Starting a New Chapter

Titus and Jewel Romdenh are missionaries on homeland ministry assignment working to raise funds to go to Cambodia. Recently, Jewel posted on Facebook about a big life change that many missionaries go through. Read on to find out how they are learning to lean even more on God’s provision.

“Five years ago, I started a new chapter of my life working at Indiana Wesleyan University. Nearly fresh out of college, I was invited to interview for a position that I was neither mature enough nor professional enough to handle. The Lord helped the search committee see something that wasn’t even there. I was hired to replace a woman who was moving with her husband to serve as a missionary in Ghana, Africa. I believed this was God telling me that the job was mine for a time until it was our turn to go [to Cambodia]. By God’s grace I learned, stretched, developed.

“Three weeks ago, Titus and I stepped out in faith and I submitted my resignation. A resignation to the place that has supported my family for five years. The institution has supported my family with a paycheck, but the people have supported my family with so much more. As Administrative Assistant to the Doctorate in Organization Leadership program, God allowed me to serve my faculty and students only to find that many of my students and faculty invested more in me than I could have invested in them. In many ways, my colleagues became my family as I shared with them stories and in exchange they grew to care for my family – offering prayers, gifts, encouragement, and love.

“My time at Indiana Wesleyan University has been marked by personal and professional learning and growth and I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to have been a member of the SBL, DOL, and SSL teams. I am going to Cambodia a better person because of the contributions that have been made to my personal and spiritual development while at IWU.

“Tomorrow is my last day at IWU. Starting Monday morning, I will be a full-time missionary – raising awareness for the Great Commission and raising support for our ministry in Cambodia.”

This is a big change for the Romdenhs. Will you take some time today to pray for them in this time of transition and increased dependence on God’s leading in their lives? If you are feeling the Holy Spirit’s nudging, will you also consider giving to their ministry to help them finish raising their funds so they can go to Cambodia?

God Provides through the Storm

Story by Shelly McCollum, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance

The following story is all about how God provides through storms and how He specifically provided for WGM in a time of great need.

The economic troubles of 2008 had an impact on WGM’s charitable giving. People were losing their jobs, and although they gave as long and as much as they could, many had to reduce or drop their support of missionaries. Our staff spoke with many donors who were in tears as they shared about their struggles and how they felt bad about having to drop support. At the home office, we were trying to reduce costs and continue to provide support to our missionaries and fields. We were struggling to live within our means and still provide the support our missionaries needed. Then one day we were notified that a long-time donor of WGM had passed away and we were named as a beneficiary. This donor had faithfully supported WGM through the years. Imagine our surprise when we learned we would receive over $1.8 million! We were stunned and completely humbled. She had taken advantage of estate planning, and her ministry lives on even today! Her gift came at exactly the right time. We serve a faithful God who provides what we need when we need it.

PRAY: Whether it’s financial provision, food, shelter, or a safe environment through the challenges of life, God gives us what we need in our lives at the exact time to help us best grow in our relationship with Him. As you pray today, will you remember those around the world serving who are in need of His provision? Will you pray that they will grow in the ways they need to during this time and that when the time is right that they will receive God’s perfect provision?

Lonely Walk

Capvoices.com recently posted a story about the challenges of a believer in Yemen. Read more to learn about how this culture can be very difficult for someone of the Christian faith.

“Life for a believer from a Muslim background can be lonely in war-torn Yemen, especially for a single woman.

“Nadeen, a born and raised Yemeni woman in her late twenties, is not new to the faith. Before a civil war broke out in her country in 2015, she had already accepted Christ.

“A Christian woman she met at university was able to read the Bible and pray with Nadeen once a week. Attending classes gave her an excuse to leave home, but when Nadeen graduated, she no longer had an excuse. Nadeen found it harder to meet the woman to pray and read the Bible. Eventually, Nadeen’s disciple partner left the country—leaving Nadeen alone.

“ ‘After this woman had left my country, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet with other believers anymore,’ Nadeen shares.

“Her family was unaware of her faith, and as a single woman in a strict Muslim family, it was difficult for her to leave the house alone.

“ ‘They controlled everything I did,’ Nadeen says. ‘But in my heart, I longed to participate in prayer meetings with other believers and learn more.’ ”

To read the rest of the article visit capvoices.com.

ACT: God reaches people in all cultures and places no matter their circumstances. Will you pray today that countries around the world can be places where it is safe to share faith and have different cultures and beliefs without the fear of persecution or judgement?

“I Am Grateful for Hurricane Mitch!”

