October Heartbeat

Investing What God Has Given

Pastor “H” was the one who told me about Mr. Si and his family. They are a poor family with 11 children. Their lives lack many things. They had believed in God for many years, but there were not many positive changes. “They need a family,” Pastor H said, so we went to visit and serve them.

I remember the first time I visited about a year ago. After a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride up the mountain, many people welcomed us, not only Mr. Si’s family but their neighbors.

I noticed many children and women. The children lacked food, but also education, love and truth. Their health was poor because the water was so dirty. The primary water source for the village was a stream polluted by pesticides.

When I looked at their beautiful faces, I was glad God sent us to help them. Last year, FMWM-Asia and Clearblue Global Water Project provided a well. They also have a filter, so now they can have clean water to use. Their health is improved!

Six more families have come to know Jesus and are gathering at Mr. Si’s house every Sunday to worship.

But developing a church is more than helping with their physical need. We need to equip them, train them and help them know the truth so they can serve God better. Right now, none of them have skill or understanding of God’s Word. And they have no pastor to care for them.

In Isaiah 6 God asked, “Whom should I send? Who will go for us?” … “Here I am, God, send me! Even though I have just a little, what I do have I will give, as long as it pleases You, Lord!” I replied.

After praying and preparing, I started an English outreach ministry. I give the children what I have: English skills and love but also God’s Word. I go once a week to teach 17-20 students. English is a bridge. Through it, I bring many things, anything the Father has invested in me.

The next generation is equipped. I am thankful God prepared me. I am thankful He chose to use me to serve them.

As I give what I have, I thank God these children will have a better future when they know God’s love, His Word, and have skills in English. I pray they also will learn to give what they have received and change their community!

by Samantha N.

Faithful and Friendly

As we arrived in Thailand, one of our primary goals was to create new relationships that would allow us to share the love of Jesus. But we had a huge obstacle: We spoke no Thai. So with insights from the Lord, we adapted to a new strategy of prayer, faithfulness and friendliness. Here is what it looked like:

*On our early morning prayer walks near the moat along the ancient wall of the city, we often met a woman out exercising.  She grew so accustomed to our friendly smiles and greetings that she reached out one day and offered a hug!

*We stopped at a pharmacy, and as we were making the purchase, the pharmacist surprised us when she commented that she saw us walking by every day.  We were welcomed to her store.\

*One evening, we were strolling our neighborhood as one of our neighbors was picking mangoes from her trees.  She not only gave us a warm greeting but invited us into her yard, she offered us some mangoes, and then asked us to wait as she went into the house to make us her favorite homemade spice to go with this fruit.

*Every morning we passed one house where a woman offered us a warm greeting as she swept her courtyard.  One day, her daughter was opening the gate about to leave on a scooter as we walked by.  The daughter gleefully called out, “Momma, Momma, here are your friends!”

We had  underestimated the power of faithfulness and friendliness to overcome 0bstacles miraculously.  As we walked the same paths day after day many grew accustomed to our smiles and greetings and began to trust us.  One sweet couple even stepped out of their yard to introduce us to their precious 4-month-old grandson. We were empowered to be Christ’s ambassadors simply through our faithfulness and friendliness.

So friends, endeavor to live faithfully, allowing God to overcome the obstacles in your relationships. Pray expectantly, put on a smile and watch God open the way.   You may be surprised to find your faithfulness and friendliness are more powerful than you dreamed.

By Ellen Haskins

 

 

Beautiful Feet Bringing Good News

 

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)

Beautiful feet bringing good news – that is Paul. In 2004, Paul, a professional designer from a large city in Creative Access Country-I, was led by the Lord to move to a mountainous state in the northwest. Paul; his wife, Priya; and their 1-year-old son, Roger, set out on a three-day journey by train.

They arrived, and Priya’s first question was, “Where are we going to stay now?” There was no road map, no accommodation and no job for Paul. With minimal personal belongings, barely any money, and one cell phone, their only true resource was prayerfully waiting on the Lord.

