Update From Bahamas After Hurricane “Dorian”

As our readers will know, Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas this week. Early this morning I received the following report from one of our Nazarene pastors who also serves as a member of our Mesoamerica Regional Advisory Committee:

Hello Scott,

Greetings in Jesus. I live in Nassau, which did not get the brunt of the hurricane, some rain, winds and flooding with minor damage. This was nothing compared to what the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama experienced: heavy forced winds, rain, storm surges, major flooding and major damage to many homes. Many persons in Abaco and Grand Bahama lost everything, some even lost their lives.  Additionally, there are so many who still need to be rescued, and so many people are not accounted for. Please pray that God will alert the rescuers to the cries of those still needing to be rescued, since many of them have no way of contact at this point. The authorities have reported that some 70,000 persons have been affected by the hurricane and over 60% of the island of Abaco is destroyed.  Attached is a flyer we have created to assist with securing hurricane relief for the victims. We are mobilizing the best we can here in Nassau to secure these items, while we wait on the ‘go ahead’ from authorities to travel to the island to distribute relief.

We are trusting God to save and protect these hurricane victims, and we are doing our best here to assist them with the basic necessities. I will update you as I receive further reports.

We thank you for your prayers and anything that you can do to assist. God bless.

For His Glory,

Antoine St. Louis

I have included the flyer mentioned by Dr. St. Louis above, and please consider also donating through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries at the following link:

https://give.nazarene.org/donate/f/134047.

Our Regional Director, Dr. Luis Carlos Saenz, has notified us that a group from the region will be traveling to Bahamas tomorrow.  They will provide further information and updates as they are able.

UHAB Hurricane Relief Flyer - Made with PosterMyWall.jpg

Youth in Mission and Genesis Collaborate to Impact Queretaro

Youth in Mission and Genesis Collaborate to Impact Queretaro

Lohuther René Gutiérrez Méndez

Two days ago, I wrote about the incredible things God did this summer through Youth in Mission in Mexico. One thing I omitted (on purpose, in order to share it here) is the following.

After several days of training and house-to-house evangelism, we came alongside the missionaries who are serving with the Genesis initiative in Queretaro.  That state is known for its lack of openness to the gospel, and it forms part of an area that has been named the Circle of Silence.Querétaro 2

The four missionaries there are doing a great job of reaching many people through classes or lessons on literacy, computer programming, football, and even psychological consultations.  It was a privilege for us to listen to them and see the deep desire they possess to be part of God’s mission.

The Lord allowed us to work with many children and adults, giving educational talks to the parents, which was a great blessing.  In the afternoons we presented dramas and free-style rap concerts that proved attractive to the kids and teens.  Our purpose was to make relationships and share the gospel with them, and we were able to do so by emphasizing positive lyrics and topics in our music.

What a wonderful time we had in Queretaro: 25 days in all.  We experienced so many beautiful things and witnessed the presence of God at work in the lives of the people in the community as they were being transformed.

The Lord gave us the opportunity to celebrate the first-ever congregational service in that Genesis site, which also included a marvelous time of prayer for healing.  The people present opened their hearts and, with tears in their eyes, were able to give their burdens to the Lord and receive the peace that only he can give.

Querétaro 1We were able to assist an elderly woman in moving from one house to another, and that opened doors for us to lead her to Christ.  After she was baptized a few days later, we all gave glory to God because his Holy Spirit always goes before us, convincing of sin within and guiding us into the light of his salvation.

During our final days on site, we held an activity in a large park.  We presented a sketch and shared the Word of God with all who were present.  Afterwards we formed groups of two or three and prayed prayers of blessing for all who had gathered.  The missionaries told us that this was the first service they had seen where all of their contacts came together; without a doubt, it impacted all of us.

When Sunday arrived, we were anticipating what would take place.  This morning was important: all the months of the missionaries’ hard work was about to bear fruit. Ten Christians were baptized that day and we rejoiced with them, knowing that there had been parties all over heaven because of their decisions!

We knew that God was backing us up at every step.  Our time in Queretaro was full of culture shock and moments when, as a group, we opened up and shared our concerns and conflicts.  God helped us to become united as a team, and our ministry began to benefit from it.  Out of the entire summer of Youth in Mission, our time in Queretaro was what impacted us the most.

