GARY HULL— MANAGER OF STATE APPROVED CHRISTIAN RADIO STATION

The State of Israel, in an unprecedented decision, has allocated a radio broadcast frequency to an American Christian evangelical radio network that will broadcast messages of hope and peace to the people in Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Jordan and expanded night-time coverage into Turkey and Egypt. This is the first time a Christian broadcast frequency has been granted in Israel and the first domestic radio station with international purpose (from a news release by Strategic Communications Group).

The new Christian Radio station “Voice of Hope for the Middle East” (AM 1287) was dedicated at the end of March in a live on-air broadcast featuring president and founders John and Heather Tayloe and General Manager Gary Hull, Church of God overseer—Israel/Palestinian Authority Area. Broadcasts are in Arabic and some English to the Arab population.

Israel’s Minister of Communication, Tzachi Hanegbi stated: “This radio station exemplifies the deep connection and unique bond that Israel has with the American people and between Jews and Christians. We are certain that the message of hope that will be brought by the station will be an uplifting tool and a benefit to our neighbors. The State of Israel supports any message of peace to the people in neighboring countries and this is why we decided to support the reestablishment of the Voice of Hope.”

The Voice of Hope is a gift of love from Christians in the United States and Canada.

Ways to Involve Your Congregation in Missions

The congregation of Rose Heights Church in Tyler, Texas where Doug Anderson is Senior Pastor.

The 16-year-old was moved to tears when he heard the stories of sacrifice, provision, and miracles from the mission field as told by the worn, itinerate missionary. When the pledges were received, he had given all he could—but that was not enough. He went to the altar that Sunday morning fully expecting to surrender to the call of a full-time missionary. Instead, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly and definitively: “I have called you to be a businessman and financially support missions around the world until all have heard.” That call was decades ago. Today, that man serves as chairman of the Missions Board and has been faithful to fulfill the call of God on his life.

Not everyone in the local church has the same passion as that young man, so how does one engage the entire congregation in missions? Four ways:

Spiritually: Set aside at least one Sunday per year as Missions Sunday to focus on the scriptural mandate to finish the Great Commission. On that Sunday, present moving stories to connect them.

Emotionally: The best approach is to present an excellent video that tells the story of a person who was touched by the ministry of a missionary, followed by the live introduction of that person and the missionary. The congregation will be emotionally invested. They will desire to “do something,” so provide an opportunity to involve them.

Physically: Partner will local non-profit ministries in your community who need volunteers. Highlight the organizations that fulfill the Great Commandment to love others as yourself by doing what Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25: “As much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.”

Financially: It takes money. When you touch their hearts, you touch their wallets. There are seven types of donors that have been identified by non-profit experts.1 They sit in the local church, as well. We must provide opportunities to reach all seven.

  1. Those who give because it’s the right thing to do (Great Commission and Great Commandment). Most churches stop there – assuming everyone will do what is right. Those churches miss out on 86 percent of potential contributions.
  2. Those who give to make their community better. Again, partner with local organizations that help fulfill the mandate of Matthew 25.
  3. Those who give to a cause. Provide a variety of opportunities (orphan care, evangelistic crusades, missionary support, projects, and so forth).
  4. Those who give because they have the gift of giving. These folks desire accountability and a report to verify the contribution is delivered.
  5. Those who give as investors. They are looking for a return on their gift (number of lives touched or saved).
  6. Those who give because they were a beneficiary of a similar gift.
  7. Those who give for recognition. Their name on the gift or project motivates them to contribute.

Prayerfully consider strategies to involve both mature and immature believers in missions by providing a variety of opportunities that connect them in various ways.

—Doug Anderson, Pastor, Rose Hgts. COG, Tyler, Texas

 

  1. Boards on Fire! Inspiring Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully by Susan Howlett. © 2010. Page 67

EMERGE CAMPUS UPDATE

Chuck and Sherry Quinley, missionary founders of EMERGE, are finally seeing progress in the construction of their new building in Asia. EMERGE reaches Asian youth by producing Gospel media at their training center called “MediaLight.”

Earlier this month, the foundation was laid. Now, they will push through the intense summer (100-plus degree heat) in a race to be under a roof before the worst of the rainy season hits in July and August.

The most important impact for the harvest is to train and mentor as many young leaders as thoroughly as possible so they will have the heart and skills to reach their generation. To accomplish this goal, they must have a facility adequate for the vision—MediaLight Creativity Center—one of the few places in the world to train media missionaries.

