have you created excuses to cover your fears? Surrender your fears to God this week and take the steps in faith to follow His leading. His plans are always greater than our plans.