« January 2016   |   Main   |  March 2016 »

February 23, 2016

Serving in Love: A REACH Update

Team Canada

Team Canada is living and working in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Their main focus is building relationships with First Nations youth to share the love of Jesus with them.Their normal schedule includes helping out at a local church throughout the week, volunteering at a youth center, and hanging out with teenagers.

This week, like so many others, has flown by. One thing that we did again this week was have a worship night at the youth center. Personally, I really enjoy the structure of these evenings. We usually have a song set picked out, however, after we are done with those songs, we have been leaving time for song requests and closing in a time of prayer. This week people stayed for a while after the worship time was over. Some played pool, others sat and played instruments. In all, it was a really good evening. There was a sense of community there that was so awesome to be a part of. It wasn’t about getting all of the words right, or all of the notes right. It was more about praising God and encouraging each other.

One thing that God has taught me through this program is about the different forms that church can take. Church can be on a Sunday morning when a group of Christ followers meet in a building; or, it can be a group of Christ followers sitting around a campfire talking about what God is teaching them and doing in their lives. Both of these things are equally church. We are blessed to have the opportunity to know God and to serve him. And we are also blessed to be able to walk with each other as we serve him together.

- Brad

Team Himalayas

Team Himalayas is working in a region that has been devastated by a natural disaster. Their day to day activities vary, but they’ve included digging toilets, widening roads, pounding rocks, mixing/pouring concrete, tearing down houses, meeting with local believers, building relationships, and preaching in outlying villages.

On Sunday, we left to come back to the city for a little breather. After we said our goodbyes to the locals that have grown so dear to us over the past month, we hiked down the mountain into the town to wait for the bus. On the bus ride, Jared and I sat together. I was by the window and Jared was by the aisle, and an older man kept leaning on Jared’s seat and basically sat on his lap, as he looked like he was growing weary. Jared said he felt like he should give the man his seat, but he kind of pushed it aside. After a little while, another man in the aisle began talking to Jared and me, and we had a nice conversation with him. He was fluent in English. It started out with generic questions, and after a while, we began to connect the dots and we found out that he was a Christian. Anyway, when we began talking with him, Jared got up and offered his seat to the elderly man, which he gladly took. Jared and I took turns standing, and talking to the friendly man for the rest of the bus trip. When we got off at the place near where we would be spending the night, the man invited us to his home and store, where he generously gave us some delicious cake and tea. He told us about how his family came to faith, and how he uses his little bakery as a ministry in the town. Just meeting this man was such a God-moment.

– Brennan

Team South Africa

Team South Africa is serving with Door of Hope, an orphanage in South Africa that rescues abandoned babies. Their days include holding the babies, feeding them, playing with them, and changing many dirty “nappies.” Their days are long and their work is rarely glamorous, but they play an important role in saving the lives of dozens of children.

The team has continued a tradition from our DTS—Sunday night worship. Cassidy, who is very gifted musically, brought her guitar along, and on Sunday evenings we just sit and worship together. The other Sunday, we sang about how deep the Father’s love is for us and how he is such a good, good Father. Since being here, I feel as though God has taken my knowledge of his Father’s heart for me and expanded it experientially. The love that just wells up in me for these orphans is a taste of the way God feels toward his children. As I witness the fatherless becoming sons and daughters, God has been growing my love for the Gospel. I can’t contain my gratitude when I consider that the Lord of heaven traveled very, very far to rescue me, adopt me into his family, and give me his name.

A quote by Oswald Chambers has challenged me recently: “If through a broken heart God can bring his purposes to pass in the world, then thank him for breaking your heart.” While it would be easier to distance myself emotionally from these children, knowing that we’ll have to say goodbye in a few short months, that is not my calling as a believer. We love because he first loved us. “Father of the fatherless… is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home…” (Psalm 68:5-6) Every orphan finds their true home in the Father’s arms, but who are his hands and feet on this earth? We are! If we do not love, care for, and adopt orphans, who will?

– Danita

Team South Asia

Team South Asia is serving in a closed region of the world, which prevents us from sharing much about their ministry. They have spent the first two months of the year volunteering at an orphanage, leading devotions for the children, building relationships, and helping with homework. They will spend the next part of their outreach traveling to villages to encourage the persecuted church and to share the story of Jesus with some who have never heard it before.

