International Ministries

Long - International Ministries The latest from Patti and Tim Long https://internationalministries.org/teams/74-long.rss An Update on the Haitian Refugees in Tijuana <p> </p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;"><font face="Calibri"><strong>Tim Long, International Ministries missionary in Mexico, provides the following update to his story in the Winter edition of <em>On Location</em>.</strong></font></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;"><font face="Calibri">The Tijuana churches continue to house over 200 Haitians as they prepare for permanent residency in Tijuana. During the months of February and March about half of the Haitians who were living in church facilities have found places in Tijuana to rent and have moved out. None of our guests have tried to cross the border as asylum seekers or refugees during this time, all having decided to stay in Tijuana and accept the Mexican government’s offer of residency status. &nbsp;<br> <br> Most all have found some kind of work in Tijuana even as, for many, residency status is still in process.&nbsp;Most of the churches will continue to serve as shelters through April and May and continue to assist with documentation, work and resettlement as possible. The greatest need continues to be help with water and electric bills for the churches serving as shelters.&nbsp;(One church, Camino de Salvación, now has a permanent ministry as a registered shelter. Once the Haitians living there have found places to live in Tijuana, they will begin to take in families that have been deported from the USA.)<br> <br> There are still thousands of Haitians and other nationalities in Central America and Mexico as they were making their way north when the USA border closed to them.&nbsp;I am not sure of details on numbers nor the places where they are now living. &nbsp;<br> <br> On Sunday, April 30th, I will be in northern New Jersey to speak at Haitian churches and at a Haitian association rally in the evening. It is our hope that the American Baptist Haitian Alliance will come alongside the Haitian population of Tijuana, and specifically with Haitian church leaders there, as they get settled into Tijuana life and churches begin to form. &nbsp;<br> <br> Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support. &nbsp;&nbsp;Tim Long</font></p><p> </p> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/64862-an-update-on-the-haitian-refugees-in-tijuana https://internationalministries.org/read/64862-an-update-on-the-haitian-refugees-in-tijuana Mexican Baptists and American Baptists in Mission Together: You Can Help! <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="https://cdn.rawgit.com/LauraTimmel/IMCSS/master/buttons.css"> <a href="https://internationalministries.org/drives/50" class="GNbutton" style="margin-left: 50px; margin-bottom: 30px;">GIVE NOW</a> <p>Mexican&nbsp;Baptists&nbsp;in&nbsp;North&nbsp;Baja are responding in an amazing way to an unexpected mission opportunity! Faced with an influx of Haitian immigrants, congregations are leading a movement of Christ-like love and hospitality. American Baptists have come alongside them with a grant of <b>$10,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency funds</b>, paired with help from missionaries of American Baptist International Ministries (IM).</p> <div style="float: right; display: block; width: 225px; padding: 25px 0 25px 25px; font-family: 'Century Gothic', centurygothic, AppleGothic, sans-serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.1em;"><strong>“We are witnessing something beautiful today in Tijuana: a church intent on being a blessing to the nations.”</strong><br>–Tim Long</div> <p>Tim Long is an IM missionary who has worked on the Mexico-U.S. border for over 20 years. He reports that, since early October of 2016, migration into Mexico has accelerated at an astonishing pace.</p> <p>Long explains that, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, many Haitian people “migrated to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in order to help construct the World Cup and Olympic facilities. With the Olympics in Brazil over, these and other migrant workers from neighboring South American countries, including families with young children, have been traveling through South and Central America and into Mexico on their way to seek asylum in the U.S. We hear that 15,000 people have already arrived and 30,000 are on their way, presenting a humanitarian crisis in Mexico.”</p> <p>Long describes the amazing response of Mexican Baptist churches as they began to see these migrant workers entering their cities and neighborhoods: “We are witnessing something beautiful today in Tijuana: a church intent on being a blessing to the nations. Over the past decade we have seen a gradual refocus of church life and ministry among the Baptist churches in Baja California, Mexico—from one centered largely on the local congregation to a serious and meaningful effort to be about God's mission. Churches have become more and more engaged in our barrios and communities, serving the most vulnerable of those in our midst.”</p> <center><h3>American Baptist Churches USA responds with a $10,000 relief grant through OGHS</h3></center> <p>Witnessing the heroic and sacrificial ministry of Tijuana’s Baptist churches, and aware that the number and needs of the migrants were growing beyond Mexican Baptist churches’ capacity to provide aid, Long reached out to American Baptist World Relief Officer Lisa Rothenberger. He requested an OGHS grant to help churches in Tijuana provide for the needs of the nearly 300 asylum seekers who were already being housed, fed and served.</p> <p>Five churches are leading the way in providing shelter to asylum seekers’ families, while others are helping to provide food. A $10,000 initial grant from OGHS was given to help these churches provide improved shelter and bathroom facilities, mattresses and propane for cooking.</p> <p>The need continues to grow as more Haitians arrive. Mexican Baptists are expanding their efforts—while also serving as catalysts for an even greater response as they inspire their neighbors and government officials to assist in the effort.</p> <p>American Baptists have an opportunity to increase support for the inspiring service that Mexican congregations are offering in the name of Christ. More help is urgently needed, and it can be provided by gifts to OGHS marked “OGHS-Mexico.”</p> <p style="margin-left: 30px; font-style: oblique;"><a href="http://abc-oghs.org/">OGHS</a> is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual OGHS offering received by churches.</p> <p><b>Your help is needed now!</b> To support these efforts, make a gift through your church; <a href="https://internationalministries.org/drives/50">give online here</a>; or mail a check to International Ministries, Attn: OGHS-Mexico, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482. Write “OGHS-Mexico” on the memo line if you give by check.</p> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 19:00:00 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/63906-mexican-baptists-and-american-baptists-in-mission-together-you-can-help- https://internationalministries.org/read/63906-mexican-baptists-and-american-baptists-in-mission-together-you-can-help- Faith Leaders Pray for Central American Children on Both Sides of Border Fence <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN"><font face="Calibri">On Friday, August 29th, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) missionaries, along with faith leaders from the Episcopal, United Methodist, United Church of Christ, Catholic and Jewish traditions, joined in a prayer service for Central American children fleeing violence. Faith leaders held a vigil on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border at Friendship Circle in Tijuana and San Diego.<!--?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /--><o:p></o:p></font></span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN"><font face="Calibri">Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, and Jim E. Winkler, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, led the prayer vigil and called upon all faith communities to show welcome to the children seeking refuge as they flee gang violence and life threatening circumstances in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.<o:p></o:p></font></span></p><p> <font face="Calibri"><span style="font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN">Also providing leadership for the event were several IM missionaries serving in Mexico: Ray and Adalia Schellinger-Gutierrez, Mercy </span><span style="color: black; font-size: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;">Gonzalez-Barnes</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN"> and Tim and Patti Long.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p><p> <span style="font-size: 12pt;"><font face="Calibri">“Faith communities across this nation continue to urgently respond to the physical, spiritual and legal needs of thousands children and families who have sought protection in our midst,” said Winkler. “We’re a nation of more than 300 million. We can easily muster the moral courage and resources to protect children who are fleeing for their lives from violence, rape and exploitation. It’s simply a matter of justice.”<o:p></o:p></font></span></p><p> <span style="color: windowtext; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Leaders prayed for members of Congress to maintain and extend due process and humanitarian protections for unaccompanied children. Clergy also called on President Barack Obama to end the pain of deportations and provide administrative relief to as many undocumented people as possible. Community members and faith communities recommitted themselves to work together to alleviate the injustice of this crisis.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span style="color: windowtext; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Medley said, “We have come together because the love of God is not held back by borders, and neither should our love and care for our neighbor. Every day, International Ministries works to serve these people on the other side of this fence; we must do our part once they come to the U.S. side to ensure they have humanitarian protection and assistance. Today we pray these protections stay in tact and are extended to not just Central American children, but also to Mexican children. We lift up our president up in prayer, that he might be on the right side of history in creating new administrative policies that keep families together, and stop deportations.”</span></p><p><em><b><span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi;">Read a <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/55130-prayer-vigil-on-the-u-s-mexico-border-noon-pct-today">letter</a>&nbsp;from the Schellingers, the Longs and Mercy Gonzalez-Barnes.