Blog Archives

A team of 20 students and leaders from 12 churches in seven states came together in July at Grace Christian University to prepare to serve cross-culturally in both Curacao and Bonaire as this year’s EXITE Team. After preparing lesson plans, special music, crafts, games, and testimonies in boot camp, we began our ministry about 40 miles north of Venezuela on the beautiful island of Curacao. It was great to serve together with our local leaders on work projects like building a storage shed, doing fence repairs, and helping to renovate the interior of the church. Sharing our testimonies, singing, and worshipping together with the believers in two churches affiliated with Grace Ministries International (GMI) was a blessing.

After a 25-minute flight, our next stop was the island of Bonaire where GMI missionaries, Carlos and Denise Brunk had a busy week lined up for us. In addition to lots of painting in the church’s meeting place, we were able to share the Gospel with kids in four Community Centers through the creation story. What a blessing to watch high school students stepping out of their comfort zone and sharing the Good News using the Evangecube! Another highlight was helping the church host a beach volleyball tournament as an outreach event. It was a fun night and many heard the Gospel as it was shared through the testimony of Pastor Marshall Look of the Netherlands. The local TV station and newspaper gave the event a lot of coverage. Neither of the two EXITE teams won the trophy but we had fun trying.

One can’t travel to Curacao and Bonaire without taking time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. The snorkeling, the flamingos, the iguanas, and the salt flats were all incredible.

A big thank you to Carlos and Denise Brunk and the leadership of the two Curacao Grace churches for making this trip possible!

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Comments

When someone has a loved one like a grandparent go home to be with the Lord it is a bittersweet time. Tears flow because there is a sense of loss and missing that loved one in the present, yet if that person was a believer there is rejoicing because you know they are with their Lord and Savior and you will see them again.

One of the hardest things for GMI missionaries on the field is to be away from family; not being able to spend the holidays, birthdays, or vacations with the relatives; being away for years at a time; and especially being overseas when grandparents and parents reach the end of their lives here on earth.

GMI missionary Joy Befus’s father, Frank Edwards, passed away just six weeks ago and this past weekend Joy’s mother, Joan Edwards, went home to be with the Lord. Then before they could have Joan’s service in the Chicago area, Chuck’s mother and longtime GMI missionary, Elnora Befus, also passed into the presence of the Lord.

One of Joan’s favorite sayings was, “I’m in the Lord’s hands, and there’s no better place to be.” Here are some things gleaned from the Facebook pages of children and grandchildren of Elnora and Joan:

“Today [Joan] went home to heaven, just 6 weeks after my father-in-law. She had told me earlier in the summer that it was just a question of which one of them would get there first….”

“I thank God for the legacy of love and service to the Lord that my Grandparents have passed on to me.”

“Their godly legacy lives on through their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

“As a child I spent hours making puzzles with [Elnora]. She taught me how to cross-stitch and play the flute.”

Please continue to pray for the Befus family. They have experienced a great amount of loss in the last six weeks.

No Comments
It has been quite some time since our GMI missionaries left the field of Tanzania. Some people wonder, “What are the Tanzania missionaries doing now?” So we thought it was time for another update to keep you informed of their whereabouts and their plans for the future.
John and Naomi Caprari (Jael): John is teaching in a Christian school called HOPAC in the city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He tries to visit his students in their homes so he can meet their families as well. Another ministry he is involved in is planting a church in the city of Dar. Naomi enjoys working with the women of the church and being a mom to Jael.
Mike and Lynn Caraway (Luka): Mike and Lynn Caraway have retired from being full-time missionaries with GMI, but they continue to work with Grace Community Development & Education (GCDE) which helps individuals in Tanzania who need cleft palate surgeries, business training, literacy programs, or agricultural training. They will also be helping other GMI fields in the areas of business and community development. Not being full-time missionaries allows them to be available to help their parents with any needs as they get older.
Cory and Kim Hodgson (Naomi, Elijah, and Timothy): Cory and Kim are excited about starting a new ministry in a completely different area of the world. Cory left for Paraguay on July 23 to find a home and prepare the way for Kim and the children to follow in about a month. They have been learning Spanish while they have been in the States so they will be able to communicate a little bit when they get there.
Joanne Moyer: Joanne never left Tanzania and has been living with her son and her grandchildren. She continues her ministries of hospitality, working with the groups who come to visit the nearby college, and helping to homeschool her grandchildren.
Ted and Kim Rabenold (Savannah). Ted and Kim live in the Rukwa Valley of Tanzania but in a different location than previously. They have been busy building an agricultural training center and working in the area of evangelism. They are also currently building a home to live in. They have to burn each brick themselves for the buildings.
Brook Seekins: Brook has recently settled into her new ministries in Malawi alongside our other GMI missionaries in that country. The language of Chichewa is a hard language to learn so she has been working on that and meeting those in leadership positions while determining exactly where she will fit in the ministries in Malawi.