Last Friday we drove down and then back up “Monkey Mountain” and just relaxed a little while as our tour guide showed us some scenery. As you may have guessed by the name of the mountain, there are many monkeys that are sitting on the side of the road and wait for people to throw food out of their vehicles for them. We just happened to have a bag of peanuts with us so I was throwing some out while we were passing the monkeys, and then we ended up stopping on the side of the road by a couple dozen monkeys. The monkeys were only a few feet away, and pretty soon I just started holding out my hand and they were taking the peanuts right out of my hand and eating them! Then one of the monkeys saw the whole bag of peanuts in my other hand and he jumped up in the window frame of the Jeep and started grabbing at the whole bag! I freaked out a little bit from excitement, and he jumped down pretty quickly after he realized he wasn’t going to get any more peanuts. Needless to say, this was definitely a highlight of things I’ve experienced in South Asia—a monkey inches from your face outside of a cage is a whole lot different than at a zoo!

– C

Team Spain

Team Spain is serving in Granada, a city in the south of Spain. They spend their weeks studying language, building relationships at a local youth group, reaching out to the homeless in the city, preparing English curriculum for a nearby summer camp, and sharing Jesus through relationships.

It has been encouraging as we get busier, but we have to remind ourselves that it is not in the doing that justifies our being here… it is simply that we are adopted children of God. If we can rest in that truth, we will literally walk into opportunities without even trying. It seems the more we try to do, the less we have; the more we try to relate, the harder it is; the more we worry about the future, time goes slower. The point is, God’s kingdom is upside down… at least to us. But, that is okay, because he is one hundred percent sovereign and will ONLY allow and lead and give what is best for us. This trip, this team, the stuff we are doing… it’s all a set up to bring him glory. So, why not trust? Please pray for our health as we are traveling to the camp on Sunday. Also, pray for his Spirit to continue to bring new life and new motivation into our souls. Thanks for reading! May our good Father grant you unspeakable joy, no matter the circumstances.

– Jeshua

Team Thailand

Team Thailand is living and working in Bangkok, Thailand. For the past few months the team has spent much of their time teaching English at a local temple school, though that part of their outreach is coming to an end. They will spend the next three months reaching out to Cambodian immigrant children, leading the long-term team in prayer, mentoring the children of the long-term team, teaching English, building relationships, and traveling to other ministry sites in the region.

So here’s a little update on what my team and I have been up to lately. We have been teaching English to first and second grade kids for about five weeks so far, and we only have about three weeks left. It feels like the time is just flying by so fast, and before we know it, we’ll be done teaching those crazy, fun-loving kids!! The weeks can sometimes be stressful with loud screaming in the classrooms, followed by some kids crawling on their desks and being shot at by rubber bands, LOL. But there are also very rewarding moments with them as well. Some days when I’m at the school, some girls from one of the classes I teach will run up to me yelling, “teacher, teacher!” and give me a big hug, and sometimes they’ll even tell me that they love me. Some of the girls made me paper hearts and paper butterflies. They love to make me things while in class, and then write both of our nicknames on it. Those kids have definitely stolen a piece of my heart. It makes me realize how lucky I am not only to be able to teach these kids, but to also just love on them like Jesus would.

– Kayla

February 20, 2016

I See You: An Update from Raleigh and Opal

Raleigh and Opal,* with their two young children, are in the beginning stages of language and culture study in North Africa.
Sometimes when my children are needy and seem to be on the edge of frustrating me, I touch their shoulder or give them a little hug and say ‘I see you.’ Isn’t this what we all need? We want to be seen.

This week our landlady gave of herself by taking me around to different couch shops (you buy the base, the seat, and the back pillows in three different shops). She held my hand as we walked down the busy side streets to a part of our neighborhood in which I’d never been. She haggled for me, telling me the final price in French. The first time we went out, I had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t end up buying anything, just looking at the options.

