NEVER TOO LATE FOR AN EASTER MIRACLE

The following is related by Career Missionary to Guatemala, Frankie Tyson:

“I had just arrived at the remote village of San Lorenzo and settled into the rustic room with my team from the USA. They had arrived to help rebuild a pastor’s home that had been destroyed in the 2012 earthquake.

“As we were nearly ready to go to the worksite, the owner of our lodging appeared very distraught. He said they were told his 86-year-old mother had been diagnosed with cancer and was not expected to live much longer. Although she was a Catholic, the owner was not sure she would go to heaven when she passed; he asked would I share the gospel with her.

“When he brought her to me the next day, I decided to make it as simple as possible by using an ‘Evangecube,’ a tool favoring a Rubik’s cube that clearly and simply unfolds the Gospel of Jesus Christ through pictures. First, I showed man in sin without God; then Christ on the cross dying for our sins; and finally, the tomb where Jesus arose from the dead. I explained that because He was resurrected from the grave, when we repent of our sins by asking Jesus to forgive us and come into our lives, we are resurrected to a new life in Jesus.

“I also shared that when we repent and believe in Him, we receive the free gift of eternal life. That day, this 86-year-old lady asked Jesus to forgive her and come into her life. She was wonderfully saved, and I had the privilege of baptizing her during Easter! She passed away a short time later.

“I am so glad it is never too late for an Easter miracle!”

To partner with Frankie and Joyce Tyson in their missionary work for Guatemalan pastors, click this link: Project Number 060-0001

Children Deserve Better

Earlier this month, a riot and fire happened at Hogar Seguro, a large government-run orphanage in Guatemala City, because children and teenagers living in the facility protested the documented abuse and notoriously inhumane living conditions. Dozens of teenage girls died in the fire and dozens more died as a result of injuries in the days following. Further investigation revealed the girls were locked in a tiny storage closet as punishment.

Due to the public outrage in recent days, lead government officials began the process of closing Hogar Seguro. Church of God orphanage Casa Shalom has received two children, and have plans to receive more.

Guatemala, along with Casa Shalom, is mourning this tragic loss of 41 lives taken too early in life. Anger at the conditions the vulnerable children were living in has produced determination to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. The mission of Casa Shalom is more important now than ever before … it’s a matter of life and death.

Children who have already suffered extensive trauma in their lives deserve better than to be sent to a place of supposed refuge where they are further abused and wounded. These precious children of God deserve to thrive!

Casa Shalom is more committed now to provide quality holistic care as they strive each day to provide a place of safety, security, healing, and the unconditional love of Christ for each child who comes through their gates.

—Josh and Jessica Hanson

Directors, Casa Shalom Orphanage

Project number 040-0030

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.

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

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.

RAISING FUNDS FOR THE FUND-RAISERS

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.

São Paulo: A Lighthouse City, Part Two

Part Two: An Ideal Training Ground for Ministry

The cultural and contextual diversity of Saó Paulo creates an ideal training ground for ministry throughout Brazil, and throughout the world through missions. Students can be prepared for cross-cultural ministry within the many cultural and linguistic groups without ever leaving the city of Saó Paulo. Some of the descendants of these ethnic groups already speak the language and are familiar with the cultures of Europe, Africa, or Asia. Pastors and missionaries can be prepared for contexts of great poverty, or for reaching the middle or upper classes of society. Students learn to work with limited resources to plant churches and evangelize in any context of the world. The mixture of religions prepares them with experience to confront the various world religions and philosophies they will encounter in other nations. Thus, the diversity of contexts within the city serve to prepare workers for locations and settings around the globe.

Brazil is a country that has awakened to the missions vision. The potential of the young, dynamic, zealous ministers that God is calling forth will only be realized with adequate training for ministry. Theological and Missiological training are a vital part of missions strategy in order for the city named after “Saint Paul” to become a sending church for ministry among the nations.

John Hayes served as a career missionary in Brazil, living in Saó Paulo for many years.

Project Number 102-9435-010

Saó Paulo: A Lighthouse City

Part One: Equipping to Reach the Nations

Saó Paulo, Brazil, is one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world with a population of over 21 million people. The region experienced rapid growth through the industry developed to process the coffee produced on the elevated plateau located an hour and a half from the coastal city of Santos. It became known as the place where good jobs could be found, and people migrated from all over Brazil in the hope of economic prosperity.

