Encompass World Partners News
Praising God for Protection During Kidnapping & Robbery
Friday, 11 January 2013 18:48
Ministry Partners Walter Testa and Gerardo Peyrera (Mexico City) were on a ministry trip to Nicaragua on Dec. 12, when they were kidnapped and robbed by armed men in Guatemala. God protected them from physical harm and they were able to get help. Here are some comments from Walter:
"Today I want to celebrate that I have a BIG God who gives me life to live it intensely! Gerardo and I lived an experience that will mark our lives forever. When we had arrived to Guatemala territory, we were intercepted by a truck containing armed men. They got into our car and took us to an isolated area where they had us kidnapped for about an hour.They cleaned us out and left.
"WE SAW GOD by experiencing a supernatural peace in our hearts... by our desire for the best for the men that kidnapped and robbed us. We prayed for them, we talked with them about our God. I offered my Bible to one of them...who took it when he took my backpack.
"WE SAW GOD in the lives of those men; These are violent people... but they treated us in a 'kindly' manner. After our release, we were able to flag down a passing truck; WE SAW GOD in the truck driver who, without knowing us, lent us his cell phone. He gave us money and invited us to have coffee with him. WE SAW GOD in...our friends in Guatemala. They took us in with so much love. Thanks, dear God, for being so real. My life is in no one's hands except yours!"Continue...
Tribute to Jimmy Lewis
Friday, 11 January 2013 16:17
Dave Lewis, a stewardship mobilizer with Encompass, learned a lot about living like Christ from his brother Jimmy, who died on November 20, 2012. Dave shared the following tribute about his brother's life at the funeral:
I remember being only 4 years old and walking into my big brother's room I gazed at a picture of a tiger hanging on his wall. I looked up to my 18-year-old brother and thought he might quite possibly be the strongest guy on earth, so I asked, “Jimmy, are you strong enough to beat up that tiger?” He replied without hesitation, “Oh yes. In fact, I can beat 2 at the same time!” That day I knew I could handle anything because I had a big brother who would take on the world for me when I needed him...
Well, 1 week ago this Saturday this story went full circle as he was sitting on the floor with my two boys. They were acting out the Bible story about big strong Samson, and Atticus asked Jimmy to beat up the lion just like Samson did. Again, without hesitating, Jimmy drove both of his fists into the belly of the 'pillow lion' to both of my sons’ amazement. Little did I know 2 days later, my brother would be facing another type of 'lion' with that same level of fight he had displayed to me as a 4-year-old.
He has now finished the race/fought the good fight, and he has done it well. Jimmy taught me how to be a fighter. The amount of 'lions' he has faced in this life far outnumber the minutes we have today. During this final and ultimate fight, as I watched him writhing in pain, I reflected on the 48 years of life Jimmy had lived on this earth. No one I know has lived through more pain than what he has had to go through. From early childhood he had experienced molestation, a father abandoning him, countless rejections by peers and much more...I look at the injustice of sins done against him as an innocent child, and I cannot help but think about our enemy's schemes.
Jesus told us Satan seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. From early in Jimmy's life, we see the evidence of this sinful world hurting him deeply. Satan, our enemy, seeks to capitalize on these hurts. The Bible tells us Satan is an opportunist who preys on the weak, who takes advantage of hurt and pain. Satan’s mercilessness has no limit, and his goal is to give us Hell on this side of eternity and the next side. But GOD, in His love and mercy sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to this painful world. God became man, walked among us, lived this painful life with us and at 33, Jesus died as the perfect payment for Jimmy and my sins. If it were not for Jesus, Jimmy's story would have been Hell on both sides, but Satan did not win this one...
Eleven years ago, Jimmy told me he began a close relationship with Jesus. He recognized sin in his own life and chose to turn it all over to Jesus and let Jesus be the first love of His life. Jesus alone has the power to give real freedom, real peace, real and lasting healing. I saw Jimmy discover this. I saw his heart soften and pour out love over and over to many of us who are sitting in this room today. If Jimmy were to speak with you today, he would want you to know Jesus Christ sets us free from the power of sin and death. “Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death where is thy victory, oh death where is thy sting. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 15:54b-57)
Death is not a “lion” to be feared. We are safe because of our relationship with God, established through the work of Christ on the cross. The final question God will ask is this: “Do you know my Son Jesus?” Relationship is what God wants. Jimmy knew Jesus in a personal way that transformed his life.
