Updates from the Field: Week 1

BOLIVIA

Team Bolivia has arrived healthy and safe and are enjoying ministry! The team has spent their week connecting and building relationships with their contacts, doing work projects with the church, and working at an orphanage.

 

BRAZIL AMAZON

This week we built a new drainage system to prevent a church from being washed down a cliff. We also went to two Cell Groups where we preached, sang, and shared testimonies and invested in the family who ran the camp we were at. They actually texted our contact about the impact our group made on their lives! Super cool! While there, we helped teach the girls there English and did devotions with the kids at the camp. Please pray for safety this next week as we travel deep into the jungle, that everyone stays healthy, that we would get NO MORE BUG BITES(!), and that we will be blessings to all that we meet this week!

BULGARIA

This week we went to two gypsy churches. At the first church we went to on Wednesday, one team member, Micah, preached and the team leader, Peter, shared his testimony and then we prayed for people one-on-one. At the second church we went to on Thursday, we all shared our testimonies and got to pray for people for healing and we saw 4 confirmed healings! After that church service we went to one of the members’ moms’ house to celebrate her birthday, and worshipped with them for over 2 hours. The next day we cleaned the church and we did outreach that afternoon at the metro stops and got to pray for 2 people. On our free day we went to a fortress woo hoo! And today we hosted a barbecue for the youth group and prayed for a woman at church to be healed of back pain and she was healed!! The Lord has been revealing to us personally that no healing is too big or small for Him. If it’s something as simple as back pain or a bump on the head, He desires for us to be healed. The faith that these people have shown in asking the Lord to heal them is inspiring and shows the love of the Father for His children!

Please pray against the persecution the church is facing for preaching about prosperity. Pray for our team to be unified and to have wisdom in knowing how to communicate with the people in Bulgaria and make connections with them ☺

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CAMBODIA

Team Cambodia has arrived in country and been focused on evangelism and discipleship as they have preached the Gospel to strengthen the local church.  The team has enjoyed building lasting relationships, empowering the indigenous church to reach their own people, and interacting and working with the people on a daily basis.

CHILE

Team Chile has arrived safely in country and have begun ministry with their contact! The team has been doing school ministry at different schools throughout the city, visiting schools and sharing the Gospel message. They visit each location three times in order to build relationships with the teachers and students there. They’ve also had the opportunity to do prison ministry and share the hope of Jesus Christ to women in short-term and long-term prisons.

CHINA

Week one in China has been full of adventure, learning, and fun! Upon arriving, the team toured the campus with the lead contact, got a run down for the month, and even started a basic Chinese class. They were able to prepare for primary school visits that will be happening throughout the month. They planned English teaching games to get the kids moving while still brushing up on their language skills! Please pray for protection, unity, creativity, and energy in Team China!

 

CROATIA

Over the last week we’ve gotten to know our contact and his family very well. He likes to say that evangelism in Croatia looks like food, fun, and fellowship; all of which we’ve been doing plenty of! We’ve visited two churches so far for various services and prayer meetings. We’ve been doing a lot of kids and youth ministry, as well as encouraging the churches with testimonies.

One of the main activities we have been involved in this week was kids ministry at our contacts church. While the team was leading a church service for young children, there was a child outside with his parent who was too scared to come in. One team member, Josiah, went to play with him so he felt comfortable, and in the process Josiah got to talk to his father. He shared a piece of his story with about how he left the church but eventually returned. Josiah was able to encourage him in what the Lord was doing in his life. It was a blessing that through kids ministry, God was able to use us to bless the believers in Croatia.

The first day we met our contact I felt very welcomed. He was so excited and happy to see us saying just our being here is the encouragement he and his church need. Going in to the week we learned that this trip was more about building relationship and fellowship and we love that! Sometimes we in the church get very caught up in going going going and meeting agendas that relationship is forgotten. We love how comforting the contacts and people are with us. In one of the churches a woman felt comfortable enough to come talk to one member, Trenae and tell her testimony and she feels like that’s part of bulking relationship and community.

It’s been a challenge acclimating to the culture. As Americans, we like to see results (salvations, healings, numbers, etc.), but in Croatia, it’s all about relationship. We haven’t done nearly as much street evangelism as we were expecting to. In Croatia, ministry looks different. You can’t just go up to people and start talking about Jesus. People are immediately turned off by anything having to do with the church. Our best ministry has come when we don’t force it. It’s difficult because a lot of time it feels as if we aren’t doing anything, but it’s just a different aspect of ministry.

God has already done so much in the team!! Pray for continued unity, and well as sensitivity to the culture around us. Also that we were persevere to the end of the trip, giving it our all for God.

