Grenada Site Re-entry Retreat – 2018

From September 5 to 9 of this year, Crystalla Williams and Cleon Cadogan, volunteer missionaries that were sent to the Genesis site of Grenada in August 2016, traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to enjoy a retreat after finishing their 2-year assignment. They participated in workshops addressing reverse culture shock and also prepared for sharing with churches and supporters the message of what God has done in and through them.  Scott and Emily Armstrong, coordinators of this initiative, thanked Crystalla and Cleon for their service and also congratulated them for their effort and commitment to God’s mission.

The Genesis missionaries shared some of the experiences of working with the existing church and planting a new church on the island, and they recognized God’s faithfulness, love, protection and provision during their two years there.

304430f8-77ef-40d0-9469-45ec95c02739.JPG

We thank God for Crystalla and Cleon, and we ask you to join us in prayer for them. Currently they are with their local churches and home districts sharing what God has done in this time and also encouraging others to get involved and continue supporting the missionary work.

03e366cb-6887-4fa4-b133-06bc496377d6.JPG

Praise the Lord for the lives of Crystalla and Cleon! And, thanks to every person and church that supported them by encouraging, praying, and giving generously.  May God continue to bless and use them as well!

1f9d8cb2-893d-4bd7-92e2-2232647dad1b.JPG

Cleon with Laritza (Genesis missionary from Dominican Republic)

“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:4, 8-9).

Truly Encountering God

The following testimony was written by Ana Perdomo (Mexico), she served as a volunteer missionary in Project Timothy and Encuentro. God continues to call and use the lives of young people who are willing to listen and obey:

My first week in Guatemala I served as a translator for a team that had come from the Church of the Nazarene in Valparaiso, Indiana. We had the opportunity to work with the La Florida Church, serving 55 children in a Vacation Bible School and painting the church building with Pastor Juan and the youth leader, Selena. The last day they took us to a school where the original plan was to work with teenagers. But when the time arrived, they introduced us to more than 150 children!  There were only 22 of us in the open air without a microphone, and only one teen from Indiana spoke Spanish. God certainly gave us strength. I learned a lot and was surprised by the love, humility and sensitivity of the youth from the United States.  Most were between 13 and 15 years old, and they always had a smile and were willing to do whatever was needed.

38234420_2454886561219566_8831255764841529344_o.jpg

The second week arrived, and I served alongside a youth group from Kailua, Hawaii. Undoubtedly, God had planned for us to be a diverse team: one Mexican, one Guatemalan, and a missionary from El Salvador were there with the 9 Hawaiians. We worked in the Center of Family Worship (“CEFA”, for its initials in Spanish) with pastor Carolina, a wonderful servant of God who just two months earlier had tragically seen her second child murdered. She shared with us how God had been with her in those difficult moments. She is a warrior and a woman of faith, and highly respected throughout her neighborhood.

38287620_2454881861220036_2458281423002402816_o

Ana singing with two little girls.

The church was in one of the most dangerous areas in all of Guatemala. The policemen sometimes needed to accompany us in the activities we held in the streets with the neighbors. Each day we had the opportunity to build friendships with children, youth and their families. We held a Bible school and we offered them medical services. We became so connected that it became very difficult to say goodbye at the end of the week.

There are no words to describe how grateful and blessed I felt during these two weeks.  They were tough: I was sick with a fever for much of the time, had a throat infection, and even another infection in one of my molars that simply appeared in those days. What’s more, I received a call from Mexico where they told me that my dog, who had been with me for 14 years, had died on the last day of the trip. I know that Matthew 16:24 (“take up your cross and follow me”) is not just a nice verse written in the Bible. God needs you to believe and give over everything that is in you. He will do the rest in His time, not yours.

36665061_2260555943960828_3339848500165738496_n

My original plan during Encounter was to go, serve and talk about God, but I received more than I gave.  In fact, my concept of “pastor” changed radically. Having had the opportunity to live with young pastors for two weeks helped me see things differently. I am no longer afraid to accept that call.  Yes, I want to be a missionary, but I also want to be a pastor.

When you have a call on your life, maybe you feel unprepared to face it or live it out.  And it may seem even more complicated when you face difficulties with your family, work, friends, or even with your own thoughts or doubts. But if God is calling you, He has his strategies for working it all out according to His purpose. 

Enormous Results Seen in Project Timothy

In June and July, the first-ever Project Timothy was held, with volunteers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua serving along with young people from the USA and Canada during Encuentro 2018.

The participants from the USA, Canada, and the Mesoamerica Region donated between 7 and 18 days to serve alongside local churches in activities of evangelism, translation, sports ministries, Vacation Bible Schools, “Disturbing our City”, Work and Witness, hospital visitation, and medical clinics that benefited several communities in Guatemala City.