I mentioned this earlier, but need to emphasize it; 11 years ago there was a death. Jimmy died to himself and selfish desires and chose to let Jesus transform his life. He came to an end in himself and knew the “lions” of his own sins would indefinitely destroy him, and he needed a Savior. Jimmy lived life with the real hope that this life is not all there is.
"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3)
Update on CAR
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 20:37
The rebels continue their march towards Bangui; however, things appear quiet at the moment. Residents, however, are staying at home due to potential danger in the streets. The market areas are also closed, so, even if they can get out, they are unable to purchase food. This is causing both fear and hunger. Please pray for the population of Bangui and of the whole country.
Peace talks have begun between the government and the rebels, but the rebels are insisting that President Bozize step down. This will be the major obstacle in the negotiations. Pray that these peace talks will culminate in a solution to the unrest and instability that the nation is going through right now.
Pastor Nadjilao and the Christians
Pastor Nadjilao continues to come to the station each day to make sure guards are in place and to handle any financial transactions. He is doing a great job and we are in touch several times each day via SKYPE. Continue to keep him in your prayers. Pray for the testimony of the Church during this difficult time and for order and peace to be restored, so that ministries can continue.
Janet Varner remains in the States. She had travelled back for annual medical exams and she will stay in the MD area until we can return.
Doug and Jacquie Jensen are also in the States. They had planned their vacation home for Christmas so they were already in the States when our evacuation took place.
Heidi Sisson is settled at Yaounde, Cameroon in a missionary Guest House. We will be talking about options as we wait for things to settle down in Bangui.
Josh and Rachel Flaningan with children, Emily and Roy are also in Yaounde, Cameroon. If things continue to brew in C.A.R. Josh hopes to help one of the missionary men with the Covenant Mission who works with boys at the Rain Forest International School and also does maintenance. At this point all are safe and waiting to see what will transpire in the next week.
Keep them in your prayers.
Ethnic Leaders gather in Atlanta
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 20:26
Encompass is hiring a part-time intern
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 20:19
Urgent Prayer request with update
Thursday, 03 January 2013 16:49
Update on this request is that Manases passed away early the morning of the 3rd. Please pray for Tabhita and her children, and Manases' brothers and sisters.
Please pray for evangelist Manases, one of three evangelist leaders, who supervises the evangelistic work in an entire region in Chad. He is a disciple of Dadje, and lives in Gagal, southeastern Chad. He's 42 years old.
On Saturday 22 December he became ill, and Sunday, right after preaching, he fainted. He was unable to move his left side. On the 25th Kirk and Kay Carver brought him to Moundou. He was conscious during the trip, but since then he's been hospitalized in the Adventist Clinic with the diagnosis of a stroke.
On Wednesday he was sleeping and, in spite of fatigue, his speech was normal. He could move his left leg, but not his left arm. He seemed to be on his way to recovery.
But between the 30th and 31st his condition deteriorated. He's weaker, not talking, sleeping a lot.
Please pray that doctors will know how to best treat him.
Please pray for strength and comfort for the family.
Please pray for healing if this is God's will
Book Set Saga continues in Cameroon
Thursday, 03 January 2013 16:14
Greg Burgess writes that "We will be holding teaching and book distribution conferences in the cities of Douala (Jan 8-10), Yaoundé (Jan 15-17) and Garoua (Jan 22-24). 350 to 500 church leaders will be in attendance at each conference.
"As in the C.A.R., we have a team of excellent speakers to challenge the participants. We are happy to have Abel Njerareou, one of the contributors to The Africa Bible Commentary and Richard Houmegni, Augustin Hibailé's colleague, who will be teaching on Christian ethics, just to mention a couple.
"We are facing particular challenges for our first conference in Douala. Please pray that we will get off to a good start there and please pray particularly that we will have a team in place for the meals by this coming Monday.
"Please also pray:
• For rest, health and safety of the organizational team and the speakers. Several of us have been under the weather.
• For a spirit of unity among the organizational team and the speakers. There are 10-12 of us coming from varied cultural backgrounds.
• That the books will arrive at the conference centers in good time
• That the speakers will do an excellent job of teaching and challenging Cameroon's church leaders
• That the conferences will be an encouragement to all that attend
• That all the remaining details will work out smoothly and in an God-honoring manner
• That Sandrine and the children will be strong, safe, well, loving and patient in my absence.
We count on your prayers. These next two weeks will be full of extra responsibilities for Sandrine and me, so we ask you to pray extra hard for us."
