Divinely Blessed

Steve and Kelly Solheim are missionaries serving in Honduras. They are currently on homeland ministry assignment, which involves visiting churches, camps, and supporters here in the United States. While traveling, the Solheims met a family who shared the story below. Read on to be reminded how God can make an impact through His people.

“In the last few months we’ve met some incredible and inspiring people on our HMA (Home Ministry Assignment) journey. And we’re blessed that so many of them have come alongside us in support of our ministry in Honduras. One of our newest champions recently wrote about her family’s decision to partner with Team Solheim in Honduras.

‘My name is Anna. My husband, Nate, and I live in Buffalo, Wyoming with our three young children. While I stay home with our children, Nate goes to work. He is a truck driver working for a construction company. I pray that this letter will encourage all who read it and will give you some insight into how Steve and Kelly have placed a Godly imprint on my life.

‘From what I have observed, Steve and Kelly deliberately invest their time in becoming acquainted with people. I know that wherever they have been, wherever they go, whatever they do, they are witnessing for Christ. How do I know? The passion that God has placed on their hearts for missions is so great that it radiates from them! Whether they’re in Honduras, in the States, even in our little backwoods church camp, the Solheim’s intense devotion has and will shine into every person’s life they meet!

‘Even though we haven’t really been involved with missions before now, we are excited to go on this adventure with Steve and Kelly. We are thrilled to be a part of this ministry because we know that God will work through it to touch and change the lives and hearts of the young people of Honduras. 

‘The Scripture says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” This verse IS the Solheims. They have spiritually encouraged my husband and myself by just being a light for Christ. For this reason, along with the gentle urging from the Holy Spirit, my husband and I chose to become involved in God’s awesome adventure in Honduras by financially supporting them. For by praying and supporting Steve and Kelly, we are helping them to further the Kingdom of God!’

Nate and Anna McKinney serving together at Cadwell Springs Camp in Montana.

“Champions like the McKinney family make a difference in ministry. They don’t just provide the finances we need. Our partners make an impact on our lives and the lives of the people of Honduras. To say that we are honored and humbled by the team with which God is surrounding us is an understatement. We are divinely blessed.”

To read the Solheims’ entire prayer letter, click the link: PRAYER LETTER.

The Cost

God calls all of us to the mission field, whether it is in our hometown or across the ocean. For Nathan and Jade Metz, the call led them to Uganda, Africa, where they focus on pastoral training and compassionate ministries. In their latest post from their ministry blog, Nathan speaks about the difficulties of a life lived in transition and constant fluctuation. Read on to learn how missionaries deal with transition and how no matter the calling, God is always there to support us.

“With a tiny face buried in my chest and tears dripping onto my shirt I hear a quivering voice repeat the common words: ‘I don’t want to be a missionary anymore.’ If that were all I ever heard then there would be a sense of confidence in the problem. At least then, in that case, I would know what the struggle was. However, there are other times when I hear statements like, ‘Dad, I’m so proud of you and mom for what you do.’ These words came after a day when I was helping clean up the damage caused by a tornado in a nearby city. Coincidentally, all of these comments reflect a tornado, of sorts, that spins chaotically through the homes of missionary families tossing things around and stirring everyone into confusion.

“The strong winds in missionary homes are caused by uncertainty, change, loss, inconsistency, etc. Our kids ask real questions about things that most kids never even wonder about. The lack of certainty and predictability in our future has a dramatic effect on the way we think and feel about the world. I remember a few months ago, in Uganda, we were leaving a community event with several families with whom we had become close. As we walked to the car one of our kids asked, ‘Will that be the last time I see my friend?’ I was blown away. What a strange question for a child to have to wonder about! Already our kids have started to hold life loosely. Jade and I do the same thing. In one hand we see the value of a full and deep life with strong attachments and lasting relationships. In the other hand we see how frequently those lasting moments become passing moments and those deep friendships are pressed by the burden of miles and years.”

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Photo Credit: Tiffany Janofski

What can you do for missionaries dealing with transition? Find little ways to help out: make them a meal, write a letter of encouragement, or pray for them.

To read the rest of the post, visit Nathan and Jade’s ministry blog.

CMS: Preparing to Make Disciples

This week, missionaries were here at World Gospel Mission headquarters for CMS (Champion Migration Strategy) Workshop. Read more to learn about some of the ways support staff came alongside the missionaries to help prepare them to recruit prayer warriors, financial supporters, and work teams to partner with their ministries.

On Monday, the time came for our 2016 MK Camp for all 8 to 18 year olds. The camp was held at Ouabache State Park near Bluffton, Indiana, while the parents were in CMS training. The theme was “Carpe Aeternitatem: why settle for just a day!” Although meals and activity times were together, camp staff ran separate tracks for the older and younger campers during the meeting times.

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Dr. Dan Schafer prays over the circle of campers by name before they leave for their Missionary Kid Camp for all 8 to 18 year olds.

