Council of Missions Report

Calvary Baptist Church supports missionaries all over the world. Below you can view the Missions Council's monthly newsletter, with reports on the activities, challenges, burdens, and successes of our global missionaries. Please remember to lift these individuals up in your prayers.


Click to view and download the Global Missions May Prayer Guide


ASIA

D & J (Malaysia) May 16, 2022
Family relationships can be such a powerful display of God's love and grace. At the same time, it can also be a place of significant hurt and brokenness.

In this season, we ask for your prayers as we learn to parent and lead our boys with a lot of patience, according to their unique needs. Ministry often requires us to adapt our style to better connect with those we serve. Similarly, we are learning to adapt our parenting styles to fit our children's different personalities and abilities.

We began using the Growing Participator Approach (GPA) with a couple of neighbours to learn and practice the Malay language. Pray that our minds would be quick to catch on and remember new words and phrases.

For Malaysians, a month of fasting culminated in a week from school and work and a few more weeks of festivities and feasting. We were excited to be invited to join our neighbours for our first Hari Raya celebration.

S & V (India) May 25, 2022

On April 29, 2022, NIITS had in-person graduation after three years, even though only 100 were allowed to participate due to COVID restrictions! It sure was a time of celebration of many wonderful stories of our graduates. M was the first in her Sikh family to come to the Lord Jesus Christ and wanted to attend NIITS but her tough Sikh father, a police officer, refused. He wanted her to get a job since she was a skilled seamstress. However, after hearing my spiritual journey, he allowed her to join NIITS in 2017.

M’s father proudly stood by her when she graduated with her BTh in 2020 and allowed her to stay back for the MDiv degree program. However, soon after she started her studies, he was killed in the line of duty and the family wanted M to return home. Once again, I had to request them to allow her to finish her studies. She graduated with MDiv and immediately was hired to head a Christian NGO that employs women to sew uniforms for the police and school children and run a discipleship program with them.

Recruitment for a new group of students for NIITS and church planters is in full swing. We are praying for the Lord to help us pick up the momentum that was lost in 2020. Pray for wisdom for us to prioritize ministry programs and expenses in northwest India while struggling with low donations and high inflation.

V and I returned to Dallas, TX, while NIITS is closed for the summer, to take care of administrative responsibilities of Seek Partners. We hope to visit a few of our supporting churches, have face-to-face meetings with friends, and catch up with our girls. The Lord willing, I will return to India on July 30.

We thank the Lord for His abundant grace for personal living and ministry expenses. We also thank the Lord for your friendship and ministry partnership with us in northwest India; in a region where the evangelical Christians are 0.1% of 1.4 billion people. May the Lord use us all to expand His Kingdom.

MIDDLE EAST

J & S (Lebanon) May 29, 2022

We have seen an increase in the number of malnutrition in children, especially infants. This can be attributed to the financial crisis in Lebanon. Similar to the US, there is a shortage of formulas here. Yet, what is available is extremely expensive. Some mothers have resorted to feeding their children rice water or potato water. Most are not knowledgeable about breastfeeding. They believe different myths about breastfeeding that cause them to stop. Recently, I was able to assist a new mom in best practices for breastfeeding. Her two-month-old baby weighed only 4 kilograms (8.8lbs). This summer I plan to attend a lactation consultant course to bring knowledge to our moms. We are blessed to have an amazing pediatrician who advocates for breastfeeding and whose heart is touched by the level of malnutrition we are seeing. I also plan to implement a nutrition program to track these families and assist with formula if babies do not gain weight as they should. Soon I would like to introduce a prenatal class, as well. Please, pray for all these families. Please pray that my "nutrition plan" would be effective with God's help. This beautiful little girl came to us for a post-hospital stay after being admitted for dehydration. She had been seen in our clinic and the mom was advised to go directly to the hospital. Praise, God all is well with her and we were able to provide formula for her. Before moving to Lebanon, while working in the Mental Health field, it wasn't always possible to openly share my faith with those I was helping. Surprisingly, I never thought moving to the Middle East would open up greater opportunities to do so. The majority of students who attend Christian schools in Lebanon are not from Christian backgrounds. More recently, I have had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of students about Mental Health and the hope I have in Jesus. Students are given the opportunity to ask questions after each presentation. Questions are often about heaven and hell, evil and hardship, as well as identity and relationships. Students are then given the opportunity to have deeper conversations at a later date. These conversations often become very fruitful. Many teens globally are struggling with anxiety, depression, and an overall uncertainty of what the future holds. I have recently been appointed to lead the Youth Ministry at Resurrection Church Beirut, the local church we serve. God is doing something special in the lives of teens in Lebanon. They are hungry for truth, direction, and deeper fellowship with our Savior.

