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Amirah 2021 Update

Our Local Partner, Amirah, exists to provide aftercare, resources, and opportunities to women who have survived different forms of sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, and prostitution. WATCH NOW to learn how you’ve been a part of helping survivors of exploitation find hope this year. 

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There and Back Again

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In this month’s Missions Update, Kerry Jelinek shares the story of how a 2008 Black Rock Church mission trip to New Orleans birthed the Urban Impact local ministry in Connecticut and came full circle when another BRC team went to New Orleans earlier this month.  You’ll also learn about upcoming short-term trip options for 2022 and ways to get ready to go.

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A God Connection Story

We have an amazing story to share of how the body of Christ has been at work in getting an airplane from Luxembourg to the Congo to be used by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) to meet the felt and spiritual needs of people there. Watch now to follow the journey as shared by Dawn Brehm, our Director of Global Partners.

Recently, dozens of people attended a showing at Black Rock of the MAF documentary film, “Ends of the Earth”, about how airplanes like the one mentioned in this update are used to advance God’s kingdom.   If you missed that event, you can still watch it online.  Go to watch.endsoftheearthmovie.com to find a livestream viewing time that works for you.

Sign up to pray for Mission Aviation Fellowship

Clearing the Hood and the Weeds | New Orleans Missions Trip

Hello from New Orleans,

On Sunday November 7, 12 people from Black Rock travelled to what the pastor here, Pastor John, calls “The Hood.”  We had two main projects this week.  

Early in the week we helped drive the darkness out from three abandoned lots.  This last year the homeless situation in the blocks that Pastor John works in has gotten pretty bad.  His ministry’s mission is to create a place where people know Jesus and kids can ride their bikes safely.  The homeless bring crime, drugs and prostitution.  

So this week, we took back one block for Jesus.  Pastor John talked with a bunch of people living in these abandoned lots and told them his ministry could help them.  None wanted help.  So he then told them we were going to clear the lots where they were living and make it safe for kids to ride their bikes.  

This week, our team has been hard at work clearing these three lots of garbage and brush and clearing them so the police can see anyone who tries to move back in.

75 bags of garbage, 2 queen size mattresses and piles of debris have been removed.

All the cars and residents driving by have a big smile and say thanks for removing the darkness of drugs and prostitution and reclaiming this area for Jesus’ work.

Please pray for this neighborhood to have the light of Jesus.

Pastor Jeremy

Read below to learn about a roofing project we helped with at Joe’s house. 

In the predawn hours of 11.07.21, a disparate group of 12 men and women left BRC with NOLA as their destination. Their ages ranged from 17-58, but they shared a desire to follow Jesus by serving in a community repeatedly ravaged by hurricanes — most recently, Hurricane Ida.

Within the first afternoon, God showed each member of the team the place where they could contribute and be the most effective, and they clung to that with Christlike humility. Overnight, a team had developed and descended on the 2300 block of South Derbigney Street. Over the next few days, as many as 9 at one time were up on the roof of Joe’s house, and were able to repair what they could and remove what they couldn’t, so that it could be built anew.

Those who couldn’t be on the roof were faced with a different task; it was termed “The Weeds”. Across from the house was a series of vacant lots the size of a little league field, that had been long overgrown and used as a camp by local heroin addicts. But the team moved in, starting from the street and pushing back as they cleaned up trash, debris, drug paraphernalia, weeds, and even a few banana trees.

But the emotional and spiritual were not forgotten in the face of the physical. The team was joined by staff from the ministry they had come to support, and together they worked, and prayed for each other, and ministered to the community. God had brought each of them here for a purpose, and He used them to lift each other up and to be a shining light to the community, and an example of the Body of Christ. By the end of the week these relative strangers had become not just friends but family, connected by the bonds of their shared labor in the Lord.

By Thursday afternoon, “The Weeds” were clear, and on Friday the new roof was on the home. The area — which had started out broken down and ignored by the city — had been transformed into a neighborhood where kids could ride their bikes.

Humbling Serving,

Julie Kosa and Victoria Niedermeier (NOLA Team Members)

Are Missions and Evangelism the Same Thing?

The Brown family, serving in the Amazon Rainforest, give us a great example of both at work.

As a young couple, God called Dan and Krista Brown to be missionaries among the Yanomami and gave them a love for a people who are not their own and grace to stick to the calling. Later on, God called Dan’s brother Jon and his wife Valerie to be missionaries in a neighboring village.

Through the years God has faithfully provided all they’ve needed to serve Him.  After many years, Dan and Krista recognized that the time had come for the church they planted to begin to take on more responsibility with the goal that it would stand on its own.

They prayed for godly men in the church to take on more and more responsibility and that God would give them discernment as to whether their continuing presence was a help or a hindrance to that end.

God answered in an unexpected way. Because of Covid, and then because of unrest between the Yanomami people and illegal gold miners and gang members, missionaries had to pull out of their village.

The Church there has been experiencing its greatest trial yet Dan and Krista prayerfully watch as He raises up evangelists among the Yanomami to reach their own.

Read below to learn about the difference between Missions and Evangelism and how this has played out from the perspective of Jon and Valerie in a neighboring village.

Part One – Missionaries and Evangelists
by Krista Brown

When talking about missions and evangelism, Christ’s familiar command in Matthew 28:18-20 comes to mind.  In this passage, Jesus instructs his people to go to all nations and make disciples.  The Church’s attempt to obey our Lord has resulted in two entities that go and make disciples, namely evangelists and missionaries.

The evangelist typically shares the good news of salvation and the truths of God’s Word in settings within his/her own country, culture and language and sometimes in a spontaneous setting.  The missionary likewise shares, but is typically sent out by a church or missions organization to another country, culture and language.

Both entities strive to share the Gospel and make disciples, but with different methods.  Evangelists oftentimes gather groups or even crowds in order to call people to the Lord and to promote awareness of God and his Word.

The missionary’s task is different in that it requires patience and endurance to first learn a new culture and language in order to then be able to communicate the Gospel.  Missionary work often includes sharing Christ’s love through teaching literacy, medical ministry and Bible translation so that God’s truths may be known.

Our gracious Heavenly Father raises up evangelists and missionaries to go and call people to Himself.  As a young newly married couple, God called Daniel and me to be missionaries to the Yanomami.  But he didn’t just call us…He equipped us! He gave us His love for a people who are not our own and grace to stick to the calling.

