Taking the Gospel Where Christ is Not Known

Taking the Gospel Where Christ is Not Known

Jesus Film Mission Trips™ offers more than 40 mission trips each year to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Our professional mission trip leaders provide safe and meaningful experiences for teams ranging from 5 to 30 participants.

We are looking for people with a love for the Lord, a taste for adventure, and a desire to serve Christ by helping to reach those who have never heard the gospel.

Go on a mission trip and show the “JESUS” film in villages. Teams host large outdoor film showings, resulting in many viewers coming to know Christ personally.

Join a mission trip to Europe where you will distribute DVDs of the”JESUS” film, as well as Bibles and other materials to interested people living in—or traveling through—select European cities.

Our European summer mission trips are effective for getting the gospel proclaimed in North Africa and the Middle East.

In some countries, the gospel isn’t allowed to be shared openly, and discretion is needed. We do not show the exact names of these locations.

You can view our mission trips to the Middle East and mission trips to Asia, but for security, only the region is shown.

Teaching English, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), has been a helpful way to build relationships with students and has opened the door for spiritual conversations.

Months of planning have gone into each of our short-term mission trips. Yet, the fact is they can only happen if volunteers like you join us to accomplish the trip strategy.

Our partners in the mission field are asking for your help, so let’s see where God is leading you.

We also offer other opportunities to get involved. You can be trained how to lead international mission trips through a one-year internship, during which you will assist our leaders on the mission trips. These are great ways to gain experience.

Jesus Film Mission Trips is a ministry of Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ International. Beyond what we offer on our website, college students looking for opportunities in the USA and internationally can explore GOsummerproject.com.

Likewise, if you are a high school student looking for a project here in the USA or internationally, Cru High School has trips designed for high school students. Jesus Film Mission Trips offers some family-friendly mission trips; minors must be accompanied by their parent.

Our vision is to take the gospel where Christ is not known (Romans 15:20).

Our mission is to partner with national ministries by taking volunteers from the body of Christ on short-term trips to evangelize the least-reached using “JESUS” film products.

With more than 40 mission trips available each year, our experienced team leaders provide safe and meaningful mission experiences for teams ranging from 5 to 30 participants. These teams travel to more than 30 different countries to distribute copies of the “JESUS” film in the local languages. The teams also host large outdoor film showing, resulting in many viewers coming to know Christ personally. Since 1997 we have taken more than 7,000 individuals to some of the most unreached people groups in the world.

We are looking for people with a love for the Lord, a taste for adventure and a desire to serve Christ by helping to reach those who have never heard. Learn more about Jesus Film Mission Trips here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

Hard Times, Keep Praying

Hard Times, Keep Praying

This is from a series we have about different ways you can do ministry, even as things have changed. Whether you are a youth, parent, young adult, regular adult, or grandparent, we are all members of the body of Christ called to show his love to others.

Persistent Prayer

For many of you, you’re already doing this. You have been consistently praying, making sure to take time to praise the Lord and give thanks, turn away from sin in repentance, and lay requests at His feet. But you get to this one person or that specific request, and you can feel it in your heart. A little squeeze.

How long have you been praying for that person? A week, a month, a year? 5 years? 10? What about that job, this situation? You can’t remember a day that has gone by that you haven’t been praying for this. And yet, it feels like all you are getting is nothing.

As we look at the violent and heartbreaking deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more, we wonder, how long have we been praying for the end of discrimination and prejudice in our nation? Will there ever be reconciliation?

These are all heavy things that weigh on our hearts. The next step is simple:

Have courage dear Christian. And keep praying.

Take a moment and read Luke 18:1-8

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”

6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?

We have a good, good God, faithful to his people, and abundant in love and faithfulness. Since he cares about what is right, good, and glorifies himself, He is already vastly better than the judge in the parable. But on top of all that, He also cares deeply for us personally. He cries with us, he intercedes for us. He is working in this dark and terrible mess, healing the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

But we need to turn to the Source and Giver of all hope at this time and every time. We need to remain in His presence with persistence. Even when the answer is waiting, God delights in us speaking to Him.