First, 25-ft.-long concrete pilings were driven into the ground beneath all the stress points of the building, strengthening the structure against earthquakes. Then, a 3-ft. pit was dug around each piling. Cement was dumped into each pit, providing a wide footing under each section of the building. Beams were added to connect the individual footings for even more strength. Extra cement was used to create a 600-meter road to the property to make access easier. They can’t let anything slow them down as they race the rains expected.

The point of this is the fact that if a person is going to accept Christ, they will do so by age 25. In reality, 80 percent of all conversions takes place by age 15.

Asia is the least evangelized continent in the world.

Click here to give to the ministry of the Quinley’s: Project Number 060-0031

A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES

Paul and Rhonda Stockard, Coordinators of Specialized Outreach/Africa, had a great previous year, albeit, a busy one … a year of ups and downs, victories and struggles.

Paul states, “The leaders and pastors on the African continent are some of the most sacrificial ministers I have seen anywhere—men like Charles Karangwa, superintendent for Central Africa (which includes some challenging areas of ministry), who still grieves the loss of his dear wife. I have never felt as privileged as I do to work alongside such strong, dedicated, and faithful men and women of God.

“Others from the African ministry field have also finished their race and are a part of a great cloud of witnesses awaiting us in glory. The best way to honor them is to move ahead, confronting giants that are guarding strongholds yet to be conquered by the church.”

Around 50 percent of the world’s conflicts today occur on the African continent, and it’s an open door for ministry to seriously needy people, ranging from military to refugees, who are now calling for help. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes by civil war.

Paul has been training workers in areas of specialized outreach and ministry in Nigeria, Chad, Togo, Zambia, and Uganda. In Nigeria, there is an interdenominational group of chaplains who are recognized by the government, yet have no formal training.

The fields are ripe unto harvest, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37).

Give online support to Paul and Rhonda Stockard – Project #060-0073

PRAGUE: FILLED WITH INDIFFERENCE AND SKEPTICISM

When I first moved to Prague, Czech Republic, many stateside supporters had heard little about it; however, that did not last long. After hitting multiple top-10 lists for best places to visit in Europe or most beautiful cities in the world, Prague has become a major tourist destination. In less than three decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain, it has developed into an extremely modern, cosmopolitan, and increasingly affluent city.

This could deceptively lead one to assume that there are few challenges to life and ministry here. Even though its skyline is formed by cathedral spires and its streets filled with religious art and sculptures, Prague is regarded as the most atheistic city in Europe and one of the least-believing in the world.[1]

Czechs are among the most educated and well-read in Europe[2]. The average one you meet is likely to have some historical knowledge of Christianity, but unlikely to have had any significant encounter with a believing Christian.

While there is no longer state-sponsored persecution of religion, there persists a large degree of indifference or skepticism towards it.

Unfortunately, in centuries prior to communism, the soil of Prague was bloodied in religious feuds and holy wars. One student worded her view this way, “Organized religion is a man-made invention that has always been used to control others.” This heartbreaking view of the church is one I have heard echoed time and again here.

So, how does one effectively minister in this context? How do we operate as a lighthouse in such a spiritually dark environment? While it is a question we continually ask ourselves, and remain open to learning more, our team has experienced some ways that are more effective in allowing God’s love and light to shine through us here.

One very important way is partnering with the local church. The Church of God has existed in Czech Republic for nearly seven years. Our local congregation is pastored by national bishop, Jerry Lillard, and recently adopted the name “Life Church[3]” due to its mission to bring God’s life into the community. The mission statement is to “Love God, love people, and live a life that truly matters.” It operates a “Life Center,” or community center, directed by Ulli Lillard, which reaches out in culturally relevant ways, including summer English camps and weekly after-school clubs.

Our missions team consists of three full-time missionaries, all of whom have a Master’s degree in counseling, including one Licensed Professional Counselor, Kelly Myers, and one trained Art Therapist, Michelle Saint-Loth. We each counsel individuals weekly, from within and outside the church, but also have partnered with the Life Center to respond to felt needs in the community. These include offering workshops for teachers and children in local schools on topics like bullying, healthy emotions, self-esteem, and suicide prevention. We also hosted art therapy groups for mothers in a local shelter, helped lead “Celebrate Recovery[4]” groups, parenting seminars, and are working towards cancer support groups. These are opportunities to build bridges between the church and community and will, prayerfully, help redefine the church in the eyes of society as a redemptive force for good.

