Mario and his wife, Camille, operate Hope, Room & Board, a ministry which serves people who are grappling with drug addiction and mental illness. Their mission field is the Inland Empire of California, specifically the city of San Bernardino and surrounding communities. Statistically this area has some of the highest percentages for crime, gang violence and drug addiction in the nation.
Sharing good news from the field
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François Turcotte was born and raised in this mission field of Quebec and embraced Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1982. “People don’t connect the reality that within North America, there is a population that could be considered to be like Afghanistan or Turkey,” he said. “The evangelical church is unknown here. In many ways, locals consider it to be almost cult-like.”
It’s easy to understand why Amoon Sharon and his family, upon relocating to America from Pakistan in 2008, heeded God’s calling to continue their mission work in the suburban expanse of northern New Jersey. Their home in Metuchen, nestled in one of the most culturally diverse areas in the world, sits mere minutes from a burgeoning population of 300,000 people of South Asian descent, mostly Muslims and Hindu.
“I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages, where no missionary has ever been.”
Those words inspired Scottish physician and internationally-renowned missionary David Livingstone to devote his life to bringing Christianity to the remote reaches of Africa in the late 1800s. They also inspire Larisa Craig, but she doesn’t travel to a foreign land to serve God and his people. The need hits far closer to home.
Tim Stewart has worked with Campus Ambassadors since 2001. However, he is currently stepping back from his own campus ministry to, instead, minister to other campus ministers. His new official title is ‘Director of Ministry Partner Development’ and his objective is to help new and veteran missionaries find partners to support them in their ministry.
These missionaries will receive coaching and counseling to help them walk through support-raising and most importantly, living by faith as they go through the process.
“I have grown increasingly challenged by Kenyan youth telling me that they feel like their African culture is a mistress that they must leave at home whenever they enter a church," says Curtis Reed. Many Kenyans do not feel that they are truly accepted in traditional churches. They do not feel they can be Christian and African. Curtis realized that God was calling Him to bring a new type of church to the people of Kenya—a church where they can be both. The goal is not to discard traditional church practices, but instead to learn from them and to incorporate new ones. It is to create a church where Kenyans do not feel they must set aside their African-ness in order to pick up their Christianity, but instead, where they can embrace being both—Christian and African.
Freddy didn’t really understand the concept of grace. How could he? The major influences in his life up to that point had not shared or demonstrated that grace. Instead, they told cautionary tales of a harsh world. They warned him to work hard and do well or he would quickly end up in a box under the interstate. Thankfully, his understanding and experience of grace will continue to grow from relationships with people like Tyler, groups like Damascus Road, and the true fingerprint of God in Freddy’s life. In his own words, Freddy said, “There’s still plenty of road to travel but it’s a road I’m happy to travel.”
For many, Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. But we all know someone for whom the holidays are anything but merry. For the bruised, battered and brokenhearted, those who are grieving, and those whose circumstances are anything but what they would choose, it is hard to put on a happy face for Christmas.
The good news is that none of life’s difficulties, defeats or disasters are outside of the loving care of our God. In fact, Christmas came because our world was held captive to the sorrows and shame of a world ravaged by selfishness and brokenness, sickness and death.
The city of Donestk is in the center of one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises, a “Forgotten War”, now into its fifth year. Located just behind a 300-mile line of trenches and massive fields of land mines, every day brings more shelling to the city. Ten thousand people have died. A million and a half have fled. Every day there are more casualties. And yet, these missionaries have chosen to stay with their people and chosen thankfulness, just to be alive.
Did you know your pastor probably wants to quit? No sabbatical. Family tensions. No counseling. Ministry fatigue. No self-care. Conflict. No clear picture of what's expected. And no option to be weak when your congregation needs you to be strong. At any given time, 75% of pastors in America want to quit, (Church Resource Ministries). Bob says he is a “poster child” for the power of God renewing a spirit. Through this experience, they became keenly aware of ministry individuals and couples across the nation that struggle with similar issues. Their personal experience and the statistics above, led the Lehmans back to Missions Door and compelled them to start the ministry, Mission Recharge.