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Finding Nemo in Your Journey

By Linda Gawthrop When I was a child, I loved Sunday School. I often sat at the edge of my seat as the teachers shared stories from God's Word. You know them… Joseph being sold into slavery and becoming second to Pharaoh Noah, the ark, and the great flood David and Goliath. Daniel in the lion's den The three Hebrews who were thrown into the fiery furnace Esther saving her people Peter released from prison by the angel I was in awe of their lives, of the miracles, where they saved the day or were rescued at the last minute.…
July 23, 2021
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How to Pray for Children of Promise

In the wake of the Coup in Myanmar, Rick and Diana Wilson shared a pressing need to WorldVenture social media in mid-March: “Our ministry coworkers know many that are desperate for food right now and we would like to help as many as possible.  It costs $150 a month for a family of 10 people.” That need has heightened with recent events! Their training building is a multi-purpose building. It not only serves as a training and activity center for the nearby children’s home, but it has become a temporary shelter due to villages and homes being destroyed. Two nearby…
July 16, 2021
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Video: Deep Roots

By Jeff Frazee We rode out on a motorcycle and we went straight to the chief's house. We greeted the people in his courtyard and told them we were there to speak to the chief. Two young men went over to sit by the chief. I extended my hand in greeting to him. He just looked at me. Apparently, you don't shake the chief's hand in this village. The two young men were there as intermediaries. It is very common to not speak to the chief directly, always through an intermediary. Shortly, an older man, about my age, showed up.…
July 12, 2021
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God Speaks

By Esther Penney God's Word is given away in different forms. While I know that at some point, it will bear fruit, I don't often get to see it. One particular day encouraged me to keep giving it out as opportunities presented themselves. As an Easter gift, we gave our guard, Mike, a MegaVoice player. MegaVoice creates audio Bibles. This particular one contains the New Testament in Wolof and Yoonu Njuub (the Way of Righteousness). Every morning before Mike leaves, I hear him playing it while he rakes up the leaves and sweeps the sidewalks. Shortly after gifting Mike the MegaVoice…
July 8, 2021
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Generations: Japan Video

Generations, Episode One, "Generations: Japan."  On June 8, 2021, "Generations: Japan" aired live on Zoom as an online event. It was about generations speaking to other generations about living life as missionaries and about the culture of Japan. This episode was recorded. It is one hour long. Download the prayer guide for Japan.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A-6jRZhfn4   Panel:  Jack Claunch (appointee) Alissa Bauer (appointee) Kevin Laverman (church planter) Ken Taylor (field leader) Cheryl and Leon Hill  (retired in June) Kathy and Lou Loutrel, Grace Church of Mahomet, Illinois (church prayer partners, friends, and supporters) Articles of Interest:  The Impact of 311 Tokyo…
June 19, 2021
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Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

By David Caucutt "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." President Theodore Roosevelt For exercise I have been walking down by the river near our house. It is a pretty popular spot where people walk and run. One of the things I used to have before deploying was a wooden staff that I prepared myself from a sapling. As I have walked down by the river, I have seen lots of trees that would work well, but of course I cannot cut them. However, even though it may be a small thing, I have prayed that,…
June 9, 2021
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High Places and Habits

By Ginny Jensen  For those that have been reading the Bible through this year, your reading plan may have recently had you in the books of Kings and Chronicles. The kings were described as “did evil in the sight of the Lord”, or “did right in the eyes of the Lord”. Sometimes, there would be additional descriptions indicating that the king did right in the eyes of the Lord, but did not completely turn away from the idol worship.  In 2 Kings 14, Amaziah began his reign in Judah. Verses 3-4 (ESV) describes him: “And he did what was right…
May 28, 2021
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Africa: Your Prayers Have Children

By Esther Penney "Your prayers have children," remarked Ellen. I wasn't quite sure what that expression meant. "A year ago, you prayed for my heart condition."  "Now, I remember!" I smiled, recalling that day a year ago. The doctor prescribed medication for Ellen's heart condition. She struggled with symptoms and found no relief. We prayed for Ellen's health in Jesus' name. Afterward, she went to see the doctor. Now, she no longer needs any medication and is entirely symptom-free! She gives thanks to Jesus' power. But, what did she mean by, "Your prayers have children?" Ellen explained that each time I prayed for…
May 26, 2021
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Girls Empowerment Curriculum: The Love Test

By Adrienne Livingston  One activity we have in our Girls Empowerment Curriculum is called the “Love Test”, which is based on a scriptural list of the attributes of love. We ask the girl to substitute the word “love” for our friend, girlfriend, boyfriend or other person’s name in each of the definitions of love. Definition of Love based off of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love... Is patient Is kind Does not envy Is not proud Does not dishonor others Is not self-seeking Is not easily angered Keeps no record of wrongs (forgives easily) Doesn’t rejoice in evil Protects Trusts Hopes Perseveres…
May 19, 2021
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Singapore: Yap Chang Yen

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV Yap Chang Yen is a Singaporean hipster in his early 40s. Fascinated with US culture, he spent most of his years buying and selling popular American rock band memorabilia in his store in Singapore’s main shopping district. He thought little of Jesus unless it could help him make another buck. But in October 2020, at the urging of a 30-year-old Singaporean Christian woman named Rena, Chang started attending Crossroads International Church (CIC) where Dr Rick Griffith…
May 13, 2021
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Generations: Japan Event

Join us online on  June 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. MDT for an hour of down-to-earth conversations about how God grows people through the different seasons of missionary life. From an appointee raising support, to the career missionary on the field, to the retiree’s unique experience, you’ll learn first-hand about the people, the culture, and the way God works through joys and heartaches to engage the world for gospel impact. Q&A to follow. Featured Panel:  Alissa Bauer - Appointee Jack Claunch - Appointee Ken Taylor- Field Leader Leon and Cheryl Hill - Retiring soon with 37 years of experience Kevin…
May 3, 2021
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Samuel’s Bleeding

Samuel's childhood in Sésènne, a neighborhood of Diourbel, Senegal, was steeped in traditional African religion. It is the home of several priestesses who conduct the traditional exorcism dances ("ndëpp" in Wolof). This is the type of dance that gave birth to voodoo-ism. Samuel suffered from deadly nosebleeds that no traditional or modern medicine could cure. Massamba is a pastor in this African country. During Kids' Club in Sésènne, the pastor and his wife noticed how sickly Samuel looked.  The pastor's wife offered to pray for him. Samuel agreed, and that day he felt better. As he continued to participate in…
April 30, 2021
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How to Trust Jesus When Everyone Has Let You Down

By Brian and Melissa  (serving in anti-sex trafficking in Europe) I (Melissa) had some unexpected reflection time a few weeks ago when I walked along a hiking path that, unbeknownst to me, would lead me through the stations of the cross. The trail was quite steep and there were covered alters with pictures depicting varying aspects of Jesus's journey to the cross. At the top of the hill was a larger alter where Christ's crucifixion was depicted. At first, it looked like the trail ended there, but around the corner the trail led down the hill, and after one more…
April 19, 2021
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Live Tour and Prayer Walk of Mozambique

On Friday, April 9, 2021, Rodger Schmidt gave us a live tour and prayer walk of Mozambique via Facebook Live. We have provided the edited version of the live for your viewing here as well as two other videos of Juma and Robson's testimonies on our Youtube account. Why not subscribe to our Youtube to get notified of new video uploads?  In this video, Rodger and his friends take us on a historical tour of Mozambique which includes its history, the rich culture of the people, and why Mozambique is in the news. This video is about 50 minutes in…
April 17, 2021
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The Paris of South America

By Jim Thorp Buenos Aires has been referred to as the "Paris of South America," and there is truth to the comparison. I have visited both cities and can see some similarities to the look, feel, and culture of Buenos Aires and Paris. There are significant differences, but Buenos Aires is a beautiful city with rich music, dance, architecture, and food culture. One other important similarity is the need for the Gospel to reach all levels of society. The European flavor of culture in the city gives a feel of secularism, leading many to be unconcerned about God's existence or…
April 14, 2021
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A Piece of Heaven in Brazil

Ninety-minutes from the main Day Center in Itu, São Paulo is Camp California (managed by Restoration Ministries). It is a gorgeous piece of property with lush green ground cover, beautiful flowers, and some fruit trees. It is often described by the children who come as a “piece of heaven.” Restoration Ministries uses the camp all year round for children, youth, and adults who come from the slums. This January, Brazil experienced a significant increase in extreme poverty."Today, the country has more people in poverty than before the pandemic and the beginning of the last decade, in 2011," wrote a reporter…
April 12, 2021
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The Courage of a South Sudanese Refugee

And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” - Romans 10:15 Dominic Living Wawa, a Fall 2019 graduate from the Western Uganda Baptist Theological College (WUBTC), works with others to spark a discipleship movement in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in Uganda. Dominic is a South Sudanese refugee waiting out civil war to return home to share the Gospel with his people. He shares his story with us. "I was born in a village called Lapajo, Morobo Country, Central Equatoria State, South Sudan. My mother…
April 9, 2021
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Online Prayer Event: April 17

You are invited to an online Zoom prayer event on how to deepen your prayer life for heart transformations. Peter Persson, Director of Global Prayer Initiatives, leads this online Zoom event on Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 4 to 5 p.m. MST AZ. This event is limited to the first 50 people who sign up here. Apprentices of Jesus Christ have the desire to grow in their prayer lives. We want God’s “will to be done on earth as it is done in heaven” and we intuitively know that prayer is the key for that to happen. But are our prayers for God’s…
April 3, 2021
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Have You Read Psalm 22 This Easter?