 Through the years He has faithfully, by the prayers and gifts of His people, provided all that we need to serve Him. Today, we prayerfully watch as He raises up evangelists among the Yanomami to reach their own.  May our God be glorified in His mission!

Part Two – By the Dawn’s Early Light
by Jon & Valerie Brown

Just two crisp pings on the school bell in the dark so as not to rouse those who may need their sleep. It’s almost cold at this predawn hour in the jungle and it’s just slightly less than pitch black out. A fog and heavy dew blanket the clearing around the school. Slowly figures begin to come through the door into the dim light of my solar charged garden lamp that we’ve been using as a lantern these mornings. It casts just enough light in one corner of the dirt floor school room to read a Bible passage each day before we pray. Manuel has materialized next to me. Then a jumbled up blanket with legs takes its place at the edge of the ring of light, must be Tony. Otavio’s tiger stripe blanket wanders by with his teenage face poking out the front and takes his seat. He’s been a regular lately. The two faithful elderly men who can hardly walk come coughing and sputtering in and take their spots. Pinokio, a handful of others, and even Kaiado from a mile down river are all here this morning. These men have been starting the day at 5:15 in prayer. They’ve been praying for wisdom, direction, and spiritual protection for their neighboring village of Palimi-U ever since we heard about the antagonistic political and spiritual fallout rippling out from there. The dramatic shooting incident several month ago, a clash between Illegal gold miners and that community, has had a far reaching negative impact and we’ve heard mostly bad news. This morning is different, though. Jonas and Felio also sit a midst our little glow. They are church leaders visiting from Palimi-U who just arrived in the night. They begin to give their first hand account. Many things we have heard were not completely true; some are worse, but quite a few things are much better. The church is still meeting on Sunday mornings, men’s prayer meeting and women’s prayer meeting still run as scheduled and are well attended. Despite efforts to scare off the community from the location, the believers have not fled. They refuse to let the church building, school, or missionary houses be assimilated by miners, other villagers or even the army or government officials. Isaque, also a believer, and a contracted healthcare assistant, in the absence of the full-time government healthcare workers, has continued to do what he can to combat malaria, and dispense nonprescription medicines. For more serious cases he is following instructions over the radio. Several of the older leaders accused of back sliding into witchcraft are, in fact, speaking out against going back to the old ways. Though the material suffering and physical dangers have increased dramatically and unbelieving influences are actively trying to lead some astray, the body of believers continues to praise God with singing and thanksgiving for His protection. God’s hand of protection has been clearly seen by believers and unbelievers alike and is at work even now. As the dawn’s early light begins to overpower my little lantern my heart warms. The Church is still there! A brave group of believers still holds fast in the midst of the raging spiritual battle!

Continue to pray for the believers at Palimi-U, Halikat-u, and here in Budu-U that we would continue to stand firm.

Meet the Acostas | Urban Impact | Bridgeport

Mia, Jared and Javon are affectionately called ‘the triplets’. Yes, mom Tiffani and dad William lucked out with not one or two, but three at once 10 years ago. The triplets have been heavily engaged in all facets of Urban Impact’s programs for the past 4 years. From being tutored in school through Kid Power, having help with homework after school in XLR8 and learning about Jesus during Primetime, these three have been rock-stars through all Urban Impact has to offer.

Mom Tiffani has also been a part of our women’s Bible study and has recently taken another huge step by serving as one of our leaders during the weeklong camp at Camp Spofford. Each year we send 20 students to Camp Spofford in New Hampshire to learn about Jesus and have a great adventure in the woods. We were short one female leader and when Tiffani volunteered, we were so very excited to have one of our parents at camp, shepherding not only her flock but all the girls on the trip.

Thank you to all who have prayed and financially supported not only Urban Impact but specifically our Camp Spofford week. I know the Acostas are big fans of the work our team is doing and we are big fans of the Acostas!

Hear more Urban Impact stories by clicking here.

Your GIVING, PRAYING and GOING help make these stories possible. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to support all of our Global Partners!

blackrock.org/missions 

From “Help” to Hope | IJM | Ghana

Jessica was living alone with her mother when a woman came to town asking to take Jessica with her. Jessica remembers hearing the woman tell her mother that there was a man who needed a helper. The next day, Jessica set off with the woman, traveling to a distant part of Lake Volta where they took a boat to an island. This was where Jessica would be “helping” a fisherman and his family.

She “helped” in the middle of the night, collecting fish from the boats and bringing them back to the place on shore. She “helped” during the day, smoking fish, washing the slimy pans, cleaning the house and fetching water. 

Jessica remembers the day when the police and IJM staff arrived on the shore. “I was happy that they were coming for us,” Jessica remembers. Jessica was rescued along with another girl, Esther*, six boys and two young adults.

Today Jessica lives at an aftercare home, studying math and English and playing soccer. She completed a curriculum called “I Am Worthy,” which teaches children to know their rights and understand how the law protects them.

In addition to being able to advocate for herself, Jessica has also learned that she is a helper – only now on her own terms. “I want to become a nurse,” she explains. “I want to take care of children and elderly people.”

Thanks to you, Jessica not only brings help, but hope.

Hear more stories from IJM Ghana

WhatsApp Gospel Connection | GO | Middle East

The internet is second nature to millennials. It is the first place they will go when they have a question. Zahir*, a young woman from the UAE is now living in the Middle East. God spoke to her in a dream, and her initial instinct was to pick up her phone and go to Google.

The following is a snippet of her first conversation on WhatsApp with our responder Habib:

Zahir: I found your number on Google, and I am contacting you to discuss a complex subject. I am Zahir and I am 23 years old.

Habib: Welcome Zahir, what do you want to discuss?

Zahir: Change of religion.

Habib: Why would you want to change religions?

Zahir: I have seen Jesus in a dream, and I started searching Christianity and reading the Gospel. Would you help me to find someone who can explain the Bible to me?

Habib: If you like, I can introduce you to a sister who can help you out.

Zahir: Of course, I would love to. I also want to be baptized. I know that changing religions in my country is difficult. But I don’t care about the Government papers. At least my family is not against me for changing beliefs.

Shortly after this conversation, we made arrangements for Zahir to meet with other Christian believers face to face. Soon she will be studying the Bible and enjoying local fellowship.

