On Sunday, September 15, RBC accepted bike donations to benefit an orphanage in Nicaragua. Through our SACS Thrift Store partnership, we are working with Verbo Ministries, a church-planting and disciple-making ministry working with the Casa Bernabe Orphanage. Verbo has partnered wtih the orphanage to develop a thriving bicycle shop, where orphans are discipled as they learn bike repair, sales and customer service. Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where 60 percent are underemployed or unemployed. The training they recieve in the bike shop serves the orphans well when they enter the job market.
We are thankful to God for the generosity of so many here at RBC. On Sunday, we collected 175 bikes!
Here is part of an email we received from one of the project coordinators:
We’ve been collecting for several years from a bunch of churches. I think the most we ever got from a church collection was 58. Talk about shattering a record. You nearly tripled it!
I met some really great people today. What a blessing. We are very, very grateful. And, the quality of the bikes was excellent. This is a huge help to the ministry. Thank you for the remarkable work you did to make this happen.
Please extend our sincerest gratitude. This will make a difference in Nicaragua.
Thank you to all who donated bikes. Please keep the Casa Bernabe orphanage and those who minister the gospel there in your prayers.
A couple weekends ago, we announced that through our SACS Thrift Store partnership, we are planning to send bicycles to the Casa Bernabe Orphanage in Nicaragua. We will do this through Verbo Ministries, a church-planting and disciple-making ministry who have partnered with the orphanage to develop a thriving bicycle shop, where orphans are discipled as they learn bike repair, sales and customer service. Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where 60 percent are underemployed or unemployed. The training they receive in the bike shop serves the orphans well when they enter the job market.
Here’s a sample email we received in response:
I totally get it. We have spent a lot of time in Uganda serving at orphanages and we have 2 boys from Uganda. Empowering people with knowledge and a sense of self worth is an invaluable asset in overcoming poverty. This ministry is a perfect fit. I love it through and through. My husband Mike had to keep telling me to be quiet during service last week when i was reading the flyer, he said my excitement was a distraction to others 🙂 I have already gotten one bike delivered! I am going to spend the afternoon making room in the garage for more. I believe that God is going to bring many more!
On Sunday, September 15, we will be accepting bike donations for the orphanage. Bicycles can be any size, in any condition. Please bring your bike donations to the rear of the main RBC building anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. that day. Look for the cones near the Food Pantry storage shed, where a volunteer can help you unload your bike(s). Donation receipts for tax purposes will be available.
If you have three or more bikes to donate, but can’t bring them to the church, please contact Betsy Madden at email@example.com or (703) 404-5034 to arrange pick-up at your home.
“If we are to understand the Word of God, God needs to translate Himself into our own language, so that His Words can speak deeply to each person,” E. reflects. “It’s the translation of the Word of God into my language that is at the base of my own faith.”
He is from Bossangoa, the capital of Ouham, one of the 14 prefectures of the Central African Republic. E. was once an atheist, an eager student of humanistic philosophy, and firmly set against Christian faith.
“When my wife would return home from prayer meeting, I would mock her, asking her a series of philosophical questions,” he remembers. “I aimed to persuade her that God didn’t exist and that her faith was useless.”
His remarks would often make her cry, but she was never dissuaded from praying for him.
After completing his studies and training as a teacher, E.’s further academic plans were blocked by a lack of finances. In answer to his wife’s prayers, this roadblock became a turning point in his life. He decided to look for opportunities to use his skills to benefit the local community. He even approached the pastor of a local church and offered to start literacy classes for church members.
The pastor encouraged him to instead enroll in a translation training course being offered to members of the community so they could begin to translate the Bible into Gbeya, E.s’ own mother tongue, which is spoken by more than two hundred thousand people in the Bossangoa region..
“I had no idea at the time this was God’s plan for me,” E. said. “As I became immersed in the Word of God, I began to understand the incredible love and grace which He freely gives each one of us. I couldn’t imagine why God would want a relationship with me. My deep intimacy with God is one of the most amazing things I take from this ministry.”