Laura Story put it best in her book When God Doesn’t Fix It, a wonderful testimony about how the Lord carried her through a difficult portion of her life. She writes,

“When we go through trials, it’s easy for us to pray for protection from harm, for our health, for our safety, and for our own happiness. But I think God has more planned for us than those things. He’s asking us if we’ll still believe and have faith even if our life isn’t comfortable, our days are filled with trials, our prayers have not been answered the way we like, and our dreams die. He’s asking us to have faith, even during our trials, because he has more good planned for us than we could ever hope for or imagine”.

As you take the time to intentionally deepen and persist in prayer, meditate on the following Scripture of the Lord’s delight in your prayers. The prayers of God’s people are likened to a fragrant offering, and the Lord delights in the prayers you pray.

Psalm 141:1-2

1 Lord, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Daily in the inner city, hurting people are struggling to make ends meet. The lack of economic opportunities creates a constant battle against hopelessness. Many feel like outsiders to mainstream culture. These people are our neighbors, but how often do we treat them with worth and dignity?

Good people are doing great work now to bring hope to their community. A crucial support network built on programs and relationships is working bridge the wealth gap. But the truth is, only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring radical change in a person or a neighborhood.

​EY2S is a Norfolk-based, inner-city focused, mission organization designed to equip young people to see (and meet) the need next to them. When students are equipped with the love of Christ and practical tools the inner-city is radically changed. When we send them home, they are too. And isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Learn more about their work here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

Rescued

Rescued

At the end of the medical clinic, after we walked through the district with Seeta (*name changed for privacy), we gathered together back at the center. It was sweltering and the shade of the center’s roof provided much needed respite from the cloak of heat and scorching sun.

We scraped our metal chairs into a circle and David asked Seeta to share with us some of the things that have been happening in the Red-Light District. She excused herself briefly and returned carrying a leather-bound journal and opened the pages. At the top of one of the pages she had penned five names – written beside them were dates.

In January and February of this year, she helped five women find rescue.

Beside each name was their freedom date and a short sentence about where they had gone.

This process of rescue is layered and complicated; each rescue takes time and considerable wisdom. Getting the ladies out is a major hurdle but it is not the only one. Rescued women often have nowhere to go, and without a plan may end up back in the district they left or on the streets, revictimized. Rahab’s Rope has a network of a few safe houses outside the city to send the women to once they get out safely. These five were scattered to various centers where they could be safe and receive resources to learn vocations or be repatriated home.

Unfortunately, of these five, one woman did not make it. For reason not completely clear, addiction perhaps, she showed back up in the RLD from which she had so recently escaped. When she was interrogated by the madams about her leaving, she told them that Seeta had gotten her out. Not surprising, they came straight to Seeta to interrogate her. This is not the first time they have come looking for her when a woman has disappeared.

Seeta is tiny and may come across as meek at first glance, but this woman spends her days serving the hardest of the hard. She chooses to be there when most everyone else would not. I have personally watched this small statured woman rise and raise her voice to command a crowd of aggressive ladies…with a few loud reprimands she asserts control. Every single time. Seeta is one of God’s mightiest. Of this I am certain.

On the day they came to question her, she tells us that she was not afraid as they approached. As with every rescue, she had the forethought and wisdom to plan ahead and to anticipate potential problems. She vehemently denied to her interrogators that she had anything to do with the rescue, and when they momentarily retreated, she went directly to her accuser. Wise and seasoned in her dealings with these women, Seeta previously audio recorded the woman as she spoke of wanting to leave the brothels. An audio recording like this would be completely devastating and detrimental to the woman if shared with her madam. At mention of the audio recording, the woman retracted her accusations and said no more.

On this day, as we sat knee to knee in the shelter of the center, only a few weeks had passed since Seeta had been accused. As she gave voice to the heaviness of her work and the inherent risks she takes on behalf of these women, I felt like the air itself got heavier.

I asked Seeta if she is fearful, and without the slightest hint of a pause, she said no. “I choose not to be afraid. I want to be used by God to save as many women as possible. This is my wish. To save as many women as possible.” And then she looked down and giggled as if she was embarrassed by the attention she was receiving.

On days like today when the oppression feels tangible; after standing in individual brothels and meeting generations of mothers and daughters living side by side in this place, here is where we close our eyes and breathe in hope. He is here. In this mess. And honestly, it is the most authentically beautiful picture of the Gospel I have ever seen.

One secret, leather-bound journal.

Those handwritten names, with their freedom dates beside them.

