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Frosty Hansen, GMI Missionary in Bolivia, shares the following exciting news with us concerning the progress of building the Bolivia Training Center in Santa Cruz. They are 80% of the way towards raising the funds needed to complete this much-needed training center to prepare future generations of church leaders. If after reading this the Lord is working in your heart to join the team of financial donors, you may click HERE for more information. Please pray for this project as they move through the construction phase. Exciting things are happening in Santa Cruz, Bolivia! 

This picture above was taken on August 23 when Frosty and his wife, Cathy, presented a check for half the cost of the new Training Center construction project to the owner of the construction company. On the far right next to Cathy is Pepe Yucra, the president of the MEB (the national denomination), who officially signed the contract with the architect/builders. Future payments will be made and money is being set aside for the costs of equipping the building (seats/desks, teacher desks with lecterns, acrylic boards, video projectors, air conditioning, bookshelves, and office furniture).

In the picture, we are standing in the MEB office, which will continue to be on the first floor of the building with the Training Center occupying the second floor. The Training Center will contain three classrooms (one large and two medium), a library, a restroom, an office for a receptionist, and an office for the director. It will be accessible by an interior stairway and an exterior ramp.

The work will begin this week with the removal of the roof, which was originally designed to be raised for a second floor.

Today I will begin classes for our current pastors who are in the Santa Cruz area in preparation for ordination. Each Friday evening in September and October we will meet for two hours for an overview of the different areas of systematic theology, beginning with the Bible. The classes will include practical application of the truths we are studying. Early next year we will begin studying Dispensational Theology, and then a series on Pastoral Theology as they get ready for the ordination process.

Twice a month I am meeting with students who are currently studying at other theological institutions to answer questions, specifically regarding what they are receiving in their classes as it compares with the doctrine of the Misión Evangélica Bethesda (MEB). They have asked to begin by looking at when the Church, the Body of Christ, began. I started with two weeks (1½ hours each) investigating the difference between the Church and Israel. On September 10 we will discuss various possibilities of when the Church began and look for biblical reasons for/against these options.

We are hoping to begin a broader array of classes for everyone after the first of the year. The construction should be completed by mid-December.

So let’s keep praying for this ministry! Pray for safety for the construction workers, a clear presentation of the lessons, more students, understanding of what is presented, and faithfulness in attendance so much is learned!

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At the February 2013 board meeting, GMI adopted its 10-year ministry plan. Part of reaching the goals set is having more missionaries join the GMI family on the various mission fields. Below you can see the areas where there are specific opportunities to serve, but note under “General” there are areas we may not have thought of yet. Will you please pray with us for those individuals who God has for those areas of service? Could one of them be you?

