International Ministries

God’s People Speak of Hope and Freedom

October 16, 2008 Journal

“I have had hard times, but God has brought me to a better time.”
 “You might feel like you are in this alone, but you are never alone.” 

“When I was young, I had to go to a ‘negro’ school, but my children could choose any college or university they wanted.”
“People can change.”  “Countries can change.”  “Hearts can change.”
“Forgiving someone does not mean that you continue to allow that person to hurt you.”
Sbcggirlssing“Praying together lightens our burdens.” 
Dona Nobis Pacem” (Give Us Peace) was sung by four girls as an ecumenical and multi-ethnic group prayed for the realization of God’s dream of freedom for all people, in Italy and all over the world.

“HOPE and FREEDOM” was the theme chosen by the Mission Team from 2nd Baptist Church of Germantown, Philadelphia, PA, for their week of work with us in Italy.  And, hope and freedom is what they spoke into the lives of people in Italy through the statements above. 

When Jesus announced his mission in the Temple, he read from Isaiah:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  Luke 4:18-19

We appreciate the many ways this team promoted hope and freedom in the lives of immigrant and Italian Baptists over the last week:
Foodbagsgirls -In bake sales prior to their trip, 2nd Baptist’s young people raised money which the team used to buy non-perishable food items for 49 bags which they distributed to immigrant pastors for sharing with people who are in need.
 -Team members led seminars on:  Being a Christian Woman in the Modern World; Martin Luther King’s Ministry as a Model for Ministry in Difficult Times; and Dialoguing with Muslims. 
Ernieallxnpastors2 -Rev. Dr. Ernest Flores, pastor of the church, preached on “Being an Encourager,” the ministry of hope that all of us can have.

Many thanks to the group for being an encouragement to all whom they encountered, including us! 

Perhaps your church could send a team to serve in these or other ways!

October 18, 2008, is “Anti-Trafficking Day” in the European Union.  Join us in praying that God will protect those who are victims or who are in danger of becoming victims of slavery in the sex industry, in heavy industry, and as household workers.  The European Baptist Federation (EBF) Anti-Trafficking Work Group, of which I am a part, sent a letter to all churches in the EBF, and we pray that this will raise awareness both in countries from which victims are taken and in countries where victims are held captive. 

Don’t forget!  It is World Mission Offering time!  You can engender hope and freedom around the world.  Give through your local church’s offering, give online at, or mail a check to:  International Ministries, PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851.  Gifts can be marked “For the ongoing support of Kelseys-Italy” or for the support of other International Ministries missionaries. 

Dona Nobis Pacem as we work together to spread hope and freedom!

Your missionaries,

Debbie and Jim Kelsey (along with Ben and Luke)