It has been a great year for Myanmar Bible College. Construction advanced rapidly at the permanent campus, and classes resumed with 41 students enrolled. The results of this significant progress include much thanksgiving and praise to God. Likewise, there is a deep sense of appreciation for those who have provided prayers and financial support for Pastor Ben, Fellowship Bible Church, their church planters, orphan homes, and of course, Myanmar Bible College. God has used His people to achieve much, and we look ahead with great joy and anticipation for countless other blessings and changed lives.
Although there is still more to be done towards fully developing the MBC campus, we sense that God’s timing is directing us towards a greater emphasis on church planting efforts. Currently, strategies and plans are being prayerfully developed to help us effectively spread the gospel in the cities and remote areas of Myanmar. Our goal is to establish churches which grow and send out other planters. We are praying for supporters who will give towards the cost of recruiting, training, and sending church planters into largely unreached areas and encourage you to consider joining this effort through your prayers and support.
Things in Kenya were quite different in 2020, and the impacts on our ministry operations were significant. Much effort was made to educate the Pokot people regarding the Coronavirus and how to protect themselves from infection. Likewise, providing sanitation supplies and spiritual encouragement continue to be relevant means of serving many thousands during the pandemic.
Opportunities to support POM’s growth and see more lives touched are still present and varied. Currently, 40 church buildings need roofs at a cost of $300 each. Thirteen students are waiting to attend Bible College. The cost is $1,000 per year per student. Providing a Bible in the native Pokot language is an important component of the continued discipleship of new believers. We would like to provide 300 new Bibles at a cost of $12 each.
We are grateful for the partnership that we have in bringing the love and good news of Jesus to the needy world. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
Feeding hungry people has been the primary ministry work of 2020. To date, literally tons of food and seeds have been distributed resulting in thousands of people being blessed with flourishing crops and meals. This has happened through the generosity and prayers of donors in the U.S. We look forward to soon sharing more details and stories of how God has used this effort to not only prevent malnutrition and starvation, but also bring spiritual encouragement to many South Sudanese villagers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking ahead to 2021, great opportunities are anticipated as efforts to spread the gospel and bring blessings to as many people as possible move forward. There are several specific items of equipment needed that will enhance and increase impact. The Jesus Film has proven to be a fantastic tool to effectively communicate the love of God to thousands of people in the remote areas served by Reuben and his team and has led to many people now having a relationship with Christ. To expand this effort, the ministry needs additional projectors and sound systems that are especially designed for this use. The systems cost $1,600 each.
Identifying and developing indigenous, South Sudanese ministry leaders is a vital aspect of Harvesters’ long-term strategy. Currently, there are four such leaders that are part of the ministry’s ongoing work whose ability to effectively serve would greatly benefit from advanced biblical training. The cost for them to attend a quality seminary is $1,750 per year. This investment is one of great priority that will result in exponential benefit as these individuals use their gifts to strengthen the many new believers and churches.
Children in South Sudan have experienced great difficulty. A long civil war there has decimated the economy and caused great fear and hardship for essentially every family. Providing support to impoverished children so they can attend school to become literate and well developed is both an act of love and a step towards developing the country. Sending a primary-aged child to school costs $42 per month. POM South Sudan is further engaged in education by supporting the operation of a primary school which had shut down due to the failing government. There are two other schools in communities served by the ministry which need support of approximately $4,950 per year each.
God has blessed Hope for Life to open and support many homes with multiple orphans being cared for and loved. For many years, we have witnessed how the testimonies and examples of our foster families have “caught fire” and become the primary influence in leading other couples to become foster families. This has led us to our current plan to increase the impact of Hope for Life by enhancing the involvement of Russian churches and ministry leaders with our efforts.
We have established a Board of local leaders in eastern Russia that will work alongside us. The Board will have more involvement with ministry planning as well as the hands-on teaching and encouraging of foster families. They will also engage with other church leaders and train them on how to best minister to the foster families they serve.
Our heartfelt desire is to provide more quality resources to help all foster families in Eastern Russia. To achieve Hope for Life’s mission of “equipping Christian couples to care for abandoned children” our strategies include:
- Provide ongoing counseling and training for foster parents
- Provide foster families regular encouragement and prayer support from churches and the HFL board
- Provide one-time financial support for needy families caring for a new foster child
- Provide financial assistance for children in foster homes or orphanages to attend summer camp
- Provide housing and financial support for larger foster families
- Provide an annual HFL Homes banquet to encourage, teach, and challenge our foster parents
Did you know that a monthly gift of $50 will allow us to send two orphans to a 10-day summer camp? Or that a small bedroom to house one child can be added to a foster home for an average cost of $2,200? As we look forward to 2021, these are just a couple of ways that you can help.
Joye and I want to sincerely thank you for the prayer and financial support you have provided in the past. These are vital to Hope for Life Homes & Orphan Care as we increase our impact on the precious children of Russia.
The year of “2020 vision” that we may have eagerly anticipated in January has most certainly turned out to be anything but. Yet, we are reminded that God is not surprised by these events. He is sovereign and still ruling – so we trust in His providence in these unprecedented times. Despite the disruptions of COVID, it has been an exciting year for us as the Lord has placed it on our hearts to return to the mission field – Lord willing – in the coming year.
As most of you know, in February of 2018 we returned to the States based on the rising persecution in mainland China. Our concern at the time was not for our safety, but rather for the protection of the churches, and people, that we have been working with for twenty years.
