A Year in Review

Mike Banks is a missionary serving on WGM support staff in Member Health as the MK Ministries Coordinator. In this role Mike does everything from helping MK’s with homework to helping them adjust to college life. Read on to learn about what impact Mike’s ministry has had in the last year and how WGM can help you get involved in making a difference in the lives of MK’s and their families.

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“As I look back over 2016, even with the many challenges along the way, I’m reminded of how amazing a year it has been. I am also so thankful for the ministry to which God has called me and have been blessed “me and again as a witness to His work in so many lives.

“In late September, I was overseas visiting our missionaries in a creative access country. Our goal was to be an encouragement to each of the family members. It was a great opportunity to spend time with them in their home and at their school, helping us experience a little of their daily lives.

“We traveled on to Papua New Guinea where we helped lead a field retreat for our missionary families. My coworkers shared with the adults on the field, while I worked with the young people during the morning and evening sessions. The group of MKs was a little younger than I usually work with, but we had a great time throughout the week-long retreat.

“These field visits really help in understanding the cultures where the MKs grow up. It enables me to relate with them and have a better grasp of their life experiences. Please pray with me for the 17 MKs from these countries visited who are on the front lines of ministry with their parents.

“Since my return from this overseas trip, I’ve traveled over 5,000 miles visiting college-age MKs in eight different states. While making these visits, I was also involved in other ministries. In October, I was one of the facilitators for a retreat for ‘twenty-something’ post-college MKs presenting two of the sessions: one on identity and the other on Kingdom Focus. Then in November, I was able to share in a supporting church and to a group of students at Asbury University.

“During the face to face times with the college-age students, I try to listen to their hearts as we fellowship and then try to be an encouragement to them personally and spiritually. Some of the conversations have been very difficult, but God continues to provide peace and wisdom. Please pray with me for these young men and women who may be struggling in their faith or trying to grow in their relationship with Christ.

“Each year, I send care packages to our college-age MKs. This year, Grace Community Church came alongside of me and blessed these young people (and me) by funding this entire outreach. With their gracious financial help, I was able to either hand deliver or mail out 36 of these over the last few weeks. In addition to the wonderful financial blessing from Grace Community Church, I want to thank the many supporters who sacrificially pray and give. You make this ministry possible!

“As I prepare for upcoming ministries, please pray with me for these events:
♦ Dec 31 – Jan 8: MK ministries at WGM’s South American Regional Missionary Retreat in Peru
♦ Jan 11 – 13: WGM RENEWAL (re-entry retreat) for returning missionary families
♦ Jan 13 – 15: MK Snow Camp for nearly 200 college-age MKs
♦ Jan 16 – 19: WGM CMS Seminar for missionary families
♦ Jan 22 – 27: WGM Orientation Camp for ‘new’ missionary families

“Until I begin to travel again, however, I plan to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. I pray you too enjoy these memorable times together, sensing God’s amazing presence in a special way.

“Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!”

To get involved in Mike Banks ministry visit his biography page at http://www.wgm.org/banks

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Ned and Marlene McGrady are WGM‘s directors of Member Health. Their latest Christmas post from their ministry blog highlights some of their travels and opportunities to lift up our missionaries around the world. Read on to hear what’s happening and how WGM can help you get involved.

“We bring you Christmas greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus our Immanuel, God is with us. As we share this Christmas letter with you, we pray that the Christ of Christmas will bless you with every good and perfect gift.”

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“We have been reflecting on this year of travel in ministry with World Gospel Mission,and we are amazed at all the wonderful opportunities our partnership in ministry has allowed us to do together in reaching out to our world in Jesus’ Name. You have been apart of this awesome ministry, and God has worked through your prayers and financial giving.

“This year, God has allowed us to minister in eight countries and nine states as we ministered and encouraged missionaries to 10 mission fields where WGM is sharing the life-changing message of hope in Jesus Christ. We have visited Paraguay, the Texas- Mexico Border, the American Indian Field, Kenya, and The Center in Stockton,California, Albania, Hungary, Ukraine, Uganda, and Peru. We held retreats, preached,taught, counseled, encouraged, prayed, and shared the hope of Jesus with folks around the world. God has certainly enlarged our ministry, and we thank you for being our encouragement as we have traveled tens of thousands of miles in ministry.

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“During our recent ministry visit to Europe,we were inspired by the picture here at St.Matthew’s Cathedral in Budapest, Hungary, that depicts the Lion and the Lamb. The Lion of Judah is roaring with power, fighting our battles, and at the same time He is the Lamb of God that was slain for the sins of the world. He is our Lamb whose shed blood breaks the chains that sin holds on us.

“What a wonderful blessing for us to realize that the Lion and the Lamb is our strength and defender this Holy Season.

“We were able to carry that message of hope and encouragement this year as we ministered to missionaries around the world, and we are grateful to carry this message of hope to you, our champions. The Lion of Judah is fighting for you, too. He cares about all that you are going through. We trust you will reach out to the Lamb that cares enough to provide salvation, full and free.”

To read more visit Ned and Marlene’s ministry blog at straightpathsmcgrady.blogspot.com

WGM can help connect you to Ned and Marlene by visiting http://www.wgm.org/McGrady

Travels in Ministry

Ned and Marlene McGrady are World Gospel Mission pastors to missionaries and serve as directors of the Member Health team. They give us the opportunities to not only hear about their journeys in the past few weeks, but also to join with them in prayer and donation. Hear what God is doing through them as they faithfully travel from state to state and country to country.

