Training Christian workers in India

Former Living Word Centre class

Former Living Word Centre class

Joshua and Reena Pradhan founded Living Word Centre (LWC) in 1994 after serving as missionaries for more than seven years. LWC is a legally registered charity trust that works toward equipping the church and uplifting the community spiritually, socially, intellectually and economically in the Eastern Himalayan region of India. They recently told about some friends and supporters who visited them and assisted in their ministry.

Joshua writes, “Bert and Heather Kamphuis from Coquitlam, British Columbia, have been good friends of ours since our Prairie Bible Institute days and have also been our faithful supporters over the years. They were very busy during 18 days spent with us and had something lined up every single day. We were able to visit Gangtok, Kalimpong, and Darjeeling; they spoke at every place we went. A local Christian TV channel even interviewed them about their work among international students in Canada. Their preaching in schools and churches and teaching at LWC and at a local seminary were greatly appreciated.

“God faithfully brings young people to us for training at Living Word Centre in preparation for their ministry in different churches and mission fields. Each year, we have four 6-week training programs where we take our students through biblical and practical subjects. We recently held the 67th and 68th training programs at LWC. During the last program, it was an honor to have Bert and Heather with us teaching the students. Bert spoke on leadership from the life of Nehemiah. Heather taught Bible study methods and shared how to make various craft items and cakes and cookies. They also brought a few boxes of books from Operation Mobilization which proved to be a huge blessing to our students.

“We praise God for the many students who have been blessed at LWC. Please pray for the Lord to guide them as they serve in various ministries today. Pray that God will provide funds so that more poor, but deserving, students will be able to attend future programs at LWC. Students are responsible for half the cost of the training program and LWC subsidizes the rest.”

New life in the Philippines

Pami with MJ and his family

Pami with MJ and his family

Pami Ellis is a registered nurse and midwife serving at Shalom Christian Birthing Home. She recently shared about a newborn who had a difficult entrance into the world.

“MJ entered the human race on February 17. I wasn’t supposed to be at his birth. I’m rarely present at births these days as I have so many administrative responsibilities, and I was supposed to be out of town on this day. The week of his birth, we had a guest, Victoria Lawrence, at Shalom to help teach the course, ‘Helping Babies Breathe,’ an initiative by the WHO and AAP to help babies survive in low-resource countries. Vicky and I had already taught three half-day classes to Shalom staff and local midwives.

“However, little MJ’s mama had a rough go of it. Only 18, she’d been in labor for over 24 hours with no pain relief. She was tired and more than ready to meet her little man. We’d finished prenatals early, so I poked my head into our delivery room and saw our midwives working hard with this young lady. Excited that it was finally her moment to shine, I put on some gloves and got ready to assist as needed. We coached, cheered, and celebrated each millimeter of progress, but it was slow and exhausting. MJ was tolerating labor well and his strongly beating heart was a comfort as we all became a bit worn out from the process. Just before he finally made his appearance, an hour and half after mama had started pushing, Vicky peeked around the curtain to see what was going on. MJ was finally born: blue, floppy, and fighting for his life.

“Never did I imagine that Vicky and I would be putting into practice what we had been teaching. We had been demonstrating how to help babies breathe for nine cumulative hours already, so automatically jumped into our roles to give MJ every chance at survival. Shalom staff watched wide-eyed as Vicky and I worked, seeing our teaching put into practice.

“Ten of the longest minutes later, MJ finally started to breathe well on his own. Praise God his heart stayed strong throughout and it was clear he was fighting to live. At the end of the day, I cling to the fact that God alone can command a baby to breathe. Only He determines the minutes, hours, days, years, and decades of our lives. While I do everything I can in my human abilities to give every child the best chance of survival, the responsibility ultimately rests with God.”

Free book download from Wayne Mac Leod

Job

Job

Each month missionary Wayne Mac Leod makes one of his e-books available free of charge. This month’s title is “Job: The Sovereignty of God in the Suffering of Job.” The book of Job is the story of a blameless man of God who fell on hard times. More than this, however, it is the story of a man’s feeble attempts to understand the purposes of a sovereign God in suffering and pain.

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

Equipping pastors in Mexico

Charles and Paul teaching

Charles and Paul teaching

ACTION missionaries Charles Ulibarri and Paul Goodner, with Dave Johnson of Mexico Medical Ministries, recently served together as they trained pastors in two local churches in San Vicente and Senamex Bible College in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico.

