Short-term team changed by their trip

The Parlees with children in Malawi

The Parlees with children in Malawi

Sarah Parlee has been a missionary in Malawi since 2010, working hand-in-hand with village churches by discipling and equipping Christians to do ministry in their communities. She runs a variety of programs in several villages and assists visiting short-term teams. One such team included her brother, Andrew Parlee, and his wife, Charissa. Andrew and Charissa recently shared some thoughts about their time in Malawi:

“We can’t thank God enough for how He used our time in Malawi to teach, nurture, and humble us. Studying God’s Word is one thing, but actually putting it into practice is a whole different ball game. The challenges we faced spiritually, emotionally, and physically helped us grow in Christ.

“As soon as we arrived, we were hit with the reality of how harsh life is in Africa, but we also saw hope in Jesus. For the unsaved, life is one unfortunate event after another, but the pure joy of Jesus in a Christian’s life was undeniable. There was something very precious about praising and worshiping God in a mud-thatched church with only straw mats to sit on. The joy on the worshipers’ faces showed us the goodness and faithfulness of Christ.

“The Lord provided opportunities for us to touch many lives. We were able to visit and encourage local pastors, churches, blind children, prisoners, widows and the elderly, children at feeding centers, and local missionaries. We gained much more than we expected, spiritually, through visiting them because of Jesus Christ.

“Whether it is a calling to foreign missions or a chance to evangelize near your home, we encourage you to listen to what God is saying to you. Peel away the layers of distractions, read His Word, and He will show you how He wants you to serve.”

Graduation at Working Hands

Graduates with instructors

Graduates with instructors

The 23rd group of young men recently graduated from Working Hands, a 10-month discipleship and vocational training program in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. These 20 young men from difficult backgrounds were discipled in basic Christian living and life skills alongside their specific vocational training. There were 9 young men in the carpentry course and 11 in the computer technology course. Now they will begin a 6-month on-the-job training portion of the program. After this training is completed, each young man will receive a diploma accredited by the Philippine government.

Gary Root, an instructor at Working Hands, writes, “We hosted 180 people in our chapel for graduation to celebrate and encourage the young men as they move on to the next chapter of their lives. Parents, brothers and sisters, pastors, and visitors shared in the ceremony and celebration.

“The young men led the group in worship. Fellow ACTION missionary Jeff Anderson gave a powerful message about passing the torch of the Gospel to the next generation from 1 and 2 Timothy. He encouraged the boys to set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity and to run from evil and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, and love.”

Please pray for the boys as they search for places to complete their on-the-job training and prepare for future work and ministry. Also pray that they will each seek the Lord wholeheartedly as they embark on their new adventures.

Music lessons for children in the slums

Kids playing musical instruments

Kids playing musical instruments

Elias and Julie Madeira minister to children and adults in a rural area near Camaguã, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. They seek to support entire families so that family units stay together and children do not end up leaving home. The Madeiras and their teammates recently added a musical instrument program to their ministry, which has been a wonderful treat for the children.

Julie writes, “Our coworkers recently received money to buy musical instruments for our ministry and we found instructors to teach the children how to play them. The older teenagers come on Tuesday afternoons for music lessons, tutoring, a devotional, and lunch and a snack. On Wednesday and Thursday mornings, the younger children come for a devotional, breakfast, and lunch. They also have tutoring on Wednesdays and instrument lessons on Thursdays. The children love playing musical instruments! We are thankful for the opportunity God has provided to add this activity to what we offer the boys and girls.

“Please pray that the young people will praise and serve the Lord not only with their musical abilities, but also with their whole lives. Also pray that our team will effectively share the love of Christ in practical ways with these boys and girls and their families.”

Evangelistic camps for children in India

Children at camp

Children at camp

Joshua Pradhan writes, “One of the activities conducted through the ministry of Living Word Centre (LWC) is camps for children. Since the last Children’s Camp proved to be such a blessing, many more camps have been conducted at LWC. The number of children who attend these camps is increasing. Most of them are from the Adivasi (tribal) community and the rest are from the Nepali community. They are divided into two groups – juniors and seniors.

“The programs include Biblical teaching, worship, prayer, creative skills, and movie time. The children have interactive sessions with games, songs, skits, and crafts. The majority of the kids have no access to even simple means of entertainment at home like proper toys or a place for activities and games. LWC has been able to meet these basic needs through camp. Of course, they also enjoy the good food that is prepared for them.”