Thank God for Zahir and the opportunity we have to connect with her. Technology now plays a vital role in reaching some of the least-reached people globally. Our ministry is constantly innovating and striving to find new ways of sharing the Gospel so that we can reach even more people like Zahir.

Hear more stories from the Arab World here.

Aisha & the Man in White | City Ministries | Nigeria

Everyone in Aisha’s village believes in another religion. Growing up, she had never heard that God loved her and wanted a personal relationship with her.

One night, she had a vivid dream of a man in gleaming white. It was so real and when she woke up, her heart was pounding. She quickly woke her husband and told him of the dream. He rebuked her and told her to go back to sleep. For the next few days she constantly thought of the ‘Man in White’, wondering who this could be? She kept bringing it up to her husband and he beat her and told her to stop talking about the experience. He then said that she must be possessed and gave her a potion from the local medicine man. 

A few days later she dreamt of the ‘Man in White’ again. The light was so bright around him, but this time she felt an unbelievable peace. When she told her family they were ashamed of her behavior, beat her, and ordered her to remain silent.

A week later she dreamt again and this time the ‘Man in White’ said; “How do you know that the way you are following is the right way? It is not the right way.” Somehow in her spirit she knew that he was saying that her religion was not the right way. A short time later she had another dream, and he said the same thing. Aisha woke up convinced that she had to find the right way! 

She boldly decided to take her young daughter and run away to a village where there were Christians. She had never met a Christian before, but felt drawn to that place. There she met a pastor who shared the gospel with her and she accepted Christ as her Savior. 

Soon she had her last unique & vivid dream. In this one, many people dressed in white were going up into the sky, like into white clouds. She said that she was filled with such amazing peace and joy in this dream.  The believers told her that this was heaven and one day she would go there and be with other believers who had passed on and that she would be with Jesus, the ‘Man in White’. Aisha’s heart longs for heaven and to be with Jesus. Since she has lost most of her family and everything that she had grown up with, God has used this dream to greatly encourage her when she feels confused or discouraged.

Aisha’s thirst to know more about Jesus moved her to another town. When she and her daughter arrived they got into a 3-wheeler local ‘taxi’. She told the driver to please take her to a place where she could learn more about Jesus. The driver was from her former religion, but told her he knew a place that helped people know about Jesus. He drove her to our ministry center where she is now safe and being discipled. 

Hear more stories from Nigeria at https://blackrock.org/cityministries/

Missions Update September 2021

This month, Pastor Jeremy updates us on what to expect this Fall including new stories from our 4 featured partners, your last chance to apply for our trip to the Dominican Republic and an opportunity to serve with hurricane relief in New Orleans in November.

City Ministries 25th anniversary

“As you pray and give you’re here with us!”  Today we celebrate 25 years of God’s continued faithfulness to and through City Ministries in Nigeria.  We’re so thankful for our Global Partners, the Fretheims, and their team. It is an honor to be a part of what God is doing in their midst.

Summer Fun in ’21

Our Local Outreach Partner, Urban Impact, had a summer full of fun and faith-filled connection with children and families from the PT Barnum housing complex in Bridgeport. Watch now to learn what they’ve been up to!

You can team up with Urban Impact and other Local Partners by volunteering with them throughout the year!  Go to blackrock.org/local to learn more and take advantage of your opportunity to Serve Local.

Crisis Response: Haiti & Afghanistan

Like you, we are devastated by recent events affecting Haiti and Afghanistan. Although many countries are impacted by strife and struggle on a daily basis, these two countries are experiencing acute crises (a presidential assassination, an earthquake, an overthrown government, and threats not only to national security, but the safety of Christ-followers, women and children in particular) that draw our immediate attention.

Many of you have asked about our plans to respond to these crises. Below are ways we can immediately support relief efforts and options for future assistance.

HAITI

We already have good relationships with a couple of agencies who have ongoing operations on the ground in Haiti. One of them, World Relief, has a local office near the epicenter of the recent earthquake and standing partnerships already in place with local organizations and churches in the communities most directly impacted.

World Relief has shared with us some tangible needs that the Black Rock family can help meet. They include medical supplies, hygiene supplies, food, drinking water, psychosocial support, tents, and blankets.

The Board of Missions has existing funding available to provide $2,500 toward those needs, but with your help, we’d love to double (or even exceed that). You can play a part in that by making a donation to a matching fund that we’ve set up.

GIVE TO HAITI NOW 

In addition to giving financially, the best way you can impact relief efforts in Haiti is through prayer. Pause now to pray for:

  • Those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, suffering from physical injuries and in need of healing from trauma the emotional impact of losses of all kinds.
  • The local churches in Haiti to be strengthened and wise as they minister to their communities and bear witness to the gospel as they live out Christ’s compassion.
  • For wisdom and discernment for World Relief and other agencies as they administer support and assist those most in need.

AFGHANISTAN

Providing tangible support for Afghanistan is not as clear as the situation there is still unfolding and unstable. As of this writing, we have no direct relationships or communication with anyone on the ground in Afghanistan. Most partnering organizations have already pulled their staff out or been cut off from communication with contacts.

Right now, there are no clear funding pathways to ensure that any financial support on our behalf would directly serve those in and from Afghanistan. Before the current crisis, people with connections to Afghanistan and/or ministering to Afghan refugees in other countries were referred to us for future consideration as Black Rock Global Partners. As events unfold, we will explore tangible opportunities to provide ongoing and vetted support to those most affected, especially believers who remain in Afghanistan.

By far, the most important way you can help is to pray, especially for our believing brothers and sisters in Afghanistan who are enduring persecution and counting the cost of following Jesus. Pause now to pray for:

  • Those who remain in Afghanistan. Persecution is how the church grows best and before this crisis Afghanistan already had the second fasting growing church in the world. Pray for boldness and strength as believers endure persecution. For their faith to remain steadfast and for the comfort, joy and peace of God’s presence with them to be realized. Praise God for those who are enduring much suffering and being martyred for the sake of His the gospel. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants. Ps. 116:15
  • Pray also for miraculous protection of these saints and stories to come of neighbors, friends and even those who oppose them coming to faith in Jesus. Pray for dreams and visions that God will use to connect people with the gospel.
  • Pray for Afghans being evacuated and displaced around the world. For their provision and protection and, in particular, for churches and believers in each host country to respond well with Christ’s love and compassion. Pray for ongoing provision of their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for the Black Rock Board of Missions as we explore response and partnership options that will not only meet felt needs, but also provide for the ongoing support of the church in Afghanistan and among the Afghan people.