Upon our return, the Lord, in His kindness, provided Mr. Jones with an opportunity to serve on the pastoral staff of our local church. Together, we ministered to the Church’s “seasoned saints” along with overseeing the Missions ministry. In that time, Mr. Jones was ordained and has served as an Elder in the church. All-in-all, this time has been both a great blessing and learning opportunity, while also fueling our desire to return to the field.
As we continue to pursue the “vision on our hearts,” we wanted to tell you how you can specifically pray for us:
Clarity: We have a vision in our hearts, but are ever mindful of Proverbs 16:9 – “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
Timing: We greatly desire to honor the Lord by finishing our present assignment well. Please pray for the Lord’s perfect timing, including His raising up a man to assume Mr. Jones’ present duties. And please pray for us to have patience as we wait on the Lord’s timing.
Preparation: Please pray that the Lord will direct us to “like-minded” churches and individuals with a desire to participate in ministries such as we hope to conduct. If you or a representative from your church would like to learn more about our work, please contact Doug Radford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are humbled by, and deeply grateful for, your faithful support of the work the Lord has given us. The prayers of the saints are indeed a mighty weapon.
*Names withheld for safety
God continues to bless Christopher and Shakeel’s work in Pakistan. In 2020, 78 Hindus and Muslims chose to trust in Christ and become His disciples. Many have been baptized. Omega Ministry’s pastors continue to share the gospel and serve their congregations as they also deal with the pandemic and other challenges they face on a daily basis. Being a believer can be very difficult in Pakistan with much opposition and loss of economic opportunity as a result.
The needs of our work in Pakistan remain consistent – support for our 60 pastors and their ministry. Even $50 per month will make a substantial difference in the lives of a pastor’s family. Often, they struggle to pay for housing, the required school fees for their children, and meet other basic necessities. More motorcycles are also needed at a cost of $1,850 each. These are basic equipment for pastors to effectively accomplish their ministry and reach new areas.
Pakistan is over 96% Muslim and obviously has a great need for the gospel. Our prayers are for those who are committed to this cause, and our hope is to see them become better equipped and supported. Thank you for keeping our Pakistani pastors in your prayers and likewise considering their work as you make decisions on your giving.
2020 has been particularly difficult for the world’s second most populous nation, India. The COVID-19 shutdowns there happened with essentially no warning and have resulted in overwhelming need. A sharp spike in hunger, homelessness, and other challenges occurred among millions of people who regularly experience economic struggles. Countless workers in India are “day laborers”, earning a meager living performing various jobs they are fortunate enough to locate.
Harvesters’ partner, Sion Assembly Church, has been very active in providing food relief since very early in the crisis. Their feeding effort has taken various forms including providing bulk food to widows and struggling families who attend the church along with delivering hot, individual meals to people now forced to live on the streets. To date, they have served almost 7,000 individual meals.
Pastor Rajendra recently shared that although there are many things that his ministry could be working on, “our top priority in 2021 will be feeding the poor, needy, and hungry”. Thank you for considering supporting this work to share desperately needed food with those facing a very harsh daily reality.
Seira Community Churches continues to grow and do well. Progress in 2020 included a new church that was constructed in the village of Kivu, a new school and educational partnership completed in Rukumberi, and a new water system installed in the village as well. The ministry is successfully recovering from both the impacts of governmental regulations that closed many churches and the pandemic.
Currently, there are still churches that remain closed due to governmental restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Among other things, these churches must upgrade certain aspects of their facilities, such as installing approved hand wash stations, and provide sanitation supplies to members of the congregation. To ensure social distancing, benches are no longer allowed but must be replaced with individual chairs. A total of $4,000 is now needed to meet these requirements so that two of the churches can reopen. We are praying for the availability of the needed funds to allow these congregations to gather for worship, teaching, and fellowship.
Since its inception, Kerith Ministries has been serving orphans, vulnerable children, widows, families, and many others through its gospel centered efforts. This is in addition to spreading the gospel, planting churches, and facilitating discipleship in the region. The ministry’s impact has grown steadily as has the infrastructure at its compound near Pallisa, Uganda. In 2020, Kerith’s elementary school building was completed (top) and construction recently began for a Training Center, which will serve the children living at the ministry’s orphanage as well as women from the surrounding community.
Looking ahead, Pastor Sam is excited to see his vision for the ministry continue to take shape as growth continues in facilities, staff, and lives touched. Currently, the ministry compound consists of the school, orphanage buildings, kitchen, staff /teacher housing, offices, community clinic, and training center (under construction).
The next step forward is upgrading the water supply at the ministry compound. Currently, a nearby well and hand pump located on the perimeter of the compound serves the school students, orphans, staff, and medical workers. Additionally, there are numerous residents living in close proximity to the property, and the ministry has committed to supply them with clean water, especially during the annual dry season. This means that about 1,100 people rely on getting water there. Improving the availability and reliability of the water supply is especially important as growth in the ministry facilities occur and more people are present.
To facilitate Kerith’s desire to increase its impact, an upgraded water system has been designed. The system will consist of three 10,000-liter tanks to be installed on elevated structures. The tanks will store water that is supplied from the well utilizing a solar-powered pump. The water will then be piped to four locations across the ministry compound with one point accessible by the local community. Completing the project will cost $15,300. Our prayer is to see this accomplished in 2021 so that the ministry can continue moving forward in a sustainable way.