</span></b></em></p><p><em><b><span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi;">Watch a <a href="http://www.ustream.tv/channel/abcprayervigil">live video feed</a> from the prayer vigil.</span></b></em></p><p> <em><b><span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi;"><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/churchworldservice/sets/72157646598280648/">High-resolution photos</a> are available for press usage.</span></b></em></p> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/55152-faith-leaders-pray-for-central-american-children-on-both-sides-of-border-fence https://internationalministries.org/read/55152-faith-leaders-pray-for-central-american-children-on-both-sides-of-border-fence "Finally, a School for Our Kids!" <div class="MsoNormal">Several years ago, in an impoverished colonia of Tijuana, a beautiful and committed&nbsp;Christian couple, Evelyn and Obed, began reaching out to children in their community by serving them breakfast on Saturdays.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Many children came from homes of single mothers with long histories of&nbsp;drug addiction. The parents were unable to provide even basic&nbsp;housing, food or schooling for their kids.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>So as Evelyn and Obed’s own<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>children grew older they began taking many of these children into their home. Over the years, some of these children have been adopted and others live with them&nbsp;part-time.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Since most of the children have learning disabilities, Evelyn and Obed have struggled to find a school for them could attend.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>This past year, they learned about Centro Pedagógico Didaqué, the school run by the Monte Horeb Baptist&nbsp;Church, and enrolled all&nbsp;13 of their school-aged children. (Six toddlers are still at home.)&nbsp;The school was able to provide STEP scholarships for all of the children, as well as funding for books and uniforms.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Some of the older children had never been to school and were quite nervous at the start of the school year.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;Dulce María is one of the older girls.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal">Dulce&nbsp;is 13 years old and came to school crying her&nbsp;first day in September. She had only attended a government<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>school briefly several years ago.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Dulce has speech difficulties and could hardly pronounce her name, let alone read or write.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>So we started with the basics,<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>building her confidence and discovering her incredible desire and<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>determination to learn.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;Now, nine months later,</span> Dulce has<font size="2"> </font>learned basic reading and math skills and although still behind, will be able to graduate with the 6th grade class in July.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>As she has learned to read, her speech has improved and she proudly shares that she wants to go through high school and when she grows up would like to<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>“help children who don’t have a home, or food or clothes<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>or a school,” just as she has been helped. Dulce loves her friends, her church and her school and now looks forward to a much brighter future, one she never knew would be possible.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div> Thu, 08 May 2014 07:18:57 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/53871-finally-a-school-for-our-kids- https://internationalministries.org/read/53871-finally-a-school-for-our-kids- 'Theological Embrace' in the Borderlands <p> <font face="Calibri">It’s been a long time – 165 years to be sure—that the borderlands in which we minister has been just that, a strip of land along adjoining countries.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It wasn’t always this way; that is until the United States decided to declare war on Mexico in order to expand its horizons to the west and southwest by taking half of Mexico’s territory.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Much has happened over the years and dynamics have changed with the times, but one thing has remained constant, both sides of the border depend on the other, socially, culturally, and economically.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Cross border activity has never ceased and in fact the Tijuana/San Diego border crossing continues to occupy its place as the busiest international port of entry in the world.&nbsp;<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">In some ways we serve in a unique ministry context, yet it is one that has much in common with so much of our world where those imaginary lines (or so we baby boomers were told in grade school) on a political map have become more and more visible, in plain sight, whether viewed from ground level or through a jet’s window at 30,000 feet.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">The Mexicali Seminary lies but one mile from the border fence.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some students come from the north, but most live and minister south of the border and the great majority of those are not permitted to cross into the Unites States.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; We wrestle with key questions.&nbsp; </span>What does it mean to be as Christ in such an area?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>How do we go about mission as God’s people when our backyard fence is now a wall that not only marks property but serves the purposes of exclusion in a most stark and real way?&nbsp;<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Our world is one composed of those who can and those who can’t, those who have access and those who don’t, a life of separated families, illicit movement of goods, drugs, arms and people. The list goes on.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">Yet, our very proximity to the north provides a most poignant working field for embrace as well as exclusion.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>(Yes, some of you who read this may recognize Miroslav Volf’s ‘epic’ work from 1996 in the terms ‘exclusion and embrace’.)<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There really is no end to how all this applies to our life as followers of Christ. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>But in this posting we limit our thoughts to one particular way in which the Mexicali Seminary community has been blessed by the embrace of others in our American Baptist family.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We speak of those who have crossed the border and spent extended time in community with us—over meals, in worship, informal sharing and prayer, facilitating workshops and leading conferences.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Here are some who have joined us recently:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></font></p><ul><li> Stan Slade, IM global consultant in theological education, takes a week out of his busy schedule each year in order to engage us in Biblical study at its best. </li><li>David Wheeler, Pastor of First Baptist Portland, Oregon also helps in our formation as Christian leaders as we seek to better understand important theological and pastoral issues through week-long conferences.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></li><li><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"></span>Sheila Heneise, former IM missionary in Nicaragua and Chile, along with four other pastors from Maine, spent 10 days with us, a time of refreshing and revitalizing cross-fertilization between those called to pastoral ministries from two distinct contexts.</li><li>Mylinda Baits, IM regional missionary with particular focus on human trafficking, engaged both students and pastors in our understanding of and response to this present-day evil.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></li><li><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"></span>Pastor Terry Steenburg from Owego, NY, led a small team that joined Mexican churches in evangelistic outreach and shared time, prayer and resources with the Seminary community.&nbsp;</li></ul><p>Your 'embrace' of us really matters and we at the Mexicali Baptist Seminary community are thankful.&nbsp; </p> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 09:06:15 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/53272-theological-embrace-in-the-borderlands https://internationalministries.org/read/53272-theological-embrace-in-the-borderlands IM Headline News: Feb. 13 - March 1, 2013 <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:center" align="center"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial">International Ministries Headline News</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:center" align="center"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial">February 13 – March 1</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:16.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">Do you want to know which missionaries will be in the U.S. in 2013?</span></b><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:16.0pt;font-family: Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">&nbsp; The best way to find out about a particular missionary's schedule is to contact him or her directly through their profile page on the IM website: </span><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 16.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;color:#0029ED; text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">www.internationalministries.org</span></a><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:16.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">.&nbsp; For a list of missionaries who are scheduled to be in the U.S. in 2013, contact Ruthie Stevenson, </span><a href="mailto:ruthanne.stevenson@abc-usa.org"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:16.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri; color:#0029ED;text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">ruthann.stevenson@abc-usa.org</span></a><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:16.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">. Since missionaries' plans change frequently, the list is subject to change at any time.&nbsp;For general questions, contact Catherine <span class="SpellE">Nold</span>: </span><a href="mailto:catherine.nold@abc-usa.org"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 16.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;color:#001DF6">catherine.nold@abc-usa.org</span></a><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:16.