For much of 2019, Haiti has been experiencing significant political instability and economic hardships.
This has resulted in RBC cancelling several family missions trips to one of our partner churches in Pignon, Haiti. However, from June 27 to July 2, four men from RBC were able to go down and visit Pastor Francois, Pastor Aldean, the 62 children they care for, and the Philadelphia Baptist Church of Pignon. The video below shares a few highlights from our trip.
While we can’t solve all of Haiti’s problems and struggle to even relate to issues like 30%+ inflation, we can make a difference in the lives of one community in Haiti. Besides our usual goals of loving on children, encouraging the church, and maintaining and repairing equipment, our primary goal for this trip was helping set future educational and life goals for four of Pastor’s oldest children. In a society filled with hopelessness about the future, helping map out next steps for them, gives so much life.
Through your generosity, these kids will have the opportunity to go to university or trade schools to learn a profession. We pray for their futures that children who were orphaned, may one day be loving husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, church leaders, etc. and break the cycles of bondage through the Lord. It is a long term investment, but one where we trust God is transforming lives.
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.