Abbey Reed (Mexico) shares. “We had a long Christmas break and I thought they would all just be sleeping, playing video games and recovering after a long semester. I was so surprised when the girls started a WhatsApp group called “Bible study”. At their initiative they wanted to get together over break and study the Bible. We met four times. It blessed me to see their excitement about the Word of God. When the new semester started, the second day of class we were meeting again to study God’s Word and pray together! I’m hopeful their contagious excited faith will spread to their teammates.”
Cephas & Nguhemen Tushima wrote from Jos, Nigeria. “On the Sunday I was to visit them, I confirmed my coming at 3:00. However, while in church, I seemed to pick up a terrible cold virus. I texted them that I had a bug I didn’t want to share, so I would need to cancel the visit. The interesting thing is by the next morning what seemed like a cold was all gone.
“We found out there was so much violence along the road to their house that people were killed Sunday afternoon between 2:00 and 3:00—the exact time I would have been on the way to their house. I would have been in the middle of the crisis. The sudden cold I seemed to have caught was God’s way of keeping me safe.”
Having outgrown their present location, the church in Salta, Argentina, constructed a new auditorium in a new neighborhood, led by church-planters Lucio & Amanda Gallo.
“Starting construction with little resources and the country in economic crisis, God continues to be faithful,” the Gallos wrote. “There were days we had to pay the workers and had no money. Out of nowhere an envelope appeared under the door with the exact amount needed for the day.
“It was also a huge blessing seeing…how so many churches and individuals have been a part of this construction not only in Argentina. We are so excited to see what God has in store for us and His church.”
(Photo of church meeting in new building.)
Rosie and I started to get to know some of the staff. Housekeepers, technicians, cafeteria servers and cashiers all made up our ever growing group of acquaintances.
“Sunday was one of the worst days that I had experienced with Jessie. She had 8 seizures during that day plus signs of agitation, distress and pain. There was nothing I could humanly do about it. Talk about an exhausting day…
“When Jessie finally calmed down and fell asleep for a bit, I left the room to visit the cafetería. After all, it was close to dinner time. In fact it was almost too late as the cafeteria closed at 6:30 and I got off the elevator at 6:29. The doors were closing as I was walking up. As the cashier added up my order, she commented, “I’ve seen you quite a few times.”
“I told her about Jessie. After finishing, with a tear in her eye she said, “I’ll pray for you.” Normally I have the sensitivity of a brick and would have just said “thank you” paid for my food and sauntered away. However, this time I asked her if she is a Christian. Her response was telling. She wasn’t sure. There we stood at her cash register for the next 20 minutes as I answered many of her questions. This couldn’t have happened if I had gotten there any earlier. We agreed to meet again the next day. After another hour or so of sharing the gospel she prayed to receive Christ as her Savior.
“That Sunday seemed to be a turning point in Jessie’s recovery though we would spend another three weeks at the hospital. Rosie and I were able to give ‘the cafetería lady’ a Bible and encourage her in those days to follow. We discovered that Rosie had already established a friendship with her.”
(Skip & Rosie Kite’s daughter, Jessie, has Rett Syndrome. They have a children’s ministry in the USA.)
But the 35-year-old nurse wanted to talk with Arturo & Silvia Tomé (Puebla, Mexico).
Through her tears Rosa told them a shocking story. The Tomés had led her to Christ at age 15. After completing her studies, she worked out of town and met a young man whom she planned to marry. But when she got pregnant he disappeared. She had a miscarriage. She returned to Puebla, lived a Christian life, but kept that “skeleton in her closet” a secret.
Six years ago one of Rosa’s sisters somehow discovered her secret. The sister demanded money from Rosa or she would expose her. She forced Rosa to finance the construction of the second floor of her house with the extorted money. She stole every penny Rosa earned, sold all Rosa’s furniture, and financed her own vacation with Rosa’s money. One day she demanded more money. Since Rosa did not have it, the sister beat her and fractured her arm.
After receiving medical treatment, Rosa revealed her secret to her two brothers, both deacons in a church led by the Tomés. The surprised brothers wept and confronted the sister. Rosa told the church everything. With new freedom, the fracture is healing and Rosa is spiritually restored.
*Not her real name.
Church planters and pioneer and evangelist missionaries often get the most publicity. But they are unable to fulfill their ministry without support missionaries who frequently minister behind the scenes.
Joao & Hope Rodrigues (with another mission) are seeking to reach the Yanomami Indians of Brazil to the Lord. But they would be unable to do this ministry without FIM missionary, Kathy Stucky’s help, providing education for their children.
Living in the jungle, Kathy endures rustic conditions, animals on her porch, lack of a water supply, no phone, very limited email, isolated from the outside world until the airplane arrives. Thank the Lord for faithful support missionaries!
…has been the passion of Dennis & Coletta Shelly for many years. In addition to biblical education, these future servants of the Lord need skills to meet financial needs, especially if they are church planters or if they serve in areas with large Muslim populations. Toward that end, the Shellys are spearheading a project of skills acquisition at ECWA Theological Seminary Kagoro (Nigeria) such as raising catfish, welding, carpentry/furniture making and plumbing. They desire to expand to poultry, rabbitry, farming skills, general maintenance and construction, etc. A trained community development missionary would be a huge help.
(Photo: Dennis checking smoked catfish ready for consumption.)
…is one encouraging part of the ministry of Gilberto (“Giba”) & Helen Filsinger. In one report, over 200 children are regularly present at one school, over 250 students attend in another school, and 100 fourth graders made professions of salvation.
Giba also pastors a church and teaches in the Bible Institute.
(Photo of Filsingers’ Bible class at a public school.)