MISSION HIGHLIGHTS May 2016
Please read these mission highlights prayerfully and remember that what you read here are just summaries of the letters. The full letter is in the literature rack at the back of the church. Thank you for taking time to read these letters from your missionaries and mission organizations and let’s remember to pray for them!!
Stephanie Lowery - Africa Inland Mission
Thanks for your prayers this past month as I waited for approval from two people on my PhD committee at Wheaton. Amazingly, I did hear back from both men, and they both approved the revisions to the dissertation! The final step is sending the dissertation to a technical reader, who will examine it to be sure in conforms to Wheaton’s format requirements in every way and will check grammatical issues. I’ve sent it in - generally this process takes about 8 weeks and once it’s over, the dissertation can be submitted to Wheaton’s library and I’m truly done! Ah, the end is in sight! My mom and I celebrated by going to see the movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Dec. 17th and enjoyed it quite a lot. We celebrated Christmas with the Lowery side of the family - another fun time.
Thanks to those of you who have sent photos (digital or hard copy) as I collect photos to take with me to Kenya.
Another piece of good news: I have reached 97% of my needed monthly support. Again, thanks to you all for your sacrificial giving. So many prayers answered “yes” in such a short time is indeed a clear reminder that our God is powerful, good and hears our prayers. As Ephesians 3:20-21 puts it, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Bill Tate - Glad Tidings, India
Plans are under way to celebrate the 90 birthday of Dr. William Scott on May th 5, 2017. In India, approximately 200-300 church leaders will gather from all over India. Dr. Scott has said he does not want gifts. Instead, he wants more Bibles for India to fulfill his long-ago vision of “placing a Bible in every Indian home”.
Dr. William Scott is an exceptional servant of God who:
* lived in the villages with the people.
* frequently went to remote places to bring the Gospel for the first time.
* had his life threatened on several occasions.
* was stung twice by scorpions.
* with his wife, Joyce, founded India Bible Literature which for 40 years has reached thousands upon thousands in India with the Gospel.
* continues to fulfill God’s call of “India for Life”.
* still travels to India 3 times a year as consultant/advisor to India Bible Literature/Glad Tidings India.
Recently, a Glad Tidings Board member went to India and while there, interviewed several partners working among unreached people groups. He shared the following information: “A leader of an unreached people group in Maharashtra felt led to go to an area notorious for radical Hindus attacking Christians. Previous evangelists going there were beaten and because of that, no evangelists were willing to go there. His own pastor tried to persuade him not to go. His response was “during my former sinful life, I could have been killed several times due to my foolishness. God spared me. I would now count it a privilege to die for taking the Word of God into this area.” He asks to pray as there is much persecution and harassment.
Bruce & Elise Lippy -
Child Evangelism Fellowship, Inc. - Warrenton, MO.
Our thoughts turn to you at this Christmas season with wishes that you will experience that “exceedingly great joy” that filled the hearts of the kingly worshipers two thousand years ago!
As this year nears its end, we are reflecting on our long relationship with you. We are more grateful than you can know for all you have done to encourage and strengthen our ministry to children through the years. Your support and prayers kept us faithful!
A line from one of the songs that I (Elsie) learned early in my teens at EUM often come to mind. “. . . I would be true, for there are those who trust me.” And I would think of you. Thank you for trusting me to serve the Lord on your behalf, to give my best for Him and not to falter when challenges and changes came.
Although we are now retired from full-time ministry with CEF we will always cherish the memories of your partnership with us. We humbly ask for your continued prayers for this new season of life. Be assured that we will continue to pray for you.
Jeanie Lowery - Africa Inland Mission
Praise God for opportunities to interact in person with those missionaries on Home Assignment in my local area by connecting them to local missionary prayer groups, meeting for coffee/tea to share ideas, directing them to affordable places for clothing, helping communicate new ministry assignments to their supporters, and more.
Please pray for creativity and wisdom in how to further encourage and practically support those on Home Assignment. Pray for grace and flexibility - one person is leaving and another is joining the Member Care team and we need to learn to work together well, respecting each other’s particular gifts and talents.
Pray also for diligence and time for the many Christmas cards and gifts that need to be sent to missionary retirees.
Mark & Kim Hough -
Campus Crusade for Christ -
West Chester University
“I know I’m only one drink and one joint away from becoming the person I used to be.”
That’s what Pete shared at one of our large group meetings this past semester. Pete is a young Christian who plugged into Cru this year. He’s been playing in our worship band, coming out to my Bible study, and meeting each week for a one on one mentorship.
