A FOCUS ON CHILDREN

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIGNS AND WONDERS ARE THE GATEWAY

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!

Prayer for Poppi & Tommy Smith to be Comforted

Please pray for Poppi Smith and her family in the passing of her father on March 15, 2017. She and Tommy send this message:

Thank you to all for your prayers and messages of encouragement on the passing of Mr. Sulaeman Tjandra, the father of Poppi Smith, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

He was an honored retiree of the Indonesian National Electric Company, having attended to the electrical issues of the National Presidential Palace in Jakarta for many years. Mr. Tjandra was 91 years of age, and is preceded by his wife, the late Anna Firman, and two of his adult children. Eleven children survive him, with numerous grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Thank you for your prayers for the family at this time. God Bless You!

WHO IS VIOLET STARR APPLE?

One may ask … “Who is Violet Starr Apple?”

Violet Starr Apple is not a whom, but a what—a church planting initiative which began in 2010 under the leadership of Somnuk Montrelerdrasme of Thailand and another Asian pastor.

The Crossing Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee, pastored by Terry and Kaye Harris, partnered with these leaders to financially assist in establishing 10 new house churches in a Gospel-resistant Asian country by taking the Gospel to new and remote villages. A leader travels by moped to an area where he/she prays for people in need of healing and deliverance. As God provides miracles, the Gospel is preached, individuals are saved, and discipleship begins with new converts being taught the Bible. A small group is then formed of new believers who will meet each week. After 18 years, the meetings have grown from a handful to now more than 200.

The Crossing’s role was to pray, to provide gas funds for the mopeds, and conduct four leadership training conferences the first year. The church raised more than $45,000 for the monthly gas expenses and the airfare for leaders to attend the Bangkok Dream Center for training.

Pastor Harris, Pastor Somnuk, and a team from The Crossing Church, led the final training and graduation services for the new leaders. Thirty-seven new leaders were trained and commissioned! Statistics revealed that during the past year, the efforts of the workers had produced 6,397 conversions, 9,253 individuals were discipled, and 22 new house churches were started!

Sincere gratitude extends to all the donors who made it possible for thousands to be heaven-ready, as well as starting a leadership paradigm in an Asian country that will continue to produce leaders who will win souls and make disciples.

CELEBRATION POSTPONED, BUT NOT SALVATION!

A new year always brings changes, but the constants are that in this world full of change–God loves, God provides, and God saves.

Missionary Andrew Quinley in Thailand relates that one month before their big year-end event at the university, the King of Thailand died. By government order and to show respect, all celebrations were cancelled. That meant that the ministry’s biggest evangelistic outreach was shut down.

Not dampening their spirits, Quinley and his team decided to celebrate in January, breaking out the lights, guitars, and calling together the churches of Chiang Rai to put together an outreach. In the middle of the campus, everyone gathered, sang worship songs, served and ate food together, and watched a powerful, dramatic video produced by MediaLight. Two classmates also gave their personal testimonies.

A new round of worship and prayer then began. Looking at those gathered and dancing on the stage, Andrew noticed more students that hadn’t been believers had arrived and danced along with the rest.

At the end of the night, the team was stunned to realize 698 students had attended, and of that number 14 made commitments to follow Christ! Others who wanted to know more about Jesus numbered 47.

Although activities had been postponed, God still brought about the salvation of souls for His kingdom.

Click here to partner with Andrew and Jacki Quinley: Project Number: O65-0866

“IT IS MY HEART”

This article is written about a leader’s wife in Bangkok, Thailand, whom God called to do an amazing work among the people … she established a church!

The initial work of the Holy Spirit in bringing about the birth of this church was in the form of God’s Word: “If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern my infirmities.” The pastor felt she would tell of her weaknesses in order for people to know how great is our God. She was born in Hong Kong, and came from a Buddhist family. When in high school, she attended a Billy Graham Crusade and went to the altar, not really knowing who God was. Receiving water baptism in her Christian school, she never went back to church afterward. However, when her parents moved to another country she began attending church.

The pastor in her youth considered herself a dependent person, shy and easy to fluster. Once married, she relied on her husband to make decisions for her; yet, she is a logical and traditional person. She claimed three “nos” in her life—no to the country where she lives; no to marrying a pastor; and no to being a pastor. It would appear God didn’t pay attention to all her “nos.”

She felt years ago God calling her to pioneer a church in Bangkok. The country itself did not have enough pastors. She tried negotiating with God, as few women would pioneer a church from nothing. Then, she had a dream from God … the same dream two times in one week. God spoke the word “regret.” She did not want to have any regret when lying on a deathbed, and she responded to the calling.

Not knowing how to start, she had no resources—not even one chair. One day, in a busy place, she watched as each person passed, and she said to God: “I will do it, but You will have to bring the people.” She began the church in her home with a $125 offering her daughter who was at Lee University sent her. The Greek meaning of “turnaround” is to repent and turn back to God; hence, the name TurnAround was given to the new church. Obviously, God’s anointing, favor, and presence are prevalent.