By Ginny Jensen We are familiar with the Easter story; maybe too familiar. During Lent this year, I chose to read John Stevenson’s “Christ on the Cross”. The book is written in old language making it harder to read, but also making the imagery more real. Stevenson walks through Psalm 22 verse-by-verse providing a vivid portrayal of the realities of the cross. Those that were present that day had experienced His love during His earthly ministry. They were among the crowds that mocked, ridiculed, and taunted Him. They did not believe even as they saw Scripture being fulfilled regarding the…
March 28, 2021
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How to Create a Personal Retreat

By Ginny Jensen (printable instructions available at the end) The following is a guide to creating a personal retreat. Specific times have not been given to accommodate your length of retreat time. However, it would be helpful to allow at least a half a day for your retreat. Prepare yourself for a time of just you and the Lord. Make your surroundings comfortable, quiet, and without interruption.  Plan for the time to be lived in solitude and silence. “Go away and trust God with what happens in your soul.” (Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, pg 79, IVP, 2015)…
March 24, 2021
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We Meet Under a Tree

By Tatiane Barros Mozambique, Africa Our group meets under a tree. The tree stands within a goat and chicken farm, started as a business for missions venture by our colleagues. Our group meets under the tree every Saturday morning for Bible Study. When our colleagues first began the group, they started studying Genesis. That first year that our family arrived in Mozambique, our small group experienced a witch doctor's conversion. After his funeral, our group became known as "Family" to the community. When we began studying the teachings on helping widows, we met Pipi. "Pipi" means grandmother in the Makhua language. Pipi…
March 18, 2021
FeaturesThe Church on Mission

Virtual Prayer for The Technologically Challenged

“hurchgoers, even those who have stopped regularly attending worship services during the pandemic, want support from a church community. Practicing Christians across the U.S. are seeking “prayer and emotional support”… – Barna, July 2020 Face-to-face prayer, phone call prayer, and virtual prayer share the same ingredients—consistency, compassion, and patience. The difference between them are the tools we use to convey the “prayer and emotional support” that practicing Christians are seeking today. In fact, on a spectrum of interaction where face-to-face prayer is most personal, virtual prayer is a step above a phone call because we can see each other on…
March 11, 2021
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Pancakes and Discipleship: Bolivia

Video Length: 2 minutes Learn about the Atkins: Click here. Learn about the Transition Home: Click here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNwhpbtyLzo Buttermilk pancakes This recipe made for high elevation. Bolivia is at 8500 ft. The recipe in the video is made for sea level. Recipe adapted for 8500 ft. above sea level. For sea level, increase baking powder and baking soda to one teaspoon each.  Ingredients 2 cups (241g) flour 3 tablespoons (35g) sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda  1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 2 cups (454g) buttermilk 4 tablespoons (28g) melted butter or 2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil…
March 9, 2021
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The Phone Call

By Esther Penney Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. - Matthew 16:24 God draws people to himself in some wild ways. One morning in 2017, a woman named *Aja left several unclear messages on the answering machine saying she was trying to find us. Not convinced that she was calling the right number, I called her back. *Aja was looking for our organization in Senegal. Suspicious, I wanted to know why she was looking for us and wondered if she had the right…
March 5, 2021
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Virtual Prayer Walk – Ghana, Africa

While this went live via Facebook on Saturday, February 27, 2021, you can still ask questions. Go to this link on Youtube to leave a comment or on Facebook. If you are a church wishing to share this with your congregation, you can download the video from here. Learn more about The Waltons here.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xhiyAipe_A Header Image by Kojo Blebu from Pixabay 
March 2, 2021
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How to Create Authentically Christian Schools

By Katrina Custer A general consensus exists that education is a significant linchpin in the effort to influence the next generation of leaders, whether for good or bad. Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It feels bold to call any school a “weapon,” even more so when it comes to Christian schools, but I don’t think President Mandela is wrong in his assertion that education is a battle against ignorance and even poverty. Study after study shows a correlation between the average years of schooling and a nation’s…
February 24, 2021
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Tunnel Vision

By Ginny Jensen All year we have been making adjustments because of the pandemic. I have often heard the frustration of making these adjustments. Some changes involved technology, travel plans, and even ministry focus. It reminds me of a time in my life where I had tunnel vision. I was happily doing what I thought the Lord intended for me. In reality, I was comfortable where I was and had forgotten to ask and listen to Him. I had tunnel vision. Even when it seemed my world came crashing around me, I still struggled to get out of the tunnel. It…
February 12, 2021
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Grasshoppers Versus Giants

By Debbie Dodd  Where do you look when you are afraid? When you’re scared, what are you focused on? I just finished teaching Deuteronomy to seminary students. One of my favorite passages in the book is where Moses challenges the Israelites with this same question. In chapter 1, Moses is rehearsing God’s history of grace with his people as a basis of encouraging them to obey him in the future faithfully. He reminds them of why they are at the Canaan border a second time, instead of already settled in the land. Thirty-eight years earlier, their parents had stood on the edge of…
February 11, 2021
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How to Rejoice in Challenging Circumstances

by David Caucutt Ecuador, Americas During 2020, our theme was thankfulness. As we enter into 2021, our focus will be on joy in Christ. This theme has been challenging for me. I'm not going to pretend that I have all the answers and am always rejoicing. It is hard to imagine that joy is possible when you are throwing up, when God feels far away, or when people you love are hurting, and you can't be there. But Philippians 4:4 commands us to "rejoice in the Lord always." So, somehow, it is always possible for a Christian to have joy. But, what kind of joy am I…
February 8, 2021
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Bringing Light to Myanmar

The recent military coup in Myanmar, following their November elections and a failed challenge of election fraud by the military in that country's Supreme Court, echoes a violent coup in that nation in 1988. "Until two years ago, Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the longest-running military dictatorship in the world," NPR reported. "A disagreement in a tea shop between university students and people linked to the government eventually grew into a student-led movement calling for democracy in the summer of 1988." The protests led to martial law and banned public demonstrations. Violence followed with about 3,000 people shot, 3,000 Burmese sent…
February 5, 2021
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A Reminder From Jeremiah

by 4000-780 LAMENTATIONS 3:19-26 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly…
January 29, 2021
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New Program Offered: Karen Shogren

By Karen Shogren Next week, we are beginning an entirely new program called Certificate with an Emphasis in the Prevention and Intervention of Sexual Violence.  We are offering the training that Christian leaders need: What to say What to do, And how to do it in your church context. Our Bible-centered, Spanish-language program consists of 9 courses, beginning February 6 and ending Dec 4.  There are no pre-requisites to enroll in this program Each course is 4 weeks long, meeting once a week on Saturday mornings from 8-11am Costa Rica time. You can expect about 6 hours of homework each…
January 27, 2021
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How to Make Taco Soup

Mandy and Jason Post from Ireland share stories of student ministry in this 3 minute video. Recipe below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxMUtxMk5bA Taco Soup Ingredients:  2 tbsp. olive oil one large onion chopped 2-3 cloves garlic minced 2-3 sliced or chopped chilies 2 pounds ground beef 2 cans of corn (or 2 cups frozen corn) 2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans) 2 cans stewed or chopped tomatoes 1 16 oz can tomato sauce 2 packages taco seasoning (or add your own seasonings to taste: salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika) corn tortilla chips sliced or cubed avocado,…
January 26, 2021
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The 4 Phases of Mentoring

The 4 Phases of Mentoring was a Facebook Live for #NationalMentoringMonth on January 14, 2021. Featured are Gerry Schroeder from RussiaWorship.org, Andre, and Larry. It's worth setting aside 24 minutes to listen to the stories as Gerry shares about the phases of mentoring. Please do share your thoughts and this blog on your social media. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw8NuAQfe_o  
January 16, 2021
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From Bad to Great

By Bruce Tissell The more I tried to get things done, the less I could do with offices, schools, and government services greatly restricted. To top things off, I was trying to put together a list of teachers for the next semester's classes. On the one hand, things were going well as a couple of teachers had just returned from teaching at one of the extension courses and had done a fantastic job. Students were taught, teachers could get through the required material, and everyone seemed happy and excited about what had happened. On the other hand, I received a…
December 30, 2020
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Christmas and The Government

A Delicate Balancing Act by Dr. Rick Griffith Who best submits to authority? With rare exceptions, those who most willingly submit to authority are committed Christians. After all, once we submit to Jesus, submission to others has fewer challenges. Go to just about any modern society, and typically you will find that faithful believers are those who cause the least trouble for their political leaders. But this submission has its limits. God himself instituted government (Rom 13:1-5), but believers must choose between two conflicting authorities when the government goes too far. The Jewish Sanhedrin committed such an overreach, commanding the…
December 28, 2020
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Spiritual Formation: Begin 2021 Right!