*In our next entries we will share some testimonies that came directly from the young men who served as Youth in Mission missionaries this summer.

Querétaro 3

 

Youth in Mission – Mexico 2019

JEM Grupo

Youth in Mission – Mexico 2019

Lohuther René Gutiérrez Méndez

At last the day we had prayed for arrived, and with much excitement we waited in the Mexico City airport for the Youth in Mission (YIM) volunteer missionaries. Mario Josué López Alvarado and Pablo Isaí Parra Jiménez, both from different parts of Mexico, arrived first, followed by Christopher Barreto Maldonado and Gian Carlos Rodríguez Quiñones all the way from Puerto Rico.

We began our summer as a group with focused devotional times, and we participated as leaders and workshop presenters during the Cross-Cultural Orientation in Texcoco.  Our role was mostly to guide those interested in missions in the dynamics and teach concepts of culture and missions.  Above all, the four missionaries shared their testimonies with participants and encouraged them to listen to God’s call on their lives.

COMWe dedicated a big part of our summer to assisting the four missionaries that are planting churches in Queretaro through the Genesis initiative.  It was a powerful time.  In our next entry I will share more about that specific experience.

After being in Queretaro, we traveled to Mezcala, Jalisco, where we shared the Word of God and our testimonies with a Catholic group. Although we didn’t know how they would receive us, it was interesting to see that they were happy to have us there. They loaned us their Catholic Bibles so that we could read the passage they had read, and they asked us to share what we thought.  Upon finishing, we closed by leading circles of prayer. Before we left, we announced that we would be visiting houses in the area to pray for families and read the Bible.  Immediately three families present signed up and enthusiastically received us later that week as we blessed their homes and shared the Word with them.  God was opening doors.Viajando JEM

We had the privilege to teach evangelism strategies and techniques with the local Nazarene church in Mezcala, and we shared with them how the Holy Spirit could use their testimonies to help a friend or co-worker to draw closer to Christ.

We walked nearly all of the streets of Mezcala in order to hand out invitations for the Vacation Bible School: the theme this year was “Summer Harvest Camp.”  We also took time to pray in the streets and parks, and we spoke with many people about the importance of children being brought up with Biblical values and principles as their foundation.

That Sunday we were invited to give our testimony of what God had done that week in order to motivate the Nazarene congregation to participate in missions.

We left Mezcala and traveled to JUNAMEX, which is Mexico’s national youth congress.  We served there as part of the staff and led several activities.  Our primary goal that week was to get to know the highest number of youth possible and share with them about God’s calling on our lives and what He had allowed us to experience.  Every meal we shared with someone different, and during the break times as well.  We were also personally refreshed by the times of corporate worship with 1,000 teens, and we responded to God’s call at the altar along with many of them.Orando JEM

Saying goodbye was very difficult; we had shared everything together for six weeks, and we had become a family! But the moment had arrived, and we thanked God for his protection, his strength, and his love for us.  We praised him in gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of such a special group of youth who proved courageous and passionate for Christ in every moment.

All glory and honor be to Him forever.  Amen.

Lohuther René Gutiérrez Méndez

Youth in Mission Coordinator, Mexico 2019

Orando

Children’s Missionary Retreat – 2019

In the midst of the reality our world lives in, where for various reasons people are increasingly moving away from God and his calling, the Church has been concerned with creating an opportunity where children can learn about the importance of love, serving others, and being part of God’s mission.

On July 16 and 17, a “Children’s Missionary Retreat (“COMi” in Spanish) was held for the first time in the Dominican Republic. The country’s five districts were represented, accompanied by national and district leaders of NMI (Nazarene International Missions), SDMI (Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International), NCM (Nazarene Compassionate Ministries) and Global Missions volunteers. Similarly, leaders from Guatemala and Puerto Rico attended, with the special participation of Ana M. Crocker, Regional Coordinator of NMI. They all came together to bless the lives of 47 children who attended this event.

a4f16f95-a028-433a-b0c9-bc9a4f1599a1.JPG

The COMI was created with the purpose of cultivating in children the responsibility of responding to God’s call to make disciples in all nations. Through games and activities, the young participants learned the true meaning of missions and how they can be part of God’s mission. They received lessons on holistic mission, cross-cultural missions, local missions, and much more.

