MONTANA NATIVE AMERICAN MINISTRIES: A Higher Purpose for Living

Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live” (Ezekiel 37:9b).

The mission of the Montana Native American Ministries and Four Winds Ministry Center is to offer a higher purpose for living and equip lives by giving hope and an expected end through Jesus Christ. The ministry is overseen by founders and directors, Ron and Kathy Countryman, and their son, Justin and his wife Jessica Countryman. The Four Winds Ministry Center is located in Big Timber, Montana.

The nights in Montana are usually cool all year long. That’s why blankets and coats are needed on a regular basis, and ladies from a church in Texas hand-knitted hats and scarves. A church in Alabama provided blankets and backpacks, as well. This winter it was not uncommon for the temperature to be 38 degrees below zero at the ministry center. Brrrrrrh!

At the close of last year, MNAM delivered $3,000 worth of new clothes and blankets for the children on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. For the Boys and Girls Club at Lame Deer, the children were provided with 105 new winter coats, 50 pairs of winter pajamas, 300 wool blankets, plus 48 sets of hand-knitted hats and scarves. The Dull Knife Day Care at Lame Deer was also given 25 pairs of infant/toddler pajamas and 25 blankets. As you can tell, staying warm is a priority in these parts!

All the items arrived just days before a season of bitter cold and snow … over 20 inches of snow with winds creating 10 foot drifts. Temperatures dropped to 38 below with a wind chill factor of 60 below zero. None of this assistance to help stay warm could have taken place without the faithful help of their supporters.

Project number 065-0503

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World Missions Offices to Close Friday In Honor of Summer Propes

The family of Church of God World Missions joins with M. Thomas and LaQuita Propes, and their family, in mourning the loss of Summer Joy Propes, daughter, sister, aunt and cherished friend.

In so doing, Director, David M. Griffis, has announced that the offices of Church of God World Missions will be closed on Friday, March 17 so that all WM employees and leadership may support the Propes Family and join in the celebration of the life of Summer Joy Propes.

Office hours will resume on Monday, March 20, 2017.

Arrangements for SUMMER JOY PROPES

SUMMER JOY PROPES

March 2, 1989 – March 14, 2017

Thomas and LaQuita Propes, Assistant Director of World Missions, upon the passing of their daughter, Summer Joy Propes, have made the following arrangements:

Viewing

Friday, March 17, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

North Cleveland Church of God

335 11th Street NE

Cleveland, TN 37311

Funeral

Friday, March 17, 2017, 2:00 p.m.

North Cleveland Church of God

335 11th Street NE

Cleveland, TN 37311

Interment

Immediately Following

Sunset Memorial Gardens

7180 Lee Highway

Cleveland, TN 37312

In lieu of flowers for Summer’s funeral, donations may be made to the

Summer Joy Propes Memorial Fund for Church of God World Missions

(Project 775-0039)

Please keep the Propes family in your prayers during this time.

In Memory of Summer Joy Propes

Dear Friends:

We regret to inform you that

Summer Joy Propes,

daughter of M. Thomas and LaQuita Propes, Assistant Director of World Missions,

passed from this life to be with the Lord on the evening of March 14, 2017.

Complete arrangements will be forthcoming.

Please continue to lift up the Propes family in prayer.

The Propes Family

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

Pentecostal Theological Seminary Joins Send Light to the Cities Effort

Acting on an invitation to speak at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary during an emphasis on missions, World Missions Director Dr. David M. Griffis presented the Send the Light to the Cities project during a chapel at the seminary. He spoke for a time as to how the Lord opened his mind and heart to focus on these urban areas where the most people are gathered.

Blayne Waltrip, long-time missionary and teacher on missions, acted in accord with Dr. Michael Baker, Chancellor of the Division of Education for the Church of God, to fulfill the emphasis for the school.

Dr. Griffis explained the strengths and needs of each of the cities to the students and faculty. He declared, “We will evangelize the cities, and will plant birthing churches that will train and send pastors to plant other birthing churches.” In the subsequent message, Griffis directed attention to the “risen Savior.”

At the close of the service, Dr. Baker addressed how the Seminary would invest in the Send the Light to the Cities endeavor. He asked the students and faculty to unite in giving $1,000 for each of the 10 cities in the initial presentation of the project. Dr. Baker further cited how investing in worldwide ministry would be a blessing for the ministry of the Seminary.

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

 

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

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

 

 

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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