“We want good for THESE people. We want to reach out, touch a shoulder, and say ‘I see you. In the craziness of the hatreds of this world, in the lack and the fullness of our cultural differences, we see you.'”A few days later she was ready to go again. On a moment’s notice, I once again held her hand as we headed towards a shop she had found. She talked through the options with the young shop owner, picking out the seat mattress and upholstery. Then we walked around the corner to a collection of second-hand shops, looking for the base. At one shop we found a very tall, conservative man with a twinkle in his eye. I was tempted to look at this beard, robe and skull cap with suspicion, but was quickly chuckling along with him about my little language. When his back was turned, my landlady whispered about how ‘right’ and good he is. The only money I had in my pocket equaled $4. ‘Ok, that is enough for a deposit.’ We left with the promise to return for both base and mattresses.

This experience came hours after a conversation with our language teacher about the relationship between married men and women in this culture. There is a proverb here that goes something like ‘When one marries, love flies away.’ She admitted that this is what she most often sees. A cultural problem or a universal one? We followed this with the realities of her boy needing to fight in order to establish his manhood. With limited language (and many corrections), we voiced our thoughts about how Jesus’ way changes how people interact and create society.

As I contemplate the exhilaration and complexity of interacting with others here, I realize how my sight has changed. When we talked about these people before we came here last fall, we hadn’t yet seen them. Now we see them. As we walk our neighborhood and city, we SEE. We want good for THESE people. We want to reach out, touch a shoulder, and say ‘I see you. In the craziness of the hatreds of this world, in the lack and the fullness of our cultural differences, we see you.’

We have been commissioned to “see.” That is what we are doing here.

*Names changed or omitted for security reasons.

February 15, 2016

New CFO takes up the reins at RMM

About three years ago Jerry and Donna began to feel that their time in the Hudson Valley of New York was coming to an end. Jerry had a comfortable job working in corporate finance with IBM. Donna had enjoyed home schooling their four children in a lovely old home they’d remodeled and they were deeply involved in a local Assemblies of God congregation.

Life was good. Along with teaching their children all the way through high school, Donna also directed women’s ministries at the church. Jerry worked as a church trustee for 12 years and a deacon for three. They enjoyed hosting and leading a wide variety of small groups.

But there was a strange stirring in their spirits. Was God asking them to make a drastic, mid-life career switch? They’d spent almost two years in Kenya shortly after their marriage in 1983 before going back to school and beginning work for IBM in 1990.

Both Jerry and Donna had grown up in the Baltimore (MD) region, attending congregations that are part of Lancaster Mennonite Conference. They’d been in youth group together, and Jerry attended RBC 1979-80.

Then suddenly in September 2013 IBM sold Jerry’s division to Lenovo which quickly offered a buy-out to all senior staff. Jerry and Donna couldn’t help but feel that God had been preparing them for this all along. They took Lenovo up on their offer – and were suddenly jobless.

Meanwhile their son Andrew, who had taken a job as director of the Bridge program for RMM and RBC, alerted them to a job opening at RMM. CFO Keith Scheffel was moving on to another job.

“You ought to apply for the CFO job at RMM,” Andrew urged his dad.

“Donna and I had already been thinking seriously about an overseas mission assignment,” Jerry said, “Perhaps going back to Africa or somewhere in the 10/40 window. As we prayed and sought God’s direction, I heard two separate messages which used Exodus 4:2 as a text. Here God asks Moses, ‘What is in your hand?’

“The gist of both messages was that we should use the gifts and skills we already have in service to God rather than seeking to do something completely different. I took this as a confirmation that I should seek the position with RMM.”“The gist of both messages was that we should use the gifts and skills we already have in service to God rather than seeking to do something completely different. I took this as a confirmation that I should seek the position with RMM.”

For the year after he left IBM Jerry and Donna volunteered for RMM in various capacities. From their home in New York, Jerry travelled to Thailand to consult with the RMM Executive Team and met with the board to familiarize himself with RMM programs. Both Jerry and Donna assisted with hospitality and running sound at the RIC during the International Missions Association last July.

Then RMM offered Jerry the CFO role. He began work in January 2016, and they’ve temporarily rented an apartment just a mile from the RIC as they continue to explore a more permanent home.

“Honestly we don’t know what God will do in this next season of our lives,” Jerry said. “What I do know is that I strongly support RMM vision to reach out to the least-reached peoples of the world. I’m very excited to have even a small part in enabling workers getting to the field in response to God’s call on their lives. I love hearing stories of lives changed by the lordship of Jesus.

