Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Building the Missionary Training Center

Building the Missionary Training Center

Shannon Hawk, Support Staff
October-December 2015

Progress Report: 2015 MWV Annual ProjectWe were told it might be wet and muddy, but nothing that a pair of boots couldn’t handle. Or not, I thought, as I surveyed the flooded building site. I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, helping start construction on the 2015 Men With Vision annual project—to build a training center for Latin American missionaries. Classes were going to start in three months. The center had been given land to build on in a remote area of the river delta just outside of Buenos Aires, and it was accessible only by boat.

In January I met Don Moon (WGM missionary); his brother John; John’s wife, Jan; and their friend Tim in Argentina. Tito, the director of the training center, was also going to work with us all week. John had a lot of construction experience, so I felt good about our small team. That was before I saw where we would be working.

The first day of work did not start well. The long plane ride had caused considerable back pain for John. He was unable to stand or walk for more than a few moments, so we had no choice but to begin the project without him. After a 45-minute car ride, we arrived at the river where a small boat picked us up, two at a time. Tidal flooding is common in that area, but none of us, not even the locals, were prepared for the eight-foot increase.

Guillermo and Manuel, two missionaries in training, waded up to greet us. They had been living on site for the last few weeks in a small shack on stilts along the river. From the dock, it was a long walk through knee-deep, muddy water to the work site. Every step was a challenge. Whatever plan or other preconceived idea of progress I had quickly disappeared along with the idea of working in dry clothes. The building was being constructed on a raised platform and the floor frame was already finished—a tremendous feat in itself, working in these conditions.

At the end of the first day, as I was trudging back through the water to the dock, I felt very frustrated. We had accomplished very little; we were a man down; and we had only four more days to put up walls; build trusses; and train Tito, Guillermo, and Manuel so they could continue framing the next building, all while working in the middle of a swamp an hour and a half away from the nearest supply store.

That night as I laid in my bed telling God why this project was doomed for failure and that no one in their right mind would consider building anything on this particular piece of ground, it sank in. This was not my project nor was it Don’s, Tito’s, or even WGM’s. We could have prepared for six months and still not been ready for all the challenges we were facing. This was God’s project. It wasn’t up to me whether this project was going to succeed; that was up to God. My job was to be obedient and do the very best I could with the circumstances we were given. By the grace of God, we framed the walls, built and set the trusses, and put all the metal on the roof before we left.

Partner with the 2015 MWV Annual Project.
ACT: MWV has committed to raise $40,000 and send volunteer labor to build the training center. Learn how you can partner with this project at

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Prayer Calendar: October 25-31, 2015

Each year MWV supports an annual project that focuses on a specific ministry on one of WGM’s fields. The project is supported through prayer, finances, and sweat as members of MWV pray for the project and the missionaries who spearhead the work; collect offerings from chapters, retreats, rallies, etc.; and provide hands-on assistance through WGM teams. In 2015, the Cross- Cultural Missionary Training Center was chosen as the annual project. This project is the inspiration for this week's prayer point.

Pray for safety for the Men With Vision teams who will be travelling to Argentina to work on the Cross-Cultural Missionary Training Center near Buenos Aires.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Had I Failed My Purpose?

Had I Failed My Purpose?

God’s Ministry Plan May Look Different
Meg Rambo, Missionary, Uganda and Congo
October-December 2015

Meg Rambo used Bible Storytelling to teach the Bible to a Ugandan pastor's wife.Before my feet ever hit Ugandan soil, I would have told you that my ministry was to train pastors’ wives. I had a burden to see these women get the tools to minister to the women in their churches in a powerful way. These women have a lot of potential to have great
influence, but they have had no training.

Once life in Uganda began, my ministry looked different from what I thought it would. Scott was busy with trainings and curriculum. I was busy cleaning up toys and cooking. Scott was traveling. I was grocery shopping. Scott was working on a new oral approach to Bible study called Bible Storying. I was reading lots of stories to my boys.

Not bad—just not what I thought it would be. I looked for opportunities for ministry. I had become good friends with a woman named Regina. I asked her if we could do a weekly Bible study. She agreed and I gave her some scripture to read. The first time we got together, I asked her what she had learned from her reading. She said, “I read it.” I quickly realized that although she could read, she was not “getting it.”

I asked Scott about it and he suggested I try Bible Storying with her, which is basically telling Bible stories in a compelling way and asking questions that help unpack the text. We began with the story of Mary and Martha, and then continued doing other stories regularly. Regina grew in amazing ways. I loved seeing this woman, who could read but not understand the Bible, blossom into a woman who could really dig into the truth of God’s Word.