We are touched by your care and concern for those who suffer worldwide, especially in Haiti and Afghanistan, and look forward to teaming with you through immediate response and future opportunities to pray, give and go in support of these dear people.

The Board of Missions

Encouraging News Near and Far | August 2021

Great news out of India! You are currently a part of reaching 3,000 families, establishing 20 prayer movements, facilitating the baptism of 100 people and planting 10 new churches! Pastor Jeremy shares more about that and our upcoming Local Outreach Sunday featuring ways you can have Kingdom impact in our own community. blackrock.org/local 

Orphanage burned

When Rebecca Lubbert was 8 years old, her parents brought her on a two-week trip to Africa to visit friends who live full-time in Nigeria doing missions work.

Their organization, City Ministries – Gidan Bege, serves vulnerable and needy people in Nigeria: widows, orphans, street children, and more. They also do outreaches in prisons and other difficult places.

Though she was just a child during this short trip, God sparked a fire in Becca’s heart for the country of Nigeria.

After graduating from Trumbull High School in 2018, she moved to Nigeria to spend a gap year serving with City Ministries. One of her roles was empowering a local camp for displaced orphan children and developing a relationship between the camp and City Ministries.

Within the past few years in Nigeria, violent attacks by terrorist and tribal groups have orphaned many children and forced them to flee their homes. Some of these children have been living in a camp set up to give them shelter, food, and an education.

The 150 children at the camp were sharing about 50 thin mattresses on concrete floors.  Sickness traveled quickly from orphan to orphan, and without mosquito nets, many fell ill with Malaria.

After visiting the camp, Becca saw the immense need for safe and comfortable sleeping conditions. Therefore, she did what any 18 year old would do, she launched a fund-raising campaign to provide a new bed, mattress, sheet, blanket, and mosquito net for each child.

In January 2019, a team from Black Rock Church was able to join Becca to share Jesus’ hope and peace with the children in a tangible way as we provided them each with a proper place to sleep.

This week (August 3, 2021), the Miango area near the City Ministries team in Nigeria has been under attack by radical Fulani herdsmen for several days in a row.

They write:

“They even burned an orphanage we support, but all the children were evacuated before the attack so none of them were hurt. (This is the aforementioned orphanage where a BRC teams delivered beds and have visited recently).

Many villagers have been killed and their homes & farms destroyed. The government is choosing to do nothing about it. We and many others have been trying with all of our connections to help stop this evil! Please Pray against this injustice and for the victims and that the perpetrators will repent and come to know the Lord!

We are trying to raise funds now to help the people with food, Medical Supplies, hospital bills and repairing of homes whenever it is safe for them to be in them. For this orphanage, we will reevaluate once it is safe, but we will try and repair all of the beds which Becca got for them and then we’ll have to replace the mattresses and do other repairs. Thanks for caring and blessings upon you all!”

Keep this situation covered in prayer and keep checking Missions in Action for more posts re: prayer direction and opportunities to help support restoration efforts.

From the Field | Lake Charles Updates

Commissioning: Hannah, one of Black Rock’s recent high school graduates, chose “leading a Mission Trip” as her senior Capstone Project for Newtown High School.  Her project involved selecting a trip location, recruiting a team, managing trip details, and coordinating and leading team preparatory meetings.  We recently commissioned her team ahead of their July 11-18 deployment to help the Lake Charles, Louisiana community heal and rebuild following a series of hurricanes and storms in 2020.  Great work Hannah!  We’ll be praying for you and can’t wait to hear all about it!

Update #1: First Lake Charles Team Report

Here’s a picture of one team! Sue, Rachel, Lilly, Rhianna and Stefan spent all day yesterday priming and painting! they had an AMAZING prayer walk yesterday as they encountered many people and got to hear their stories and pray over them!

I will send a picture over of my team when I can.  Andres, Cassie, Eric and I all spent the day working in a house that had a tree fall on it during Laura, and then got flooded with 13 inches of rain during Delta – the site was quite overwhelming.

Update #3: Lake Charles Team Update

Our team has been working extremely hard and our at our sites for 6.5-7 hours each day. One half of the team has spent the week painting a house and has done some outside work as well. The other half has been working on a house putting up new sheet rock, mudding (getting good at it too!), and yesterday torn down a ceiling and the insulation and then put in new insulation and ceiling!

We appreciate all the prayers as yesterday my team on our prayer walk came across a woman who experiences chronic migraines. I got the privilege of praying over and she got healed right then and there! There’s more to that story that I’d love to share when we get back!

Update #4: Final Trip Update from the Lake Charles Team

We are currently waiting in the Lake Charles airport to catch our flight to Dallas and then home! what a trip it was! We appreciate all the encouragement and prayers throughout this week, it has kept us going! Words can’t really be put to how we are all feeling and we find the only words we can really say are “thank you Jesus!”

As we get back home all of us would LOVE to share all of our stories; although I will say be patient with us as we process and try to figure out how to possibly describe this trip. Our hearts are full, and while most are ready to be home a part of each of us is now here forever.

THE STORY BEHIND THESE PHOTOS - 7/15/21

In the spring of 2017, Pastor Larry Fullerton invited me to Black Rock Church’s Missions Conference. It was here, and because of that invitation, that I met Peter Fretheim.  That meeting seemed, even from the beginning, meant to be. During the months leading up to that encounter, I had been in contact with photographer Ashley Gilbertson who had returned from a New York Times assignment to begin documenting the stories of girls who had been kidnapped and taken hostage by Boko Haram.  At an event at the New School in New York, I had expressed willingness to go to Nigeria to add to Ashley’s photographs.  At that time, I had no idea that this might have been prophetic.  Until meeting Peter Fretheim I knew no one in Nigeria, and had no grasp on the extent of the crisis and how deeply it had impacted the northern states of that country.  

Jump forward to November of that year, and I found myself on my way to Jos to spend time with Peter and Miriam Fretheim and learn more about their incredible ministry.  I never could have imagined that this would include traveling in the north and coming in contact with Muslim leaders, and seeing firsthand the courageous efforts Peter was supporting to bring hope and aid to an embattled and persecuted Christian community. 