“But mission isn’t only happening out there somewhere,” he added. “We’re excited about getting involved here in Columbus, perhaps among students or other new immigrants, as God opens doors. It’s taking longer than we hoped to sell our home in New York. Meanwhile we’re exploring Columbus, praying that the Lord will lead us to the right community for the next phase of ministry.”

Although Jerry and Donna are new to CMC, three of their four children graduated from RBC. Andrew, their second, served on three REACH teams before enrolling at RBC and then moving on to his current role as director of the Bridge program.

“I’m on a learning curve as we connect with RMM’s core constituency,” Jerry said. “But I’m excited about what I’m seeing. It’s solid, non-flashy, incarnational. Besides the financial and logistics work I’m picking up for RMM I’m also passionate about getting involved in recruiting and encouraging people in missions. It’s exciting to see mission vision growing among us.”

When he’s not working at RMM you might find Jerry cooking – he enjoys baking bread. And he loves rooting for Baltimore or Notre Dame sports’ teams. (He got a BA in Economics from University of Maryland and an MBA from Notre Dame.)

We’ll see how long that lasts in the Buckeye state!

Thanking Andrew:*
Director of Partnership Development

Before Jerry joined the RMM staff as CFO in January 2016, Andrew stepped in for 10 months to serve as interim CFO. Now with one less “hat” to wear, Andrew is glad to give full-time to his primary role as Director of Partnership Development for RMM.

In this broad networking role throughout CMC, Andrew is “on the road” for almost a third of his time. Most recently he joined the Ride for Missions in Sarasota, a first-time event in Florida. In addition, Andrew is director of the Rosedale International Center.

If you have questions about RMM or about how your congregation can get more deeply involved in the work of God “across the street and around the world,” give Andrew a call at: 614-2589-4780 or email him at andrewm@rmmoffice.org. He’d also be glad to visit your congregation, or arrange for the visit of another RMM worker or staff person.

*Names omitted for security

February 08, 2016

Going, Giving, Praying, Promoting, Sending: How We Can All Support Missions

By Hans Shenk – From the February 2016 Beacon

It was a small card—white, grey and green—slipped into the fold of the programs for the two services RMM planned at CMC Annual Conference 2015. It was a detail in a busy weekend. It asked attendees if they were interested in receiving RMM’s monthly newsletter, the Mosaic, or in supporting RMM in any of five categories. The five categories were Going, Giving, Praying, Promoting, and Sending.

We didn’t get any of them back. We thought about it, decided it must not have been effective, and moved on. But then, in a department meeting, we were struck by the five categories on the card, and how many people within CMC have already been supporting RMM in the ways outlined on the card, and how grateful we are to have such partners.

We spoke to some of those partners, and have collected several of their stories here. We hope they serve as an inspiration and a reminder of what God can do, and does do, through his people.

Going – Alaina

Alaina’s story has previously been featured in RMM publications, but it bears repeating. Two months before her departure for North Africa, Alaina’s plans for the next year were to work and save money. She hoped to find a short-term ministry opportunity in 2016, after paying down college debt and saving for the future.

Two months before their departure for North Africa, RMM workers Raleigh and Opal* had seemingly firm plans for a childcare worker to accompany them and look after their two young children in the hectic first months of cultural adjustments and language study. And then, disastrously close to the date of their departure, their firm plans fell through.

Raleigh and Opal and RMM were left scrambling. RMM sent bulletin announcements to churches, and added a slide to the CMC Annual Conference PowerPoint presentation highlighting the need.

The slide was never used; before Conference, two young women had stepped forward and expressed interest in going. Raleigh and Opal met with both, and after a short period of deliberation, invited Alaina to accompany them as a childcare assistant.

With less than a month remaining before her departure, Alaina’s appointment as an RMM worker, fundraising, and preparations were a whirlwind. Halfway through the month, a member of the RMM community who had been instrumental in Alaina’s preparations was severely injured in a car accident. This left details of Alaina’s preparation, logistics of her travel and life in North Africa in uncertainty as RMM employees worked to take on extra responsibilities while dealing with the emotional impact of the accident.

Nevertheless, Alaina remained steady, smiled, and prepared to go. Even on the day of her departure, Alaina was almost left stranded at the airport by last minute logistical problems. Still, she stayed the course, made the necessary changes to her plans, and made it to North Africa only a little late.