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">.</span><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:15.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri; color:#24497A">&nbsp;</span><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:15.0pt;font-family: Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;color:black"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:center" align="center"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:42.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; color:#00CCFF">HEADLINE NEWS:</span></b><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:42.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; color:#00CCFF">&nbsp;</span></b> </p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/47003-prayer-requests-from-im-missionaries-for-world-day-of-prayer-on-march-1st"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Prayer Requests from IM Missionaries for "World Day of Prayer" on March 1st&nbsp; </span></a></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333">Released on February 25, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:42.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46964-urgent-prayer-request-from-baptist-partners-in-bulgaria-"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Urgent Prayer Request from Baptist Partners in Bulgaria </span></a></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;</span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333">Released on February 21, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:42.0pt; font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:42.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#00CCFF"> </span></b> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46892-im-missionary-ed-noyes-begins-health-care-project-with-ima-world-health"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">IM Missionary, Ed Noyes, Begins Health Care Project with IMA World Health</span></a> </span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333">Released on February 19, 2013</span></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/44506-ignite-2013-to-republic-of-georgia"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">IGNITE 2013 to Republic of Georgia</span></a></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family: Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"> </span><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333">Released on February 17, 2013</span></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46921-ab-women-s-ministries-announces-virtual-mission-encounters"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">AB Women's Ministries Announces Virtual Mission Encounters</span></a></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"> </span><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333">Released on February 17, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:42.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:center" align="center"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF">RECENT MISSIONARY JOURNALS:</span></b><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF">&nbsp;</span></b> </p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/47039-a-estudiar-en-el-stb-study-time-at-stb-"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">A <span class="SpellE">estudiar</span> en el STB... / Study time at STB...</span></a></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/140"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Mayra <span class="SpellE">Giovanetti</span></span></a>, <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/139"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Carlos <span class="SpellE">Bonilla</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on March 1, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/47081-kim-1-5-headed-to-cuba-today"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Kim+1.5 headed to Cuba <span class="SpellE">today </span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times">by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/1476"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Kim Kushner <span class="SpellE">Dominguez</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 28, 2013</span></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/47073-a-beauty-of-a-day"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">A Beauty of a <span class="SpellE">Day</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/773"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Tim <span class="SpellE">Long</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 27, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/47030-painted-nails-tears-and-love"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Painted Nails, Tears, and <span class="SpellE">Love</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/357"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Annie <span class="SpellE">Dieselberg</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 25, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46979-first-responder"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">First <span class="SpellE">Responder</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family: Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/20463"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Roberta <span class="SpellE">Stephens </span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal">Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 22, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46970-peace-warrior-released-"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">"Peace Warrior" <span class="SpellE">released! </span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><span class="GramE"><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Times">by</span></i></b></span></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/196"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Dan <span class="SpellE">Buttry </span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal">Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 22, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46988-love-on-valentine-s-day-or-not-"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Love on Valentine's Day--or <span class="SpellE">Not?</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><span class="GramE"><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Times"> by</span></i></b></span></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/117"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Lauran <span class="SpellE">Bethell</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 22, 2013</span></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46972-march-10-global-day-of-prayer-for-burma"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">March 10 - Global Day of Prayer for <span class="SpellE">Burma</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/119"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Duane <span class="SpellE">Binkley</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 21, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46957-mr-deliniox-life-is-saved-at-eye-clinic"><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Mr</span></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6"> <span class="SpellE">Deliniox</span> Life is Saved at Eye <span class="SpellE">Clinic</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family: Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/956"><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Nzunga</span></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6"> <span class="SpellE">Mabudiga </span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal">Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 20, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46950-saying-goodbye"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Saying <span class="SpellE">Goodbye</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family: Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/1345"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Sarah <span class="SpellE">West </span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal">Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 20, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46952-boundaries"><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Boundaries </span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family: Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Times">by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/1292"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">David <span class="SpellE">Turley </span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal">Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 20, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46952-boundaries"><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Original Goodness</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family: Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/687"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Debbie <span class="SpellE">Kelsey</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 19, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46919-innocence-at-risk"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Innocence at <span class="SpellE">Risk </span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times">by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/357"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Annie <span class="SpellE">Dieselberg </span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal">Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 17, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46911-i-ve-been-to-cuba-have-you-"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">I've been to Cuba, have <span class="SpellE">YOU?</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><span class="GramE"><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Times"> by</span></i></b></span></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/1476"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Kim Kushner <span class="SpellE">Dominguez</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 15, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46883-love-beyond-comprehension"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Love Beyond <span class="SpellE">Comprehension</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> by</span></i></b></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/1040"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Joyce <span class="SpellE">Reed</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 14, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;color:#001BE6"><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/read/46857-are-you-ready-to-serve-anywhere-"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:#001BE6">Are you ready to serve <span class="SpellE">anywhere?