After about a year, I started to feel frustrated that I never got to work with pastors’ wives. I felt as if I had failed at my purpose. But God quickly spoke into my heart. He reminded me that Regina was married to a pastor. Her husband, Stephen, was not one of the pastors Scott worked with, but she was still a pastor’s wife! Isn’t God good?

I asked Regina about her ministry and how I could help. She told me that each story we did together she shared with the ladies in her church. She was taking the Word of God and using it. My ministry was not to a group of wives, but to one. My ministry was not in structured seminars and trainings, but over a cup of tea. I was thrilled to see that God was faithful to the calling He had put in my heart, even though it looked different from how I had planned it.

Partner with the Rambos.
GIVE: Help the Rambos continue the ministry of Bible Storying in East Africa by partnering with them financially through a monthly gift. Give online at

Learn more about Bible Storytelling.MORE: Visit to learn more about Bible Storytelling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Challenge of Change

The Challenge of Change

Billie Sue Dunn, Missionary, American Indian Field
October-December 2015

The Challenge of ChangeLet me make it clear from the beginning: I do not like change. However, flexibility is very important in a missionary’s life.

Change in ministry can be a challenge. God gives the courage to face each change and the assurance that He is with us. In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells us, “I know the plans I have for you.”

When God called me to be a missionary teacher, I believed that I would go to the mission field and teach first-grade missionary kids until I retired. Little did I know that God had a better plan. That plan included teaching MKs in a one-room school, teaching kindergarten in the morning and high school classes in the afternoon, becoming a school principal, and, now, serving as the field treasurer on the American Indian Field.

Not only did I have to be flexible with my assignments, but also with my field of service. Moving from Bolivia, South America, to Phoenix, Arizona, was a big change. Moving from a humid, tropical climate to a hot, dry climate was interesting to say the least. Did God change His mind with His plans for my life? No, I don’t think so. Instead, He used each task as a step to help me become a willing, obedient servant. The challenge of change was all part of His plan. I wish I could say that there was no reluctance on my part in each change. Still, with prayer and His Word as my guide, I have faced each challenge with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Has changing from being a teacher to a treasurer been a trial? I have felt that way at times. After training to be an educator and not an accountant, I have seen God as the Master Teacher. Depending on Him shows me that He is in control all the time. God does not waste what we learn. Many of the leadership skills that I gained as a teacher and principal also apply to the office of treasurer.

Change has challenges, but we serve a God who gives us the grace to handle them. There is no greater joy than being in the center of His will.

Do you want to go to the American Indian Field?
GO: Is God calling you to serve outside your comfort zone? The American Indian Field has several short-term opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, a bookkeeper, or something else. God can use you to impact His kingdom. Join a team at

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Prayer Calendar: October 18-24, 2015

Change in ministry can be a challenge. God gives the courage to face each change and the assurance that He is with us. In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells us, “I know the plans I have for you.” Please keep that in mind as you focus on this week's missions prayer point for October 18-24:

PRAY for missionaries like Billie Sue Dunn who are serving in areas that are outside their comfort zones.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Guitar, the Bible, and Jesus

Steve and Debbie Cartwright, Missionaries, American Indian Field
October-December 2015

A Guitar, the Bible, and JesusMark* didn’t really stand out as someone likely to make something of himself. He was one of over 250 people who took the Victory Guitar Outreach class in a series of eight-week courses over a couple years at Thwajik Kee—The Healing House, which is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center on the Gila River Indian Community south of Phoenix, Arizona. Probably more than 90 percent of those people returned to rehab at least once, many over and over again. Their futures didn’t often look very hopeful. The “plan” was to teach guitar (and Bible) to the residents and give them a skill they could draw on in times of trouble and temptation, as well as to give them hope of a better future through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

One thing that was not part of the plan was getting people to attend our church. The rehab center was in a different district of the reservation than Siloam Church. Also, the people in the rehab center came from many different tribal backgrounds from all over the country, not just the Gila River Indian Community.

But Mark found our church anyway because of the connection. He was looking for a place he could play his guitar. Steve didn’t even remember him, but Mark remembered Steve. He was no longer a rehab patient—he was a rehab worker, now helping other addicts to overcome their addictions. He began to attend church faithfully, playing with our “guitar choir” and often singing special songs and giving testimonies of how God was helping him.