A little over a month into her time in North Africa, Alaina wrote in a newsletter update to her supporters, “Life here has been good. Some days are hard and I miss home and family a lot, but I am constantly reminded that I am where God needs me to be and in his plan.”

We thank God for the way he worked in Alaina’s heart and in her circumstances to bless Raleigh and Opal’s family, the people Alaina has met and ministered to in North Africa, and to Alaina herself, during this time.

Raleigh and Opal are currently looking for someone to take over childcare duties after Alaina’s term ends in May 2016. If you’re interested in joining Raleigh and Opal, or if you think you might like to join the work overseas, email info@rmmoffice.org.

Giving – Ride for Missions, Rosedale Mission Cruisers, Ride for Missions Florida

“When we limit our gifts to our imagination, we are limiting what God wants to do with the gifts he has given to us….You have no idea what God can do with what you have been given until you take a first little step.”Through the years, RMM has been the beneficiary of the priority that CMC places on missions, and of the generosity of people within CMC who are passionate about partnering with RMM to spread the gospel, and have given gifts of time and money.

In addition to God’s blessing of provision through traditional channels, he has also blessed RMM through exceptionally creative forms of giving, most prominently the annual Ride for Missions.

Ride for Missions was born unobtrusively at CMC’s Annual Conference in 2005, when Merlin Miller decided he wanted to ride his bike from his home town, Middlebury, Indiana to Rosedale, Ohio for Conference the following summer. His father suggested inviting others to join in and making it a fundraiser. During a break in sessions, they spoke to RMM and the idea began to take shape. The first year of the ride was so successful that it was decided to make it an annual event.

For the second ride, Merlin invited Wayne Yoder of West Jefferson, Ohio, to organize one of two rides going to Goshen, Indiana. Wayne has been involved in organizing the ride ever since and now serves as ride coordinator, and Merlin has usually taken on the role of ride pastor. Wayne spends between 200 and 300 hours throughout the year working on details for the ride. When we asked him what motivates him to keep coordinating the ride, Wayne said, “Seeing how God works in the lives of the riders, those we meet along the way, and the donors. God takes my feeble plans and turns them into something useful for his kingdom.”

The ride has grown tremendously; from 18 riders the first year to 97 riders in 2015. New riders, donors, and corporate sponsors join in every year—many of them with no previous association with RMM or CMC. It also has created a subculture within CMC; Merlin told us, “RFM is like a family reunion (that you actually want to attend). RFM is a family that keeps adding new members every year. Riding and experiencing the same thrills and suffering together for three to five days bonds us together very quickly. I have many very good friends that I wouldn't have if it were not for RFM, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing old friends and making new friends every year.”

Ride for Missions has also inspired a new generation of creative fundraisers. Annual Conference 2015 saw the second annual Rosedale Missions Cruisers motorcycle ride fundraiser, and Ride for Missions Florida, the first regionally-organized Ride for Missions is taking place this month. These other projects may have been partially inspired by the success of Ride for Missions, but like the first ride, they began as simple ideas.

For anyone who might be where Merlin was in 2005, starting with just an idea, Wayne has this advice: “If God lays an idea on your heart in the way that he did Merlin’s, do it. The important thing is to start on the project; the details can be worked out later. RFM has changed (hopefully for the better) each year as we learn new and better ways to operate it.”

Merlin adds: “When we limit our gifts to our imagination, we are limiting what God wants to do with the gifts he has given to us….You have no idea what God can do with what you have been given until you take a first little step.”

For more information on Ride for Missions visit www.rfm.rmmweb.org or for Rosedale Mission Cruisers, visit www.rmc.rmmweb.org.

Praying – Prayer Chapters, Heidi Burns

“I have tried those an-hour-a day prayer challenges, but they always leave me frustrated. Prayer has more become just a part of my day. When a person comes to mind, I try to pray for them..."Through the years, and across the United States, and the world, RMM has been blessed by generations of prayer warriors seeking God’s favor on RMM’s behalf.

One primary way that people support RMM in prayer is through membership in a prayer chapter. Prayer chapters are groups that meet once a month, watch a DVD (produced by RMM) about the prayer focus for the month, read RMM’s prayer-requests newsletter the RMM Intercessor, and spend time in prayer. Many members of prayer chapters have been supporting RMM in prayer for years.

