GOD NEVER FORGETS

Jerry Madden

Pastor Jerry Madden

Pastor Jerry Madden of Praise Cathedral in Greer, South Carolina, was overwhelmed by a miracle of God. While he does not care much for theatrics, nor dramatics, this was one time he got a bit excited.

The previous church year brought unforeseen opportunities equal to one million dollars—some repairs had to be done on the church, the sound system had to be replaced, and other such expenses were incurred. But, the congregation paid for these items all along and did not borrow any money. In the meantime, they also continued to honor their missions commitments.

Pastor Jerry had earlier expressed to the church the hope that this fall, their mortgage payment would be under one million dollars.

Recently, Pastor Jerry received an envelope in the mail; it appeared to be a check, but he couldn’t be sure. The sender was a department within a major financial institution. And, yes, it was a valid check—a check for ONE MILLION DOLLARS! After quite some diligence, Pastor Jerry managed to talk with someone at the financial institution who told him the money was given by a donor or donors requesting anonymity. Praise Cathedral’s mortgage will now be debt-free!

Wait … that is not the end of the story. Included in the envelope was another check, this one also for ONE MILLION DOLLARS, for the church’s missions efforts! Praise Cathedral monthly supports Samaritan’s Purse—the orphanage in the Philippines overseen by Marc and Marilen Morris—several missionaries, a Bible school, a theological seminary, as well as other orphanages and ministries. The church’s missions pastor is Mark Hill.

God never forgets. He rewards with blessings those who sow His love in kindness, and He gave Praise Cathedral a great return on their investments into His Kingdom!

Hebrews 6:10: “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

COGWM PRAYS FOR CARIBBEAN IN FACE OF HURRICANE MARIA

Hurricane Maria ravages through the Caribbean and threatens significantly more damage to poor and already-devastated islands. Church of God International World Missions Director and Assistant Director, Drs. David M. Griffis and M. Thomas Propes, responded with a call to prayer with the COGWM family this morning.

Dr. Griffis opened the time of prayer with scriptures from Mark 4 and Matthew 14, demonstrating that Jesus – who is the same yesterday, today, and forever – still calms the storms. “God rides on the wings of the wind,” said Griffis, citing Psalm 104. “Jesus is still the master of the sea.”COGWM praying for Caribbean

Dr. Propes drew from his own experience and explained that in deep seasons of loss, people find God. In those moments, “there is something in our DNA that turns us to God,” he said. He further stated that there is reason to be hopeful that in the face of devastation, a great harvest of souls can be reaped.

Next, specific prayers were offered by Dr. Propes and two World Missions board members, Dr. Gary Sears and Dr. Donald Walker: prayers for provision, protection, and peace.

Dr. Griffis then led COGWM in a time of prayer asking God to turn Hurricane Maria back to the sea. He drew from biblical and personal examples that demonstrate God’s ability and graciousness to do this.

“World Missions stands with our Church of God family across the Caribbean. We offer our financial support, but more than that we offer our prayers. To our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean – you are not alone,” Dr. M. Thomas Propes.

To give to relief efforts, please visit cogwm.org/caribbeanrelief.

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LEE U. INTERCULTURAL STUDIES STUDENTS VISIT WORLD MISSIONS

As part of Dr. Edley Moodley’s Intercultural Studies class at Lee University, the seniors visit the offices of World Missions for a time of familiarization with its modes, financial structure, and interaction with missionaries—some of whom are retired, some on furlough, and others currently serving on the field, but are home fund-raising.

During one of the sessions, the students were asked to respond to the question: “Why is it important for you to take the Intercultural Studies class?” The responses were inspiring, encouraging, and eye-opening … making it clear that some extraordinary future missionaries may be among those who attended.

Following are some of their excerpts:

The call of missions was stamped on my heart from an early age. My general dislike for school led me to apply to missions organizations, trying to get ahead of God instead of seeking Him. I am so humbled and grateful to be at Lee U. I want to ‘Study to show myself approved!’”   (Hannah Vickery)

We have a safe place to dialogue and debate various situations and their possible solutions relevant to missions in 2017. All my classes leading to this point would have the potential to be meaningless without principles and practices of missions being the thread that ties everything together.”   (Shabanna Osborne)

This class is important because it goes beyond the textbook!”   (Danyale Ford)

Both biblically and practically, it is clear being a missionary is not something you can just ‘do’ without proper training and preparation. Why would we expect anyone to trust his spiritual life to someone who is untrained?”   (Nick Eckert)

The Lord has shown me how important education is when it comes to His work. We don’t want the ‘blind leading the blind.’ I truly want to grow into who God has called me to be.”   (Taylor Doan)

Without this class, I would be lost in my major!”   (Catherine Wilson)

As one can easily read, God has some choice servants among these students, and World Missions looks forward to their future missionary journeys.

