Friday, January 30, 2015

Prayers Answered Before Even Spoken

An excerpt from...

Prayers Answered before Even Spoken


By Jennifer Bennett, Missionary, Nigeria
January-March 2015

Prayers Answered before Even Spoken
“For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8 NKJV)

God answered prayers even before I knew to ask. This has never been clearer to me since the night of July 17, 2014, when my co-missionary, Shelley Chapman, and I were assaulted and robbed at gunpoint. While locked in a room, not knowing the fate of Shelley, I felt an indescribable peace. “I wonder who is praying for us right now,” I pondered. Since that traumatic evening, we have become aware of how unspoken prayers have been answered:
  • Ikenna Izoke, chief protocol officer at West Africa Theological Seminary, drove up right in front of Shelley as she drove to the campus to find help. He immediately contacted the police and found me locked in a room.
  • God provided a safe shelter for us even before we knew of the need. Weeks before the robbery, we had made arrangements to stay the weekend with Edmond and Becky Poon, friends from our church in Nigeria.
  • The day after the robbery, Wally Adeleye, friend and church member, immediately left his home and drove to us (about an hour and a half) as soon as he heard about our situation and provided transportation for us to Edmond and Becky’s. We were able to stay at his guesthouse while improved security measures were put into place by WATS.
  • Dave and Susan Hackney, friends from church, provided an iPhone and tablet so we were able to connect with our families after the event.
  • Ned and Marlene McGradyMember Health counselors from World Gospel Mission, flew to minister to us in person. God provided them with a smooth entry through customs and immigration while carrying our replacement electronics.
  • Pastors Gary and Emma Lou Maxey provided their home for us to use for debriefing with our WGM counselors and a computer to use while we waited for our replacements.
  • Lynn Chapman, Shelley’s daughter, packed a suitcase of goodies from our families, and Ned and Marlene brought it with them. She even included several bottles of hand sanitizer for the clinic, not knowing it would be needed later as precautionary measures against Ebola.
  • New Beginnings International Church raised the funds needed to replace our electronics.
  • Jon and Vera Steury, Africa regional directors, arrived two weeks after the McGradys. This trip had been planned even before our arrival in Nigeria.
God hears and continues to answer our prayers.

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2 NKJV)

MoreMORE: God has answered many prayers on WGM’s behalf through the years. Burnis Bushong has written some of those accounts in his book The Best of the Story. Purchase this book at www.wgm.org/thebestofthestory.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Answer to Prayers in Time of Crisis

An excerpt from...

Answer to Prayers in Time of Crisis

By Shelley Chapman, Missionary, Nigeria
January-March 2015
Answer to Prayer in Time of Crisis

It never entered my mind that armed thieves would burst through my bedroom door about 8:30 in the evening, that they would physically harm me, or that they would take all my means of communication. But, they did. Worst of all, I feared they had kidnapped my co-missionary, Jennifer Bennett.

Thankfully, Jennifer was found locked in a room downstairs along with three other people. She immediately tended to my injuries and then wrote an emergency email to our regional directors, Jon and Vera Steury, who were at World Gospel Mission headquarters in Marion, Indiana, at the time.

Almost as soon as Jennifer hit the send button for that email, Jon and Vera responded, as did the entire WGM community. A request for prayer was sent out to missionaries around the world; our family members in the U.S. were contacted; and most strategically, Member Health staff began to minister to us.

Ned and Marlene McGrady, pastors to missionaries, connected with us frequently in those first days after the traumatic event. As a licensed counselor, Marlene knew exactly what to do for us since we found ourselves in the middle of acute post-traumatic stress. In the middle of trauma, it is hard to think about next steps or to know where to turn for help. I was heartened to hear Ned and Marlene say to us that they wanted to see us face-to-face. We were blessed that they traveled half a world away to minister to our needs.

Once our counselors were here on the ground with us, we were able to take our time and deconstruct what happened and how it affected us cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, and spiritually. This paved the way for the healing process to begin. We even went back to our apartment with them and processed how we felt about spending our first night back in the house. Ned and Marlene were an answer to prayer for us. They met us where we were in terms of our stages of grief and loss, prayed with us, shared helpful scriptures, facilitated important meetings with national staff members (who were also hurting), and slowly helped us move along in the healing process.

Our faith was buoyed by the prayers of so many people around the world. I felt as if the spiritual part of my life was ministering to the emotional part of my life. As Ned shared scriptures, they were like balm on my emotional wounds.

