Missions to the Amish People
Joe and Ester Keim
Beyond Measure and New Beginnings
It’s finally happening! On June 6, Dirt Dawg began moving dirt and preparing the grounds for the bulk food and housing ministry. After three long years of planning and sometimes wondering if it would ever happen, we are finally seeing the vision of our board, donors, investors and prayer warriors unfold and become a reality. Many times, people have had to remind me that good things don’t come easily. Surely, that has been the case in this endeavor.
New Beginnings: 67 individuals and churches have helped us reach 72 percent of $350,000. Unless we are asked not to, we have continually added the names of each donor to the Legacy Wall.
Help us reach the final goal: Donate Now
Learn more about New Beginnings: Click Here
Beyond Measure: 18 investors have pledged a total of 77.6 percent to help build the 6,000-sq. ft. bulk food store. To learn more how you can become an investor and help fill in the remaining gap, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (419) 651-6813. Maybe you are unable to help, but you know of someone else who could. Follow along as we build: /ways-we-serve/watch-us-build
Missions to Peru
Caleb and Echo Stein
God is good... God is great... God is wonderful... are the expressions that come out of our lips in praise to our God and Lord. David's words are appropriate for this time: "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation." His benefits have been wonderful in these last two months. Considering one of the governing principles of this Seminary, this year has been called "Year of the World Missions". Our goal is to sow a worldwide missionary vision in each of our students. We know from the Word of God that the mission of the church is to preach the gospel to every creature, in order to make disciples in all nations. We know that the task is geographically parallel, fulfilling the Great Commission in our city, our province, our nation and the whole world simultaneously. Therefore, we want to form workers whose vision is focused on glorifying God by obeying the Great Commission. Help us by praying to achieve this goal. Now, we share some news in order to give glory to God, and to keep praying for this ministry. God blessed us by sending us a new group of young men and women aspiring to be used by the Lord in His work. They are: Wilma Acero, Ruth Alva, Edward Arteaga, Marcelo Benites, Omar and his wife Noelle Goicochea, Antonio Imbaquingo, Joaquín Morales, Abner Peña, Erick Peña, Isaiah Peña, Hetler Ramos, Henry Ricopa, Lincoln Rivera, Daniel Soria Pablo Tamayo, Ronald Vargas, Elí Vega, Dimas Velásquez, Jorge Vergara. God sent us 19 men and 3 ladies for the first year class. The total number of students is 67 students. We rejoice in the response of God in sending students; however, every year the need for more workers in Peru continues to grow. Therefore, we encourage you to continue on your knees pleading for more workers. OPENING OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR We enjoyed a beautiful opening service, in which we worshiped God, welcomed the students, enjoyed fellowship, and, above all, were encouraged by the Word of God preached by the missionary Eduardo Boyde, an alumnus ministering in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. During the opening week we had the opportunity to fellowship between students and teachers, and to know better the work of God in Venezuela. We are thankful to God for all our friends, pastors and churches that pray and support this ministry. We pray that others would join the task of training workers and commit to supporting the Peru Baptist Bible College with prayer and offeringsThe blessings we have received from God came through the rain. Certainly the rain affected much of our nation, but as the Scriptures say, God sends rain sometimes to benefit His land, sometimes to punish, and often to show His mercy. He gave us the precious experience of knowing Him much more in the midst of adversities. The rains caused flooding, landslides, damaged roads and elevated costs of food; however, God's hand never left us. He was always there sustaining us and providing for us. All this has been a reason to thank God. We ask you to continue praying that God would continue to provide and sustain this ministry. Thank God for all our friends and churches who sent their offerings to help support our students. The time has come to prepare for our On-the-Job Training Week from 22 to 28 May. All the students will be traveling to churches to to serve in evangelization and edification. About 90% of us will be working in churches located in the north of our nation. We know that our brethren from churches in that area have faced severe difficulties because of the rains, yet the desire to have a group of students in their churches has not diminished. We pray that God will provide all the resources. Help us by praying that students will not be affected by diseases. We know the risks of this trip, because we are traveling to areas where there are mosquitoes which transmit dengue, chikungunya, malaria, stomach infections and typhoid fever; but we trust in the mighty protection of God. Jehovah is our shield, our healer. Help us by praying that our time in the churches will be of great blessing!