By Peter Persson In WorldVenture's Facebook group, we have been working our way through the Bible this year. What a journey it has been! To climb into a plane and fly over the landscape of the Bible has been very eye-opening for us as we have observed how God, with great skill and grace, has worked through frail man to accomplish His will on earth. Spending time daily in God's Word is a spiritual discipline that yields fruit for a lifetime! But, what might be another spiritual discipline to practice in 2021, quite possibly for the first time? Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV) says, "Blessed is…
December 27, 2020
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The Shepherd

by G. Simon (Luke 2:6-20)         Thoughts? Copy the link and share that with your comments to social media. Don’t forget to tag us @WorldVenture. We like to share your comments if we know about it. You can use the hashtag #WVSimpleChristmas. Do you have questions about Jesus? Click here and message us. Do you need prayer? Click here to add a prayer or to pray for others. We are exploring a #WVSimpleChristmas together. You can download resources and the devotional here.  A note on the author: This person works with refugees in Europe.   
December 24, 2020
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How to Do Egg Art

By Jennifer Luebben Egg art has been a passion of mine for roughly a decade. It is so symbolic. From Christ coming down from heaven to Earth to the empty tomb, the egg is a beautiful tool and story teller. One of my favorite traditions about this art is the incorporation of prayer. Traditionally, the artist will pray for the entire time they are decorating the egg. In this case, over ten hours were spent in prayer for WorldVenture missionaries and partners, and the church. The story is told in the egg. This is how we prayed. Starting from the…
December 22, 2020
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Orientation

By Beth Horn I am not much of a collector, but nativity sets are one item I like to collect. I like sets with multiple pieces because it is fun to arrange and rearrange all the characters and pieces. I learned from being in plays in high school that the placement of characters on a stage communicates much about their importance. To place Jesus in the center of the action whether in the foreground or background, to place the others in positions of worship, to include animals in the stable or place them outside. They all prepare for the coming…
December 18, 2020
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How a Dictionary is Helping People in India

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12 ESV Themshang Horam is a graduate of Singapore Bible College. He served at Crossroads International Church in Singapore, where Dr. Rick Griffith pastors. After graduation, Themshang returned to Manipur, India, and became the Education Secretary to the entire Tangkhul Baptist Churches Association (TBCA) in Manipur State. The Tangkhuls have had the Gospel for 100 years, but theological education has been slow…
December 17, 2020
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Expecting Emmanuel

By Beth Horn In Call the Midwife’s 2012 Christmas special, Sister Evangelina and Nurse Lee assist an older woman, Mrs. Jenkins, living in dire poverty. She is alone, living in an abandoned building, and the filth is almost tangible through the screen. While Sister Evangelina burns the outer garments to curb infestation, Nurse Lee must use Vaseline to remove Mrs. Jenkins' shoes because they are stuck to her skin. Once the shoes are off, we briefly see open sores, toenails so long they are curling, and infection that has caused the big toe to swell twice its size and change…
December 16, 2020
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Grieving Parents Find Faith and Purpose

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” – Psalm 54:4 Esther first met Brenda Allen in Guinea, West Africa while attending the local University and became her yard mate. Brenda and a local pastor’s wife discipled Esther. Esther would teach children in the local language at Sunday School as well as lead Bible clubs after school. During that time, Esther became engaged to Philip. Philip was an intern at a local campus ministry. His dream was to become a pastor. Brenda’s local church sent him to a seminary in another part of the country.…
December 11, 2020
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The Date of Christmas

By Dr. Rick Griffith  Did Baby Jesus arrive on December 25? Would shepherds watch sheep in open fields in a cold, late December? And would magi travel in the dead of winter? Old Testament precedent may help here. God could have brought Israel out of Egypt anytime, but he chose the month of Nisan (March-April) for the Exodus. Leviticus 23 shows that Passover has the Feast of Unleavened Bread on its heels, quickly followed by Firstfruits. But why? This season of Israel’s first three feasts begins the grain harvest, ending 40 days later with Pentecost. The nation observed the Feast…
December 10, 2020
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Christmas For The Unexpected

By Dr. Rick Griffith Were the magi from Mesopotamia (Assyria, Babylonia, or Persia)?  After all, they came "from the east" (Matt 2:1), and these nations lay northeast of Israel.  Babylonians were also stargazers, and magi "saw his star in the east" (Matt 2:2 NIV). But how about Arab magi from the Arabian Peninsula southeast of Israel? Biblically speaking, "east" was not faraway Mesopotamia but closer to Israel.  Job lived in Uz as "the greatest of the people of the east" (Job 1:3).  Uz lay either northeast near Syria or southeast with Edomites near Arabia. Descendants of Ishmael's son Kedar (Gen.…
December 7, 2020
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God of Shepherds

By Sam Knutson It’s a special honor to visit a newborn baby and its parents, even more so to be the first ones to see the swaddled little bundle of joy. It speaks volumes of your relationship when the parents invite you to see a child. So, what does it say about the first people to see baby Jesus? It wasn’t kings or Wise Men at first. No, the Father gave the greatest birth announcement of all time to shepherds. So, the first visitors to behold God made flesh had just rushed over after being out in the fields with…
December 4, 2020
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For His Joy

Pulling Together as a Family in Christ By Donna McDonnel One of the things that have been hardest about this year, if I'm honest, is the way that I have seen the people around me divide. Maybe that doesn't sound right in English, but what I mean is, it has felt like this has been a time of dividing, division.  Are you in this group?  Are you in that one?  Do you believe this?  How can you believe that? It doesn't even seem to matter where I am physically located. Everywhere I turn, division.  Family members trying to be careful…
December 1, 2020
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Noel in Cote d’Ivoire

By Angelika Ragsdale (A journal entry written some years ago which has relevance now)  At the bus station in Adjamé, Abidjan, waiting for the next bus back to Bouaké after depositing my documents to get my Ivorian residence card, I open my Bible to Luke 2. As I read about Joseph leaving Nazareth to go to Bethlehem (his birth town) to get registered, because the Roman government at the time issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world, it dawns on me, that it wasn’t just the people of Israel being on the move…
November 27, 2020
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Jonah: The Heart of God For the Nations

By Brody Philips  And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?" — The LORD (Jonah 4:11) Such a provocative question with such profound implications. By now, almost all of us have heard the story of Jonah: a reluctant prophet sent by God to preach a message to Nineveh, the capital city of the Assyrian empire — the same Assyria that would soon take the nation of Israel into captivity. Jonah refused to go to Nineveh, and in…
November 18, 2020
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Our Heart in Response to God’s Call

By Evans Walton Our hearts need to be fertile when we respond to God’s calling. A heart that is fertile is willing to submit to the direction of God, recognize the grace of God, and be willing to share God's grace with others. The book of Jonah primarily focuses on a gentile city called Nineveh which was infamous for its cruelty. The prophet missionary was sent to warn the people of Nineveh about God’s coming judgement. MacArthur writes, one of the book’s intents was to, “shame Israel by the fact that a pagan city repented at the preaching of a…
November 3, 2020
FeaturesThe Church on Mission

How to Form a Digital Team

The Church on Mission is a series of blogs and videos to help your ministry or church thrive in the digital age and make disciples locally and internationally. This is the first video of the series in three parts. Introduction (1 minute) The Template (3 minutes) Review & Strategy (3 minutes) Resources: PowerPoints: Sample Report Form: You can view how to use this report by clicking here to go to nikolehahn.com. List of Digital Resources: Indigitous: Engaging and Unleashing Believers into Digital Missions. Good source to learn about digital missions. Church Communications: Church conferences and blog posts on how to…
November 2, 2020
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God’s Unusual Intervention in The Book of Jonah

By Philip Kendall  Throughout the book of Jonah, God demonstrates again and again that his way of working in the world can be, and often is, fundamentally different than we’d either like or even expect. “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD” (New International Version, Isaiah 55:8). God does not restrict himself to reaching out to those we reach out to, blessing us in ways we see as blessings, or even giving us objectives that we would like to achieve. Instead, He does what He knows is best. God reaches out to…
October 25, 2020
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What to Do When the Post Office Fails

Stories from the field and practical advice on supporting your missionaries with prayer and mail By Nikole Hahn Our small group decided to partner with the missionaries our church supported through writing letters and prayer. Working at a church, and with some of these missionaries from the different organizations, gave me insight into the practicality of letter writing. While the commercial open rate for an emailed newsletter can range from 20% to 30% on average, regular mail is making a comeback. In the past, we went to email because our mail boxes were full of junk. Like a pendulum swinging…
October 23, 2020
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What Mask Are You Wearing?