 

ECUADOR

This is Team Ecuador checking in after a fantastic first week. This week, we’ve worked with Go International on Creative Campaigns such as the Vision project, Dream campaign, and Love from Above, as well as VBS for underprivileged children, and work projects where we planted trees for Dunamis (Human Trafficking Safe House)and helped install a driveway on the property. The language barrier has been a challenge, as well as gaining boldness to do street evangelism, but we are growing all around. We’ve seen wonderful prayers answered during our time here: children have given their lives to Jesus during VBS and we had the opportunity to minister to 60+ high school students and tell them how loved they are. A woman told a member, Sarah, that she would never forget this moment after Sarah had handed her a flower and told her how much God cares about her.

Please pray for the juvenile center here, that they would be financially able to continue working in the community. Please also pray for boldness and good health within the team, as well as spiritual transformation in Quito.

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GERMANY

The team is doing great overall and highly involved with every type of ministry setting we’re out in. Our contact has also been amazing! This week we served in a homeless ministry, a soup kitchen, youth services, with the Boy and Girl Scouts of Germany, and in street evangelism. We have mainly been developing relationships with the people we’re ministering to at the soup kitchen. One team member, Maddy, has established an incredible relationship with one of the older men at the soup kitchen. The man never really participated in community that happened at the soup kitchen, but he has been amazed by the enthusiasm we have about our faith, and we are believing for his salvation! In Cologne, we were doing street ministry and talked to a lady named Bente. She was very receptive to the Gospel message, and we encouraged her to connect with her friend who is a Christian. She left with so much joy and determination to find out more about Christ. We haven’t seen any major healings or huge testimonies, but the relationship and conversations occurring are phenomenal. Our contact continuously says that he’s never seen people respond to teams or the Gospel like the way they have with us. 

Please pray for relationship building to continue would be greatly appreciated! Pray that the people in Germany continue to be receptive and that there would be salvations as a result whether on the trip or after we leave. Also pray for our contact’s church as they just had a major event occur with their finances where someone basically stole thousands of dollars from them. Pray for peace, direction, and answers for him and the leaders of the church.

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GREECE

Team Greece has arrived safely and are enjoying ministry with their contacts. The team has had the opportunity to work with Abba House and do afterschool activities with the kids.

GUATEMALA

Team Guatemala has arrived safe and healthy in country and are enjoying ministry with their contacts. They have been working with Missions Impact by preparing for youth conferences and services they will be holding in the following weeks, as well as serving the children at the school there.

INDIA NORTH

This week we worked with the CCH staff to run a 3 day Bible Camp for 80 children from 9 different homes in and around Khammam. Here, we performed skits, taught Bible songs and stories, shared our testimonies, and spent time with our contacts and the kids they care for. We also ate incredible Indian curries, chutneys, naan, and dosas. We’ve been immersing ourselves in the Indian culture and have fallen in love with it. 

From the very start of our travels, we’ve had divine moments of prayer and intercession. In the Tulsa airport, a man came up to our team in an attempt to photobomb a picture. He interacted with us for a few minutes and asked us if we were a Christian group, which we said we were. We told him we were going to India to work with children, and he was blown away. Gary then shared part of his story with us, telling us that he spent 15 years in prison for assault. He grew up knowing God’s Word but hasn’t been living it out for a long time. He started repeating scriptures that he knew, and our team asked if we could pray for him. In the middle of the Tulsa airport, we were able to pray for Gary and encourage him in his faith. He walked away acknowledging that God had given him a divine appointment with us that day. This was the start of our journey, and it marked us and made us aware of the presence of God that we carry. 

Since arriving in India, we have been surrounded by people that exude the love of God. In a country considered to be a closed nation to the Gospel, there are many men and women of faith who wage spiritual warfare every day for the Kingdom of God. These are the people we’ve been serving this week, and it’s been our honor. Our primary contact here in India said that we’re the first team he’s been able to closely interact with, and he joined us one morning for a Bible study of Romans 1. This moment reminded us that the Body of Christ is Global, and we in the USA have so much to learn from our brothers and sisters over seas. His back has also been in a lot of pain, so we prayed for healing. The next day, he joined us in several rounds of cricket (India’s national sport) and volleyball!

In addition to our contacts, we now know 80 children that are being raised to know the voice of God. We’ve gotten to pray with all of them and encourage them to stand firm in their faith. Our team has been sincerely blessed by the CCH staff, children, and pastors. We look forward to the next 3 weeks in Ongole where we’ll hold more CCH camps! 

Please pray for continued team unity, discernment on how to best serve and support our contacts and the children here, strength to endure the extreme heat during the day, and rest, even when we don’t get a lot of sleep.

