He has risen! As we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus, we want to share with you some of the redemption and renewal that God is doing around the world and how you can be praying for some of these ministries. Thank you for allowing our workers to be the hands and feet of Jesus through your support of the Global Advance Fund.
“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:34
Ebola has been a constant problem in Guinea that has ravaged many villages leaving countless orphans and widows grieving. International Workers (IWs) along with their partners in ministry have been on the ground consoling and encouraging them. They have provided assistance through the distribution of food, clothing and school supplies. As a result of this ministry, over 120 widows got back on their feet after losing practically everything in their struggle against Ebola. Many are coming to ask our IWs and collaborators for prayer and counsel for their needs.
Pray for the wives of Bible school students to learn all they need to know for effective ministry in their future churches.
Pray that as our IWs participate with the pastors in this work of outreach, training them in evangelism, grief counselling, and discipleship, the IWs will also be able to teach them how to help the victims practically.
The Rehab Centre in Serbia helps heroin addicts, both men and women, in Novi Sad and the surrounding areas through a rehabilitation program where addicts experience victory over their addictions within a newly found freedom in Christ. The program lasts for 15 months with four phases that allow the participants to receive more responsibilities, duties, and trust. A huge emphasis of the program is working with the families to prepare them to accept the addict after they leave the centre.
Stanislava, a 30-year-old woman, has struggled for years with addiction to heroin and huge doses of methadone. She was once told she would never be able to live without these drugs and no one really believed she would decide to change. She was wasting her life away in her mother’s apartment, all her veins were dysfunctional. Having heard about a friend who came clean after being at the centre, she reached out to our IWs who ran The Rehab Centre. IWs told her more about the center and invited her to take that step.
It was not an easy journey, she couldn’t sleep or eat but she was determined to stay. Day by day, the girls at the centre surrounded her with support as they prayed and assisted her. One day, Stanislava asked if she could have what the others have, to have God in her. She wanted Jesus in her life. Our IWs were in much joy as they prayed with her and shared more about God’s love for her. Jesus had set her free. Stanislava improved and was able to leave the centre. She is now working and continues to grow in her relationship with Jesus.
Praise God for the work He is doing through the Rehab Centre in Serbia and the lives that have been touched and transformed.
Pray that the Rehab Centre will continue to help addicts and their families walk out of their addictions. Pray that many more will embrace the freedom in Christ as our IWs and partners share the love and hope of Jesus with them.
In the foothills of high mountains, a café opened in 2010. The rural poor in this area are often unable to find employment simply because of their birthplace, upbringing, and lack of education. Outsiders arrive to take advantage of opportunities in the growing tourism economy; leaving the marginalized insiders excluded. This café opened with the dream of doing business in Jesus’ name. This equitable employment café provided a way for people to practice good stewardship of creation and treated its employees well. In this place, transformative friendships and relationships were made. Hope was shared. The gospel was served.
Then came a fire in 2014 that reduced one-third of the town to cinders, including the café. In 2017, the reconstruction of the café has finally completed and the café doors reopened, with a majority of the staff being new. As training began, the staff at the café proved one can bake delicious buns at 11,000 ft above sea level! These buns were a milestone for our IWs and their staff, they were the first fruits of re-realizing a dream.
Pray for the preparations of the café to go smoothly as they get ready to open up again after the winter break. Pray that the café would be a catalyst for the transformation of a damaged community.
Pray for the relationships that are being made with the staff and surrounding community as they connect with them both within and outside of the business.
Sea to Sea
Ethnic churches often desire their second generation to inherit the mother church. The older generation of Hamilton Vietnamese Alliance Church, however, recognized something had to change for their upcoming generation of young adults and youth. They needed a chance and freedom to grow into their own community. The church pulled together resources to help launch the younger generation off and release them to follow God’s calling, giving birth to Risen.
Risen is a young community of second-generation Vietnamese who are excited to expand God’s kingdom in the suburban areas on Hamilton Mountain in Ontario. They seek to connect with people in meaningful fellowship outside the church walls and to develop purposeful relationships in which people can experience the love of Christ.
Pray for wisdom and discernment for the leaders at Risen to constantly seek God’s direction for this New Venture, and that they would lead by example as they follow Christ.
Pray for unity as Risen continues to work alongside Hamilton Vietnamese Alliance Church.
Several months ago, Hurricane Irma left a trail of destruction from one end of the island to the other. Funding was needed to mobilize and equip the most affected Alliance churches to carry a ministry of compassion to the most vulnerable people in their communities. The churches had a deep desire for these acts of compassion to serve as an avenue to sharing the gospel of Jesus and leading these people to salvation and true discipleship.
God is at work in the Alliance churches on the island. Funding allowed them to develop compassion ministries to serve the sick, elderly and those with disabilities. As church leaders help build houses for those whose homes were destroyed, one church has reported 49 new people started faithfully attending since the destruction. The sacrificial love of the church made such an impact that people are coming to meet Jesus, the author of the love they see in the church.
Praise God for the work He is doing on the island and the number of people coming to know Him! Praise Him for revealing Himself to leaders and maturing their faith.
Pray for the continued recovery work in the affected communities. Pray that the faith of these new believers will continue to grow and that still, many more will come to know Christ.