Through your generosity, our church is grateful for the opportunity to “pastor the pastors” of the Amazon.
It is our great desire to celebrate the generosity of the Lord here at RBC. Over this past Spring Break, Family Life Pastor Mike Meyers led a team of eighteen RBCers – parents and children – to serve in an indigenous region of Brazil. Our U.S. team partnered with a team of Brazilians that included several RBC-supported missionaries working with Open Arms Worldwide. The teams partnered with a tribal church in the village of Limão Verde in order to serve families and reach children with the gospel of Jesus. Many of you gave and prayed in support of their efforts, and we just want you to know how thankful we are for your generosity. Here’s a quick look at their trip.
RBCers have donated over 500 bikes in support of an orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua. The orphanage has developed a thriving bike shop where orphans are discipled in Christ as they learn vocational skills like bike repair, sales and customer service. Through your generosity, here is how the Lord is impacting lives in Nicaragua.
The RBC Missions program officially began in 1978 supporting 3 missionaries with a total annual budget of $5000 per year. Since those early years, our involvement in what God is doing around the world has exploded. Each year we are blessed to send multiple teams of RBC adults and youth on short term missions trips to support evangelistic efforts, construction projects, camps for children and more. Additionally, 19 of our RBC families and singles are currently serving the LORD oversees long-term and it is our great privilege to be their home sending church.
Because of decades of your continual generosity, today your giving extends to 59 countries supporting 191 missionaries including many nationals serving in their country of origin. Through your prayers and giving, and our missionary family, God is planting churches in areas where none exist, caring for refugees and bringing them to salvation in Jesus, training pastors in oversees bible colleges and seminaries, translating Scripture into other languages, supporting urban & rural churches, ministering to orphans and children and much more.
Through you and your generosity, God is reaching the nations with the love of Christ.
From our humble beginning of allocating $5000 to overseas missions, your faithful giving to the general fund has expanded the annual budget for these global mission efforts to over $1.5 million per year. The results since 1978? Over $36.8 million given towards world missions. Even more importantly, God has used you to bring tens of thousands of lives to a saving knowledge of Himself, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So again, I thank each of you for your generosity. I encourage you to keep keeping on, for our Lord is worthy of it!
Cambodia is one of the world’s poorest countries and heavily dependent on foreign aid. Years of war and genocide followed by a corrupt government has hindered the development of this country and kept most of the population poor. Thirty-eight percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
After the Vietnam War, the Marxist Khmer Rouge was in command (1975), and Cambodia endured one of the most savage slaughters in the 20th century. Almost all former military personnel, civil servants, doctors, educated people and wealthy people and their families were killed, and the nation was turned into a vast labor camp. The Vietnamese army ousted the Khmer Rouge in 1979.
Buddhism is the national religion. The Khmer Rouge sought to eradicate all religions and 90% of Buddhist monks and most all Christians perished. Since 1979 there have been periods of tolerance and since 1990 Christians have been allowed to worship openly but some limitations on mission activity has been legislated.
The great sufferings of the people in the past cause them to now be open and responsive to the gospel. From only a few thousand Christians surviving into the 90’s, believers now make up 3.5% of the population. This growth is almost entirely through church planting and multiplication done by indigenous church planters and evangelists.
Barnabas is one of these church planters and evangelists. As a native of Cambodia, Barnabas is one of only 200 Christians to survive the Killing Fields of Pol Pot. He joined Ambassadors for Christ International (AFCI) in 2001 to develop the ministry in Cambodia.
Barnabas joined the Communist party as a teenager and was converted to Christ while spying on a Christian evangelistic meeting in the early 1970’s. He was later arrested and sent to the Killing Fields where he spent four years in captivity. After his release, Barnabas was forced to flee the country where he spent another eight years in a refugee camp in Thailand. After returning to Cambodia, Barnabas helped rebuild the church in his native land, and 500 churches have been planted since 1998. Barnabas’ faithfulness to the gospel is an amazing story of that Moody Publishers has published in the book Church Behind the Wire.
Barnabas will be at RBC on Sunday, March 26, 2017 to share his story and encourage us in the area of missions. His book will be available for donation by cash or check only in the lobby after each service. All proceeds of the book sales will directly to Barnabas’s ministry in Cambodia.