Action International Ministries celebrates 40 years of ministry in 2015!

ACTION Jubilee

ACTION Jubilee

Action International Ministries is excited to celebrate 40 years of God’s faithfulness. We are celebrating this anniversary through a conference for all ACTION missionaries at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, July 9-14, 2015.

ACTION Canada is excited to host this event, as it will be such a blessing to gather together in community. We are all part of the same organization, but a lot of us have never met. It will be a time of connection, blessing, worship, and encouragement as we reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past, the present, and as we look to the future. To find out more about the Jubilee Celebration and what will be happening, go to: www.actionjubilee.org.

As part of this celebration, on Friday, July 10, there will be a banquet and concert at Prairie, with Christian comedian Phil Callaway, and musician Scott Wesley Brown. This event is open to the public, but we do ask for advance booking. To purchase your advance tickets, click here.

Free book download from Wayne Mac Leod

Psalms

Psalms

Each month missionary Wayne Mac Leod makes one of his e-books available free of charge. This month’s title is “Psalms: A Devotional Look at Books 1-2 of the Psalms of Israel.” This is volume 1 of a two volume set on the book of Psalms. Psalms is divided into five books. This volume covers books 1 and 2 of the psalms of Israel (Psalm 1 to Psalm 72).

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

Evangelistic Easter camps in Mexico

Kids at camp

Kids at camp

Gamaliel Canul writes, “We recently held evangelistic Easter camps in Mexico. More than 80 children and 80 youth attended the camps. Many of the young people received Christ!”

Please pray that these new young believers will grow in their relationships with the Lord and become engaged in local churches.

Encouraging believers to minister to children worldwide

Sheryl with child in Southeast Asia

Sheryl with child in Southeast Asia

Sheryl Grunwald is from rural Alberta, Canada, and came to Christ through her church’s children’s ministry when she was 9 years old. God gave her a passion for teaching and for children so she began serving in children’s ministry as a young teen and never looked back. In 2005 she joined Kidzana Ministries as an international trainer of children’s workers. She has since trained teachers from multiple denominations and organizations in 15 countries of Africa and Asia. She currently serves as the International Training Director with Kidzana, assisting in the coordination of Kidzana’s training ministry, and also serves as a facilitator and trainer for a global movement called 1 for 50 whose vision is to reach and disciple every child by training one children’s worker for every 50 children on the planet. Her passion is to empower local believers to reach and disciple children in their spheres of influence. Sheryl joined ACTION in 2012, and is seconded to Kidzana Ministries.

In a recent newsletter, Sheryl discussed her work with churches, Christian workers, and kids around the world:

“I know that parents and church leaders need to hear what God’s Word has to say about the importance of ministering to children.

“I spoke at a church in Southeast Asia held in a small building literally in the middle of nowhere. Since I was the first foreigner to visit, the congregation presented many special songs, including one by preschool children. I was familiar with some of the cultural attitudes toward children, so I chose to speak about Jesus welcoming and blessing the children, and how He chose to go against the cultural practice of the time to demonstrate the value of children in the eyes of God. The church was part of a traditional liturgical denomination, and I was speaking from a tall pulpit high above the people. To their surprise, I told them that, like Jesus, I was going to do something against cultural norms. I stepped down from the pulpit and stood in front of the people.

“I then gathered all the preschool kids around me and preached the rest of the sermon from the floor, talking about all Jesus did to welcome, show love, and speak affirmation into children’s lives, explaining how Jesus is an example for all of us in the way we treat children. The kids couldn’t understand a word I was saying and the adults were surprised and started snapping photos, but everyone was totally engaged!

“My primary focus overseas is casting the vision and equipping children’s leaders to reach and disciple children in their spheres of influence, and training trainers to equip others to do so.

“At the end of one five-day training session, one woman, crying as she spoke, said, ‘Not only did I get the teaching materials, but my heart was changed. At first I thought this training material was simple. But I realized the application is not so simple, especially building relationships with children. I need to think how to do this when I get back home. Every lesson changed my life.’