When the opportunity came for Steve to teach a new Victory Guitar Outreach class in Sacaton, on the other side of the reservation, Mark asked if he could help. This was such a blessing! Teaching guitar to a large group of people without assistance is always a challenge, and Mark was excellent help. The biggest blessing was when Steve encouraged Mark to do more than just help with the guitar part—that he could teach one of the Bible lessons, too. Although a little nervous, Mark did a great job and has realized that he would be able to teach the entire eight-week course on his own if he ever had the opportunity.

As far as this life touched by God—our “plan” was okay, but God’s reality was much better!

*Name has been changed.

Partner with Victory Guitar Outreach.
GIVE: Do you want to be a part of Victory Guitar Outreach? A gift of $25 will provide all the printed materials for one student and $175 will provide both a guitar and materials for one student. Send gifts with #21723 written in the memo line to: World Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 948, Marion, IN 46952.

Make an impact on your knees.PRAY: Please pray for students to take what they have learned through Victory Guitar Outreach and practice to get better. Pray also that they will use their new found music skills as a ministry.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Prayer Calendar: October 11-17, 2015

God is using Steve Cartwright, WGM missionary, to share the gospel through guitar lessons. God can use any skill you may have for his kingdom. What talent are you blessed with that God can use? 

PRAISE God for the impact that Victory Guitar Outreach has had in the Gila River Indian Community.

Friday, October 9, 2015

"Wait!" and "Walk!"

“Wait!” and “Walk!”

Hubert Harriman, President
October-December 2015

"Wait!" and "Walk!"Have you ever taken little children to something that has piqued their excitement? In their desire to get to their promised goal, they can get out of control at the speed of light. Once you’ve lost control, everything goes crazy. They start running here and there, way ahead of you and your voice, totally oblivious to the two most important words to ever come out of your mouth: “Wait!” and “Walk!” Children can be a danger to themselves and to everything around them when they do not listen to someone in charge.

Probably one of the most popular promises in God’s Word today is Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you…to prosper you…to give you a future.…” That piques our excitement, and we go after it with wild determination. Sadly, all too many people have already determined what this verse means for their lives. Rather than waiting on the Lord and walking with Him, they circumvent the Master plan. No wonder God wraps His promises with the restraint of “wait” and the discipline of “walk.” Do you know how difficult this is to anyone driven by their own agenda? But unless we know the work of God’s “wait” in our hearts and the wonder of God’s “walk” in our lives, we will forever be driven by our own agenda. We are a danger to ourselves and the work of God.

The amazing beauty of waiting and walking in harmony with God’s heart is the sudden moment of manifestation of God’s plan that always comes. It will take your breath away every time, and it’s always the best thing that ever happened.

A word in the stories of Scripture that has always given me hope in the long waits of life is the word “suddenly.” Walk with this word through the Bible and you’ll quickly learn that God has never removed Himself from time and space. There are occasions when He pounces on it like a lion—suddenly—and out of nowhere His plan is in full view and full play. As much as this is true in the political and cosmic sense, this is also true in the personal sense. He is alert, active, and on the move for us. How I thank God for the “suddenlys” that gave new, much-needed direction to my life. I have always been glad that He put the “wait” and the “walk” in my relationship with Him, allowing His ways to be known. These times became the best thing that ever happened to me.

In this issue, we challenge you to know the plans God has for you, but to first seek His kingdom and submit to His righteousness. Read the stories and let God speak to you as to His place and purpose in your life. Wait! Walk! Who knows where it will take you? Suffice it to say, the best thing that can ever happen to any of us is to die to ourselves—to our own agenda. When it’s finally and truly about seeking His kingdom and His righteousness—wherever that may take us—the fruit is good, and the joys are eternal.

Share The Call.
ACT: Do you know someone who is in a “wait” and “walk” period in their life and may need some encouragement? Share this issue with them for free at

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let God Drive

Let God Drive

Ethan Batschelet, Missionary, Honduras
October-December 2015

Let God DriveThe Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter on the road? Well, like most missionaries in their long travels, I have. I am from Iowa and, for part of my homeland ministry assignment in the United States, I spent time with supporters in Oregon. At the end of my time there, my uncle flew to Portland and we drove home to Iowa together. We were in a bit of a rush due to other commitments back home, so we had to drive throughout the night. I was convinced that I was going to make it all night driving us home (yeah, right). About an hour into Wyoming, my uncle started nudging me and telling me that I had been swerving. He had noticed that despite all of the sugary candy and pop we had consumed, I was tired. But I didn’t want to quit driving; I just wanted to keep going. However, out of what was most likely fear for our lives, he convinced me to pull over and he took over driving through Wyoming and South Dakota. It wasn’t until I trusted my uncle to handle it and give me a rest did the situation become less dangerous.