Though Pete grew up in a religious home, his faith before college was “dead”. In his words, going to church was “nothing more than parental obligation.” High school and college were a downward spiral. “I’d lock myself in my room and binge on drugs and liquor”. His addictions emptied his bank account, alienated close friends and sent Pete into a deep depression.
Change began when a friend invited him out to a Bible study. At first, it felt awkward. “People like me weren’t supposed to be at places like this. My clothes reeked of cigarettes”. Over time, though, Pete experienced the power of the Gospel in a Christian community. People loved him, accepted him, and took a genuine interest in his life. Shortly after, Pete became a Christian and plugged into Cru. That night, Pete shared how Cru has been instrumental in his growth; that we’re a community where he can be honest about his struggles and temptations. “My walk with Christ has been anything but easy”, Pete said. “But I know my conversion is only the beginning”. Pete walked off stage to an incredibly loud standing ovation.
I was really proud of Pete and I was also proud of the Cru community. I am passionate about Cru being a group that’s authentic; one where people can put down the religious mask and be real about what’s going on in their life.
God is at work on West Chester’s campus. Pete’s story is one example. As Kim and I reflect on this past year, we are humbled at how God has moved. This summer, over 20 students are going on summer mission trips with Cru. In this year alone, 6 new staff have been raised up from West Chester Cru; the most in more than a decade. Some will be joining our team in the fall, others are going to central Asia to bring the Gospel to a Muslim and Russian orthodox country.
Thank you so much for your partnership with us! Your generosity enables people like Pete to experience the Gospel firsthand!
Charles & Becky Jackson - India & Brazil
We give praise to our God and Father for His continual guidance. Over the past year our visas to India have been denied twice. We are greatly saddened yet we know our lives are in the hands of our Lord. Although the “Door” to India has been closed to us, another door has opened!
We are now actively involved in the Phillippines and have partnered with Knox UMC (Manila) and Wesley Foundations (Philippines). Our primary efforts will be evangelism, economic development, children’s ministry (street) and training of pastors, evangelists and lay people. Elisabeth, who was also not able to secure a valid visa to India, will relocate to the Phillippines and volunteer at Bethel School. and also minister to homeless children.
Another important emphasis of our outreach is training Pastors , Evangelists and lay people. Charles had the privilege to share with church members and several pastors from the Christian Alliance Church located in Zamboanga. In June he was asked to teach at several seminaries and one Bible School.
Please know how thankful we are for your prayers and financial support.
Elizabeth Jackson - India
I’m so thankful for your continued prayers and support! I’m back in
India with AGAPE. Lynne, the founder of AGAPE, had the guest house ready for me. The kids at AGAPE are great. I am teaching art, Physical Education and some upper class English.
My art show went great. I want to give a big thank you to the people at
First UMC Carrolton, TX and to Pastor Doug!
Please pray for me to find peace in the chaos, for Lynne and for the
kids. Love all - serve all!
Jessie Van Schepen - CrossWorld - Ireland
“O love of God, how strong and true; eternal and yet ever new; uncomprehended and unbought; beyond all knowledge and all thought.” (From a song by Horatius Boar - 1809-89). As I read these lyrics I was reminded of the verse in I John 3:1 which says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” In our Ladies Bible Study we are going through the book of Galatians. Last week one of the verses we were looking at mentioned that we are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” What a privilege to know that I am a child of God!! May I continue to represent Him well!!
In April as mentioned in my last ‘Jessie’s Jottings’, I attended the Crossworld European Ladies’ Retreat. I came away once again loved and affirmed and encouraged. While I was away in France, the “Amazing Journey”, which is a presentation showing the big picture of the Bible, was shared in the biggest local primary school in Youghal and a couple of schools in local villages. This is a high-quality presentation given by a teacher who is sponsored by the Association of Baptist Churches. The children were exposed to the message of the Bible through word, meeting Bible characters, tasting Bible foods and dressing up in costumes. Each child went home with a free Gospel of Luke, and could also request a free New Testament, which would be delivered to their home.
Praise the Lord, that the amount of requests were beyond our expectation. Pray for 650+ students who participated in the “Amazing Journey”, that what they heard would be used by the Holy Spirit to convict them of their need for a Savior. Pray for Paul, my Irish co-worker, as he delivers the New Testaments to those who requested them. In May, Munster Christian camps will hold 2 BBQ’s for the Senior and Intermediate Camps on the site where the summer camps will be held. Pray for the planning and preparation of these Summer Camps, the speakers and also for the leaders.