Steve and Barb Sherman (Trevor, Stefanie): Steve and Barb have been living in the States working in a literature ministry of translating books into Swahili that are badly needed in Tanzania. Their goal is to be able to go back to Tanzania in the near future but no time has been set yet. Stefanie is currently on a trip recording video in different countries to share the ministries with those of us back home so we can get a better picture of what the missionaries are doing on the field.
No Comments

Stefanie Sherman, daughter of GMI missionaries Steve and Barb Sherman, started her travels for the summer making ministry videos for GMI missionaries by visiting all the missionaries in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. She took lots of video footage of their ministries and family life–enough for five videos!

Then she was off to Africa, the place that is very special to Stefanie because she was raised in Tanzania. She was very excited to return to that continent and do something special there. She is spending a total of five weeks between Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania with the missionaries who are like family to her. Here is her schedule:

Malawi: July 2-16

Zambia: July 17-23

Tanzania: July 24-August

Stefanie does have some prayer requests for what she calls her “crazy journey” so I would like to share those with you:

  1. Safe travels (luggage, connections)
  2. Good time management and scheduling
  3. Good work ethic for her
  4. Good health and adequate rest
  5. That God’s will and direction for these projects would be what she walks away with

One of the videos Stefanie did while she was in Paraguay can be seen below. As you enjoy this video created by Stefanie, consider being a part of the team to strengthen the church in Paraguay by giving to the Paraguay Land Project.

No Comments

GMI missionaries Ted and Kim Rabenold have been faithful, dedicated servants of God working in the field of Tanzania for many years despite struggles and challenges that have come their way. Of course, they have had great joy and victory along the way, too, and they want to share their lives with you in their current update.

Just click on the link below and they will take you on a pictorial journey over the last several months of their ministry in the Rukwa Valley of Tanzania!

2018 July – Ted Kim Tanzania update

No Comments

This update comes from Dan and Mary Sue Reed, GMI missionaries serving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

A few months ago we mentioned our desire to work alongside a team of Bolivian leaders at a church plant called Carlos Laborde. Our whole family had really enjoyed our experience several years back working with the Km 14 church plant which later became the Casa de Misericordia Church. We talked with Pepe Yucra (our Bolivian mission president) and Pastor Santos Ortega (our Bolivian mission vice-president) to discuss this new possibility. We also shared with different leaders our desire to work with this church plant and we finally received official approval by the leadership committee. We believe we can work well together as a team with Bolivian leaders. This ministry falls right in line with our purpose in being here as GMI (Grace Ministries International) missionaries. We want to encourage and empower our leaders to do the work of the ministries that God has given them. It has really been a joy to be part of this ministry! On our first Sunday afternoon there, we had to park our 4-wheel drive Mitsubishi half a block away and walk in because of all of the water and mud in the road. Since then some work has been done but the church plant is still on a very lumpy, dirt road. For now it is an afternoon kids club similar to AWANA. We have slowly been learning the kids names and building relationships with them. We are finding out that not only are these kids coming from unchurched families, but some of them come from very rough backgrounds. I’m sure you can imagine that some of these kids can be challenging from time to time. It is interesting that they choose to come back week after week. We hope it is because they feel accepted and loved by the leaders. Our prayer is that they will see God’s love shining through us and that it will ultimately draw them one step closer to accepting the Lord as their personal savior. Another aspect that Dan and I have enjoyed at the church plant is the time that we have been able to spend with the family that takes care of the property. Often in Bolivia people arrive late to events, it is considered cultural. That has often been the case with our kids club at the church plant. Dan and I have taken these opportunities to sit and visit with Adolfo and his wife, Jimena, and their three kids as we wait for everyone to arrive. It has given us the chance to build a relationship with them. We pray that the Lord would use us in bringing them closer to accepting the Lord.