One of the volunteer missionaries, Billi Mendez (Guatemala), expressed joy at the privilege of serving: “My experience in Project Timothy and Encuentro has been the best thing that has happened to me. The best part of the week that I served as a volunteer occurred on the last day of my missionary service. During the week I had been praying to God, asking that I would be able to win a person for Christ through Nazagol (a soccer outreach). In the middle of the game, God moved me to share my testimony with the participants, and I give glory to God because 29 youth accepted Jesus as their Savior.”

The two weeks of work culminated in a time of evaluation and thanksgiving for what God had done in the life of many children, youth and adults. That same day many young people confirmed their call and desire to continue to serve in God’s mission.

36659277_1761874213895814_7140251360003358720_n.jpg

The leaders of Project Timothy and Encuentro shared the following results:

  • NYI (Nazarene Youth International) and Global Mission worked together in harmony
  • More than 1,472 children heard the message of Christ
  • More than 695 people were treated at the medical clinics
  • More than 104 people accepted Christ as their Savior
  • More than 2,167 people heard about God’s love
  • More than 7 countries came together to serve and impact Guatemala
  • The 42 participants in Project Timothy came from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, and all united in the Great Commission
  • More than 16 youth confirmed their call to missions
  • 21 churches on the Guatemala Central District were encouraged by the presence of the youth from Encuentro and Project Timothy

Praise the Lord for continuing to call and use the lives of young people who are willing to serve Him!

Every Career is Mission

Scott Armstrong

“An attorney? God could use an attorney on the mission field?”

Her mouth was agape.  She had come to a Cross-Cultural Orientation to learn about missions, and this was the first time she had heard that her “secular” career could be used on the mission-field.

Did you see how I put that word “secular” in quotes? We have grown up in Church and have been told that only pastors, evangelists, and missionaries serve the Lord “full-time” and are called into “ministry.”  Farmers and bankers and stay-at-home dads and moms are relegated to “secular” vocations.

What if God wants all of our lives – regardless of our job – to be ministry? What if God views all of our work and play and rest as part of our mission? What if nothing is truly secular for a follower of Christ?

The division between “secular” and “spiritual” has infiltrated our concept of missions, too. If you are called to be a missionary, shouldn’t you jettison your college major in psychology or dietetics or music in order to focus on what’s really important: theology and preaching?

Let me state this clearly: studying theology and Bible is essential for any believer and especially for missionaries.  You will need it on the mission field and in your ministry for sure!

142592.jpg

But a degree in something else as well may make you even MORE useful in your missions’ assignment.  Check out what some of our recent GENESIS missionaries have to say:

_DSC0576.png

 

“My diploma is in Theology, but I grew up in a family of cooks, caterers and chefs.  This talent I have utilized greatly over the past two years, catering for Church board retreats, brunches for visiting church heads and hosting special guests at the manse by preparing lunches, dinners, and everything in between.” –Crystalla Williams (sent from Trinidad and Tobago to Grenada)

 

21246416_1842539019094464_7988360317864889418_o.jpg“I graduated with a degree in Business Administration, and my career has helped me to: manage finances, keep a good budget each month, write reports and newsletters to my donors, plan and organize ministry events, and in general work with anyone I come in contact with.” –Alejandra García (sent from Guatemala to Santo Domingo)

_DSC0506.png

 

“My experience in music has been very helpful in the mission. I was able to teach Scripture using music as a means of learning, as some kids could not read and write. We have tools that can be used for kingdom growth; it just calls for creativity.” –Cleon Cadogan (sent from Guyana to Grenada).

 

97136933-2415-4de4-aaeb-f247aba3e3c9.JPG

“I give thanks to God for allowing me to study the major that I always dreamed of: fashion design.  Now I realize that my career is an indispensable part of my ministry, not just because I have been able to meet so many people with whom I have shared the gospel, but also because I can teach them basics of sewing and use my creativity to artistically make different materials for all of the events and projects we have organized.  When I reflect, I see that my sewing machine has been transformed into a vital component of my ministry.” –Marlene Valadez (sent from Guadalajara to Querétaro, México)

18700583_1729475650401283_5327857528626256841_o.jpg

 

“I’m a lawyer.  That major helped me to think of the neediest in our society, and be a voice for those who have none, defending them.  I can enter prisons easier than a pastor could, and I can bring words of life, hope, and love when I do.  I have been able to help the elderly so that their properties are not taken away from them, help the undocumented with immigration issues, etc. The opportunities are endless.” –Daniela González (sent from Oaxaca to Veracruz, México)

And that’s only five testimonies! I received other testimonies from our missionaries who have studied biology, tourism, medicine, psychology, social work, and teaching, and I have decided to share them at www.transformtheglobe.com.  All of these missionaries have been effective in planting churches in urban contexts. But they have been effective in large part because of their “secular” degrees.