Miraculously, the Lord provided a place to stay free of charge for a few months. Thus began a new and mysterious way of life in the land of mountains, colorful valleys, tigers, and multiple tribes and cultures.

Paul soon learned he was sowing on hard soil. He tracked up the mountains on foot and began using his design skills to teach art in small clusters of villages. Using his teaching skills, he creatively communicated the gospel message.

Paul was the first in his family to become a believer and began attending the FMC, where I pastored. When he shared his vision of going to this region, our church supported him as a missionary.

The first real breakthrough came in 2015. One man in the community opened his home to begin a fellowship.

Paul, with his design skills, became popular in the city and among many educational institutions. The Lord continued to bless his efforts of networking and bridge-building. Paul mentored several people, and the ministry expanded.

The strategy was to train, mentor and disciple people to disciple others and plant small churches. Today, this is now a new mission district in Creative Access Country-I with 24 new house churches, three children’s ministries and eight pastors. All glory to God for the expansion of His kingdom!

By Pastor Shirish

01 Thursday / Rwanda

A law in Rwanda now requires pastors to have a bachelor’s degree in theology. Those already in service have four years to meet this qualification. Currently, only 26% of FM pastors have this degree. Pray for God to provide suitable means of training for our Rwandan pastors.

02 Friday | FMWM Missionary Team

Ask the Father to strengthen, protect and encourage the entire missionary team. Pray the Lord will give them wisdom as they care for their family’s health, make educational adjustments for children, and think creatively about ministry and leadership training in challenging times and settings.

03 Saturday | Creative Access-X

Pray for God’s provision of necessities for our brothers and sisters in this country – food, medicine, water, gas and electricity. Ask the Lord to strengthen and sustain our leaders.

04 Sunday | Russia

Pray for six teens at the crisis center in Russia who are being discipled weekly. Ask the Lord to continue to open their hearts to the gospel and do a miracle of transformation and healing in their lives.

Birthday: Tanya Mendakoff (Intl. Missionary – Russia), John Jairo Leal (Intl. Missionary – Latin America).

05 Monday | Middle East

Pray for leaders who continue to experience intimidation and persecution. Ask the Father to give them perseverance and faith.

06 Tuesday | Liberia

Pray for the FM Church in Liberia as it seeks to expand to all 15 counties in the country. As it pursues this goal, the church has been reaching one county a year. Pray in particular for the expansion of ministry through the establishment of local elementary schools.

07 Wednesday | Greece

The church in Thessaloniki recently relocated to a temporary facility. Pray for this multi-language congregation during a period of transition. Ask the Father to strengthen the church’s fellowship and outreach in the community.

08 Thursday | Colombia

Due to the pandemic, the churches in Colombia will not be able to meet for the rest of the year. Pray for district leader, Pastor Libni Gasca, as he leads the church through this period. Despite no in-person services, ask the Father for significant spiritual growth among the believers.

09 Friday | Asia

Mark and Judi Morrison provide pastoral care for the Asia missionary team. They also work with college students in Washington state. Pray for wisdom in both roles, particularly as they lead a college student ministry and currently can only connect with students online.

Birthday: Mark Morrison

10 Saturday | Middle East

Pray for people of the majority religious background. Ask the Father to open the eyes of their hearts so they will be enlightened to the hope that is in Christ Jesus, the riches of His glorious inheritance, and the incomparably great power for those who believe.

11 Sunday | Creative Access

Use the words of Isaiah 40:11 as you pray for Tammy today. Pray she will hear God’s voice as he gently leads her in various roles, especially as a mother to six children.

Birthday: Tammy

 

12 Monday | Malawi

Pray for the work of the Great Commission Bible School as it trains pastors. Ask the Father to make the school’s efforts fruitful as students engage in church planting as part of their training process.