By Ginny Jensen Ginny serves WorldVenture appointees and international workers by encouraging and equipping them to fulfill God’s global redemptive purposes and by assisting each person to finish well with Him. Masks have become a fashion statement and a point of conflict. In the past, masks were commonplace in other parts of the world. In the United States, we associated them with burglars, Mardi-Gras, or Halloween. By definition, masks protect, disguise, or entertain.  A masque is a form of entertainment where the performers wear masks. Often, life is a masque. We mask our true feelings or present a façade that…
October 9, 2020
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A New Pane of Glass, A Pair of Shoes, and Jesus

By Nicolette Hutcherson Beirut, Lebanon He was sitting outside the church gate with his shoeshine kit, watching the people coming and going.  One of our volunteers noticed him and called me over to help.  I invited him in and asked if there was anything specific he needed. "Shoes," he shyly replied, "size 38."  I took him over to our section of men's shoes - we didn't have a lot - and showed him a few pairs of tennis shoes in his size.  He hesitated and then pointed to a pair of fake leather business man looking shoes - not something…
October 7, 2020
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The Return Key

By Dr. Rick Griffith After we checked out of our Bangkok hotel, a family checked in at the same counter. Turns out, they were missionaries, and the wife was a counselor in nearby Chiang Mai. When I noted that I am a professor at Singapore Bible College, she replied, "Oh, our only Thai counselor was hoping to attend SBC in a few months, but she can't afford it since her husband is also a seminary student and they have a young daughter." "Really?" I responded. "Our church in Texas has funds to invest in Asian families attending SBC!" Fast forward…
October 5, 2020
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Reset: We Just Started The New Testament

Reset: (verb) to set again or anew. Fall is often the symbol of change. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 Reset is a mindset we should embrace these days. Perhaps we could start that through a new spiritual habit of reading the Bible each day?  Peter Persson, Director of Global Prayer Initiatives, started a Reading the Bible in a Year plan in January through our Facebook group. He recently began the New Testament. It's not too late to dig into the New Testament…
October 3, 2020
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How Social Media Can Help You Live Deeply

By Nikole Hahn The mocking voices of social media drive that anger and grief more deeply into a person’s heart with each refresh of the newsfeed. Even what we post online is what we saturate our hearts with, and so, if what we post is angry, grieving, or mocking, we hear that voice, too, deeply in our souls. If social media can infect us this way, what would happen if we altered how we posted? Would that change how we lived each day? In thinking of this, the word repent comes to mind. The word repent means, “to change one’s…
October 1, 2020
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A Reset in Chaotic Days

By Jeff Denlinger, President of WorldVenture Many years ago, in other tumultuous, chaotic, and dark days, the prophet Habakkuk bemoaned these words to God: “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.” (Hab 1:2-4 ESV) In reply to…
September 28, 2020
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Imprisoned Like Paul

…But the word of God is not bound! - 2 Timothy 2:9b Marilyn Escher is a "retired" WorldVenture worker, still on the job as a Global Resource Specialist, working to finish up the translation of the Bible into Wolof. Wolof is spoken by 5 million ethnic Wolofs in Senegal. Because of her age (77), mission leadership recommended she evacuate from the field temporarily. She had 24 hours notice before the borders closed. Twelve hours to pack during the night hours and four days to get from Senegal to COVID-free Fort Bragg, California where her brother is pastor of Grace Community…
September 25, 2020
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Alexandra: A Story of Recovery and Redemption

By Ireni Mota And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 Alexandra was born in an upscale neighborhood of São Paulo. Her problems were no different than our own. Alexandra had good parents. As an adolescence, she desired to know the favela side of the city (a shack or shanty town) and the slum lifestyle. This interest occurred soon after her father’s death. Alexandra became “Piriri”, a respected drug dealer in the community. Rarely ever do drug dealers not get involved with their…
September 23, 2020
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An Unexpected Blessing

Bruce Tissell’s story of innovation during Brazil’s COVID-19 shut down is an inspiration for all of us as we find creative ways to stay in business, do ministry, and make disciples in this unexpected time. Bruce is the Director at Baptist Seminary in Teresina, Brazil. North Brazil was hearing about and watching this new thing called the Corona Virus or Covid-19 in early 2020.  No one really paid much attention to it as it was something in other parts of the world, or in the Southern part of Brazil (this is like another world to us in North Brazil). In…
September 12, 2020
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In The Garden

By Ginny Jensen One of my dad’s favorite hymns was “In the Garden” by C. Austin Miles. As a youngster, I didn’t fully understand the imagery of the song but I loved it because he loved it. Now I look at those words and I see the image of quiet time with the Lord. The beauty of the chorus brings peace as I meditate on it. “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.” Quiet time,…
September 3, 2020
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The Blessing

Written by a Colleague  We have been so moved by this blessing being sung by God's people in different languages from different countries. We think you will be blessed, too. Choose a video from this sampling taken from 100 virtual choirs singing blessing over their city, country and the whole world in this time of global uncertainty. It is more than just singing a song—it is matching good news with good deeds: 100 churches in NYC sing and serve together 121 churches in Canada work and pray together 100 churches in France unite and help each other 177 churches in Singapore with 772 singers 300…
August 14, 2020
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Being Formed

By Ginny Jensen Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. – Philippians 1:18b-19 Early in my faith journey, I clearly understood the choice between following the world and following Christ. What I had difficulty reconciling was how I would be transformed to be like Him. I struggled with verses like Philippians 1 and 2 which seemed so contradictory. In chapter one, Paul petitions God to complete the work… in the lives of his…
August 13, 2020
FeaturesThe Church on Mission

5 Ways to Share Your Faith Online

By Nikole Hahn Paul spent his time in prison writing letters. Even when Paul himself couldn’t minister in person, God used his words to traverse obstacles, distance, and time. Paul’s words continue to make an impact, in large part because they were fixed in time to a timeless medium. Luke’s “Acts of the Apostles” is similar. According to the introduction in Bible Study Tools of the Book of Acts, it was written “To depict the triumph of Christianity in the face of bitter persecution.” Fixed in time, but timeless! Written in one place, but unconfined by time and space. Many…
August 10, 2020
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How the Pals Inspired Others to Go

By Dougg Custer, VP Mobilization Ministries “I do not know how things will turn out for us.  As a husband, I feel obligated to lead our family toward obedience, whatever the end may be–whether it is life or death or discomfort or disappointment.  It is clear that the Lord Jesus calls us not to an easy life, however he calls us.  He bids us to take up our cross–just as he did–to suffer and die.  Perhaps we will toil for years to raise support and never make it overseas.  Perhaps we will go and utterly ‘fail’ as missionaries from all…
July 31, 2020
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Resting Murder Face: Principles of Necessary Conflict

A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution By Rodger Schmidt Change is hard work. It is uncomfortable and many leaders tend to hang on to what worked in the past even if it is outdated or no longer effective. For businesses to grow, the entire organization must be consistently analyzed, discussed, negotiated, and fine-tuned. Conflict is the backdoor to reinvention and innovation.  “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and…
July 17, 2020
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Resting Murder Face: Why is Conflict Necessary?