General:
  • In addition to the specific needs we have listed below, we would ask you to pray that God would simply raise up missionaries to meet needs or expand works on existing and new fields which we have not even considered or thought of or we may not even know about yet.
Bolivia:
  • Bolivia is an established field with churches located in and around the cities of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, and La Paz. In recent years, the Bolivian churches have recognized the need to have their own training center to equip men and women for ministry. We are looking for more teammates who will come alongside our current GMI missionaries and the Bolivian leadership to teach the Bible, theology, and ministry skills as we prepare godly pastors, leaders, and missionaries to expand the ministry to other regions of Bolivia and neighboring countries. 
Mozambique:
  • GMI missionaries Kennedy and Sofia Simtowe are returning to Mozambique in 2017 to continue to facilitate the process of church registration and to seek approval of their work permits. There are already a handful of churches in that country associated with the ministry of GMI organizing themselves into a national church structure. Kennedy’s emphasis will be church planting and evangelism. We need missionaries who can come alongside the churches and believers in Mozambique in order to better equip and provide further education for the pastors and church leaders. This would be similar to the ministry in Malawi, where GMI missionary Bill Vinton and GMI Partners Joseph Asong and Eric Mango are providing theological education for pastors and church leaders to edify the churches already established in this field.
Nicaragua:
  • Nicaragua became one of GMI’s fields early in 2014 when GMI missionaries, Jeff and Sally Roth, along with GMI Associate Missionaries, Emiliano and Raquel Seravalli, moved there to begin their ministries. Each week around 100 adults, youth, and children pass through Emiliano and Raquel’s home in the town of Nagarote for various Bible studies, worship services, clubs, and discipleship groups. Jeff and Sally took survey trips to the region in and around Matagalpa and have begun a new ministry in that area with the goal of planting churches. They have been joined by GMI missionaries Brett and Debby Chapman who host weekly Bible studies in their home.With two ministry sites, we need to increase our missionary force. We would like to see additional missionaries or missionary families with a desire to evangelize, disciple, and establish local churches work with our Nicaragua team in Nagarote or Matagalpa.
Paraguay:
  • Paraguay, located between GMI’S field of Bolivia and our affiliated field of Uruguay, is our newest field opened in June 2015, when GMI missionaries Alex and Deltha Gulart moved to Ciudad del Este to begin their evangelism and teaching ministry. We are looking for even more teammates to come alongside and complement them and GMI missionaries Jerry and Sandi Bomers as we strive to plant churches in Paraguay. We are looking for individuals with a heart to disciple new believers and help establish them into local churches. The goal of the ministry in Paraguay is to plant churches in Ciudad del Este, throughout the rest of the country, and even into neighboring Argentina and Brazil.
Puerto Rico:
  • GMI is committed to working with established churches and ministries in Puerto Rico which share our common beliefs and our desire to evangelize, plant churches, and disciple future leaders in the Body of Christ. Because of this commitment, GMI is actively looking for energetic and motivated missionaries to come alongside affiliated churches and ministries on the island to further facilitate ministry efforts in such areas as: evangelism, youth ministry and outreach, theological training, development of methods for effective church planting, and practical training of Puerto Rican workers in the Body of Christ who will serve both in Puerto Rico and in other parts of the world as fellow missionaries. Understanding that finding just one person to meet all of these needs would be difficult, we would enjoy talking to anyone who is interested in any one or more of these areas of ministry.
Zambia:
  • The GMI ministry in Zambia needs missionaries to mentor and encourage pastors both in their practical, day-to-day ministry responsibilities and to help further their understanding of God’s Word and His grace. To help meet this need, GMI’s goal is to implement a regional Bible school program (already under development) which will be run by the Grace Church of Zambia.
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The following was written by Frosty Hansen and first appeared in the Hansens’ recent email update. Frosty and Cathy are missionaries serving in Bolivia under Grace Ministries International.

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Three months ago we arrived in Bolivia fully aware of some challenges which lay before us. Some of these were personal – adjusting once again to life in Santa Cruz, getting up to speed with our Spanish, making needed repairs to the house, fulfilling residency requirements and purchasing a vehicle. Though Spanish is always a work in progress and the paperwork was more cumbersome than we anticipated, the final obstacles were overcome the last Friday of May when Frosty completed his three-week wait for a driver’s license and took possession of a 1999 Mitsubishi Montero. Thanks for your prayers!


But we did not come to Bolivia just to establish residency and become part of the organized mayhem which is Santa Cruz traffic. Grace Ministries International’s Bolivian partners, the Misión Evangélica Bethesda (MEB), requested assistance in establishing a theological training center which will equip men and women to serve both here in Bolivia and as missionaries to other Latin American countries. Though ministry training has long been a focus of GMI’s work in Bolivia, the formal training facility had ceased operation a number of years ago.


Since our arrival Frosty has met with the MEB leadership on countless occasions, discussing how to move forward. Since adequate facilities are a major need, a lot of time was spent examining and praying about potential plans for a new facility. In May the MEB tentatively approved a plan to add a second story to their existing building (picture and architect drawing above) to house the classrooms, library and office space of the Centro Teológico Bethesda (CENTEB). Demonstrating their commitment to the project and a willingness to make a sacrifice for the future generations, the MEB pledged to raise $15,000 toward the project.