Missions to Quebec
Francois and Valerie Picard
Dear friends and partners,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
We are celebratingThanksgiving this week-end in Canada. This year, I have many reasons to be thankful! My heart is full of gratitude towards God after the difficult period I just went through.
I thank God for the people who prayed for me. I realize how important it is to have a community of people praying for me when times are tough, cheerleaders who are not judging even though they don’t have all the information and are not getting enough news. They climb on the mountain to pray and they can see what is on the other side when I can’t. he concussion I suffered after a car accident left me with severe headaches and backaches, lack of concentration and energy. A team composed of a neuropsychologist, anoccupationaltherapist, and a physiatrist is presently following me. It gives me plenty of opportunities to announce the Gospel! I am returning to work on a progressive basis. I have to be wise on how I spend my energy.
I thank God because His Work through SEMBEQ kept growing during my absence. François Turcotte, executive director, had to work twice as hard to develop our new strategic plan and launch new programs. We now have our own magazine. Students have started Immersion, our new intensive program. New staff was hired to meet the needs.
I thank God for what Don Carson recently said concerning SEMBEQ: “SEMBEQ has throughout its existence sought to combine theological rigour with training and experience in the local Church. In recent years, both sides of this pair have been strengthened. In French Canada, there is no better place to prepare for pastoral ministry.”
I thank God because I was the speaker at a conference for single parents at camp des Bouleaux this summer and was blessed to lead 2 people to the knowledge of Christ. I was also able to follow disciples and counsel couples during my illness. We have had weekly prayer meetings at our house all year long.
I am especially thankful for my wife Valérie who supported me very patiently and graciously, and for my children, with whom I had more time to build strong connections, being more present at home. I am discovering the joys and challenges of living with 4 teenagers and a 6 year-old boy. My heart rejoices because Jérémie, who reached adulthood when he recently turned 18, has announced his wish to be baptized.
Please keep praying for SEMBEQ, for me and for my family. Thank you for your kind and faithful support.
I thank my God every time I remember you. (Phil 1:3)
François Picard, President
Missions to Brazil
Bill and Jean Wiederhoeft
We pray that GOD will encourage you day by day and bless you and the ministry HE has given you. Thank you for the privilege of being your partners in GOD’s work in the U.S. and here in Brazil.
Seems like a lot has happened during this past month. Together with you, we would like to remember those details and praise GOD for HIS countless blessings through it all. On Sept. 10th, we were on the second day of our trip to the northeast part of Brazil, when we received a call, informing us that Rosemary (Jean’s Mom) had gone home to be with the LORD she loved and served. Immediately, we turned around and headed for home, arriving that evening. Jean’s brother Ben had spent most of the day looking for airline tickets, finally that evening we found tickets for Jean and him. We were thankful that they could travel together and that they arrived in time for the viewing and funeral service. It was a big family get-together, to honor and remember the blessing that Rosemary’s life was to each one. The time of fellowship was special for everyone, especially for Melvin (Jean’s Dad), who had the opportunity to be with his seven kids and most of his grandkids and great-grand kids. Our kids and grandkids (Marie, Mark & Jenny, Ellie, Anton and Talita) were able to be there for a few days, which was an even greater blessing for Jean. We are so thankful to GOD!!
In the days following, Jean was able to spend time with her Dad, help and encourage him. In spite of this big change in life, he is responding well to the loss of Mom. It’s not easy, after 68 years of marriage. He has such a good attitude of encouragement and trust in God through it all. We are praising GOD for HIS comfort and grace evidenced in his life and in the whole family. We especially want to thank you for your love and prayers.
