Blog Archives


BreakThrough visits Puerto Rico. This Caribbean island was the latest field visited by the GMI-affiliated martial arts team, BreakThrough. From August 1-10 the team performed evangelistic presentations in parks, two churches, a strip mall, and other public venues attracting crowds of all ages who heard the gospel. At Juana Diaz Bible Church, the team conducted a series of evening self-defense classes attended by both regular church goers and several people from the community visiting for the first time. Each class concluded with a message from God’s Word.





Grace Bible Center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is now open. GMI missionary Frosty Hansen and GBC (Centro Bíblico de la Gracia) Board President Miguel Mendez cut the ribbon to officially open the training center on July 22. Those present at the ceremony toured the facility while the inaugural class took place the next day.




Traveling to Zimbabwe at the end of July GMI board member Jim Moore, along with GMI missionary Tom Sanchez (Zambia), and the leader of the Grace Churches in Zambia, Chrispin Mundia, conducted a multiday seminar for around 30 church leaders in Zimbabwe hungry to learn more about the grace of God. This was an opportunity to continue developing a relationship with these churches and to further explore the possibility of working together with them in the future. The conferences were another catalyst encouraging both Zimbabwean and Zambian church leaders to seek ways to develop programs to teach God’s Word and to train and equip members of their local churches.


In Nicaragua, after months of civil unrest, GMI missionaries Emiliano and Raquel Seravalli have resumed offering Bible institute courses. On a related note, twelve years after offering its first class, Grace Bible Institute in Costa Rica, from which Emiliano and Raquel graduated, continues to train another generation of leaders.



On the island of Curacao over the past year, Pastor Michael Look has offered courses in theology and homiletics. Earlier this month in his church, Iglesia Bíblika, he recognized three students who received certificates for their achievements in these courses (see photo).





While evangelism is important to growing and planting churches affiliated with GMI around the world, biblical training is imperative to their succession. Part of our mission is to equip local believers who will ultimately do the training. Pray for more missionaries to help us in this effort. We are looking for additional missionaries to serve in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Zambia, and elsewhere to come alongside local believers to facilitate biblical training to ensure that new generations learn God’s Word.





PROJECT OF THE MONTH. Our Project of the Month is ATV Wheelchairs for Tanzania. These wheelchairs are made by a company called SIDO using bike parts! The wheelchairs last through 5-6 years of hard use in Tanzania in off road conditions and are easily repaired by simply buying bike parts locally and swapping out the broken parts for new ones. The cost to buy and transport a 3-wheel wheelchair 700 miles to the Rukwa Valley is $600. There are several people in the remote Rukwa Valley who could really benefit from using one of these wheelchairs. $1200 for two wheelchairs.


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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.
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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.

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GMI missionary Ted Rabenold informs us that there has been a cholera outbreak in Tanzania in a village where he had some of his men working. Here is a quote from Ted:

“Due to a Rukwa valley Cholera outbreak in which hundreds have been infected the TZ government has set up an emergency Cholera treatment clinic in Lumbesa village, located in the mud flats not far from our Nsanga station.

“Lumbesa is the actual site of the first few cases and heart of the outbreak. They hope that it will subside through education (boil drinking water-wash hands etc) and eradication of garbage. I was there when it started and had to evacuate my builders. It will probably take at least 1-2 weeks to get my construction crew back on site again.

“Outbreaks like this occur every few years. Usually when there is a long rainy season during the rice harvest in May-early June. Tons of laborers pour into the valley to help the locals harvest their rice and due to poor planning they go out to harvest without taking drinking water. Under duress they drink standing rice paddy water which has all sorts of fun microbes in it. This and the Rukwa heat can be a breeding ground for these kinds of problems.

Thanks for praying!

I expect my guys back at it again in two weeks tops.”

Please pray for those who have been affected by the outbreak and also pray that the cholera will be contained and not spread.