Our recent bi-annual newsletter from GMI mentions GMI’s willingness to partner with the MEB in the construction project. If you did not receive our letter in the mail, you can read it HERE.

  

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Frosty and Cathy Hansen, GMI missionaries in Bolivia, recently obtained their 3-year residency in Bolivia and they are praising the Lord! In their recent email update which was sent to their supporters and those interested in their ministry they wrote:

“A tremendous feeling swept over us as we walked out of the immigration office in Santa Cruz on May 3 with our passports in hand. Inside was the page seen above, indicating our papers had been accepted in La Paz and we are now official residents for a three-year period. Praise the Lord! The initial three-year residency is fairly new and a cost saver. Over the past number of years other missionaries have started with a one-year residency, meaning they would soon need to go through additional paperwork and expense to have it renewed, so the three-year residency is a true blessing!

“This now opens the door for us to get our Identification cards, a requirement for everyone in Bolivia whether a natural citizen or a foreign guest. We will present those papers on Friday morning May 5. Once that card is emitted, Frosty can pursue a Bolivian driver’s license after which we will purchase a vehicle, enabling us to get to our churches and accomplish our ministry with greater ease.”

Frosty and Cathy Hansen recently returned to Bolivia, where they previously served with Grace Ministries International from 1993-2004. Frosty’s ministry for the past 12 years has been as president of the Grace Gospel Fellowship (GGF), the association of pastors, churches, and organizations of which GMI is affiliated. They are getting involved in theological education, ministry training, mentoring, and women’s ministries. Please pray for them as they get settled into their life and ministries in Bolivia.

        

Above left: A great group of Santa Cruz pastors who were challenged to personal growth and the development of future leaders for the MEB (the Bolivian church, Misión Evangélica Bethesda)

Above right: Emanuel Church anniversary with Elisa Ortega and daughters, Silvana and Lilibeth.

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Pictured in the cover photo: GMI missionary Dan Reed and Frosty, along with MEB president José Yucra and vice-president, Santos Ortega.

Frosty and Cathy Hansen recently returned to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a place they had served from 1993 to 2004 and they loved the people and ministry there. We want to share with you a recent email update they sent to their interested support team because it carries such an important message for all of us.

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For this we have Christ!
Ants, ants and more ants! No, ants are not uncommon in Bolivia, but it is a bit disconcerting when they invade your bathroom, the white outlet now totally black with the little creatures and their friends exploring the walls, sink, and floor. Cathy called out and went to work trying to wipe them up (and out), while Frosty went outside to find their homebase and do what is possible to eliminate the potential of a return visit. With frustration levels reaching uncertain heights, Cathy glanced at her mirror and saw her handwritten reminder from a retreat she attended: “For this I have Jesus!”

This is the perspective we strive to keep each day. When we remind ourselves of Christ’s abiding presence in our lives through trials or blessings, it radically changes our attitudes and approach to life. Cathy’s glance at those simple but powerful words made a difference. Frustration gave way to surrender, which turned to praise for our God’s faithful presence, strength, and calling in our lives.

Our “Inca wall”

For this we have Christ! We are slowly but steadily advancing as we settle into our new home. Ciro, a very competent handyman, has undertaken a series of projects, including the needed repair of the bathroom outlet (the ants apparently had their own technician who unhooked the wires), fixing the oven and stove, and patching cracks in the outside wall. Ciro also began the job of repairing a number of cracks in the inside walls (pardon his dust from plaster and bricks), thus creating some interesting designs until it is time to paint. The picture to the left has been dubbed by Cathy our “Inca wall.” Furniture is being added and the ongoing projects both inside and outside will continue for a bit longer…once the current rains stop. We thank God for those who have given to help these projects move forward.

For this we have Christ: Cathy was greatly blessed during the four-day retreat sponsored by “Azmera.” A group of 11 women came from the States to pamper and minister to the 20 missionary women who attended. It was a refreshing time of sharing with other women, hearing from God’s Word, getting pedicures and massages, and worshiping the Lord together. Also attending the retreat were two other GMI missionaries, our co-worker in Bolivia Mary Sue Reed and Joy Befus from Costa Rica.