Soon, E. went from being one of the translators on the Gbeya translation team to being the coordinator for translation and literacy projects in the entire Bossangoa region. “Ever since I accepted Jesus as my Savior,” he said, “my entire life has been such an adventure in faith.”
It has now been over a decade since he first got involved in Bible translation. “God chose E. to work for Him, studying the Bible,” said his older brother. “My prayer is that his work will be a sweet smelling sacrifice to God.”
When an atheist meets the God of the Bible, anything can happen! Pray for E. and his work in Bossangoa. Pray for the many people around the world who are translating the precious words of Scripture into the native tongues of nations and tribes.
Ernest and Evelyn work in partnership with Oakseed Ministries with the Colaba Slum Project in Mumbai, India. Oakseed assists local ministries that serve abandoned children and the poor who live in the megacities of the Third World by bringing the good news of Jesus in word and deed.
It has been a joy for them to actually see the fruit of evangelism teams that are reaching out daily to both lower middle-class and poor families in that area. These are people who live in the slums, roadside huts, streets and hospitals. A special team even visits the brothels of Colaba five days a week providing prayer, worship, counseling and guidance.
Recently, this ministry led a couple from death to life. Ernest and Evelyn had developed a close personal friendship with a drug addict and his girlfriend, who was working as a prostitute. They and their church community reached out to them, befriended them, prayed for them, counseled them and tried to love them like Jesus loves. After much time, the addict and his girlfriend came to faith, were transformed, left their old lives behind and were baptized. In an amazing celebration of new life, they were married before the Lord in December 2012. In February 2013, Ernest and Evelyn were able to help them move from a garage shelter in the slums to an apartment. Praise God for His transformational love at work in their lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Colaba Slum Project is currently planning to begin a preschool in the Balwadi Slum in Colaba. Pray for God’s provision of a building, teachers and administrative staff. Please pray for Ernest and Evelyn and their teams as they seek to love the poor and forgotten people of these slums.
Muslims fast for thirty days once a year during a period called Ramadan (or Ramazan). Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of the religion of Islam and one of their highest forms of worship. During these thirty days, Muslims around the world will fast from first light until sunset, not even drinking water. They will typically break fast to eat and drink in the evenings. In the Muslim culture, Ramadan marks a period of heightened religious sensitivity and is regarded by Muslims as an act of obedience and submission to God as well as a means of atoning for sin. They view their fasting during this time as a way to purify themselves and earn favor with God.
As followers of Christ, clearly we do not celebrate Ramadan as a holy month like so many Muslims do. However, the Islamic emphasis on earning favor with God though the fasting and abstinence during this season should call to mind at least two things for us:
1 – We should be humbled and grateful before God that we do not have to earn His favor. Jesus Christ atoned for our sins – no other atonement is sufficient or necessary (Romans 3:22-26). God has done that for us, a great gift of redemption that cannot be earned or achieved through our good works. It is God in His great love and mercy that makes us alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-9). Thus, we should be both immensely humbled and grateful. Mind you, our gratefulness shouldn’t be in the Pharisaical sense (“God, thank You that I am not like these other people…”) but with a sense of wonder that He should have mercy on sinners at all (Luke 18:9-18:14).
2 – We should be drawn in compassion toward those who do not know His gift of grace in Jesus. In the first chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul urges Christ-followers to comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from our Heavenly Father – the “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (1 Cor. 1:3-5). Muslims have no concept of God as Father, and without Christ, cannot know Him as such or be reconciled to Him. So for the Christian, the Muslim celebration of Ramadan is a special opportunity to pray that they might come to know the great and eternal comfort in Christ.
Why should we pray for Muslims during Ramadan? Our compassion for the lost should draw us – at a minimum – to prayer for them. Prayer for Muslims during Ramadan is a means by which Christians can missionally identify with Muslims for a fixed period of time and call for God’s sovereign intervention in the lives of Muslims during a time of the year when they are particularly religious.
