Touching the Head, Heart, and Stomach with Love

Walt Disney began his entertainment empire with a single focus on children. Disney is reported to have explained his business plan as making movies for children, who will in turn bring their parents. Thus, he captured both markets.

A Communist party leader is said to have declared, “Give me a child from age one to six, and he will be a communist for life.

If the secular world understands the value of marketing to children, should not the church much more make children’s ministries one of its top priorities?

In fact, mission experts call the 10-year developmental period from age four to 14 as the “4-14 Window,” during which time, research suggests, that 85 percent of all conversions to Christianity occur!

Jesus prioritized ministry to children and commanded His disciples to not hinder the children from coming to Him (Matthew 19:14). He also emphasized His anointing to preach the Gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18). More than just lip service, Jesus helped others and healed the sick (Acts 10:38). Our model of ministry should resemble His, should it not?

According to UNICEF, one billion of the estimated 2.2 billion children worldwide live in poverty. These children need the Gospel.

Furthermore, today Satan has launched a global attack on children. In John 10:10, Jesus actually described the work of the two opposing forces in the battle for our children. The negative—Satan seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. The positive—Jesus comes to give life and life more abundantly.

Satan, like a roaring lion targets children as his prey (1 Peter 5:8). He deceptively works to rob children physically, spiritually, emotionally, and educationally—to deny them from reaching the potential God created in them.

Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, loved the little children, ministered to them, and provided them a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:10). His ministry to children is our example and should be our standard.

Do not be deceived … there is warfare between good and evil for the eternal destiny of every child on earth. From every country, culture, class, color, and category, all children are at risk. No child is exempt … all are vulnerable.

Satan uses many tools in his attack on children, but we are not ignorant of his ploys of deception to lure our children into drugs, premarital sex, low self-esteem, and other unhealthy and anti-Biblical lifestyle choices.

A cycle of poverty is one of Satan’s favorite tools in inner city slums and rural villages. Trapped in poverty and hopelessness, multitudes of children have no avenue out of the prison of Satan’s grip, unless someone brings the Gospel to them. Finishing the Great Commission must include reaching these precious children.

At Tommy and Poppi Smith Ministries, we seek to rescue these children through our benevolence and care ministry prong defined as “pulling down the strongholds of poverty and suffering.” But how do we do this?

Only the Gospel of Christ’s love breaks the stronghold of the cycle of poverty. God has given us a strategy of presenting the Gospel of love to break this vicious cycle, especially in children’s ministry.

Our holistic ministry to children seeks to touch the head, the heart, and the stomach with the love of Christ. We combine Biblical spirituality (the heart), physical well-being (the stomach) and education (the head), tied together by a saturation of Christ’s love. Our experience is that genuine transformation does occur in the lives of children as we practice this strategy.

POPPI’S KITCHEN outreach serves hot, homemade, nutritious meals to 600 needy children weekly at 10 feeding centers in Jakarta slums and in rural villages on remote Indonesian islands. We partner with local church ministries which sponsor pre-schools, kindergartens, or elementary schools. We come alongside them and help them do what they cannot do.

A typical POPPI’S KITCHEN program begins with a chapel service for the children. This is touching the heart (Biblical spirituality); followed by the meal, touching or literally filling the stomach (physical well-being); afterward, the children attend a church-sponsored school (Christian-based education).

For more than a decade, we have operated POPPI’S KITCHEN using this strategy. Our joy is seeing so many underprivileged children grow up to attend college, get jobs, and follow Christ.

Christian love that touches the head, heart, and stomach will transform a young life for Jesus Christ.

Tommy and Poppi Smith

Regional Superintendent/Representative—South Pacific Region Asia/Indonesia

Project Number 060-0089







Flooding In Peru Impacts Feeding Program

World Missions Field Representative E.L. Turner and Herman Toney recently raised funds to build a church in Trujillo Peru for Pastor Evaristo Murga. The church was dedicated at the end of last year.

This month, a feeding program was begun to feed children one hot meal a day, five days a week. Unfortunately, Peru experienced heavy rains, which created a disastrous flood. Four thousand people (4,000) lost everything they owned; they escaped with only the clothes on their backs.

Pastor Evaristo continues to try to feed 80 people two meals a day. Clothing is desperately needed, too.

World Missions Director David Griffis and Assistant Director M. Thomas Propes have released $5,000 for the recovery process, once again defining World Missions’ compassion and support to assist those in crisis distress.

To help these precious people in Peru, please send your donation to Project Number 765-0036-049.


Disaster will happen. We just don’t know when.


An overseer, in an Asian country that adheres to communist control and restricting of religious activity, is serving in an apostolic position for the Kingdom of God. Against all odds and circumstances, he boldly leads an underground church movement that is impacting the entire nation.

His personal testimony is amazing in itself. Due to the witnessing of US soldiers, his father became a Christian. When US troops pulled out of the country, his father and many family members lost their lives for their professing their Christian faith.

For some time, the overseer has witnessed and preached about Christ, at a great cost to him and his family. He was imprisoned for a couple of years, and was placed on a heightened watch list by the government. Initially, the government confiscated his passport restricting his traveling.