And the beautiful, brave, loved by God, hand that penned them.

In the darkest dark, there is holy light.

He is here.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him. I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

The mission of Rahab’s Rope is to give hope and opportunity to women and girls that are at risk or have been forced into the commercial sex trade of India. We provide a safe and loving environment that will enable them to grow and develop both physically and spiritually. Since 2004, Rahab’s Rope has existed to spread awareness and help eradicate sex trafficking. We give hope and opportunity to those who are at risk or have been forced into the sex trade. We work in the areas of prevention, direct intervention and aftercare. Learn more about Rahab’s Rope here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

How the Youngest Can Make a Difference

How the Youngest Can Make a Difference

Today we went to Zirobwe (a village) for the second time!

First, I helped at the vision clinic and took notes. I kept taking notes and it was hard but Tori helped me.

I also helped get glasses to my dad so he could give them out. There were a lot of people today- twice as much as the day before.

I went to the courtyard to take a break.

I met a kid and he wanted to play catch with a tennis ball. After that, he found a broken soccer ball and we played soccer for a while. I also met a kid named Saturday and he liked to touch my hair because it’s soft. I started making funny faces and other kids started gathering around.

Saturday could whistle with his hands and sounded like a bird!

All the kids waved “Bye!” as we rode the bus out. Before bed I shared my cookies with Mark and then got ready to sleep.

I enjoyed the day!

Live in Light Ministries shines the light of God by sharing the gospel and partnering with local organizations in developing countries to help children, families, and communities overcome the long term impacts of poverty, inequality and lack of education.

Live in Light Ministries partners with trusted, local organizations in East Africa to shine the light of God by helping children, families and communities overcome spiritual, educational, physical and social impacts of poverty. We have been doing missions in East Africa since 2010 and are blessed to be able to share our experience and knowledge about the region and the amazing people who live there. It is our hope that anyone who is inspired will take the step to follow God’s call to go on mission in Uganda or Rwanda.

We believe that mission trips should build long term relationships with a small number of communities. Our mission teams facilitate long term impact in the lives of children and families in our partner communities by annually sponsoring dental, vision and sanitation and health clinics, supporting local churches in impoverished areas, providing education and skills training programs for orphans, vulnerable children and widows, establishing ministries for economic growth, participating in sports ministry outreach programs, facilitating access to clean water and regularly visiting a children’s hospital.  Learn more about Live in Light Ministries here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

How Global Aid Network is Responding to Covid-19

How Global Aid Network is Responding to Covid-19

Thank you for keeping Global Aid Network (GAiN) in your prayers. You have been on our minds and hearts, and we continue to pray for those of you who are experiencing a challenging and stressful time. COVID-19 has changed the lives of people across the world, leaving many of us to deal with an evolving new normal and an uncertainty about the future. It is in times like these that we remember we are not alone and that we are all in this together.

“The COVID-19 virus knows no borders. This has been a wake-up call for the world to stand in solidarity and work together. If there was ever a time for countries and governments to support one another and invest in health globally, it is right now.” – Karina Gould, Minister of International Development for Global Affairs Canada.

GAiN is responding. Our deep desire and commitment is to continue revealing hope and restoring life to people living in crisis and injustice, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. The virus has now reached every one of the nine countries that we work in, affecting all of our projects in varying degrees. Although we have temporarily paused our normal project activities, mostly due to government restrictions and in order to mitigate risks in an ever-changing environment, our field teams have completed their early response assessments. Will you partner with us as we prepare our teams to respond?

Wash (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene)

As every project faces constraints with COVID-19, each country has its own urgent and unique need and we are responding in the following four ways that will continue to connect people, especially women and children who are among some of the most vulnerable, with resources that provide hope, faith and life.

“The provision of safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 outbreak,” states the World Health Organization. As a result, our Water for Life Initiative teams in Benin, Togo and Tanzania are:

* Engaging with public health experts and local governments to complement country strategies

* Pivoting our community strategy to COVID-19 prevention by supplying handwashing stations and soaps and community health promotion

* Supporting local, village-level clinics with protective equipment (gloves, masks and sanitizers) and handwashing stations

* Engaging local pastors and their churches in disease prevention and health promotion in their surrounding communities on hygiene principles

Financial Assistance

The women entrepreneurs we support through our microfinance project in Paraguay are struggling to provide for their families.