Now, let’s fast-forward a little bit: Jean and Ben had a good, safe flight, arriving home on Wed. Oct. 4th. Jean is doing well and recuperating from the exhaustion of the trip and from the emotional stress.
Even before Jean left on this emergency trip, we started praying and talking about when we could possibly reschedule our trip to the northeast. So, during this time I’ve been contacting each missionary to rearrange the dates. Thankfully, we can say today, that 98% is rescheduled and only the last two locations for mid-November are not yet confirmed but we trust that those will be rescheduled too. This is how things stack up now: LORD willing, on Monday Oct. 9th we will restart this trip and the plan is to arrive home on November 22. This a good example of what GOD says in Prov. 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” It is so good to know that GOD’s plans are perfect and that we can totally trust HIM with all the details.
Thank you for already praying for us in this endeavor last month and we ask for your continued prayers looking ahead. Our hearts desire is to be useful in GOD’s hands to CARE for each MISSIONARY along the way. Please pray for these dear missionaries, their families and their ministries, that they will receive GOD’s encouragement, edification and determination to keep on keeping on for HIM!!
Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. We appreciate it all so much.
Bye for now. As it looks, we’ll only be able to send you an update after we get home, near the end of Nov.
As I write this letter, I am attending a youth conference hosted my la ministère Flamme in Drummondville, Quebec. One of my favorite things about representing Cruciforme at conferences in the opportunities to recommend good books that will help people grow more and more into the image of Christ. This conference has been a huge encouragement for me, as many women have a desire to be more like Christ and depend on him to bring about that change.
The past months have been a time of growth and excitement for the ministry. Both SEMBEQ and Cruciforme have seen God work, and he gets all the Glory!
There are many things to be thankful for! God has been so good to our family. We have just put our house on the market. This marks the beginning of the process of moving to the Trois-rivière area. This move is strategic because it will locate us more centrally in Quebec, and will allow me to more present in our church and with our students. There is also a new church plant which we attend. I will have the opportunity to teach various courses in the Sunday school. Please pray for this project. We are praying for a quick sale, and the right house in Trois-rivière where we can also have an impact in the community.
Judith is continuing with the home-schooling. Isabella is enjoying this experience very much, and along with excelling in her studies, her desire to read the Bible drove her to learn to read in both English and French. Martin (who is almost 2) will start working through his program using a curriculum from France.
Recently, I had the opportunity to translate SEMBEQ 40th anniversary album into English. The album tells the story of 40 years of God’s faithfulness through SEMBEQ’s ministry in Quebec. After the work was done, I realized that the implementing of our strategic plan for the 10 years was the beginning of telling this story for the next 40 years.
As part of the strategic plan we have set the following goal:
Train 200 ministry workers and their families
Train 200 elders
Train 200 Women
Equip 20 churches to become Antioch Churches.
Please pray for God to support the leadership of SEMBEQ during the implementation of this plan. Also please pray for God to send workers. God has been answering this prayer. This past week I hosted a family from Aix-en-provence, France who is exploring God’s will for moving to Quebec to serve the church. It is so exciting to see God answer our prayers for His glory! I am currently in contact with a hand-full of couples who are considering serving the Lord in Quebec. Please continue to pray!
One of the big challenged in the French publishing market is the distance between Canada and France. This distance imposes major costs of import and exportings books. Ultimately, this means the French Christian books from France and very expensive in Quebec. To give you an example, Follow-ME by David Platt is 14.99$ in English and is 30.00$ in French. It is hard to use this resource for a small group study at that price!
One of my prayers since starting Cruciforme was to partner with publishers in France to publish their books in Quebec. God has answered that prayer through a partnership with BLF Editions. They are allowing us to publish and print their books in Canada with our logo and our own cover. They are also allowing us to set the price. This means that the 30.00$ book above will sell for 18.99$ and around 10.00$ with our church discount. We are thankful, because this partnership means more and more Gospel-centered resources to serve the church in Quebec.
We have some exciting titles coming in the next couple months. Please pray for these upcoming releases and those who will read them.
