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

HOW TO HELP ORPHANAGES CARE FOR THE CHILDREN

When many people in the United States ask about the realities of orphan care in a developing country, some reference an “Oliver Twist” scenario of dirt-covered children crowded into warehouse-style buildings, fighting over scraps of dinner, and being exploited for their labor. While this is sadly the truth in some orphanages around the world, at Casa Shalom Orphanage, located in San Lucas, Guatemala, and the other Church of God orphanages around the world, this could not be further from the truth!

Children come to Casa Shalom and other Church of God orphanages after experiencing the worst that life has to offer. Many have witnessed the violent death of their parents; others are victims of trafficking, or severe abuse at the hands of family members. Still others have been severely neglected by their families or forced to work dangerous jobs instead of attending school. They arrive at our gates frightened, ill, never having been to school or a doctor, and usually wounded in body, mind, and spirit.

The children are placed under the care of loving, national Christian house mothers and fathers who have been trained on how to provide quality care for traumatized children. They are given excellent medical and dental care. The children participate in Christ-centered therapy with one of Casa Shalom’s four licensed psychologists, where creative therapy methods are utilized to bring the children to a place of emotional restoration.

Most important, every child who comes to Casa Shalom and the other Church of God orphanages is introduced to Jesus Christ. They are discipled in Casa Shalom’s children’s church, middle school group, and youth group, where their individual spiritual gifts are nurtured.

Ministry that is done at Casa Shalom and other Church of God orphanages is possible because of the generosity of our partners around the world who give sacrificially so that children like Martin can find refuge and the love of Jesus in their darkest hour! Martin, 19, is Casa Shalom’s oldest resident. He came to the orphanage when he was eight, because his mother made him sell popcorn on the street to fuel her alcohol addiction instead of sending him to school. Martin is a member of Guatemala’s Mayan indigenous people group. His grandfather, a Mayan priest in their remote village, trained Martin in the pagan Mayan religion, and Martin was destined to become the next priest of the town.

When Martin came to Casa Shalom, he heard the name of Jesus for the very first time. He was fascinated with the idea of this loving God who had died so he could live! Martin accepted Christ, was baptized as a teenager, and is committed to serving Him. He is an outstanding student and is currently enrolled in university, where Casa Shalom is funding his degree in architecture. It is only because of the faithful giving of the men and women of the Church of God that Martin, and thousands of other children like him, are being raised up to be Christ-following men and women who will one day reach their countries for Christ.

Click here to partner online with Casa Shalom Orphanage: Project #040-0030

Jessica and Josh Hanson serve as Directors of Casa Shalom, a Church of God orphanage serving children in Guatemala.

THE PAUL McLAUGHLAN MEMORIAL PROJECT

In memory of Paul McLaughlan Sr. and in honor of his ministry of 40 years with the Church of God and in support of the Initiative of Church Planting by the Church of God International Offices, Church of God World Missions and the Church of God Scotland National Church have created a special Paul McLaughlan Memorial Project to help plant and establish churches in Scotland—Project #132-9213.

Paul McLaughlan, Sr. was a man who had confidence in God’s call on his life. Like Abraham he was called out from the comfort of his home and place where he had an established ministry to a place he did not know.

While living in Lancaster, England, God called, assured, and convinced Paul through three seemingly impossible events that he was to plant a church in Inverness, Scotland. Events, Paul told his family, three events that must take place if they were to make this move.

First, the move must cost them nothing (someone would have to move their belongings and all 16 members of the family to Inverness). Second, their house must sell to the very first person who came to look at the house. And third, the entire family must agree to the move, including the young wives of his two sons. Miraculously, all three events occurred in just a few days, confirming that God was calling him to take his family, move to Inverness, and plant a church.

On Wednesday, May 18, 2017, almost 40 years to the date of his arrival at Inverness, Scotland, Paul McLaughlan, Sr. breathed his last and peacefully passed from this world into the arms of Jesus.