I am reminded of the ten lepers in Luke 17 who were “healed as they went.” We are carrying on, with the love, support, and prayers of all the WGM family. We will continue to be healed as we go. Thank you for all your prayers in our time of crisis.

Make a difference on your knees.
PRAY: The Prayer Lifeline email sent every Tuesday shares critical requests and praises from WGM’s fields of service. To be an active participant on this list, sign up at www.wgm.org/lifeline.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Prayer Calendar: January 25-31, 2015


It's the start of a new week! Time for a new missions prayer point inspired by The Call magazine:

PRAISE God for protecting Shelley Chapman and Jennifer Bennett during a break-in. 

In times of crisis a missionary's prayer support is vital. If you partner with WGM missionaries through prayer we thank you. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Praises from Prayer Lifeline

An excerpt from...

Praises from Prayer Lifeline


By Tracy Dubois, Support Staff
January-March 2015

Praises from Prayer LifelineDo you ever wonder if your prayers make a difference? Well, the short answer is yes! Here’s a look back at how the Lord has answered your prayers through this year’s Prayer Lifeline.

JANUARY

Texas/Mexico Border Ministries:One of Christina McBride’s students accepted Jesus, and Christina prayed with another student who recommitted their life to the Lord.

FEBRUARY

Haiti: Radio Lumi√®re turned 55 on February 20.
Honduras: Honduran Holiness Church celebrated its 100th anniversary.
South Sudan: Mango Ministries helped give physical sight to 527 people during cataract clinics in 2013 and brought healing to more than 100 patients during five weeks of other clinics.

MARCH

Kenya: Tenwek Hospital’s annual children’s Bible quizzing season began in January with more than 300 children from several schools and two orphanages studying 1 Samuel.
Sensitive Area: Lives were changed, freedom experienced, and inner healing started as church leaders and seminary students opened their hearts during 98 one-on-one meetings.

APRIL

Honduras: Small agriculture projects established in different communities around Choluteca are beginning to multiply as Hondurans realize the potential of growing their own vegetables and raising small animals to provide for their families.
Kenya: Ministry partnerships have enabled plans for the Eye and Dental Care Center at Tenwek Hospital to progress smoothly.

MAY

Kenya: Africa Gospel Church Baby Centre is caring for 53 babies, and 15 babies have already been adopted this year.
Ukraine: The Lord has opened the door for Bill and Oksana Browerto do more service projects in local orphanages whose government funding has been decreased.

JUNE

Spain: Nathan and Kenzie Vitatoe praise God for the salvation of a church member who comes from a Muslim background.
Uganda: A Muslim woman who was cooking for a Community Health Empowerment training group accepted Christ, while several others went forward to be prayed for.

JULY

American Indian Field: Students at American Indian College are taking the lessons they have learned from Laura Lea Sims and using them to minister in their communities and churches.
Bolivia: More than 60 people and several youth prayed to seek God’s presence in their lives during Nathan Schmidt’s church visits.
Honduras: Escuela El Sembrador celebrated 60 years of ministry.
Uganda: As a group of students from Asbury University (Kentucky) partnered with the University Discipleship Movement, an Asbury student led an African student in the salvation prayer.

AUGUST

Hispanic Ministries USA: Hispanic churches throughout the United States graduated their first class of church leaders, and these graduates will be plugged into ministries in Wisconsin, Georgia, Ohio, and Massachusetts.
Hungary: Ten teens accepted Christ during summer English camps.
Mexico: The Vacation Bible School program at Pan de Vida (Bread of Life) Church led to 25 children accepting Christ.
The Center (Stockton, California): The Center staff provided hungry kids with more than 2,250 lunches in just six weeks and was able to help 10 youth attend adventure camp. One 14-year-old boy who comes from a generational gang family said camp taught him that he can trust.

Make a difference on your knees.
PRAY: Keep praying for WGM missionaries, causes, and locations at www.wgm.org/lifeline or www.wgm.org/praycal.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Prayer Calendar: January 18-24, 2015



Your missions inspired prayer point from The Call magazine for this week is:

PRAISE God for answering the prayers of His people. 

This praise is inspired by Prayer Lifeline. Every Tuesday WGM sends the most urgent requests and praises from the fields through email. In this issue you can get a look at some of the most significant praises we have seen over the past year.  God is good!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Play Date, Sheep and Angels

An excerpt from
Play Date, Sheep and Angels
By Jeff and Christine Stanfield, Missionaries, Uganda
January-March 2015

Play Date, Sheep, and Angels
Once upon a time, long (well, not solong) ago, in the land of Kenya, lived a daddy, a mommy, a preschooler, and a baby. They lived by the river, but the preschooler’s friends lived near the top of the hill. One fine day, a friend called to the preschooler, “Come up to my house and play!” A play time was arranged.