With a country-wide ban on public gatherings, they are unable to meet with their trust groups.

To continue to support these women’s businesses and help empower them to make informed decisions, Diaconia, GAiN’s in-country partner, is developing a vocational training course on how to make cleaning products, as well as a video course on financial literacy during a crisis, which will be released on Facebook and Whatsapp.

They’re also developing a crisis management module to train their trust group chaplains on dealing with trauma and loss.

 

Food Security

The children GAiN supports in both Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission in India and GAiN Upendo Center in Tanzania are under lockdown.

Now that university students and vocational young adults were required to return to their campus, resources are stretched.

Both Mukti and Upendo have some capacity to continue farming activities but food scarcity is a grave concern.

In response to several desperate requests, GAiN’s partner, Jesus Responde in Paraguay is preparing a minimum of 10,000 food packages made of soup mix and donated products for immediate distribution.

Local church partners will deliver these packages on an as-needed basis, bringing hope right to the doors of those who are hungry.

Syria, with many at-risk families dependent on our Bags of Blessing program (food and non-food items), has banned public gatherings due to the ongoing pandemic. Our church partner has prepared 500 bags (initially) for door-to-door distribution to respond to immediate essential needs. In response to COVID-19, GAiN and the local church will start preparing and distributing Clean Bags (containing the basic cleaning and disinfecting supplies) as an awareness and prevention initiative.

Emergency Disaster Assistance Response Team

In coordination with our global GAiN offices, we are sending an emergency COVID-19 disaster response team to Lesbos, Greece to respond to the evolving crisis at Camp Moria.

Home to 20,000 refugees fleeing conflicts in the Middle East, this refugee camp was only built for 3,000.

Resources to support the refugees were already stretched and now it’s even harder to continue to provide much-needed care and support.

Teams will distribute critical items such as hygiene sanitation goods, baby food, diapers, clothing and sleeping bags as well as set up a warehouse nearby so that emergency supplies are easily accessible.

God continues to move through His church and we are inspired by believers who are compelled to respond practically and are passionate about sharing the hope of Jesus to those living in despair, anxiety and fear. The spread of COVID-19 across the world has shown that we are all connected beyond borders, and that our decisions and actions in one country can have a significant impact in other countries. It’s how we respond as Christians to this global crisis, with love, courage and selflessness, that sets us apart.

This crisis has put us in a position to share the love of God with people all over the world. During this time of unprecedented global adversity, you can help make a difference in countries that may not be as equipped to deal with the virus and its impending consequences.

Together, when we reach out with care as well as address both the immediate and tangible needs, we help those impacted by this crisis discover the peace that only Jesus can bring. Will you stand with us and help our local teams respond with compassionate activity and the transforming power of Jesus Christ?

Global Aid Network helps to reveal hope and restore life through relief and development initiatives for people living in crisis and injustice. Our mission is to demonstrate the love of God, in word and deed.

Since beginning in 1998, we have mobilized resources to help people in over 47 countries around the world: Water for Life Initiative – providing access to safe water and the unconditional love of Jesus. Women and Children – redeeming, restoring, and reconciling women and children to their right place in society. Relief and Development – restoring people’s hope and dignity by breaking the chains of oppression, injustice and calamity.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

Where the Broken and Weary Receive Care

Where the Broken and Weary Receive Care

Yande’s mom gave her up when she was only two, assuming she’d never walk. Six years later, at age eight, “never” arrived…

Yande didn’t start walking until she was eight years old.

At two years of age, when it was clear Yande was not developing as she ought, her biological mother handed her to Yande’s aunt and left. In African culture, this made Yande’s aunt her new mother.

Never officially diagnosed, Yande didn’t have much sensation from her waist down. To go short distances she crawled, using her arms to drag the rest of her body forward. Sores peppered her feet and knees, the result of constantly being scraped against the ground. To cover longer distances, like getting to school, her mother or siblings carried her on their backs.

Her mother worried what would happen when Yande grew too big for her to carry…

Connected to Bethesda Mercy Ministries since the time of its conception in 2009, Yande was one of the first children in the Nakoli community in Kabwe, Zambia, to benefit from the ministry.