Paul writes, “We trained disciples for leadership and ministry reproduction. Our biblical mandate is to recognize the importance of obedience to Christ from the scriptures. We are making disciples to become leaders who multiply and start new ministries and churches as people are reached with the Gospel. We teach pastors to do this work all in their own culture. Please pray with us for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide the loved ones we trained to grow and multiply.”

Saved out of the slums of Brazil, Tatiana now ministers there

Tatiana with her son, Caique (left), and a child from the outreach

Tatiana with her son, Caique (left), and a child from the outreach

Ben and Jucélia Krause live and minister in Heliópolis, São Paulo, one of the largest slums in Latin America. Ben is from Saint John, New Brunswick, and Jucélia is from Brazil. The Krauses’ focus is on poor and unreached people in an urban setting. They currently have a team of volunteers from a local church and run various evangelism and discipleship programs in the slum. Ben recently told the story of one of their volunteers:

“Jucélia and I met Tatiana about a year after we started attending a church in the slums. We had invited her husband, Peter, to assist with our children’s program. Tatiana came along on the first day and has been helping faithfully ever since.

“Tatiana has had a difficult life. Her mother had 11 children and Tatiana never met her father. As soon as she and her siblings were able to walk and talk, their mother would send them to beg in the streets. If they came back empty-handed, they were beaten.

“One day, as Tatiana begged, she met Zenilda, a kind woman who began to care for Tatiana. Tatiana began to go to Zenilda’s house each morning for the day. Zenilda always gave her a little bag of food and money so that she would not return home empty-handed in the evening.

“When she was five, Tatiana left home to live with Zenilda. Her mother soon found her and called the police. Tatiana spent the next eight years living in various orphanages, but she never found anyone who cared for her. Neglect, fear, and physical abuse were the only constants. At age 13, she ran away.

“She soon got involved with the wrong people and became a thief and a drug mule. After a few years, however, she quit her life of crime and found a job. When she was 19, she became pregnant with her first child, Tiago, and moved back in with her mother. Two years later, her mother kicked Tatiana and Tiago out of the house, forcing them to live on the streets.

“Tatiana and her son moved into an abandoned building where she met Peter through a volunteer basketball project that her son attended. They started dating and then moved in together. Life was still difficult. Once they lost everything in a fire that destroyed their building. Then they lost their home when the building collapsed shortly after being rebuilt. They returned to Zenilda’s house where Tatiana’s second son, Caique, was born. At this time Peter and Tatiana’s relationship was strained and they soon separated.

“One night Caique developed a severe skin rash that caused him to scream in pain. Doctors could not heal him. It was then, at the lowest point in Tatiana’s life, that a colleague told her about Jesus. The Lord healed Caique, and Tatiana realized that if God was that powerful, then He was the God she should serve. Immediately she gave her life to Christ.

“Tatiana can see how God placed certain people in her life, such as Zenilda, to keep her walking toward Him. She is now safe and secure in His arms. She and Peter reconciled and their family began attending church.

“She has since become a critical member of our team. She leads our slum team, started a discipleship group with the kids, conducts visitations, and invites children into her home to give them food and show them Jesus’ love. She has even gone back to finish school and last year she and Peter were married.

“It has been a privilege to meet and work with Tatiana. We serve a God who transforms lives! He can take a child from a broken home in the middle of a slum, and show His glorious power through her.”

10 facts about hunger in Zambia

Zambian children

Zambian children

Here are ten facts that shed light on the hunger situation in Zambia.

1. 60 percent of people in Zambia live below the poverty line and 42 percent are considered to be extremely poor.
2. The prevalence of HIV among adults is 14.3 percent.
3. The number of HIV/AIDS orphans is estimated at 1.5 million which means that 1 in 5 children in the country is an orphan.
4. The prevalence of stunting in children – low growth for age – is 40 percent.
5. The prevalence of anemia is 53 percent among children under five years of age and 30 percent among women of child-bearing age.
6. 15 percent of children in Zambia are underweight.
7. More than 350,000 people in the country are food insecure. (They do not have access to a regular supply of healthy food.)
8. The mortality rate among under-fives is 75/1000 live births (a decline in recent years but still high in rural areas).
9. The infant mortality rate is 45/1000 live births (a decline in recent years but still high in rural areas).
10. In both rural and urban households, poverty levels are highest amongst female-headed households with extreme poverty levels of more than 60 percent in rural areas and 15 percent in urban areas.

This was taken from allafrica.com.

Rebuilding lives on the remote islands of the Philippines

Asluman Church dedication

Asluman Church dedication

Will and Joanie Feuerstein have been missionaries in Manila, Philippines, since 2001. Their ministry, FACE-2-FACE, has a presence on all three main islands of the Philippines, plus a few small remote islands in the archipelago. FACE-2-FACE ministers to inmates in men’s and women’s prisons, provides educational assistance for 15 kids, regularly feeds 200 hungry kids healthy meals, and provides help for typhoon survivors in a new islands ministry.