A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution By Rodger Schmidt  Many leaders avoid conflict at all costs. However, the most innovative solutions often are born out of conflict. The workplace is a dynamic environment, always needing to grow, change, find solutions, transition, and upgrade. Conflict is a regular element of everyday work life. If leaders manage conflict well, it will produce growth and leadership capacity in themselves and others (and the more enjoyable will be the experience of others in the workplace).   Why is Conflict Necessary?  Conflict encourages the leader to consider new ideas. If the participants truly hear one another’s perspectives and ideas, it helps to mold and clarify concepts; either making the leader clearer…
July 16, 2020
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Resting Murder Face: Conflict is Inevitable

A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution By Rodger Schmidt When two or more people interact for a long enough period, conflict happens. It is inevitable. Dr. Silcox claims unresolved conflict preys on peoples’ minds and distracts them from their most important tasks. Individuals in ongoing conflict rarely contribute well to the organization’s mission and strategy. Therefore, Individuals may simply be going through the motions, or undermining the organization in some way. The following questions and related principles are helpful to consider while managing the inevitable reality of conflict: Are there perceived inequities in how people are treated? Inequities…
July 15, 2020
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Resting Murder Face: Introduction

A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution By Rodger Schmidt  If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. - Matthew 18:15 Managing conflict is not only inevitable but a necessary process if leaders hope to foster community, mature themselves, and lead others well. It is essential if we are to achieve all the Father has prepared for us in the mission of God around the world. I have invested years navigating conflict rooted in personality differences—Family of origin blind…
July 14, 2020
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Coping with the Coronavirus Pandemic in Italy

How a Coronavirus Canceled Plans For Two Colleagues by Emily Roth  After 42 years of ministry in Italy, Doug and Dee Valenzuela were preparing for their biggest project yet to take place on the last weekend of May. It would have been a three-day event drawing thousands of people to hear the gospel and receive salvation in Jesus Christ. The event, called Christian Alive 2020, could have been the capstone of their work in the city of Naples and its surrounding area before they would retire at the end of the year. But, the event was canceled. Instead, they celebrated…
June 8, 2020
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Life With Charlie

By Ginny Jensen Charlie is my little lap dog. He is now old and losing his sight. He is still the most loyal, cuddly pet I have ever had. Through the years, there have been many challenges with him. He was a rescue and came with many issues. In watching Charlie, I have seen parallels to my relationship with God. After doing something wrong, Charlie comes sheepishly to me for forgiveness only to turn around and do it again. Sounds like me. How about you? When Charlie escapes the yard and runs free, it is beautiful to watch him. Yet,…
June 6, 2020
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Building a Church Legacy in Senegal

Senegal Broke Ground This Weekend on a New Church By Colleagues in Africa On Saturday, May 30, 2020, we broke ground for a permanent place of worship. The story behind the ceremony for a new church building began years ago.  After decades of missionary work, there are only about 100 Wolof believers. Out of those 100 believers, less than a third attend church on a regular basis. This breaks our hearts. When we spoke to some of them, they shared several reasons for not attending. “It doesn’t feel sacred.” They desire a formal place of worship. “It doesn’t feel Senegalese.”…
June 1, 2020
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How COVID19 Changed Language Learning For Me

  By Sam Knutson During this coronavirus lockdown, God has shifted our plans and I am beginning language learning from the States instead of in person.  I was very nervous about my first lesson in Spanish because, even though I have been trying my best to learn on my own, I am still such a novice!  At the end of my lesson, we could only shake our heads and laugh at God's humor.  My online language lesson went from shaky introductions to sharing the Gospel in my bumbling Spanish. My tutor, Nico (a pseudonym) lives in Guayaquil, the city we…
May 26, 2020
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Sheltered Under His Wings

  By Ginny Jensen We have been sheltered in place for weeks; for some, it's been months. Slowly the world is beginning to “re-open”. If your isolation is a physical location, you may be seeing the light at the far end of the tunnel. If you are like Hannah in social isolation, you don’t know when it will end. Staying in isolation has its stressors. Stepping out of it will bring new stressors. Is it safe? What if there is a second wave? What effect will social distancing have on relationships? The questions, fears, and anxiety are as unique as…
May 21, 2020
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Seeking Peace During a Pandemic

  By Emily Roth The last 10 days of Ramadan began on Tuesday, May 12. More than at any other time of year, Muslims seek God during these 10 days and nights. Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, and the final 10 days of the month are the holiest days of this month. A saying attributed to Muhammad instructs Muslims, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” Laylat al-Qadr, also translated as the Night of Destiny or the Night of Power, is honored by Muslims as the…
May 16, 2020
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A Snapshot Into Cambodian Orphanages

If orphanages are where the resources are, won't they provide the best nutrition, health care, and education? By Lisa Yunker My degree program in seminary required me to do an internship and, by that time, I sensed the Lord was calling me to work in Cambodia. I joined a team for a seven-week mission trip to Cambodia. During that time we were exposed to, and given the opportunity to work with, a broad spectrum of ministries. One of the ministries we encountered was a large well-respected orphanage. The woman who was in charge was a lovely Christian lady with many…
May 15, 2020
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For the First Time in 1400 Years

By Emily Roth It is a special time of year for 1.8 billion people around the world. Something in the atmosphere makes this season different from any other. Those who celebrate it hang festive lights and exchange gifts. They host big dinners, serving seasonal dishes, and inviting honored guests. People give generously to the poor and needy. Everyone strives to be the best version of themselves. They reflect on the past year and feel hopeful for the year to come. And children watch out the windows with anticipation to see if they can spot...the moon. It is Ramadan. Based on…
May 6, 2020
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The Courage and Sacrifice of an Indonesian Church

How a Jakarta Church is Living 360 Discipleship By Bruce Swanson Eric and Tina Yee’s church members are creating exciting impacts in all of their circles – personal, professional, and community. Eric has been discipling the church to obey all Jesus commanded, including living as salt and light. It is so cool to see them doing that with courage and sacrifice. From the Eric & Tina Yee’s Update | 04/22/2020 When COVID-19 began to enter Indonesia last month, everyone was unprepared for how quickly it escalated from precautions to closures to deaths. While it has been a difficult season, including the…
May 2, 2020
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How Many Hot Dogs Does It Take to Unlock a Heart?

When God Locks Us in to Unlock Hearts in Ecuador By Matt and Kristy Messick We work with marriages.  And, in this culture, they are tough. Since 2016, we’ve been reaching marriages through an 8-week course called MAS en Mi Matrimonio (More in My Marriage).  It originally attracted mostly believers. In the last year, it has had a strong draw for non-believers. Graduates began to recommend the course around the city. We love building relationships here. When we first moved to Ecuador in 2014, Matt found a small store downtown that sold hotdogs--a cheap and fast snack he could grab…
May 1, 2020
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2 Ways to Create Solitude and Silence

  By Ginny Jensen “How to Actually Concentrate” by Carolyn Yates addresses concentration in our everyday life. It also has a great application to how we approach our relationship with the Lord. Time with the Lord requires more than going through the motions. We often struggle to concentrate on the mundane things of life. So, how do we focus on the Lord? Yates provides several tools in her article to help build concentration or focus. She points out that we are so used to multi-tasking that we struggle to focus on one thing. In our time with the Lord, do…
April 29, 2020
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3 Principles For Times of Anxiety

  By Ming Perrello, MS, LPC I confess that I have been anxious. My sleep has often been fitful. My body is tense and I feel restless. I am easily irritated. I feel busy yet I am busier in my mind than with my hands. Who can blame me?  I live near the epicenter of the COVID-19 hotspot of New York City. The climate here is tense; just about everyone knows someone who has the virus. I am a caregiver to my husband who has multiple sclerosis, a memory-impaired 88-year-old father, and a brother who is a paraplegic.  I am…
April 28, 2020
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Meme, Myself and Isolation

Health for the Whole Person by Christy Otten, MA, LCPC The internet has been awash with memes about the coronavirus. You may have seen the one(s) about Isaac Newton: He discovered theories of gravity and motion during a plague—the message clearly being that you can do a lot while staying inside. Then, there are the ones especially for parents—one tells us that while you, as the parent, know this is a crisis, your children may only remember scavenger hunts, family game nights, and the immense amount of together time. Imagine the family memories you can create! If I’m being honest,…
April 24, 2020
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Shelter in Place: Hannah

  By Ginny Jensen Sometimes, when we feel like we are captive, it has nothing to do with our location. Loss, physical limitations, or broken relationships (to name a few) can hold us captive. Consider Hannah. She was barren in a society that gave honor to childbearing. She was provoked by her rival. Her husband deeply loved her, but her deep desire for a child left her anxious, grieved, and frustrated. In the midst of her grief, she poured out her heart in the temple and was seen by the high priest, Eli. Hannah told Eli the priest about her…
April 20, 2020
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Shelter in Place: Jesus

  By Ginny Jensen Shelter in Place usually means home. When Jesus left heaven, it was like leaving his home. He was perfect yet living in a broken world. Jesus remained close to the Father while on earth. He made choices based on the word of the Father. He was abiding. Jesus’ time alone prior to Satan’s tempting him gives insight into his practices to maintain intimacy with the Father. It included fasting and solitude. He was able to refute Satan, showing his familiarity with Scripture. Imagine those days alone in prayer and meditation; silently listening to the Father. Solitude…
April 19, 2020
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The Inner Life, World, and Vision of Healthy Cross-Cultural Servants

  By Dr. Dennis Ahern, Director, Paraclete Services  “You really like your work,” observed an eager short-term missionary after a few days of serving alongside me in Asia. In that moment, her question perplexed me and so I replied, “If I didn’t like my work, I’d change jobs. What led you to this observation?” She responded, “Our team travels on short-term assignments and we serve many career missionaries living in Asia. I’ve decided that many missionaries hate their work.” How accurate is this young woman’s observation today? Is ministry to be enjoyed or do we discover God’s will only after…
April 17, 2020
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Shelter in Place: Joseph