</span></span></a></span><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial"></span><span class="GramE"><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Times"> by</span></i></b></span></span><b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/956"><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Nzunga</span></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6"> <span class="SpellE">Mabudiga</span></span></a>, <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/people/957"><span class="SpellE"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6">Kihomi</span></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#001BE6"> <span class="SpellE">Ngwemi</span></span></a><span class="SpellE"><span style="color:#333333;font-weight:normal"> Released</span></span></span></i></b><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;color:#333333"> on February 13, 2013</span></i><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF"></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:center" align="center"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF">&nbsp; <br></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:center" align="center"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color:#00CCFF">SIGN UP TO RECEIVE MISSIONARY JOURNALS OR IM NEWS BY EMAIL:</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span style="font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin">&nbsp;</span></b></p> <div align="center"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin">http://www.internationalministries.org/<br><br>Find us on Facebook:&nbsp; International Ministries - American Baptist<br></span></b></div> Thu, 28 Feb 2013 19:00:00 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/47121-im-headline-news-feb-13-march-1-2013 https://internationalministries.org/read/47121-im-headline-news-feb-13-march-1-2013 A Beauty of a Day <p> <font face="Calibri">The Mexicali Seminary has never been known for its beauty; that is until February 23<sup><font size="2">rd</font></sup>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>That is the day when 250 youth and young adults from all corners of north Baja descended upon the Seminary.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They came to serve the Seminary and the surrounding community through a day-long event, planned, organized and carried out by the youth themselves.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Free medical consultations were offered to the community along with no-cost haircuts, and Seminary neighbors brought in a host of dogs for the veterinarian services being offered.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">The youth divided up into teams, some painting buildings, benches, railings; others beautified the campus with wall murals; another team moved dirt, pruned trees and cleaned up the grounds; still others <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>gathered children in nearby parks for clown ministry and games, while five teams spread out on visitation ministry in nearby barrios. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>The day closed with a concert led by youth worship teams and Tim had the privilege of bringing the message.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>A reminder of the beauty of the day was left on three walls, murals painted by one of the youth teams under the direction of Brenda, a volunteer artist from First Baptist Chula Vista.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The patio wall was transformed into a huge salt water aquarium; the children now have their own mariachi cacti to watch over them at the playground; even the wall between the new dorms has come to life.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We’re reminded that indeed ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ (Romans 10:15) and the fact that the good news of Christ, when testified to in all of its depth and dimension, evokes a beauty that lingers on and remains.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></font></p><p> </p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 08:30:21 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/47073-a-beauty-of-a-day https://internationalministries.org/read/47073-a-beauty-of-a-day Piti piti zuazo fe nich li <p> <font face="Calibri">Not much remains of my stab at learning some Haitian Creole upon starting ministry in the Dominican Republic in 1985. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>But a few phrases still seem to pop up at times. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Haitians are quite fond of colloquial proverbs and one that I learned early on was not only right on for beginning Creole, it also serves as proverbial wisdom suitable for much of life: <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Piti piti zuazo fe nich li</i> <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>(Little by little a bird makes its nest)<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">How appropriate for our latest structural improvements at the Mexicali Baptist Seminary!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It’s an ambitious project of twin two floor buildings that will provide ample space for both a women’s as well as men’s dorm, married student apartments, a common area with kitchen and dining room plus a couple of classrooms.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">Construction began in 2007.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The first building was completed in three years and now serves as ‘nest’ for two married couples, four single men and has a classroom that is handicap accessible.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Today we are within sight of completion of the second building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">Funding for Seminary infrastructure comes from donations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>However, the construction itself is almost entirely in the hands of very capable local workers, many of whom are Seminarians. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>In fact a full 95% of the work on these building has been done by local labor under the direction of Gerardo, master builder, church planter as well as seminarian.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Just as there are a multitude of shapes, sizes, materials and construction in the work of our feathered friends, each suited to the particular bird and its environs, so we must be extra careful in how we build that which is meant to protect us and give us needed space in the formative years of our spiritual journeys. </font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">Mexicali is known for three things, intense desert heat that has no equal in all of Mexico; its Chinese cuisine; and as a land of tremors, where rumblings and shakings are felt weekly and where major earthquakes occur.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Now, the Chinese cuisine part relates to our new building but only in the sense of what happens in the kitchen and dining room.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>However, the heat and, especially, the earth tremors, make for literally life or death decisions in the planning and building of our ‘nests’.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>It takes time, money and know-how and we have been careful to build to code.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Thankfully we passed the real-life test with flying colors after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake of Easter Sunday 2010. </font></p><p> <font face="Calibri">Right now there are four women at the Seminary anxiously awaiting their move-in date and future students have already applied for February’s start of a new semester. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Depending on donations, residence may be possible by April as the interior of the first floor is finished.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Then, within a year, we look to the time when the second floor interior is finished and the seven year project is complete.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>It’s good to be within sight of the finish.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It’s even better to rest assured of a job well done.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And the best part of all is the satisfaction and pride seen on the faces of so many who have labored to make this possible, together with the appreciation from those who look forward to living, growing, even flourishing, in their new ‘nests’. </font></p><p> </p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;" class="MsoNormal"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p><font face="Calibri">&nbsp;</font></o:p></p><p> </p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 14:18:51 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/46552-piti-piti-zuazo-fe-nich-li https://internationalministries.org/read/46552-piti-piti-zuazo-fe-nich-li Nicaragua 2012 -- Twenty-seven years and counting <p> It was an exhausting 12 days in June, jam-packed from the beginning with tours of Managua, Granada, Masaya and Lake Nicaragua plus learning about the ministry of Amós, headed by our IM colleagues, David and Laura Parajón. Then we headed to the eastern coast of Nicaragua, the main reason for our trip, to accompany Ketly and Vital Pierre, also our IM missionary colleagues, in their Bluefields, Kukra and Rama ministries. We were kept busy leading workshops with pastors and church leaders from Kukra and Bluefields, worship and preaching opportunities, children’s ministries, workshops on behalf of special needs children, and five days of labor on the new church/school facility being built in Rama. </p><p> Patti, as group leader, began&nbsp;planning for our mission trip to Nicaragua over a year in advance. There were nine of us in all, Patti, Tim, and Daniel along with six others from First Baptist Chula Vista and First Baptist Pasadena. Yet in a real sense it was a trip 27 years in the making. We were new missionaries in the Dominican Republic when we first met Ketly in 1985. She was a volunteer from Puerto Rico serving in La Romana when she visited us in San Cristóbal to help with a medical mission group from the United States. Then in January of 1986 we met again on a plane to Puerto Rico. Ketly was returning home and we were visiting friends in order to comply with visa requirements. But it was no coincidence that we were on the plane together. Due to weather problems, the flight of less than an hour ended up 12 hours late and to top things off, phone service was out in Puerto Rico upon arrival. So there we were, all five of us including two preschoolers and a new baby, stranded in the San Juan airport with no way to contact our hosts. Ketly never hesitated and took us all home, hosting us until we could make the necessary contacts the following day. </p><p>It was much later that we learned how instrumental that time with Ketly and her mother had been. Ketly’s mom had reservations about her daughter’s eye toward missionary service. Hosting a young missionary couple with three small kids proved a turning point in the blessing that Ketly would receive from her own parents as she continued to prepare for that call God had placed on her heart. Eight years later Ketly joined us in the Dominican Republic as an IM missionary and of course, since that time we have kept up with her and Vital as they moved on to a new ministry of church planting in eastern Nicaragua. </p><p>Yes, twenty-seven years in the making, but now the count only continues as we all became a small part&nbsp;of what is happening in Nicaragua. But more importantly that count continues in the lives of nine men and women who will never be the same. We all came away with minds expanded, a desire to one day return to Nicaragua, questions about the way we live and what God has to say to us regarding the world in which we live, and a great appreciation for the dedication and vision of so many we met in Nicaragua:</p><p> …David and Laura, along with all the fine women and men at the Amos Project, as they respond to requests for help with clean water and primary health care from so many rural, poor communities.