Joanie writes, “The Lord recently stretched our vision and faith as He called us to minister to people on islands far from our home in crowded Manila. This part of our ministry began as we simply responded to desperate families needing basic aid and rescue after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

“The results of Typhoon Haiyan continue with many people still living without help and hope. FACE-2-FACE has been assisting inmates’ families living in Iloilo Province on Panay Island. They are finding renewed hope not only in physical changes around them, but also in their new lives in Christ.

“One of the projects on a tiny isolated island off of Iloilo is helping a family of 7 rebuild their home and lives. We helped Estancia Church by building a parsonage and stairs to make hauling water easier. We also started 2 feeding programs for undernourished kids in partnership with Feed My Starving Children at this church and a nearby school.

“On another out-of-the-way island, Isla Gigante Norte, we relocated and are nearly finished building Asluman Church after its complete collapse. Asluman Church will be an evacuation center for people to find safety in during future typhoons.

“FACE-2-FACE repaired a school in Iloilo that was ripped apart during the typhoon. We asked the principal if we could share about the Lord after the repairs are done and the students are back in school. She gave her permission. We will give 600 Gospel bracelets for the students and teachers. We would like to nurture an ongoing relationship with this rural school.

“‘Building Communities of Believers’ is FACE-2-FACE’s theme for 2015. Whether in the prisons or on the islands, the Gospel message is the only reason we exist. Please pray that all of these survivors will find hope in Jesus.”

Vulnerable children jump for joy in Uganda

Child jumping

Child jumping

Home of Love Children’s Home for Vulnerable Children is a ministry of ACTION Gulu. The home was opened to meet the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in war-torn Northern Uganda.

Dr. Abigail Rattin, one of ACTION’s missionaries who works with Home of Love, recently wrote about how vulnerable children, the need for therapeutic play, and generous donations have added up to priceless hours of fun—and therapy!

“Many of our children have a variety of special needs, so when several friends of ACTION wanted to give something special to Home of Love at Christmas, we decided to purchase a trampoline. The children, ages 7 to 14, all enjoy playing on the trampoline after they finish their chores and schoolwork. They have done an excellent job of obeying the rules that were set up to ensure their safety. We are thankful for the care and compassion our friends have shown vulnerable children in northern Uganda!”

Children are referred to Home of Love from the Ugandan Government Child Welfare office and other organizations that look out for the welfare of children. Many of the children are HIV-AIDS and war orphans. Other children have been rescued from crisis situations such as abandonment and physical violence. Home of Love offers these children a Christ-centered, safe, and loving environment.

Children at Home of Love attend school at ACTION’s Jesus Is the Truth Nursery & Primary School. The children each receive trauma counseling, housing, food, medical treatment, clothing and life-skills training. A staff social worker seeks to locate relatives of children brought to Home of Love. Due to the war many people have been displaced and separated from their families. Whenever possible, children are reunited with their relatives and supported in the relatives’ home through payment of school fees, basic necessities, medical assistance and regular home visits by a social worker.

Boy comes to know the Lord in Colombia

Children at feeding program

Children at feeding program

Raquel de Jesús and her ministry team provide spiritual and physical feeding for 100 children and young people in Colombia. Children often express their gratefulness for not only receiving lunch, but also for the opportunity to study the Word of God.

According to 10-year-old Santi: “I got interested in knowing Jesus when I started coming to the ministry center to attend Bible classes. I learned of Jesus’ great love for me and that He died for my sins so I can be saved. One day I received Him as my personal Lord and Savior. Before I surrendered my life to Him, I was disobedient and disrespectful, now I’m respectful, obedient and loving. My life is much better now for I started reading my Bible and am now praying nightly not only for myself, but also for others.”

New term to begin at Mustard Seed

Previous Mustard Seed class

Previous Mustard Seed class

Mustard Seed’s sewing and discipleship program’s new term will begin on April 28 in the Philippines. The Program Director, Barbara Burchert, writes, “We will be offering a 5-month program for underprivileged young women. Recruitment will begin on March 3, with home visits to follow. A church just down the road, connected to our campus here, has offered us the use of a room there as our Discipleship House. We will be able to cook there and disciple students. We will go up to the campus for the vocational program in the afternoons.

“We are excited about beginning again with a group of young people. Please pray that our budget will come in so that we can eventually offer a longer program.”