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Mike and Lynn Caraway who have served as GMI missionaries in Tanzania for many years will be traveling to Belize next week to survey that country as a potential GMI mission field. They will be staying with Matt and Lindsey DeYoung, former GMI missionaries who had to leave the field of Tanzania when their daughter Lola was diagnosed with leukemia. Following is an article that appeared in the “One Good Thing” section of the online edition of WZZM13, one of our local news stations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on April 17, 2018.

Grace Bible College professor Matt DeYoung teaches students in Belize, after moving his family there late last year.

We are going international with today’s One Good Thing. A professor at Grace Bible College moved his family to Central America, and he’s invited some students along.

Matt DeYoung wanted to move his family to Belize. He then approached Grace Bible College about bringing students down there to teach them firsthand about culture and cultural intelligence. While Matt is living there on their farm with his wife, six kids, and three foster children, he’s now also teaching.

In fact, he’s converting some of his property into dorms for students and visiting professors. He calls Belize the perfect place to teach culture. Ten minutes from his house, he says he has friends who are Creole, Garifuna, Mayan, Mennonite and more.

One student who has already been there and back says, “There has never been a college course that has changed my perspective and taught me so much,” for immersing students in new cultures in order to teach them about those cultures, Matt DeYoung, Grace Bible College, and the students willing to go to Belize get today’s One Good Thing.

If you want to know more about the class being taught in Belize, you can read the following press release:

Cultural Intelligence has been a Buzz-Word in academia for a few years and it is just starting to go mainstream with the epicenter of cultural intelligence training right here in Michigan. A local college professor from Grace Bible College is creating the most unique approach to teaching students cultural intelligence and it all started with him driving his family of six and a dog from their home in Grand Rapids to the Cayo district of Belize in a converted school bus to start building relationships with the local community to truly expose students to people that are invested in the teaching of culture who understand what professor DeYoung is trying to do.

“We are all in” laughs professor Deyoung. We bought a farm, we are fostering 3 children and we are committed to building the most unique experience for college students. We want the trip to be authentic, safe and available for all students. That means buying a large property, converting it into dorms for students and a nice place for visiting friends and professors to stay.

We love Belize and think this is a unique way to draw students into Grace Bible College and to teach something I am very passionate about. Professor DeYoung fell in love with the idea of teaching culture because it has played such a dramatic role in his own life. His story involves worldwide travel, international adoption, fostering children from several different countries, living in Africa and now living in Belize. He believes cultural intelligence is essential to anyone in leadership. Cultural Intelligence allows you to better understand your people and use their creative way of seeing the world to solve problems and generate ideas.

Professor DeYoung describes Belize as “the perfect place to teach culture; Belize is a country of only 350,000 people but it is rich in culture. Within 10 minutes of my house I have friends who are Creole, Garifuna, Mayan, Mestizo and Mennonite. The fact that I live here and am invested in the community allows me to provide students with a unique experience that no tourist could ever receive. The other amazing thing about Belize is that there is no language barrier. The people speak English in every village throughout the country.

Matthew DeYoung has been a college professor for the last six years. De Young explains: “I think this trip says a lot about how special Grace Bible College is; Very few colleges or universities would have allowed me the freedom to follow this dream and build something this unique. When he approached Grace Bible College about moving to Belize and developing a trip that helped students develop their cultural intelligence they were amazingly supportive of the idea. Dr. Scott Shaw of Grace Bible College explains that the college supports him. Dr. Shaw went on the first trip, He explained. It was really a unique experience that will allow students to have a really unique, life-changing experience.”

Emma Summerfield is looking forward to going on one of the trips next year. “I have had classes with professor DeYoung the last 3 years. He genuinely loves students and is so passionate about this trip. Everyone on campus is talking about this trip, and how jealous we are of the pictures of students learning culture in tropical paradise.”

Abigail Bickler a senior from Grace Bible College just returned from the trip and explained that “there has never been a college course that has changed my perspective and taught me so much.” Matt has been my professor for the last 4 years. He has been a my business professor in several classes. Before he came to Grace we did not even offer a degree. Today I know that God called me to business and after taking his courses I know that I am prepared to be an incredible employee for any organization I get a chance to work for.