Please join us in celebrating the life and ministry of Paul McLaughlan, truly a pioneer Pentecostal church planter, by giving a financial gift in his memory to support the planting and establishing of churches in Scotland.

INVESTMENT IN PREPAREDNESS

Everyone has a memory of where he or she was when something big happened in his/her life. You know, like … where were you when President Kennedy was shot, Elvis died, or when the Twin Towers were destroyed?

The real question is—where were you when you felt the calling of the Lord on your life? When He asked you to come along with Him and He would make you His disciple?

I want to highlight the wording from Matthew 4:19, where Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, and said to them: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Jesus did not say to them, “I will make you carpenters, machinists, electricians,” or whatever. He used the words “fishers of men.”

These men did not need to know how to catch fish … that was their trade from childhood; trained by their fathers. The men would take their craft, and Jesus would turn them to catchers of men.

I remember very clearly where I was, what I was doing, and why I was there when I heard the Lord speak into my spirit, showing me a beautiful church and saying “Come and help me build my church.”

You see, the Lord had already begun a work in me by enhancing my trade, preparing me with crafts and skills on how to do the work, as well as developing leadership skills.

My wife and I began in 1985 as Short-Term Missionaries, following the call upon my heart, never knowing where this was going to take us.

In August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed many homes, families’ lives—losing everything in water that rose to 22 feet deep.

As I stood looking out the window, the Lord spoke to me in a question! “What are you going to do about it?”

It was at that moment all my skills began coming together and I knew what to do. I started making phone calls and planning the next move.

Just like working at the shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, we would receive a call there was shipwreck coming into the yard needing major repairs. We had been trained for the task and knew exactly what we had to do in the order for it to be done.

January 10, 2010, when Haiti was hit by 7.0 earthquake, a pastor said to me they were going to Haiti and begin building churches. It was a good deed the pastor wanted to do, but I posed the question to him: “How are you going to do this?” He replied: “What do you mean?”

“Where are you going to stay? Where are you going to sleep? Where and what are you going eat? How are you going to pay for this?”

His quick response was that maybe I was the one that needed to go.

God never sends the ones He calls unless they have been prepared. He goes before to prepare the way, provide the needs, make contacts, and uses His angles to grant success.

Remember … it is His work, skills, abilities, finances, and His Glory, and He wants us to be successful in all He has given us.

So here is the situation. Do not feel just the call to go on a Mission/Disaster trip to some foreign place where you will sleep in a tent, cannot speak the language, and don’t know the culture. That does not change the fact that people are hurting, some lost their lives, homes, going hungry—you get the picture.

I ask you this question: What are you going to do about it?

God calls, some are sent that are prepared, and others are to send!

Why is it that we have to wait on a tragedy to react? We need to be proactive just like the Scripture tells us that Jesus is coming again.

So how can we go unless we are sent?

Help us be proactive, ready to go at any given day, and not having to wait weeks or months raising funds while people are in need … hurting, lost, and dying!

Jim Hudson

Missionary on Special Assignment

Church of GodWorld Mission

To support disaster preparedness, click here.

To support Jim and Gina Hudson as Missionaries for special assignment, click here.

 

 

 

 

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CHURCH OF GOD MINISTRIES IN MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

MISSIONARIES TO THE MIDDLE EAST

The second Church of God missionary reached the Middle East on November 10, 1910. Lillian Trasher caught her first glance of Alexandria, Egypt, and took from there the train to Asyut at the Nile River, and eventually become known to everyone as the Mother of the Nile. In the beginning, no Pentecostal missions organization was willing to support her extensively, in spite of the fact that the Church of God Evangel constantly appealed to its readers for support. Since funds did not come in as expected, her fellow missionary R.M.

Paul and Gabi Schmidgall
Regional Superintendent MENA

Evans had to return home from the field, and Lillian ultimately had to turn to other sponsors for her orphanage and the Egyptian mission.