Many of RMM’s prayer warriors are retirees and seniors, but young people have also become involved in prayer support for RMM, as well. When asked about a younger person who lives a life of prayer, RMM Prayer Coordinator Mim Musser, and SEND Ministries Assistant Director Courtney Shenk, both mentioned Heidi Burns. Heidi works as a custodial assistant at Rosedale Bible College, and has served as a Summer Urban Volunteer with SEND Ministries, the short-term missions department of RMM, and offers continual support for RMM through her prayers.

When asked what motivates her to pray for missions, Heidi said, “As far as missions, my key motivating passage is Matthew 9:37-38: ‘Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” I often feel overwhelmed by all that is going on in the world and feel like adopting the ‘I can't do anything about it’ attitude, but this verse says that God wants to do something, and he is waiting on us to pray.”

We may know that prayer is vital and effects real change, and yet, for many Christians, dedicated, disciplined prayer is one of the most difficult spiritual disciplines to develop. We asked Heidi how she prays and how she maintains a lifestyle of prayer. She said, “I really don't have a method for prayer. I have tried those an-hour-a day prayer challenges, but they always leave me frustrated. Prayer has more become just a part of my day. When a person comes to mind, I try to pray for them, but often God has to repeat a name a dozen times until I realize it’s a call for me to pray. Sometimes I read a news article that immediately calls me to pray.”

Heidi also offered encouraging words from her own experience, to someone struggling to develop a vibrant prayer life, especially prayer supporting missions: “Just start by thanking him for the people he placed around you. Then keep your ears open. When you hear something that they are struggling with, just say, ‘God, help them.’ He's not looking for a lot of words. He knows. And then, when you start praying for those who aren't around you, like those making disciples overseas, you can do the same thing. You might hear what they need in a prayer update, or it might just be that their name goes through your mind. Don't take those things lightly. They’re calls to prayer. You don't have to say much, but you never know right at that moment how much they need prayer. If you need details, God will give them to you, but often just saying, "God help them," is enough. He knows exactly what that help should look like.”

To sign up for the RMM Intercessor, find a prayer chapter near you, or receive the annual pictorial prayer directory, email info@rmmoffice.org.

Promoting – Levi Miller, Andrew Sauder

“Too many people have the strengths and skills that would make them a tremendous asset to a missions team, but no one comes alongside them to encourage and affirm those qualities...”Another important part of supporting missions is to exhort others to support or go abroad as field workers. Some promoters are gifted at noticing people in the church who would flourish in cross-cultural work, encouraging them to go, and rallying support for them after they leave. Others promote the work of missions in general, and coordinate support for the agencies and organizations that do the work.

Levi Miller has spent many years investing in and supporting RMM in a variety of ways, including serving as RMM Treasurer from 1976 to 2000. His motivation for promoting missions is simple: “I'm motivated by the Great Commission. Also by the example and testimonies of many of our mission personnel over the years.”

For Levi, promoting missions is not only about talking, but also about lifestyle. He says, “I think we often lead by example rather than by what we say. Thus, people who have been involved in ministry and volunteerism have been most effective in speaking to my life.”

For those who can, he also suggests, “Another way of providing encouragement is to provide financial incentives to youth. Instead of giving gifts to each other, which we really don't need, why not make such monies available for the training of youth for missions? Our family chose to set up a scholarship fund at RBC for students who have an interest in long term missions. The family decided rather than giving us gifts, [the money] would be placed in a scholarship fund at RBC.”

RBC Bridge Director Andrew Sauder represents a new generation of mission promoter. Like Levi, Andrew has spent much of his adult life promoting and supporting RMM in various ways. He says, “I’m most motivated to talk about mission work because of my own conviction that Jesus is the best and how he teaches us to live is the best; this world greatly needs the peace of Jesus to reign in the hearts and minds of everyday people. So, if this has had a positive, life-changing effect on my life, it seems reasonable to desire this for others. Additionally, I think it is a matter of seeing the people in the CMC churches live up to their potential. Too many people have the strengths and skills that would make them a tremendous asset to a missions team, but no one comes alongside them to encourage and affirm those qualities for the use in cross-cultural church planting. So, I’m motivated to talk about mission work with these kinds of people because I think it will help them live up to their full potential and calling.”