85f89a4e-d21a-46be-97bf-0dab079b711d.JPG

Children toured the past, present and future to meet the missionaries of each era and understand their lives, their calls, and their ministries. The children also meditated on the importance of prayer through a time when they interceded for their communities, families, and missionaries. They also enjoyed songs, a theatrical presentation, and several awards.

To conclude this event, participants reflected on the life and calling of Samuel, followed by a time of prayer and thanksgiving for the life of each of the children. As we concluded the event, we were convinced: if we invest more time in teaching our children to hear the voice of God, they will not only dream of being missionaries, but they will BE our future missionaries. 

 –Elba Duson, Global Missions East District, Dominican Republic.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All Hands on Deck

Knowing what mission is and being on mission are two very different things. To be on mission requires initiative, but above all you need a ready and willing heart to work in response to the love of God.

ac8c855e-7ffb-4085-bedc-cd8e5da41275.jpg

From June 23 to 30, eleven young Nazarenes dedicated their week to support the construction of the Center of Missionary Formation on the campus of the Nazarene Seminary located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We were accompanied by members of Bethany First Church of the Nazarene in Bethany, Oklahoma, USA, and were led by the coordinators of Work and Witness in the country, AJ and Chelsea Fry. The coordinator of Global Missions in the Dominican Republic, Wendy Rivera, also assisted in the trip.

f1c69268-d6ca-4fb6-841e-6eae1c77e63e.JPG

In addition to the building projects, we held Vacation Bible Schools in two Nazarene churches located near the seminary. There we had the opportunity to minister to more than 150 children.  Our goal was to serve the Lord, and we understood that by doing so we would need to work with all our hearts to serve others.

IMG_0942.jpg

We experienced moments of intense construction work, and other times of great joy while we shared with the children of the churches.  We also enjoyed the time as a team that we were able to spend in communion with God and with each other.  We are grateful for what God did in our lives, as well as what He will continue to do. This was an unforgettable experience and a great blessing! However, I hope that it is not only an experience, but a motivation to, wherever we are, continue working for the Lord.  We willingly declare: all hands on deck!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

 –Yerys Amador, Work and Witness volunteer in the Dominican Republic.

Operation Rescue

 “And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23).

With this verse in mind, from June 20th to the 23rd, the Church of the Nazarene in the Eastern District of the Dominican Republic held its second Maximum Mission in three low-income communities in the town of Bayaguana. With a willing heart to serve, about 50 participants from four districts of the country met to carry out this missionary work.

IMG_7946.JPG

“Operation Rescue” was the title of this great activity, which sought to fulfill what Jesus said in Matthew 20:28: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The participants mobilized to SERVE and share with many people who needed to hear a message of hope.

IMG_7963.JPG

More than 60 families were blessed with the Word of God and baskets of food. The group also shared workshops on self-esteem, a Vacation Bible School was held, houses were repaired, a film was shown, a revival service was celebrated, and many other activities impacted the people of Bayaguana.  Four people decided to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives and to start their walk with Him.

IMG_8023.JPG

IMG_8208.JPG

We believe that this is the time for the Church to be mobilized and get out of its comfort zone. The needs are abundant, and many souls wander without direction and without God. Men and women are needed who are ready and willing to say: Here am I, send me!

— Elba Isabel Duson, Global Missions Coordinator, Eastern District, Dominican Republic.

Maximum Mission – Honduras, 2019

From June 28 to 30, 2019, representatives from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the United States and Honduras worked in the La Ceiba community in Honduras, 98 participants gathering together to serve others through the Maximum Mission program. The weekend included visitation to a nursing home and an orphanage, creative evangelism, children’s vacation bible school, food delivery to families in need, house cleaning, crafting classes, beauty clinics (cutting hair, doing nails, etc.), among other activities.

B21E6D1B-EE74-47C0-AD5F-96F6FEB0101A.JPG

The participants were able to experience cross-cultural ministry through sharing with their Nazarene brothers and sisters from different countries, and they also had the opportunity to impact other people with God’s love and the gospel.

During this time many people reconciled with God and others accepted Christ in their hearts. Glory to God because He keeps using his Church to change the world!

Click below to watch a video showing some of the activities that made up this Maximum Mission:

–Luz Jimenez and Karen Pop, North Central Field Global Missions