September Heartbeat

Partnering for Impact

The Set Free Movement and Impact Europe are teaming up to build holistic community resilience. This year, the Mosaico Cultural Centre in Madrid, Spain, is a featured Freedom Sunday Project and will partner together with the Set Free Movement supporting those most vulnerable to trafficking, including immigrants, marginalized refugees and children. As a unified movement, Freedom Sunday is one way your church can connect with others around the world to move in the direction of holistic freedom. We are protecting the vulnerable, strengthening communities and pursuing Christ-centered justice initiatives to fight trafficking.

 

The Mosaico Cultural Center was created to be a missional bridge to the Rivas Vaciamadrid, Spain, community. In a city heavily divided along economic and ethnic lines, the center is working to cross those boundaries by providing needed services in education and hospitality.

 

Currently, the center offers:

  • English as a second language classes (ESL)
  • After-school support programs for children and teenagers
  • Pilates workouts
  • Bible studies
  • Weekly youth ministry
  • Lodging for short-term mission volunteers
  • Experience Spain Abroad Program
  • Community Church Planting training
  • Summer camps for children

There are plans to add:

  • Cooking classes
  • Gardening techniques
  • Computer training
  • Painting classes
  • Guitar lessons

 

More importantly, Mosaico embodies a sense of belonging to a community – something everyone desires. The young people of Spain have largely rejected Christianity and would not think of stepping into a traditional church. To reach the next generations of Spaniards for Christ, the church is taking a different form, moving into the community and connecting where the people are.

By Josh Fajardo

 

New Vision for Kingdom Expansion

The Free Methodist Church in the U.K. and Ireland has just completed year one of a 15-year journey to see 100 churches planted by 2034.

At the recent annual conference, the first held on a digital platform, the conference celebrated the great encouragement of having eight new church plants. Some had launched, and others were preparing to launch (seeking wisdom when to begin Sunday gatherings due to Covid-19).

Currently, there are 37 churches in the U.K. and Ireland. But this new vision is filtering into the well-established churches as they are renewed in prayer and passion for this new church-planting venture. New church plants have come from East Cornwall Light and Life, Morecambe and Heysham FMC, Hope Church in Lancaster, and Valley Church.

Kingdom Company is looking to launch in the northern quarter in the vibrant city of Manchester. It has gathered a core team under the leadership of Matt and Clare Hooper, who have recently responded to God’s call to join the FM movement.

Luiz and Daniele Cardosa are at work in Stockport (South Manchester), targeting their ministry to those affected by mental health issues. Twenty-five people have connected to this ministry already. In addition, they offer food parcels to people in their community, particularly immigrants, and have been a great encouragement to many.

Gateway Church, another church plant and the farthest north, is serving and encouraging its community with “Bags of Courage” and “Neighborhood Chaplains.”

There are different models of planting. Some start from a “mother church,” and others begin “from scratch.” Either way, they are creating a fresh breath of God’s Spirit in the U.K. and Ireland. All are joining in with a prayerful pursuit of the vision.

Will you join in prayer for the U.K and Ireland? Pray for knowledge to establish helpful leadership structures. Pray for encouragement, equipping and resourcing of leaders. Pray for the inspiration and empowerment of the Holy Spirit as we see God continue to mobilize the church in pursuit of the knowledge of God and the expansion of His kingdom.

By Michael Bretton

God Moving Through People on the Move

While the news reports the global pandemic and political unrest, God is at work doing new things.

As the Northern Europe regional director, I am located in Belgium. We live in a very secular university town with only a handful of small churches. In Belgium, less than 3% of the population regularly attend church, and less than 1.7% identify as evangelical. Despite the statistics, the Lord is bringing godly people to Belgium  ̶  immigrants, international students and others coming for work.