We would certainly be clear that praying for Muslims during the month of Ramadan does not mean that we conform ourselves to the Muslim practices. As believers in Jesus Christ we do not hold to Islamic ideas, theology and practice. However, we can – and should – place an emphasis on God’s love for Muslims. All believers should cultivate a spirit of humility, love, respect and service toward Muslims, and the month of Ramadan is an entirely appropriate season to redeem for the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Though Muslims have been caricatured as “unreachable” with the Gospel, this simply is not true. About 20 years ago, the world had about 1.1 billion Muslims. Islam was a little-known religion in most Western nations, and efforts on the part of the Church to share their faith in Christ with Muslims were scarce. Today, efforts have increased ten-fold, and the technological advance of the past 20 years has transformed the way in which the Gospel is communicated to previously-unreached Muslim groups. For example, radio and satellite broadcasting throughout the Muslim world has resulted in millions of Muslims responding to the message of Christ. In the Arab world alone, one ministry, SAT 7, has a regular audience of 8.5 million. RBC supports a number of missionaries who are serving in Muslim communities around the world.
Many Christians are finding a new passion and commitment to see God’s kingdom come in Muslim nations, according to an article from Thirty Days Prayer Network.
In November 2012, 70,000 Christians from all denominations gathered in Cairo to pray for their nation. Others are finding increasing boldness as they lovingly reach out to their Muslim neighbours in new ways during these uncertain times.
Across the region there is an explosion of stories of Muslim people coming to faith in Christ and meeting together for support, encouragement and discipleship. Increasingly, however, these movements are finding themselves the targets of intimidation and persecution by their family, community or governments.
The challenges in reaching Muslims for Christ are great, but the power of the Gospel is greater. Our prayer is that Muslims will experience the love and grace of God the Father through the revelation of His Son, Jesus, to them as their Savior.
We encourage you to seek further information and gain a greater understanding reaching the Islamic world for Christ by viewing articles online at www.30-days.net. There, you can find daily prayer ideas though the month of Ramadan, as well as general articles and ministry ideas relating to Islam.
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Jason VanDorsten with Bill Hurley
On the busy streets of Bratislava, Slovakia, no one found it odd to see an advertisement for a class on the biblical principles of marriage. Slovakia is, after all, a religious society. Talking about God is normal, but living in relationship with God – that’s a different story. Many see Christianity as a crutch for the weak, something that strong, self-reliant people have no need of.
H. and A. came from this background, but decided to attend the class on marriage offered by Crossworld missionaries. Like many Slovak couples, H. and A. were not married, but lived together. They each believed they were committed to their relationship. After the five-week class ended, they both still seemed interested in learning more, so the missionaries teaching the class invited them to study the Bible together.
For several weeks, they met to study the books of Mark and Romans, and continued to discuss the gospel and what it means to follow Christ. H. finally told the missionaries that she and A. understood it, but they were not ready to accept it.
A few months later, the missionaries called to check on H. She broke down and wept over the phone as she told how A. had left her and she did not know where to turn. The missionaries did their best to comfort her, and as they shared Scripture, her walls came down. She started attending a small group, and shortly after, she accepted Christ.
The Slovak people often think those who are strong have no need for God, and at one point, H. might have said the same thing. But H. learned she was not as self-sufficient as she thought. It was God’s gracious hand reaching out to her during a crisis situation that helped her see her need.
Months have passed since H. trusted Christ, and she has become one of the most faithful members of her local church. She still struggles with sharing her faith openly, but she recently decided to be publicly baptized and is steadily becoming bolder in her witness.
One of the keys to H.’s salvation was having a relationship with the missionaries who lovingly pursued her and invested in her life. There are no guarantees that investing in people’s lives will pay off. A. chose to walk away, but H. decided to keep seeking. But God’s truth – delivered through a caring relationship in the context of the difficulties of life – is a powerful formula for life-transformation.
Jesus came not just to transform our eternity, but to radically impact our life here and now. That’s why the best disciple-makers are those who learn to engage people where they live and speak Gospel-centered truth with love into the brokenness of life that Jesus came to redeem.
Pray for all our missionaries in Slovakia as they seek to make disciples and, by the power of the Gospel of Jesus, transform people’s eternity and their lives in the here and now.
Every year since 2007, teams from Northern Virginia have been visiting the community of Benevides, Brazil, working with a ministry called Creative Hands. Creative Hands works with families living near a landfill.