HURRICANE IRMA – USA RELIEF

Cogwm.org/irmausa is an online link through which churches, individuals, and businesses may give to the relief efforts for the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.

Church of God World Missions is offering this service as an assistance for the rapid distribution of funds with integrity; 100 percent of funds given through cogwm.org/irmausa will go to help with recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Irma. The monies for IRMAUSA recovery efforts are given to partners of the Church of God Care Division and to church leadership in the affected areas.

World Missions has long considered its work a bridge between churches and the need. Individually the cost is too great, but by bringing together churches and individuals, the impact of your compassion is greatly strengthened. The end result is much more expansive than our individual input.

Together we serve, together we give, together we receive the grace of God. Your prayers are an important part of the recovery process.

Call 1.800.535.9343 or 1.800.345.7492 during EDT office hours to give.

Use cogwm.org/irmausa in your browser to open the World Missions giving portal.

CATHY COILE: THANK YOU FOR YOUR MINISTRY

Having served as secretary and communications assistant to Grady Murphy, World Missions coordinator of global communications, Cathy Coile has chosen to follow the path of the retired after 17 years with the department.

The word that best describes Cathy is “diligent,” and according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, its meaning is clearly Cathy: “Having or showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.”

Cathy was employed for 18 years at Magic Chef before joining the workforce at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in 2000. In 2001, she became an employee of Church of God World Missions, and experienced a ministry not only in the office work, but in the lives of the missionaries.

On the personal level, Cathy is a lifelong resident of Cleveland, Tennessee, as well as a member of South Cleveland Church of God. One of Cathy’s former responsibilities at South Cleveland was to produce and direct the annual Easter program, her specialty being that of preparing props and backdrops. She is a gifted artist. Cathy also sings in the church choir.

Another passion for Cathy is her participation in the annual Royal Family Kids Summer Camp for underprivileged children. It brought her great joy and satisfaction in watching God move in the lives of the children.

International World Missions Director Dr. David Griffis and Assistant Director Dr. M. Thomas Propes are assured World Missions is losing a great person and friend. Cathy will not easily be replaced, but neither will World Missions be replaced in her heart—of that, we’re sure. World Missions wishes her well in this new chapter of her life.

Cathy is married to David; they have two children: April and Nick; and two grandchildren, Alden and Vivian.

IT’S TIME TO ACT!

Men/Women of Action swings into action for Hurricane Harvey relief. As the rains continue in the area, MWOA is assessing when and where teams will be sent to aid in disaster relief and recovery efforts over the coming weeks and months.

Rescuers are working to make critical extractions for people caught in the raging flood waters from the days of deluge of Hurricane Harvey Photo: AP

VOLUNTEER

If you are interested in and available to volunteer with disaster recovery teams going to south Texas, please call the MWOA office at 423-478-7955. The first wave of teams will be tearing down damaged drywall, removing flooring, tarping roofs, and clearing debris. Most important, they’ll be there to show the love of Christ and share the eternal hope of the Gospel with these disaster victims and communities.

SUPPORT

If you are unable to go with a team, please prayerfully consider donating. Without financial backing, the MWOA teams become greatly limited in the amount of work they are able to accomplish. DONORS are just as important to these efforts as the volunteers who travel!

PRAY

Not only pray for the people of Texas, but earnestly pray for the Church of God pastors and their churches. The flood waters will continue to rise in the coming days.

COGWM General Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief 765-0036-052 cogwm.org/txhurricane 

FOR MWOA efforts in Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief: Project #731-1143-553

 

“… the call of God is found in the little things …”

When thinking back over my call to become a missionary, I am reminded of a verse in Ecclesiastes that says, “God put eternity into the hearts of men” (my paraphrase of 3:11). When I was a child, I had an uncle ask me one day what I wanted to be when I grew up, and out of nowhere, I blurted out, “A missionary!” Even from that young age, God had put eternity into my heart.

Years later, as I was traveling through the U.S. with a buddy, we drove through the Navajo Reservation. I remember seeing these people that had no way to get where they were going, unless someone stopped to offer them a lift. I remember seeing where they were coming from and where they were headed to, and it broke my heart to see the poverty, emptiness, and brokenness that was written on their faces. I cried and cried and cried.