13 Tuesday | The United Kingdom/Northern Ireland

Pray for wisdom as they reshape and redefine leadership structures in the U.K. to more effectively encourage growth and development of the church.

14 Wednesday | SEED

Many in the Dayanand Hand Loom group are affected by Hansen’s disease. Often this condition has left them handicapped and unable to secure employment. Pray for this livelihood group that helps marginalized people share their gifts through weaving.

15 Thursday | Uganda

Pray for unity of purpose and clarity of vision as the mission districts established by Rwanda and Kenya work together with Bishop Hamlet Mbabazi to see God’s kingdom come in Uganda.

16 Friday | Creative Access-C

Pray for peace and wisdom amid changes experienced because of the pandemic.

Birthday: Rebecca

17 Saturday | Chile

Pray for forward movement and spiritual fruit in each church despite continued quarantines and financial stress.

 

18 Sunday | Romania

Pray for a partner ministry in Romania – Vis de Copil (A Child’s Dream). Their food program has been feeding an increasing number of children and families during the pandemic. Thank the Lord for how He has provided resources.

19 Monday| Middle East

Leaders in the Middle East give thanks for the fruit being produced during the pandemic and the periods of quarantine. Thank the Lord for working in the Middle East and in your life during these challenging months.

20 Tuesday | Taiwan

Thank the Lord for a new semester at Holy Light Theological Seminary. Pray for the Taiwan Annual Conference as it continues to prepare and develop plans for becoming a general conference.

Birthday: Becca

21 Wednesday | Southeast Asia

Thank the Lord for Roger and Ellen Haskins and their work in Southeast Asia. Ask the Father to care for the physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of their adult children and grandchildren living in the U.S. and for Ellen’s 93-year-old mother.

Birthday: Ellen Haskins

22 Thursday | Creative Access-C

Randy and Jessica continue to teach students even though many of their peers had to exit the country. Please pray for their ongoing protection and effectiveness in ministry.

Birthday: Jessica

23 Friday | Bolivia

Struggling with political tensions and the coronavirus has left Bolivia in a desperate state. Pray the young FM church in Santa Cruz will be a beacon of hope in their city.

24 Saturday | Set Free Movement

Pray for Mayra and her team in Bogota, Colombia. They are creating new futures for at-risk children through a residency program, workshops, counseling services, education and outreach into vulnerable communities where drugs, gangs and prostitution are prevalent.

25 Sunday | Ukraine

Country leaders, Misha and Lena Petrochenko, go on regular prayer walks around the streets of Rivne. Join them in prayer for new opportunities to share Christ’s hope and love with many in this city.

26 Monday | Middle East

Pray for our Middle East area director, Dale, as he continues to connect and encourage leaders from afar. Pray his international travel can resume in 2021.

27 Tuesday | Nicaragua/El Salvador

The sociopolitical situation is complicated in both El Salvador and Nicaragua. Many of our pastors, including mission district leader, Hiuberth Zapata, face direct persecution. Pray for God’s wisdom and protection.

28 Wednesday | Tanzania

Ask the Father to give Sherry Cahill wisdom and strength in the coming months as she completes her dissertation. Also, join in praying for new partnerships for their ministry.

Birthday: Sherry Cahill

29 Thursday | Belgium

Pray for good connections within the leadership team in Belgium. The churches have had a difficult time staying connected during the pandemic, and there is still uncertainty about the guidelines and restrictions for the remainder of the year. Pray for the health of several church members who have had the virus and are still struggling.

Birthday: Eric Casteel (Affiliate Missionary)

30 Friday | Middle East

Pray our leaders and workers in the Middle East will be steadfast, immovable and always excelling in the work of the Lord, because they know their labor in the Lord is not in vain (I Corinthians 15:58).

31 Saturday | Asia

Ask the Lord to give Judi Morrison wisdom and creativity in connecting with Asia missionaries. Also, join her in praying for unsaved family members and her elderly parents.

Birthday: Judi Morrison