It’s a great way to start the year, indeed! We praise the Lord the privilege of sending our very own, Louisa Schlener, to the mission field.
As the early church sent Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey through prayer and the laying on of hands (Acts 13), so RBC has commissioned Louisa to take the Gospel to Portugal.
Dear Lord – we continue to lift Louisa up to You. May You use her mightily in the Word of Life camps as she shares Your love to the many campers. As she reconnects with her childhood church, use her to impact and bring many women and girls into a deeper walk with You. Bless her and bless Your name as she cares for the other female Word of Life staffers arriving in Portugal. Protect her, give her much wisdom and continue to draw her closer and closer to You! Thank You for calling Louisa and allowing us the blessing of sending her. In the name of our Precious Savior, Amen!
Louisa – just has you have impacted many here in NOVA, we are confidant that the Lord will use you mightily in Portugal. Keep walking by faith! Know that you are loved deeply! (Love, Your RBC Family)
We are thankful that over 500 hundred bikes have been donated by RBCers in support of the Casa Bernabe orphanage in Nicaragua.
Thanks in part to your generosity, the orphanage has developed Nica Bikeshop, a thriving bicycle shop where orphans are discipled in Christ as they learn vocational skills like bike repair, sales and customer service. We recently received the photo above from some of the Nica Bikeshop workers – the sign reads, “Thank you RBC Friends. You are a blessing!”
We also received the message below from Cal Covert, our ministry contact for the bike donations. Cal is on the board of directors for NicaWorks, the non-profit organization that oversees the bike collection and many other aspects of care, support and ministry in Nicaragua.
The bike shop has provided opportunities for many Nicaraguans, including orphans and at-risk youth. It is now the largest bike shop in all of Nicaragua. RBC has played a vital role in donating more than 500 bikes to the ministry. The shop has been a tremendous opportunity to mentor young men and women who otherwise would have no hope of a future for themselves or their families. For example, Josh, the director of the bike shop is a recovering alcoholic. Last fall he looked me square in the eyes and said, “If it wasn’t for this business, I know I would be dead right now.” Not only has he pulled his life together, but he is in a strong walk with Jesus that he never had before. Josh meets with his Nicaraguan and American (via Skype) mentors at least once every week.
Thank you, RBC, for your continued generosity as we know Christ and make Him known in Northern Virginia and around the world!
Open Arms Worldwide (OAW) is a Christian organization dedicated to the spiritual, moral, emotional, physical and social enrichment of children and youth who live in under-served or forgotten communities around the world – communities where families and children are at higher risk of becoming victims of poverty, crime, violence, addiction, abuse, and social marginalization. Christian hope is the distinctive of Open Arms and the catalyst that sets life transformation into motion. The Christian faith instills a hope that is not dependent on physical circumstances. This hope results in resiliency, perseverance, healthy socialization, a sense of history, community and belonging, and strong moral and civic character. These are exactly the attributes that these children require if they are to overcome the obstacles before them and fulfill their God-given potential. RBC currently provides support to two OAW missionary families, including Eduardo & Claudia Ribeiro, who shared at our worship services last weekend.
This year, OAW celebrates its tenth year as a ministry organization. For a decade, Open Arms has been bringing hope to children who live in under-served and forgotten communities in Brazil and here in the U.S. What began in one small community in the interior of Brazil has been replicated in 12 communities across 3 states in Brazil, and serves more than 1,000 children weekly. Since 2013, OAW has also worked with local stateside churches and schools from their U.S. headquarters in Sterling, Virginia.
Please pray for OAW, their “agents of hope” and the children they reach with the hope of the gospel. Here are some stories from the field of how lives have been changed as OAW seeks to know Christ and to make Him known in Brazil and beyond.
We recently received a couple letters from the ministry we support in Pignon, Haiti, and wanted to share them with you. National pastor Francois Romelus runs a church of approximately 250 people in addition to the local elementary school and an orphanage where he cares for around 55 children. Over the past several years we have sent multiple teams to work with the ministry there and develop many deep relationships. On Sunday May 1st, Pastor Francois’ son Aldinn, who runs much of the ministry, shared briefly in our Sunday services. He also brought several letters that we wanted to share with you.
Please continue to pray for the ministry in Haiti as they face many challenges but rejoice in the hope of the Gospel.