Our local ministry is a diverse group with more than 20 languages spoken. Let me introduce you to one of our congregants, Abebayehu Abdela. “Abe” is from Ethiopia. Abe was a graduate engineering student who began attending our services a few years ago. He spent almost two years with us and became heavily engaged. It was apparent God’s hand was on Abe. He had a passion for studying God’s Word, a clear gift of evangelism, and a humble, servant’s heart. Abe helped our church understand the importance of evangelism and living out the gospel.

God began opening doors for Abe to speak at Ethiopian churches in the region. Migrants and asylum seekers planted these churches, and they were hungry for a familiar expression of faith.  Soon, Abe found himself preaching and serving these churches almost every weekend. God was blessing his work. As his studies in Leuven concluded, we were sad to see him return to Ethiopia; we prayed for the continuation of his ministry.

I stayed in touch with Abe. At one point, I received a message from him telling how God had opened the door to serve as a leader for International Child Care Ministries in Ethiopia. I was pleasantly surprised since Abe had little knowledge of the Free Methodist Church. Now we are working with Abe to connect with Ethiopian churches here in Europe. This connection is part of a larger initiative to develop a network of African churches in Europe. We desire to resource and equip leaders God brings to this region and assist them in establishing new churches and multiply existing ones.

Connections ordained by God  ̶   people like Abe  ̶  are key to understanding and discerning where and how God is working.

As I reflect on how God works and moves, I am reminded of the importance of the local church.

I also am reminded the local church is undeniably connected to the global church. God uses those moving in and out of our communities to expand and multiply His work. May His kingdom come!

By Eric Casteel

World Missions Prayer Calendar: September

01 Tuesday | Guinea

In March, before restrictions on gathering, the FMC in N’zérékoré held a prayer and evangelization vigil. Pray for those who responded to the gospel and ask the Lord to help them grow in faith.

02 Wednesday | Belgium

Pray for a leadership training meeting to be held this week in Belgium. The focus will be on church planting and multiplication. Ask the Lord to assist them as they also launch the African European Church Network to address the needs of the growing number of Africans establishing churches in Europe.

03 Thursday | Thailand/Myanmar

Pray for the Van Tifflin family as they finish up partnership building in the U.S. and make plans to travel back to Thailand. Ask the Lord to give them health and safety and help in navigating travel restrictions still existing in certain places. Also, pray for the finalization of Hlwan Hlawn’s U.S. citizenship. Birthday: Seth Van Tifflin

 

04 Friday | Honduras

There are now 26 church plants and at least 45 students enrolled in pastoral formation. Pray for the spiritual growth and multiplication of these churches and leaders.

05 Saturday | Middle East

Thinking of 1 Thessalonians 2:8, praise the Lord for the believers who love and care for the refugees. Pray for these believers as they share not only the gospel but their very lives.

06 Sunday | Southeast Asia

Jason and Wendi are newly approved extended-term missionaries. They are adopting a child from Asia. Join them in praying that they will have the opportunity to travel soon to pick up their daughter and finalize her adoption.

Birthday: Jason

07 Monday | Ivory Coast

There are currently two established churches in Ivory Coast. Pray for the national leader, Pastor Maho Olivier, as he works with three ministerial candidates and guides church planters who are seeking to add new churches in four additional areas.

08 Tuesday | Spain

Missionaries Phil and Debra Gilmore arrived in Spain in June. Pray for them as they assist the team in Spain through the Mosaico Cultural Centre, development of national leaders and the beginning of a missionary training school.

09 Wednesday | 360 Mission District

Pray the seed sown by providing humanitarian aid during the pandemic will result in a great harvest of new believers.

10 Thursday | SEED

Hands of Hope, a livelihood group in East Asia, empowers marginalized women, including orphans and some who have escaped trafficking. Pray God will give them hope and purpose as they earn a living.

11 Friday | Middle East

Pray for national workers throughout the region who are tangibly demonstrating God’s love for all people. Pray God will give clear recognition of every opportunity to serve and the strength to meet others’ needs. Pray the Holy Spirit will refresh and minister to them daily

 

12 Saturday | Senegal

Pray for the ongoing partnership between the Genesis Conference and the church in Senegal. Ask the Lord to give wisdom to Pastor Pierre as he leads this newly forming church.

