Counseling in Uganda- Prince and Heidi Sabena

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R. is one of the girls who got involved in the biblical counseling program that Prince & Heidi Sabena offered in Kampala, Uganda. Although she was raised in a church, she did not know Christ. God used the counseling classes and her relationship with Heidi and other students in our class to cause her to realize her need for salvation. She now acknowledges Christ as Savior and Lord and is growing in her knowledge and love for God.

Alex is a fairly new Christian whom Prince helped to ground in the Word.  He is also a lawyer…and lawyers in Uganda are so often focused on the money.  A husband came to Alex seeking a divorce because the wife does not submit to him.  The wife does not want a divorce.  Alex sought out a biblical counselor for her.

Prince & Heidi write, “This blessed our hearts so much to hear of a lawyer in Uganda who not only cares about his wallet but also genuinely cares for the greater need of his client’s heart.  We are thrilled that he would help this hurting woman legally but also point her to another woman who could help her know Jesus as she walks through this journey.”

 

John and Judy- Europe

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John & Judy were asked to lead a parenting seminar in a local church about how to teach children in the home. They were astounded when nearly 40 parents (nearly all of the parents of young children in the church as well as a few others in the community who had learned about it) showed up for the seminar.

The verbal response was also overwhelming!  “We need teaching like this more often!” “When can we do this again?” It was evident that some needs were met that evening as they equipped parents for their very important task of raising their children in the Lord. That there is a felt need for more scriptural teaching in practical areas of life is evident. The Spirit of God was clearly at work.

John & Judy have a counseling ministry in Europe.

Jeff and Sheny Walker- Mexico

Jeff & Sheny Walker recently held a missionary training camp for fourteen youths in Aguascalientes, Mexico. “They learned different methods of evangelism and we daily took them to a park to practice.  All the young people showed sincere interest.  They finished the week on fire for the Lord.

“Saturday we held a missions festival.  The youth prepared displays and shared about several unreached countries in great need of missionaries.   On Sunday we had a time for the youth to share what they learned from the training camp.  It was a wonderful time of testimonies of youth on fire for the Lord, and wanting to serve the Lord as missionaries.  We pray that these youth will continue to grow and be involved in evangelism and that their zeal for the evangelism and missions can spread to both congregations.”

Kevin and Alina Beach- Mexico

Kevin & Alina Beach are encouraged in their church planting ministry in Nayarit, Mexico.  They are seeing God working in couples who put Christ at the center of their relationships.  The Beaches write:

“When J & M first started coming to the midweek Bible study, they were separated. Now they are back together and learning how to love each other–the biblical way!  H & V are also learning to appreciate each other the love and respect way!”

“C” and “E” have been living together.  “E” has been sitting under the teaching of God’s Word for some months.  “C” received the Lord at the Beach’s kitchen table recently along with his daughter.  They are growing in the Lord.  Although “C” struggles with leaving the world and living for Jesus, he keeps coming.  Not long ago “E” told “C” that she now realizes that they need to be married.  Kevin comments, “I love to see the Holy Spirit bring out the fruit of conviction from God’s Word in people’s lives!”

 

 

 

Martin and Rose Ebel- Australia

In some parts of the world, people are coming to Christ in droves.  In other parts, it is a slow process…a very slow process– in such a setting, any positive response can be a major accomplishment.

Ministry among the aboriginal peoples of Australia’s outback is such a place.  Martin & Rose Ebel have ministered in the indigenous town of Woorabinda for years, with scant visible spiritual results.  A few ladies attend the services and Bible studies.  Martin has specifically been inviting the male population.  One man in his early thirties is now attending each week with his partner and really seems to be very interested.  Martin uses every opportunity he can to talk with him about the Lord.  The Ebels are praying that the couple will trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation.

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David and Denise Love- Rio Grande

Dave & Denise Love are at Rio Grande Bible Institute in Edinburg, Texas, preparing Hispanics for ministry.  Denise writes:

David & I had a unique opportunity to visit the local mosque to attend a special event. David has been visiting this mosque over the years while developing relationships with several leaders along with another colleague; at times our students would also tag along to learn and observe especially when David would present the case to those in the mosque about the Bible’s inerrancy and Jesus’ deity.

The moment we walked in the door, Dave and I were separated as I was taken to the women’s side of the mosque. The women were polite and greeted me formally adorned with mostly black long sleeved gowns with multicolored scarves. Many shook my hand in the western style of greeting but a few kissed me on both cheeks.

At dinner a woman who is an ophthalmologist sat beside me. I asked about her clinic and made a note to visit her sometime. Several more ladies joined our table and began to quiz me with questions.

“Are you a new convert?”

I smiled and said, “No, I am a visitor.”

“Who invited you?”

“The imam is a friend of my husband’s and he knows we are attending tonight.” This remark surprised them and they sat staring at me for several moments.

“Is your husband here?”

I thought about the number of times my husband had visited the mosque and even

engaged in some rousing conversations about Jesus. I couldn’t hear his voice behind the wooden barrier on the men’s side of the room so I knew he may have been behaving himself tonight. At least so far…

The curiosity and questioning continued.

“Where are you from?”

“Pennsylvania.”

“Do you have children? How many and what do they do?”

“Where did you get your outfit? What country is it from?”

“I bought it online. I couldn’t find an appropriate outfit at Target.”