“I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.” Psalm 18:1-3

Parguay Team 2016

“The start of 2016 has had us traveling to many places. Your prayers and support have been a huge part of sustaining us through these many travels. Opportunities for ministry around the world have been abundant and God has used us in this partnership to make an impact in our world for His Glory. Each step of this journey from Paraguay to Michigan from McAllen, Texas to Florida God has been our faithful helper, our source, our supply and certainly our strength.

“Soon after the holidays, we conducted a Renewal for several of our missionaries returning home from their fields of service. Jan. 17 we headed for Asuncion, Paraguay where we had a wonderful opportunity to minister to our WGM missionaries serving in central South America. God was faithful to us as we spent time with each of our missionaries, hearing their hearts for service and responding to their needs in prayerful and caring ways. We gathered at a retreat center just outside of Asuncion with our missionaries for a time of worship and reflection in God’s Word. Our friend and co-worker Spencer Hofer traveled with us and served as leader for our young people during the retreat. Spencer is one of WGM’s accountants and was a great help to us in providing programming for our MK’s.

Paraguay Retreat Marlene 2016

“Each day we gathered for a time of worship and if you know the people pictured here, you would know that they are excellent musicians and singers, well maybe not us so much but certainly ALL of them. We sang our hearts out at each service and often saw other patrons of the retreat center stopping by to listen to us and join in with singing. Marlene taught on the topic of What Keeps You from Drawing Close to God and Ned shared the need for good Soul Care. Self care and Soul care are essential to serving God in cross cultural ministry. One of the highlights of our travels to Paraguay was the opportunity we had to worship at the El Renuvo Church, one of WGM’s church in the greater Asuncion area. There we heard a moving story from Pastor Daniel and Marcella Sosa and some of the trails they had faced. Preaching from Romans 8, Pastor Daniel shared how God was faithful to help his family through some very difficult situations and he shared that through everything God has a plan and purpose for each one of our lives. Their story included the stabbing death of their 18 year old daughter, their business was robbed, as was their son’s home and while he was welding the gas tank of a patron’s car it blew up but his life was spared. As he shared Romans 8 it became evident that God was his rock, his fortress and his deliverer. He concluded by leading his congregation in singing “How Great Thou Art.”

“The presence of God filled the sanctuary as it was a clear testimony of God’s sustaining grace. Marlene had an opportunity to speak with Marcella following the service that morning and to minister to her. God met with us in a very special way that day and we have been able to share their story with several churches in Michigan and Florida where we have had the opportunity to speak.

Marlene Soto

“Jan. 28 we kicked off the Global Outreach Convention at our home church, Trinity Wesleyan Church in Jackson, MI. We had a great time connecting with our dear friends and faithful supporters there. God is at work and blessing the outreach of Trinity not only across the street but around the world.

“We had the privilege of leading our home office staff through a day of spiritual retreat and renewal during the end of January as well. World Gospel Mission has a tremendous support staff that assists in caring for the needs of our missionaries. It was fantastic to see God meeting the needs of our staff through this focused time of prayer and renewal.

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“February 7 we flew to McAllen, Texas where we presented a Ministry Match Seminar for our fastest growing WGM field of missionaries. God met with us and helped us as we learned how He desires to use our temperaments and gifts to reach that area of the world for His Glory. Missionaries were able to gain some insights on working together in ways that will help to encourage and maximize their ministries for the Kingdom of God. Taylor Christian School and Taylor Community Center are poised to see God work through them in some tremendous ways. We ask you to pray with our team of missionaries serving there as they continue to realize their full potential in service for Christ. The leadership of the field and the leadership of each of the ministries are working together to reach this unique Tex-Mex Culture. Marlene spoke to the elementary age children at Taylor Christian School and Ned spoke to the middle school/high school class. Many great times of fellowship and meeting one on one with our missionaries filled our ministry time. Pray for this great group of missionaries serving on the border and don’t forget to pray for a great group of MK’s serving as well.

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“We arrived home in time for Valentine’s Day and after battling a sinus infection we recovered to teach at our WGM Orientation Camp which is a time for our missionaries preparing to be sent out to receive pre-field training. Our group was smaller this time but we helped in training a family preparing to work among our Native Americans, a single gal going to the border and a couple that will assist us in international pastoral ministry.

“Today we write to you from Palm Harbor, FL. We are gathering with family tonight to share a meal and to remember that one year ago today, Marlene’s mother went to heaven. We are so thankful that we have the hope that only Jesus gives, that hope that one day we shall go to be with Him and all of our loved ones that have gone on before us. This Sunday we will speak at Christian Life Church in Kissimmee, FL and then we will begin our trek home to Marion.

“Of interest you may remember that our youngest son Jordan has graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University and is loving his job at a downtown Indianapolis business where he works and lives. He will be visiting our ministry and work in Cuenca Ecuador, Feb. 28 – March 8 where he will assist in some soccer camps and visiting where we lived. Please pray for him as he travels there alone. We are being called to serve our missionaries back in Kenya, Africa March 7 – 20. We ask an interest in your prayers as we go.

“As always, we appreciate you and your faithful support and prayers for this work. We simply are amazed at how much God uses you to help us do His work around the world. Your prayers and financial support are so appreciated.

Love and Prayers,
Ned and Marlene McGrady
World Gospel Mission Missionaries
Box 948
Marion, IN 46952
765-671-7240