Our mission is to support the ministry of Creative Hands through community service projects and the gathering of material they can use throughout the year.
This year, the team will be working to build two houses for two families in the community.
In addition, the team will host a week of day camp for families to attend. During the week of camp, we’ll offer soccer clinics, sports activities, arts and crafts, workshops, and vocational courses. Our hope is to provide a safe and warm environment for families to grow both as individuals and as a unit. We desire to encourage them in the love of Christ.
One group of team members will be in Brazil from June 28 to July 7, where they will be hosting family camp and constructing a house. From the 7th to the 16th, a second group will be constructing a second home.
Help with supplies
If you’d like to financially contribute to camp and building supplies for this trip, you can give online. Be sure to designate “Brazil Building/Camp Supplies.” You can also drop a check in an offering box at church, with “Brazil Supplies” in the memo line.
Last week, we shared a report from the Pioneers mission agency about Don Richardson and his family, whose years of faithful service saw the Lord bring the gospel to cannibal tribes in Indonesia. This incredible video documents the legacy of God’s grace to the Sawi tribes when Don and his three sons, Steve, Shannon and Paul, went back to visit the Sawi to see how they were doing.
It was 50 years ago, when Steve Richardson was 7 months old, that his parents Don and Carol Richardson moved deep into the jungles of Papua, Indonesia and made their home among a small tribal group called the Sawi. His dad learned the language and his mom treated the sick, all with the purpose of telling the people about Jesus.
The Sawi were headhunters and cannibals. They lived in a constant state of war and they did not respond to the Gospel as the Richardsons had hoped and prayed. As time passed, his parents began to wonder if the gospel would ever take root. They were faced with the decision to stay or leave. Finally, Don explained to the people that if they kept fighting they could no longer stay. The Sawi were desperate to keep them around, so they finally agreed to make peace with each other. In order for that to happen each Sawi, village gave an infant, a baby boy, to their enemies. This child became known as the “Peace Child.” It was through this unexpected exchange, ingrained very deep in their culture, that his parents were given a unique, perfect opportunity to explain to them that God sent His very own “Peace Child,” Jesus, to make peace with us.
Twenty-five years later, Don and his three sons, Steve, Shannon and Paul, went back to visit the Sawi to see how they were doing. It was an amazing reunion. The people rolled out the red carpet. Hundreds and hundreds of people from five tribes came to welcome them.
Walls have been broken down by virtue of the Gospel’s impact on the Sawi people. They are sharing leadership in the church services, they are intermarrying amongst tribes. Where once they were constantly fighting, they now love each other. It is no longer a place of war but a place of peace. It is a safe place to live now. In an obedient step of faith by Don and Carol Richardson 50 years ago, a legacy of God’s grace is truly visible. People who used to be mortal enemies now see themselves as almost as one. They share a sense of significance.
The villages are committed to staying faithful to the Gospel. The younger generation is really thriving. They have lots of challenges but they are aggressive in progressing and making an impact on others around them. What an incredible privilege it was for the entire Richardson family to join God in His journey to the nations. But they can’t help but wonder how many other people around the world are still waiting to experience what the Sawi’s experienced – hearing the Gospel?
Steve Richardson became president of the Pioneers missions agency in 1999, after serving as a missionary to one of the world’s largest unreached people groups in the world. For more than 35 years, Pioneers’ passion has been to see God glorified among those who are physically and spiritually isolated from the gospel of Jesus Christ—from Bedouins in the deserts of North Africa and animist villagers in the jungles of South America to secular humanists in Eastern Europe and middle-class Buddhist urbanites in the sprawling cities of East Asia.
RBC currently supports 13 missionaries with Pioneers, all with the passion of sharing God’s Word to the lost. Would you take a minute to thank God for the work He has done in the Sawi tribes and in the lives of the Richardson family? Please also pray with us for our Pioneer missionaries across the nations.
Adapted from a letter published to staff of Wycliffe USA from Bob Creson, President and CEO.
Translator Lee Bramlett was confident that God had left His mark on the Hdi culture somewhere, but though he searched, he could not find it. Where was the footprint of God in the history or daily life of these Cameroonian people? What clue had He planted to let the Hdi know Who He was and how He wanted to relate to them?