</p><p> …Ketly and Vital and their commitment and dedication over the last decade as they plant churches that seek to serve their communities through multi-faceted outreach and who have been used by God to raise up and mentor Nicaraguan missionaries.</p><p> …Joel, Argentina, Escarlet and Oneil, Nicaraguan missionaries, all of whom responded to God’s call through the encouragement of their pastors, Ketly and Vital. Theirs is a story of Seminary preparation and incarnational missionary life as new work is begun in Kukra and Rama. They help with construction, lead children’s ministries, preach and pastor, teach and administer. They serve as leaders among the other pastors of the community and grapple with most troubling social issues such as huge spikes in prostitution and teen mothers as a result of the influx of thousands of workers in the palm oil production close to Kukra Hill. At the same time they look to the future with the hope of bringing not only a grade school, but a junior high, a high school, even university studies for a poor, hurting community that is full of young men and women, but with&nbsp;so little to offer them. </p><p>We will let the accompanying pictures tell some of our story and close now with an excerpt from the blog of Randy Hasper, pastor of First Baptist Chula Vista:</p><p> <em>Questions occur in my bifurcated, image-torn and now partially disturbed mind. </em></p><p><em>What does it mean to not have enough? </em></p><p><em>What does it mean to have too much? </em></p><p><em>How does too-much, help not-enough in ways that empower and maintain dignity for not-enough, and that are sustainable for both? </em></p><p><em>I don’t know for sure, but I know that doing nothing, nothing for the poor in my own country and nothing for the poor in other countries is not an option that I feel comfortable with anymore. </em></p><p><em>I am thinking about another trip. I am thinking about clean water filters. </em></p><p><em>This comes from having seen it, not on a computer or in the movies, but with my own eyes.</em></p><p><em> I am uncomfortable. </em></p><p><em>My world is ripped. </em></p><p><em>I am not okay with doing nothing. </em></p><p><em>This is a good thing.</em> </p> Sat, 30 Jun 2012 18:24:47 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/43540-nicaragua-2012-twenty-seven-years-and-counting https://internationalministries.org/read/43540-nicaragua-2012-twenty-seven-years-and-counting A Christmas Beyond Special -- Update <div>Two years ago we shared a story&nbsp;about friends and colleagues in ministry, José Luis, Sonia and their daughters, with special attention given to a new walk in life for&nbsp;José's parents.&nbsp; Rarely do we take time to write an update but let it be known that this fine pastor family, serving in Tijuana, continues to give thanks for the miracle that occured two years ago.&nbsp; The health of Jose's parents has been declining and his father is now blind, but they remain happily married and serving the Lord faithfully in their little church.&nbsp; Here's the original story:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It was with&nbsp;special expectations, beyond anything before imagined, that Pastor José, his wife,Sonia and their&nbsp;daughters left Tijuana for a holiday visit home to the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.&nbsp; The weeks spent in Tuxtla Gutiérrez&nbsp;did not disappoint.&nbsp; For twenty years José had been estranged from his parents.&nbsp; Although always in his thoughts and prayers, he had come to the realization that his parents, now in their eighties, would probably never turn from a life that had caused him so much pain.&nbsp; But the last few months had witnessed a&nbsp;remarkable conversion and they couldn't wait to celebrate the happenings together over the holidays.&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>José comes from a long family history of&nbsp;folk healers whose practice incorporated a wide, even seemingly incongruent,&nbsp;variety of spiritism.&nbsp; At the age of twelve he was dedicated to the spirits in an elaborate&nbsp;ceremony&nbsp;in which he was&nbsp;tied to the ground naked, chickens were sacrificed and&nbsp;their blood was mixed with his.&nbsp; He became an exotic dancer.&nbsp; He was encouraged to do penance through long stretches&nbsp;on his knees until the bleeding and pain made it impossible to continue.&nbsp; Even today he has physical reminders of that traumatic time in his life, having undergone multiple knee surgeries precisely because his ligaments were so&nbsp;damaged at&nbsp;a crucial developmental age.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>While still a teenager José responded to&nbsp;a different message, one that proved life-changing and one that freed him from the darkness and pain&nbsp;to which he had become so accustomed.&nbsp; He began a journey centered in Christ, one full of hope and new life&nbsp;that literally gave him&nbsp;something for which to live.&nbsp; He heard about a new Seminary being started in Mexicali, a city&nbsp;located&nbsp;at the&nbsp;opposite extreme of the country.&nbsp; So he headed out on the long trip north.&nbsp; Late one night he finally found the Mexicali Baptist Seminary, climbed the gate&nbsp;and slept until morning&nbsp;under the overhang of a building. &nbsp;He would stay at the Seminary for four years and has since made his home in Tijuana.&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>These past twenty years witnessed little contact between José and his family in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.&nbsp; But that all changed&nbsp;when José's parents made a decision to give up their old ways and put their faith&nbsp;solely in Christ.&nbsp; They were being discipled in&nbsp;an Assemblies of God church and were anxious&nbsp;for José and his family to&nbsp;visit and see what was happening first hand.&nbsp; They were even making plans to finally get married after more than fifty years together and they were ready for baptism.&nbsp;&nbsp;They would wait for José and his family, though,&nbsp;as there would be nothing better than for José to participate in the celebrations and for the whole family to witness&nbsp;a transformation in the life of two octogenarians. </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>José, Sonia and the girls are home now in Tijuana.&nbsp; Is there a better way to end the celebration of Christ's birth than by returning home&nbsp;and praising God&nbsp;for all you've seen and heard?&nbsp; We doubt it.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 05 Mar 2012 19:00:00 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/38325-a-christmas-beyond-special-update https://internationalministries.org/read/38325-a-christmas-beyond-special-update All Eyes on Daniel <p>This month of December has been a special one for Daniel.&nbsp; He&nbsp;spent a lot of time in Tijuana with Patti's ministry&nbsp;at the Monte Horeb Grade School.&nbsp; In the past he has often helped short term mission groups with painting and general upkeep at the school.&nbsp; This time was different.&nbsp; He went to help on a regular basis in whatever ways possible, including teaching.&nbsp; Always a great worker he kept busy with serving food, setting up tables, cleaning up, and&nbsp;helping little ones to learn colors and numbers through games and worksheets.&nbsp; All part of his&nbsp;service as a missionary kid and good practice for his Spanish!&nbsp;</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Then there was his real love.&nbsp; Daniel taught&nbsp;sign language&nbsp;to the third&nbsp;grade class, then led them in signing the words to&nbsp;a song at their Christmas Festival.&nbsp; At the end of the singing, he added an unrehearsed 'amen' by signing 'I love you' to the kids.&nbsp; They all signed the same back.&nbsp;&nbsp;A beautiful moment indeed!&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Since his birth almost 23 years ago, Daniel has been a most special missionary, in&nbsp;the Dominican Republic, in the United States and in Mexico.&nbsp; His ministry has included neighbors, schools, churches, short term mission teams, other&nbsp;MK's and missionaries, and of course, his own family.&nbsp;&nbsp;We thank God every day for Daniel.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </div> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 19:00:00 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/40813-all-eyes-on-daniel https://internationalministries.org/read/40813-all-eyes-on-daniel Seven Fruitful Years <p>It was hard to stay away after seven years of faithful attendance.&nbsp; So Lupita was back the first week of school to give everyone a hug and again thank her teachers and friends for giving her an opportunity that no one else would.&nbsp; And yes, she wanted everyone to know that she was now enrolled in an afternoon middle school and was off to a good start after her sixth grade graduation in June.&nbsp; </p> <div>Lupita came to the Monte Horeb Grade School in Tijuana when she was six years old and was placed in Kindergarten.&nbsp; Other schools would not accept her.&nbsp; Her speech was so distortioned from a high palate that no one could understand her.&nbsp;&nbsp;She was considered a&nbsp;'burro'&nbsp;at the other schools and even by her own grandmother, who was raising her.&nbsp; Years before, Lupita's mother crossed the border to the United States and&nbsp;her&nbsp;father left town&nbsp;for his home in southern Mexico.&nbsp; They were no longer a part of her life.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Fourth grade was the turning point for Lupita.