That first visit took me to Gombe, where I met Mama Yidi who oversaw a refuge for widows and girls.  In Gombe I was able to attend a trauma workshop that took place in a standing-room-only room where women and children who had suffered violence and tragedy gathered to receive help and be ministered to. When I left Nigeria a few weeks later, my life had already been altered dramatically. I knew that this would not be a one-time visit, and while I never foresaw returning five times during the next two years, I did know for sure that the connection to Peter’s work was not something I had originated.

Just recently, I was back in Nigeria, three weeks during the first month of this year.  Each time I feel as if I have been able to understand more and become more personally linked to the lives of the people I’ve had the privilege to meet and photograph. The challenges Christians face in the north challenge my own faith and priorities.  They, who have so little and have suffered so much, have found riches of grace and trust in God to comfort and provide.  We, who have so much and are blessed with abundance, can only reevaluate our lives and the meaning of sacrifice in return.  

Many thanks to Black Rock Church for supporting one of the most remarkable missions programs that exists in the world today, and for finding ways to advocate for the vulnerable and oppressed.

Lee Cantelon
Litchfield, Connecticut

Feb. 22, 2020

Monthly Missions Update - May 5/26/2021

Your prayers have global impact! In Pastor Jeremy’s Missions Update this month, you’ll learn about our NEW monthly Prayer Guide and why being a Prayer Partner provides significant encouragement and prayer support for our Global Partners serving to meet needs around the world.

Become a Prayer Partner

Download Prayer Guide

Watch the update.

April missions update - 4/30/2021

Visit our new Missions Wall to see how your praying, giving and going are making a global impact.  This month’s featured partner is IJM, working to end slavery around the world.  Hear how the Black Rock Family has creatively been connected with child rescues in Ghana and how you can help our Kids Ministry save another child by donating to their rescue fund.

Watch Update Video

Kids Rescue Challenge

The children of Black Rock’s Kids ministry are taking up the challenge to fund the rescue of another child through our Missions program. Will you help them reach their project goal of $6,300 by the end of this year (if not sooner)?

Click to donate to Kids Rescuing Kids

 

Prayer Matters - Healing | 3/26/2021

Does prayer matter?  Yes, absolutely!  It’s hard to fathom how our small, human prayers somehow move God to act and change things in the heavenly realm, but we are told in the Bible to pray in the Spirit on all occasions, we are told to pray that the Lord of the harvest would sent out laborers, and as missionaries who often wonder if we are bold enough in our witness, we see that even Paul, the model missionary, asks his readers to pray for him that he would declare the Gospel fearlessly as he should.  (Eph 6:19-20)

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

I take courage in noting that even Paul seemed to have some doubts or fears about his witness.  And his prayer request is often our very same prayer request. So although we don’t fully understand how our prayers move God and change things, we pray in obedience to his Word and in faith that He hears, and answers.  

For us personally, one of the stories that is still most dear to us is when Kristen had her brain aneurysm back in our host country.  We asked you all to pray, and I know that many at Black Rock were praying, together with many more around the world.  God spared Kristen’s life, and restored her to full health with no lingering effects or neurological deficits.  The statistics at the time were that as many as 50% of people don’t survive the brain aneurysm rupturing, and of the 50% who survive that, at least half of those have lingering neurological problems.  We believe that God heard your prayers, and restored Kristen to full health.  I’m sure that there are many other stories we could share, but that one will always be one of those events in our family that we will always remember, and thank God for, and we are thankful to you all for your fervent prayers for her at that time.  

We appreciate you all very much!

Blessings,

Brad & Kristen C.

Prayer Matters - Specifics in N. Africa | 3/19/2021

Here’s a story on the power of specific prayers.

During one of our weekly mentoring sessions with a couple from North Africa who live outside their country and are responsible for a growing media work to reach their country, we learned that another one of their media team (a relatively new believer) had quit working with them. Over the past few years there had been other young believers who helped for a while, but when the ministry became tough and demanding or they had unsettled issues in their own lives, they drifted away and all the burden of the ministry fell back on our friends.

In our prayer letters we asked people to pray for local believers to help with the media ministry. As I thought about that request, I started to pray more specifically. “God, the media ministry (and our friends who are responsible) need mature believers from their country for this ministry!” I hardly had faith to pray this because being one of the least reached countries in North Africa, most of the believers have only known Jesus for a few weeks, months or years.

The next week when we met with our friends. They were bursting with good news about a believer in the country whom he just learned about! A well educated man had travelled to Europe years before when he was young and accepted the Lord there through the witness of Egyptian Christians who were his neighbors. When he returned to his country he had no fellowship and experienced persecution from everyone he attempted to witness to and he became a secret believer. But . . . he kept on reading and studying God’s word. It was an answer to prayer for him to find a “mature local believer”. Now we are praying that God will call this man to join the media ministry!

Vivienne & Clint S. | Serving the N. Africa region and U.S.A.

Prayer Matters - Generations | 3/12/2021

Does prayer matter?  We feel as if our lives on the field, as well as now, have been and are simply living out the answers to peoples’ prayers.  So many times when in Austria we would receive a letter from one of our prayer partners saying, “this is what I am praying for you” and it was a list of all of the things God was currently doing in our lives!  There were times in the lives of EACH ONE OF OUR SEVEN CHILDREN when they had near death experiences, and we were SO SURE someone was praying at that time.  

During our 22 years in Austria, we were always praying, asking, begging the Lord to send more workers into His harvest…with our first mission people were always leaving and we kept wondering how the ministry to refugees would ever be able to continue, so we asked Him to send more!  Terry and I both felt as if we could have each kept 10 people busy with the opportunities we had to reach out, to share, disciple, mentor, but there was only one plus one of us.  So we kept on praying, asking the Lord to send more workers!  For 22 whole years that was our constant request.

When our mission asked us to consider relocating to Virginia to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity at Liberty University, to mentor students interested in missions, we prayed many months before agreeing to at least go for Global Focus Week there to see if the Lord would confirm.  The week started with a weekend retreat where 45 students who felt God calling them overseas came for “Next Steps.”

As they were introducing themselves, each one stating where in the world or to what kind of ministry they felt the Lord was calling them, and most adding that they were willing to go WHEREVER He might send them, I felt the Lord tapping me on the shoulder.  “Remember how you’ve been praying for 22 years that I would send out more laborers?  These are all 22 years and under.  Look what I did!  Do you want to be part of this with Me?”  How could we say no to that?

