Life Is a Dance

Grace Williams is one of many WGM Volunteers In Action participants serving around the world this summer. She is the missionary kid teacher at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya. In her latest blog post, she shares a great reminder and lesson for us all.

“If you know me at all, you know I love to dance. Whether I’m in my kitchen, in a dorm room or swingin on a dance floor, I feel giddy when I’m dancing. This has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing, but about 5 years ago I began taking swing dancing lessons in Knoxville. I caught on quickly and soon began taking more progressive lessons. It was during one of these lessons that I received the best advice for dancing and life. The advice was to RELAX and TRUST. The follow is supposed to wait for the lead’s direction. If the lead knows what he is doing, the dance will be fun and effortless. I wasn’t very good at relaxing and trusting. I kept trying to anticipate the next move, and this was causing my mind and body to become tense. Once I began to relax and trust my partners, I became a better dancer and dancing became even more enjoyable.

“I tell you this because of the song ‘We Dance’ by Steffany Frizzell. I heard this song in February of this year, and at the time, I felt like I was drowning in confusion and uncertainty. The song talks about dancing with God. As I listened to this song, I thought about the advice I had been given over 2 years ago. I needed to RELAX and TRUST God. I had been trying to take control. I had been trying to anticipate God’s next move before He was ready to reveal it to me. God isn’t a random guy at a dance hall. He knows what He is doing and He wants me to relax and trust Him to guide me through this beautiful dance of life.”

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Photo credit: Grace Williams

You steady me Slow and sweet we sway Take the lead and I will follow Finally ready now To close my eyes and just believe That you won’t lead me where you don’t go

When my faith gets tired And my hope seems lost You spin me round and round And remind me of that song The one you wrote for me And we dance And we dance

I’ve been told To pick up my sword And fight for love Little did I know That love had won for me Here in your arms You still my heart again And I breathe you in Like I’ve never breathed till now

When my faith gets tired And my hope seems lost You spin me round and round And remind me of that song The one you wrote for me And we dance And we dance And we dance And we dance Just you and me

And I will lock eyes With the one who’s ransomed me The one who gave me joy from mourning And I will lock eyes With the one who’s chosen me The one who set my feet to dancing We dance Just you and me It’s nice to know I’m not alone I’ve found my home here in your arms

“We Dance” by Steffany Frizzell

ACT: Looking for how God is leading you? WGM can help. We provide a variety of ways to serve that may fit your calling. Visit wgm.org/serve for more information.

Steps of Faith

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV).

This month’s theme of pollination is all about stories of the gospel spreading and taking root around the world. What better way to share about how WGM is part of God’s story of pollination than sharing about a baptism service involving 16 people from Mexico! Bill and Lydia Allshouse shared photos and a few details about the event in their latest prayer letter.

“It was an honor to be able to attend the baptismal service and watch people deciding to deepen their relationship with Christ. Baptism is a celebration of a person’s decision to serve Jesus and publicly declare His Lordship to the world. Taking this step for these believers was a powerful testimony of His change in their lives. What a joy to celebrate this special day with these families from the Transformation Church in Irapuato and from Pan de Vida in Leon.”

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“Baptism is a celebration of a person’s decision to serve Jesus and publicly declare His Lordship to the world. Taking this step for these believers was a powerful testimony of His change in their lives. What a joy to celebrate this special day with these families from the Transformation Church in Irapuato and from Pan de Vida in Leon.”

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“This was a very special moment for these 16 believers, taking this step of faith.” – Bill & Lydia

baptism 3

“The joy of the Lord was evident on each face as they came up out of the water.” Bill & Lydia

Are you looking to be a vital part of God’s story of pollination around the world? WGM is equipped to help you find the place that’s right for your calling. Visit wgm.org/serve for more information. To read the rest of the Allshouses’ prayer letter, go here.

WGM Missionary Serves as Chaplain to Law Enforcement Officers

Bob and Lisa Margaron are missionaries serving in Stockton, California. Gang activity, violence, drugs, and prostitution are rampant. In a community such as this, what is it like to serve as a chaplain, trying to reach out to police officers in need of the gospel? Read on as Bob tells how he has been sharing life with those facing so much on a daily basis and building relationships that may have eternal results.

By Pastor Bob Margaron

One of the people groups that often need wisdom, compassion, strength, courage, and hope is our country’s law enforcement community. In Stockton, our police officers average over 1,500 calls for service in a 24-hour period. Those calls for service can range from noisy neighbors to multiple homicides and everything in between. Like all law enforcement, our department sees and deals with the worst of the worst situations in our community. One of my duties as a missionary in Stockton gives me the honor of serving our police officers as a Stockton Police Chaplain.