ITALY

Team Italy arrived safely and healthy and are enjoying ministry! We have been working in the church doing cleaning and yard work. We have also been learning how to make traditional Italian dishes during dinner prep! We helped the church host a conference on Friday and Saturday night for the local churches in Italy. We helped video for the live stream and a few of us were on their volunteer crew helping things run smoothly during the conference. 

5 of us gave our testimonies on Thursday and last night we got to sit down with a young adult group and share stories of the goodness of God. The youth/young adults here are eager to see the Holy Spirit move amongst them, but they are tired and ask for encouragement. It’s been incredible to watch the team step into deeper relationship with them and encourage them in their walk with the Lord. 

We would love prayer for continued health this last week of the trip! We would also appreciate prayers for strength to continue to press in and respond to what the Lord wants to do in specific people we are working with at the church.

 

JAPAN

Team Japan has arrived safely in country and have begun ministry! They have had the opportunity to do outreaches in the morning and afternoons. They’ve also had the opportunity to do street worship and connect with the homeless in Japan.

 

KENYA

Week 1 is done! We were oriented to the church we are partnering with here, International Christian Church (ICC) and met some interns around our age that we get to minister along side of. We went to two different schools and taught on respect and Bible stories. The kids are doing an 18 month plan to consecutively go through the Bible. It’s such a neat curriculum and honestly one we wish we’d had as a child! We have spent a lot of time in worship as a team and prayed life into the places here that are dead and where dreams are forgotten. Many people here know Christ but do not walk in his power or authority so we’ve prayed into that. We also went to a men’s short-sentence prison and did a church service there. 7 men gave their lives to Christ!! We also had an altar call for general prayer after and many men had never been prayed for one-on-one before and they were very touched and some cried out of gratitude. 

In an effort to get us acquainted with the culture of Kenya, our contact sent us to an international convention center in the heart of Nairobi to see the city from the rooftop as well as the Kenya National Museum.Pictures are below.

Because we mostly do ministry for half the day and get to rest for the other half, we have been focusing on pouring into our contacts who are the people who will continue to minister here long after we are gone as well as to pray for and speak life into our team members as the Lord is doing deep works in many of them. Please pray with us for our contacts. 

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KENYA HEALING

Team Kenya Healing has made it to Nairobi and having begun serving in their different healing team “pods” of expertise.

MALAWI

Team Malawi has arrived safe in country and have begun ministry with their contacts! The team has had the opportunity to do an after school program with Urban Promise and are continuing to prepare for the next few weeks.The team also received a site visit from some of the ORU Missions staff members that came to check in on the team and support them in ministry for a few days.

 

MYANMAR

Team Myanmar has arrived safe and healthy and have connected with their contacts. The team has been working in an orphanage this past week and has also had the opportunity to engage in prayer with and for their contact’s ministry.

 

PARAGUAY

This week we taught English to the children in the school and helped other teachers with school activities, held chapel services for middle school and high schoolers, spent time at each of the host homes at the orphanage and getting to know their stories, trained alongside the kids that are on the track team, and played lots of games with the kids. They all highly enjoy volleyball, basketball, soccer, and playing with a football and frisbee. We also completed some work projects which included organizing a workshop, cleaning up the fields and woods on property, building and repairing school furniture, killing lots and lots of spiders. 

We were able to watch all the children in the community one night which allowed all the Tías and Tíos to have a night out to themselves which they hadn’t had in years. Also, during a bible study on the night when house parents were gone two students rededicated their lives to Christ and two others made the first time decision to follow Jesus. 

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PERU

This past week in Peru, we’ve done sports ministry (soccer & volleyball) with locals (age range: 3-30), street evangelism, working at pre-school every day, shared the Gospel at a Mother’s Day event, held a Wednesday night service where we shared 2 testimonies and a sermon and prayed for 15 or so people, and prayed for people & played with kids at medical event. During street evangelism, we met a woman and invited her to church. She came and raised her hand for admitting she didn’t want fear to overtake her life and was prayed for. A girl named Jenifer after two days of playing volleyball with us, asked about coming to church without us mentioning it. It was a testament to how we showed Jesus’ love through our actions. Overall, team engagement has improved tremendously. From the first day and not really knowing what to do, to now everyone jumping all into the culture and environment. They are enjoying the daily work more naturally. Please pray for health and continued protection and provision, lasting impact for those reache and for those people to get plugged in permanently, for a supernatural ability to speak Spanish ;), and for extra energy during times of exhaustion.  

Dios te bendiga!

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PHILIPPINES

Team Philippines arrived safe and was warmly welcomed. The team has prepped for youth camp and VBS for children, and also went through an orientation over the Philippines to learn about the people, history, and culture. The team has been doing much children’s ministry, sharing the Gospel and serving in summer activities for the children and community.

