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The following is an email update from GMI missionaries Frosty and Cathy Hansen who serve in Bolivia. This is about two anniversaries they are celebrating, so enjoy reading their update.

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My, how quickly time passes! One year ago today, March 7, we arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, eager to see what God had in store for us in our return to the ministry we had left in 2004. What a glorious ride it has been! We have seen the Lord confirm His plans for us to be here in so many ways, both in difficult challenges and joyful blessings.

A major purpose for our being here was to institute a plan for preparing a future generation of leaders for our Bolivian churches. It’s encouraging to see the construction of our facility near completion with painting this week, but what about a program for teaching? And how can we best facilitate Bolivian leadership in this ministry?

With the approval of the Bolivian national church, Frosty has been able to form a committee of young professionals to spearhead the plans for the Training Center (see picture above). These five young adults are deeply committed to Christ and desire to see this program produce godly men and women who are committed to teaching and living out all aspects of grace theology. Our weekly meetings have produced a new name, vision and mission statement, which we will share in due time.

We feel God was very instrumental in putting this committee together. They are highly motivated and their various areas of gifts have produced great insights and helped plot a good direction. Currently we are working at formulating a curriculum to effectively equip believers in their knowledge of God’s Word and to faithfully serve Christ in their churches and communities or as future pastors and missionaries.

Our greatest need at this time is for qualified teachers with the ability to effectively communicate in Spanish or a willingness to learn. We need men and women with a heart to effectively teach and model the truths of Scripture. How might God use YOU to meet this great need?

Last Sunday Cathy was able to visit another of our churches with the women’s committee. The people at the church in San José are dear to our hearts from the many opportunities we had to minister there years ago. Cathy spent a lot of time with these women when they were young mothers, and 20 years later was able to encourage these grandmothers (see picture left) and their daughters to make daily Bible reading a priority in their lives.

As you see from the picture on the right, we also celebrated another very special occasion of our 39th wedding anniversary on March 3. My, how time flies! Our love for one another continues to grow, and we are totally amazed at God’s faithfulness and goodness to us through the years. We never could have imagined all He had in store for us as a couple, including bringing us back here to live and serve Christ.

Thank you for your interest in our ministry. We appreciate your prayers for the items below.

Thank God with us for…
1. Peaceful times in Bolivia. God answered prayers when the president rescinded laws that were the source of conflict.
2. The Training Center committee. God has greatly encouraged us through their eagerness to serve and their fresh ideas.
3. Our faithful support team. We thank the Lord for all who pray and give sacrificially to make this ministry possible.

We ask for your prayers…
1. Frosty’s three major teaching times. Teaching doctrine to a church board on Wednesday; theology classes to pastors on Friday; classes with theology students on Sunday afternoons.
2. Cathy’s discipleship opportunities. She has been a source of encouragement and prayer partner to pastors’ wives and other young women.
3. Teachers for the Training Center. We are praying for people dedicated to a ministry of teaching God’s Word and mentoring.

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Despite being without power since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico September 20 (over 5 months ago), Camp Caribe is functioning using several back-up generators. The Gospel continues to be shared, impacting lives for His glory. This past weekend at a retreat put on by the staff of Camp Caribe several high school students came to faith in Christ. Praise God for the transforming power of the Gospel and the hope it brings to an island that is fighting for survival. A big thank you to the mission teams that have gone down to Puerto Rico and helped get Camp Caribe up and running again.

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This article was first shared by GMI missionary Brook Seekins and was written by Amy Medina, a missionary who has been serving in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with her husband and four children since 2001 – first at Haven of Peace Academy for 10 years, and in 2014 they joined Reach Tanzania, a pastoral training ministry.

The official title of the article is “10 Myths About Africa Many Americans Believe” and it is worth your time to read in its entirety to see how many of the myths you believed. Here are the myths covered in the article:

  1. Africa is a country.
  2. Africans are all poor.
  3. Africa is not clean.
  4. Africans do not have access to clothes or shoes.
  5. Africans dress in rags.
  6. Africans all live in villages.
  7. Village life would be perfect if white people weren’t messing it up.
  8. All Africans are black.
  9. Poverty is Africa’s biggest problem.
  10. Africa has been evangelized.

Here is the link to the article: http://gilandamy.blogspot.ro/2017/02/10-myths-about-africa-many-americans.html. See what you think!

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Exciting things are happening in Paraguay because of God’s mighty hand on this ministry and the willing hearts and open lives of the Paraguayan people who love Him! Watching this video will bring you to a place of praising God and knowing better how to pray for this ministry and our GMI missionaries serving Him there in Ciudad del Este (CDE)! The ministries are even starting to expand to a location about 2 hours outside of CDE.

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Brook Seekins was scheduled to leave for her new field of Malawi last Saturday and was doing her last-minute packing when she received a call from her travel agent informing her that her flight for the next morning was cancelled. He had already started looking into other flights. The next available booking was two days later. So Brook enjoyed her extra couple of days with family, watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, and getting a couple more nights of good sleep.

On Monday morning, February 12, she left Ohio and is now safely in Malawi where Bill and Sue Vinton are helping her get settled. She is thankful for all your prayers.