For the past 8 years since then, we have seen Him continue to raise up laborers for His harvest right here in Virginia (coming from all over the place), many are already on the fields where He is sending them, some are still receiving training and preparing, and a large number are just about to be sent out.  It is something we never dreamed was possible, and we love every minute of what we get to do.  He has done all the work of drawing them to Himself, and then placing in their hearts the desire to GO…we get to encourage them with stories of His faithfulness, His provision, the dear ones we’ve seen come to Him, and we get to show them the things they can be doing RIGHT NOW to prepare:

ABIDING in Christ, His Words abiding in them, loving each other, sharing Christ with whomever they meet, and more.

Black Rock is where Terry attended his first missions conference, at age 15, where he was discipled in an amazing youth group where the leader encouraged the students to spend as much time in God’sWord as they did watching TV!

Black Rock is where he made a commitment to go wherever the Lord called him (scary as a teenager), where we were sent out as a couple, to go to Austria to work with refugees, where we saw the Lord answer the prayers of our prayer partners, beyond anything we could have imagined (Eph 3:20-21), drawing people from many nations to Himself, watching the Austrian church grow in their outreach to the nations, leading us through many challenges, and most lately, bringing us to Virginia where the next chapter of His faithfulness in our lives would happen.

We have so deeply appreciated the continued prayer and financial support of Black Rock, and we have continued to live out the answers to those prayers.  God has continued to pour out His blessing on our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren, also in answer to those faithful prayers.  Knowing how faithfully our prayer warriors have prayed for us, we also pray for Black Rock, for those prayer partners, and we ask the Lord to bless AS RICHLY and overwhelmingly as we have been blessed by their prayers!!

Donna Jeanne & Terry Schneider | Mobilization | Virginia (formerly Austria)

Prayer Matters - International Students (PA) | 3/8/2021

On November 16th, the day after enjoying a “hot pot” meal (kind of like fondue) with our students at our weekly community dinner, we found out that one of our students had tested positive for the COVID virus.  The ripple effect of this diagnosis caused a bit of a stir in the house since we had all been exposed and needed to get tested.  We asked for prayer that our house and ministry would be protected.  I had already been going through a devotional series based on one of my favorite Psalms with the kids – Psalm 91 and this Psalm seemed especially appropriate for our situation:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,  my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”

Every last student, my husband, and I, who had eaten out of the community pot the night before, tested negative and our student who was subsequently quarantined to his bedroom only experienced minor symptoms and fully recovered.  

God was indeed showing us that the promises in His Word can be trusted and that the prayers of His saints are powerful and effective in seeing those promises applied. What is even better is that our students – some of whom do not yet know Jesus personally, also saw the power of prayer and of God’s protection over our home.  We continue to be COVID free despite welcoming new students and an occasional guest to our home –all for which we are praising God and are deeply thankful to those who are praying.

Lani Borgman Shade| International Students | Philadelphia

Prayer Matters - South Sudan | 3/5/2021

I could not imagine doing ministry without others and myself praying. I appreciate the support of Black Rock Church faithfully praying for me and my ministry concerns. I am unable to list all the examples where prayer has made a difference. Most recently, on my latest trip, your prayers for my dad on his own has helped. He texted me that he fell on black ice late at night and one leg was bent underneath him. He prayed and was able to get up and “walk it out”. It was a miracle that he did not break his leg and spend the night outside in the frigid cold. Also, on this trip, God has sustained me and opened opportunities to minister to people. These requests seem minor to the suffering I see but God answers all prayers. 

Will you pray with me for lasting peace to come to South Sudan? They became their own nation on July 9, 2011 and then in 2013 civil war erupted. Some of the effects have only been seen in our area of the country. Over a year a peace agreement was signed but it is slow to be implemented. Part of this process is that the two armies need to be integrated. At the same time the soldiers are not being fed or paid. Our state is under the governance of the opposition and the people here are not thrilled with this. We recently had many people displaced because of fighting. Many had homes burned and looted. They are not allowed to go finish their harvest and collect their food. The militia has given grazing rights to some nomadic people and received money. Yet, the people go without. The UN supports the refugees in our area but there is not much support for displaced people. I have seen some of the places where the displaced people are living. Some have no shelter and they have lost everything including all their livestock. These people experienced the long civil war with Sudan before independence and now they are experiencing their own civil war. 

So much suffering, yet the Christians are joyful. I worshiped with Christians who have lost everything and they did not complain but instead testified of God’s love. 

Thank you for praying!  
Vicki Beattie

Pat Butler - Arts & Uber | 6/8/2020

My ministry focus began as church planting and evangelism, which led directly into ministry with artists. Then I blended pastoral care counseling into spiritual formation of artists. I became one of the founding directors of OM Arts.

After serving in France for 12 years, I was deported and had to return to the States. I now have citizenship through another country, which enables me to work in Europe. I serve in Europe, around the Mediterranean basin, with one trip into Central America, and support artists globally through remote training, networking, encouraging, and mentoring.

When I was deported, I transferred over to the only known arts-in-mission ministry: OM’s Artslink (now part of Inspiro Arts Alliance). I’ve stayed with them ever since, working pastoral care experience into spiritual formation of artists.

When our leadership team transitioned, the desire was to scatter leadership around the world. I looked for my next place in ministry, with a view towards retirement. That changed when the Latin American field decided to change from a receiving to a sending field. I continued with trainings in Italy and began work on a discipleship book for training, using its materials to mentor remotely.

At a recent BRC mission conference, we focused on digital communications. I learned more as we all interacted on the theme, and I picked up a book at the book table—The Social Church—which refined my vision for digital missions. I launched in 2019 with one theme, with a new theme in 2020: healing. I’m a bit in awe that two months into the year, COVD-19 roared into our lives and we all went remote.

What I thought was a sort of side hustle that could follow me into retirement years went on fast track. I’m piloting one online course how and scrambling to keep up with pushing content. Retirement delayed but I’m a happy camper to be in a sweet spot. My audience has widened considerably to include non-believers, LGBTQ, and gamers.

Just as I was building a head of steam with the book and remote discipleship, my finances crashed. While I worked on rebuilding support, the book went on back burner and I prepared some donor trips for 2020, but things worsened and I couldn’t wait. In October, I applied for Uber and began driving to supplement income. My goal was to get to March when I could draw Social Security at a better rate—two years earlier than my retirement goal, but available as an option.

