Bibles and blankets for refugees in Kurdistan

Refugee family

Refugee family

We have all been touched by the plight of over 250,000 Christian Iraqis and minority groups forced to flee to Northeast Kurdistan by the advance of the ISIS militias. One news report described these refugees as being “tired and exhausted . . . but too traumatized to savor their safety.

ACTION’s office in the United Kingdom, which has been involved in the Middle East for the past two years, is taking the lead in responding to this crisis. ACTION UK is a registered NGO in Israel and on the West Bank with the Palestinian Authority, and has coordinated short-term teams that have ministered to both Christian and Muslim communities in the region, under the direction of our partner organizations.

Now, in response to this crisis, ACTION UK Director Ingo Abraham and our partner mission agencies in the region are joining together to coordinate a relief operation to Northeast Kurdistan in September. This project will provide 10,000 blankets and 10,000 Arabic Bibles, as well as baby food and medical relief. Project leaders will also provide personal counseling to the members of this displaced community, many of whom have lost everything except the clothes they fled in!

The director of our Middle East agency partner is heading up this combined relief mission and will be in Erbil in September. This will ensure the smooth entry of the team, which will be comprised of aid workers, counselors, and medical personnel. He will also coordinate the set-up and transition of materials to warehouses and the transportation of these vital materials by the team to the Erbil refugee locations and camps.

The initial cost of this relief project is $22,000. Our prayerful response as God’s people will determine the extent of any further ministry operation undertaken by the mission. ACTION UK has committed in faith to send $5000 immediately, for the advance purchase of needed items.

 If you would also like to give toward this relief effort, please click here.

The ACTION team worldwide values your prayers and practical support for this project. Our aim is to first help the household of faith in Northeast Iraq, and then also the other affected communities in the region in their greatest hour of need.

Photo credit: Spencer Platt of Getty Images. Used with permission.

Wayne Mac Leod teaches in Myanmar

Wayne in Myanmar

Wayne in Myanmar

An ACTION missionary since 2003, Wayne Mac Leod has been publishing a variety of Bible study books for distribution to Christian workers in over 40 countries. Four of his books have been translated into Burmese, the language spoken in Myanmar, and a fifth is in progress. Wayne was recently given the opportunity to travel to Myanmar and teach Biblical truths to a group of its Christian leaders at a local seminary.

A conference was organized by the Berean Evangelical School of Theology (BEST) in Yangon, the largest city in the country. BEST, which sits on a five-acre campus outside the city, offers a three-year Master of Divinity program. Currently it has 16 students, each of whom are required to raise $25 a month for their tuition. Raising this amount of money is a test of faith for the students as Myanmar is one of Asia’s poorest countries. Five well-trained professors teach completely in English, allowing the students to take advantage of the school library’s 5,000-6,000 books.

“While in Myanmar,” said Wayne in a recent report, “I was able to speak at a Bible conference for 140 students and Christian workers. Meals were provided for all who attended, as was assistance in transportation. The Lord truly blessed this event and His presence was obvious! I had the privilege to teach at the seminary and preach on Sunday during the seminary’s worship service.

“Overall I spoke 18 times in eight days, which included 12 hours of expository Bible teaching. I believe that this brought much encouragement to the attendees. At the end of the conference, each participant was given copies of all four of my Burmese books, which they were very happy to receive. The school’s president, who was also my host and translator, informed me that only 20% of Christian workers in Myanmar have any training. I was very happy to have had the opportunity to get to know my coworkers there and encourage them in their ministry.”

Mavis Orton has served 28 years in the Philippines

Mavis and Cindy with newborn

Mavis and Cindy with newborn

Jeff Anderson writes, “Yesterday our team had a going away party to honor Mavis Orton who has faithfully served with ACTION Philippines for 28 years. She founded the Shalom Birthing Clinic and will leave it in the very capable hands of her coworkers. Mavis returns to England in early September and will be missed by everyone. She leaves an example of selfless service for us to follow.”

Please pray for Mavis and for the team at Shalom Birthing Home during this transition.

Bringing God’s love to disabled children

Matthew

Matthew

Matthew* was convinced that his life was a horrible mistake. After all, his village family had abandoned him – his inability to even stand on his own feet proved that he was cursed! So the young orphan would stare at the sun and howl at the trees.

One day, when he was 7, Matthew was brought to ACTION Uganda’s Home of Love ministry to disabled children, where his life changed forever. Here, he experienced the warmth of love and acceptance in Jesus’ name, combined with access to quality medical treatment: surgery so that he could walk, glasses so that he could see. Matthew started to change. He began talking positively with others; his disruptive behavior faded; his bitter heart softened.