PRAISES:

  • The luggage arrived without problems.
  • I had empty seats next to me on my 13-hour flight so I could lay down and get some sleep.
  • Finding out my flight was cancelled early enough so that I could enjoy the time.
  • So many people praying for me
  • God’s grace through this past year of transition
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BreakThrough’s Latin American invasion continues! Take a look at this video about BreakThrough—the GMI-affiliated martial arts team headed to Nicaragua this summer. The team will work with our missionaries in the areas of Nagarote and Matagalpa to aid their efforts to evangelize, draw people into their ministries, and generate even more contacts so they can continue to push forward with their church planting and discipleship ministries. To find out more about BreakThrough’s trip to Nicaragua this August, click HERE to read an informational letter. In total, the team needs to raise over $9,000. If you would like to help financially, follow the instructions contained in the letter or in the video.

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Congratulations to GMI missionaries in Paraguay, Talo and Patty Vergara, on the birth of Lucas Andres Vergara Diaz. Mother and baby are doing fine. Lucas was born yesterday, February 8, weighing 9 lbs, 5 oz, and he’s 21 inches long. He arrived just in time to watch the Olympics with Mom and Dad! Pray for Talo and Patty as they adjust to being parents.

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Many of you have heard that J-Nathan Boyd—the five-year old son of some of GMI’s newest missionaries, Givemore and Sylvia Nyakambiri—was recently diagnosed with leukemia. The Nyakambiris had just returned from visiting churches in the States to Malawi, where they are assigned to serve for a time before ultimately moving to Mozambique, when they received the diagnosis. Doctors have started treatment which could last 2-3 three years. This news is devastating for the Nyakambiri family as they begin to come to terms with the diagnosis and continue to look into various options for treating their son over the long term.

Over the past several days many of you have compassionately asked how you can help the Nyakambiris in addition to heartfelt prayers you are already offering. The biggest need at this time is monthly support. It was very encouraging to them that during their short, two-month visit to the States they were able to raise just over half of the monthly support they need to live and serve in Malawi and then in Mozambique. Given the length of their stay, we are so grateful for the way God’s people have graciously given towards their ministry through GMI. However, they are still about $1,000 short of their monthly support goal. If they are fully supported this will give them some peace of mind and flexibility as they determine the best treatment options for J-Nathan. Furthermore, it will help offset the increased expenses associated with J-Nathan’s prolonged hospital stays such as more frequent travel, extra food costs, and other expenses incidental to his care.

While special gifts are certainly appreciated to help the Nyakambiri family, we ask that you consider giving monthly as well. There are a few ways you can make a gift towards the Nyakambiris’ ministry with GMI. First, you can give online by clicking HERE which will direct you to their page on the GMI website. There is a donation button at the bottom of this page. You can also mail your gift for the Nyakamibiri ministry to GMI at PO Box 9405, Grand Rapids, MI 49509. You could also call us (616-241-5666) to set up your monthly donation and/or make a special gift. Another way to give is by downloading a “SIMPLIFLY YOUR GIVING FORM” and sending it to GMI to facilitate your monthly donations. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email (gmi@gracem.org) or call the office.

We ask you to pray for this family which has left their home country of Zimbabwe to serve with us in Africa. The Nyakambiris are a wonderful, godly family dedicated to serving the Lord, and we are glad they are part of the GMI family.

Pressing towards the goal,

Jeremy Clark

Executive Director

 

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Grace Ministries International has three couples serving in Paraguay as part of the missionary team in Ciudad del Este – Jerry and Sandi Bomers; Alex and Deltha Gulart; and Talo and Patty Vergara. According to the 2002 census, 89.6% of all Paraguayans 10 years of age and older identified themselves as Catholics. Evangelical Christianity accounts for less than 10% of the population. GMI’s ministry began in Paraguay in 2015.

The Grace Ministries International missionary team in Paraguay is starting off 2018 wanting to expand its reach into new parts of the country. The initial church plant in Ciudad del Este is finding its stride with a solid core of attendees and new people visiting regularly. In fact, seven new people—two couples and three individuals—attended the church for the first time this past Sunday.  Even as the church continues to establish itself, the missionary team is looking to conduct Bible studies and ministry trips in the city of Caaguazú which is strategically located at the halfway point on the highway between Asunción and Ciudad del Este. Attendees of the church in Ciudad del Este had contacts in Caaguazú which the church and our missionary team are pursuing in order to test the possibility of planting a church there.

Here is a link to a video showing the city of Caaguazú so you can get a feel for what the city is like:

https://1drv.ms/v/s!As33BobO6RLlguNv5hbm0LyamG_RtQ

NOTE: The picture above is of one of the roads going into the city of Caaguazú.

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Our God is a patient God. He doesn’t get angry at our questions. Why, God?

Just this morning we heard the news…again.

Another GMI MK has been diagnosed with leukemia. J-Nathan Nyakambiri in Malawi has been struggling with his health for quite some time. He is only five years old. Why, God?

His mom Sylvia isn’t doing so well adjusting to this news she heard just yesterday and his dad Givemore needs prayer, too. They haven’t had time to absorb what they have heard, yet tomorrow Sylvia and J-Nathan have to go to the hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, which is much more barren than anything we’ve ever known as a hospital and they must stay there 24/7 for the next six weeks for chemotherapy…with Mom caring for J-Nathan and staying right by his side.

Our hearts are breaking for this family…BUT we know we have a sovereign God who can work miracles.

Would you PLEASE join us in prayer for J-Nathan?

We will update you as more information becomes available.

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