Last Sunday we had the privilege of attending one of our mission churches, Dios es Amor (God is Love) Church. Near the end of the service they had a time of recognizing and honoring all of their leaders who taught in some capacity within the church. They had all of the teachers come up to the front and then Pastor Herland asked Dan to share a few words with them and to pray for them. As Dan shared he emphasized that their work as teachers, sharing spiritual truths from the Bible has ETERNAL VALUE! Their teaching will help children and adults to make choices or decisions that will change their lives. It’s not easy but as they say here, “Es vale la pena!” It’s worth it! Then he prayed for all of the teachers. At the end of the service the pastor asked Dan once again to share some words of encouragement with the congregation. It was a good morning to worship the Lord together with our Bolivian brothers and sisters in Christ. After the service Pastor Herland and his wife, Veronica, invited us to be part of a special lunch that was being provided in honor of the teachers. We had a wonderful time of fellowship and good food around a table in one of the classrooms at the church. These people are precious and they love the Lord with all their heart. We left with smiles on our faces!

Dan has recently had several opportunities to preach on Sunday mornings in our different mission churches here in Santa Cruz. Tomorrow, Mary Sue will be heading to Vida Abundante (Abundant Life) Church along with the women’s committee to encourage the women in the church. They will be presenting a program for the women during Sunday School. We have several church anniversaries coming up that we will be attending. Next week we will be meeting with Yermi Castro, a lady who helps us with our paperwork. We will be finding out from her exactly what will be needed to renew our Bolivian ID cards and drivers licenses.

Thank you for your interest in our ministry in Bolivia. We appreciate your prayers and financial support. Thank you for partnering with us so we can work alongside our Bolivian leaders to encourage and train them, so they can move forward in their ministries. If you would like to donate online to our ministry through Grace Ministries International, please click here.

Please pray:
1. for patience and genuine love as we work with the kids at Carlos Laborde.
2. that our renewal process for our ID cards and drivers licenses will go smoothly.
3. for our Bolivian pastors and their families.
4. that we would have an opportunity to get to know the neighborhood and families around Carlos Laborde.
5. for our health and safety.

Praise:
1. for the growth in the lives of the young leaders at Casa de Misericordia (House of Mercy) Church.
2. for the example of our fathers in family life and ministry. (missions and pastorate)
3. for our faithful prayer warriors who cover us with prayer.
4. for the Church, the Body of Christ, here in Bolivia and around the world.

Serving through Christ,
Dan & Mary Sue Reed

No Comments

Congratulations to GMI missionaries Alex and Deltha Gulart who are serving in Paraguay on the birth of a baby boy, Etienne! He was born this morning at 6:50 am Paraguay time and joins his sister Ainhoa and brother Bastian who have been awaiting his arrival. Etienne weighed in at 9 lbs and is 20 inches long. Deltha and Etienne are both doing well and resting comfortably!

Thank you to all who have prayed for Deltha during her pregnancy. Those prayers are greatly appreciated.

No Comments

Praise the Lord that after 271 days without electricity, our missionaries in Puerto Rico are now getting power! Over the weekend the radio station, the missionary homes, and dorm A started receiving power. Hopefully, today (Monday) dorm B, the office, and the kitchen/dining hall will have power also.

Thank you so much for praying for our missionaries, Camp Caribe, the after school program, and the work teams that have gone down to Puerto Rico to help with repairs since Hurricane Maria hit the island on September 20 of last year. Having electricity is going to make things so much easier for the after school program, the work teams, and the camp program this summer! God is good!

No Comments

GMI missionary Givemore Nyakambiri wrote to the home office saying he and his wife, Sylvia, are taking their 5-year-old son, J-Nathan, to the hospital today (June 6) to begin the Delayed Intensification Phase of chemotherapy for his leukemia. He will have to stay in the hospital for two weeks under close observation. The doctor says that this will be a very tough round of chemo for him. Sylvia will again be staying with him all night. Givemore will try to be there during the day so that Sylvia can go home and get some sleep.

Please pray for this family especially during the next two weeks:

  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they administer the chemo and help J-Nathan to be as comfortable as possible through the side effects.
  • Pray for strength and understanding for J-Nathan as he is so young and doesn’t know why he has to be so sick.
  • Pray for Sylvia as she stays in the hospital all night and sits upright in a wood chair to sleep or possibly can sleep on J-Nathan’s bed if he isn’t sharing it with another sick child.
  • Pray for Givemore as he tries to balance his schedule of working and taking care of his family that is separated for these 2 weeks.
No Comments

MIKE AND LYNN CARAWAY’S LETTER

Dear Family and Friends,

We are so grateful for the wonderful opportunities we have had to be part of GMI’s Tanzania missionary team over the past 15 years. Perhaps our lives have been impacted even more so than the lives of the people we’ve been privileged to minister to and with along the way. We are especially thankful for the support you have given us – prayerfully, financially, and emotionally.