It’s the same with the Lord sometimes. We aren’t always willing to pull over and let Him handle it when we most need to.

Five years ago, I began my God-led journey with WGM by serving as a volunteer in the island nation of Grenada. But as happens many times in our lives, God had other plans. I found out that what had been planned as three months of service in Grenada was actually going to be six weeks of service in Grenada and six weeks in Honduras. I learned that I was going to have to leave Grenada, a country with almost no violent crime, to go to what is known as the most violent country on earth instead. I began doubting the Lord and His plans for me in missions.

That was the first time I came across Deuteronomy 31:8 as a source of encouragement. I’m a planner. I like everything planned out in advance so as to have at least some idea of what is coming. I like to take care of things myself. Needless to say, that isn’t so easy on the mission field. I needed to learn flexibility.

The Lord brought me from one country I loved to another country that I wasn’t very open to accepting initially. Little did I know that He would take that country I didn’t want to accept and turn it into my home. Sometimes we have to let go of the wheel and let God drive.

In this Deuteronomy passage, the Lord was reassuring and strengthening Joshua before he took charge of the Israelites as they were about to head into the Promised Land. He is always there to reassure and strengthen us as we are about to take a leap of faith. Despite all of the difficulties or nervous reactions provoked by big change, He will take care of us no matter what.

Study Deuteronomy 31.
ACT: Do you know someone who is struggling with letting God take the “wheel” in their life? Share this story with them and take time to read and study Deuteronomy 31 together.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Prayer Calendar: October 4-10, 2015

For those of you who serve in children's ministries you know that it takes planning, creativity, and quite a bit of patience to speak truth into the lives of those who still have small attention spans. This prayer point is for Honduras, but you can expand it to pray for others you know who are also in  children's ministry. 

PRAY for Ethan Batschelet to have an easy transition as he begins his ministry to children in Honduras.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

God's Ways are not our Ways

An excerpt from...

God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways

Stephanie Abrams, Missionary, Kenya
October-December 2015

God's Ways Are Not Our WaysI am a planner by nature. I feel most calm and secure when I have a detailed outline of what is going to happen. How does that fit into being a missionary? Well, it doesn’t, but I think that can be said for anyone, not just a missionary. As soon as I completely surrendered my life to Christ, I gave Him full permission to plan my future.

Our family’s journey has had many ups and downs, and it has given me a greater understanding of just how faithful God really is. Here is just one example:
We are finally funded and released from our homeland ministry assignment and should be heading to Kenya, but we’re not. Because of changes in the Kenyan government, we cannot leave for the field until my husband’s work permit comes. We just naturally assumed that once we were funded, we would leave. But God had different plans. I have to admit, I have not handled this well at times. This delay put me into panic mode. My planning nature kicked in. I’ll be honest, it hasn’t always been pretty.

But God in His amazing grace pursued me. He kept whispering to my soul to just let go and trust Him with every little detail. Finally, after much praying, searching the Bible, and crying, I have come to a point of complete surrender, again. He gave me Philippians 4:4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
These verses remind me that I’m never alone and that the Lord is always near, always. I have much to be thankful for, even on my worst days. I serve a risen Savior, and I have the privilege of sharing His good news to a lost and dying world.

God’s ways are not our ways, and His ways are much higher than ours. I may never know exactly why we have been delayed, but I do know that He is good and faithful. I can put my plans at His feet and trust that His way is best, even when it hurts and messes up “my plans.”

Study Matthew 6:25-34 about worry.
ACT: Worry is a normal reaction when “our plans” get messed up. What does the Bible say about worry? Dig deeper and study Matthew 6:25-34.

Prayer Calendar: October 1-3, 2015

Today's missions prayer point is more about you then the global cause of missions. Have you ever had one of those mornings where your ready for work and as you head out the door you spill your morning coffee all over you? Or maybe some are waiting on the Lord to guide you with a major decision? Whatever you may be facing sometime delays cause us to take pause. They can be frustrating and right down aggravating, especially for you planners, but here is a prayer point to breathe in those times.

ASK God to give you patience as you face unexpected delays in your life.

God is good! All the time (even when we are delayed)!