EUROPE
Letter from Bucharest Baptist Association (Romania) April 1, 2022

Thank you very much for getting involved in helping our neighbour who is in great need in Ukraine. We take supplies and food into Izmail, South-East of Ukraine to Great Change Baptist Church, and "Balshaia Peremena" Baptist Church who spreads the aid in Odessa, Herson, Mykolaev and Zaporoje, as well as other areas depending how available they are at a particular moment (if they are heavily bombed or not).

We go every other week into Ukraine. Last time we took over 15 tons of supplies and food (based on the lists the churches from Ukraine send us). Our next trip will be on April 12 when we will take over 18 tons of aid.

Another way we get help our brothers and sisters from Ukraine and through them other people who are in great need is by getting food for a truck driven by a brother from Great Change Baptist Church who, because he has three children, can come back and forth into Romania; so, when necessary, between our transports we get the things the church requests and the brother takes them back into Ukraine (from Tulcea, a town not far from the border in our South-East part of the country).

Thank you so much for coming alongside to serve in this very difficult situation; your generous support of Ron 34,267.96 (Romanian currency, worth approximately $7,790) Is enabling us to much more than our enthusiast hearts could accomplish to help the heavily troubled Ukrainian people.

May the Lord richly bless you,
Pastor Dr. Sorin Badragon, President Pastor Mercionui Daniel, Secretary

Susan (Romania) May 26, 2022

The refugee work is continuing at the church refugee centers - providing temporary shelter, helping with travel arrangements for moving on, finding permanent homes & jobs here in Bucharest, sending food and supplies to Ukraine, providing trauma counseling, running Ukrainian Christian worship services on Saturday nights . . .

As each new area in the Ukraine is being attacked, we get new waves of refugees. Refugees from areas that are no longer being attacked are returning back to their hometowns. And we continue to get up-to-date news and prayer needs from our IFES staff in Ukraine that help us in the work of intercession – including reports of returned Ukrainians flocking to churches and Christian meetings.

We are halfway through the pilot group for Module 2 of ProImpact (a course for professionals) and it is going well. Work on the leadership manual and recruiting and training new leaders is slow but hopefully I will be starting meetings soon with one woman who is also capable of training others with me. I take great joy in meeting with three women weekly – two in coaching relationships, one as a prayer partner who will be a leader for ProImpact in the Fall.

We have had several good meetings with leaders, and we will be starting two new City Cross Current groups in the Fall – one ordinary one with Bucharest grads and another pilot project in a church – with weekly meetings instead of two weekends a year. We will also be using and training new Romanian speakers and facilitators - an exciting step forward to multiplying this program in other cities.

I have worked three days already and have a few more days of work to finish a database of all the Christians I have met since 1995 until now in various spheres of influence who might be interested in accessing the resources on our website. I am also trusting that this database will help me in the recruitment of an administrator (which we still haven’t found yet).

I have begun to meet with a member of our national board once a week, for prayer and accountability in the process of raising support for and recruiting my replacement.

Albert & Teuta (Albania) May 16, 2022

We are very grateful for your support. We feel at peace knowing that our ministry is supported this year, not having to worry about being unable to pay for our church this year. Regarding our personal fundraising, Timo’s church has helped us with 500€. We are still having a tough time raising support as we are not connected with many churches. But we are trying to reach out to individuals.

Inflation continues to be an issue here. The prices of food have increased. Regular cooking oil has gone from $1.50 to $3.50, and we are not able to buy more than three at a time. The government’s price control mechanism is not working correctly and prices for many items have continued to rise.

A praise that we must share with you is that we are starting our Sunday meetings! On June 5th we will have our very first Sunday service in Bulgarec. This has been a long time coming and we feel that our church is finally ready for this next step. Thank you for standing by our side throughout our church planting ministry. Without the support of your church, we would not be able to start our Sunday services. Now we are in the preparation phases of this. We are painting and repairing our church currently.

Please keep our church in your prayers that we may be able to touch the lives of many more people through our Sunday services. Please pray for my wife Teuta, she is going through some health issues. We are unsure of what it is currently but, we are working on figuring it out.

Dimitris & Ioanna (Greece) May 28, 2022
My health is very good but I need to keep praying for this. In a little while, this evening, I will travel once again to the Muslim village of Glafki for a different mission: We are going to Glafki to be in a special ceremony tomorrow morning.