Yande is nine years old. Like many nine year olds she enjoys playing with her friends and siblings. She loves school and enjoys learning new things and playing games. When she smiles her whole face lights up and she often gets a case of the giggles. But unlike many nine year olds, Yande only learnt to walk a year ago.

At two years of age when it was clear that Yande was not developing as she should, her mother handed her to Yande’s aunt and left. In the African context, that made the aunt Yande’s mother.

Peter praying for the ministry to the disabled community in Zambia

“The aunt of Yande has more children, but how God amazes you, you can’t differentiate between them and Yande. They are just brothers and sisters,” said Peter Chilla, head of Bethesda Mercy Ministries.

Never officially diagnosed, Yande did not have much sensation from the waist down. To go short distances she crawled, using her arms to drag the rest of her body along. The tops of her feet and knees were constantly covered in sores from scraping against the ground. For longer distances, such as going to school, her mother or siblings carried her on their backs. Her mother worried what would happen when Yande grew too big for her to carry.

Connected to Bethesda Mercy Ministries since the time of its conception in 2009, Yande was one of the first children in the Nakoli community to benefit from the ministry.

Bethesda Mercy Ministries vision is to equip and empower people with disabilities and to bring God’s hope and truth through different ministries such as a skills training programme for women, and a school for disabled children.

Through continued physiotherapy, Yande was able to gain some feeling in her lower body, such as knowing when she had to go the bathroom and moving her legs. She also had surgery to correct a minor case of clubfoot.

At home and school, Yande used a wheelchair to get around but was not strong enough to push it on her own. The wheelchair could only be used in these places because the paths in the community were too narrow or muddy to maneuver the chair.

A physiotherapist had splints made, but they failed to offer Yande enough support to walk and she quickly outgrew them.

Daleen Schutte, an occupational therapist from South Africa, was able to make a contact in Lusaka to make moulds for new splints that would work better for Yande. Reaching from ankle to thigh, the new splints have a hinge at the knee to make bending possible.

“She really clicked fast on how to use the splints,” said Daleen. “At first her balance was a bit poor, but she got the hang of it very quickly.”

Making adjustments to a pair of crutches already at Bethesda, Yande continued to make rapid progress.

“Yande was very impressed with her ‘new legs’ and immediately said to me ‘no more wheelchair’ when I gave her the crutches,” remembered Daleen. “From day one she was willing to try her new legs and determined to make it work.”

At first she needed assistance walking to and from school, and going to the bathroom, but as her confidence and strength gradually increased so did her mobility.

Yande’s ability to walk has impacted more than just her.

Her mother constantly praises God for helping Yande. Having never dreamt that Yande would one day walk, she thought her daughter would go through life being rejected and scorned by the community.

“I don’t think her mother really realized why I wanted the splints,” Daleen said. “She did not think Yande would ever walk and did not look like she believed me when I told her the splints and crutches would make this possible. She was really amazed when Yande got her crutches for the first time and actually walked.”

Yande has also been a testimony to the community. The mentally and physically disabled are generally looked down upon in Zambia. They may be hidden out of view, abandoned, or treated poorly. For Nakoli to see Yande walking around, happy and smart, is something they were not expecting.

“The (people) in the community watch her,” said Peter. “They have seen her since childhood when she was just crawling. Every time she passes you’ll find someone watching Yande walk. We praise God for the confidence that she has to walk through the community even though people are staring at her. (She’s) a surprise to the community.”

At the annual Love Africa Conference in Kabwe, Yande stood in front of hundreds of people and praised God for what He had done in her life.

“I was sitting there crying,” Peter admitted. “I never expected Yande could speak to a crowd of people; giving testimony to how she was born and how she had been helped to walk. It was really touching. I said ‘really, this is transformation.’ That was a milestone moving forward in the life of Yande.”

Operation Mobilization (OM), USA is a global organization working with 6,800 missionaries in 118 nations to build communities of Christ followers, provide humanitarian assistance and demonstrate compassion. Though the Gospel has been with us for nearly 2,000 years, 2.8 billion people have never experienced its message of love and hope. In many cases, these same people are being crushed by unspeakable poverty, horrific injustice and cruel social and political systems. With nearly six decades making inroads into the farthest corners of the world combined with a pioneering 21st century approach, OM is uniquely equipped to address these issues.

