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

Overseer-France/Guadeloupe/Martinique

Project number 102-9435-009

WHAT IS YOUR MINISTRY?

“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

BOBBIE LAUSTER PASSES AWAY

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!”

Moscow: A Lighthouse City – Part Two

Part Two:

Not only do all roads in our part of the world lead TO Moscow, all roads also lead FROM Moscow.

It is the major political, economic, cultural, educational, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe. What happens in Moscow, does not stay in Moscow. What is gained, learned, or developed in Moscow soon goes to the corners of the nation, and the countries in Russia’s sphere of influence.

The Church of God already has 28 churches in the greater Moscow region. Although most of them are typically Russian, we also have Ghanaian, Congolese, Korean, Armenian congregations in the city. And currently we have an additional five new church plants in development.

The Eurasian Theological Seminary, which is already home to four Church of God congregations including the initial Task Force church of the 1990s, has recently begun programs to train workplace missionaries (Mission and Profession), drug rehabilitation leaders, and church planters.

With millions of people without the hope found in Jesus Christ, the prayer for Moscow is, “The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the city.” Pray for native Russian speakers to answer the call to plant churches in Moscow. Pray for a framework that will financially and spiritual support new works.

 

Tom Rosson is the writer of this article who serves as the Regional Superintendent for Eastern Europe and the CIS. He also is the President of the Eurasian Theological Seminary – Moscow.

 

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

Moscow: A Lighthouse City – Part One

Moscow—Boasting an official population of 12.2 million residents and with a significantly unreported number of immigrant workers bumping that number to 17 million, Moscow is the largest city in Europe.  Moscow has a density of 8,537.2 people per square kilometer (22,111 people per square mile).

And there are no signs that the growth of the city will subside any time soon. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, migrants, both legal and illegal, have been coming to Moscow in droves from other parts of Russia and former Soviet republics in search of better living conditions and higher pay. This will continue as long as Moscow offers higher standards of living than the rest of Russia. The average monthly salary in the state is 61,200 rubles (1045 USD), which is almost double the nationwide average.

There are many ethnicities represented in Moscow, partly due to the multiple people groups that are native to Russia. Also, many students and guest workers from around the world are found in all economic sectors of Moscow. Historically shaped by the Orthodox Church, Moscow was steeped in communistic atheism which still shapes the mindset of many Moscovites. Nevertheless, due to migration, Muslims account for 14% of the city’s population.

As a center of power that provides educational and economic opportunities, Moscow will continue to be a magnet for an increasing number of people in Eurasia. The question is, “Will the Church be present when the world arrives in Moscow?

Tom Rosson is the writer of this article who serves as the Regional Superintendent for Eastern Europe and the CIS. He also is the President of the Eurasian Theological Seminary – Moscow.

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

 

WHY WE REACH TO THE UNREACHED — Part Two

The heart of the missio Dei (mission of God) lies in the Father sending the Son, the Father and the Son sending the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit sending the church to continue the work of Christ. Jesus Christ came into this world to seek and bring salvation to lost humanity (Luke 19:10). Since we are the continuation of His ministry through the Holy Spirit, the church should also be seeking those without knowledge of Christ and proclaiming His message to the lost.

Sadly, Jesus revealed to His disciples (and us) that more people would go down the wide path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). Anyone involved in missions or evangelism regrettably admits more people reject Christ than accept Him. While that is painful to accept, there is little the church can do about that heart-wrenching reality.

However, there is something the church can do about the millions and millions of people who walk down the path to destruction, because they simply do not know there is a narrow path that leads to life. The love for the lost souls that compelled Jesus to come and die for sinful humanity should also thrust the church into the corners of the earth in search of those who have never heard that there is a God who is seeking them and desiring to save them from the path they are currently on. May Christ’s church yearn with the heart of C.T. Studd who so elegantly proclaimed, “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”[1]

Finally, the church should reach out to the unreached peoples of this world for the same reason we do every good work or act of love—the cross of Jesus Christ.

The blood of Christ simply does not allow us to turn a deaf ear or blind eye to the more than a billion souls who know little to nothing about what the Son of God did for them. It would be like possessing the cures for the world’s worst diseases and simply keeping them to ourselves. The cross does not allow indifference, silence, or detachment from our participation in the mission of God to reach lost humanity. The cross demands our utmost commitment and dedication to make Christ known to all the world … regardless of where they live, what color they are, or what language they speak.