Last year we came back from Tanzania not knowing if we would be returning full-time or not. During the past year in the States, we have had the privilege to be close to our parents and help them through many medical issues. We can see now that the Lord brought us home at this point to be helpful to our parents in this season of life.

After much prayer and many discussions we have come to the conclusion that it would be best for us to resign from full-time missionary service with Grace Ministries International (GMI). This was not an easy decision for our family to make, and we are grateful for opportunities to stay connected with GMI, the people and ministries we have been involved with.

Late last year we spent a couple of months in Tanzania working with Grace Community Development and Education (GCDE) which we were excited to see was continuing on well. It appears there will be many more opportunities to continue mentoring and encouraging GCDE, its staff, and board members as they minister to the people of Tanzania. This fall we will be making another trip to Tanzania in partnership with GMI, GCDE, and St. Martin’s Kids (a group committed to working with the orphanage in Sumbawanga).

Michael participated in a survey trip to the country of Ghana for GMI last fall, and in the next couple of weeks we will be in Belize investigating possibilities for future GMI ministries there. We are excited to continue in a volunteer capacity for Grace Ministries International as opportunities arise.

Thank you again for your greatly appreciated support over the past 15 years during our time in Tanzania. We appreciate your continuing prayers for our family.

With love from Michigan,

Mike, Lynn, and Luka Caraway

 

      

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JEREMY CLARK’S LETTER

May 2018

Dear Friends and Family of the Caraways,

It is much easier to see missionaries leave full-time service with Grace Ministries International when we know they are still going to be around! Mike and Lynn Caraway have exemplified the self-sacrifice necessary to serve on the mission field as they have invested far more in GMI than we could have ever given to them. Likewise, you have blessed Mike and Lynn through your financial support, prayers, and encouragement over the years. Thank you for that. As you read their letter you get just a sense of the enormous impact they have made in Tanzania and elsewhere around the world bettering the lives of others for the sake of the gospel.

I don’t like to think about Mike and Lynn leaving GMI, but they will be doing ministry in a different way which will continue to bless the work the Lord has given us. This month Mike and Lynn will do survey work in Belize. As part of GMI’s Vision 2023, one goal is to open eight new fields by 2023. Taking survey trips to potential new fields, as Mike did when he traveled to Ghana last fall, are essential to this vision. He will remain connected to GCDE in Tanzania and will assist our fields, as opportunities arise, in developing Christ-centered business training, ministries, and outreaches.

Mike and Lynn’s last official day as GMI missionaries is May 31. That date is soon approaching and I would ask you to consider ways you can continue investing in their ministries and the work of GMI around the world. The following are some ways you could direct your support starting in June:

Caraway Ministry Fund – This will help Mike and Lynn with travel to Tanzania to continue work with GCDE, potential new fields, and GMI’s established fields to help develop business training/ministry models.

GCDE – You can help the ongoing ministries of GCDE which includes, among other ministries, literacy programs, cleft palate surgeries, agriculture training, and business training in Tanzania.

Mwanza Outreach – Methodi Mwendapole, a Tanzanian pastor respected by his peers and the GMI missionary community, is planting churches and directing a Bible school program in the strategic region of Mwanza. Because this work is both new and growing rapidly, monthly funds are necessary to keep pace with this vibrant ministry.

GMI missionaries Tom and Michelle Sanchez are serving in Zambia in the short term before relocating to Burundi to open that new field for GMI. In order for Tom and Michelle to continue serving in Africa without having to return to the States in the middle of their term, they will need to raise additional monthly support. Tom and Michelle are veteran missionaries, having served in Congo from 1987-2001 with GMI, and are doing a tremendous job working with church leaders and pastors in Zambia.

If you would like to support any of these ministries, please let us know by mailing back the enclosed return slip with your next gift. After May 31, any gifts we receive for Mike and Lynn’s personal support will be designated for one of these four ministries mentioned above.

Thank you again for investing in Mike and Lynn as they have invested in others. We are thankful for the work they have done and the firm foundation of ministry they have built which will bless the Lord for years to come!

Pressing towards the goal,

Jeremy Clark
Executive Director

No Comments
12345...