By Larry Overholt, Honduras

In the storms of life, things can become negative and seem like a complete downward spiral of hopelessness. In this story, taken from the January/February 2009 issue of The Call, missionary Larry Overholt shares how God took a man at the end of his rope and gave him hope in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch.

Prior to first arriving in Choluteca (population 120,000) in September 2000, Angie and I had wondered how we would ever get started in ministry in a new area of the country. We had served 18 years with the long-established ministry at Escuela El Sembrador (School of the Sower), a boarding school for underprivileged Honduran boys, and moving to a brand-new area with no established ministry was a bit scary to us. Besides starting a completely new ministry for World Gospel Mission and Honduran Holiness Church, the other challenge we faced had to do with the fact that the southern region of Honduras was still suffering the aftereffects of Hurricane Mitch. It was almost like everyone was going though post-traumatic stress disorder. Large numbers of youth were still not back in classes. The regional economy, supported largely by shrimp farming and cantaloupe and watermelon production, had not recovered. Large numbers of the population were still unemployed. Along the river, the city was still cluttered with the ruins that had been destroyed by the flooding. We had no idea where to start working.

The first day we arrived in Choluteca with our belongings to unload, we were met by several people from the recently established congregation. One man was Chacho. He was a 30-year-old ox cart operator with a sixth-grade education who made a living hauling sand and gravel from the river for construction projects. Chacho helped us unload our belongings from the truck and trailer and moved boxes into the house we were renting. The following day he did his own work with the ox cart in the early morning and showed up for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. He continued day after day, making himself useful in the following days grabbing a machete and cleaning up around the yard. There was a lot to do since the property had never been fully remodeled from when it had six feet of water during Mitch.

Chacho was so helpful we hired him full time to work with me. Chacho naturally shared his testimony with me as we got to know him. At the time of Hurricane Mitch, Chacho had been living a rough life. As a husband he exhibited a “machismo” attitude and would stay out drinking at night without telling his wife were he was. Looking back, Chacho feels he was already an alcoholic. He and his wife, Patti, had one son at the time.

Chacho, Patti, and their small son had escaped the flooding with only the clothes on their backs. Chacho went back for his oxen and swam out of the river holding onto the tail of one of them. Chacho told me how they moved from one shelter to another and finally found a church building where they could stay. They were wet and cold and had little to eat. When they did manage to get a piece of chicken, they even ate the bones. Chacho told me that the most difficult part was having to tell their young son that they had no way to buy him juice when he cried for it.

Chacho and his family left the church after a week, seeking another shelter. Chacho says that he felt guilty because the pastor caught him smoking inside the church. He was also resisting the preaching.

Eventually, when he was able to get back to the community where he had lived, Chacho found that there was nothing left of his house except one post. He was able to gather a few pieces of lumber and had enough materials to put up a small shelter. When relief items began to arrive a few days later, Chacho met Pastor Alejandro, who was disbursing food and clothing that had been donated through World Gospel Mission and Honduran Holiness Church. His wife, Patti, was one of the first converts of the future church. Chacho resisted the gospel.

Soon after Hurricane Mitch, Patti became extremely ill and miscarried during her pregnancy. Chacho explained that she was admitted to the hospital due to complications, and the doctors gave him very little reason for hope that she would recover. Patti went into a coma and Chacho cried out to God one evening as he left the hospital. He said, “God, if you are out there, will you save my wife? I will follow you.” That evening he went home to his small shelter and his small son. As Chacho lay awake all night he kept thinking of the pistol that he had under his pillow. As he lay there contemplating suicide, he came to a very clear sense that his son very well could be an orphan in the morning. Chacho felt God’s presence and comfort as he decided that whatever happened, he would continue on.

That morning he got up and milked his father’s cows and headed to the hospital early. As he walked into the hospital ward, he was amazed to see his wife sitting up on the side of the bed. Chacho says that was the moment he was saved. Patti’s first words were, “Chacho, as soon as I am able, we are going to church together.”

Chacho cannot tell his testimony without tears flowing down his cheeks. There was no church building at that time, just a pastor’s house. During his first-ever church service, Chacho responded publicly to God’s invitation to accept Him as his personal Savior. I could not relate to Chacho when he said he was grateful for Hurricane Mitch. Many people suffered from the hurricane, but Chacho wonders if he ever would have responded to the gospel message if it had not been for Mitch.

Chacho has continually been faithful in all areas of his life. He studied electricity and finished his junior high education. Though Patti cannot give birth to any more children, God has miraculously provided them with a beautiful adopted daughter. But that is another story.

ACT: Do you know someone in pain and in need of a brother or sister to come alongside them and provide something tangible that they need right now? Do what you can to help that person today while the Holy Spirit is prompting you, because who knows what tomorrow brings.