The Blessing of Forever Homes

World Gospel Mission partnered with Africa Gospel Church to build the AGC Baby Centre in Kenya. The center opened its doors to the first two babies in April 2006, and in April 2007, 24 babies were dedicated. As of April 1, 2015, a total of 312 children have called the center home, and 142 children have been adopted into their forever families. Dan and Dana Jacobs and April Hershberger are WGM missionaries who help run the center alongside local African workers.

The AGC Baby Centre posted on Facebook about several children who have found homes in the past couple months. Read on to learn how you can get involved in this ministry. James 1:27 (NIV) states, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

“All these children were reunited with family members: Zilah C., Kenaniah J., Benaiah M., Zacheus, Matten E., Malachi N., Victoria C., and Josiah D. We pray for God’s blessings on them all and their families.

“These children were placed in foster care: Sisters Seenoi & Ankale, and also Josephine. Thanking the Lord for this opportunity for these girls.”

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Here are three ways you can get involved in this vital ministry.

  1. Pray: for these new families and for the children who do not have forever homes yet. Pray also for the staff.
  2. Donate: Every $7 given provides one large can of formula for an orphan who does not have the option of breastfeeding. Donate here.
  3. Go: Join a work team! There is always work to be done, ranging from small building projects, painting, organizing, and, of course, playing with babies.Plan a trip here.

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Making a Daily Difference

Greg and Teresa Leeth, missionary pastors, recently visited Honduras and shared about their experience in a guest post on Larry and Angie Overholts’ ministry blog. The Leeths help support missionaries on the field as part of WGM’s Member Health team. Read their uplifting story of how God has impacted the people and country of Honduras. 

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“The challenges faced by many in the world never cease to astonish me. Poverty, illness and a lack of opportunity are throughout the world. And Choluteca, Honduras, is no exception. The basic need for homes, clean water, education and daily food are a part of everyday life for those who live in this most southern Department (State) of Honduras.

“Recently while in the city providing pastoral support to missionaries through Member Health WGM, within which my wife and I serve, I had the opportunity to see these challenges first hand. And while the challenges are there, so are answers. Answers through community development efforts in these needed areas alongside the work of the Shalom church led by Pastor David, are making a ‘daily’ difference.”

You can make a daily difference where you are, too. Pray that God will open your eyes to the needs in your community, and then, when He answers, go and do His work boldly! May His name be given all the glory and honor for the many works His people do in service around the world and here at home. Read the whole post on the Overholts’ blog: Choluteca Ministries.

Remembering With Gratitude

Clark and Valerie Sleeth are currently on HMA (homeland ministry assignment) but are heading to Tenwek Hospital in Kenya for their first term as MDs (Missionary Disciples). In this blog post, they talk about the many times God forgives and how often we can forget and make the same mistakes. The story of redemption told in the Bible is an amazing one. Read more for a fresh analogy to the story of the enslaved people in Egypt.

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“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you. Deuteronomy 15:15

“Several months ago our church ambitiously embarked on studying through the entire Bible. This week we finished Deuteronomy.

“Every time I read about the generation of Israelites that was delivered from Egypt I am struck by how quickly they turn from God. Almost immediately after walking on dry land between towering walls of ocean, they demand that Aaron create a god of Egypt for them. While standing in the shadow of a mountain that is literally ON FIRE with God’s presence, they give this golden calf the credit for delivering them from slavery at pharaoh’s hand. Despite having water provided from stones on multiple occasions, the next time their throats parch they are quick to remember how well hydrated they were back in Egypt. How many times did Moses hear the mutterings ‘we would have been better off in Egypt,’ despite the fact that his people personally experienced numerous miracles of nature, healing, and conquest?

“I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon in many of the chronically ill patients for whom I care. There’s one homeless gentleman, Marvin, that I’ve come to know well.

“Marvin is a portly, jolly fellow with unevenly trimmed facial hair and a sun-faded, orange t-shirt that is a little more threadbare every time I see him. He loves roaming the streets of Lexington and is quick to recommend great walking paths. Unfortunately, Marvin’s heart failure often prevents him from taking strolls.

“Whenever I admit someone to the hospital for worsening heart failure, I have standard questions I ask: Did they stop taking their meds? Did they increase their salt or fluid intake? What made today different from every other day they live with heart failure and necessitated a trip to the hospital? However, with Marvin, I skip these and head straight to the big money question: where’d you get lunch today?

“Marvin’s heart failure is always made worse by the salt load he gets when he indulges in fast food. Every time I take care of him he swears off cheeseburgers. He describes to me the healthy foods he will eat and where he intends to get them. He does well for a while, staying out of the hospital for weeks and sometimes months. But eventually he always seems to forget the way his legs swelled up and his breathing became more labored to the point where he couldn’t walk more than a dozen yards. He only remembers how nice the cheese fries were in Egypt.

“The great sin of the Israelites—and Marvin’s downfall—is that they failed to remember. Moses knew this and throughout his writings urges future generations to remember. The festivals the Israelites celebrated, from Passover to the Feast of Booths, are all centered on remembering. Every week when we keep the Sabbath we are to ‘remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm (Deuteronomy 5:15).’”

Read the rest of the post here, and check out the Sleeths on Facebook here!

Camp Is Not Just A Place

Heather Ward is a Volunteers In Action participant on the American Indian Field, helping with some of the responsibilities at Living Word Academy while Fran Pearce is on homeland ministry assignment. In her latest blog post, Heather talks about her love of church camps and the fact that they are not just places but are people, experiences, and memories of growth in Christ.

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Photo Credit: Heather Ward

“I love camp.

“There’s just no other way to say it.  Every time I get the opportunity to do anything with camp I come out a little better on the other side.  I come out exhausted and exhilarated; overwhelmed by God’s work through each and every moment.  There’s just something about being surrounded by people who love God; something about the setting of constant ministry; that brings out the best in people.  And it’s absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite place to be.

“Except it’s not a place. Not really.

“I guess I’ve known it for a while now.  I’ve been connected to so many camps throughout the years that I have to specify which one I’m talking about in conversation.  And each one has a piece of my heart.  Each one is a little bit home.

“But just like a home, camp really isn’t about the place, is it?  It’s about the people; it’s about the experiences; it’s about the connections you made there.  It’s about the humbling sadness you felt when you finally understood the depth of the Gospel message while sitting by the campfire all those years ago.  It’s about the resolve you felt when you finally accepted your calling.  It’s about the joy you discovered when you realized that you are a child of God.”

Click the link to read more: Heather’s blog

Will you join in praying for those involved in running these camps? Pray for wisdom, strength, energy, and for the Holy Spirit to move in powerful ways.