Professor DeYoung is also fulfilling his passion of creating jobs in developing nations. “I was a missionary in Africa with Grace Ministries International. They are an incredible organization, they taught me everything I know about the way respectful mission work needs to be done.” When we lived in Africa my entire focus was about business as a mission and giving people jobs so there would be less orphans and more opportunity for people. For the last 6 years Matt has been working for as the president and CEO of a franchise organization called Shine. They built their entire business around the Bible verse Matthew 5:16. Matt explains, “I got to watch men and women change their lives by starting a business, I got a chance to coach people through the process. I became more confident that I could coach business people in any size business. When Matt left Shine for Belize it was because he needed to take care of his family. They are adjusting to a new life after God healed his daughter after a 6 year battle with cancer, and because he knew that God had put a leadership team in place at Shine that was so devoted and incredible it was time to use his talents elsewhere.

The DeYoung family is now ready to take reservations for students and guests in Belize. To find out more please contact

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Please pray for Nicaragua and our missionaries there. The country has been going through much civil unrest in recent days. Throughout the country there have been several demonstrations to which the government has responded using both the police and the military. News reports indicate at least 20 protesters and police have been killed during the last few days. The army has entered various cities and power and water are being cut off to different sectors of population centers. Please pray for peace and wisdom for the country. Also pray for our missionaries as they navigate the social upheaval while continuing to be lights in their communities.

Pictures: The army arrived in the city of Matagalpa over the weekend.

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Jerry and Sandi Bomers recently wrote this encouraging update praising the Lord for the growth of the church in Paraguay:

We have had some excellent moments in ministry over the past month as we just finished our first segment of the men’s Bible study and a women’s Bible study started up two weeks ago in our home. We can already see how God has been using these studies to develop relationships on a more personal level. We’ve had close to 100 people coming to the church at least one time per month now. We would love to see the consistency increase as these numbers are right around 35 adults, but this is a huge praise. In the last month we’ve had three new couples consistently attending. We will celebrate our one-year anniversary as a church in just two weeks.

Pray for God to open doors for a piece of property or larger building to rent as we move into the next year of ministry. We are finding that property and rental space are quite expensive within the city of Ciudad del Este.

Please pray for safety in travel on our two-hour drive to and from the city of Caaguazú. We will be changing the time of the Bible study to accommodate the work schedules of some of the Bible study members there. Please pray for the hearts of the people there to be open to the gospel and also to their call as a part of the Body of Christ.

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Ted and Kim Rabenold have been serving in Tanzania since 1991. All three of the Rabenolds’ adult children—Colton, Sierra and Savannah—grew up in Tanzania. They learned to speak Swahili and settled in the remote southwest Rukwa region where they began pioneering work.

The ministry is aimed at impacting the “whole man” physically and spiritually. The Rabenolds have developed two mission stations, the first one in Mumba village and then in Kapenta village, where they constructed a Bible college, a vo-tech school, a lay Bible training center, and a health center. With their excellent team of Tanzanian leaders they are developing water projects, sunflower oil presses (to help farmers diversify their income), fish farming, beekeeper training, livestock improvement projects, and horticultural work. They are also introducing new species of high-yield fruit trees, together with conservation agriculture training. Spiritual outreach work includes: teaching local women marketable skills and Bible, doing evangelism by boat to fishing villages along the lake, and encouraging and overseeing church planting of indigenous national churches.

As Ted and Kim Rabenold move to another part of the Rukwa Valley in Tanzania to begin a new outreach, they will need funds to construct an agriculture training center, build their home, and acquire the necessary equipment to get this new ministry started. The amount of $209,090 will enable them to build their home, buy a tractor with a five-ton tipper, build a training center workshop, install a water and irrigation system, construct a dorm facility with a kitchen and dining area, send a shipping container with tools and tractor implements, erect a wind turbine for the dorm, and install a solar system. If you are interested in donating to this project, click HERE.

To read the Rabenolds March Update, click HERE.

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