World Partners Update: April 2012
When Abel Ribeiro of Porto, Portugal, attended a PTA meeting in 1994, he had no idea how it would eventually change his life.
At the meeting, Abel and his wife, Alzira, met Encompass missionaries Tim and Julie Hawkins.
“The first conversation was exciting and lasted well into the evening,” said Sam Schwartz, the Hawkins’ Encompass co-worker. “Tim and Julie went out on a limb and asked the Ribeiros and another couple if they’d like to get together and read the Bible. They agreed.”
The three couples met weekly to discuss the Bible and share life together. Even after the meetings ended in 2000, Tim and Julie and Abel and Alzira kept in contact. In 2006, the Ribeiros joined Tim and Julie’s church community.
“Fasten your seat belts!” is an announcement we frequent flyers often hear, and it was good advice to our team a few months ago. We were about to launch a series of changes designed to help ensure our mission would be a relevant vehicle to make disciples in the 21st century.
We are now looking at two of those changes in the rear view mirror: We have a new name and a new Atlanta address. From the “we think you’re on track!” I recently heard from a group of young leaders, to the ‘thank you’ letters from staff members overseas, it seems that these innovations have been widely and warmly received. Continue...
Caleb Green of Columbus, Ohio, had heard about the St. James Way in his Spanish classes at Ohio State University. But he didn’t consider going until he talked with Encompass staff members Tim Hawkins and Alfredo Abreu when they were in the States. Hawkins and Abreu serve in Portugal, near one of the St. James Way routes.
Green learned that Grace Church in Norton Ohio, was taking a group on the St. James Way. He contacted Pastor Doug Jensen about going and, in 2010, made his first trip on the pilgrimage.
Years of dictatorship and colonial wars in Portugal ended with a 1974 revolution. The country gained both political and religious freedom, transforming the nation. But genuine faith is not widespread. Materialism, individualism, cults, and increasing substance abuse present great challenges for evangelical Christians who want to share their faith.
There are 49 Hand in Hand Orphan Schools in Grace Brethren Churches in the Central African Republic. Teaching about Christ is one of the main objectives of the schools and as a result, 25 children will be baptized in the months of February and March. Pray for these children as they continue to grow and become the leaders of the church of tomorrow.
The GBC of Stuttgart, Germany on Sunday March 4, instated two new elders — Thomas and Jochan. God is rasing up a new generation of leaders for a new generation of ministry. The church is looking outward in evangelism, ministering to special needs people, and looking forward to the arrival of Chad and Amy Sensenig (Encompass World Partners) who will reach out to young people with the Gospel.
Praise the Lord that Gerardo Pereyra (NMP from Argentina serving in Mexico) could visit the Points of Light in the country of Nicaragua in late March. Carlos and Gloria are the key leaders of the work there. Pray that this couple would see fruit for their labors and that strong churches with faithful leaders would be planted in Nicaragua.
A 3100 sq ft facility has been rented as the new office headquarters for Encompass in the heart of the ethnically diverse region of NE Atlanta. It is one mile from the Doraville Train Station, which will connect staff with the Atlanta airport and the world.