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Photo credit: Bob Margaron

In order to become a police chaplain, I was required to go through an academy with specialized training. In our department, the chaplains’ responsibilities are the sworn police officers, non-sworn employees, and their families. We have the special honor of working with and among some of the best officers in the country. As you can probably imagine, life can get difficult for those who serve and protect in a day and age when many second-guess a police officer’s split-second decisions.

One of my responsibilities is to do ride-alongs in 10-hour shifts with the officers, listening to the challenges they face—when they are willing to share—and giving them support and offering resources, if needed. Periodically, you get an officer who is willing to truly trust you and enjoys the time they spend with you as the chaplain, so they repeatedly request you to ride with them if you are available on their shift. During the shift, you may discuss the calls you have been on that night and/or other nights, you might talk about their personal family issues, and the officer may become transparent about spiritual issues or lack of spiritual issues in their lives. All the while you listen and try to speak hope into that officer’s life.

One such officer I had the privilege of working with is now retired. He would ask me to ride with him constantly during a three-year period. We got together both on duty and off duty. He is a person I would call a true friend. During those three years, we talked about many different things, but the one topic that we kept coming back to was my faith in God. I could tell that something was happening in his life. His wife and daughters were already believers, but this officer was having a challenge with their trusting and believing in someone they could not see. For three years, every time I would ride with this officer all the conversations we had always ended up talking about my faith in God.

Well, as all faith missionaries must do, it was finally time for me and my family to leave Stockton to travel the country to raise our financial support. The day before we left, I decided to go on one last ride-along. The officer I had built such a good relationship with was working, and, like normal, he asked the sergeant if I could ride with him. The night was not any different from any other night until it came to the end of the shift. The officer said to me, “Chaplain, I know you won’t be back for a while. So, if it’s okay with you, I would like to drive you to your car tonight. I have some questions for you.” I agreed, of course. So, at the end of the shift, we let dispatch know we were calling off, and he drove me to my car.

When we arrived at my car, he looked at me and said, “Chaplain, after all the time we have had together over these past years, what you are telling me is I am going to hell!” I looked the officer directly in the eyes and said, “No, that is not what I have been telling you. What I have been telling you all these years is it is your choice! It is your choice on where you are going to end up—in heaven or hell.” He then thanked me for my friendship, and I headed home.

For the entire time my family and I were gone raising support, I would receive two to three calls a week from my friend. By the time we returned to Stockton, he had retired. For some reason I don’t know, the communication between the two of us stopped. What I do know is God was working in this man’s life. I spoke the truth and hope of Jesus Christ to him. The rest is up to him and God.

Would you like to be part of Bob and Lisa’s ministry in Stockton? WGM can help you get involved. Visit wgm.org/thecenter-stockton to learn more about The Center and Bob and Lisa’s outreach in Stockton.

Tenwek Hospital: out with the old, in with the new

Article published by Mission Network News (www.mnnonline.org)

Kenya (MNN) — To put the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” into practice can feel so good sometimes. Take this story from Tenwek Hospital in Kenya, for example.

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Photo courtesy of Angela Many

Angela Many of World Gospel Mission and her husband have been serving at Tenwek since 2014. But Many has had a longer history with the hospital, which is a joint effort of World Gospel Mission and Africa Gospel Church. She says one of the most basic tools for the maternity department has been severely lacking for far too long.

“The birthing beds have been a need for many years. I actually did a rotation when I was a medical student in 2000 and the same birthing beds were being used then, and they looked old at that time. I think they’ve been in use for over 30 years.”

With time, she explains, the beds had regressed into “terrible” condition. And, there were only three of them — this for a hospital that oversees over 3,000 births a year.

“These beds were metal, they were rusted, they were broken. None of them had foot plates any longer.”

Old birthing bed. (Capture courtesy of Deab Cowles of Tenwek Hospital via Vimeo)

So when Many first stepped into the maternity ward in 2014, her heart sank. There were the exact same beds she saw several years earlier — all in one room, with only curtains between them.

“It just felt so cold, and old, and uncomfortable. So this project has been in the mind and heart of those of us who work in the maternity department for many years.”

Recently, God provided. Beds were donated from hospitals in the United States, and the old beds in Kenya are gone. So far, Tenwek has received three of the eight beds.

“They were met with great joy. There was a dedication ceremony as they were wheeled in. And there was singing and praying over them. Our vision, of course, is to have our Kenyan mamas who come into the hospital to have their babies to be able to be comfortable and have dignity with their delivery.”

There is still a lot of improvement that can happen in the maternity department. Many says they’d like to renovate so there is more privacy in the delivery area. They also want to be able to expand the project.

To read this entire article, visit Mission Network News. To learn how WGM can help you get involved, visit wgm.org/tenwek-hospital.