&nbsp; The special attention she was given over the years at Monte Horeb&nbsp;finally reaped some real, tangible rewards.&nbsp; She learned to read and enjoyed doing so, her math skills&nbsp;improved markedly, and her speech had progressed to the point where&nbsp;most could understand her.&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Not only did Lupita's&nbsp;confidence and self-worth&nbsp;improve over the years through the special education program directed by Patti and the acceptance she felt by students and teachers alike, but her own grandmother came to a most important understanding.&nbsp; Lupita was not the 'burro' that her former teachers talked about and that she herself repeated and&nbsp;had come to believe.&nbsp; She began to help with homework and&nbsp;volunteered daily at the school.&nbsp; The developing teamwork between grandmother, student, and teachers&nbsp;made a world of difference, one that&nbsp;we&nbsp;trust now will serve them well as Lupita moves on to other schools.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br></div> <div>Sixth grade graduation was certainly a special event for Lupita and her grandmother.&nbsp;&nbsp;Lupita, as well as the other girls who were graduating, came to the event dressed as&nbsp;never&nbsp;before, in long ornate gowns, heels, jewelry,&nbsp;even a tiara.&nbsp; There was a dinner, a program, they&nbsp;danced the waltz and all, including, Lupita, received their diploma.&nbsp; It won't be easy for Lupita&nbsp;in the years ahead and at times it is somewhat disconcerting to think about what might lie ahead for her.&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet we are convinced that God put the Monte Horeb Church and School in&nbsp;Tijuana and called us to ministry&nbsp;here, precisely&nbsp;for Lupita, her grandmother and so many others like them.&nbsp; For that we&nbsp;give&nbsp;God the glory and&nbsp;we can rest in His faithfulness.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>What a joy it has been to work with Lupita&nbsp;these past seven years.&nbsp; She has always been a bubbly, joyful girl with a&nbsp;great attitude. You can hear from Lupita herself in the video available on the IM website.&nbsp;&nbsp;Under 'People'&nbsp;go to&nbsp;'Long' and click on the first video under 'Pictures and Video'&nbsp;(dated July 18, 2011).&nbsp; We'll make a&nbsp;friendly wager that Lupita's great attitude and love for life will make your day.&nbsp; </div> Wed, 07 Sep 2011 00:12:07 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/38898-seven-fruitful-years https://internationalministries.org/read/38898-seven-fruitful-years God at Work through Multiple Sclerosis <div>It took some getting used to, living at the Mexicali Seminary and participating in a community complete with roommates,&nbsp;common meals, chores, classes and homework.&nbsp; The first two weeks in September were so stressful that Pedro was at the point of giving up.&nbsp; But he persevered and today&nbsp;is sure that his decision&nbsp;to&nbsp;begin classes at the Seminary was&nbsp;right.&nbsp;&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The beginning weeks of study and life at the Seminary are always difficult&nbsp;for new students.&nbsp; Yet Pedro&nbsp;has much&nbsp;more to deal with than&nbsp;anyone else who has studied with us.&nbsp; He is now largely confined to a wheelchair as multiple sclerosis takes its toll.&nbsp; How thankful we are that Pedro has found a home at the Seminary, for his story gives us all something to cheer about and adds a new, even refreshing and inspiring&nbsp;element to the life of the Seminary.&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Eight years ago Pedro was just finishing his university degree in International Business and had what he thought was a great relationship with his girlfriend, with whom he lived and who was pregnant with their first child.&nbsp; It was also during this time that he began experiencing blurred vision, weakness in his extremities, along with bouts of&nbsp;high blood pressure.&nbsp; Finally, around the&nbsp;time of the birth of his daughter and after a year of erroneous diagnoses, he was referred to a neurologist who was able to confirm that he was suffering from&nbsp;multiple sclerosis.&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He knew that this debilitating disease would&nbsp;take its toll.&nbsp; It was explained to him that there are treatments available, but no cure, and that the&nbsp;progression&nbsp;of the disease varies with each individual.&nbsp; This was all too much for his girlfriend, though, and she left him when their daughter was but five months old.&nbsp; He moved back in with his parents, whose life was not at all good, fraught with&nbsp;marital problems and alcoholism.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Life was not good for Pedro --&nbsp;family problems,&nbsp;medical appointments and treatments,&nbsp;progression of the disease and knowledge that his job would&nbsp;soon end&nbsp;due to his&nbsp;disability were all taking a toll.&nbsp; Here's where a friend from&nbsp;middle school years, Raymundo,&nbsp;enters his life in&nbsp;what would lead to&nbsp;life-changing experiences.&nbsp;&nbsp;Raymundo, concerned for Pedro after hearing&nbsp;more about his situation and the deep depression&nbsp;to which he had succumbed,&nbsp;began visiting him regularly.&nbsp;&nbsp;Raymundo shared his faith in Christ and wanted him to&nbsp;know that there is hope and life, even in the midst of such a disease.&nbsp; He invited him to his church, Sion, a newly planted&nbsp;church located just two blocks from Pedro's house.&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Pedro explains what happened next, "Never before had I experienced what happened the very first time&nbsp;I went to Sion.&nbsp; The people there talked to me, accepted me, and loved me without even knowing me.&nbsp; I had many conversations in the past about religion with people who visited my house.&nbsp; They wanted to discuss religion or which was the true church.&nbsp; But in Sion it was different."&nbsp; After a year he announced to the pastor, "I'm ready!"&nbsp; &nbsp;"You're ready for what?" asked the pastor.&nbsp; "To be baptized," he said.&nbsp;&nbsp;His biggest disappointment on the day of his baptism was that no one from his family had any interest whatsover in&nbsp;what was happening in his life, so he walked alone to church that day with the help of a walker.&nbsp;&nbsp;His greatest joy, though, was coming to a greater love and appreciation for&nbsp;another family, his church, and how so many from this new family were there to accompany him, not only in church services, but also through the many trials of his life.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Today, five years later,&nbsp;his journey has&nbsp;brought him to the Seminary.&nbsp; He has a passion&nbsp;to learn as much as he can about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, while at the same time seeking ways in which he can be&nbsp;a witness&nbsp;to that hope and life that God has so graciously&nbsp;opened up to him. &nbsp;In addition to serving in his home church&nbsp;each weekend Pedro is thankful for&nbsp;an additional arena in which&nbsp;he can&nbsp;be a source of hope for many.&nbsp;&nbsp;His treatments bring him in contact with many others who are suffering from debilitating diseases and he is an active member of&nbsp;a support group, some&nbsp;40 strong, who suffer from multiple sclerosis in Mexicali.&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Pedro doesn't know what the future will hold for him.&nbsp; But he rests assured that&nbsp;right now he is&nbsp;where he should be and gratefully anticipates, as&nbsp;we all do,&nbsp;what God has in store.&nbsp; </div> Wed, 17 Aug 2011 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/38611-god-at-work-through-multiple-sclerosis https://internationalministries.org/read/38611-god-at-work-through-multiple-sclerosis A Short Reflection on the Surge in Drug Violence in Mexico <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: black; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;"></span></p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: black; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">When hearing and reading the news reports of upticks in drug-related violence in Mexico we are reminded of how important it is to put things in context and to think about the&nbsp;larger picture.&nbsp;&nbsp;Mexico is a very&nbsp;big and diverse country and even along the border there are&nbsp;substantial differences between cities, communities and states.&nbsp;&nbsp;Our ministry area encompasses&nbsp;the border region&nbsp;from Yuma to San Diego or San Luis Rio Colorado to Tijuana, in Mexico.&nbsp;</span> <p></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: black; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;"></span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: black; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">The two largest cities are Mexicali and Tijuana.&nbsp; Mexicali, a city of over one million, has remained calm.&nbsp; Life continues much as normal.&nbsp;There simply has never been a marked increase in violence.&nbsp;Tijuana, on the other hand, has seen a real surge in violence over the past three&nbsp;years.&nbsp;That violence continues, including much bloodshed between police and drug-related gangs and between the drug families themselves, as they use all kinds of brutal tactics in their&nbsp;quest for control of the market.&nbsp; However,&nbsp;the current violence has taken on a less public nature. &nbsp;Indiscriminate killing and display of bodies, for example, are far less common than two years ago.&nbsp; In all of this, the churches and&nbsp;schools with whom we minister continue&nbsp;their normal activities, including evening and night activities, and community outreach.&nbsp; The violence has demanded extra precautions and heightened awareness on part of us all.&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet&nbsp;the overwhelming attitude of our Mexican partners is summed up in the words of one Tijuana pastor, "God has called us here to what has become a city of violence and we rest assured in Him as we continue to share and&nbsp;demonstrate the Good News of Jesus."&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: black; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;"></span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: black; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">It's always good, and often enlightening, to hear what is on the hearts and minds of our Mexican colleagues in times as this.&nbsp;There has been some talk of the violence in Mexico, but that centers around what seems to be the current zones of&nbsp;heightened conflict,&nbsp;in the Mexican border states to the east of us. &nbsp;It is also interesting&nbsp;to note&nbsp;that the current topic of concern for Mexican church leaders with whom we serve, as expressed in fellowship and study times this summer, lies across the border in the&nbsp;United States, and in particular, with&nbsp;the disheartening and seemingly more hostile debate over immigration.