Marian Thurston home in Glory
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 23:21
Marian served in the Central African Republic with Grace Brethren Missions (Encompass World Partners) from 1952-1991. She was a gifted nurse (with special abilities in maternity) as well as a specialist in laboratory procedures for diagnosis in blood, urine and stools. Though for many years she was stationed at the remote village of Nzoro up on the borders of Cameroon and Chad, she came to Boguila on a regular schedule to teach laboratory classes to male nurses brought to the Medical Center for this purpose. Many of these men went on to become heads of large dispensaries and in fact, one of them, Ngaba Timothy, became director of the entire Grace Brethren medical work which at one time numbered 21 dispensaries and one hospital, where Ngaba had been taught to do surgery.
Marian was a natural-born teacher and she loved to teach not just medical courses but bible classes to nurses, Lumière workers and girls, and later in her career, to women students at the Bible Institute at Bata near Bozoum CAR.
She loved gardening and had beautifully productive gardens both at Nzoro and Bata. She liked to fish, had a great interest in sports and even joined up with some of the male missionaries in subscribing to an air mail sports magazine.
Marian had many friends from all age groups. She was a loyal friend and supporter of several missions and missionaries across Africa.
Please keep Marian's family in prayer. Those of us who knew her were privileged to share her life and witness her love for the Lord, her down-to-earth approach to life, her heart for teaching, her great sense of humor, and to share in her wonderful stories, laughing until the tears flowed.
Below is a tribute to Marian from Dr. Augustin Hibaile:
"I have a good memory of Marian Thurston and am thankful to God for sending Marian to Africa, especially in the district of Nzoro where I was born.
Engaged servant of the Lord,
Lover of Africans,
Servant of young girls.
I remember her encouragement during
my study at the Theological Seminary.
She was also a great encouragement during
my ordination as an elder of the church.
Marian has left her testimony in Africa -
many students at the Bible schools have
benefited from her generosity and some have finished their training due to
Marian's financial support.
Marian greatly invested her life for the Bata Bible Institute.
God will reward her for everything she has done and for many years of ministry in Africa.
Marian is a good example of a servant of the Lord in our time.
Praise God who is able to use insignificant things to
Bring forth extraordinary things.
Time will come that we will gather together with all
those in Christ who are now with the Lord.
We will rejoice for forever with God.
Monday, 31 December 2012 18:27
Our Encompass missionary staff have now arrived in Yaounde, Cameroon. After a short five-night stay in Gamboula, they felt it necessary for their safety to exit the country. The US Embassy evacuated CAR and recommended that they should leave as well. The town of Sibut was taken under rebel command two days ago (only 100 miles to the north). Teammate Heidi Sisson joined the Flaningans in Gamboula as they began their caravan together with a group of SIL missionaries into Cameroon.
Their journey, mapped out above, has taken them over some of the worst roads that the Central African Republic has to offer, but they were relieved to see how nice Cameroon roads are. All in total, the trip was roughly 800 miles with an average speed of 32mph!
The Flaningan's children, Emily and Roy, are still sick. Roy tested positive for malaria at Gamboula but missed one of his treatments during our travels. Emily and Roy have both had trouble keeping food down at times. They will give it until after the New Years to see if its just the stress of travel and differences in water that has brought this on, or if it is something else that needs attention.
We are thankful for all you prayers that have seen them to Cameroon safely. No flat tires on any of the trucks, and the A/C kept working which made the travel on the dusty roads bearable.
The Flaningans write, "Our next steps are not clear as to what all we will be doing here in Yaounde or how long we will be here. We desire to return to Bangui as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. For now our plan is to rest. We are very tired. Encompass World Partners does have a ministry presence here so it is not as if we are alone. We will continue to send out updates as news comes to us to keep you all informed."
May we all see a change in our world this new year as we proclaim the name of Jesus Christ to the nations!Continue...
Team Asia Conference begins January 3rd
Monday, 31 December 2012 15:57
Many Encompass World Partners staff serving in seven countries of Asia have begun their travels to arrive in Thailand for the January 3-8 triennial Team Asia Family Conference. It is a great time for fellowshipping and being spiritually nourished, a time to "eat loads of fresh pineapple, and soak in the sunshine". This is also an important time for missionary children to be together and form friendships.We are thankful that Asia Director Wayne Hannah is back to health and plans to participate.
Please pray for safe travels for all
Pray for good health, no conference "bugs"
Pray for wisdom as future plans are laidContinue...