A praise note about the Easter camps is that a young lad, Adam, came to Christ! The main Christian influence in his life has been his grandmother. Adam is excited about coming along to the youth group led by my co-workers in the fall. Pray for him to grow in his new faith in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your continued interest and your prayers! On Christ the Solid Rock I continue to stand!!!
Terry & Doris Ortman - Susek Evangelistic Association
My winter schedule was altered when our trip to Haiti was cancelled due to civil unrest, so I changed the dates for my trip to India. I returned to “Christ the King of Kings Ministry” in Avasomavaram a little over a year after a hurricane devastated the area. On my last trip not one tree had any leaves and most of them were blown over. The orphanage was evacuated for the protection of the children. The airport was left roofless!
Now the area is once again green and all aspects of life have generally improved. Due to the lack of funding, the orphanage/school is making a slow return. The outreach to church plants is growing, but there are still no children at the site. Half of the facility needed major repairs and they are going slowly. They hope to again receive children by June.
I had the privilege to minister in several of the church plants and at the church on the school site. I only had to go for one morning jog before the local children came running to greet me. One of the orphans I befriended on my first trip eight years ago greeted me. T. Joseph is now 24, working in the local CocoCola Company and is the proud owner of his own motorbike. His mother brought her two sons to the orphanage to escape an abusive husband. Since then she has abandoned both boys. I asked Joseph if he planned to marry and who will arrange it. He replied that he was looking to marry a young lady, arranged by the church family. What a blessing to know his relationship with the Lord is family enough in a culture that places high value on family ties and customs.
I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel to the children in several orphanages, with often 70 in attendance. Sharing the Gospel to these young ones is a satisfying experience. Even though from Hindu background, they loved to act our Bible stories.
I will be returning to Sierra Leone with a team to work in the schools in late June. We will again be working with Transformation Education working with the schools in Freetown. I will also be returning to Zimbabwe later this year to do follow up work in the BIC schools that I worked with on last year’s trip.
Doris continues to play the piano for two local churches and also at South Mountain Restoration Center Sunday chapel service. She also enjoys sharing at Stonecroft Women’s Connections. We are so grateful that we can share the Good News of salvation to many different people groups around the world. Thank you joining us in this ministry. You are part of our ministry and share in the impact made in the lives of many through the teaching of the Gospel.
Bruce and Deb Heffner
They say Christmas time is the best time of the year. That is probably true in many ways, but this entire year of 2015 has been one of the best years in our life and
I finished my heart rehab on February 28th (and thanks to all of you who prayed me through). On March 1 we were on a plane to pick up where we left off in evangelism. Our time at New Life Bible Church in Man-O-War Cay was both rewarding and relaxing since they had much mercy on me in my duties this year.
Next, it was the Word of Life tour from New York to Chicago and back during a number of weeks. Focusing on the Ukraine this year, we were able to enlist a prayer army and raise enough scholarships to get many hundreds of kids out of the war zone and into the Bible camp where many of them accepted Christ as their Savior. The results were just astonishing!
In June it was back to our “adopted” land of Hungary. The Elet Szava ministry was simply over the top this summer. The entire staff had been asking for 1000 campers for many years now. This year we hit it with 1048. Literally hundreds were saved. In our few weeks there we personally saw over 200 decisions.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we were back in Pennsylvania for our teen and children’s camps at Milford. Oh, my, it did get better! There were young people saved every day. We had some real soul winners on the staff this year, whom I hope to keep around until the Lord comes back!
On Thanksgiving Day, Deb had the privilege to lead our youngest grandson Aaron to the Lord right in our house! I don’t think it can get any better than this. Eternity changed at home! Then after that we finished up our on-the-road music programs in Bethlehem, Allentown, and the Pinebrook Bible Conference in the Poconos.
We know that all of the fruit from all these things we’ve told you about here is really credited to your account because of your faithfulness in sending us. 2016 is already booked even bigger and look forward to getting started to do it all over again.
Thank you for being on our team.
We were able to meet a $10,000 challenge grant because of an anonymous Christian Foundation who gave - meaning that $10,000 became $20,000 which went toward the needs of the Four Corners Home for Children at Navajo Ministries. Wow!
The overall funds are being used to help pay for the operational expenses at our three children’s homes. Each day, children ranging in age from babies to teens receive the safety and stability they so desperately need after coming to us from traumatic situations of abuse and neglect. Some of these funds will also be used for other project needs, such as new flooring in our two long-term homes.