The mother gathered up the baby in her arms, took the preschooler by the hand, and the three went up the hill. They walked on a sidewalk along the edge of a sharp drop-off that went down toward the river. Cows and sheep were grazing on the grassy roadside. The mother and preschooler chatted about the animals and fun-to-be-had with friends.

A few steps beyond a grazing ram, they approached a ewe with a small lamb hugging close to her side. After a couple more steps, the mother had a fleeting thought, “I wonder if the ram belongs to these two, and if he does, will he mind our walking by?”

Out of curiosity, she turned to look over her shoulder at the ram. She was shocked to see the ram nearly upon her, head down and running full steam toward her. She grabbed the preschooler and swung her behind herself, hugged the baby tight, and tried to dodge the ram. His hard forehead hit her square on her shin. Her leg nearly buckled beneath her, but she grabbed up the preschooler and tried to hurry off.

The ram was not to be dissuaded. He backed up, put his head down, and charged again. Again the mother, now holding a scared preschooler and the baby, tried to dodge the ram. He was quicker on his four feet than she on her two, and he hit her again.
The mother tried to limp off, but the ram hit her again. She narrowly avoided being pushed backwards over the steep drop-off. Her prayers were now audible, no longer just in her head. The ram did not let up. He took a few steps back and charged again.

This time the mother’s leg could not withstand the blow, and down she went, flat on her back. The two young ones in her arms were now screaming with terror. The mom’s prayers were escalating in volume as well. The ram backed up and waited a moment. The mother was unsure what to do. It was difficult to try to get up while holding two frightened children. She started to roll to her side.

The ram charged again. All the mother could see was the ram’s head moving in the direction of her baby’s head. The mother quickly rolled all of them to the other side, and the ram narrowly missed them.

The mother began screaming for help as loudly as she could in as many languages as she could remember. The ram charged again, and once again the mother rolled away from his head. He quickly put his head down hard on her shin again, temporarily pinning her in place. All three of them were screaming.

Then the mother heard a voice shouting, “Sheep! Sheep!” As she rolled onto one shoulder away from the ram, she saw a young man running toward her from the top of the hill. Then there were two, then three young people running down the hill to them. The ram charged once more before the men reached him. They had grabbed sticks on their way down and began beating the ram back, forcing him away from the mother and her children.

A missionary nurse ran down the hill, and she gently helped the mother let go of her children and handed them off to others. The nurse then helped the mother to her feet. She was shaken but able to stand. Her sobbing quickly diminished, and she was able to comfort her crying children. The nurse escorted them the short distance back to their home, where they sat holding onto each other in a tight grip. The preschooler and the mother kept asking each other, “Are you okay?” Both wanted to be assured all was well with all three of them. The nurse stayed and offered comfort and prayerful words of thanksgiving for protection. She called the daddy and asked him to come home and help his family, and he came quickly.

That evening in their family devotions, the preschooler recounted the story several times, always ending with an emphatic, “God’s angel ’tected us!” The family’s prayers to God were of thanksgiving for the ’tecting angels providing God’s protection from harm. They also expressed thanks for the many people around the world who pray for them, asking God to keep them safe and to help them always know what they should do.
That missionary family has never forgotten that scary day. They have never forgotten that God has ’tecting angels to watch over them. They still remember that many people around the world are praying for them.

Thank you for praying for us. We still wonder, were you praying for us in 1993? Did God ask you to pray for ’tecting angels to keep us safe from a charging ram? If so, now you know the rest of the story!

Make a difference on your knees.
PRAY: Do you pray regularly for the missionaries you partner with? Keep your missionary’s prayer card at your dinner table and pray for them before you enjoy your family meal. If you support several missionaries, rotate the cards and invite your children to take part in this missionary support as well.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Prayer Calendar: January 11-17, 2015

Your missions prayer point for this week inspired by the Jan/Feb/Mar 2015 Call is:

Pray for the physical safety of a missionary you know or support. 