  By Ginny Jensen  Shelter in Place can mean very different things for people. Some live in mansions, small homes, or on the street. Joseph had several places during his lifetime. He lived in his family home until his brothers threw him into a pit. From there, he traveled with traders and was sold as a slave. The extremes of his lodging went from prison to the king’s palace. Imagine how disruptive life would have been for Joseph. Consider the unmet dreams for his life. We may wonder, during those years of captivity, if he thought about the unfulfilled dreams…
April 16, 2020
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Shelter in Place: Daniel

  By Ginny Jensen  Most people these days can be grateful for being at home. For some, they may be “stuck” someplace else. They, like Daniel in the Old Testament, have an added amount of discomfort. Daniel was in exile, taken to Babylon. Nothing was normal for Daniel and his fellow exiles. Daniel remained faithful to his prayer time. He continued even after the king’s decree. Prayer is never more crucial than at times like these. We serve a God who hears; he knows, and he is in control. The Psalms offer examples of prayers of lament. Honestly tell the…
April 13, 2020
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Shelter in Place

  By Ginny Jensen  Shelter in place, quarantine, and stay at home are words heard repeatedly these days. For many, it feels like a prison sentence; others feel imposed upon and inconvenienced. As believers, these times can draw us closer to the Lord or disrupt all spiritual practices leaving us drifting away. This feeling of being in captivity and isolation are not new. Over the centuries, others have experienced the same feeling during plagues, slavery, imprisonment, or exile. Bible stories we know and love give us examples of thriving in such difficult situations. Some early church fathers even chose a…
April 9, 2020
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When the Occasion of Disruption Becomes an Opportunity for Distribution!

  WorldVenture sees how the gospel can be a catalyst for justice in the world.  Karen Shogren, Professor at Seminario ESEPA, Costa Rica began teaching a new program to train church leaders to combat the scourge of sexual abuse.  She has been developing this critically needed training for some time and was excited to release it this year.  The course began as an in-person pilot program; plans to take the program online for wider distribution would have to wait for another 1-2 years. But the disruption of the coronavirus quarantine nearly stopped the program entirely.  Professor Shogren shared that “exactly…
April 7, 2020
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13 Ways to Effectively Work From Home

Serving While Sheltering by Dennis Ahern Yesterday was a strange day in the midst of our new normal. After checking in with the IM team at 7:30 a.m. (California time), my wife, Denise and I went to buy groceries. We experienced the push of the cart during the early morning “senior” shopping hours. Truthfully, my wife does not accept invitations from anyone or anywhere that begin with, “Dear Senior Citizen.” But, she accepted my invitation because I invited her to join me as my guest. Does it seem strange to others besides me that before entering a supermarket, we put…
April 5, 2020
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Staying Home, But Not Alone

  By Grace Sandeno, Director of Public Health Initiatives Battle back against isolation and stress! Here are some practical suggestions for making our current isolation less isolating: Whether you are alone or “isolated” in a house of seven, as I am, reach out to people not in your house. Other people need a hug, even if it is a virtual one. Learn some new “tricks.” I admit to being an “old-timer” when it comes to technology. But, as it turns out, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I’ve messed up technology stuff a number of times, but I…
April 4, 2020
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How to Worship Together in Quarantine

  https://youtu.be/74HtYmAzSyw In the past, Zachary Galyen enjoyed multiple opportunities during the week to worship in community. Since moving to the Czech Republic last May, he "...could count on one hand..." the opportunities to worship. "I just missed it." He said. "What pushed me over the edge is seeing all the people coming out of the woodwork, sharing their corporate or personal time of worship because of the restrictions to meet publicly, etc. I thought it was so cool that people were posting encouraging songs of worship FOR each other, but it would be so much cooler if we could…
April 3, 2020
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This Way We Have Never Been Before

By LeAnn Custer Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.  Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” – Joshua 3:1-8 I thought how applicable the verses are to our present Corona Virus pandemic situation since none…
March 30, 2020
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Accepting Reality, Accepting Grace

By A.D. Brown In the span of just a few weeks, I’ve observed how all of my friends back in America suddenly find themselves homeschooling and working remotely. Routines have been disrupted, plans have been dramatically changed, and we all wonder what the new normal is going to look like. This is certainly an unprecedented world situation. It also reminds me of normal life as an international colleague. Certainly, there are the obvious parallels: We have been homeschooling for years. I’ve been working remotely basically since 2013, and our routines are, well, routinely disrupted. In 2018, we also experienced a…
March 24, 2020
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How Internships & Short-Term Mission Trips Are Meaningful

As we began our descent into Tegucigalpa, Honduras, we passed over the roofs of shanties, saw the laundry hanging on the lines, and the streets that the missionary from One Collective described as like a plate of spaghetti. Trips like this one forever changed how I viewed missions, people, and ministry.  Now, almost five years later, I am a Digital Engagement and Disciple-Making Coordinator with WorldVenture wanting to help others know that life-changing experience of serving. One of the ways to experience God at work in the world is to become a Pathfinder. Pathfinders is a 4 week to 1-year…
February 13, 2020
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How The WhistleBlower Motivated Adrienne Livingston

The Whistleblower (2010) was inspired by true events. A Nebraska cop in the late 1990s became a United Nations Peacekeeper in Bosnia only to witness sex trafficking by the very officers and organizations pledged to keep the peace in the aftermath of the Balkans war. This movie helped motivate Adrienne Livingston to find her calling as director of Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiatives with WorldVenture. “It’s a God-thing.” She said. After working at a non-profit and graduating with a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Western Seminary, she felt burned out. “I was the executive director for 9 of the 14…
February 5, 2020
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When Pastors Learn the True Gospel

By Laura Pearce In Rwandan churches, it’s common to hear pastors teaching the prosperity gospel and salvation by works (especially tithing). Prophecy, rather than the Bible, is often treated as the primary way to hear from God. Most pastors in Rwanda have little or no Biblical education. The lack of Biblically literate, spiritually transformed leaders has meant a general lack of discipleship and genuine faith in many Rwandan churches. Therefore pastoral training and leadership development continue to be critically important for the growth of the Church in Rwanda. The Pastoral Training School of New Creation Ministries exists to meet these…
January 28, 2020
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3 Takeaways From “The Mission of God”

A commentary By Keith Sellers (Hungary) on J.H. Wright’s, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative The main takeaway of Wright's monumental text is that the Bible is a book about mission. Mission is not just a subtopic of Scripture. The Bible in its entirety portrays the mission of God to redeem humanity and compels us to join God not only in the partaking of redemption but in his mission. Wright develops his presentation in four sections: The Bible and Mission, The God of Mission, The People of Mission, and The Arena of Mission. The book breaks down…
January 26, 2020
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Doors: A Visual Prayer

Submitted by colleagues who visited North Africa Jesus talked about being the door and the way, the truth, and the life … to eternal life PRAY with us that many will find that narrow path The narrow door Leading to life
January 11, 2020
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Broken Before Him

Photo image Credit: WT (picture from Bolivia) by Ed Eby Ps. 51:17 “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Matthew 5:2 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Who are the poor in spirit? These are people, like the psalmist, who realize that they’re messed up and need God’s mercy and grace. They’re people who rely on God for every decision and perhaps even for their daily bread. Our culture rewards independent, confident, self-sufficient people who have all the answers to their problems.…
October 2, 2019
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How Oral Storytelling Brought Me Deeper into Scripture

About a year ago, I was off to Orlando, Florida to a Bible Story workshop called “Simply the Story.” I wanted to know how I could share God’s Word effectively in a culture that prefers oral modes of communicating. I was growing discouraged at a lack of connection between my style of teaching (Western, literate) and my community’s style of learning (African, oral). In other words, I wanted to know how to teach people to understand the Bible even when they aren’t comfortable reading the Bible.
September 28, 2019
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How Peter in Africa Came to Know the Lord

by Nikole Hahn “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” – Psalm 95:1-2  Jan’et and Lloyd Chinn met Peter in 2010 when they returned to Ghana after their first Home Assignment. The mission house and leadership center were under construction. Peter approached the Chinn’s about a job. “We hired him to maintain the property, to use his machete to keep things from growing too tall. His job was to make sure the things that…
September 19, 2019
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Restoration in Madagascar

An Interview with Jamie Shattenberg of Eden Projects by Nikole Hahn Deforestation is a constant threat to the environment and the people living in it. The world loses about 8.3 million hectares per year of forest, often spurred by increasing poverty in developing countries like Madagascar. In 2015, we shared how Eden Projects doesn’t just replant the forests, but also helps Malagasy families combat poverty. Today, stories of hope continue and the forest is growing! Eden Reforestation Projects is an organization that started in Ethiopia in 2004. Dr. Stephen Fitch understood the “third world culture” and the cycle of poverty.…
September 5, 2019
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The Gift of Business

By Bruce Swanson While in Kenya in June 2014, we were reminded of some very important truths. One of these reminders came during a seminar on starting a business we led the first Sunday we were there. These seminars were offered to the members of a church we partner with who are in or interested in business. About forty-five men and women joined us for the seminar. As we began to make our way through the curriculum, we were impressed by the interaction of the participants. They had many great ideas and thoughts and were quickly able to apply the curriculum's principles to their business.  One particular…
August 30, 2019
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What You Should Know Before Your Short-Term Trip

By Emily Roth So you’re preparing to go on a short-term mission. Maybe you’re visiting missionaries that you support. Maybe you’re going with a team from a church. Short-term missions can have many different goals and plans. Our WorldVenture colleagues host short-term mission teams every year in locations around the world. As you are packing your toiletries and checking the dress code, there are certain pieces of advice that will help you prepare for your trip. Five of our colleagues have shared from their years of experience what you need to know before you go. POLANDLinda Thomas: “I'd advise people…
August 21, 2019
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“I Hold My OWN Hand!”