13 Sunday | Brazil

Dan and Hope Owsley began a different assignment in Brazil just before the beginning of the pandemic. Pray for wisdom as they seek to give leadership in the FM seminary during these difficult days.

Birthday: Hope Owsley

14 Monday | Portugal

Praise the Lord for two ministry couples ordained in July, 65 seminary students being trained via ZOOM and several new believers baptized in August. Pray for the continued growth of the FMC in Portugal.

15 Tuesday | Creative Access-N

There are now more than 16 districts among 13 language and tribal groups in this country. Pastors work in an increasingly challenging context. Pray they will have godly character and courage to lead boldly.

16 Wednesday | Middle East

Pray for a growing hunger to know Jesus among majority background believers. Pray for clear opportunities to share the Word of God with those who are hungry and looking for hope.

17 Thursday | Mali

Pray for those who have been spiritually awakened to gain a deeper understanding of Christ and give their lives entirely to Him. Pray for Pastor Deborah, who leads this young work.

 

18 Friday | Hungary

Pray for Chadwick Anderson as he helps identify, develop and empower Hungarians and internationals for kingdom service and leadership in the church.

Birthday: Chadwick Anderson

19 Saturday | Myanmar

Pray for wisdom regarding how to comply with the requirements of social distancing within limited space once the Bible College, boarding school and kindergarten are allowed to reopen.

20 Sunday | Global

Ask the Father to give Rodrigo and Tanya Rosado peace as they wait upon Him. Pray for God’s wisdom as they work with FMWM to determine their field assignment.

Birthday: Tanya Rosado

21 Monday | Middle East

Pray for the Holy Spirit to transform entire families. Also, pray for the ongoing discipleship of new believers.

22 Tuesday | Ethiopia

Several pastors have ministry in locations where there is frequent persecution. Pray for the pastors and church members to be filled with strength and courage. Ask the Lord to give grace to Superintendent Mekebib Desta as he encourages them to persevere.

23 Wednesday | Uruguay

Pray for missionaries Mike and Andrea Green to have faith, vision and encouragement in the early stages of pioneering work. Ask the Father to give them a healthy balance between ministry and time with their children.

Birthday: Andrea Green

24 Thursday | Haiti

Pray for the Dessalines Rural Health Program and Hospital as they care for the tremendous health needs, especially amid the additional health concerns resulting from the worldwide pandemic.

Birthday: Dee Ann Snyder

25 Friday | Australia

FMWM-Asia is partnering with the Philippine General Conference toward the development of this mission district. Pray specifically for the networking of various immigrant groups, including some from Africa and the Middle East.

26 Saturday | Set Free Movement

As churches participate in Freedom Sunday, pray that their prayer, lament, learning, dialogue and worship guides a loving response both through action and giving.

27 Sunday | Kenya/FMWM

Kenya: Pray for the work of ICCM schools, the Dr. Buconyori Boys’ High School and the Hope Bible School in Eldoret.

Birthday: Ken Myers

FMWM:  Ask the Lord to give Gerry Coates wisdom and creativity in sharing the vision, ministry and needs of the global FM Church.

Birthday: Gerry Coates (Director of Global Church Advocacy)

28 Monday | Middle East

Pray for the spiritual strength of all believers in this region. Pray no hardship, persecution, famine or danger will separate them from the love of Christ Jesus.

29 Tuesday | Creative Access – I

Pray for village ministries in the central region of this country. Ask the Lord to protect and provide amid crisis. Pray many will receive the good news of Jesus and open their hearts to Him.

30 Wednesday | Russia

Pray for the wisdom and leading of the Holy Spirit as Michael and Tanya Medakoff (international missionaries) seek to plant an FM church in Russia. Pray for the power of the gospel to reach the hearts of the Russian people.

Birthday: Michael Mendakoff