Check out the updates from our Missionaries throughout the world. Pray for all missionaries, that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of the people throughout the world to know and hear the love of Jesus and the path to eternal life. Also pray for the health and safety of all missionaries and their families.
Several volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills joined GCI at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, CO to educate and increase the public awareness of human and sex trafficking. During the Labor Day weekend, the trailer was strategically placed near one of the front gates allowing fair-goers to see the rig and have their own informal conversations. The GCI rig attracted a lot of attention and had several hundred people flow through the trailer. As people walked through the trailer, the conversations varied from “interesting”, “wow” and “we need to get this in our school”. As a GCI volunteer, this provided a direct opportunity to tell others about how our children are actively sought, used and abused by traffickers and what we can do to be empowered, and empower our children, to reduce and prevent trafficking.
The Heineys write that among the massive amount of medical supplies in the container sent by the Orphan Grain Train, “there were mobility chairs, hand operated carts for people that cannot walk. They are operated like bicycles but using your arms instead of your legs. We’ve seen a few of those around but nothing like these, all quality materials, sturdy and beautiful. Now what? We began getting some reports that there were people around that could use them, but how do we determine where they were to go? We finally learned that there is a fairly new organization of handicapped people.
"We got in touch with the president and arranged for him to come to the clinic to see the cart we had assembled. We thought it was just an informal meeting to get to know him and what he was doing, but he brought an entire delegation along. They were quite excited about this gift and we arranged to bring the first five over after they were assembled. Again, in my thinking it was to be just us delivering these carts, but when I got there, there were three representatives from the radio station in town present along with numerous others from the organization!
"Interviews were done, photos and video were taken, names written. It was a big deal. I’m not great in French, but I was certain to mention that we were doing this in Jesus’ name. One of the chairs we delivered went to a young boy who could not walk. His mother came in crying and telling everyone how she had been looking for years for one of these for her son but could not find any. She delivered many blessings on us for helping her son.
"Throughout the week the news was broadcast repeatedly all over the area of what the Lutheran Church was doing in our town through Orphan Grain Train! People were stopping Tim out on his run to thank him for these wonderful gifts.”
Good news from Greg indicating “beginning in May we are partnering with Mission of Christ Network. I (Greg) will soon be listed as a Mission Partner on their website which provides an additional way to raise personal support and ongoing ministry support, and Crossing Cambodia will be able to receive teams and volunteers from MCN. This is a big development for me especially as it means I will be connected to their member care and spiritual support network.
Working with Street Kids in many ways has been an emotionally and spiritually difficult journey for me and this will enable me to gain access to support and resources I didn’t have at my disposal before. With better support I can keep on doing the work God has set before me and am eager to keep sharing the love of Christ with the children in Battambang. For my part in this exchange I will help to equip and coordinate MCN volunteers in Cambodia and I am going to be developing a Short-Term Teams program to equip teams, debrief with them, and keep them focused on the mission of Christ when they are traveling.
In addition, I’ll get to apply my 12 years of mission experience to equipping and supporting other missionaries as they serve God and wrestle with the complexities of intercultural exchange and ministry.” More good news for Greg and Sinuon! As long as Greg is employed by a US corporation there is a simplified way for Sinuon to apply for US citizenship. God is good!
Serving with Mission of Christ Network in Hong Kong, Iantha writes: “There is so much difficult news related to the relationship between the U.S. and China right now. In this context, I especially appreciate your partnership with us in continuing to connect with people in communities here. There are a lot of worldly reasons to erect barriers between our communities, and the work of the Spirit is a miraculous counterpoint to everything that would drive us apart from one another." Her work continues serving those around her in addition to her work with Mission of Christ Network. One recent encounter gave her an opportunity to share how Jesus Christ works in a marriage and ”how grace and reconciliation become a foundation in Christian marriage.” Iantha’s fiscal year ends June 30 and she is not fully funded to date. Pray for resources to be provided for this fiscal year and the next. We also pray for safety for Iantha and her family during the current unrest in Hong Kong that has occurred since her last newsletter.
The Stoners are now settled in their new home since returning from the U.S. “A new area of work has been serving as the acting Area Leader for Iberia (Portugal and Spain). Some of you may remember that at first, we felt called to Spain so this area has a special place in our hearts. The teams there have really suffered in many ways, from death of family members to abuse and of course the common European apathy to the gospel. Please pray for us as we work to serve the members of the team there.
"Doug will be going to Spain in June to visit the teams with the regional leader and another potential Area Leader. Will you take a moment right now to pray for God to do a marvelous work in the hearts of the believers, the Pioneers team members, and the unbelievers they all love for the sake of Jesus Christ?” Megan graduates from the University of Edinburgh in June. The family, including Tricia’s Mom will be attending the graduation. “Megan is unsure of her future. Ryan continues to work hard on his PhD studies in Geology in California.
"Thank God with us for all the answers to prayer.”
Dr. Weber writes that on the Saturday night prior to Easter “the big Easter fires were lit on the Wittenberg market square. From there the various denominations took light to respective Easter vigils around midnight and leading into the morning. At first sunlight the devoted gathered in the graveyard outside the city walls before the main service in church - at the regular time - sang the glorious victories of our Lord over sin, death and devil. Musical highlights like the ‘Easter Oratorio’ are now in order.”
Dr. Weber also writes the Old Latin School is booked for a big confirmation group from Berlin. The teenagers were having fun and learning “lots about the Lutheran Reformation.” In May a Eurasian crowd from Operation International Mission (LMS) with over 60 people will be coming for an intensive workshop “on church work in a secular world.” Spiritual retreats are available at the Old Latin School. Exchange students from the Concordia Universities attend these retreats. A theological conference “DAMNAMUS” held at the school included “Lutherans from: USA, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Latvia, and Lithuania. Rev. James Krikava writes: “I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for the part you played in making this conference one of it not the most successful and useful conference LA, LS and OIM have put on during my tenure as Regional Director of LCMS Eurasia.”
A prayer breakfast was held at Son & Reins Ranch on June 1. Members of the Mission Committee attended and learned that this ministry is growing despite the spiritual warfare in the past few years which continues today. A large group of supporters, volunteers and potential supporters and volunteers were in attendance. Sharron explained the procedures for young and older adults to open up by means of the horses and how the love of Jesus comes through in this exercise.
For anyone unfamiliar with how to put a halter on a horse, it becomes a tool that seems like “a mess of rope and knots. After several attempts, the participant often walks away, only to find the horse following them.” This mess is often related to the “internal mess” in their life and though many have given up on them, including themselves, the horse does not. It is then that progress can be made.
We praise God for the survival of this ministry. We pray that He will provide guidance and wisdom to the board of directors and resources to continue to provide assistance to those suffering from “internal messes.”
The Wolfs report that since the Lutheran Mission in Africa-Synod of a Thousand Hills in Rwanda began two years ago, this church body now has 20 pastors and over 2000 members and growing.
In February, John and three missionaries visited this area and found this group of Christians staying true to God’s Word. In Malawi the Confessional Lutheran Church-Malawi Synod will receive help from LCMS to allow members to focus on planting for this year after unfavorable dry conditions and pest infestations led to a food scarcity. LC-MS Disaster Relief and the Ev Lutheran Church of Brazil have provided resources for aid in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai. Keep all these people in your prayers.