Whether it’s rescuing enslaved women in Asia, assisting refugees in Europe, or developing bodies of believers in the the Middle East, we pinpoint ways to strengthen local communities and use the opportunities God presents us along the way to share The Bible’s life-giving message. When you partner with OM USA, through your professional work, financial generosity, and/or prayer, you become an important member of a worldwide movement with eternal significance. With operations in nearly every region of the world, the sun never sets on our operations, meaning you will be part of a team serving the needy and spreading the Word of God every minute of every day. Few other organizations allow you to see your time and talent reach so far or impact so many.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

God Has a Plan

God Has a Plan

As a result of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, the life of the moms we know in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala are more tumultuous than ever before. With that reality, my heart has been so heavy, and I have struggled with feeling more helpless than ever before.

Friends, there is no prayer closet small enough to keep everyone from hearing the tough prayers I’ve had with God in times like this. During one of my many difficult conversations I’ve had with the Lord (ugly crying and all the mess that comes with it), my daughter Jaima just came around me and said, “Mom, it’s going to be ok.” In the middle of me really letting God have it with my, “Why God? It’s hard enough already! It doesn’t have to be this way!” He sent a 16 year old to hold me up. I literally felt the Lord’s peace sweep over me!

Oh, how I take refuge in the fact that our God is not a God of confusion, and I am so grateful that He can send us that truth in such sweet ways. As women we naturally make plans, but at the end of the day, God is in control. Here we are again facing a time where our plans have changed…but GOD has a plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 has been a steady word that flows from my mouth since college, and He has never failed. Sure, my plans don’t always work the way I want, but He is still on the throne,  loving and leading.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

I’m not going to lie, there have been times that I sit and want to feel sorry for myself because I’m not where I want to be, doing the things that He called me to do. But I came to the realization that where I am is where He sent me. The same call stays on my heart. I know the needs in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala, so I can’t just do nothing. I have to do something—even if that means I do it from my living room or dining room table!

What if we claim the coming days with the reminder of what Lamentations 3:22-24 says The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Let’s start our days with headlines like: Today is a fresh new day. Constant, stable, and certain because it is in Him we have hope!

With the continuing global expansion of the COVID-19 virus, Mission of Hope’s leadership and medical staff have been closely monitoring the situation. In an effort to protect the vulnerable communities that we serve in, we recognize that we have a responsibility and have been positioned to care for people who could potentially be greatly affected by a pandemic of this nature. The local staff in each country are working with local authorities and local medical personnel to prepare for support in their response.

Please join us in prayer for the people of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, the Bahamas, as well as for our local leadership teams on the ground as they continue to lead the ministry. Prayerfully, Bob King – COO Mission of Hope

Learn more about Mission of Hope and how you can help here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

Treasures in Jars of Clay

Treasures in Jars of Clay

For over a century, Uganda has been known as the pearl of Africa. But come with me to the village of Kasana, and we will find treasure of a different sort. These treasures are children and young people with special needs and disabilities. Their bodies are like jars of clay, and, initially, you might be overwhelmed by the brokenness and frailty of their physical bodies and minds, hindered by pain, deformity or disease. Here in Uganda, many see them as worthless, a burden on their families, their bodies and minds useless and dysfunctional due to cerebral palsy, brain and spinal injuries, genetic disorders, or learning difficulties. But in the eyes of our heavenly Father, each one is a precious and valuable treasure, uniquely created in his image, fearfully and wonderfully made by him.

It wouldn’t take you long to see treasure shining and spilling out. As one girl leads her friends in praise and worship songs, smiles stretch across faces, and many eyes and faces light up exuding an inner joy, peace and contentment. There are many remarkable stories as, in the face of human frailty and weakness, God reveals his glory and power. This year it has been exciting to see two girls starting to walk independently. Here at New Hope Uganda we rejoice and thank God for the big and small things he enables each child to achieve, whether it is gaining a kilogram in weight, taking a few steps, eating some ‘normal’ food or learning to write their name.

Six children with disabilities live in one of the family groups at New Hope, Uganda. Some of these children are totally dependent for all their needs, needing round the clock care, feeding tubes and regular medication. Another fifteen children live with their families and join the Treasures school class each day. Other children and families in the wider community are supported through monthly group sessions, physio sessions and home visits.