Because he felt God instructed him not to register his churches with the government, he and his leaders are continually watched and persecuted. Yet, he recently was granted a passport. The overseer and his churches have to meet secretly.

For a few years, a monthly three-day prayer and fasting conference is held and more than 200 attend! New Testament in essence, the apostolic power is evident as they gather and disperse. Signs and wonders are the gateway for the message of the Gospel as they preach throughout the nation.

Praise God for those who pursue sharing the message of Christ!

GETTING TO KNOW YOU … Lisette & Steffen Schumaker

The daughter of former missionaries, Jake and Becky Popejoy, Lisette was born in Bury St. Edmunds, England. Having lived her earlier years in several European countries, she developed an interest in languages.

Lisette received her calling to missions during college, and upon graduating, a door opened for her to spend the summer teaching English in Mongolia. She also spent a year teaching English at the Church of God seminary (SEMISUD) in Ecuador. Yet, Lisette had a strong desire to return to Europe. In 2000, appointed as an associate missionary, she was sent to Central and Eastern Europe/CIS, based in Germany, and now is presently serving at the European Theological Seminary.

Lisette is married to Steffen, a German minister, who adds many gifts of his own to the ministry they are privileged to accomplish as a team. He holds an M.Div. and is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies.

Lisette believes that education and communication are areas in which the people of God can work toward seeing the people of the world receive a clear knowledge of Jesus Christ. Training takes place on several levels—the missionary trained on the homefront; the missionary training leaders abroad; and the new leaders training their own people.

To the Schumachers, the ministry partnership with donors means they can focus more fully on their responsibilities on the field; will not feel alone in the work they’ve been sent to do; and can know people are thinking about them, praying for them, and believing in them enough to invest in their ministry, which affirms them when the times of discouragement come.

Project number 065-0131

CITY OF LIGHT … Paris, France

Because the name commonly given to Paris is the City of Light, its vision is entirely in keeping with the World Missions Send the Light to the Cities Initiative.

First, it is important to recognize that when we talk about Paris, we are also talking about the extended Paris area—the suburbs—since that is where the Churches of God are located.

I asked myself this question several years ago when I accepted my duties as National Overseer … isn’t bringing the Light for one purpose—to let the kingdom of God spread? To accomplish the task, teamwork was necessary. Everyone needed the same goal for a common objective … to gather our “strengths;” hence, the “slogan” which illustrates our actions: “A common vision for a common interest: the kingdom of God.”

Once this common interest was adopted, it was necessary to unite in our acting together. But, as Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” So, the first work is internal; it is maximizing the human aspect, the people who will let that Light in them shine forth.

Where people feel well, accepted, and fulfilled, they will want to work, share, and take people with them in this endeavor. Once cohesion is created, then it attracts, motivates, and causes people to arise and, in turn, build a structure to continue fulfilling the common goal.

Of course, this is not done without the Holy Spirit and without prayer and fasting, so we must always be challenged about the life of prayer and the life of the Spirit. We can organize any kind of plan, but without prayer and without being led by the Spirit, nothing will last.

An essential part on this road map for the Light to shine, is that it is a star that lasts for time and is not a shooting star which is beautiful, but ephemeral, and that part is THE TRAINING! If we stop training, our service dies. If we stop training, the next generation will die. The school of ministry of the Church of God in France was born in the Paris region in September 2016. It is essential to continue training and to train a new generation of servants, as well.

Today, the initiative has been launched … now it is crucial that this Light spreads. We want to continue to shine, to develop what has already been put in place, so that the foundations are strong and the kingdom spreads.

Where there is gold, the seekers will come.

Christian Merlo


Project number 102-9435-009


“We were in Croatia meeting with the local pastors that will host the upcoming concerts of the Metro Big Band. As we sat down to lunch with one of the pastors and his wife, the question was asked: ‘What is your ministry?’

The answer went something like this: ‘Even though we have a multifaceted ministry, one of our favorite things to do is sit down for lunch with a pastor and his wife, just like we are doing today, and listen to them tell us about their ministry, their family, their victories and their struggles.’ Big smiles broke upon their faces. Rose assured them that we wanted to be an encouragement to them.

I then told them about a weekend of some years ago when an elderly couple from Huntsville, Alabama, called Mom and Pop, who made a trip to Europe and obtained a list of some missionaries to visit. Somehow, we were included on their list. Mom and Pop treated us to a meal at a restaurant and we accommodated them in our home. Their visit came at a most crucial time. It was as if they were a lifeline sent to rescue us!

“How do we express this ministry? Maybe we are called to ‘encourage the encouragers!’ This week in Croatia was very special and included more meetings than usual … a couple in Bicske, Hungary; two couples in Vukovar, Croatia; a couple in Vinkovci, Croatia; a couple in Slavonski Brod, Croatia; a family in Kiskoros, Hungary; a couple in Budapest, Hungary; and a pastor in Budapest, Hungary.

We want to be a lifeline to them, just as someone was to us.”

—Dan and Rose Smith

Missionary Parachurch Groups:Hungary and Albania

Click here to join your ministry with the Smiths: Project Number 065-0448


Have you ever asked yourself … what does LMR stand for?

