Tuesday, May 20, 2014

World Relief in South Sudan

World Relief is the aid organization approved and used by AFLC World Missions

World Relief is on the ground in South Sudan working with families displaced by the current violence.

  • Recent fighting has resulted in nearly 10,000 deaths and displaced over 900,000 people from their homes. Read more
  • The United Nations expects an estimated 3.7 million people in South Sudan are currently going hungry and over 50,000 children are suffering from malnutrition. Read More
  • Health concerns continue to rise as conditions deteriorate for displaced families.

World Relief has been working in South Sudan since 1998, responding to the growing humanitarian needs, and empowering local churches to address the complex problems that stem from chronic poverty through agricultural development, health, nutrition, food security and education. In the coming months there is potential for the worst famine Africa has seen in 20 years to develop. Food supplies and communications have been nearly cut off, and shelters have been destroyed in the violence.

World Relief is responding. Our work on the ground in Unity State is bridging the gap with the supply of essential medicines and food distribution to displaced children and families. You can help make change possible through your financial and prayerful support.

Here are 4 ways you can get involved

We know that God responds to the prayers of His people! Download this prayer card that will help you and your congregation to pray for the churches of South Sudan and other needs.

Join a national conference call, June 11th at 1PM EDT. World Relief staff, recently returned from South Sudan, will give an update on the current situation and share details about our response. Click here to RSVP—we will then e-mail you the call-in details.

By taking a special offering or giving a one-time gift, your donation will help meet the most crucial needs of vulnerable children and families in South Sudan. Your gift will provide:

  • Urgent food assistance
  • Specialized nutritional assistance for children
  • Critical care for those who are wounded
  • Emergency kits to prevent disease

Gifts can be mailed to 7 East Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 with “South Sudan” in memo line.

World Relief is looking for a group of dedicated churches to partner with us in South Sudan and to be involved in transforming communities in that region over time. Church partners commit to World Relief in South Sudan for five years through building relationships with our staff and local church networks. U.S. Churches leverage financial resources to help promote the work of the church in South Sudan. They allow themselves to be transformed through relationships with Christians from South Sudan, enjoying how this deepens discipleship in their own congregation. If you would like more information about what it means for your church to partner with World Relief in South Sudan please e-mail James Misner at jmisner@wr.org.


WORLD RELIEF 7 East Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 | 800.535.5433 | worldrelief@wr.org

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Intense rest and intense ministry

Passion Play Cast 2014
Many times life on the mission field with all the activities and all the people coming and going is just a matter of doing the next thing and keeping the right attitude. When our house is full of people (more often than not) there are many routine things that just need to get done – food prep, dishes, clothes-washing, visiting with people who are in the house, answering e-mails, making phone calls, planning the next program…. sandwiched in between our regular ministry responsibilities. It’s a blessing to learn to “do all things without grumbling or complaining” (Phil. 2) so that we might be a good example to those around us and point them to Jesus.

Putting on a big production like our Passion Play requires a lot of work each year – some of that work includes re-writing the script, recording new voices, making sets, preparing costumes, designing publicity, contacting participants, raising money to cover costs, finding volunteers to help with parking and canteen and set-up and tear-down, and the list goes on. The whole production is surrounded by prayer and dedication with the goal of reaching people with the overwhelmingly Good News that God’s Son Jesus became a man and victoriously lived, died and rose again to give us new life. We praise God for not regarding the weather report and blessing us with three beautiful nights to present the story of God’s love and grace. Over 1000 people made their way to the ARCA grounds to take in the awesome outdoor production. We were thrilled to have son Andrew and his wife Alexi with us to help with all the sound and light production. Our two granddaughters were very excited to be a part of the cast this year. Many people responded to the altar call at the end, and we hope these people will seek to know the Lord and have their lives changed for now and for eternity. Thanks to those of you who prayed for this outreach.

ARCA Family Chalet
Besides working hard on the set-building for the play Paul has also spent hours working on the construction of the new room for couples and families at the ARCA. He has overseen the whole project and purchased materials in addition to helping with the roof construction and painting. Everything is looking great! We are thankful for friends who have donated financially to make this project possible. The room was first used over Easter by a Brazilian pastor and family who were involved in the play. Our house was filled to capacity so it was nice to have another special place to house people. The remodeling project continues as we work towards having housing for about 15 more people in this "ARCA Family Chalet."