A few weeks ago my wife Ioanna and I traveled there to have lunch at a restaurant, with Orhan Aziz and his wife Belgis, (they are primary school teachers, and Orhan is our contact person there.) It was the first time we saw Belgis without a headscarf !!! They came to lunch and we ate together, discussing future medical missions in all the villages in the area. After lunch, Belgis and Orhan invited us to be with them in the “Hatim” festival in their village on Sunday May 29.

This is the reason why I am going to Glafki tomorrow: I will visit Glafki to be in an official child-raising ceremony for Belgis and Orhan’s son, Haroun. Muslim call this ceremony “Hatim”.

Earlier in 2022 we visited four Muslim associates at the villages and gave them, as a gift, two thousand self tests for Covid19.

In the next months we will organise dental and medical missions in Muslim villages.

Lately, God has put in my heart something new, to pray and visit every week a nearby city near our house, Nea Moudania. There is no evangelical church in the whole area, and no born-again believers. God who put in my heart this idea praying for a church-planting there, to save souls, as spiritual fruitfulness.

LATIN AMERICA

Susan & Abner (Latin America, USA) April 30, 2022

Although the different COVID requirements in each country present added challenges, praise God doors are opening for Abner to travel again! He left yesterday to minister in Bolivia, Paraguay and Panama before returning on May 8th. Thanks for praying for his safety, health and wisdom.

March 26th the Leadership Training Institute graduated ten of the twelve students. All are now back in their seven countries. The following ten feel called to serve the Lord full-time.

  1. Rosario returned to Chiapas, Mexico where she and her husband are planting a new church in their city. She volunteered with CEF for many years and looks forward to now serving full-time in southern Mexico.

  2. Jenny returned to Cali, Colombia in time to fill in for her local director who was needed in Medellin to help her parents through a health crisis.

  3. Marcela is back in Bogota, Colombia on her way to becoming the first full-time CEF worker in one of Colombia’s largest cities!

  4. Laura returned to San Salvador, El Salvador. She began reaching her neighborhood children when she was fourteen years old and, after taking her first CEF training, wondered what she had possibly taught her students for five years. Now she will be helping other teachers be more effective. Laura almost has her accounting degree.

  5. Wendy is back in Choluteca, Honduras where she grew up attending Camp Good News and helping CEF as a volunteer. She just completed her marketing degree and looks forward to seeing what God has in store for her as she follows HIS lead.

  6. Eliana is back with her husband in Tarija, Bolivia. Although they haven’t been able to have children, she feels the Lord used this so she could serve with CEF and have many spiritual children. She left her job as a child psychologist to become a local CEF director.

  7. Bania returned to Santa Cruz, Bolivia where she served as a volunteer interim CEF director and is now excited and very committed to serve the Lord full-time.

  8. Laura is back in Caucupé, Paraguay. As a young child, her mother began a Good News Club in their home. Her mother had her start teaching in the Club at age eleven. She attended college to be a teacher, but after graduating, the Lord gave her heart a desire to serve HIM full-time with CEF in Paraguay. The Good News Club that started it all continues after twenty years! Her mother’s commitment keeps on impacting future generations.

  9. Evelyn returned to San Cristobal, Venezuela and is on her way to becoming the first full-time CEF worker in that city. She was introduced to CEF at age twelve and took part in Christian Youth in Action (CYIA) for seven years. She pursued a career as a flight attendant, but now has a strong call to serve the Lord full time with CEF.

  10. Gabriel & Jenny are back in Maracaibo, Venezuela where Gabriel oversaw the children’s ministry for the Southern Baptist convention in his state. Throughout the training Gabriel felt the Lord calling to serve HIM full-time with CEF. We trust God will allow them to complete the weeks they missed at next year’s Institute.

The above missionaries in training need our prayers now more than ever. God would continue to guide us to open doors and provide as they complete a year of internship and raise their support.

Praise God two-thirds of the Institute expenses were covered! Continue to pray the remaining $7,000.00 (borrowed from another account) can soon be replaced.

NORTH AMERICA
Bill & Beth (USVI) May 2022

God has given us a great burden for the US Virgin Islands. Our audacious plan of faith has been to engage as many Bible-believing churches as possible. We encourage them to rise-up, adopt a local community apartment or project, and reach outside the doors of their churches to bring new believers in.

