Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Need to Find a Good Book?

Fall is finally in full swing, things are starting to cool down, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere.  The cooler it is outside, the more I feel like reading.  Not sure what it is, but a cool day makes me feel like curling up with a mug of coffee and a good book.  Here are some of my great books on missions:

Passion for the Heart of Godby John Willis Zumwalt
I heard the author speak while attending Perspectives on the Christian World Movement, and I was really blessed by what he had to say.  He was a great speaker- humorous, passionate, and very real.  He shared about growing up as an MK in Taiwan, and about how he has been involved in missions as an adult.  I don't buy a lot of books, but I knew before his talk was done that this book would be worth it.  This book did not dissappoint.  If you want to be informed about missions and be challenged then this is a great read.  Buy it here: Passion for the Heart of God

Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting In Around the World

By Duane Elmer
I read this book for a class I took in Seminary, but it's an easy read.  The author writes in a warm, relaxed style that makes it an easy read.  The book is aimed at people who will be more or less immersed in another culture, but I think it's worth reading even if you aren't planning on leaving the country.  The advice given is helpful even with dealing with people who have different personality types.  It would be a great resource to someone who is wanting to reach out to internationals in their area.  Get it here: Cross-Cultural Connections.

Encountering Missionary Life and Work: Preparing for Intercultural Ministry

by Tom Steffen, Lois McKinney Douglas, various
This is a book for anyone considering missions as a career (or perhaps for those who be going on longer short-term trips).  It is a collection of articles written by various authors, and it covers a variety of topics that effect missionary life.  I read it for the same Seminary class as I read the book above.  This book is not as easy of a read as the other two (it varies by article since there are different writers), but the information in it is food for thought if you are considering going into missions.  It covers topics such as conflict on the field, MK (missionary kid) education, and relationships (married? single?  both have their unique blessings and challenges).  Get it here: Encountering Missionary Life and Work

By the Way...The links I posted are all to  I am not paid by them in any way, it just happens to be where I usually buy books.  One thing I do want to mention though is the Amazon Smile Program.  By buying things through rather than regular 0.5% of your purchase goes to the organization of your choice- and World Gospel Mission is one of organizations you can choose.  It costs you nothing extra, and it's quick and easy to sign up.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

42 Days Until... 8-day visit to Honduras!  On November 24 I will leaving Tulsa, Oklahoma for Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This trip will be an encouragement and help to me as I continue to seek partnerships.  I will be visiting a number of ministries, taking pictures, and getting stories.  It's been 4 years since I was last in Honduras and this is a great chance for me to get updated on what is going on in Honduras, particularly at Escuela El Sembrador where I will be.  These pictures and stories will not just be for me,  they will also be for the Honduras field and WGM as a whole.

I will be updating my Facebook and blog as much as I can (daily if possible) during my trip, and I plan to make a video I can send to churches.  I would love to not only visit new churches, but also re-visit some of the churches I have already been to and share with them the new, updated information.

Here is a little preview of a few of the places I will be going:

Escuela El Sembrador
(Photo taking of graduation 2009)

"Escuela El Sembrador is a Christ-centered institution dedicated to educating, discipling and challenging the future leaders of Honduras. Our goal is to help raise a generation of young people inspired and equipped to transform communities, nations and the world for Christ."Escuela El Sembrador WebsiteI will be at Escuela El Sembrador during their graduation.  This is a special time as students and their families celebrate the students' academic achievement.   While I am there I will get to see the other missionaries who serve out there, Gary and Laura Griffin and Steve, Kelly and Nick Solheim.  Since I have left the school has a number of new directors and administrators, and I am eager to meet them!

I am really excited about visiting Choluteca because because it is one of the ministries I haven't gotten to visit yet.  There is a lot of that goes on there, including church planting, a clinic, educational ministry (including both academic and vocational), economic development ministry, and there are plans to be recreation center for youth!  There are 3 couples serving at Choluteca: Larry and Angie Overholt, Tim and Aleyda Spetnagel, and Mike and Sharon Garrett.

Read an article about the vocational training here.

Project Manuelito

"The Manuelito Project is a non-profit Christian Organization that is overseen by the "Amor y Vida" (Love and Life) Evangelical Holiness Church of Honduras, different local churches and many friends residing in and outside of our country."Project Manuelito Website

Project Manuelito works with children who live on the streets of Tegucigalpa.  What they offer is much more than a place to sleep and food to eat.  They offer a home, education, and best of all- a relationship with Jesus Christ.  The man Project Manuelito site is right outside Talanga, which is on the way tout to Escuela El Sembrador, so my visit there will be made on my out there.  WGM missionaries, Justin and Asheley Guest serve there, but I won't get to meet them this time since they are back in the States.

I will also be visiting other ministries such as the kids club at Roca Fuerte Church in Tegucigalpa, and AFE, a ministry that works with the people living in and around the city dump in Tegucigalpa.  I am excited to see what God is doing at these ministries!

It will be hard to leave, but I will leave refreshed and better equipped to continue onward. Someday I will be announcing that I only have 42 days left until I leave for two years, but until then I pray, I work, and I get excited for the blessings along the way (such as this trip)!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

5 Creative Ways to Bless Missionaries

Over the last year I have found that there are more ways to bless a missionary than I had previously realized. Prayer and financial support are wonderful (and prayers and financial support are necessary!), but they are not the only ways to bless missionaries.

1)  Put together a prayer meeting
 It could be something that meets on a regular basis or maybe a special one time thing, but either way, it's special.  If the missionary is not able to attend, send an email asking for special prayer requests.  It might not sound too different from the prayer you do everyday, but trust me, it would be a huge encouragement to know that there are people gathered together to pray.

2) Host a Visiting Missionary
Missionaries travel quite a bit, and the costs of hotels and eating out really adds up.   Offering to host a missionary is a great way to be a blessing!  Whether it's for a meal or for the night, this is a great way to not only provide food/a place to sleep, but also to get to know them.  Let your church (and maybe a few neighboring ones) know that you are willing to host missionaries when they come.

3) Transportation
Speaking of travelling expenses...sometimes missionaries need transport.  If a missionary is flying in they may need a ride to a from the airport.  Do you have an extra vehicle or one that you could get by without?  A friend who is a missionary in Senegal had someone lend her a car for a year and a half while she was in the States speaking to churches and going to seminary.  That's a pretty cool! 

4) Offer Your Professional Services
Here is where an hour or so of your time can be like a $100+ donation!  Is there something you do that a missionary might need?  What you do for a living (or as a hobby) might just translate into a huge answer to prayer.  After coming back from Honduras I decided that if I took photos of missionaries (WGM or not) for their prayer cards, I would not charge them anything.  Anything from free health checkups to fixing their computer to helping them make a really cool video...the possibilities are pretty much endless.

5) Be Their Champion
This is the big one. The huge one really.  A champion comes alongside the missionary, and works with them to see that the ministry is funded and prayed for.  They pray for them and support them financially, but they take it deeper.  They tell their church and their friends.  They share what they know about the ministry with who they know, and they get others on board.   They get creative and do things like have a dinner for some friends and invite the missionary over to share with their friends.  Being a champion doesn't mean being a superhero.  It means being someone who is moved to action.