Make a difference on your knees.
PRAY: Do you pray regularly for the missionaries you partner with? World Gospel Mission and your missionaries appreciates your partnership through prayer.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Finding Hope in the Midst of Chaos

Finding Hope in the Midst of Chaos


By Bill Brower, Missionary, Ukraine
January-March 2015

Finding Hope in the Midst of Chaos
When the Home of Hope Neighborhood Center in Berdyansk, Ukraine, was purchased and renovated years ago, we prayed—and many of you joined us in prayer—that it would be a place where people would find Jesus. At the time, we thought that meant English clubs, youth meetings, church services, and much more. All that has happened, but people are also finding Jesus there in a way that was completely unexpected to us.
With the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continuing to escalate in the east, refugees have been pouring into town. We’ve opened up the Home of Hope to house about 30 refugees. Before they moved in, everyone agreed to our house rules (such as no alcohol or smoking, and the gate is locked at 10 p.m.) and, so far, we’ve had no problems. The youth center is still open two nights a week, and refugee families have started coming to relax and play games together. What an incredible opportunity to share the love of Jesus!

Fortunately, we had a number of bunk beds in storage, and we provided bedding and linens for them. We also want to help with food costs, and we’d like to purchase a better washing machine. We don’t want to turn away anyone who is in need. We’re also partnering with a Ukrainian pastor who was granted an abandoned campground to house even more refugees. He named it the “City of Peace.”

We’ve been given so many opportunities to talk to people. They’re concerned about peace, and they’re walking in chaos. They want to know why I, as an American who could leave, am still here! It gives me a chance to tell them about why I’m still here—because God called us here, and until He tells us differently, we’re staying.

When people ask what we think about what’s going on, we say that God is in control and we have no choice but to trust Him. It’s been neat to see churches respond to the crisis with that same message: they are telling people to pray, pray, pray!

We never thought to pray, “Lord, send us refugees.” But He did it anyway, and we pray that the seeds of hope being planted in their lives will draw them to the Source of that hope.

Give
GIVE: Donate to WGM Ukraine’s Samaritan’s Fund to help us feed, clothe, and care for refugees. Designate your gift to Ukraine Samaritan Fund #25470. These families are walking through some extremely difficult times, and we are privileged to care for them in any way we can.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Prayer Calendar: January 4-10, 2015



Happy New Year! Here is your missions prayer point for this week inspired by the Jan/Feb/Mar 2015 issue:

Pray that the church in Ukraine will demonstrate the peace and hope of Jesus Christ. 

Ukraine has seen it's share of unrest in 2014. WGM missionaries, while not at risk of being part of the violence, have found ways to share hope, peace, and love during this time. Read more about this outreach opportunity in Finding Hope in the Midst of Chaos.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Blessing of Rice

THE CALL—January/February/March 2015
The Blessing of Rice
Benji Jenkins, Missionary, Papua New Guinea

The Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea is used to getting over 200 inches of rain each year. However, during July 2014, we received even heavier rains than usual. Fourteen inches of rain fell in just one week, and the rain continued for a couple of weeks after that. The rivers swelled and flooded over roads, gardens, houses, and churches. Some roads were so flooded people used canoes to cross to the other side. Houses and churches were completely under water. Gardens flooded, leaving people with no source of income or food.

The rain eventually slowed and the water went down, but a lot of people were left with no way to get food. The people of the Southern Highlands in PNG live off of what their gardens produce. Everything they eat comes from their gardens. They sell any extra produce at the market for a little bit of income. But due to the flood damage, the gardens couldn’t produce again for several months. The people searched everywhere for food.

Christians began praying for God to help them. One pastor said, “God heard our prayer and sent the mission to help us.”

World Gospel Mission responded to this need by immediately sending some money from the President’s Crisis Relief Fund to the missionaries in PNG who then worked with the Christian Union Church leaders to distribute it. In most areas, the money was used to buy rice, which each local church received to distribute. Many of the churches purchased more rice to add to the supplies and then passed it out to the community. As a result of this, many unbelievers are now starting to attend church.

The people of the Southern Highlands had a rough few months until their gardens started growing again. But as one pastor stated, “We are not going to starve. We will not have to eat the roots of the banana trees.” Across the province, people are praising God for the “blessing of the rice!”

Those who have generously given to the President’s Crisis Relief Fund have answered the prayers of our brothers and sisters in Papua New Guinea. You can be the answer to prayer for those experiencing the next crisis.

GIVE

Answer the prayers of those in crisis by giving to the President’s Crisis Relief Fund. Give online at www.wgm.org/crisisrelief.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Prayer Calendar: January 1-3, 2015



As we introduce a new year and a new issue let me introduce to you the first missions prayer point from The Call magazine in 2015:

JOIN your brothers and sisters in Papua New Guinea in praising God for “the blessing of the rice.” 

Why is rice a blessing in PNG? Read more about the terrible flood crisis that happened last year and consider joining the President's Crisis Relief crew to help others. Read: The Blessing of Rice