What is the Mission of the Church? (June 2015)
Sacred Influence // Gary Thomas (June 2015)
Sheparding a child’s heart // Tedd Tripp (June 2015)
Let the Nations be Glad! // John Piper (July 2015)
Big Picture Storybook Bible (September 2015)
Solas: La quintessence de la foi chretienne (Solas: the quinessence of the Christian Faith) (September 2015)
Dangerous Calling // Paul Tripp (October 2015)
Pollution and the Death of Man // Francis Schaeffer (September 2015)
Basic Christianity // John Stott (October 2015)
Church Planter (October 2015)
Marriage Matter // Winston Smith (November 2015)
Books for Missions // Packing Hope
If you church does ministry in Haiti, or any of the French speaking countries in Africa I would love to help. I want our publishing ministry to not only serve Quebec and French but also serve you as you serve other French speaking peoples. We are offering a 40% discount for churches who wish to purchase resources to bring to the mission field. Email me for more info.
An exciting Project.
I am working on a very exciting project which straddles both ministries I work with. I am writing a book that will tell the story of 4 significant works of God from within the Francophone church. But, unlike most history books, I will not focus on the Main character, but on the one who supported the main character in prayer and financial support. I will tell the story of John Calvin, Olivétan, Robert Haldane, and SEMBEQ by sharing the stories of those who supported these ministries in obedience to the great commision. I call these men Rope Holders.
Each one of these men were obedient to the great commision in equipping others to go. We can also call them senders. Often senders feel like they are less obedient that those who go, and they give financially out of this guilt. The goal of the book is to show that their are only three categories of people when it comes to the great commision: Obedient senders, obedient go-ers, and the disobedient.
Along with this encouragement, the book will give a vision of the fruit and impact of sending someone to accomplish the great commision. My hope and prayer is that this book would light a flame of generosity through the French-speaking world to the end that all the Francophonie might hear the Gospel and believe.
Please pray for my perseverance as I work on this project. I am currently in the research stage. I hope to start writing in September.
Thank you for all of your continued prayer and support of my ministry work in Quebec. It is overwhelming when I think about all of you who faithfully prayer for me and my family.
Training Shephard Worldwide through the Pastoral Enrichment Program
Scott and Victoria Williquette
The house we purchased in Kalamazoo, Michigan is coming along very well. Twenty churches have given toward the purchase of the needed materials and to date four church groups have provided skilled labor. A large group from First Baptist Church of Troy, Michigan spent a Saturday doing demolition work. These men took down old paneling, drywall and insulation, pulled up old flooring and before they left a ten yard dumpster was full. The next group, from Emmanuel Baptist Church of Windsor, Ontario spent three days installing new plumbing and framing walls for the upstairs bathroom and closet. This work established the layout of the entire upstairs. We needed the skill set of this group at that point in the project and the Lord gave us what we needed. A group from Grace Church of Mentor, Ohio also focused attention on the upstairs for three days the following week. These men ran new electrical, installed new insulation and hung the majority of the drywall. This group left Thursday, February 11th but not before passing on instructions to a team of men from First Baptist Church of Westbend, Wisconsin. This group hung additional drywall, gutted two bathrooms on the main floor (one down to the studs) and ran electrical in the kitchen and other areas. Each group has been a tremendous blessing to us. Thanks to all who are praying for us and these renovations. We are hoping to move in by mid-May.
While I was in Myanmar I developed a large ulcer on the ball of my left foot. When I finally saw a doctor here in Kalamazoo I was told rather sternly that if I didn’t stay off my foot I was going to end up in the hospital. So, I postponed my January and February meetings and elevated my foot as much as possible. I’m happy to say that my foot is healed and beginning this month I will be in churches almost every Sunday. Many have asked me about Victoria’s cancer. She will have tests soon that will inform us as to the status of her cancer. She feels fine. Lord willing she will once again be told “You are cancer free.” Back On the Road March 2016.