Church growth is slow in Thailand, as the majority of churches only have about 50 attendees over a long period. TurnAround has an attendance just under 100!

The pastor began to prophesy over the people and signs and wonders started taking place … a girl born deaf was prayed for, yet God told her, “not immediately.” Weeks later, the girl’s aunt came by her office, hugging her, and saying her niece could now hear and had learned to speak! PTL! Another instance a cancerous tumor was healed, and a girl with paralysis and 20 percent brain damage was totally healed one week after prayer.

She states: “Whenever I walk in my own nature, fear overwhelms me, and I remember the scripture that God gave me in Acts 9:8 … ‘And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man.’ Paul saw no man; he saw God!”

The pastor sees no man but God—it is her heart.

To Correspond: turnaround.thailand@gmail.com

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/turnaroundchurch/

To partner with World Missions and Send the Light to the Cities, click here to give online: Project number 102-9435

 

HONG KONG WORKERS: THE CHALLENGE OF THE GREAT COMMISSION!

Regional Superintendent/Representative-South Pacific Region Asia/Indonesia Tommy Smith delights in sharing God’s provision of workers in Hong Kong who intend to FINISH the Great Commission!

Recently, Pastor Danny Villa with Smith, prayed for and presented new ministerial credentials to some choice servants in Hong Kong. Two young men achieved the rank of Ordained Ministers, and seven ladies earned Exhorter status in the Church of God.

These dedicated individuals accepted the challenge of the Great Commission given by our Lord in Matthew 28:19 … “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

The newly-credentialed group are committed to reach the Chinese, Indonesians, Filipinos, and to whomever else the Holy Spirit will send them.

Partner with them in prayer for a last days’ miracle harvest in Hong Kong—the gateway to China!

Click here to partner with the Smiths in ministry.

Urgent Request for Prayer from Pakistan

One of the leading pastors in Pakistan, and also the national representative, who is a very effective minister, evangelist, and UPG missionary is in need of our prayers.

He has been targeted by terrorists. The urgency is due to three bombings in the city where he and loved ones live. Pastor P., his family, and the church congregation have been photographed by strangers thought to be associated with the terrorists.

He is desperate for God’s provision and protection. Security cameras and even armed guards (which they do not have) are needed, especially during church services.

This pastor is asking the COG family around the world to pray for their safety and that security measures may be implemented in their church.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24 ESV).

Click here to give online for Pastor P. added security: Project 731-1136-229

NAMASTAI: Reaching the Unreached

The king will answer them, ‘I tell you all of you with certainty, since you did it for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me’” (Matthew 25:40 ISV).

While limited information can be shared from some areas of India, the good news is that God is doing wonderful things. Much of it can be attributed to those who support and believe in the workers God has called to minister in India. The laborers are especially grateful for the prayers and financial support. God has been gracious towards the ministry, and the workers have seen His hand of protection and provision more than ever.

Additional Christian teachers are needed, however, and a Christian teacher is desperately needed for the Stella Tailoring Center, where women are taught sewing to help support themselves and their families. Another classroom is needed to accommodate the growing number of children. The summer camp they host is expecting 100-plus children.

God has answered prayer in all these situations, as the new Stella Memorial Tailoring Center has been established, and a second preschool in a new location has been started. God enabled one of the teachers to purchase a new scooter. Another one of the school’s teachers married and moved to another city, but God provided two new teachers. Praise the Lord!

India continues to evangelize and maintain its ministries to those without the knowledge of God and His love.

To support and partner with workers reaching the Unreached please click here.

GREETINGS FROM MYANMAR

Robin Kung reports God is doing amazing things in Myanmar. Since God provided the ministry a piece of land last year, for which they prayed for a long time, they have been busy building a smaller place. They want to begin applying for electrical power and also begin training classes.

Kung says they are still working on the building and praying they will be granted the electrical power soon. As yet, the permits to build a ministry building or a church have not been issued, creating a greater challenge to get started.

Initially, sand was placed onto the land and the small house was built, creating good friendships with the neighbors, which is very important once they are able to build the building. God has graciously already provided some funds for the building.

The previous year, Kung held 16 different Christmas outreaches in order to reach many people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The first event was held in Yangon City, and from there activities were held in villages. Often, they provide concerts to draw the people. The cost for each venue is around $300, which covers food, transportation of the band, and instruments. By the grace of God, funds were raised and lives were touched with the message of Jesus Christ!

During these outreaches, people made decisions to follow Christ, as some villages were hearing the message of salvation for the first time. Other believers followed the Lord in water baptism.

How wonderful to have accepted Christ at the time we celebrate His birth to mankind!

Click here to partner and support workers in Myanmar.