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

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

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

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 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.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Prayer Calendar: November 1-7, 2015

Your missions prayer point for the week of November 1-7: 

ASK God to give you a spirit of flexibility and trust in Him.

Does that seem easy to say, but hard to do? Your intentions may be good, but your desire to be in control may be a bit stronger. 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.