“Why did you buy an outfit like that?”

“For a trip I took to Turkey.”

“Turkey doesn’t have a mandatory dress code like that.”

“I visited other places as well on that trip.” They eyed me with more suspicion. They wanted so badly to ask me what other places. I breathed a sigh of relief when they finally changed directions.

“Where do you live?”

“Edinburg. I live on the campus of…” Before I could finished one of the ladies jumped in.

“Oh, we knew it, you are a professor at Pan-Am University.”

“No, actually my daughter is in the nursing program there but I teach…

“My husband is a professor there too.”

“Oh”.

“What church do you go to?”

“Calvary Baptist in McAllen.”  They all nodded as they had heard of our church.

“What else do you do besides teach?”

“I help young ladies and women who have suffered trauma and abuse in their

childhood where many times they take on a false identity.”

That answer opened up a long conversation with the three women. This was a fascinating subject for them. One woman told me her concerns for her daughters

and I gave her some words of caution; I could sense her fear.

Later after dinner one younger woman became more proactive and sat down beside me on the floor where I was watching the evening prayers. Actually I had my head bowed and was praying when she came and interrupted me. There was a one way mirror for us women to watch and listen to the service but we could not be seen by the men.

As the young woman talked to me she quickly said, “Do you have any questions about what you are seeing here today? Do you understand what is happening during the prayer ceremony?”

She explained about praying five times a day and how they are expressing their thanks to Allah. She was waiting for me to ask a question so I decided to ask her what language they were praying in.  While she was talking to me another woman came over and handed me a Koran and a handful of booklets and tracts that would help me learn about Islam.

The topic would switch to the many dying in Syria and Iraq. Several told us that over 150 are dying a day in Syria and that it is a massacre of human life. I was invited to come back by about 15 women.

One humorous mistake I made—and the ladies promptly reminded me—”When you

come to our potluck next time, bring two plates of cookies, one for the women’s side and one for the men. The men should be happy that they got all your cookies!”

It was an interesting evening. David had quite a few conversations as well with medical doctors, IT people and other professionals from several countries, two university students from Pakistan and two from Mexico.

Photo of Denise Love, prepared with her coveted cookies.

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Kazu and Amy Kato- Japan

Kazu & Amy Kato are involved in church development in Tokyo, Japan.  They write: “We had something extremely exciting happen.  One guy, who has been attending our church faithfully for the past four years accepted Christ as his Lord and Saviour.  We are so thrilled!  About 10% of our weekly attendees are non-Christians and are really contemplating Christianity. It usually takes them a long time to make a decision for Christ, just like our new brother-in-the Lord.  But once they make the decision it’s not one they take lightly!  We are so excited to have a new family member in Christ!

On April 29th we had a holiday here in Japan and on that day we held a marriage seminar that consisted of three sessions.  After each session there was a Q&A time.  Between 15-20 young professionals attended the seminar including a few from other churches.  We received a lot of positive feedback and were able to answer biblically what some churches have been avoiding talking about.”

Photo of Kazu preaching

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Dr. C.T.- Africa

In the run up to the general elections in Africa, at the end of March and early April, Dr. C.T. was invited to participate in two live radio phone-in programs.  One was on a government-owned radio station, and their other was on the private Muslim-owned radio station, where he had been invited for programs in the past. His discussion about civil liberties, fundamental human rights, the necessity of free and fair elections, the role of faith communities in maintenance of peace, law and order (and the related  need to combat post-election violence) were all well received by listening audiences. Dr. C.T. wrote, “This was my small way of helping in the build up to violence-free and credible elections.  I believe that programs such as these may have contributed a lot to the prevention of massive pro-election violence.”

Dr. C.T., along with his wife N., serves as Academic Dean and faculty member at ECWA Theological Seminary.

 

Africa Missions

Dan has been studying the Bible with “A” for many months.  He gave “A” a sheet that listed statements Jesus made about Himself that show that He was more than a prophet, as most Muslims claim.  After reading the sheet, “A” asked if there were specific times for Christians to pray like Muslims.  Dan told him that God wants the kind of relationship with man that we can talk with Him as with a father.  “A” said that he prays the “Lord’s prayer” every morning and proceeded to say it in both French and Wolof.

Amazed, Dan asked “A” if he believed in Jesus as his Savior from sin.  He said he did!  Dan mentioned acknowledging Him as Lord.  “A” once again affirmed his belief, admitting that he has been thinking about Jesus for 20 years, because he cannot escape the fact that no one can compare to Christ.

Dan met with “A” several weeks after and emphasized his need to lead his family to this faith, raising a whole new generation of believers.  He seemed to understand this.  When Dan suggested that he would like to begin a new Bible study with him and his family, “A” asked to wait a little bit, wanting to speak with his family first.  His wife is very involved in counseling people with the Koran.

Dan & Sue Bisbee are involved in a church planting ministry in a predominantly Muslim country in Northwest Africa.

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Child Evangelism Fellowship

After training the teachers, Gilberto & Helen Filsinger have been able to teach Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) classes in two public schools in Brazil. Over 200 children were regularly present at one school while over 250 students were regular attendees in another school. In addition to the children, teachers and principals enjoyed the “magic” tricks and heard the Gospel presentation. More than 100 third and fourth graders made professions of salvation.