Is it: lunch money receipts (LMR) or little Martian revolution (LMR), or Look, mom’s racing (LMR)?

Well, if you know anything about Church of God World Missions, you will recognize LMR stands for Local Missions Representative, an acronym that identifies one of the most important ministries in the church today.

Christians who fail to place our Lord’s Great Commission at its highest priority, miss the very heartbeat of God. On the other hand, pastors who promote a missions-minded church witness first-hand the reality of the promises of God (Malachi 3:10).

The LMR plays a vital role in assisting his/her pastor with keeping missions in the forefront at the local church level. Promotion of mission projects, missionaries, Bible schools, orphanages, and ministry that reaches beyond one’s own city limits, is the primary responsibility of the LMR.

In 1971, Dr. Bill George created the LMR platform. Since then, Church of God World Missions has encouraged every pastor to appoint a local missions representative.

Seminars and training conferences for pastors and LMRs have been conducted cross-country, providing materials and information for effective missions ministry for the local church. This program has helped produce more than 1200 LMRs who are keeping the Great Commission at the center of ministry among their own communities of faith.

Any size church will benefit with the appointment of an LMR. Individuals like Rick Alford, who serves as LMR for the Potter’s House in Columbus, Ohio, or Bob and Lisa Davis, who serve as LMRs for the Cooper City church in Miami, Florida, have done outstanding work promoting the Great Commission globally. Doyce Connell, from Warner Robins Church of God, a congregation of approximately 50 members, led their missions ministry to new heights, which touches the lives of many worldwide.

The Local Missions Representative is the link between the local church, the mission field, and the Church of God World Missions office. He/she will assist the pastor in managing fund-raising programs, overseeing short-term mission trips, and generate an awareness of missions among church members. The LMR also provides the church with missional motivation!

With the help of the LMR, Church of God World Missions now reaches into 180 nations of the world, supporting more than 600 missionaries, 134 orphanages, and 166 Bible schools. But more important, because of our combined efforts, over 1.6 million new born-again Christians have found Christ as their personal Savior since our 2012 General Assembly.

We encourage every pastor to consider appointing a Local Missions Representative to his/her church. Church of God World Missions is ready to assist in any way possible to help you promote the work of the Great Commission.

Terrell Brinson, D.D. is a Missions Representative for Church of God World Missions. He specifically interfaces with Administrative Bishops, Pastors, LMRs, and missions donors to bring a focused look at the missionaries and projects of Church of God World Missions.

A Clarification in Response to Inquiries of World Missions

This is a clarification in response to inquiries the Church of God World Missions Department has received regarding Casa Shalom Orphanage (Guatemala):

 The Casa Shalom Orphanage in Guatemala is an official, on going and approved orphanage operated by the Church of God and has been for many decades. Their project number is 040-0030 and funds sent to this number go 100% directly to that specific ministry.

The Casa Shalom Orphanage is not to be confused with any other ministries that might use the name Shalom in their title since they are not being sponsored by the Church of God nor are they involved in our Casa Shalom Orphanage in Guatemala.


Reverend Bobbie Lauster passed away Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Bobbie authored the book, “Herman Lauster: One Man and God,” as well as wrote numerous articles for the Church of God EVANGEL. The wife of missionary and evangelist, Walter Lauster, Bobbie also wrote “Between 2 Crosses,” telling his life story.

Preaching her last sermon the day she died, Bobbie had preached since the age of 13. She and Walter were missionaries to Germany and France for 17 years. In 1968, the Lausters pastored the Naples Church of God in Florida until Walter’s retirement in 1989.

Bobbie’s four children feel about her homegoing as they did when their father passed away … “A mighty warrior has fallen!”


Career missionaries usually have a difficult time raising their entire budgets to get to the mission field. Multiple items figure into their raised funds, such as housing, medical bills, utilities, and so forth—much like our own needs, but with more difficult circumstances to encounter.

For the short-term missionary, there are often not enough funds to supply the type of vehicle needed, such as with South American Call headed by Joe Mercer.

Joe’s ministry is traveling to the Amazon River villages by boat, which is a focus of large funding. Upkeep of the boat and gas guzzles the resources. On these trips, the ministry provides soup kitchens and conducts “congresos” (conferences) aimed at training leaders to take the Gospel to their own villages and people. This year alone, the cost of financing pastors and the congresos will be approximately $20,000; it is a vital ministry.

BUT, Joe and his wife, Judy, who not only go to the field–but raise missions awareness and funding here in North America, have been traveling for about 10 years in a Camry, which belongs to South American Call, Inc.

The vehicle has almost 400,000 miles on it.

A newer vehicle is definitely needed, as making long trips is of some concern now. Since they need to take so much equipment with them, the Mercers need more room in their transport. They are grateful to the donors and churches who helped them purchase their Camry, and now are hoping others will do the same for replacing the vehicle with something suitable.

If you would like to be a part of this dedicated ministry to peoples on the Amazon River, and help assist the missionaries with transportation, please donate to Project Number 065-0125.