As their physiotherapist, I’m able to use skills God has given me to help children to develop, and to prevent complications which are a result of their disabilities. This involves stretches and exercises; teaching new skills like rolling, crawling or walking; getting children well-positioned in chairs, wheelchairs and at night; and helping parents and carers to do these things too.

Many need therapy, equipment, care and help to reach their God-given potential. We are regularly blessed by God’s provision. Last month I returned to Uganda with a hoist, a special walking frame and several pairs of specialist shoes. God certainly provides for all our physical needs, often through sponsors and visiting teams, and he provides for our emotional and spiritual needs too.

The name Treasures in jars of clay comes from Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:7. The ‘treasure’ Paul is speaking of there is the priceless, precious light of the gospel within the believer, the only hope for the hopeless. The gospel and a desire for people to know God and come into a personal living relationship with him as their heavenly Father is at the heart of all that happens at New Hope Uganda. In the beginning, New Hope Uganda’s foundational verses were Psalm 68:5-6, which speak of God being the ‘father to the fatherless’. Fast-forward thirty years and the vision continues to be to bring the fatherhood of God to the fatherless, place the lonely in families, and bring his love, healing and the light of the gospel to the broken.

At Kasana Children’s Centre (New Hope Uganda’s main site) there are seven family groups where children experience love, protection, discipleship and family. Over 400 children and teenagers receive a Christ-centred education at the primary and secondary schools. There is an Investment Year programme, where young adults are given the opportunity to experience different workplaces, alongside being disciplined and trained in biblical manhood and womanhood. Gospel truth is taught clearly in each of these contexts, as well as in the church services, pastoral training institute, and on Musana FM radio station.

During our Sunday service at Kasana, it’s wonderful to see the inclusivity of the gospel – through the tribes and nations represented, and the freedom that children and adults with disabilities have to worship God in their own, sometimes noisy or ‘messy’, way. In the Treasures class, the gospel is also intentionally shared with children with special needs. With the help of a translator, I share a multi-sensory Bible lesson with the children, helping them to know more of God, His love and salvation through Christ. For some, we have no idea how much they can understand, but we know that God can do a work of grace in their hearts. Others do seem to have a simple faith, and it’s lovely to hear them pray and see them daily trusting in God.

In 2004, the Lausanne Forum for World Evangelisation recognised that people with disabilities worldwide are a huge under reached people-group, with only 5-10% effectively reached with the gospel. As individuals and churches, let’s prayerfully consider how we can grow in Christlikeness as we welcome and include those with disabilities, and recognise the joy, value, diversity and challenge that God’s image-bearers with special needs could bring to us.

God has a perfect plan and purpose for each precious life, and he has determined the number of days for each one Job 14:5. Some of our Treasures have surprised us with their fighting spirit and their ability to bounce back from serious medical problems. We are thankful to be needing to consider how to support and care for adults with complex disabilities, as some of our teenagers have exceeded doctors’ expectations, and God continues to give them strength and life for each new day.

But for many, life here on earth is hard, and for some it is short. Working with children with complex needs and disabilities has made me think a lot more about heaven. Michael Bates wrote in his book Disability and the gospel,‘Weakness and brokenness can serve as a whisper reminding us that while life is good, heaven is unimaginably better.’ Three Treasures I’ve worked with in the last two years are already home with Jesus, and another may soon be joining them. It is hard to see children struggling with pain, reflux, breathing, fits and other medical problems. This makes me anticipate heaven and that glorious day when sufferings cease, when brokenness is a thing of the past, and when, with new resurrection bodies, we will be home forever. But here and now, there are many Treasures here at New Hope Uganda (and much closer to home too) who are in need of your prayers, and parents and carers who need a daily outpouring of God’s grace and strength as they care for their Treasures.

Learn more here about our special needs ministry, Treasures in Jars of Clay and how you can sponsor a special needs child.

New Hope Uganda (NHU) is an organization dedicated to bringing the fatherhood of God to the fatherless through holistic Gospel transformation in communities. NHU’s original goal was to care for children orphaned in Uganda’s brutal civil war. In 1988, NHU brought in its first 10 fatherless children and today has grown into a work that is impacting thousands with the love and Fatherhood of God. After decades of warfare, its first location was strategically placed in the Luwero district which was at the center of the civil war which left a generation of orphans. Today, New Hope Uganda cares for over 600 children through 3 locations.

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