Teaching sewing in the Philippines

Sewing factory

Sewing factory

Sharon Germaine teaches sewing to underprivileged Christian young women in the Philippines through a vocational training and discipleship program called Mustard Seed. Her husband, Daryl, trains young men at Working Hands, a program for young men, in auto mechanics and discipleship. Sharon recently wrote about a couple of new ministries she has undertaken:

“The sewing classes at Mustard Seed are usually several months long and generally geared toward young, single Christian women. My teaching assistant, Doring, and I recently started some smaller, shorter classes for the barrio women in our community who do not fit the normal student profile. This was an idea that we and Barbara Burchert, Mustard Seed’s leader, have been thinking about for several years.

“So far, we have only taught three women in this program, but they have been enthusiastic learners. One of them is not a Christian, but she asks questions and shows interest in learning more about God’s Word, especially when Doring gives devotions at the beginning of class. One of the other women is the mother of six children and lives in abject poverty with no running water or electricity. It has been fun to see her eyes light up as she finishes a project.

“Shortly after the barrio sewing classes began, I left the classes in Doring’s hands and started helping a Filipino couple set up a sewing factory in a location a couple hours away from Mustard Seed’s campus. I did this with fear and trembling, as I’ve never before worked in a factory. The factory is in a resettlement area for victims of some of the typhoons that have hit the Philippines in the last few years. Ben and Grace, the couple in charge of this venture, want to help the community that is in great need of employment. I started off by offering suggestions regarding types of sewing machines and advice for organizing the shop. I then helped with assessing people who applied for jobs.

“In the midst of all this, the shop was being painted and upgraded for the heavy loads of electricity that would be needed. It was a real challenge for me—feeling like a fish out of water—to be flexible while workmen were underfoot, dust was flying, and I was trying to figure out what to do next each long day. I helped out at the factory three days a week through the end of January, training new employees and keeping production running smoothly. I enjoyed getting to know the employees in the factory, and learned a lot.”

Training pastors in Cambodia

Paul teaching in Cambodia

Paul teaching in Cambodia

Paul and Jean Goodner work in the United States mobilizing God’s people for missions. They have been ACTION missionaries since 2010, and spent the previous decade serving in Eastern Europe. Paul also travels worldwide, teaching and training national pastors and leaders in evangelism, discipleship, and church planting.

Partnering with a ministry called Cambodian Ministries for Christ, Paul recently trained Cambodian pastors and lay workers in the Battambang and Siem Reap regions. He taught on the importance of discipleship and how to help new disciples form small cell groups that will ultimately develop into new churches. During this training he emphasized the importance of evangelizing new groups of people, training new disciples, and planting small churches.

One of the trainees from Battambang said, “This is the kind of training we need: not learning just to read what the Bible says, but learning to do what Christ commands us to do.” Paul said that, “It was very exciting to visit two of the small new churches in order to see what the Lord has accomplished in just a few years. Plans are in the works for more training in the future. Please pray that God will continue to use us in His vision for Cambodia.”

English grammar class in Zambia

English grammar class

English grammar class

Tracy and Karen Singleton have been ACTION missionaries in Lusaka since 2008. One of Tracy’s primary ministries is teaching local pastors and church leaders at ACTION Pastors’ College, a three-year program that requires students to teach others what they are learning. Karen teaches language arts, a subject crucial for studying Greek and writing papers. Recently, she wrote about the new school year.

“Last week English grammar class began again – so far the teacher and students like each other! It’s hard to believe this is my fifth year of teaching. In the past I’ve had as many as thirteen students and as few as four. This year I have seven students, all but two of whom live on campus.

“As is the case with everything in Zambia, my class is about more than just teaching. It’s also about relationships. In addition to our hours in the classroom, I hope to have these students in our home for meals and conversation. On my daily walks I also interact with them. Pray as these freshmen tackle grammar so that their Greek studies will be furthered. Pray that I, as their teacher, will teach in a clear and helpful way. And please pray that our relationships will deepen.”

Free book download from John Richard

Five Smooth Stones

Five Smooth Stones

Would you like a free e-book, titled “Five Smooth Stones,” written by ACTION missionary John Richard?

This devotional book will encourage you in your daily walk with the Lord. As John writes, “The Christian life and warfare deals with the seemingly insignificant, which will prove its mettle in the battle. When we choose our five smooth stones, flawless and clean, we can name them: Separation from sin, adoration in true worship, communion with the Father, obedience to the Son, and growth in the Spirit. Growth in the Spirit is really growing small in our own eyes, relying totally on the Lord.”

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

Fire relief operation in the Philippines

The Andersons handing out relief supplies

The Andersons handing out relief supplies

Jeff Anderson writes, “In partnership with Daily in Christ Fellowship, we recently did a fire relief operation for 100 families who were totally burned out January 1 in a huge wind swept blaze started by firecrackers at 6 a.m. This fire was the largest in Quezon City’s history and left an estimated 4,000 families homeless.