It was a funny unique challenge in that I hate driving but discovered I loved Uber driving—welcoming people to my car, offering to pray for some need if it came up, sharing faith when possible, and giving materials to some. I met my community on a deeper level, discovered how many internationals were here, some of whom I could greet in their language.

Within weeks of driving, finances reversed and continue strong, even though I’ve had to stop Uber because of the pandemic. I still shake my head over what happened. Never thought Uber would be part of my missionary resume!

Sign up now to pray for Pat and receive monthly updates: blackrock.org/iwillpray

How a pandemic has opened new doors | 5/1/2020

We posed the question to our Global Partners, “How has this global pandemic been used by God to open new opportunities & conversational doors and encourage you?”

Here are a few of their replies:

COLBY PUTNAM | Students in Southern New England

I actually do have a fun story for you. So I’ve still been doing ministry with my students (albeit virtually), but I’ve been in NH with my folks for the lock-down.   Now it’s been years since I’ve spent a lot of time up here, but I still know a number of my street neighbors.   Anyway, as I had been doing leadership team meetings with my students, we asked how we could be witnessing during this time and I decided I would write a nice letter offering a chance to talk or to pray with any of my neighbors and drop it off in each of their mailboxes.   That’s 24 letters!     Since doing that about a week ago, I’ve had a number of people see me or my folks out for walks and share how much they appreciated it.  I even have a phone call later today with my next door neighbor, which I hope will be a great opportunity to talk about deep things.   For now, it’s mostly seeds being planted, but we’ll have to see what happens as the next several weeks come to pass.

GARY & ELAINE A. | Diplomats and Global Leaders

I don’t think I have ever been busier. In the past 15 hours, I have received correspondence from the presidents of two countries. I labor intensely over every response as every one is a call for help and I dare not answer from the flesh. The one last evening was so urgent that I had to answer before going to bed. Sometimes I am asked what an average day is like. It is about hanging on to the Holy Spirit’s coattails.

JAMES HUNT | Students @ Fairfield U.

I have been the recipient of radical generosity in a time when financial situations are uncertain. My previous laptop began to breakdown sometime in January. It would turn off for no reason in the middle of my work! When the shut downs began to happen due to COVID-19, I began to become anxious as I could not afford to fix my laptop and knew that I would need a new one to do my work as we began to transition to virtual ministry. In the middle of March, I sent out an update letter to my donors letting them know how the ministry was being impacted due to virus, as well as asking them for prayers regarding my laptop situation.

In less than 24 hours, a donor responded offering to buy me a brand new laptop! I couldn’t believe it! I accepted their offer in disbelief and in less than a week I had a brand new laptop.

Definitely a move of God that I didn’t expect! Praise Him!

REAGAN DYKHOUSE | Ukraine

Something exciting happened yesterday. One of my friends, who works at the café right next to my apartment reached out to me because he needs financial assistance with his rent. I am pretty sure he is not much into faith, so this is a really cool opportunity to impact his life in a small way. My prayer is that he recognizes God’s work in my life that makes me willing to help. He even asked me “why are you so good-natured?” My response was, “Because, bro. God!” I certainly praise God for this opportunity! It’s kind of a great, and encouraging, fulfillment of the relationship building God has lead me in.

EMIL & SARAH H. | Europe

I have spoken with our neighbors more in the past 5 weeks then during the previous 5 years.  I have had some meaningful conversations, but it will take time to develop relationships.  We have been locked in our houses for six weeks, but this week we finally got all of the authorizations to reopen our food bank which is a collaboration between several agencies here in our city and we had three days of distribution. On our first day, the first lady who came to pick up food was so grateful and she kept saying over and over how grateful she was that we were there to help. She is the only real interaction that I witnessed because I was inside preparing bags of food.  The rules of the quarantine dictate what we can do, and we had to keep a distance from the people receiving help.

One really sad thing: One day while we were distributing food, a man jumped from his balcony to his death some 75 meters from where we were.  We couldn’t see anything, but it struck me that as we were trying to provide hope there was someone so close who we were not able to help.

ANNELI J. | Sweden

A couple of weeks ago, we moved our Thursday night Bible Study and conversations activities online with the goal of mostly meeting the needs of our Christian students, though also having a space that seekers could be a part of regularly if they wanted. We are using the Bible Project’s Church at Home material, watching the video as a large group over Zoom before going into breakout rooms for discussion over scripture. We’ve seen more people show up consistently for these online calls than showed up for in-person Bible study regularly! And a couple of our seeker friends (who were not coming to Bible study) have been consistently showing up as well!

“Jakob”, a guy in my breakout group, has been journeying with one of my teammates, regularly having philosophical conversations around the argument for God and for the Gospel. He has been an incredible addition to our breakout group. He missed this past week and I actually really missed his contributions to our discussion. He pushes back on some ideas because he isn’t a believer, but some of the insights he has about God are deeper than what some of my Christian friends believe to be true about God. The first week we talked about God’s generosity and Jakob told us that generous was not a word he would have used to describe God. A discussion followed about how God, being high and lofty, mighty and sovereign creator of all things, ruler of all worlds, would stoop to concern himself with us even for a moment let alone coming as a man to die for us is unbelievably generous. Another week we were talking about Isaiah 53 and suffering, and Jakob brought up the idea of even when life is difficult and we experience suffering, God is absolutely good and so even in our suffering he is still good. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Jakob could articulate God’s goodness in the midst of pain. I’ve been so encouraged by the steps he’s made this year towards Jesus, and it’s been fun to personally be brought in more to his journey, getting to see firsthand and influence his approach to God. From talking with my teammates too, they’ve had similarly encouraging experiences with the few seekers who are in their breakout rooms. These students and friends are engaging with the material while still asking questions and confronting their doubts about God as nonbelievers. Deep conversations are continuing outside of our Thursday night Zoom calls whether over email or one on one video calls. 

E & K| North Africa

I serve as part of a ministry that does outreach on the internet using social media. Since the pandemic started, we have had an increase of and they have been regularly asking the same question,“Is the virus God punishing us?” Our colleagues who respond to the seekers have been able to have dozens of conversations and opportunities to share about how the source of freedom from all punishment and condemnation is in Christ Jesus.