By Grace Sandeno There she stood in the parking lot—my remarkably stubborn oldest child who was, indeed, holding her own hand. She did not want to hold my hand because she was three, independent and tired of getting dragged around where I wanted to go. What is more remarkable is that my youngest child did exactly the same thing when she was three. I have two adopted children sandwiched between two biological children. My adopted children have a great genetic benefit in that they are not the result of cross-breeding between a German and a Norwegian, creating what may be…
August 13, 2019
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Missions in Reverse

In Poland, many people share the common dream of going to the United States someday. WorldVenture colleagues Bruce and Linda Thomas first moved to Poland in 2010, and right away they began to meet locals who wanted to see America.
August 9, 2019
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Prayer Around The World

By WT "The reality is, my prayers don't change God.  But, I am convinced prayer changes me.  Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself." - Lysa TerKeurst A pastor at one of the churches I attended believed that an effective and healthy church prays on its knees. When he helped design the new building, the pastor put in kneelers. I remember using them a few times. They seemed like a thing for special occasions. It created a full-body posture and atmosphere for prayer. Eventually, that church moved again and…
August 8, 2019
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How to Ask The Right Questions

...And other information to ponder as you seek God's direction in ministry and for the right missionary organization to partner with. Choosing a mission agency can be a difficult task to navigate. Not only are you looking for a group with the same beliefs and ideology as you, but you also need to be with an organization that meets your needs practically and encourages you to follow the call that God has put on your life. So how do you choose? Below are some helpful tips for choosing the mission agency that is right for you. From team chemistry to…
July 27, 2019
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The Best Way to Learn a Language?

By Emily Roth Before I moved to Spain, I described my level of Spanish as enough to be a good tourist. I could order food from a menu and ask where to find a bathroom. Many friends encouraged me that full immersion in Spanish would be the best way to master the language quickly. They recommended reading the Bible in Spanish and advised me to avoid making friends who speak English. At the time, I agreed with them. Then I arrived in Spain and met other international workers who chose to attend English church services. I couldn’t understand it. Didn’t…
July 9, 2019
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How Perceptions are Changing in Ngohé

By Laura Newkirk Twelve ladies from the village of Ngohé just graduated from Formation Lois. These women are courageous, formidable, determined, and amazing! Some ladies came by horse cart and others walked far distances in the hot sand. None of them could read, but most of them worked very hard to memorize verses each week. They had their children or husbands help them. A’s husband got so frustrated that he told her she was too hard to teach. She stayed up at night and worked until she got it and memorized every verse assigned! At the graduation, she and four…
June 24, 2019
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The Impact of a Gospel Rock

By Nikole Hahn In 2015, Megan Murphy started “The Kindness Rock Project.” She left a rock on the beach of Cape Cod with the words “You’ve Got This” painted on it. Facebook rock painting groups began where communities did a grown-up Easter egg-like hunt for hand-painted rocks, leaving pictures with hints on Facebook groups so a family or person could find it and report it to the group. Over the past year or two, I’ve participated in this trend as a form of community outreach for online connections. Last week, my prayers yielded phenomenal results. Kairi and her mom were…
June 11, 2019
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Gideon-Style Missions

By Nikole Hahn "Come back when you have a 4-year degree from a Bible school or seminary," Four to five mission agencies said in the 1990s to Rob and Lisa Atkins (currently in Bolivia). While students are the focus of most mission's mobilization, making up a robust 1% of the world's demographic (Pipeline: Engaging the Church in Missionary Mobilization; pg. 14), older missionaries (Over-Forty) encounter pushback from friends and relatives in a culture where people are expected to save for a comfortable retirement. "Occasionally, we hear subtle comments from people that our age concerns them. I also have issues with…
June 4, 2019
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How to Discover Contentment

By Chelsi Johnson “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who…
May 10, 2019
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Oh Sunday’s Comin’

By Patrick LaPoint Cold, dark, bound by linen Enclosed in a borrowed cave, body lay still, dead. Sorrow, guilt, despair, and fear lovers, followers, family, hearts destroyed. But Sunday's Comin' Jubilation, evil vindication, demonic triumph Every demon, devil, and evil spirit rejoicing. Sadducees, Pharisees, Chief Priests, and Law teachers Herod, Barrabas, satisfied by a lawbreakers death. But Sunday's Comin' Roman soldiers stand watch and keep warm by the fire, All stand watch to make sure the man stays dead. Windows shut, doors locked, alert and afraid, upper room filled, crowded with tensions and questions. But Sunday's Comin' Wasn't he the…
April 20, 2019
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Salt of the Earth in March Madness

By Bruce Swanson Jesus commanded us to be “the salt of the earth.”  How are we to be salt in our professions?  Here is a good example from March Madness, the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Auburn made it to the Final Four and was oh so close to winning their semi-final game against Virginia. With seven seconds to go and Auburn leading by two points, the refs missed a clear double dribble by Virginia. Calling the infraction would have given the ball to Auburn and all but guaranteed their victory and moving on to the championship game. But, the…
April 17, 2019
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Why Random Acts of Kindness Aren’t Enough

by Grace Sandeno The US is big enough to have many flavors to its culture.  I grew up in the northeast where one of the primary characteristics was bluntness. In the mid-west, people are “nice.” In the south, people are known for their hospitality. I’ve lived in Colorado for almost 30 years, so it’s home.  We pride ourselves on our independence here, but we also like to think of ourselves in another way – we are “good” people. That often comes with no religious connotation as we are a largely secularized society; nonetheless, we perceive ourselves as “good” by whatever…
March 29, 2019
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Safely Caring For Your Missionary

By Ed Eby Do you support a missionary financially? That’s terrific! Would you like to know how to be a more active support for them? Your missionary is going through a real rough period right now. How do I know? I used to be that guy. I raised my children in a different culture, and I was always on guard for their safety. I always appreciated the financial backing of my supporters, and I coveted their prayers. But the thing that meant the most to me was when somebody reached out to me with a phone call, letter, or email.…
March 27, 2019
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Loving Your Neighbor Through Cancer

By Emily Roth Until last September, international workers Jon and Kathy Haley had over-the-fence friendships with their neighbors in a suburb of Barcelona. They greeted each other when they happened to be out on their back porches at the same time, and the neighbors would keep watch over their house when Jon and Kathy left on extended trips. Then during one of their trips out of town, their neighbor Eva* texted Kathy from the hospital. Eva had suffered from back pain for 15 years. Four years ago, her doctor diagnosed her with Multiple Sclerosis and prescribed medication to treat it…
March 25, 2019
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10 Tips for Keeping Your Computer Safe

By Ed Eby For nearly twenty years, I was the Network Engineer for the USPS Engineering Center in Merrifield VA. One of my primary jobs was to be a White Hat Hacker for the Engineering Center. A letter signed by the Vice President of Engineering gave me the legal right to break into any machine on the engineering network. It was my job to play the bad guy. If I was able to break in, I would then notify the owner of the machine and help him to fix the problem. This would often result in upset and embarrassed engineers,…
February 25, 2019
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3 Ways to Keep Your Missionary Secure

(Photo at a church of David and Kristen Caucutt ) A Brief Guide for Partner Churches and Individuals By Ed Eby One day we had a visiting missionary come to our headquarters to share what God was doing in his field. He was from a closed country where the Gospel was not welcomed. He showed us a picture of a gathering of believers. Because of security concerns, he had all the people standing with their back toward the camera. But their name plaques were all sitting on the tables in full view of the camera. Oops. It wasn’t obvious to the…
February 23, 2019
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The Impact of Jim Gould’s Death

