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Missions Updates July, 2020

Linda Weber - France

Praise God for Linda Weber, missionary to Lamorlaye, France, and her lifetime of service to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Praises:

  • Opportunities for Linda to meet face to face again with Angelica, Alimata, Justine, Heide, Valerie, Diane, Jean-Pierre, Dorothée, and Hanane!
  • Linda's new friend, Chris, who she met on one of her walks during the lock down. After a conversation, she invited her by for tea. Chris then invited Linda to dinner to meet her daughter and her daughter's friend. Chris and her daughter are atheists and the companion is Muslim. It was the beginning of a lovely relationship that we pray will lead to an introduction to Jesus and a new life for them!

Prayer Requests:

  • For Chris, her daughter, and her daughter's friend to hear Linda's words and recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd ("...his sheep follow him because they know his voice." John 10:4)
  • For continued good conversations with Angelica, Alimata, Justine, Heide, Valerie, Diane, Jean-Pierre, Dorothée, and Hanane, and opportunities to share the Gospel.
His Safe Haven - Liberia

His Safe Haven (HSH) is a beautiful village of foster families in Northern Liberia. They care for over 26 special-needs orphans, as well as providing support to local families who keep their children at home, fighting the severe cultural taboos against children with special needs.

The state of emergency in Liberia was supposed to end on June 9, 2020. This would have meant HSH could go from full lock down to restricted access, but the government has extended it, supposedly for another two weeks but they are unsure at this stage. Early in June the virus officially entered Gbarnga, their town, so they have put added precautions in place to protect the children.

Praises:

  • Praise God for little Joash! Joash was brought to HSH in November 2019 after his parents had taken him around different medical facilities in Monrovia, hoping to find a doctor who would poison and kill him. Thankfully one of the doctors they took him to knows Susan (the HSH Liberian director) and he called her. Even when the parents took Joash to HSH, they were hateful towards him. They carried him like he was a sack of potatoes, slung under one arm. They continued to say quite openly that they would chunk him out the car window and leave him to die on the street. They were finished with caring for him, they wanted nothing more to do with him! But as bad as their comments were, it was harder to discover Joash understood EXACTLY what his parents were trying to do to him. For months after entering the program, he wanted to die and had no will to live! He refused to eat, he refused to be held, he refused every sign of love that was lavished upon him. Much prayer and many tears have gone into his care. Then a couple of weeks ago he started smiling! More and more he has started responding to the world around him! He now allows people to hold him, he acknowledges people when they talk to him, and he laughs at random times during the day! It has been a huge answer to prayers watching him begin to flourish and thrive in the care of the HSH village! Thank you to all of you for your prayers!
  • Prince, the His Safe Haven's artist, is painting pictures for the foster mothers’ homes to both engage the mothers and children and to bring them closer to Jesus! There are a series of paintings being completed which will rotate throughout the homes; each mother will receive both an action and a Bible story. The action paintings will be something like dancing, praying, or reading which the mother will focus on doing with her children while it is hanging in her home. Similarly, the Bible story painting will be the story which she shares with her children while it is hanging in her home. His Safe Haven is really excited to continue to find ways to deepen these families' relationships with one another and with our Father!
  • Ma Oretha (pronounced Oh-re-tah) has joined the HSH family. She is a wonderful Christian lady and a spiritual leader in her community. She is quiet and calm in demeanor. She lost her husband a couple of years ago and is bringing 3 sons and a daughter into the village with her. She is quick to learn and is loving caring for the children! They have been so encouraged at the other Mums' born (biological) children's willingness to pitch in and help Ma Oretha’s children learn how to care for the children with special needs as well! This may not seem like a big deal, but in Liberia children are taught by society from a young age to hate children that have special needs.
  • They are building a small, one room apartment for the mums to quarantine themselves in after they have a short rotation out of the village for rest and family visits. This house will eventually be for an elderly and disabled man named Lasanna who is living at HSH. It will be a haven of spiritual and physical rest and recharge, and also provide a time to learn new skills to help the children. Praise God for the hardworking men who are working fast to get this building up and functioning.
Matt & Jonna - Central Asia

Praise God for Matt & Jonna and their family, still serving faithfully in Central Asia! Thank God for His continued care and provision for them.

Please pray: They were unable to fly back to the USA in June due to canceled flights. They continue to pray and look for flights for July. Pray that God will make a way, keep the family healthy, and continue to reassure them all of His unfailing love!

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:26

Lebanon

Praise God, Mike, our missionary to the Middle East, reports the COVID education and response training has been well received.

As here, the COVID 19 virus has forced Mike to change some of the ways he & his team operate in the field. In Iraq and Lebanon, the teams wear masks, gloves, and social distance as they serve the Syrian refugees and Yazidi. . To comply with their governments' laws of no large social gatherings, they trained the leaders of the communities who, in turn, taught the heads of families in small groups, who then taught their families.