The point is: God can use you and your career for his glory – especially on the mission field!

This article was originally published at: Revista Línea

 

 

Missionaries: Panama Genesis Site

Eight new missionaries were sent out with the Genesis initiative in May. During the past four months they have been used by God in amazing ways! Our team in Panama City, Panama has recorded the following video in order to introduce you to them and their ministry.  We thank God for the churches of the Panama Central District who have collaborated greatly to support this church planting ministry: 

We invite you to pray for them, and also to give to their ministry (links below). Thank you for bringing a Genesis to our region!

DgT6k64UcAEmaGi.jpg-large.jpeg

Links for online giving: 

Keila Molina: give.nazarene.org/donate/f/130503

Ingrid Jocholá: give.nazarene.org/donate/f/131911

Marleidy Sánchez: give.nazarene.org/fund/marleidy

Joselyn García: give.nazarene.org/fund/jggarciabec

For more information about Genesis, contact us at genesis@mesoamericaregion.org, or visit our website. Also, find us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Missionary Trip to Linden Zone

A sixteen-person team from the Guyana Demerara/Essequibo District, led by NMI President Augustus Andres and District Superintendent Rev. Dr. R. Alphonso Porter, traveled to the Linden Zone, Guyana, for a mission trip from Aug. 11 to Aug. 17. They sought to serve both the physical and spiritual needs in the area.

They had the opportunity to minister in all four churches on the Linden Zone at their Sunday morning service. They also attended evening services at Wismar, Lower Omai and Christianburg Churches of the Nazarene. “The services were well attended and God moved mightily,” observed Andrews. Many recommitted or gave their lives to Christ. The team was amazed to see the people traveling by boat, the only means of transportation, to attend the serve at the Lower Omai Church of the Nazarene. The team also had a chance to hold early-morning prayer meetings at three of the four churches. “(The prayer services) were very refreshing and God’s hand was at work in extraordinary ways,” wrote Andrews.

Sin título.png

Members of the team assisted in conducting Vacation Bible School at the Wismar and Christianburg Churches of the Nazarene. The children had a grand time “Discovering the Mystery of God’s Plan.” An average of 60 children attended the event at the Wismar Church of the Nazarene, and 14 children gave their lives to God. The VBS at the Christianburg Church of the Nazarene had an average attendance of 45 children daily. Four children gave their lives to Christ. In the evening service, 37 people recommitted their lives to God and 18 accepted Christ as their Savior.

Sin título 2.png

The team made house-to-house visits in Christianburg during which they prayed for people and invited them to the services. They also aided in repairing the bridge for one person they visited. The District Women’s Ministry President, Allison Porter, along with other members of the team attended the McKenzie Church of the Nazarene Women’s Ministry session on Tuesday evening. In addition, on Wednesday evening, another group from the team shared information a Mission’s Conference in Barbados.

The district focused on physical needs as well as spiritual ones, and so they distributed food baskets to 44 homes, painted the fence at the Wismar Church of the Nazarene, and poured the floor of a shed at the Christianburg Church of the Nazarene.

“The team was welcomed and their hard work well-appreciated by the churches on the Linden Zone. They are truly grateful to God for moving in miraculous ways as they availed themselves to be used by Him,” concluded Andrews.

This article was originally published at: Church of the Nazarene Mesoamerica

A Missionary Adventure

During May and June 2018, Nazarene Missions International (NMI) in the Mexico Gulf District held 4 “Missionary Adventure” events for children ages 4 to 14. More than 100 kids from 4 different areas of the district attended the camps, with the purpose of making them aware of the missionary work of the Church of the Nazarene around the world, and to help them discover their call to missions.

IMG_8366.JPG

The children “traveled” to South Africa, Japan, Palestine and the Dominican Republic, where they learned important facts about each of these countries. The district NMI president, Elizabeth Roa, along with NMI council members Judith Galindo and Rebeca Ramirez, were in charge of preparing this great adventure. Missionary Freya Galindo, who serves with regional initiatives Genesis and Global Mission in the Dominican Republic, also helped with the events. Freya visited churches in the Mexico Gulf District during these weeks as part of her home assignment.

IMG_7824.JPG

In addition to the Missionary Adventure events, NMI leaders from the different areas of the district, specifically those who work with children, received workshops on how to educate and involve children in missions, using teaching materials and other tools.

IMG_7798 2.JPG

Several kids expressed that they were feeling a call to missions during the activities. This event would not have been possible without the help of local churches that supported the event.

35924336_1056825651133558_3027836241556013056_n.jpg

We praise God because He continues to call children! They are also part of the Church!

This article was originally published at Church of the Nazarene Mesoamerica Region.