For the person who doesn’t feel like they have the skills to go abroad, or to find and encourage others to go, Andrew had this encouragement: “Those people should collect prayer cards for a few missionaries that they respect or who used to attended their church and pray for them consistently; prayer is not a special calling. If these people are rich, they should probably start funding a missionary or two. There are many ways to support missions; people should get involved in ways that they are gifted in and have passion for.”

“Also, not having the gifts to go or to find potential workers is not a forgone conclusion. Those skills can be developed. Try taking the missions training class Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Inform yourself about the needs of the unreached people groups still left in the world; this will help you identify people with the gifts and skills needed to address those needs.”

To find out more about Perspectives go to www.perspectives.org or email info@rmmoffice.org.

Sending – London Christian Fellowship

“...that they can join us in our hope and excitement over small signs of Gods work—is a huge encouragement. We are working together toward the same goals..."When we asked our workers and staff about people who exemplified support for missions in these ways, Tom, the Regional Director for Asia sent us this email:

“During the two years that we lived in the States, we had the privilege of reconnecting with our home church in London, Ohio. A couple of months ago we returned to Bangkok, and I’m thankful for the ways in which they have intentionally sent and encouraged us. Our primary point of connection with the congregation now is through our support team—a group of seven individuals who have volunteered to serve as a special link between the church and us.

Recently I sent them a short email reporting on an encouraging Bible study that we had with one of our old friends here. While talking with her, we learned that she has been sharing from the Bible with a friend of hers. Now that friend wants to start telling her family as well. In the grand scheme of things this is just a small development—and we have no idea if it will bear fruit. But we were excited about it and wanted our support team to join us in giving thanks. A few days later the young man who’s serving as prayer coordinator for our support team wrote back: “I have read this letter over and over again, and I am really happy to see God’s vision of discipleship unfolding, ‘disciple a few people who lead others to faith and repeat that process.’ (Seriously, every time I read this I just smile.)” He then went on to describe the challenges and opportunities he’s experiencing in sharing his faith.

That email made my day. To know that our support team understands what we’re doing—and that they can join us in our hope and excitement over small signs of Gods work—is a huge encouragement. We are working together toward the same goals, and I hope that I can be as faithful in praying for his friends as he is for mine!”

If you know someone who is working in mission overseas, or is thinking of going, consider asking to join their support team.

February 05, 2016

Looking for a Fundraiser for Vacation Bible School?

From its work around the world, RMM is highlighting several projects that work well for Vacation Bible School fundraisers:

In 2015 several CMC churches adopted special projects related to RMM ministries.

Cherry Glade Mennonite Church in Accident, Maryland, raised funds for the people of Nepal. A REACH team was in Nepal during the devastating earthquake and saw first-hand the desperate needs for food, shelter, clean water, and a host of other things. Funds from Cherry Glade were shared through our Nepali partners who coordinate the REACH team outreaches.

Gospel Hill Mennonite Church in Fulks Run, Virginia, and Greenwood Mennonite Church in Greenwood, Delaware, both raised money for two different projects related to RMM work in Thailand. In fact, they took up the Thailand theme for the whole VBS. One coordinator wrote:
“Our Bible school this year was called Thailand Trek. Each night we learned new things about the Thailand culture and a video was shown focusing on a child that lives in Thailand. It compared how some things are the same as our culture and how some are different. I believe this really helped our Bible school kids to really see how these children are just like us, but some aspects of their way of life are different—like food, transportation, schools, and homes.”

This year, 2016, we’re highlighting RMM work in North Africa. In a remote, mountainous region, RMM workers are helping to provide medical services and physical therapy for handicapped persons. One of their local partners has been trained in physical therapy techniques and is seeing amazing results. She would like to start her own village center to assist more children with special needs. Special project funds would go towards helping this new local center get started.

This project and several others are available for your 2016 VBS. Maybe you’d even like to use this idea as a timely theme for your VBS. You could highlight needs in the Muslim world—like Greenwood and Gospel Hill did with the Thailand theme last year. Feel free to contact Andrew at RMM for further information either by emailing andrewm@rmmoffice.org or calling 614-258-4780.