Now Matthew is 16, and his life today bears little resemblance to the early years. He has “graduated” from Home of Love’s residential program to be reunited with his grandmother and also attend a specialized boarding school during the academic year. He recently told Pastor Peter of ACTION Gulu, “I realize that God is sovereign, and he has a purpose for my life. I feel great compassion for other children with disabilities.”

What made the difference? By God’s grace, ACTION missionaries and their supporters and dedicated Ugandan staff—all backed by prayer partners around the world—brought the Gospel and compassionate care to a hopeless young orphan. Now, Matthew has “a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11)!

*Not his real name

New term beginning at Honest Hands in the Philippines

The Seilings with young men from the camp

The Seilings with young men from the camp

Greg and Sarah Seiling lead Honest Hands Discipleship Home in the Philippines. Greg writes, “Eighteen young men between the ages of 15-20 recently attended two discipleship camps that we held. From the two camps, Pastor Mel and I have chosen ten young men to invite to attend the eight-month discipleship program which will start August 18. Please pray for these 10 young guys as they prepare to be discipled at Honest Hands.

“We praise God that we have two house staff confirmed for the upcoming program. They are going through orientation and preparations this week which includes their job description, responsibilities, assigned Bible and tutorial teaching lessons, and reviewing ACTION’s child protection policy. Their role goes beyond just a job description and tasks. They will be mentors to these young men over the next eight months. Please pray that they will be able to connect well with the Honest Hands students, have patience with them, and have a desire to see God change the lives of the youth.”

New directors of Timothy House in Mexico

Timothy House boys

Timothy House boys

Mexico is home to 1.6 million orphans. Located in the middle of the Sonora desert of Northwestern Mexico, Timothy House takes in boys ages 5 to 12 who are orphaned, abandoned, or otherwise need a permanent home. The goal of Timothy House is not only to provide a safe, loving home, but also to mentor the children to become godly men, faithful husbands, responsible fathers and productive citizens.

Bob and Joy Huber founded Timothy House in 2007. They just finished a new introduction video for the orphanage that focuses on the new directors, Samuel and Maritza, and their vision for the future.

Short-term team is currently in Malawi

Malawian kids

Malawian kids

Malawi, “The Warm Heart of Africa,” has become ACTION Canada missionaries Ron and Beth Reynolds‘ short-term mission destination of choice since 2011. The Reynolds are currently in Malawi with their fourth team of Canadian Bible college students. They are ministering in the Ntcheu district of south central Malawi. “Our original goal was to help the missionaries, and much of the teams’ varied ministries have supported ACTION outreach,” explains Ron. “But, of course, each year, we have all returned home greatly blessed by being a part of the work and especially by laboring side-by-side with missionaries and Malawian fellow-believers alike.”

Read how short term teams are making a difference in Malawi.

Free book download from Wayne Mac Leod

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy

Each month missionary Wayne Mac Leod makes one of his e-books available free of charge. This month’s title is “Deuteronomy: A Devotional Look at How Moses Prepared His People to Enter the Land of Promise.”

This is a devotional commentary on the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. Its goal is to help the reader understand the truth of this important part of Scripture and to see what it teaches us about God and our relationship with Him. Each chapter concludes with some questions to consider and some points for prayer to help make the book more applicable to our daily life.

You can download the PDF version of this book by clicking here.

Feeding street children in the Philippines

Child at feeding program

Child at feeding program

Jeff Anderson writes, “This week Street Impact Team (SITeam) and a team from Open Door Baptist Church in Oregon did an outreach in partnership with four churches in Baseco. We planned to provide food for 130 people but more than 150 kids showed up, so we stretched the food and everyone had something to eat. It also occasionally rained very hard which made doing the activities difficult but everyone had a good time.

“Last week SITeam also conducted our initial training in working with street kids and we had 15 participants. Among them were two young American missionaries and three former street kids who shared their stories during the training. Please pray that we will be able to reach many street children with the gospel.”

Scott Gillespie to minister in Malawi

Pastor studying the Bible

Pastor studying the Bible

Scott Gillespie writes, “In five days I head out to Malawi, Africa. Please pray for me as I will be teaching groups of pastors in day-long workshops several times and do a little Sunday preaching.

“I don’t hold a degree and have never pastored a church, so I approach all of this with some trepidation and humility. My weakness will be His strength. Many of these pastors have never been to Bible college and some don’t even own a Bible – they share them. Pray that what I share with them will be from the Lord to encourage them.”

To learn more about ACTION’s work in Malawi, please click here.