Sharing the Word 
Paul has also had the opportunity to do many hospital visits and lead people to Christ in the past months. Two of these people passed away recently, but they had the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel. Pastor Joel’s mother-in-law also passed away last week. Death is a reality that every person alive must face. Sometimes we avoid talking about it, because it is uncomfortable and sad and sometimes fearful. The Bible says that death is the last enemy to be conquered (I Cor. 5:26). It is our job as Christians to help people prepare themselves for death. He who is prepared to die is prepared to live. We are so thankful for the assurance that God has given us in His Word in I John 5:11-13 – “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Paul has been discipling a new family in the basics of the Christian faith. He loves doing one-on-one work
and helping people understand God’s plan for their lives. Both of us participate in another weekly Bible Study led by Christina’s in-laws. This study has been a blessing to us and has been an opportunity to involve the two couples we have been trying to reach for Jesus. Pray for John and Maria, Levir and Rose.

After months of non-stop people and activities we were blessed by our friends from Chicago, Ken and Carla, who took us on a trip to spend a couple of days in a beautiful hotel in Iguaçu Falls as we showed them the sights. Unfortunately, it rained like crazy so they didn’t get the full benefit of appreciating God’s stupendous handiwork in this place. We joked about having a real “rain forest experience.”After they flew back to the U.S., the sun came out in its glory, and we spent a few more days ministering at our churches in Falls.

What's Next?
At the end of the month we will travel once again, this time to participate in our churches in Vitória, ES. Since we came back from furlough last October we hadn’t had time to travel to the churches outside of our area so we are trying to schedule several trips for the coming months. We are also planning a weekend retreat for couples at the ARCA in June. July and August will be devoted to hosting two large short-term teams. You will hear more about that in future letters. We await the arrival of two MN girls in May who will spend almost three months in Brazil. In June a couple of college students will arrive to spend a couple of months. Two seminarians continue to come once a month for ten days. And we have two Brazilian teenagers who spend the weekends at our place. So, you can well imagine that we haven’t struggled a lot with the “empty nest syndrome” although we do really miss having our own kids at home.

Click here to read the complete letter.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

May update from Jonni

Milestone Moments
Four sweet children left the Miriam Home yesterday. For two of them it is hard to tell if they understand the idea of “going home” because they have spent so much of there lives with us. William is 18 months old and as spent 11 of those months in the Miriam Home. He took his first steps here, learned to feed himself here. We have had the blessing of seeing some of his milestone moments!...

It has been a blessing to be a part of the lives of these sweet children, and it is exciting that we will be able to continue! Through the “Follow Them Home” program we will be providing assistance and encouragement to the family along with the AFLC church in Lar Parana. Please pray that the children’s parents will value the opportunity they have to be a part of their children’s milestones! 

With Baited Breath 
No, that isn’t the opening to a fishing joke (though it is the punchline to one), it is our current state as we wait for our short term assistants to arrive! We are so excited to receive Ruthie Grove back, she will arrive shortly after you get this newslet-ter! Ruthie will be joined by Cheyenne Hanson will be in Brazil for three whole months and we already feel our feet cooling, as our socks prepare to be blessed off!

We will also be receiving the FLY team for a time in July and we may even have others helpers, depending on tickets, etc. We are more than ex-cited to have these precious brothers and sisters coming along side!

Precious Hands and Hearts! 
I have been told sometimes that I don’t tell you enough about what is happening in the Bible School and Seminary. I apologize for that, because God is doing such wonderful things among our students and we want to praise Him for it. Well,there is a big carry over going on right now between the two ministries that occupy 
this space. The students have invaded the Miriam Home, in the best possible way! We have been blessed with young men and women who choose to use their free time to play with the little ones. And, even more thrilling, several students have “adopted” each of the teens in the house, as big brothers and sisters. The talks they have and the prayer times they share have blessed these kids so much! It is wonderful that the children in hte Miriam Home feel loved and cared for by the staff, and receive God’s truth on a daily basis (as I write you I am listening to them singing in the next room as Odete leads the morning dovotional—it is beautiful!). But there is something extra special when someone who doesn’t “work” in the Miriam Home seeks you out and wants to spend time with you. Praise the Lord for these amazing young people! 

Please Keep Praying! 
Praise the Lord! Our car is on it’s way! Last month I asked you to pray for the replacement for the Miriam Home car totaled in an accident, and your prayers have power. There is a good chance that we will receive this next week—yeah! 

Please pray for a trip I will be taking the end of the month, visiting the newest AFLC church in Brazil, in Ijuhy, Rio Grande do Sul! I am very excited to introduce the Miriam Home to them and at the same time bring a word of encouragement to our new brothers and sisters!