LETTER FROM PASTOR FRANCOIS
LETTER FROM THE 3 ELDEST BOYS AT THE ORPHANAGE
MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
Forever Reign (Lamentations 5:19) – A Beautiful Exchange by Hillsong Worship
Cornerstone (Psalm 18:2) – Cornerstone by Hillsong Worship
You’re Beautiful (Revelation 21:4) – Cannons by Phil Wickham
Revelation Song (Revelation 5:12) – Passion 2013 by Kari Jobe
TEACHING: From the Field – Missions Emphasis Sunday
In most cases, we do not post the messages from Missions Emphasis weekends. This is to protect those currently working in sensitive areas, or who may at some point move into countries that are closed to the gospel. If you are interested in learning more about how you can be involved in missions at RBC, fill out this online interest form.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this Sunday?
- Read and discuss the Great Commission text from Matthew 28. What do you note about Jesus? What commands, encouragements or warnings are there for us to heed?
- How is missions related to worship? What Scriptures can you find that demonstrate this?
- What does it mean that God is a “sending God”? What Scriptures can you find that demonstrate this?
- How is a missionary mindset inherent in the gospel of Jesus?
- What are different ways one can be involved in the work of gospel missions? How would you rate your involvement in missions?
- How might you grow in your involvement in missions? Spend some time in prayer for this.
MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
Glorious (Psalm 111:2-3) – Everything Glorious by Chris Tomlin (Passion)
Mighty to Save (Zephaniah 3:17) – Yahweh by Hillsong Chapel
Before the Throne (Romans 8:34) – Worship Initiative, vol. 3 by Shane and Shane
God Is Able (Ephesians 3:20-21) – God is Able by Hillsong Worship
TEACHING: 2016 Amazon Pastors’ Conference Report
Pastor Mike gives an update from the annual Jungle Pastors’ Conference on the Amazon.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- Do you have any missions experience? Share with your group.
- What is one way you have been impacted by someone else’s work for the gospel?
- What is one way you have impacted someone else for the gospel?
- What does it mean to “think eternally” and live with a “biblical perspective”? Do you find this difficult here in Northern VA? Why or why not?
- How would you describe your prayer life? How can you grow in this area?
- Do you find it difficult to trust God? Why or why not?
- What is something that has deeply tested your faith?
- In what ways does the church in North America tend to operate in our own “swim lanes”? Are there ways in which this is beneficial? Are there ways in which this is detrimental?
- Spend some time in prayer for the pastors bringing the gospel of Jesus to the thousands of tribes along the Amazon. Pray for opportunities to engage personally in missions through giving, praying and/or going. If your Shepherd Group hasn’t already, consider adopting an RBC missionary.
MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
Unstoppable God (Matthew 17:20) – Wake Up the Wonder by Elevation Worship
With Us (Psalm 46:10-11a) – God Is Able by Hillsong Worship
Be Thou My Vision (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) – Cathedral by Heartsong
How Deep The Father’s Love For Us (Galatians 6:14) – Love Displayed by Liberty Campus Band
TEACHING: From the Field – Love, Passion and Missions
The last days of Jesus point us to His priority for missions.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was something in this message that was new or surprising to you?
- What is something you are passionate about? Why? How are passion and love related?
- Read and discuss the account of Jesus’ last days in Luke 24. What do you note about Jesus from this account? How does what He says here point us to missions?
- Thinking through Luke 24, what are some priorities of Jesus you can identify? What other scriptures show us Jesus’ priorities?
- How can you respond to the priorities of Jesus with passion and love?
- “Jesus does not relate to us according to what we deserve, but according to what we need.” How does this statement relate to missions?
- How does the gospel compel and propel us to a missionary mindset? How do you need to grow in this area?
- Pray for opportunities to engage personally in missions through giving, praying and/or going. If your Shepherd Group hasn’t already, consider adopting an RBC missionary.
Pastor Aaron and his family spent the month of October in Haiti working with Pastor Francois’ church and orphanage in Pignon. In this video, he gives a brief report from our sister church there.
If you would like more information on the family mission to Haiti during Spring Break 2016, visit www.restonbible.org/familymissionhaiti.
To support the Christmas Hope project, visit www.restonbible.org/christmashope.