Please pray:

  • The lock downs have severely damaged the already fragile financial situation of the Yazidi and refugee families, so, along with the training, the teams delivered food, mask, cleaning supplies, and milk. In February, they took seeds (tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant, and others). The refugees planted the seeds, and the crops are growing. These crops will improve their nutrition and help ease their food shortages once they began harvesting. The team also teaches and encourages them to save seeds from these plants for next year.
  • Mike also wants to take a medical/dental team to Lebanon & Northern Iraq this fall or early next year. If you are a doctor, RN, or dentist, can run a field clinic, and are interested in going with us to Lebanon and Northern Iraq to run medical/dental clinics for the Syrian refugees and Yazidi families, please contact us at kellyb@cwccs.org for Mike's contact information!
Kenya (photo by Steve Kariithi)

Our partner church, Mathare Worship Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, continues to minister to the surrounding slum. Cases of Covid-19 continue to rise and the lock down of Nairobi to entry or exit has been extended to July 7. Schools are still closed with an anticipated opening date of September. Police brutality is also a rising concern in the slums. Warning: the video below does contain some graphic images.

Praises:

  • Quarantine has been lifted from Eastleigh, the community next to Mathare Valley, which allows day laborers from Mathare to work again. This is the main source of income for most of the people living in Mathare Valley slum. However, recent Compassion International statistics say that 4 out of 5 adults in the slums are unable to work at this time, and most people in the area are skipping meals because of lack of work, money, and food.
  • Hope's Promise - Sanctuary of Hope 's 24 teens continue their evacuation with Pastor & Mama Karau and their other caregivers, including Pastor Steve Kariithi's wife and 3 children, in Meru, the family's ancestral home north of Nairobi.
  • Pastor Steve was able to meet with the pastors Mathare Worship Centre's 12 daughter churches to discuss the future of orphan care in Kenya. This is a difficult concept culturally, complicated by corruption in the foster care system. The pastors have identified a couple of cases and Steve continues to communicate and pray to determine if they are the “next child(ren)” for Hope’s Promise (HP) Kenya.

Prayer Requests:

  • For peace and justice in Mathare.
  • For wisdom as Mathare Worship Centre encourages their congregation as they reach out in the midst of police violence, protests, and coronavirus.
  • For peace for the 24 HP Sanctuary of Hope teens as they process the unrest and coronavirus in Mathare Valley slum.
  • For Pastor Steve's wife and three young children as they continue into a 3rd month of separation from one another. The family is safe in Meru in Northern Kenya, but Steve continues to minister in Nairobi. (Praise God! Pastor Steve just shared that he was able to get a pass to visit last week!)
  • For wisdom as Pastor Steve continues to communicate and pray with the Kenyan churches regarding the future of orphan care, and the children they have identified as possibilities for HP Sanctuary of Hope homes.
  • HP caregivers are looking into on-line options until universities accept new students in September (anticipated date). Pray for Janet and Geoffrey and also for Faith, assisted by HP with education expenses, who are all waiting to start university. Pray for discernment for these young people in deciding on programs.
  • HP staff are also looking into refurbished laptops and online curriculum for all the kids to continue their education until schools start again.
Matt & Noelle Harris - Uganda

Praise God for His continued care for the people of Northern Uganda and CWC Missionaries Matt & Noelle Harris!

Matt shares:

When lockdown started we had to switch our focus as a ministry from the pastoral training school, which was temporarily shut down, to relief aid and preaching Christ over the airwaves. The lockdown has been devastating and it is heartbreaking to see the suffering and starvation sweep through our communities, but it has been amazing to see God answer the needs of so many through the generosity of the global church body. As a ministry we are providing families with over 10 tons of food per week. This means our churches are very busy blessing the communities through the handouts and our staff at BAM are very, very busy preparing the needed supplies, our machines never seem to shut down. (Note: BAM is the "Business As MIssion" arm of the ministry. Matt is the administrator and they are very active with a chicken farm, grain milling operation, and fish farm.)

We are blessed that along with the food packages we always have an opportunity to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and many people are being saved as they experience the great love that Christ has for them, including many women whose desperation had led them to prostitution. And right now our pastoral team is being broadcasted over the East African airwaves 40 times a month. It has been great to see many come to Christ through the messages, understand the scriptures through the live call-in times, and have the hope of Christ brought to them through the times of prayer. Thank you for the great love you've shown through your generosity and prayers.

Prayer Requests:

  • for continued protection (spiritual, physical, and emotional) for Matt, Noelle, and their children (Emma, Madeline, and Noah, plus the baby who hasn't been born yet).
  • for a good reputation for the ministry in the community surrounding them. Satan often sparks rumors, which could destroy much in these unsettled times.
  • for God's Word to continue to go forth with power through the radio programs and food distributions. Brothers who are beloved by God, we know that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with great conviction— just as you know we lived among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord when you welcomed the message with the joy of the Holy Spirit, in spite of your great suffering... I Thessalonians 1:4-6
  • for many in Uganda to come to Christ for the hope that endures, not only for this life, but for the next. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:2-5
Janice Evans- Ukraine

Praises:

  • for Janice Evans' continued faithful service to the Gospel in Ukraine.
  • Their church plant has resumed meeting last month. Some youth that Janice had just met the last time they had church saw her on the street and said over and over that they missed them and were anxiously awaiting for church to begin meeting in person again.