One of these seekers, who reached out questioning God during the pandemic, was a man name “Y” from a closed country. He had been seeking God for some time in his life. Over the period of several days, while having regular conversations with a responder, “Y” prayed that God would reveal his Truth to him—and God did just that! Jesus graciously burst into his life, pulling him from the darkness of Islam and ushered him into Christ’s glorious light. He couldn’t help but tell others how Jesus changed his life. He shared the gospel with his friends and they accepted Christ. Now, one our team members in another country is virtually discipling a group of new believers from a Muslim background—“Y” and his friends. They come together virtually online weekly to study God’s word.

 PIVOT Ministries | Recovery & Growth | Connecticut *

Its hard to keep track of time.  Every day feels the same.  But roughly, about 7 weeks ago, all of our food donations dried up at Pivot Ministries.  We were accustomed to getting expired food from Big Y and Target and making meals from them.  And suddenly, there was nothing.  Our program staff and kitchen staff rallied quickly and made an emergency trip to the grocery store, but the shelves were bare.  We had some frozen foods and dry goods and we were able to manage, but we were scared.  Our Executive Director decided to reach out to Black Rock and see if they could help.

Suddenly, I had people ordering meals for us, grocery shopping for us and donating funds to us.  Truthfully, the response brought me to my knees in gratitude.  The surge of love was like a tidal wave. As Development Director, I’m responsible for raising the necessary funds for the program.  Imagine the gripping fear of not being able to do that.  Our Prayer Breakfast is also a fundraiser for us, and we had to cancel our live event.   And, of course, when we moved our event to virtual, Black Rock was right there supporting us.  Just imagine the gratitude and relief I felt when your folks started to respond.  My personal faith has sky rocketed.  God provides.

*Please pray for Pivot Ministries as they grieve the unexpected death, this week, of their Spiritual Director.

URBAN IMPACT | Inner City Outreach | Connecticut

Of course, due to COVID19 and with the recent closing of the schools, Urban Impact has had to switch gears.  We are serving the PT Barnum community by starting a program with our amazing partner, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, to distribute groceries to families.  We are also trying to transition to remote tutoring and mentoring by using zoom, face-time, phone call, etc. sessions with students.  These programs are in the early stages, but we have started them and things are moving forward – thanks to God!

It has also been a blessing to check in on the moms of our program attendees who come to our Bible study (held biweekly during Primetime), we are impressed by how they manage work and supervision of their kids and the schoolwork.

BRIDGEPORT RESCUE MISSION | Inner City Outreach, Recovery & Growth | Connecticut

From the onset of this crisis, our volunteers expressed concern for the men, women and children who come to our doors for help and many wanted to continue to serve meals and help with our Food Pantry distribution despite the health risks for themselves.  We ultimately made the decision to suspend these volunteer roles.   At the same time, the number of families we provided groceries through our Food Pantry tippled AND we became aware of a related need – that there are seniors and shut-ins who need groceries, but cannot come to our Pantry.  In response, we quickly connected with some volunteers who felt called to “do something” to help those who are most vulnerable.  Volunteers and our front line staff are now packing ADDITIONAL bags of non-perishable groceries and fresh produce and DELIVERING these groceries to housing communities to help those who can’t come to us for help.  Recipients are grateful and volunteers are being the hands and feet of Jesus.

 GOSPEL WAVE MEDIA | Central Asia

Since the start of the pandemic, more people are asking questions regarding the meaning of life, as they see just how fragile life is.  There has been more traffic on our evangelistic website and social media platforms, like Facebook and Odnoklasniki (a Russian based social media platform).  Over the last few weeks, I have had more friend requests from an unreached people group.  Daily, I am engaged with at least a dozen people directly in chat rooms where they ask questions about God and the current health situation.  I have been able to share the Gospel with these people directly.  We continue to share the Gospel and encourage people to seek God and His righteousness in Christ.  We have also produced a special program regarding fear, worry and anxiety based on the current situation around the work.  God wants His flock in Central Asia to be encouraged and to rely on Him and to take this opportunity to minister to others with the hope of the Gospel.

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION | Working to End Slavery & Trafficking

At IJM, we’ve been intentionally turning our attention towards the faithfulness of God, which is why we launched a “Stories of Hope” series to bring encouragement to our partners and supporters and to highlight how God is still moving across the world.

One encouraging story involves 44 children and 32 adults that were rescued from a factory in SE Asia. Our investigations team helped the police in India to arrest the four factory owners. When the boys heard the good news that they would be returning home, they danced, excitedly packed their belonging, and hugged IJM’s staff with joy. 

In Ghana, the team is providing masks to hospitals and food to five shelters that we partner with to care for children rescued from forced labor, in order to ensure that they will have sufficient food while on lockdown.

BRIDGES INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS | Connecticut

We have been working to rebuild ourselves entirely as an online ministry for the foreseeable future. This looks like: Zoom Bible studies & Discipleship, online daily devotionals, virtual game nights (to replace Friendship dinners), preparing to build a website that will help us link International students from local campuses together, and building our prayer ministry virtually now (instead of meeting in person).

Honestly, we’re just trying to keep in step with God, and seeing how he is leading us to creatively minister in this very unique season. We’ve seen a huge uptick in our “Alumni” involvement. Since our Bible studies have been online, we’ve been having former students from around the U.S. and around the world joining us… pretty cool! Such a good opportunity to see them once again.

RON & BARB CLINE | Reaching Asia from California

We are safe and well and things could not be better under the circumstances. In December we moved into a senior village with about 400 other seniors. Since the California ‘shut down’ hit, we have stayed in our apartment.  Meals have been brought to us each day.  We have no virus in the village and we want to keep it that way, so we all stay in and, if we happen to go out, wear a mask.  I have started preaching on our closed circuit TV system on Sundays bringing a worship service to each apartment and the response has been wonderful.  We may continue after this is over with an actual service for those who don’t have a home church close by. I am also still managing the training programs in Asia for Reach Beyond.

SUKHWANT B. | Seek Partners | Resourcing churches in SE Asia

Since we are discussing the COVID-19 virus and its impact, one question people are asking us is if this is God’s judgement on the world.  This has given us the opportunity to talk about the plagues in Egypt, when God’s people were not allowed to leave. Even in that situation, people did not turn to God, but instead, hardened their hearts against Him.  We have talked about God’s judgement (Revelation 16) that will be poured on the world during end-times and how to escape God’s wrath by putting our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.