We seek to offer services that are truly life-giving and can only do so through operating in, and bearing witness to, the true Source of Life. The goal is that the light of God’s love for the people here will be evident and proclaimed in both word and deed. Please pray for us and for the city of Prague to be a lighthouse in this region!

Sabrina “Sunny” Evans is a long-time missionary to the city of Prague, one of the Lighthouse Cities. She will play an intregal part in training ministers and helping plant churches there.

[1] The Washington Post. “Map: These Are the World’s Least Religious Countries,” by Rick Noack. April 14, 2015.

[2] “Which Country Reads the Most?” by Jason English. Source: World Culture Score Index @Amazing Maps, 2014

[3] www.lifechurch.cz

[4] Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-Centered 12-Step recovery program, www.celebraterecovery.com

To give online, click here: cogwm.org/prague

 

FIRST COG MISSIONARY TO KENYA, CLAUDE THAYER,  PASSES AWAY

Claude Thayer, first Church of God missionary to Kenya, Africa, passed away on May 10, 2017, in Cass City, Michigan. His wife, Frances, preceded him in death in 2011. Together, they established the Church of God in Oxford, Michigan.

Kenya Overseer David Bwire presents a plaque to the first Missionary Overseer of Kenya, Claude Thayer in July 2016.

As residents of the United States, Claude and Frances sensed a clear and definite calling to Kenya. During the Thayers’ schooling at Vennard College in University Park, Iowa (which has since closed), they became acquainted with a couple from Nairobi, Kenya, Geoffrey and Rachel Chepkwony. The Chepkwonys stayed with the Thayers while Geoffrey completed his education. The Africans were well-acquainted with the vice president of Kenya. When they returned to Kenya, they influenced the vice president to invite the Thayers to Kenya.

The Thayers arrived in 1977. Two days after they were in-country, the first Church of God was organized in Nairobi by Superintendent A.W. Brummett with 11 members. A second church was established in Karatina with 36 charter members. The third church was located in Matharini and started with 12 members.

Claude served as overseer of Kenya from 1977 to 1978.

JUNE IS “SEND LIGHT TO DISASTER” MONTH

Disaster relief has become all too familiar. No matter what direction you may look, tragedy and natural disasters are occurring every day. People’s lives have been turned upside down, with little assurance from the distress. Disaster will happen.

During the month of June, you can help Church of God World Missions be ready to help comfort those whose hope has been taken away by disaster.

Ken Anderson, long-time missionary, knows all too well how devastating a natural disaster affects untold numbers of individuals caught in the crossfire. A life lesson Ken learned from a former mentor is: “Never say ‘God bless you’ unless you are willing to be an instrument of that blessing.”

Church of God World Missions has provided humanitarian aid since the early days of her history. The denomination is known for going above and beyond to help the unfortunate, no matter where they exist. Disaster relief has positively affected our global Great Commission mandate … not just talking, but also acting.

Disaster relief covers an extensive arena—poverty, natural disasters, and civil wars. The most common disasters, earthquakes and hurricanes, take untold lives, and have lengthy recoveries. Often, before hurricane winds had ceased, or earthquakes had completely come to an end, the family of the Church of God through World Missions and its partnerships began sending assistance to the constituency and churches devastated by flooding and mudslides.

The ultimate result of our humanitarian efforts is that closed governments and those resistant to the Gospel become open to the message of salvation and Christ’s love. Compassion goes a long way to convince people someone genuinely cares.

No one individual, organization, or country can totally carry the load when it comes to humanitarian aid. Everyone is needed to do his/her part. World Missions has never hesitated its duty to help nor failed to show mercy. During the month of June, we can focus our efforts to be prepared to minister to those whose hearts were formerly closed.

Your participation with the entire family of faith brings about relief and adds new souls to the Kingdom of God.

Relief Fund Project Number 765-0036

To give online go to: cogwm.org/disaster

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FORMER OVERSEER OF SCOTLAND GOES TO HIS REWARD

Paul Melvyn Berry McLaughlan passed away on May 18, 2017, in Inverness, Scotland, following a massive stroke.