CHURCH OF GOD MINISTRY TO THE MIDDLE EAST

After World War II, Revs. Hatfield, Margaret Gaines, Arlene Miller, Salomon Douhne, Gary Hull (Holy Land), Drs. Robert O’Bannon, Samir Yousef (Egypt), K.O. Mathew (UAE), Sushil Mathew (Kuwait), and many others continued with the ministry of the Church of God in the Middle East. Today, in more than 10 countries, there are 300 churches (one of them just outside of Mecca, Saudi Arabia) and over 10,000 members, with a training institution of higher learning in the United Arab Emirates (Gilgal Theological Seminary), as well as television and radio stations in Egypt and the Holy Land that broadcast the gospel to all the regions of MENA. Thousands have responded by mail to these programs, hundreds are coming to the Lord, and are also enrolled in online discipleship programs.

TRAINING MINISTERS OF THE MIDDLE EAST

In Germany, at the European Theological Seminary (in cooperation with Lee University) young men and women from MENA are training to minister among their own. Over the last two years, thousands of refugees have been baptized and new churches have been established. Through the ministry of the students of ETS, hundreds were baptized and Iranian, Afghan, Kurdish, and Arabic churches have been established. We are so grateful to the Lord to be involved in this ministry, because in the past, it has been very difficult for me as superintendent of the Middle East to travel to these restrictive countries of MENA, like Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Now, the Lord has brought many refugees of these countries to us and we can preach the gospel to them without limitations. Many of them were saved and now study at ETS to become leaders in their churches in Europe or return to their homelands to share the good news of Jesus Christ in their countries that are not easily accessible by foreign missionaries!

                                                                                                —Paul Schmidgall

                                                                                                   Superintendent, Middle East

                                                                                                     President, ETS

[1] Church of God Evangel, Jan. 3, 1914, 3; Aug. 15, 1914, 7. Aug. 1, 1917, 2.

[2] Wanda Thompson LeRoy, Lucy Leatherman: “I Trust God”. Missionary Hero Series (Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 2012, 16-19.

[3] LeRoy, Lucy Leatherman, 21.

[4] Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee, Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movement (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988), 201.

F.A.C.E.S. ANNUAL SPIRITUAL EMPHASIS WEEK

FACES, a ministry to street children in Ecuador, is headed by Career Missionaries Dan and Teresa Susong.

Each year a time is set aside for a special spiritual emphasis week when a guest speaker comes and shares a message of Jesus’ mission to seek and to save those who perhaps least deserve it. Many new students hear the message and respond to salvation.

As part of the anti-drug message, dramas and testimonies are given by the youth who were rescued from drug addiction and other problems.

The following Sunday of the spiritual emphasis week, eight new converts were baptized in water. FACES is thankful that kids who have been a part of their program for so long had finally decided to seal their commitment to Jesus in water baptism.

Your support both prayerfully and financially help these precious lives. (Project Number 102-4038)

In addition, the Ministry Center remodeling is almost complete! The remodeling of the school/ministry center property is in full swing. The goal is to make it an inspiring place for the working kids to call their home-away-from-home. Classrooms have a new roof and wiring; new metal framed windows, replacing the old, dilapidated wooden ones; and classrooms received new paint jobs, inside and out! (Project number 7900171-118)

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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.

Please Send Light to Disaster During June

Guardian.com lists this information about disasters:

  • Earthquakes killed the most people over the period from 2000 to 2008—an average of 50,184 people a year.
  • Floods, meanwhile, have affected the largest number of people—an average of 99 million people a year.

Another fact about disasters: “Those worst-affected by the world’s disasters are vulnerable city dwellers living in slums and unplanned settlements,” says the report.

Church of God World Missions is ministering in 181 countries outside the U.S. and Canada. It is likely that we have congregations and ministers near anywhere disaster will strike. While we don’t have the manpower nor the resources to do everything, we are commissioned to use what God has given us. The job is immense, but we can do our part.