We recently had a two-day CEF training session for volunteers. We were overwhelmed by the attendance! While we hoped for sixty, God abundantly provided nearly a hundred. We connected with many pastors, and scheduled churches to start Good News Clubs.

While we experience spiritual victories, Satan is intensifying its attacks on our Tuesday Good News Club. Some extremely disrespectful and disruptive teens are harassing our outreaches. Some of the perpetrators may have been demon oppressed. Instead of asking God to keep them away, we prayed that He would send them back one or two at a time and that He would touch them in the process. God answered our prayer in an unmistakable way. The ringleader showed up alone and another later. God did something special, and their behavior was markedly different.

G & E (UN, USA) May 18, 2022

As we pursue our vision of teaching God’s principles to all five hundred million governing officials in the world, we continue to take steps in that direction, including communicating digitally, otherwise by mailing a paper copy. The key is that we reach the intended official personally and that it is not sidetracked by a subordinate. We come to you seeking your help to include one segment in this population – all who are believers in the top leadership of their nation, whether President, Prime Minister or King. Through your network, you may be aware of leaders who claim to be believers that we are not yet aware of. This group is very strategic in advancing toward the goal our Lord has for us.

Thank you for sharing the vision of taking God’s Word to the leaders of the nations of the world for the sake of bringing them into obedience to the King of kings. Thank you for your partnership that allows us to have so much hope for the work of the Holy Spirit among the decision-makers of our nations, including our own.

K (UN, USA) May 1, 2022

Very good second meeting last week with a Middle Eastern country’s UN Ambassador in his office. After brief personal greetings and discussion, we engaged in a direct discussion of three most pertinent issues for their nation: Russia/Ukraine, Iran (nuclear concerns), and of course Palestine (recent and ongoing conflicts). I then gave him The Ambassador’s Prayeras a gift, which again clearly surprised and moved him. I emphasized in the prayer that its effectiveness begins with our acknowledgment of God’s absolute and eternal “sovereignty,” and closes with our desire to “do His will” in every aspect of our lives. With those “bookends” of faith we can most assuredly trust Him “with our lives,” “in our leadership”, and “for our legacy.” He said, “That is so inspiring!”

I continued to share with him from the Psalms of David (46:1) where David proclaims, “God IS our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.” Ambassador, that scripture has blessed me many times, and I hope it will bless and comfort you as well!” He asked me to repeat it again and asked which Psalm it was. I could tell it touched a nerve.

All the while, the Ambassador’s advisor in the room (Joshua) was hearing and was being impacted as well! We spoke more directly and, in more depth, as he walked me out.

Another day, I met with a Muslim country’s UN ambassador. He was openly delighted by our “Ambassador’s Prayer” gift. At the close of the meeting, the young diplomat (early 30’s) who sat on the side in the meeting (as a witness), walked me out. I engaged him in the elevator asking if he had grown up in the Muslim faith (knowing the answer, of course). He said yes, and proceeded to say “I wish we had more time to talk together about our respective faiths.” I said, I would be delighted to meet and discuss. I took this opportunity to share my testimony. He said he would like to meet to discuss (in friendship) our commonality and differences again sometime. He may be a “recruiter” himself...or he may just be open to learning more of what I speak. Either way, it’s a good opportunity to help another one find his way “home”!

A few days later, I had a very good initial meeting with a Southeast Asian country’s UN ambassador. He is Buddhist by birth, but I sensed an openness to hearing about the Truth and Love of God. I gave him the “Ambassador’s Prayer,” which he seemed delighted to receive. He said, “I will place this on my desk and recite it every day.” I praise God for the amazing evangelistic “reach” He has provided from this most strategic global crossroads!

Nadine (Memphis, TN) May 17, 2022

The school year ministry has finished, and we praise God for the almost 2,500 children reached in 67 Good News Clubs! With the school clubs done, we are focused on getting ready for Christian Youth In Action. I have been putting together the preschool version of the missionary story. Luisa, my co-worker, and I have been getting all our missions sessions and student notes ready for the students. My project this week will be to put together the mission's emphasis. In the 5-Day Clubs during our missions time we use the missions emphasis to share about current day missionary to the children. This is a way for the children in our 5-Day Clubs to pray and give. This year we are presenting the national CEF missionary of India, Jacob Elias.

The next training dates are June 1-3 and June 6-10. We will be training eleven CYIA students on how to teach children Bible lessons, memory verses, songs and missionary stories as they attend the 5-Day Clubs. Please pray these students will be able to focus during the training sessions and study their lessons well.