Once known as the “Misty City,” the climate has changed due to the growth of the city and the deforestation of the surrounding area. Saó Paulo is the economic and industrial heart of Brazil, while producing over 60 percent of the manufactured goods in South America.

Saó Paulo is a city of immigrants and ethnic diversity, with over 100 cultures represented within its population. Some of the largest groups include Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, German, Arab, Jewish, and the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. The African slaves brought cultural influences to the religion, foods, and customs of Brazil.

She is also a city of tremendous socioeconomic contrasts, with extremely wealthy neighborhoods intermingled with regions of extreme poverty called “favelas.” These shantytowns are regions where drug trafficking, prostitution, murder, and crime dominate the inhabitants resulting in hopelessness and despair.

The challenges for the advancement of the Kingdom of God are many. The traffic and pollution add to the complexity of life in this mega-city. The cost of real estate for building churches is outrageous, and the lack of resources stimulates creative methodologies in church planting. With over 500,000 street children roaming the city, churches are called upon to make a difference through social outreaches and child evangelism. Seventy-five percent of the population is under 25 years of age, demonstrating the challenge of reaching youth through dynamic ministry that will transform lives.

There are also spiritual challenges. Although the majority of the population claims to be Catholic, around 90 percent of Brazilians are influenced by Spiritism through its many forms and expressions.

John Hayes served as a career missionary in Brazil, living in Saó Paulo for many years.

To partner with the Send Light to the Cities project – São Paulo, click here: Project Number 102-9435-010

 

 

VAUGHANS SPEAK AT EDUCATION CONFERENCE

Benson and Cathy Vaughan, missionary educators at SEMISUD in South America, were featured speakers at a Christian Education conference in the largest city of Ecuador—Guayaquil. The people were so gracious to their ministry.

The Vaughans taught several general sessions for approximately 700 participants. Their small class sessions included lessons for children, teenagers, and adults. At the conclusion of the sessions, the Vaughans prayed for the groups and then the classes prayed for them. Already they have been asked to return for next year’s conference.

The host pastor, Brother Edgar, and his congregation celebrated their 11th anniversary, and the Vaughans were privileged to be the guest speakers.

Benson and Cathy are so grateful for their ministry partners who, through their faithful prayers and monthly financial support, have allowed them to continue a vital ministry throughout Ecuador and South America. On this particular trip, the Vaughans were able to minister to over 700 leaders who will return to their home churches better educated.

Click here to partner with the Vaughans: Project Number 065-0138

ARIANA HAS SURGERY

The ministry of South American Call headed by Joe Mercer travels the Amazon conducting crusades and a school of ministry to obsolete villages along the river. But there are other venues that involve the workers, and God makes provision.

Such a situation was Baby Ariana who desperately needed cosmetic surgery on her lip. Living in a village where no real medical help is available, it was almost a hopeless situation. One can only imagine the difficulties the child experienced, as well as the emotional trauma associated with the disfigurement.

God placed people in South American Call who were willing and able to help Ariana. She had the first surgery and did well—her parents are happy for the improvement. While there will be more surgeries in the future, this is a great start!

Project number 065-0125 and designate Ariana

“Love your neighbor as yourself”

Heart for Honduras, headed by Steven and Candace Day, wants to assist Jose Eduardo, the one-year-old son of their neighbors in Honduras.

Since arriving back to Honduras at the beginning of this year, the Days have witnessed Eduardo battle sickness. From ear infections to a stomach flu that required he be in the hospital for a week, he’s had a difficult time for his first year of life.

The current struggle is that Eduardo needs a special brace that will help correct an issue with his leg. His right knee is not lined up properly, causing him to walk with a limp. The brace cost approximately $350. Additionally, Eduardo is having therapy and is taking prescription vitamins to help his bone health. The medication alone costs $50 a month. For this family, this is a huge financial burden they cannot cover with what they earn.

Galatians 6:2 tells us to “bear one another’s burdens,” so the Days not only cover this family in prayer, but also have offered assistance to the family during Eduardo’s illness with medicine and finances to help pay for his hospital stay. Steven and Candice feel it a great honor to call them their very best friends.

Please … “love your [global] neighbor as yourself, (Matt. 22)”

Click here to join the Days: Project number 065-0948 and designate for Eduardo.