Who is Church of God World Missions? It is you, the churches, and individuals in our fellowship. World Missions is the collective body who has been charged to … “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble …”

The results of natural disaster are terrible and awful. However, it is much worse to consider those who might never come to an understanding of God’s love for all peoples.

None of us alone can heal everyone, but together we can put despair to flight. We can be God’s hands of healing by giving our best offering now.

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon” (Isaiah 58:10).

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

Reaching the Youth of Senegal

Senegal is a beautiful country on the northwestern coast of Africa. Traditional African tribal heritage, French colonial influence, and Arab religious influence create a meld of culture that is quite unique. Dakar, the capital of this majority-Muslim country, is a crossroads between western Africa and Europe. People from around the world have made Dakar their home, and the Senegalese have welcomed them with “teranga” or hospitality—one of the values they hold most dear. On the streets in Senegal, you can often see groups of young people gathered to share a snack after school or play a game of pick-up soccer.

Into this youth culture, the Nascimento Family strives to make known the love and hope of Jesus Christ. Through soccer ministry and teaching English as a second language, the family is reaching the youth at a point of interest with them and their parents. Many of the young men dream of becoming soccer pros and many neighborhood parents desire to increase their children’s chances of success by investing in their education and foreign language learning.

Everaldo, a native of Brazil, is so excited to be able to share his passion for soccer with the youth in Senegal. Through SMS: Soccer Ministry for Senegal, the Lord has given him amazing opportunities to share the message of the Gospel. When Everaldo and Lydia initially began holding soccer clinics for the neighborhood kids, they were a bit worried about their ability to communicate well with the young people who speak either French or Wolof. During the first practice, two young Muslim men showed up and began to assist by translating to the kids! Over the course of the next year, they continued to participate and help in the soccer program; they also began to visit the Nascimentos in their home. During these visits, they became close to the family and started asking questions about what the Nascimentos believe. At these opportunities, Everaldo joyously shared with them the message of Jesus.

Recently, during a shared cab ride, Everaldo was once again discussing the importance of Christ with one of these young men. As they spoke, this young man declared his faith in Christ stating, “I believe Jesus is my Savior!” The Nascimento Family praises God for the power of the Gospel and the lives that are being changed in Senegal through the relationships God is allowing them to make through soccer and ESL. Each young person they encounter is so precious to Jesus and needs to know that there is hope, peace, and life eternal available to them through Christ.

Just as the Scripture declares: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:13-15 NIV).

Click here to give online in partnership with Everaldo and Lydia Nascimento … Project #065-0919

MISSION MEXICO: Randon Acts of Kindness

Lloyd and Joyce Heiney are short-term missionaries serving in Mexico. Like many missionaries, they have sentimental experiences that help reinforce their love for those to whom they minister and that leave an indelible mark upon their hearts.

In 2011, Sam Sparks, the owner of the international bridge into Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, passed away. Each time the Heineys cross the bridge now, they fondly remember Sam. Often, he would sit and chat with the tourists, and if he knew you, sometimes he would wave you across the bridge for free.

Each year, Sam gave the Heineys and other missionaries with credentials a free pass to use every time they crossed into Mexico. Not only did the free pass save them $3 a trip, it served as a warm reminder of the generous man who did so much for the people on both sides of the Rio Grande River. Sam’s favorite saying was: “Practice random acts of kindness,” and he set the standard.

Lloyd relates: “We can all practice random acts of kindness in many ways. Acts that are done without expecting something in return; acts that are sometimes done without recognition … some people call this “paying it forward,” but that phrase sounds as if one is expecting a reward for one’s deed. The pattern Mr. Sparks left is simple—once in a while, do something kind for someone without having any reason at all.”

And that’s a good rule for us all to follow!

*When the Heineys stopped at the Nuevo Progreso bridge office to obtain their bridge pass for 2017, they had the opportunity to visit with the next generation of the Sparks family—Bobby. Bobby says there are now four generations to carry the Sparks family values into the future.

Click here to partner with Lloyd and Joyce in their Mission to Mexico.