Paul and his wife, Sheila, were a powerful force for God’s Kingdom work in a country that needed a great witness. For many years, they worked with the homeless, addicted, and abandoned (mainly teenagers, many of whom they raised in their home, supporting a total of 19 children—including five of their own). The McLaughlans began a work among the bereaved, the prisoners, and eventually became active with Victim Support Scotland. They served the Church of God in Scotland/Ireland from 1984 until 1993.

Greatly involved in the community, Paul and Sheila worked tirelessly amidst hostility to Pentecost, and especially to a woman preacher. Together, they stood strong.

Paul’s father’s name was Gallagher, and he changed his name to his mother’s maiden name (McLaughlan) to protect him from Jesuit priests and his father after his conversion in 1954. His father did not speak to him for 31 years, but finally in 1986 communication was reestablished.

In his earlier years, Paul was a youth pastor for a small church in England, and in 1960 worked with the Assemblies of God as Sunday school teacher, music minister, and also conducted street and bar ministries. In 1974, he founded Spring Bank Youth Outreach, and had over 200 conversions in four years from schools and colleges. The McLaughlans came into the Church of God in 1980, because they were so impressed with the heart for missions of the denomination.

The life of this great warrior for Christ would fill volumes; in addition, he was full of life and full of the Holy Ghost. A delight to be around, he loved a good prank, and his laughter was contagious.

In a letter written by Paul in 1990, he states: “We appreciate our donors greatly and are conscious of their prayers. We need prayer support more than anything else. Even with all the money in the world, one cannot defeat the enemy … but with prayer and supplication our requests are met!”

Funeral arrangements are:

11 AM, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

William T. Fraser and Son Funeral Home

Culduthel Road, Inverness, Scotland IV2 6AB

For those desiring to honor Paul McLaughlan, a memorial church planting fund (Paul McLaughlan, Sr. Church Planting Memorial Fund, Project Number 132-9213) has been established.

Click here to give online to this fund: Project 132-9213.

 

 

CRUCIAL ASPECT OF MISSIONARY WORK

At a time in the Church of God when great emphasis is being placed on education and training disciples, Missionary Vance Massengill is stepping up his activities.

The Massengills have been in missions for 22 years. Although often unrealized, one of the most crucial aspects of missionary work is the training of national pastors, leaders, and missionaries. Recently, Vance spent time teaching some great men and women whom God is calling for His purposes. While they come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, speak many different languages, and have diverse religious histories, they all have one thing in common … they know Jesus Christ and desire to make Him known.

Vance states: “The ministry God has given us in the Middle East involves many tasks. From sharing our ‘life’ with those in the region, to mobilizing the many immigrant churches in the area for the work of the Great Commission, to working with the local churches. Of the many things God has blessed us to do in this region, one of my favorite is the training and development of young ministers. In a region where born-again Christians in most countries make up less than 1 percent of the population and only 2 percent of where the global mission force works, future laborers for the harvest are essential!”

A couple of months ago, Vance had the joy of credentialing and commissioning three young men that he has been working with on a weekly basis. He has peace that the future work in the fields of the Middle East will continue long after they are gone because of these dedicated workers for the Kingdom.

To give online, click here.

“WORLD MISSIONS HAS BEEN A PART OF OUR LIVES FOR MANY YEARS”

Director Dr. David Griffis and Assistant Director Dr. M. Thomas Propes received correspondence from donors in Alabama, Tom and Betty Neely, who related how important missions is, and how they have been involved for many years.

The Neelys enjoy reading globalCONNECT, a monthly insert in the Church of God EVANGEL that gives valuable information and updates on World Missions activities.

Over 50 years ago, Betty taught a group of Junior girls in Sunday School at their church in Cincinnati, Ohio. A missionary spoke at their church, and the girls wanted to do something for missions. The class contacted someone who sent the missionary’s name to the class from Mexico—Thomas Chevez. Over time, the SS class members brought extra nickels, dimes, or quarters until they finally had enough money to send to the missionary. Thomas purchased a horse to get around in the mountains to minister, and Sister Chevez sent the class a photo of her on the horse.

The impact of that missions giving produced a missionary from the Neely family … a great niece, Lily, who feels the call to missions with a Spanish emphasis. The Neelys sent her the letters and pictures kept all these years of Thomas Chevez. One of the girls in the SS class married a cousin of the Neelys and she still remembers the “Missions Horse Project.”

Since the Neelys’ initial donation in 1985, they have given over tens of thousands to the cause of world evangelization. Truly, they have lived missions giving a large part of their lives.