This is not simply a task for missionaries, specialized organizations, single denominations, or even the church in a particular country. Bringing the gospel to the unreached peoples of the world is a task for the whole church, and “Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence.”[2]

 Dr. Vance Massengill serves as Education Coordinator in the Middle East.

To partner with the Massengills, click here: Project Number 102-9435

[1] http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1801-1900/c-t-studd-gave-huge-inheritance-away-11630616.html

[2] unknown author

 

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WHY WE REACH TO THE UNREACHED — Part One

Why should the church of Jesus Christ be engaged in missionary efforts to bring the Gospel to those who have never heard it?

Perhaps a greater question would be why is the church not more engaged in reaching the unreached people groups of the world? In the world today, there are almost 7,000 people groups classified as unreached equaling 42 percent of the world’s current population[1]. Despite this heartbreaking statistic and although the global church has 9,000 times the workforce and 3,000 times the necessary financial resources to complete the Great Commission, the body of Christ is only investing .5 percent of its financial and human resources towards reaching unreached people groups[2]. If the church truly desires to change this trend and fully embrace the task of finally bringing the story of Christ to the whole world, biblical motivations abound.

For centuries the church has been proclaiming the Second Coming of Christ, but at the same time failing to participate with God in His mission to the world so that glorious event may finally occur. Jesus Himself confirmed that the end would not come until His gospel had been proclaimed to the whole world (Matthew 24:14). Pastor Oswald J. Smith challenges the church to fulfill its missiological obligation by stating, “We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.”[3] If Christ’s church truly desires to see His return, fulfilling His great and only commission to bring His story to all nations should at least motivate us to do more, reach farther, and bring the greatest message humanity can receive to those whose ears have not yet heard it.

Dr. Vance Massengill serves as Education Coordinator in the Middle East.

To partner with the Massengills, click here: Project Number 102-9435

[1]https://joshuaproject.net

[2] http://www.thetravelingteam.org

[3] Smith, Oswald J. The Passion for Souls. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1950.

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WAYS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: New Book

WAYS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT is the newest release on former missionary to Russia Jeanette Chesser, who passed away December 2013 after 17 years of missions ministry.

Jeanette’s influence and teaching reached across Russia, Siberia, Ukraine, and Africa—a woman who dedicated herself to equipping believers and discipling new converts.

Russian Ilya Okhotnikov, who served as Jeanette’s translator, relates that although Jeanette taught from the pulpit and in classes, her most meaningful teaching came from her presence among them. She stayed in the homes of Russians for fellowship, answering questions, and she counseled. Teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life was new to Russia. Jeanette endured hardships and ill treatment, but she lived in the ways of the Holy Spirit.

Copies are only $10 each (plus shipping) and all proceeds will fund scholarships for women to attend the seminary in Moscow.

Contact Wanda LeRoy at leroycogwe@aol.com to place your order.

KINDESS OPENS DOORS: Missions Romania

Robert Schmidt, missionary to Romania, knows full well that one act of kindness opens doors for other ministry to occur.

Upon visiting the village of Rupa where they went to give food and clothing, Bob asked if he could come back and dedicate a baby to the Lord. Not only did he get to dedicate the baby, but he was able to preach a message the Lord laid on his heart about the love God has for people, regardless of who they are or where they live. Anyone can trust the Lord, even when things look difficult. As a result, Bob was invited to return and to preach in revival meetings. Rupa is a small village with about 10 to 12 families, half are not Christians, but every person matters to the Lord.

Having watched people asking for food during the winter, the Schmidts began a year ago feeding as many people as possible.

Initially, those at the center pitched in to get started. Since then, several churches are assisting and the ministry has grown to feeding about 200 people a week in three villages—Gepiu, Tinaud, and Ineu.

In Gepiu, there are two separate gypsy communities. They intended on feeding just children, but the old people said, “What about us … we have nothing,” so they are fed, as well. In Tinaud, an extremely poor family without parents lives in a two-room shack, with one mattress on the floor. This is the same village where earlier parents slept in shifts because they had to watch for rats trying to eat their children’s feet. Mattresses are desperately needed. In Ineu, when the van pulls up to the place where the children are fed, they clap and shout. Rightfully so, the children are excited to eat warm food, learn songs, and hear more Bible stories.

Robert and Caroline Schmidt are living and preaching the gospel, but are only able to do ministry because of your financial partnership.

To give online, please use Project Number 731-1169.