“We toured a very crowded covered court where many families are staying and then walked around the fire zone which was completely gutted. As people entered the church, they were warmly greeted and ushered to their seats by church people and given a glass of cold water and a snack. The program was short and uplifting and I gave a Gospel message. After my message, the pastor of Daily in Christ prayed for those who wanted to trust Christ as Savior and many indicated they did.

“Each family then received, with a handshake and a smile, a heavy bag of groceries and toiletries with a large bottle of water, a nice meal and fare which covered their round trip. People left cared for, befriended and welcome to worship at Daily in Christ. We’re now looking into providing trauma debriefing training for church workers because the folks are traumatized and battling discouragement. Hopefully after today they feel they have new caring friends, including Jesus, and aren’t alone.”

Free book download from Wayne Mac Leod

1 & 2 Kings

1 & 2 Kings

Each month missionary Wayne Mac Leod makes one of his e-books available free of charge. This month’s title is “1 & 2 Kings: A Devotional Look at the Kings of Israel and Judah.” The books of 1 & 2 Kings cover the history of Israel over a period of about 450 years (from the reign of Solomon to the exile into Babylon). The focus of the books, as the title suggests, is to trace the leadership of the nation under the kings of Israel and Judah.

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

Hope for a student in Uganda

Students at JITT

Students at JITT

Mariana Pedrosa is the headteacher of Jesus is the Truth Nursery and Primary School (JITT) in Gulu, Uganda. She writes, “Student M is the picture of what we desire to do at JITT. Though her parents are alive, M’s father abandoned her very early in her life. Her mother never got far in schooling, and also refuses to provide for M’s tuition. It was an aunt (the wife to M’s uncle) who took M to JITT to study. She was desperate. M did not know her letters or numbers and was described as ‘weak,’ often a euphemism for ‘without hope of ever learning.’

“M was taken to the special needs room when she was discovered to have difficulty writing. What a change we have seen in her as she now is able to write in her notebook clearly. Her teacher says she writes even better than some of her classmates who have been writing longer than she has. M’s auntie has not been able to pay school fees, but we keep her in school, hoping to someday get a sponsor for her. We know that M could not find a school such as this, where she will be given the proper attention and care, and where she will not get lost in a sea of other pupils.

“M is flourishing and we hope, by the grace of God, we will be able to see her grow in wisdom, knowledge, and the Word of God.”

Giving hurting children hope in Colombia

Children studying the Bible

Children studying the Bible

Raquel de Jesús writes, “The main reason we hold Bible classes for boys and girls, along with serving them nutritious meals, is to present Jesus to the hurting children. Eight-year-old Tina’s parents are separated and she was in a ‘home’ of social welfare for some time because her mother hit her very hard. For the past three years she was living with her father and his girlfriend. Her aunt brought her to the ministry center when she five years old and she said, ‘I enjoyed coming and learning about God’s love and I prayed and invited Jesus in my heart. Before I cried a lot because I missed my mom and I fought a lot with my brother. Jesus not only made me happy, but he is helping me also to be patient with my brother and not fight with him anymore. I also don’t feel alone anymore.’ Her prayer is that her parents will come to know Jesus someday.

“Seven-year-old Andy is a very quiet girl. Her parents are separated. This affects her a lot emotionally. Through a Bible class, she realized she needs Jesus in her life. God’s love became very clear to her and she realized that without Him we are nothing. She accepted Jesus as her personal Savior. She said she decided to always obey Jesus and make Him happy.

“Please pray that we will always be sensitive to the spiritual and emotional needs of the children coming to the ministry center.”

Missionaries needed to serve worldwide

Short-term missionary with children in Malawi

Short-term missionary with children in Malawi

Please pray with ACTION for many additional missionaries to work in evangelism, discipleship and development in each of the countries we serve: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Fiji Islands, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Spain, Taiwan, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zambia.

To learn more about opportunities to serve with ACTION, please click here.

Evangelistic Christmas parties in the Philippines

Jeff Anderson with street children

Jeff Anderson with street children

Jeff Anderson writes, “Our Christmas parties for street kids and out-of-school youth continue and we are having a great time! The other day I gave a short message about Jesus at a party for 35 street boys and girls. The party was full of games, singing and food and each child received a nice gift. It was held in the party room of a restaurant which the kids pass by every day and this was the first time the kids ate inside an eatery. At night these boys and girls scrounge for scraps through restaurant’s garbage when they close. The manager didn’t charge us for the room and allowed us to bring in extra rice so the kids had enough to eat and some to take home.

“When asked what they wished for this Christmas the majority of the young people said to ‘have a happy family and to be together’ and to ‘study well in school.’ Red, yellow, black, brown or white, rich or poor, kids are kids and Jesus loves them all year-round. Not just during the Christmas season.”