ROMANIA

The team arrived in Romania and has already begun ministry—visiting schools to teach Bible lessons, preaching in churches, connecting with young women at an orphanage, and ministering and distributing food to gypsy families outside of the city. The team has had a great time connecting and building relationships with the contacts.

SCOTLAND

Team Scotland has arrived safely in country and have begun ministry with their contacts! The team has been involved in youth services, serving the church at local outreaches, and helping at the local church.

 SOUTH AFRICA JOBURG

Team South Africa Joburg has arrived safely and are enjoying ministry with their contacts! They have had the opportunity to do high school ministry, teen ministry, and primary school ministry throughout the week.

TANZANIA

Team Tanzania has arrived safe and healthy in country and have begun ministry. The team has been serving their contact by doing work projects and evangelizing in the towns. This next week the team will receive a visit from some of the ORU Missions Staff to check on and encourage the team for a few days.

 

UGANDA EVANGELISM

Team Uganda Evangelism has arrived safe and healthy in country and have begun ministry with their contacts! The team has had the opportunity to connect with some of the local pastors on the groups as well as start some street ministry through hut to hut.

UGANDA ORPHANS

We have settled into the city of Kampala, and have been introduced to several of the Project Orphans sponsored children in the community. This week, we visited Pearl Village and met the staff personnel that we would be reporting to. The staff divided and assigned each of us to a program according to our area of study. We will each work with a specific staff member to assist them in their ministry programs: media/sound, worship, a transitional home for women victims of sex trafficking/sexual exploitation, children’s ministry, child advocacy, life skills, and a medical clinic. We will be at Pearl Village nearly everyday during the weeks to come. We worked at Sanyu’s Baby Home for an entire day. We cleaned cribs, washed clothes, maintained the grounds, and chopped firewood. In the afternoon, we assisted in bathing and feeding the babies who live in the home. We had one day of door-to-door evangelism in a slum community. We spent most of the morning walking around the community speaking with people and sharing the Gospel message. We led a children’s service at the guest home we are staying at for the children in the surrounding community. We attended and served at Oasis Church, which is apart of the Pearl Village community. After church, we played with the children and young adults in the community at the church property. Today is our free day! We will be visiting a craft market and getting lunch at a popular restaurant in the city! We also got to experience how the locals wash their clothes... by hand! One team member was able to personally relate to a Catholic believer while engaging in evangelism. She shared her story of growing up in a Catholic family, and it deeply touched the woman. The team member explained to the woman that when she was Catholic, she realized that the Lord had more for her. The team member was able to plant the seed of the joy of having a personal relationship with Jesus. Another team member was able to lead a woman to Jesus through his personal testimony. The woman found similarities in his story, and she felt moved to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

Please pray for a boost in team morale and perseverance and for the leaders, that they would be encouraged and able to lead even when tired and fatigued. Pray that the Lord would remind them of their “why” and that they would be able to experience the fullness of what the Lord wants to do in and through them on the trip. Also pray for the Pearl Village community. The people in the village have very little connections to Christian faith. Most practice Islam or some sort of witchcraft. Pray that Oasis Church would be a beacon of light and love to the people of Pearl Village. Lastly, pray for the children who are sponsored by Project Orphans. They are living in extreme poverty, so please pray that finances and resources would come like a flood for the families. Pray that they’re parents or caretakers would rise up and support their children in the best way they can and that they would be encouraged by Project Orphans’ aid.

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UK

This week we’ve done work projects at a special needs care home, prepared and executed a youth service at COM Church, prepared and facilitated a worship night with spoken words of knowledge and prayer for COM Church, attended prayer meetings, church creative meetings, and nightly church events, assisted in children’s service on Sunday morning, shared testimonies and prayed with congregation members during alter call during Sunday morning service, and recorded and helped with church video announcements. It’s been a challenge learning what missions and Kingdom advancement look like in England, but we are learning and growing. Just by walking the streets of London, one team member received overwhelming confirmation in the ministry God has called them to. Multiple members are learning how to receive love and know their worth, from which place they more effectively love others, and others are learning how to release control and be obedient to the voice of the Lord. Amazing! Please pray that the Lord would continue to open doors and present opportunities for the Gospel to be shared by COM church in Dunstable, that the team would be more aware of God’s voice and follow it, and that we remain joyful and expectant.

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ZAMBIA

The team is doing amazing! No one has gotten sick (amen), and we are officially headed to the bush to start camping! 

We have gone into the villages and spread the Gospel to those who have never heard it before. We have been open for God to use us and he has met us here. We got a chance to pray for some sick people and have seen them healed and it’s been AMAZING!!