Now, 60 years later, that calling is still as strong today as ever. It has never faded; it has never waned; it has never gone away. If I had an eternity to live on this earth, I would spend it being a missionary, for I could not do anything other than what God has called me to do! God has given me eyes to see those who are headed somewhere, and to stop and offer them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all headed to an eternal destination. If I can share the Gospel of Jesus and point people to an eternal hope, an eternal purpose, and an eternal Savior, then I know I have done what God has called me to do.

The reason so many miss the call to become a missionary is that they are waiting for God to move mountains, to write out their destiny in the clouds, and to shake the earth with the revelation of what He wants them to do. But, so many times the call of God is found in the little things … the daily things … the things that are all around us, if we would just stop and open our eyes to see. David began as a shepherd and ended as a king. Joseph began as a prisoner only to save the lives of thousands. Christ began as a babe only to become the Name Above All Names. Your start may be small, but your calling is given by God Almighty Himself.

—Ron Countryman

Associate Missionary

UPG American Indians

 

Click here to partner with the ministry of Ron and Kathy Countryman to American Indians.

PREPARING FOR THE NEXT STEP

Emily (Green) Yamazaki, missionary in Asia, is taking seminary classes on career development, a counseling course, a marriage and family counseling class, and Theology 1. As part of the marriage and family class, she is being trained to use a premarital and marital enrichment assessment called Prepare/Enrich. Marriage is foundational to families and society as a whole, and Prepare/Enrich helps couples discover their strengths.

THEOLOGY CLASS CHALLENGES

The content of her theology class is challenging her to think about what she believes about God and why she believes it. Every believer has a theology, whether he or she realizes it. The class is learning the importance of early church creeds and the hard work the early church fathers did to come to a biblically sound consensus about the most important doctrines of the church.

THE NEXT STEP

Emily will be involved in a counseling practicum at the seminary’s community clinic soon. She is excited to begin the work and ministry that she has already spent two years preparing for!

MISSIONARY CARE

Missionary care is a vital part of missions, yet many missionaries do not receive the emotional and spiritual support they need. Emily wants to use her counseling abilities to minister to other missionaries.

SINCERE THANKS

Your partnership as a donor on this journey of preparation for Emily is invaluable and deeply appreciated. She says: “Thank you for believing in me and for standing with me to bring healing and hope to those who have none.”

Click here to give online support for Emily: Project #065-0799

PEOPLE FOR CARE AND LEARNING

People for Care and Learning recently acquired a new leadership team with Travis Johnson serving as its executive director. An integral part of Travis’ family already, PCL participation is nothing new. Kelly, his wife, worked as director of Buy a Tree—Change a Life, an organization they founded to assist children globally and locally.

Travis’ journey with PCL began when former director, Dr. Fred Garmon, invited him to visit Cambodia, and his involvement progressed into a fully committed and all-encompassing aim to continue a transformative work of inspiring hope and empowering potential.

Joining the leadership team is Dr. Fred Toke who works directly with the executive director as the Chief of Operations. Fred is a prolific communicator and is a gifted organizational leader. Continuing in engagement with PCL is former executive director, Dr. Fred Garmon, who will serve as special adviser to the executive director.

PCL’s donors and volunteers have broken poverty cycles, redeemed and transformed, and have provided hope. The most successful year to date was 2016 where 38 churches in 12 states mobilized over 2,000 volunteers who sold 10,670 trees to help children.

Travis states: “PCL isn’t just an organization. It is a family; it’s a force for good; it is a great hope made up of people like yourselves. We cannot accomplish the highest hopes of this organization without you!

Project #102-1019

MEN AND WOMEN OF ACTION PARTNERS WITH LOCAL MINISTRY

Men and Women of Action has long been known in the Church of God for its volunteer ministry assistance overseas in construction and remodeling, as well as stateside projects such as the yearly Appalachian Christmas event for the underprivileged.

A ministry in Dalton, Georgia, located about 30 minutes outside Cleveland, Tennessee, is home to the “City of Refuge” that has been ministering to the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the homeless and low income families in Northwest Georgia since 1995.

MWOA has committed to partnering with this ministry as they expand their facility in Dalton. Shaw Industries donated 197,000 of square feet of warehouse space to the City of Refuge outreach! This allows the City of Refuge to continue feeding 400 families in the Dalton area, as well as add to its food bank, meal program, safe house, and offices.

Remodeling the donated space is a HUGE job. Demolition is underway and teams are being organized for Phases 2 and 3. If you’re interested in volunteering for the project, please call MWOA offices at 423.478.7955 and talk to Melissa or Phil for more information.