Then one night in a dream, God prompted Lee to look again at the Hdi word for love. Lee and his wife, Tammi, had learned that verbs in Hdi consistently end in one of three vowels. For almost every verb, they could find forms ending in i, a, and u. But when it came to the word for love, they could only find i and a. Why no u?
Lee asked the Hdi translation committee, which included the most influential leaders in the community, “Could you ‘dvi’ your wife?” “Yes,” they said. That would mean that the wife had been loved but the love was gone. “Could you ‘dva’ your wife?” “Yes,” they said. That kind of love depended on the wife’s actions. She would be loved as long as she remained faithful and cared for her husband well.
“Could you ‘dvu’ your wife?” Everyone laughed. “Of course not! If you said that, you would have to keep loving your wife no matter what she did, even if she never got you water, never made you meals. Even if she committed adultery, you would be compelled to just keep on loving her. No, we would never say ‘dvu.’ It just doesn’t exist.”
Lee sat quietly for a while, thinking about John 3:16, and then he asked, “Could God ‘dvu’ people?”
There was complete silence for three or four minutes; then tears started to trickle down the weathered faces of these elderly men. Finally they responded. “Do you know what this would mean? This would mean that God kept loving us over and over, millennia after millennia, while all that time we rejected His great love. He is compelled to love us, even though we have sinned more than any people.”
One simple vowel and the meaning was changed from “I love you based on what you do and who you are,” to “I love you, based on Who I am. I love you because of Me and NOT because of you.”
God had encoded the story of His unconditional love right into their language. For centuries, the little word was there—unused but available, grammatically correct and quite understandable. When the word was finally spoken, it called into question their entire belief system. If God was like that, did they need the spirits of the ancestors to intercede for them? Did they need sorcery to relate to the spirits? Many decided the answer was no, and the number of Christ-followers quickly grew from a few hundred to several thousand.
The New Testament in Hdi is ready to be printed now, and 29,000 speakers will soon be able to feel the impact of passages like Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, ‘dvu’ your wives, just as Christ ‘dvu’-d the church…” I invite you to pray for them as they absorb and seek to model the amazing, unconditional love they have received.
Around the world, community by community, as God’s Word is translated, people are gaining access to this great love story about how God ‘dvu’-d us enough to sacrifice his unique Son for us, so that our relationship with Him can be ordered and oriented correctly. The cross changes everything! Someday, the last word of the last bit of Scripture for the last community will be done, and everyone will be able to understand the story of God’s unconditional love.
Marcelo and Holly minister with Open Arms Worldwide in Assis, Brazil. In 2012 they felt the call to change their ministry and move north to Belem, Brazil to work alongside RBC-supported missionaries Lynne McLeavy and Bete Cordosa in the Creative Hands ministry. This ministry focuses on the men, women and children that live the Flowers Estate, which is actually an area near the dump. In late January, Marcelo and Holly traveled 5 days north with all their belongings and arrived at Bairro dos Flores, or the Flowers Estate They were able to look at a house to live in the day they arrived and thankfully they were able to purchase the house and move in 2 weeks later. Owning their own home will communicate to the people that they are there for the long term. This will be huge in developing relationships with the people of Flower Estates. It will also offer a safe place to store ministry supplies and it is large enough that they will be able to host short-term missions teams that come to help minister throughout the year thus reducing the team cost.
Marcelo will be caring for the church that will officially started the first Sunday of March. This is the first time this area will have a church. The people from the dump are shunned from other local churches as outcasts. As they prayerfully consider the needs of those who frequent the services, Marcelo and Holly will look to develop additional facets of ministry that will best meet the needs of the church attendees.
Marcelo will also be starting a soccer school which will operate throughout the week for boys, teens, and men. They are prayerful that the school will be a vehicle to specifically minister to the boys and men of the community, sharing the gospel and developing discipling relationships. Marcelo and Holly will assist in the Saturday Bible Clubs, where children and teens gather weekly to participate in group activities and hear from the Word. Holly will be helping in the half day preschool that functions from Tuesday to Friday.
