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July 17, 2017

The Best Way of Life

July 16, 2017

Soccer and Prayer: Introducing New Workers in Spain

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

A young boy and his friends huddled behind a concrete building, hoping to evade the enthusiastic Christian walking down the street. They hated when the evangelicals started talking to them about heaven, hell, Jesus, and Salvation. Like most people in Honduras, Rolando’s family was Catholic. They went to mass and said the prayers, but apparently that wasn’t good enough for the Christians. The kids breathed a sigh of relief when the loco evangelist walked by without noticing them, allowing them to continue their soccer game in peace.

Around this same time and 1,500 miles north of the street soccer, a young Mennonite girl got into the car with her mom to attend another revival meeting. Lately her mother had been quite enthusiastic about her faith and Andrea was hearing a lot more about Jesus and his love. Andrea could feel that love inside of her and she enjoyed going with her mom to these meetings. She wished that everyone could know the joy of Jesus’ love.

Through hours of soccer and years of persistence, one of the detested evangelical Christians finally made an impact on Rolando. After falling in love with the Gospel and wanting to share his faith with others, Rolando began to pursue opportunities for overseas missions. While attending a leadership training for young adults, he met Andrea, who was equally excited about sharing her faith and just happened to be looking for a Spanish tutor. Their relationship developed and they eventually got married and dedicated their lives to serving God.

Rolando and Andrea’s passion for missions has taken them all over the world. After attending Eastern Mennonite Missions’ YES program as participants, Andrea led two teams to Latin America and Rolando led two teams to Romania. They also lived in Honduras, ministering to prisoners and working with a program to keep young people out of gangs. Upon returning to the United States they were asked to be Resident Advisors at a halfway house in Pennsylvania for one year. Rolando says that “from the indigenous K’iche’ to the sophisticated Romanians, it has been good; it has been exciting.”

This year they plan to join RMM’s team working in Granada, Spain. Their decision to move to Spain is a response to God’s call on their life to share Jesus with those who do not know him yet. Rolando says that during the thirty-three years he has been following Christ, he has found it to be the best way to live – and he is compelled to share this way of life with those who are not a part of God’s family. “That’s why we are going to Spain,” he explains. “They know church from a Catholic perspective, but that doesn’t mean they know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.” Both he and Andrea realize that many people will decide against following Jesus, but they want to give them the opportunity to at least make that decision.

“A soccer ball and people – that’s how I came to Christ.”Andrea relayed that “people in Spain are happy with their lives and don’t see a need for Jesus.” Sharing the gospel with these people can be difficult, but God has called them to creativity, persistence, and prayer. Andrea is looking forward to forming bonds through teaching English, getting involved in community choirs, and relating to people over common interests. Because Rolando has been involved in prison ministry for many years, he hopes to have similar involvements in Granada, along with building friendships through sports. “A soccer ball and people – that’s how I came to Christ. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the Lord uses that same setting to introduce other people to him.”

This couple believes that prayer is a vital part of their ministry. “We want to go in with a heart of intercession.” Rolando thinks back to the years of prayers made on his behalf leading to his own decision to follow Jesus. He knows that those prayers were foundational to his salvation and says that if he has “to spend more time in prayer than talking to people, that is the way it has to be.” They are both grateful for the people in their life who introduced them to Jesus, and they are compelled to do the same for others – knowing that every person, from any religion or country, is in need of God’s love.

Rolando and Andrea currently live in Royersford, Pennsylvania, where Rolando serves as a teacher and disciple-maker at a home for men who have been incarcerated, addicted to drugs, or involved in gangs, and Andrea teaches both English as a Second Language and Spanish at a public high school. Their two sons, Daniel (13) and Wilmer (15), enjoy watching, playing, and talking about soccer. During their time in Royersford, their family has been tremendously blessed by attending Nueva Vida Norristown New Life, a multilingual congregation excited to send their first overseas workers.

Please pray for this family as they prepare to go. These next few months will include selling their house in Pennsylvania, raising support for their assignment in Spain, and finding the right school for their sons to attend once they arrive. Pray for patience and strength for these tasks and that they would not be discouraged.

If you would like to partner with Rolando, Andrea, and their family, join their team of supporters at donate.rmmweb.org, or email your contact information to info@rmmoffice.org to receive news and prayer updates and on their journey.

July 13, 2017

The Unruly Bull

By Nixon, RMM worker in Thailand

Rhonda and Nixson joined the RMM Bangkok team as a couple in 2015 after working there separately for a number of years. During this time they have connected with and helped disciple many individuals from Thailand and neighboring countries who have moved to the city for better economic or educational opportunities. Some of these connections were made in coordination with the Rosedale Business Group (RBG). From their interactions with a Southeast Asian believer comes the following story.

RBG has recently financed several projects in Southeast Asia, enabling Asian believers to bring the Gospel to the marketplace. One of these projects was to support Lan in a cattle raising project. On one occasion when Lan and two of his friends went to buy some cows in a neighboring village, they met a man, discussed prices, and decided to buy several cows and a bull from him. The owner warned them to be careful with the bull, as it was known to be very dangerous. In the past, sorcery and idols or amulets were the only ways to make the bull obey them.

“…they walked to the bull, grabbed the rope around his neck, and led him right into the trailer with no fight.”Lan and his friends loaded the cows into the trailer first then deliberated ways to load the bull. One of his friends was a new believer at the time while the other did not profess to be a Christian. They tried without success to make the bull obey them. Lan decided to pray that God would help them to load the bull into the trailer. After he prayed, they walked to the bull, grabbed the rope around his neck, and led him right into the trailer with no fight.

The village people watching were shocked and asked him how he was able to make the bull obey him. They said that no one had ever been able to control the bull without casting some kind of spell. Lan had the opportunity to share with them about God and that through praying to God for help he was able to load the bull. He didn’t need sorcery or magic or any other kind of spirits to help him. That day, Lan’s friends as well as the people in the village saw the power of God at work.

July 05, 2017

Trip to China

By Jonatan, RMM worker in Thailand

I want to thank God because he has been good to me, taking me to places that I never thought to go, and giving me the opportunity to know new people every day.

Recently, I received an invitation from Li, my university roommate, to go spend time with his family in China. I was very excited about this new adventure, but at the same time, I was afraid, because I would be the first foreigner to stay in their home. After five hours of flying, we arrived at the Shanghai airport. The family was waiting for us there and welcomed me very kindly. I spent two weeks in their house and got to know their beliefs, behavior, and some social problems they face. Every day we made food together, went to different tourist attractions, and met many friends of my roommate and families close to them.

“I saw thousands of people who had never heard the name of Jesus with no one who could speak to them of the true God.”During the last week of our trip, we traveled twelve hours by train to a town in northern China, where Li’s grandparents’ live. The farming community had no more than 100 houses. I really enjoyed the time in this small village because it reminded me of my home and people in Nicaragua. Every morning we woke up early to help Li’s grandfather plant fruit trees. The last three days we went to the rubber factory where Li’s father is one of the owners and we talked with the people working there about what they do and possible opportunities for me to work there in the future.

This trip to China was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I met many people and learned about Chinese culture, but what impacted me most was to see the big need for God in this place. I saw thousands of people who had never heard the name of Jesus with no one who could speak to them of the true God.

I ask for your prayers for wisdom. I know God took me to this place with the purpose of looking at the needs of the people, but I do not yet know how I can do my part so that they know about Jesus and the good news of salvation. Also, pray for Li and his family. They opened their house to me, and I hope someday they can be open to hearing about Jesus, I know God has a purpose for them.