During CMS, new and veteran missionaries gathered together to learn how to speak about their ministry fields and create support strategies to better understand how to get champions during their homeland ministry assignment (HMA). One important emphasis WGM focuses on is that no one can do ministry alone. Two of our Homeland Ministries support staff, Paula Crist and Jim Smith, did a terrific job teaching the sessions.

What is HMA?

Missionary disciples preparing for ministry and career missionaries returning to the United States after a term of service on the field are given a homeland ministry assignment to help build a support team. This time of HMA provides the missionaries with opportunities to share their calls to missions and to challenge believers to become actively involved in missions. Through church services, group meetings, and personal contacts, missionaries on HMA acquire the prayer and financial support they need to get to the field.

Pictured below from left to right: Dana, Hope, and Dan Jacobs (Kenya), Shelley Chapman (Nigeria), Bill and Lydia Allshouse (Mexico), and Becka Johnson (Papua New Guinea).

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Becka’s husband, Jim, was helping another missionary by working on her car so was unable to speak during chapel. Also not pictured are two missionaries who will be serving in sensitive areas.

A busy schedule of meetings, conversations, and chapel speaking made for a tiring week. Please pray for these WGM missionaries as they strive to be better equipped for the journey ahead and the hurdles they will approach on the field. May God guide and direct them as they follow the paths toward the Great Commission that He has placed on their hearts.

Preparing the Chupp Raft for Class 5 Transition Rapids!

Transition is a normal part of missionary life. Missionaries come back to the United States on homeland ministry assignment (HMA). Missionaries leave behind their families in the United States as they go to the field God has called them. WGM’s magazine, The Call, says “Change is rarely easy, but the progress makes it worth it.” In this blog post by Mike Chupp, you’ll read about his family’s coming transition and how your prayers can be focused to help them through the Class 5 rapids of change.

June 2013 Family pic

“Ok, so I am not a whitewater kinda guy nor is my better half, Pam, so why a title about rafts and rapids?  Well, first,  talking about Class 5 challenges sounds…well, exciting!  In just a little over two months our family of four will be saying farewell to our national and missionary co-workers at Tenwek Hospital (July 13th), just one month short of the twenty year mark.  We attended the biannual missionary medicine conference held near Marathon, Greece, for nearly two weeks in April along with nearly 700 other medical missionaries including families.  The event is sponsored by the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), the wonderful 80 year old organization that I have been asked to join as Senior VP on Sept 1st in Bristol, TN.  At the conference it was officially announced that I was taking on Senior VP,  Dr. Gene Rudd’s role, coming along side former Tenwek Medical Director and now for 20 years CMDA CEO, Dr. David Stevens. Many good talks with longtime friends and colleagues in the medical missionary community followed with many words of encouragement, delight, and words of wisdom on the way forward.  What a great joy to receive encouragement and support from many of our heroes and co-workers in medical missions who work all over Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.  CMDA and Dr. Stevens have made it a top priority to ‘fan the flame’ of the call of God on the hearts and lives of over 1,400 young Christian medical professionals in the states who desire to serve God in missions.  We had some really good talks with CMDA staff and leadership at the conference with our first assignment being given to us by Dr. Stevens at the conference…to represent CMDA at the Thailand Medical Missions conference in February 2017.  This is the sister conference to the Greece conference and focuses on training and spiritual renewal for medical missionaries primarily serving in the Far East and Asia during the odd years.

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WGM Kenya team at the Marathon, Greece, CMDA conference April 4th to 14th.

“After attending our annual WGM Kenya retreat on the coast the latter part of April and dropping Kayla and Ashley back at RVA to begin Term 3, we arrived back at Tenwek for the final week of April.  An Executive committee of the Tenwek Board of Governors met and appointed Dr. Steve Burgert as my replacement as the Tenwek Medical Superintendent, starting July 1st.  Steve is a gastroenterologist who has been at Tenwek for nearly 7 years with his wife Alene.  Both Steve and Alene had shared with us that God had been preparing them for more involvement in leadership and administration in their ministries at Tenwek and in Kenya.  When we shared with the Burgerts about leaving Tenwek this summer and the need for a new Medical Director, Steve immediately started thinking and praying about this possibility.  This particular issue of handing over the medical staff leadership was one of my biggest concerns and God very clearly took care of it with the willingness and availability of Dr. Burgert with the support of the Tenwek CEO and Board.  Over the next 7 to 8 weeks, Steve and I will be spending a fair amount of time together understanding the responsibilities he will be assuming and working together on many projects and medical staff issues.  Please pray for Dr. Burgert as he takes on this responsibility of leading the medical staff and serving with other chief officers in the management and mission of Tenwek Hospital which is in its 80th year.

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Dr. Steve Burgert and Mike after Tenwek Executive Board appointed Steve as the next Medical Superintendent starting July 1st as we return to the states to join CMDA.