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Blessings From Baxter

Jenny Jones - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We’ve been blessed to have an enormously fruitful relationship with the Baxter Institute in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Baxter trains and equips men and women to be preachers, teachers, and leaders.  After graduating with a top-flight Bible education, they return to their homes to lead in their local church and community.  It’s a wonderful organization and we’ve recently taken on added responsibilities in the oversight of Baxter’s operation, strengthening an already-substantial partnership.

One of the most exciting things we’ve been afforded the opportunity to do at Baxter is to help provide scholarships for students from Cuba to attend the Institute.  The relationships formed with these men and women are so meaningful to us and it’s thrilling to see them graduate and take their training back to their homeland to share Christ there.

Recently, two of those Cuban students, a married couple named Sergio and Aylen, gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Alejandra, after a difficult delivery.  Afterwards, he shared a warm and gracious note expressing his feelings and thoughts upon becoming a first-time father.  It’s a nice read.  He also passed along, at our request, his notes from an excellent devotional talk that he gave to our spring break campaign group earlier this year.  Take a look at these documents.  They are such encouraging sentiments and insights from a family who will be on the front lines of what God is doing in Cuba.  We’re so happy for Sergio and Aylen and proud to be associated with them and the Baxter Institute!


Stevie Goes to Ghana

Sarah Graham - Monday, March 11, 2013
Ghana has become a growing part of our missions focus over the past few years.  Stevie White went on the most recent Ghana trip a few weeks ago and sent us the following post.

I was sitting on the plane to Ghana for the second time, but was filled with the same emotions as the first-excitement and nervousness. This time around, my trip was shorter and our group was smaller than the previous May trip I went on with the college group.  We were a group of ten with many things God had placed on our heart to accomplish in Africa.  One of the goals I wanted to focus on was showing God’s love through a medical clinic.  On one particular day, we had set up clinic at a village called Ayikai Doblo in an empty schoolroom.  Our group canvased the small area and we had many people show up for the clinic. The best part was that as I looked around the schoolyard everyone in our group was actively engaged in making a difference in the lives of the village.  There were games going on with the kids, singing, dancing, laughing, talking, nutritional advice, well-fixing and loving on others all in the name of the LORD.  While we may have been there for a clinic, it was evident that God was acting through every facet of our group in more ways than just the clinic.

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Rae Boswell giving one of the children in Ayikai Doblo manna, which helps to correct malnutrition. It is similar to a thick peanut butter and full of basic nutritional needs.

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A different form of jump rope that the kids play.  Also, this is the roof that Heartbeat for Hope is helping to build for the congregation there.

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The kids at Ayikai Doblo running to meet Caleb Holsey to help carry well building supplies.

Another sweet memory is one that happened right as we arrived at the Village of Hope. We were on a large school bus and drove through the gates to the back part where we were staying. As we drove through, many of the children saw us and ran to the bus to greet us. It was close to their bedtime but they remained waiting for us.

Their sweet smiles and cheers illuminated the night. We were all greeted with hugs and genuine excitement before we could even exit the bus.
  It couldn’t have been a more perfect welcome.

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Stevie White and friends on the way home from school.

 

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A class of second graders showing the lion masks they created during an Art Camp put on by Judi Lashley and her sister, Lesa Branch, at the Village of Hope.

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Jeff McMillon and several friends from the Village of Hope that Heartbeat 4 Hope helps to support.

-Stevie White

 

Cheryl Rocks.

Andy Lashley - Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Care to be simultaneously inspired and challenged today? Consider this: tomorrow (Jan. 17), Cheryl Bode is up and moving to Africa to be a full-time missionary. Also consider that Cheryl has a great American life here.  Wonderful family, great nursing career, lots of friends, you know…the works. But three or so years ago, Cheryl decided that the tug she felt pulling on her heart was too great to ignore. She dropped everything and went to Ghana, where she worked for about a year, helping to start a medical clinic and doing immeasurable good in the name of Jesus. Now, she’s at it again, this time headed for Tanzania’s Chimala mission.

As for the specifics of what Cheryl will be doing and to hear her stories from the field, you’ll want to check out her blog at cherylinchimala.blogspot.com. 

Cheryl’s is the kind of a story that does more than just prompt us to be praying for her and the work in Chimala, although she very much covets those prayers. For her to leave the comforts of here in the prime of life is the kind of eye-opening decision that forces me to think unsettling thoughts about what I’m doing with my time and talents to serve God. Maybe you experience the same reaction. That’s a good thing.

Thank you, Cheryl, for what you’re doing. You will bless people and grow God’s kingdom directly – that’s for certain. But your example will also provoke action from others who may have needed that extra push to walk through a door that God has opened. We love you!

Great Things Happening in Brazil

Andy Lashley - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This past Sunday we got to visit with Brent & Jill Nichols, members of a great young team of missionaries doing work in Niteroi, Brazil. When you think about the kind of people you want out there in the world representing Christ and his church, you think about people like Brent & Jill. Smart. Fun.Magnetic. You visit with them and you have no doubt that people will be drawn to them to hear what they have to say. It's so vital that the world sees joy in the message of the gospel. If they can't readily see that from the people who are delivering the news, why respond? What is the draw? The Nichols  and their team radiate the joy that comes from the confidence of salvation.

Then, after church on Sunday, I got an e-mail from Allen Dutton in Campinas, Brazil that just reinforced the notion that God is really moving powerfully in South America. Here's an excerpt:

"...we began another group of theology classes.  We decided to have two groups this semester. One meets at the Guanabara building on Mondays from 7-10pm and the other meets at the Campo Grande building on Tuesdays from 7-10pm. I am teaching the Monday night class and have 50 students and Christian (a brother at Campo Grande) is teaching the Tuesday night class and has 40 students. I find it so encouraging to see people we taught a few years ago having the courage and the responsibility to teach themselves. What a great example for all of us! Because of the theology class we have had already three more baptisms. Thais was baptized the middle of August and Benedito and Helena were baptized in September. Please keep these new Christian in your prayers."

And that was just a small sample of what's happening in that work. That church is baptizing people, going on mission trips, planting their own new churches. God is multiplying his kingdom and it's wonderful to watch.