Missions of Love in Puerto Rico

 

We know that God has many places for us to share our good fortune.  Please, Father, show us those who need your help and who are looking for you to guide their lives.  We have found a mission in Puerto Rico.  If you would like to help, please contact our pastor at the phone # on the Home page and he will put you in touch with those who know best how your gift can be used.  God bless!

 

 

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As you look at the painting by Nathan Greene please remember that God has many fields that are ripening and waiting for harvest.  We do not want to miss out on one person who wishes to give his heart to the Lord and donate his time or possessions to those who will die without them.

 

 

 

Remember this man who has bottled water and food to eat.  He even has clean clothes and perhaps some furniture that he would have had to do without if someone had not stepped up to Jesus and said, "Here am I, send me."  There are still many people in Puerto Rico who are in need.  Electricity is still not everywhere in the island.  Store shelves are filling and sanitary situations are being solved.  We will be having more of this kind of emergency as we wait on the Lord.  What will you be doing?

 

 

 

 

 

Issue 13, March 26, 2018 

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The latest Refugee Ministries news
from the Iowa-Missouri Conference

 

 

In this update: a powerful phone call, future citizens of this country, and celebrating your faithfulness. 

I wish you could have listened in on the phone call I had recently. I have some friends living in another state who are not believers at this time. They have amazing hearts and want to help others yet they have serious questions keeping them from joining any organized religion right now. But that was not what our phone call was about. They wanted to know about the ministry that God had led my family to be part of these last few years in Iowa and Missouri. They have followed us and our cross-cultural work ranging Internationally from Cambodia to Indonesia and now, finally, to the heartland of the USA. They asked what we were doing here.

Excitedly, I began sharing with them my incredible privilege of working in a conference which is committed to blessing refugees. To be part of a movement of people who are actively working to love others at their point of need. People committed to living the gospel mandate of loving our neighbors instead of allowing the all too common prejudice and judgment to segregate us. They caught my excitement and asked what that work looked like. 

I verbally painted a picture of some of my activities around the conference. I get to go from church to church encouraging and mobilizing members to reach out and care for the thousands of people that have been ripped up from their countries and eventually dropped into ours. I witness our volunteers working hard to come alongside families and help them integrate into our communities. I get to see the clothes shared, the financial help given, but most of all, the love and friendship offered. Even without speaking the same language I can tell when love has broken through and connected hearts. 

I relayed that around the conference in different churches we are teaching refugees English as a second language, how to drive safely on our roads, and citizenship classes so they can make this country their own. Other places we are helping out with community gardening to lighten the load on families providing healthy food for themselves. We even have started a special Pathfinder group for the children of refugee families. It is so beautiful to see each of these things moving forward. All around me, I observe deep friendships growing. Because of this we are even seeing worship groups come together and there are whole new communities of faith praising God in their own language in the freedom that this great nation still provides. 

I marvel at the commitment of our members giving (sacrificially for many) so that children can be sent to our schools and receive a Christ-centered education that will bless their whole family. I sit in homes and hear the parents share their heartfelt gratitude that their child is off of the streets and in a safe school now. I am so blessed to be surrounded by the commitment of the believers in this conference.

As I shared these things my friends were deeply touched and encouraged. They asked many questions and were continuously surprised by what God was doing here. Even though they are not members of any group they felt convicted to join us and help out where they can. It was a powerful time together. I wanted to let you know about this conversation because what you are doing to love and support refugees is also impacting others who are watching. Thank you so much for your faithfulness! 

 

 

 

 

This is part of our new Kinyarwanda worship group meeting in Columbia.

 

 

Helping future citizens of our country.

I was so blessed the other day when I got to see Ed Beijen teaching his citizenship class in Kansas City. There he was, surrounded by six eager Nepali refugees, Hindu and Christian, working side by side through the 100 questions that they will need to know in order to pass their test to become citizens. He quizzed them one by one, being careful to speak clearly so they could learn how the question is pronounced, and one by one they would give their answers. When one would struggle others would chime in and help. (Remember, many of our new friends do not even speak English! They are actually learning not only the correct answers but in some cases the very questions have to be locked into their minds through rote memorization. What amazing persistence!)

I sat there amazed at Ed's caring and commitment to help them with such an important step in their lives. Going around the group he called each one by name, asking the next question and patiently helping them lock the answer into their minds. To be honest I was hoping that his journey around the circle with questions would gently jump over me, because I was pretty sure I would not know the correct answers! Mercifully, Ed skipped me, and I reflected that it would be good for natural born citizens to have to take the test occasionally just to appreciate the freedoms we have in this great country. I was deeply touched listening to the effort and commitment of each of our future United States citizens working hard to be ready for their test. Hearing them share the correct answers of the rights, duties, and privileges of being citizens nearly made me cry as I remembered the times I have lived in places and witnessed life without those protections and freedoms. 

The group meets for an hour or two twice a week. Through their time together Ed has gotten to know a lot about their families and their journeys. He has heard their heart-wrenching stories and deeply respects their tenacity in starting a new life here. His own life has been changed and blessed as he has undoubtedly blessed each of them. That is how God works. When we choose to help and bless others, we can't help but be blessed in the process. If you would like to learn how you can help bless refugees in ways like this, please give me a call at 678-532-8787. I would love to talk with you and see where God can bless you as you bless others.

 

 

 

 

Imagine witnessing hundreds of new citizens entering this country and knowing that you have been a part of making that happen.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating your faithfulness.
  

Thank you for being committed to this important work. It is truly inspiring to see the ways that God is working throughout our conference and how it is impacting the world, one person at a time. As always, we are grateful for your ongoing support of the Refugee Assistance Fund (listed on your tithe envelope). This helps to provide a Christian education for more than 50 refugee students, and there are more refugee children around the conference who would like to attend our schools. We thank those who have pledged regular support of $10 or more per month to make an eternal difference in the lives of these refugee families. If you haven't yet made a pledge, please visit imsda.org/refugee to learn more. 
 

Bryan Gallant 
Refugee Ministries Coordinator

 

 

 



If you would like to see how your church can help or invite Bryan Gallant to speak at your church or school please contact him at bgallant@imsda.org 
or 678-532-8787.

Bryan loves making new friends wherever he goes.  

 

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God has blessed us as we help others.