We are amazed by the generous support of our friends throughout the country. Miracles happen here, thanks to your generous support and to God’s daily blessings. But due to the dramatic downturn in our local economy, we are being stretched very thin. Won’t you please pray for us and perhaps provide some additional funds to help these precious children and teens. We will continue to rely on our Rock - Jesus - He has never let us down!
Arturo & Nancy Muro - Ripe For Harvest Ministries - Mexico
2015 has been a very productive year. Praise the Lord with us for His goodness and the growth and impact He has allowed us to have through the different ministries in which we are involved in here in Mexico.
This year we have concentrated on leadership training and events to provide tools and inspiration for the churches, Christian workers and leaders in the Puebla area. We sent 10 pastors with their wives to Havana. We paid for their travel, food and lodging expenses. It was the first time that these pastors participated in such an event. We also raised additional funds to purchase 3,000 Bibles which we were able to distribute to 10 different churches in Cuba. Please pray for lasting results!
In July we hosted a 5-day Missions Conference for all the Bible churches in the Puebla area (now 24). The V. P. of Camino Global was the featured speaker. “Transform Puebla” was the biggest event we have ever hosted. We had 24 people come in from 3 countries and 4 different cities in Mexico as speakers. A total of 67 different events over 5 days were held in different places in the city with 12 conferences and 17 workshops. We exceeded our attendance goals. Please pray for lasting results! We recently held our second baptism and church picnic of the year. Nearly 100 have been baptized so far this year. Praise God!!
We pray for peace and joy for all this Christmas Season!
Tim and Evie Conkling
Chinese Church Planting Partners
We are leaving Indonesia after five years of fruitful and at times challenging ministry. We are scheduled to leave on June 15 and move back to Taipei as the home base for my missionary labors - mostly in China. I went to China on May 10 and preached to Christian leaders in a city that has experienced persistent persecution for two years. The leaders are interested in organizing their network of large house churches into a Reformed ecclesiology and possible presbytery. Please pray for us and these leaders as they chart a Biblical path toward the future in a persecuted environment.
Evie will be finishing up her time as a string and general music teacher at North Jakarta Intercultural School this June. She was not able to continue teaching in Indonesia due to a lowering of the forced retirement age for ex-patriate teachers. Evie hopes to be able to teach in Taiwan once we move back if the Lord opens up a door.
Many have heard, and I have reported in earlier prayer letters of the government’s crackdown on churches in Zhejiang Province, and especially the city of Wenzhou. Churches are being forced to pull down their crosses or have them forcibly removed. I have visited this area and preached and taught there many times since 2009. At the request of some of the churches there I hope to minister to congregations who have experienced persecution. Please pray for grace and safety.
As I make the transition from ½ time missionary; ½ time tentmaker into full time missionary, we have a substantial amount of support to raise. Please pray for miraculous daily provision. Thanks for your prayers and partnership with us.
Cross Connection Ministries - New Holland - Meredith Dahl, Executive Director
I cannot believe I am already sitting down to reflect on the past year at Cross Connection Ministries (CCM) and looking forward to the year ahead. As I think about this past year, I am personally blessed and thankful for 2015 and the different changes we have observed. We have had new students and families attending programs, change in some of our staff members, moved forward on expansion projects, and most importantly, witnessed God changing hearts in the lives of those we have been coming alongside of.
I want to share with you a testimony from one young lady who has been
involved in many different programs at CCM over the years and has wanted to see change for her future. This recent graduate from Garden Spot High School writes, “My experience with CCM has been outstanding. In times of need they were always able to provide me with the right resources and support to get through difficulties. One of those supports is the Getting Ahead Class. As a young mom, I thought it was
important to know how to deal with my finances and learn about poverty. The Getting Ahead Class has provided me with that information and much more. I am grateful for this program and hope that CCM can continue to support and motivate families, kids and teenagers in the future.” Thank you for helping to impact this young mom’s life!
With the growth of the ministry, we are blessed to share that the funds
continue to come in to sustain the organization and our financial health. Thank you for keeping CCM debt free and partnering with us to provide safe places and caring relationships for youth and families in Eastern Lancaster County.
Missions supported by by EUMC
Paul and Nancy Brown
Chinese Church Planting Partners
Tim and Evie Conkling
Gospel Horn Ministries
Bruce and Deb Heffner
Mark and Kim Hough
Bruce and Elsie Lippy
Generous Hands Ministry
Charles and Becky Jackson
Ripe for Harvest World Outreach
Arturo and Nancy Muro
SUSEK Evangelistic Association
Terry and Doris Ortman
Alex and Sallie Turoczi