“One who attended said, ‘During my 15 years of ministry, my priority has been adults. I felt guilty when I came to this training because I sometimes neglect children’s ministry and give it to the Sunday School teachers so I can focus on adults. I’m excited to go back to my community, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned in my church so we can reach more children.’

“When conducting a training event, our goal is much more than simply getting through a set of lessons or helping people develop children’s ministry skills. It is seeing God change paradigms and heart attitudes. It is lifting up those who are discouraged because of the difficulties they face and helping people connect with one another for ongoing support. ‘I thought I was alone in trying to reach the children,’ a native missionary shared. ‘But after this week I have more than 40 people who are with me in the same goal. I look forward to partnering with you all in the future.’

“We also share a vision for ministry that inspires people to continue investing in children. After training with us for three days, a young man testified, ‘I was ready to step down from children’s ministry because of all the challenges. But this training made me see that God has called me and that I am a part of His plan for the children. I will continue to do this good work!’ As I listen to other people’s testimonies, observe them teaching, and pray along with them, I am convinced that God is continuing to do a great work. And we will continue until every child in every community has someone who can help him or her know and follow Jesus for a lifetime.”

Short-term mission in the Philippines

Al (white shirt) and Sonie (black top) packing gift bags in the Philippines

Al (white shirt) and Sonie (black top) packing gift bags in the Philippines

Al and Sonie Tadeo of Toronto participated in a short-term mission in January, working in Manila and Bohol alongside ACTION Philippines’ Street Impact Team (SITeam). After this trip, the Tadeos decided to pursue full-time missionary work! The following is a brief overview they wrote about their trip:

“In Manila, led by Jeff Anderson and Becky Majam, we walked in the streets and recruited street kids to enroll in Alternative Learning System (ALS), the basic literacy program approved by the Department of Education. We also visited some families in the poorest slums and assisted SITeam with its feeding programs. It was nice to see the happy faces of the kids while they sang Christian songs and ate lunch.

“Later, we assisted in medical clinics and helped throw evangelistic parties for kids in four towns in Bohol which had been devastated by earthquakes. The Gospel was presented at each visit and people were receptive to the Word of God.

“This trip opened our eyes to the vast needs of the poor—both socially and spiritually—in the Philippines. There is so much that can be done to help these people, but the workers and resources are lacking. We could not forget the living condition of the people in the slums, which made us more appreciative of what we have. This work is very heartwarming, though it is difficult. There are still a lot of struggling street kids who need to hear that God loves and cares for them, and, by His grace, that there is a better life out there awaiting them.

“Charles Haddon Spurgeon said that if our Lord Jesus Christ gave both His hands on the cross for us, why can’t we give even one of ours? As we continue to seek God’s will in terms of missions, we rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us. To God be the glory!”

ACTION is mobilizing to help the victims in Nepal

Earthquake-in-Nepal-3

 

Dear ACTION Friends,

We awoke this morning to the terrible news that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake had struck Nepal, with the epicenter located in the area between Pokhara and Kathmandu. The initial death toll is near 2,000 but is certain to rise as more information becomes available.

All day I have been contacting our Associate Missionaries, ministry partners and friends in Nepal to make sure they are safe and to determine what our team can do to assist the churches and communities that have been devastated by this disaster.

As far as I can ascertain, all our ACTION people are safe but all their families have had to leave their homes due to the considerable damage those structures sustained. Some are living in tents and have suffered the loss of many personal belongings that were smashed, such as computers, furniture, and appliances. The government is warning people to stay out of buildings due to possible collapse.

One of the churches we partner with has set up tents on the church grounds to accommodative families who have lost their homes. Our friends there report that there have been more than 60 aftershocks since the major quake, and with power out in the area they are concerned they will soon be unable to communicate with us cell phone.

Our team of Nepali workers is already at work strategizing how ACTION can partner with them and their networked churches to bring the love of Christ and the good deeds of the gospel to those in greatest need. Our missionaries in India are also ready to participate in relief efforts as needed.

Though we do not yet have details or a definite budget, we know we will definitely be helping our team rebuild their own homes and lives, and at the same time they will be helping others in their communities do the same.

Will you please consider sending in a donation today that will allow us to begin helping these dear brethren? Please click here to give online.

Thank you very much for your prayers. Please check back for additional relief information as it becomes available.

Yours in Christ,

Nelson Reed

International Director