Prayer Requests:

  • Janice continues to plan to visit Hannah, a close friend from Africa who lives in Janice's previous home city. Hannah can now leave the country so Janice will travel to see her soon. Ask for prayer for their remaining time together, and that God would speak to her heart while Janice is there. Hannah says she is a Christian, but she is easily influenced by other beliefs and religions. Also please pray for Janice's trip - safety, working trains, & quarantine changes. Please pray for Janice to have boldness in sharing Christ with Hannah and her other friends. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20
  • Next month, Janice needs to begin work on her visa. This is always a complicated process, and there is not yet a train going to that city post-quarantine.

Praise God for a successful outreach by Cross Centered Records last week!

They served the homeless community in Dorchester park. During this time, many heard the gospel and a couple of people received rides to church the following day. Others received clothing, fresh food, and water. Using the avenue of Christian hip-hop, Cross Centered was able to share Jesus’ love within this community.

Cross Centered Records - Dorchester Park

Please pray:

  • for fruit & safety at their next "Concert on the Curb” on July 25th at Antler’s Park
  • that hearts are softened to hear from the Lord as they go out into our hurting city of Colorado Springs. Please pray for fruit that remains.
Eddie Broussard - The Navigators

The death of George Floyd has impacted people around the world. As you pray for our country, please be praying for CWC missionaries as they respond in their particular contexts. Our missionary Eddie Broussard shares:

George Floyd. Our nation has been in tumult over the last month over the violent death of this 46-year-old African American man at the hands of police. His death hit me hard. He was from the area of Houston, TX where I grew up, known as Third Ward. But more so, this was one more in a long list of deaths I have mourned and lamented since my college days in the 1970s. A few of the many African American men who have been killed by police over the years were my friends; some were family of my friends, and one was even family.

What has encouraged me is that I have a number of friends, white Americans, who have called me with a genuine sense of lament over this tragedy and the history of such tragedies and have asked about how we as followers of Jesus respond to such events. I’ve also been surprised by how many of our friends have adult children who are insisting on talking about this with them and finding out what our response should be as Believers in Jesus Christ.

Over the last several weeks I’ve invested lots of time talking, visiting, and video conferencing with genuine Believers who are asking: How do we as believers respond to this? While I’m in the midst of doing some much deeper reflection on this, I thought I’d share a few thoughts that have come up in my conversations with others:

1. Take the time to listen and learn with the goal of understanding. Prov. 18:13 “He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame.” It may be better to assume that I don’t know as much as I think I do about others, their cultures, and their lives. That’s a principle I use around the world going into many different cultures.

2. There is a time to not be silent. Eccl. 3:1, 7 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: .... a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,...” There is a time when our silence dishonors God because we don’t use our voice or our influence to help someone in need or when we overlook an injustice when God’s Spirit is prompting us to say or do something.

3. Use the influence God has given me. What can I do with the gifts, knowledge, platform for influence I have in life to help other others who are being treated unjustly, being mistreated, or being overlooked? What can I learn from Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well in Samaria, John 4:4-42? What can I learn from the parable of the Good Samaritan, Lk. 10:28-37?

Praise God:

  • for stirring the hearts of millions to desire true peace and justice
  • for the 50 young adults Eddie's team is meeting with by video call from around the world. These young leaders are being discipled and encouraged in their walks with Christ.
  • for the Siberian leaders Eddie continues to serve by video call weekly, and for Eddie's improving Russian language skills.

Please pray:

  • for God to use this tumultuous time in our nation and in the world to draw many to Him
  • for the 50 young adult leaders working with Eddie's team by video call
  • for Eddie as he continues to work with the Navigators worldwide. Pray that he and his team will have wisdom as they finalize a "sending agreement" that will guide Navigators in 112 countries as they send and receive missionaries. This will set expectations for the missionaries and the hosts.
  • for Eddie as he plans for Navigator's annual leadership meetings, which will be held virtually this year. Pray for peace and wisdom and insight to deal with all the ramifications of meeting virtually and making decisions in the midst of the upheaval of Covid.

When you pray or give, YOU are part of the Great Commission - going into all the world to spread the Gospel!

If you'd like to be a part of what God is doing in Missions through Calvary Worship Center, please email us at kellyb@cwccs.org or call 719-632-3311!

Credits:

Created with an image by Soroush Karimi - "I was really happy when I saw Eiffel tower. Like really really happy. It was rainy and gloomy but perfect."