&nbsp; </span></p> Wed, 04 Aug 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/24405-a-short-reflection-on-the-surge-in-drug-violence-in-mexico https://internationalministries.org/read/24405-a-short-reflection-on-the-surge-in-drug-violence-in-mexico Baja Update Sept/Oct 2009 <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Dear friends,</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Always thankful for your concern, thoughts and prayers,&nbsp;this month we share with you three&nbsp;notes&nbsp;representing important happenings in our lives and work&nbsp;right now:</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">... We're thankful for the good reports we have received from Teresa Miranda as she begins a new ministry as director of a cross-cultural training school in the state of Campeche.&nbsp; Teresa was commissioned in August by the Baptist Convention of Baja Mexico and arrived in Campeche at the beginning of September.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">... Colds and flus&nbsp;have hit&nbsp;our area of Baja quite early this year,&nbsp;including in the schools, churches&nbsp;and groups&nbsp;with which we minister. &nbsp;There are also a number of reported cases of H1N1 virus in Baja.&nbsp; We're taking as much precaution as possible and as in the States, the Mexican schools will not close this year unless the situation becomes critical.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">... Please remember the World Mission Offering.&nbsp;&nbsp;Most churches receive the WMO in the month of October and the offering continues to be of critical importance to maintaining the work of all&nbsp;International Ministries' missionaries.&nbsp; As you are aware, we missionaries, along with our Missionary Partnership Team are now responsible for personalized giving that amounts to 80% of our support.&nbsp; The other 20% comes from the WMO. &nbsp;In this way, then,&nbsp;churches, groups and individuals are able to support all of&nbsp;the International Ministries team spread out around the world.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em><b><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">---</span></b></em><em><b><span style="">Your gifts help 16 missionaries work full time to lead people to faith, while </span></b></em><strong><i><span style="">32 missionaries work full time to train church leaders, and&nbsp;64 missionaries work full time in cutting edge ministries to human need as they present the Good News of Jesus Christ</span></i></strong><em><span style="">.---</span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">The Offering is even more important this year as we strive to rebound from the impact of&nbsp;the great recession and achieve, as in 2007, our goal of $3.7 million.&nbsp;&nbsp;Here are the ways in which you can help:</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;"><li class="MsoNormal" style="color: black;"><span style="">You may give during your church’s World Mission Offering. Your church will send it to International Ministries.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"> </span><span style=""></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color: black;"><span style="">You may give a monthly WMO gift through your church, which will send it to International Ministries.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"> </span><span style=""></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color: black;"><span style="">You may give directly to International Ministries anytime through the website: <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/" title="http://www.internationalministries.org/">www.internationalministries.org</a> or by mailing your check to International Ministries, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"></span></li></ol> <p class="MsoNormal" style=""><span style="">In Christ,</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style=""><span style="">Patti and Tim</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;"></span></p> Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/14984-baja-update-sept-oct-2009 https://internationalministries.org/read/14984-baja-update-sept-oct-2009 Baja Update May 2009 <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Welcome to our first installment of what we expect to be regular first of the month updates.&nbsp; Some will highlight family news and concerns, others will be stories inspired by our&nbsp;Mexican partners in mission, still others will be snapshots of what is happening in our ministries and the context in which we serve.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Flu....</span></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">We begin this month of May cautiously optimistic that, at least in Mexico, the spread of the new strain of flu ('swine flu') has stabilized.&nbsp; Due to the outbreak, all&nbsp;schools are closed until next Wednesday.&nbsp; Today, though, is a national holiday, as is Tuesday, May 5, so the closing of schools&nbsp;took into play an already planned&nbsp;vacation&nbsp;period from&nbsp;May 1 through May 5.&nbsp; Here in Baja, very little specific information has&nbsp;been made public-- we hear that there&nbsp;have been&nbsp;two cases of&nbsp; the flu&nbsp;but have heard no additional details, for example of who or where these cases occurred.&nbsp;&nbsp;Also, unlike Mexico City, there has been no&nbsp;local government action&nbsp;to close all but essential services.&nbsp; Movie theaters, malls and stores have stayed open and&nbsp;the use of respiratory masks, at least in Mexicali, has been minimal.&nbsp;&nbsp;As a result, the Seminary leadership decided to keep the doors open, keeping an eye, though, on everyone's health and any further government&nbsp;recommendations.&nbsp; Classes have continued as usual with no problems to date.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">The Monte Horeb School in Tijuana, where Patti teaches, closed on Monday, along with all public schools in Mexico.&nbsp;&nbsp;Check out the web article with&nbsp;postings from&nbsp;Patti and other IM missionaries on the IM website (<a href="http://www.internationalministries.org">www.internationalministries.org</a>).&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Víctor Mercado...</span></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">We learned this week of the death of Víctor Mercado in Puerto Rico.&nbsp; Víctor served as Area Director for Latin America and the Caribbean from the 1970's until his retirement in 1992.&nbsp; A most remarkable man who did so much to solidify and&nbsp;shape one of IM's core values, that&nbsp;of serving in&nbsp;committed partnership with overseas or international churches, he also was responsible for IM's expansion into new territory.&nbsp;&nbsp;Our ministry in the Dominican Republic was a result of his groundwork; for us personally, it was&nbsp;Víctor who brought us on board at IM and who served as our first mentor.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">We think especially&nbsp;of his wife, Iris, at this time as we celebrate his life,&nbsp;thankful&nbsp;not only for the part he played at IM but also for the key role he played&nbsp;in our call and ministry.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Travels...</span></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Tim returned last Monday from a two week trip to NY and PA where he visited&nbsp;friends, family, churches, pastors and association meetings.&nbsp; It was a trip arranged by our Missionary Partnership Team&nbsp;(MPT) with the express purpose of touching base with as many churches and current and potential supporters as possible.&nbsp;&nbsp;The urgent need for additional personalized support would be best served by&nbsp;a personal visit to the area&nbsp;in which members of our MPT live.&nbsp; It was&nbsp;a very good trip, indeed.&nbsp; We are now confident that,&nbsp;over the next few months, the additional support&nbsp;required will come in, thus&nbsp;allowing us to concentrate on&nbsp;ministries in Mexico. &nbsp;Thanks to our Mission Partnership Team for a job very well done.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Security Training...</span></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">At the end of the month, Patti&nbsp;&nbsp;will be attending a Security Conference in La Paz&nbsp;in southern Baja.&nbsp; It is a three-day intensive seminar that is so important for all of us who minister and work in Mexico these days.&nbsp;&nbsp;Due to the economic crisis that IM is facing, there is no funding available&nbsp;to send&nbsp;us nor our IM missionaries colleagues in Mexico to this very important event.&nbsp; However,&nbsp;Grace Christian Fellowship of Cortland, New York has provided&nbsp;funding so that Patti can attend the training.&nbsp;&nbsp;<em><span style="font-family: Arial;">Muchas gracias!</span></em>&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Thanks again for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers,</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Tim and Patti</span></p> Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/14988-baja-update-may-2009 https://internationalministries.org/read/14988-baja-update-may-2009 Baja Update August 2009 <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">World Champs!&nbsp; We've had quite a week in the&nbsp;neighborhood.&nbsp; Our&nbsp;local Little League, Park View, won the&nbsp;Little League World Series in South Williamsport, PA on Sunday.&nbsp;&nbsp;Most of our ministry occurs on the Mexican side of the border in&nbsp;the&nbsp;northern part of the Mexican state of Baja California.&nbsp; Our home, though, is located on the US side of the&nbsp;border in Chula Vista, just north of Tijuana and south of San Diego.&nbsp; With well over 200,000 in population, we're really not a small place and there are some eight or nine Little Leagues within Chula Vista's boundaries.&nbsp; What makes this even more special is that Park View is our local league, the one in which both of our sons, Aaron and Daniel played.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Crossing the border now to Mexico.......</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">In our last update we wrote about Teresa Miranda, the first missionary to be supported fully by Baja Baptist Convention churches.&nbsp; She is off&nbsp;this week to begin her ministry as director of a cross-cultural missionary training school in southern Mexico.&nbsp;&nbsp;She&nbsp;begins&nbsp;this new phase of her mission work with the promise of both prayer and financial underpinning.&nbsp;&nbsp;Her commissioning service was very well attended with over 300 present from churches&nbsp;throughout the north of Baja.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Mexican grade schools began last week and we are pleased to report that the Monte Horeb School, where Patti teaches, is off to a much better than expected start.