Holly is also excited to be the liaison between their ministry and Word of Life—a local Christian school—where 15 children from Bairro dos Flores are attending, having been sponsored by faithful brothers and sisters from the States. Holly will also be working with a teen servant group called BOPE. Their prayer is through every activity, they point others to Christ.
The longer they are there and the more they get to know people, the more thrilled they are about the opportunity of being there. They hope and pray that wherever the Lord leads them in life, they never lose the excitement of hopeful anticipation that they have knowing they serve a God who has the power to transform lives.
Though your sacrificial giving to RBC, the Missions Committee was able to significantly help in the moving expenses and with the cost of purchasing their home. The Missions Committee was also able to increase the monthly support of Marcelo and Holly. We pray that God will greatly bless their vital ministry as the gospel of Jesus is lived out in Bairro dos Flores. Please pray with us for them.
On Saturday, February 16, the sixteen-person RBC Missions Committee met for 10 hours to review the 76 international missionaries that RBC supports. (The committee will review the 136 national missionaries that RBC supports on March 10.)
Each year, the Missions Committee sends each of our missionaries an update questionnaire so they can report on their finances, their accomplishments for the past year, their goals for the coming year, their prayer concerns and their children’s needs. Every committee member thoroughly reads through these updates prior to the annual review and comes to the meeting prepared to discuss each one.
The consistent theme of all the updates is that our missionaries need our prayer support more than anything else. The RBC missionary family is experiencing some painful things, both in ministry and in their personal lives. Several have grown children with marital problems and looking towards divorce. Some have children with medical needs. Some have elderly parents with issues and they are far away. Some of them have some serious health issues themselves. There are issues in their ministries. They all need our consistent prayer.
After determining the financial position of the missions budget, the committee looks at each missionary’s support shortage, if they have one. The committee always considers the needs of those missionaries RBC has sent out first. Praise God, the missions fund had enough money to give $1750 in increases to 28 of our missionaries. The committee was encouraged that the average missionary we support receives 89% of their current support need. This is an increase of one percent over last year.
The committee also looked at other issues facing our missionaries beyond financial needs. The committee will address these issues and needs over the course of the next few months. As well as thoroughly examining our missionaries, the committee also reviewed the policies that guide the missions program and discussed updates and/or changes to some of those policy guidelines. Any changes or updates made to the policies will go to the RBC council of elders for their final approval.
The most important thing the committee accomplished at the annual review was the extended time spent in prayer for our missionary family. The committee prayed through 18 pages of prayer requests we received through the update questionnaires.
If you do not yet have one an RBC Missionary Guide, please stop by the Welcome Desk in the lobby and pick one up and begin praying for our missionaries. They are in some serious spiritual battles, and many serve in some seriously dark areas of the world. Your prayers are essential as they bring forth the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations.
If you have any questions about missions at RBC, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give thanks to God with us for Mark and Esther, who are the newest members of the RBC-supported missionary family. They minister in their native country of Zambia.
Mark was born in a religious and church-going family, but they did not know the Lord as their Savior. He indulged in sinful habits and was tormented by evil spirits. He was taken to witch doctors for treatment, but it was all futile. His mother eventually accepted Jesus as Lord, and through the influence of her changed life, Mark accepted the Lord in 1980 and was freed from the torment of the evil spirits. Since that time, he has become a strong witness for Christ.
Mark joined AFCI (Ambassadors for Christ International) in 1986 as a team evangelist. After receiving further studies at a Bible Institute and developing the ministry, he has since become the Country Director. Mark and Esther are involved in organizing and conducting evangelistic gospel crusades, Christian leadership seminars and revival meetings in both rural and urban areas of Zambia.
People in Zambia are very open to the Gospel. Zambia is a very poor country with 86% of the population living below the poverty level. About 40% of the people do not have access to clean water and 50% of the children are malnourished. The AIDS crisis overwhelms the health services and the economy. Most of the children who are orphaned due to AIDS. Almost 75% of Zambian households care for a relative orphaned by AIDS. Illiteracy in rural areas is close to 90%. Christianity is widely accepted even in the public institutions, and freedom of all religions is practiced. Zambia is landlocked country and is relatively stable and peaceful but is surrounded by countries rocked by war and strife.