By Linnea Boese Often, when things happen in one’s youth or childhood, they seem insignificant. What is thrilling is living long enough to be able to look back and understand their real impact. In 1964, during my family’s home assignment, when I was 11 years old, I had my first “call” to missions in response to a South American missionary’s message in Pontiac, Michigan. My parents had been missionaries, so I understood that God had a passion for reaching those who have not yet heard the Good News. We had gone through a traumatic evacuation from the Congo after turmoil…
February 22, 2019
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Trusting God or Trusting Technology?

by Ed Eby Do you trust God or do you trust technology to keep you safe?   What If What if that VPN, SSL, HTTPS, or encrypted message could be hacked? What if anybody could read your texts or posts? What if you could no longer trust technology to keep you secure? Would you still be okay, or does this thought cause you to panic? As a technologist, I’m often asked the question: “Is this thing (software, service, protocol, etc.) secure?” The average person tends to think in binary terms—either a thing is secure or it’s not. The reality is that security…
February 21, 2019
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Going on Mission, Into Exile, and Back

By Emily Roth What happens when the country God calls you to serve rejects you? After six months of waiting, Beth Horn received notice that her visa to Austria was denied. Despite this news, she held onto faith that God would open the closed doors. She had been reading Jeremiah 42 just the week before. The Israelites remaining after the Babylonian invasion asked the prophet Jeremiah to seek guidance from God. They were tempted to give up the Promised Land and relocate to Egypt, where they expected to find security and prosperity. Instead, Jeremiah delivered this message: “Do not fear…
February 7, 2019
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How Francis Schaeffer Inspired 360 Missions

By Bruce Swanson Forty-five years ago, Francis Schaeffer challenged all of us to do 360 Missions. “There is no dichotomy in the Bible between the intellectual and cultural on the one hand and the spiritual on the other. But often there has been a strong…tendency to divide man into two parts – his spiritual nature and everything else. We must take that conception like a piece of baked clay, break it in our hands and throw it away... God made the whole man; the whole man is redeemed in Christ, and after we are Christians the lordship of Christ covers…
February 4, 2019
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Amazing God

By Emily Roth “You’re amazing,” she said. Immediately, I recoiled inside. We had been talking about my work in Spain, and this was her response. At first, I didn’t know how to explain why her compliment made me uncomfortable. Such compliments encourage self-pride, that much I knew, but it wasn’t until the next day that I realized the deeper truth. More than a temptation to pride, such compliments invite me to take credit for what God has done. It puts me in His place, steals from His glory, and ascribes it to me. This is exactly the sin that so many of the…
December 28, 2018
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The Vendors of La Cancha

By Robert Atkins  The mom is what is called a cholita here. They are indigenous women, Aymara or Quechua. The term was originally a derogatory one--women of mixed blood; usually half Spanish or other white race. Even as little as ten years ago, they were not allowed to do many things like riding public transportation. They can be recognized by their long, twin braids and their hats. Their hats tell where they are from if you know the “code” (which we do not). The more typical bowler hats you often see in pictures are typical of La Paz, and you…
December 4, 2018
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Ireland: Story of an Irish Couple

By WT The Emerald Island—a place where the history is rich and reminders of it are everywhere. You can easily find ancient stone artifacts lying in someone’s field or moved a few feet to be used as an addition to someone’s stone fence. This is where the people are incredibly warm and friendly but still enjoy privacy, where little white dots of sheep are spotted on green mountains and hills or through open stretches of bog. The churches in Ireland are a bit of a complicated puzzle with a thorny history. The Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland…
December 3, 2018
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Aha Moments in Ministry

by Grace Sandeno Years ago, I took a semester off from college and traveled to Burkina Faso (West Africa for those of you who aren’t geography buffs). It was an “aha moment.” Actually more of an “aha four months.” I was planning to be a doctor and went to work in a medical clinic to see what it was like. It was amazing--everything I hoped for and so much more! There were snakes, scorpions, wild dogs and millipedes the size of a hot dog. I saw malaria, hepatitis, river blindness, mental illness, birth, and death. We had no doctor, but…
November 15, 2018
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How Busyness Consumed My Life

By Rachel from Africa In America, we drill busyness into our heads from a young age. It isn’t enough just to go to school and study. We need to be involved in sports, music, and theater. On top of that, some of us had a job in high school. And it isn’t just a stage of life, it is the start of a lifestyle. We continued by always being busy, not resting. Who needs sleep when you can just drink coffee that at some point doesn’t affect our bodies anymore? We seek other ways to keep us going and turn…
November 13, 2018
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Wearing God’s Name

By Doug Hazen I love the Shema.  It’s the blessing that Moses commanded the Levites to speak over the people of Israel.  And because it is SO personal, it is the primary blessing I use to bless people. “The Lord bless you     and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you     and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you     and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 The personal nature of God blessing or increasing me and keeping or protecting me is incredible.  And the fact that he would make his face to shine on me recalls a Bible school professor who described…
November 10, 2018
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Two Pictures

By WT in Jordan I want to tell you two stories by painting two pictures in your mind. The first might not catch your attention, but continue to read, the second will. Imagine a living room. We are sitting around a coffee table that is filled to the edges with food and I have a cup of tea in my hand. I sit with my friend whom I am staying with as well as a husband and wife who, after several years of marriage and five children, clearly still adore one another. We talk about their children, how each of…
November 8, 2018
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Our Greatest Prayer Motivators

By Doug Hazen  My prayer mentor says there are two things that motivate prayer: crisis and vision. Both are packaged in the person of Jesus through the cross and the resurrection and are our greatest prayer motivators since they affected both earth and heaven. Bigger than the awful storms, earthquakes, and tsunamis we have been seeing in past days, the cross was the convergence of unparalleled evil allowed, and even approved, by God, the Father. Isaiah says it pleased him! I’ve sensed the truth of this profound sacrifice before. Hopefully, it brought most of us to a saving knowledge of…
October 6, 2018
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Dana Stucky: A Lasting Impact

By Jim Thorp  Americas Ministries Director As a person judges seasons of life, it might be said by some that it was a shame Dana did not make it to retirement, because after all the years of ministry effort, she should have been able to enjoy some rest on this earth for her and Larry to do some “fun” things. There are a few problems with this. First, Dana believed what she was doing all these years was fun. Secondly, she was never going to stop doing what she had been doing for so many years of active ministry. Then…
September 17, 2018
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How to Praise God

A Prayer Challenge by Doug Hazen They say that the names of God are a good basis for worship prayers. I think I know why. Let’s compare the one person I love and admire more than any other… my wife. Her names are Ruth Emeline. But her qualities especially describe her and are even more meaningful. She is quiet but determined. She is competitive. She is a servant. She is a provider. She is a mother and grandmother. She loves. She laughs. She weeps. There are many other qualities all of which describe this woman I deeply love. But, her…
September 13, 2018
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How Hurricane Harvey Brought Unity

According to CNN, Hurricane Harvey broke rainfall records in 2017, and by Sunday, August 27 of that year, experts said, 27 trillion gallons of rain fell over Texas before it downgraded to a Tropical Storm. One-third of Houston flooded causing 8 million cubic yards of garbage. The storm ravaged 100,000 homes, causing 30,000 people to seek emergency shelter. Today is the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, and we reflect on God’s redemptive power through our workers and church partners. Terri Olson from Family Bible Church in Kingman, Arizona said, “Even though it has been almost one year, I still can't…
August 25, 2018
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The Practice of Waiting

by Emily Roth When I moved to Spain last January, my roommate had an orchid plant on the dining table. Its flowers shriveled and died. We wondered if it would bloom again or if the whole plant would go soon. I don’t have much experience caring for plants, especially nothing as exotic as an orchid. So we gave the orchid water, moved it in front of the window, and hoped for the best. Jesus told his disciples, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can…
August 8, 2018
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Remembering the Pals… by sending others in their place…

"These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth... Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city" (from Hebrews 11:13, 16 ESV). Two years ago today, at about 11:30am (MDT) on a well-traveled stretch of Interstate 80 in Nebraska, Jamison, Kathryne, Ezra, Violet, and Calvin Pals were killed when a distracted truck-driver crashed into their mini-van. On their way to train at WorldVenture Headquarters for an anticipated…
July 31, 2018
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God’s Work to ‘Ekballo’ Jonah

 Insights From the Worst Missionary Ever Whether you grew up in the church or not, you’ve heard the story of Jonah. God calls this prophet to arise and go proclaim divine judgment on the people of Nineveh. Jonah arises alright! But, demonstrating a remarkable misunderstanding of omnipresence, Jonah purposes instead to “flee from the presence of the Lord!” However, Jonah’s little cruise in the opposite direction gets interrupted by the storm of the century. Evidently, his travel agent didn’t know what Jonah himself told the terrified sailors: “I fear the LORD…who made the sea!” One might fault Jonah for not taking…
July 20, 2018