&nbsp;&nbsp;It usually takes a few weeks for most students to return to classes yet after only&nbsp;a week there are over 100 already enrolled, including most all of Patti's special needs children.&nbsp;&nbsp;They are still&nbsp;looking to hire two teachers, though.&nbsp; &nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">As we write&nbsp;these notes a powerful hurricane, Jimena, is bearing down on southern Baja. That's one thousand miles away from us but we are concerned for&nbsp;the general population as well as the many pastors and churches we know and work with from southern Baja.&nbsp; Especially susceptible to loss of homes&nbsp;and lives are the thousands of workers who have migrated to the area to work in the tourist industry.&nbsp; We trust that the current evacuations now being ordered will be effective and drastically reduce any loss of life.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">In appreciation of your continued support and prayers,</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">Patti and Tim</span></p> Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/14986-baja-update-august-2009 https://internationalministries.org/read/14986-baja-update-august-2009 Is the Swine Flu affecting IM Missionaries in Mexico <span style="font-weight: bold;">Six IM missionaries weigh in…</span><br><br>The swine flu is making news in the U.S., and has already claimed lives in Mexico. See how the flu is affecting six IM missionaries serving in Mexico right now:<br><br><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/46">Rick Barnes</a>: “[The flu] is affecting my ministry minimally right now.” (scroll down for more)<br><br><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/74">Patti Long</a>: “The fear of this new disease on top of the daily fear of violence…is very unsettling for the children.” (scroll down for more)<br><br><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/94">Adalia Schellinger-Guitérrez</a>: I worry about “losing the spiritual side of things as we become overwhelmed looking for ‘survival’.” (scroll down for more)<br><br><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/91">David and Joyce Reed</a>: This is “an opportunity for Christians to band together to speak boldly, to pray boldly, about the PEACE that only Jesus can give, to bathe Mexico in the light and love of God.”&nbsp; (scroll down for more)<br><br><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/351">Chuck Shawver</a>: “A group of folks from Rocky Mountain Region…postpone[d] their visit until June.” (scroll down for more)<br><br><br><span style="font-weight: bold;">Rick Barnes, Baja, Mexico: </span><br>As I think about the swine flu, I honestly get more concerned about this than I do with the violence of the drug trade. With the violence, you basically can avoid certain areas and be reasonably well assured that you can be safe. The face of the swine flu is the 23-month-old toddler and the 70-year-old grandmother and the 25-year-old college student. Since we know so little about source and transmission issues, this great void of knowledge leaves us vulnerable. We don’t know who has it or not. We don’t know where it will go. And we don’t know whether this is the tip of an iceberg, or a flash in the pan. <br><br>This is affecting my ministry minimally right now, other than just being concerned. The Mexican government closed all public schools in Mexico this week. I wonder if this is an overreaction, or legitimate concern. The problem with diseases like this is that by the time you realize there is a problem, many people have already been infected. But to shut everything down and have something minimal happen is like crying wolf. Our seminary functions normally. I am sure that the church activities will continue normally short of a documented outbreak in our region.<br><br>I think this demonstrates how interconnected we are in this world. I know there are those who would want to close the border and all would be fine, but things just don’t work that way. And this nonsense of certain commentators saying that infected illegals are responsible for the infections in the U.S. is simply xenophobic.&nbsp; I do wonder why those in Mexico are more adversely affected than in other parts of the world. Maybe these are the consequences of poverty and unhealthy living conditions. Maybe there are many more factors than we know.<br><br>And I don’t have any theological understanding of this, other than that God grieves with those who grieve a loss, and God is very present with us during times like these.<br><br><span style="font-weight: bold;">Patti Long, Mexico and the U.S.</span><br>Since my ministry is teaching special education in Tijuana, on Monday morning I went to school as usual. We spoke with the children about the flu, being more careful about hygiene, etc., yet were faced with the problem that there is seldom running water at the school and dust is continually flying everywhere.&nbsp; Some children came to school wearing masks and I took an extra supply of antibacterial wet wipes.&nbsp;&nbsp; At about 10:30 the school received notice that all schools were to close immediately and not to reopen until May 6.&nbsp; We stopped our classes and brought the children into the chapel to explain the situation and to pray.&nbsp; Different from what one might expect, the children were not happy about this.&nbsp; For one, Thursday April 30 is Dia Del Niño (Children’s Day) which they all look forward to and now will miss.&nbsp; Also, the fear of this new disease on top of the daily fear of violence in which all of Tijuana lives, is very unsettling for the children, and school is generally a place where they feel and are safe.&nbsp; I am very sad for all that is happening in Mexico and I miss my students very much.<br><br>&nbsp;I worry about the health and emotional impact of this fear in the lives of my children. Many come from the poorest and most vulnerable areas of the city. If there is an outbreak of the flu in Tijuana, many of these children and their families very likely will be affected.<br><br>There is still so much that isn't known about the disease, but the Mexican government is taking it very seriously and making every effort to educate and provide necessary resources to even the most marginalized communities.&nbsp; But living in dire poverty, often without water and with many people living very close together, it is very hard to contain illnesses.&nbsp; So far, thankfully, we have not heard of any confirmed cases of the flu in Tijuana, but with the constant influx of people from all over Mexico, it will most likely become a serious problem.&nbsp; Please pray for people to be able to fight off the disease and for it to fizzle out in all parts of the world!<br><br><span style="font-weight: bold;">Adalia Schellinger Gutierrez, Tijuana, Mexico:</span><br>As a medical doctor, I have had many medical consultations/check-ups from people with regular colds and/or laryngitis to make sure they are out of danger.&nbsp; My regular advice is to rest, drink lots of fluids, take precautions so they don't infect anybody near them, work on building their immunity.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>What worries me the most about it as it relates to my ministry is losing the human/spiritual side of things as we become overwhelmed looking for "survival,” and we stop caring for other people. <br><br>We ask people in the U.S. to keep praying so that people who already have the disease might build enough body defenses to fight the illness; keep praying that the flu stops spreading worldwide; be precautious but never panic, nor lose hope: we are in God's hands.<br><br><span style="font-weight: bold;">Joyce and David Reed, La Paz, Mexico</span><br>People are scared, and the media is throwing people into a panic.&nbsp; As far as we know, there are no reported cases in La Paz, or Southern Baja, yet. But public places are deserted.&nbsp; Tourists are canceling trips.&nbsp; This is having a dramatic impact on our already weak and tenuous economy.&nbsp; A friend of ours who runs a fishing tour company had three groups cancel today.&nbsp; Restaurants are deserted.&nbsp; People are taking extreme measures instead of just precautionary measures.&nbsp; At a pastor's meeting today, David heard a conversation concerning Sunday's worship.&nbsp; Should they cancel church on Sunday to protect people's health?&nbsp; No consensus was reached.&nbsp; We have found ourselves doing a lot of listening, trying to sift through the fact vs. fiction to calm people's fears, and helping people make accurate risk-assessment based decisions.&nbsp; We are reminding people that God is sovereign, even over flus, and that panic-striken thinking will lead none of us to healthy, holistic lives.<br><br>What worries us the most is that Satan is gaining control as people give into fear and panic.&nbsp; In a country already ruled by idols and syncretic beliefs, Mexico's part in this flu epidemic is feeding a frenzy that Satan thrives on.&nbsp; However, it can also be an opportunity for Christians to band together to speak boldly, to pray boldly about the PEACE that only Jesus can give, to bathe Mexico in the light and love of God.<br><br>The most important thing that our friends in the U.S. can do is maintain a godly perspective on this pandemic.&nbsp; Bathe Mexico and our world in prayer.&nbsp; Pray that God will work through our Christian communities to bring healing and peace to a world already shaken by economic turmoil. <br><br><span style="font-weight: bold;">Chuck Shawver, central and southern Mexico</span><br>So far, other than concern for colleagues in Mexico City where the problems are most prominent, we have not been directly impacted.&nbsp; Schools are closed but we do not have school-aged children.&nbsp; Lots of folks walking around in blue surgical masks.&nbsp; I just got off the phone with a group of folks from Rocky Mountain Region who had planned to come to Mexico next week on an exploratory visit.&nbsp; They made the decision last night to postpone their visit until June.&nbsp; I have several other groups with summer plans but I suspect that they, too, may be reluctant to spend money on airline tickets until things seem safe.&nbsp; So far, there have been no confirmed cases in Chiapas that I know of, so we are not dealing with families who have been sickened by the swine flu.&nbsp; Our colleagues in Mexico City are all safe, but the city is certainly a different place and all church and school activities have been suspended until May 6 as a precaution.&nbsp; Folks are worried and the mood there is somber. <br><br>To make a financial contribution to any of these missionaries’ support or to the ministry of International Ministries, click on Give on the tool bar above. Thank you for your support of International Ministries.<br><br> Thu, 30 Apr 2009 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/11052-is-the-swine-flu-affecting-im-missionaries-in-mexico https://internationalministries.org/read/11052-is-the-swine-flu-affecting-im-missionaries-in-mexico