One out of every four children in Zambia in an orphan. Abandoned by his father at an early age and growing up in a broken home, Mark developed a great compassion for the vulnerable children in Zambia. Part of his ministry today involves helping orphans, especially in helping meet their educational needs. Mark has also formed and developed a group of 26 leaders a cross the country that meets periodically for mutual encouragement and growth.
Mark and Esther also have an ongoing pre-marital counseling program and conduct regular Family Life Enhancement Seminars for married couples. They seek to train others who can offer the same type of training and counseling as solid families are the real key to the future of Zambia.
Please pray for Mark and Esther and their three children (ages 15,13 and 11) as they boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus in Zambia.
As we ramp up for our annual missions conference, we have the great joy of giving thanks to God for Andrew & Ruth Murray this weekend during our worship services (November 4). Andrew & Ruth are long-time RBC missionaries who are retiring from the field after many years of faithful gospel-centered service in Papua New Guinea.
The video above is raw footage showing them delivering printed New Testaments in the native language of the Nimo tribe early in 2011. For the first time in history, the Nimo people are able to read the Word of God for themselves.
When Andrew speaks to the Nimo people in the video, this is what he says: “Today is a very important day in the history of the Nimo people. God’s word is always the same. If God’s word stays in your string bag, it has no use. When you read this New Testament, you will learn God’s talk to strengthen you. We can’t work our way to heaven, but God’s word shows us the way.”
This short clip is the culmination of many years of faithful ministry and Bible translation. We praise God that Christ is being made known to the Nimo tribe. We praise God for the faithfulness of His servants, who heeded His call to the field and labored in faithful, obedient love to their Savior. May Christ be glorified as we celebrate what He has done in and through Andrew & Ruth.
In early October, a team of five from the RBC went to Brazil to partner with Mike Meyers, RBC Children’s Ministry Associate and founder of Open Arms, in an event called Voz e Vida. Voz e Vida, Juntos Pelas Crianças (Voice & Life, Together for the Children) is an annual benefit concert held in Assis, Sao Paulo, the base city for Open Arms in Brazil. This gospel music event seeks to cross over denominational lines and bring together Christians to reach every child with the gospel of Jesus Christ through the work of Open Arms. The event also has gospel proclamation component both within the concert itself as well as throughout the promotion phase leading up the concert during radio, television and newspaper interviews. From Mike & Patricia Meyers:
Whenever we engage in short term missions, the question arises about what kind of impact was made and whether or not it was worthwhile. Let me answer that question here. In the space of two weeks, we were able to share with the city of Assis, Brazil about the work that Open Arms has done and is doing among the children of this city and throughout the region in the name of Jesus, via radio (nearly a dozen interviews, four of them with the guys from the band), television (2 stations), newspapers (3 papers published 6 quarter page stories), the schools (2 grade schools, 1 technical school and one university) and all culminating in a concert before a very enthusiastic crowd.
This massive exposure was in large part due to the participation of five very humble servants of Christ from Reston Bible Church. Erik & Elisa Palmer, Jesse Trask, Brian St. Andre and Carter Keeton took Assis by storm and left here with a city full of new friends, and fans. Besides their busy promotion schedule during their week in Assis, they came prepared to work with our kids at their schools and in a Children’s Day party which was to be held on October 12th. The party got rained out but the team still was able to minister to 600+ children in two of the public schools we are partnered with.
The gospel was preached in word by our team and in deed by the RBC Five. Their example of joyful, sacrificial service, not to mention the music which was an immediate hit, has opened doors for the ministry more than we could have imagined. Since they left, our staff and I have been running non-stop responding to new donors, volunteers and business leaders who want to get involved in what God is doing among the children here.
On behalf of the staff, volunteers and children of Open Arms in Brazil, we have only thanks to give. Thanks to God for bringing this event together, thanks to Reston Bible Church for standing by this ministry and sending your very best to us, and thanks to the team for encouraging our staff here with their music, their laughs, and their example.
Mike & Patricia Meyers