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From George Janvier— Serving in Nigeria with SIM
Thank you, Wheaton Bible Church, for the emails, concern, and prayers for the missing three hundred girls who were kidnapped from their school by an extremist group. It is a tragedy of great scale. I am getting some insider information, which I can’t confirm, but enough to say that it has not been good for the girls who are from a Christian background.
In a separate incident, a student here at the seminary recently came to my office to ask me to pray for his daughter, Hope, who went out on Sunday evening to buy a few things to return to school. She never came home. Unfortunately she is from the northeast of Nigeria where a lot of the trouble is taking place. The dad (our student) said after numerous tries to get through to her on her cell phone, he finally reached her and she said, “I don’t know where I am.” That’s the last contact he had with her. He is working with the State Security Service (Nigerian version of the FBI). The dad has gone home, unable to take his final exams because of his daughter’s disappearance. Other women and girls have been captured as reported by the Nigerian newspapers.
Two big bombs exploded two weeks ago in a suburb of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, and about one hundred people were killed in the two explosions. That’s a few hours south of me. The three hundred girls who are still missing are northeast of me by five to six hours. We pray on all occasions for the girls and are trusting God for their restoration to their families. The US, British, and French are all here looking for the girls. Even Israel has volunteered to help, but that probably won’t happen because of the terrorists operating in a Muslim area. It is tense here, and the tragedy is on our minds all the time.
It is amazing to have such a fruitful ministry in this context. I feel it’s right out of the book of Acts. Thanks for your concerns and prayers, and for being a big part of what I do here in Jos.
Becca Martin and Jessica Johnson—Teaching in Austria at the International School of Vienna
What a joy it was for us to lead a team of eight high school girls from our school in Vienna on a missions trip to France over spring break! And not anywhere in France, but to Lille to serve alongside our MOVE team from WBC.
These eight teens from all around the world were well prepared and jumped right in with courage and enthusiasm. They loved being conversation partners in English classes. But what they enjoyed most was the coffee outreach popular with our MOVE team—asking people on the streets (in the little French they had learned), if they would like free coffee or tea at the coffee tables we set up by metro stops.
Each of our students had practiced sharing her faith story, and some were able to share their testimonies in English with people who stopped by. Many wished they could have shared their testimonies more often! As our enthusiastic teens noticed how many people stopped by just to chat, they became motivated about taking back to Vienna the idea of coffee tables as a form of outreach and connecting with people.
Pray for us to follow through on this idea in a strategic way here in Austria. Many of the people of France see no need for God in their lives, and our students discovered that it is a very spiritually dry place. They were excited to share the Gospel in this context, and we are thankful to our home church, WBC, for providing financial support to help make this life-changing experience possible.
From Cesar and Grace Cubas Serving in Peru with South America Mission and Hosts of a Recent WBC GO Team
Several months ago, God sent us a versatile team of skilled craftsmen from Wheaton Bible Church. We so appreciate their flexibility, humor, and humility. Their main project was to build the stairs in our new church sanctuary. They could easily have been frustrated when the wood didn’t arrive until the week was half over. But it wasn’t a waste of their time or expertise, as God knew what He was doing.
Instead of griping, these dedicated tradesmen made friends with the teens in the small town of Puerto Supe, played with the kids, provided plenty of English practice, and built a game of bags. Once the wood for the stairs arrived, they worked round the clock until 3:00 in the morning of the day they left, determined to finish the project. Not only are the stairs a testimony to their expertise, but also, their new relationships remind our small community of God’s love and how much fun it can be to follow Jesus regardless of our culture.
Meanwhile, Peruvian women in our Sewing School spent the entire week learning from a master quilter, CJ Spensley and translator Liz Salgado, also from Wheaton Bible Church. Each student worked on a simple nine-patch design and ended up with a beautiful quilt and a variety of new sewing skills. These skills are particularly significant because soon these sewers will start making “patchwork bags” for a textile factory in Lima. This microfinance effort will provide supplemental income for their economically challenged families. Thank you, Wheaton Bible Church, for leaving your mark, for your investment in our lives, and for your servant hearts. We hope you return!
From Kent and Yuko Muhling Serving in Japan with Asian Access
Furisuku—short for Furisukuru—is Japanese English for “Free School,” the name of the Thursday-night language exchange class I (Kent) have been attending for the past six months. Around thirty to forty people show up each week, both Japanese nationals and English-speaking foreigners. Each time, we pair up with someone different, then spend the first hour speaking in English, and the second hour in Japanese, so each can practice the other’s language. Over half of those who come are university students, and this has been a great way to build relationships.
Most of the young people I’ve met are fairly open-minded and curious; nearly every week I end up having some sort of deep conversation about spiritual things with a new person, sharing my testimony or why I came to Japan as a missionary, or explaining something from the Bible. Very cool! Seeds are being planted, relationships are being built, and slowly I’ve been able to invite some to our church-planting events or to meet my family at home. Pray that God would continue to open the hearts of the people I’m meeting at the language-exchange class, and that through me, they will get to know others in our believing community and, ultimately, come to know Christ for themselves.