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
Why does God tell us to be happy in the midst of trials? Because through the trials we learn to be patient. Patience is the calm trust and quiet hope that God will accomplish His work in His time. And patience helps us to be mature and complete, not lacking anything for God's work. Is patience easy to learn? No. Is it a fun process? Definitely not. But it is a necessary and valuable part of our Christian walk.
GOD'S SCHOOL OF PATIENCE
These past few months have been filled with many lessons about patience--in our own lives, in our ministries, in the lives of other believers...too many experiences and lessons to count. They have been difficult months in many senses. But they have been valuable months, as well. Thank you, Geoff and Pamela, for your faithful prayers for us. We are thankful for how God is working in us to mold and shape us. And we are thankful for the way God continues to strengthen His church and accomplish His work here in Peru.
At the end of September Caleb traveled with a group of Seminary students to the north coast of Peru. They spent the week ministering in a church that is going through some profound trials related to their leadership. Caleb spent more than 30 hours that week talking with church leaders and other church members about how to deal with the difficulties. There are still many hurdles to overcome in order for the situation to improve. It requires much patience and wisdom. Please pray for this church, its leaders, and its ministries.
While we were there, there was a major Catholic celebration in the city. Tens of thousand came from the surrounding area, most on foot, to worship their idols and participate in the festivals. We have such a tremendous task: to reach the millions of Peruvians who vainly trust in idols and a system of falsehoods to provide them with their salvation. Many are open to religious conversations; few are quick to make a decision. We need to patiently love and teach them the truth of salvation.
We have experienced many challenges in the Seminary this semester. God has brought answers to some challenges, but we patiently await His help with other challenges. We praise Him for the funds He has provided for our work scholarships. In our next update, we will provide more details about this year's recipients. Pray for us as we finish this year (our graduation is December 9th). Our students are growing spiritually, and we praise God for His work.
A special blessing each year is our anniversary week. The last week of October we celebrated 46 years of ministry. Steve and Judy Fulks came from Baptist Mid-Missions' Home Office, where Steve serves as the 1st Vice-President. We were blessed by his messages and teaching throughout the week. He challenged us to seek the global advancement of the gospel. It is a great task. Please pray with us that God will call some, if not many, of our students to go beyond Peru's borders with the gospel message.
We are thankful for the growth numerically and spiritually in our church family. As is the case in any church ministry, there are ups and downs. We have been blessed with several new families that are attending and serving faithfully. And yet others are not doing their part. We patiently pray and encourage, working to see that all continue to grow. One way we have been able to see growth is through our men's meeting each Saturday at 7 am. Caleb is teaching the men about the challenges that men face and how to serve God faithfully at home and in the church.
We are thankful for our pastor and his wife. They are a blessing to us and our church family. And we praise God for the great blessings He has brought us of late. At the end of October we had our first services in the new building! We celebrated the first days with 4 weddings (in one service) and a dedication service. We had over 100 in attendance in both services. We average 55-60 on Sunday mornings. We patiently work to see that God will reach our part of El Milagro with the gospel message. There is much work to accomplish in order to accomplish this.
We continue to wait patiently for the next steps in our adoption journey. We turned in our paperwork mid-October and expected a decision in early November. We have been assured that we will receive word as soon as a final decision is made in Lima. When we are finally approved, we will begin the process of waiting patiently to be assigned our future children. We don't know how long this process might be, but we are praying that God will bring our children home soon. We are quickly approaching our summer break and would like to use that time to grow together as a family. Please pray for God's timing to be clear and for our patience during our time of waiting. We are excited about what God has in store!
This is a small taste of what God has been doing in our family and ministry in recent weeks. We are tremendously thankful for the opportunity we have to serve as your missionaries here in Trujillo, Peru. Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support. You are a blessing to us and a vital part of our ministry. Please continue to pray that God will allow us to be faithful, patiently serving Him and equipping His church.
Until all have heard,
Caleb, Ecko, Joe, Jack, Isabel, and Isaac Stein
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
Dear Missionary Baptist Church,
Greetings from Brazil!! How are you doing today? We praise GOD for you and pray that you are encouraged in Lord and doing well in every way.
Thank you so very, very much for praying for us during this long trip to the Northeast region of Brazil. We arrived home safely the 21st of Nov., and we can truly say that GOD blessed in every detail. According to plan, we left home on Oct. 9th. It took us three days of driving to get to our first stop, where we visited Erisvan, Angela and their family, who minister among the Kariri-Xoco people. Let us share something that happened there. During our time with them everything was normal, GOD richly blessed in our time together. A couple weeks after we left, Erisvan called us about a drunk man who was continually threatening his life. We talked for quite a while that day over the phone. He was doing pretty good, but Angela was particularly troubled about it all. Our mission leadership and contingency team have helped them through this very difficult time. Please pray for the safety of this missionary family and their church-planting ministry with the Kariri-Xoco.
On our very next stop, we visited Adenildes, a single missionary in Paulo Afonso, BA about 4.5hrs away. The day we arrived, she received word that her nephew who lived in Southern Brazil, had commit suicide. It was extremely difficult for her to take that all in and to be so far away from her family. We prayed and talked together. GOD’s comfort and love is amazing. We could see GOD calming her heart and blessing her with peace day by day. Please pray that she would be comforted and for her ministry among the Pankararé.
Many parts of the Northeast have a dry and desert-like landscape, similar to the dry areas out West in the U.S. As we traveled from one stop to the other, we passed through many places like this picture but there were others where it was beautiful green vegetation too. After all of these years, this was our first ever trip to the Northeast and we found it very different than the other areas we’ve seen.
We had a total of 14 stops where we spent time with missionaries and a couple of visits with missionary kids too. It was such a blessing to be with each one, to hear them tell what GOD is doing in their lives. GOD amazingly directed our times together, with rich times of fellowship, of sharing and crying together, of times in prayer and of studying GOD’s Word. We can testify that GOD blessed in countless ways, but we know that HE never sleeps and continues to bless exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we could every ask or think.
Along the way, we asked each missionary and have found them encouraged IN THE LORD and trusting GOD in their lives and for the ministry HE has given them. One common thread that we noticed in what these dear missionaries shared, is the fact that they’ve lost financial support this year. Brazil has been going through economic problems, unemployment has skyrocketed, and this situation has affected churches throughout the country. Some churches and individuals have cut-back or stopped supporting these missionaries we visited. We told them that we will be praying and asking others to pray for them in this need.
The last missionaries we visited were Izaias & Tatiana who minister among the Tremembé people. They are located near Itarema, in the state of Ceara, near the ocean in Northern Brazil. From there we started our four-day trip home, but the roads were so good, that we were able to make it in only three days. We arrived home exhausted after six weeks on the road, but very grateful to GOD for HIS constant blessing and care.
We thank you so very much for the privilege of serving GOD together with you. We pray for you and we want to thank you for your constant prayers. Thank you for your financial gifts, for your gift of $1,000.00 that we received from you dear folks in October!
It’s time to say good-bye for now but our prayer is that GOD continues to richly bless you day by day in every way!!
By God’s mercy & grace,
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
Three new churches began
to support us recently and a
few of our supporting
churches have increased
their support. One church
in Wisconsin committed to
partnering with us in September
of each year (as described
in the Chad video).
We hope other churches
and individuals will consider
as well. If twenty
churches and individuals
partnered with us onemonth-a-year
for even $500,
our support level would be
boosted by almost 15%.
Please keep us in your prayers.
We are asking the Lord
to bring us to 70% by
March of 2018