For this we have Christ: Establishing our residency in Bolivia has been our chief goal during these initial weeks. What we had hoped would be a quick process has turned into a waiting game with just a little bit of progress until now. A trip to Interpol (the international police organization), the Bolivian justice department, and the police and anti-drug task force has shown we have no records, which didn’t surprise us and hopefully doesn’t surprise you! But two important trips to immigration have sent us scurrying for additional documentation, and a third attempt found their offices closed as they were relocating. We will try once more on Thursday, April 6, confident that the timing rests in the Lord’s hands and at peace with whatever happens. When the residency is finally approved in La Paz, a month after approval here, we can move forward toward getting our ID cards, then a driver’s licence and a vehicle.

For this we have Christ: Even though the residency process is slowing some things down, we are seeing a great interest among the leadership and churches we are here to serve. Frosty and Dan Reed have had productive meetings with the leaders of the Misión Evangélica Bethesda (MEB) (pictured in cover photo) regarding the future training center, and a number of individuals have excitedly indicated their desire for further study. Frosty is meeting weekly with a young man who is interested in missions and wants to be more securely grounded in the Word and in his knowledge of Grace theology. A number of churches are beginning to use a booklet on the basic theological beliefs of the MEB which Frosty prepared several years ago, and one church board has asked him to help them work through it. We are excited to see the growing interest in this ministry. The future of the work in Bolivia is quite promising!

For this we have Christ: Cathy currently is recovering from a severe intestinal infection. Frosty received some scrapes and a sore shoulder when he tripped on an uneven sidewalk during a morning walk. Otherwise, we are quite young and healthy! We thank God for His faithfulness and the joy of serving Him here in Bolivia!

Cathy was blessed by her small group at the Azmera Retreat.

Praise the Lord with us for:
A good working relationship with the MEB leadership.
The high level of anticipation for our Training Center.
Blessings received by Cathy at the Azmera retreat.
Opportunities to share Christ with taxi drivers.

Pray for us:
The residency process.
Cathy’s recovery from her infection; consistent good health.
Opportunities to teach, mentor, and share the gospel.
Wisdom as we counsel and encourage young people.

For this we have Christ!
Years ago at youth camp, Frosty learned a song entitled, “For This I Have Christ” by Pastor Wayne A. Webb. We were unable to find the lyrics, but it went something like this:

For this I have Christ! For this I have Christ!
In trouble and trial and tragedy,
When fears and frustrations are plaguing me,
I meet the attack with this strategy –
For this, for this I have Christ!

For this I have Christ! For this I have Christ!
The darts of the wicked one hurled at me,
And Satanic pressures oppressing me,
I know that in Christ I have victory!
For this, for this I have Christ!

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Frosty and Cathy wrote this earlier today: “The trip begins! Getting ready to board the flight to Chicago – the first leg of the journey. Good to have prayer this morning with the GMI staff and then at the airport with Craig and Pat Apel and Don TenHoeve. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support.”

Frosty and Cathy Hansen left for Bolivia today! Please pray as they have said their goodbyes to friends and family and are traveling all the way to Bolivia. Please also pray for adjustments to their new life and ministry as it begins in Bolivia. We are excited for the wonderful things God has in store!

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GMI missionaries Dan and Mary Sue Reed are faithful in writing a monthly email update to their team of interested supporters of their ministries in Bolivia. On December 9, 2016, they had something very special to report concerning the mission (called the MEB) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, as well as other activities on the field:

“Last Sunday evening, Mary Sue and I attended the 58th Anniversary of our mission here in Santa Cruz. It was such a blessing to see a new generation of our young leaders participating in this evening of thanks and praise! Julian Chambi, the president of our mission challenged all in attendance by saying, ‘we have churches, schools, a camp and ministries but of most importance is that we grow spiritually!’

“We’re looking forward to Frosty and Cathy Hansen returning to Bolivia to work together with us in the ministry. Their desire is to reach full support to enable them to arrive in Bolivia the first week of March. They know the mission, language and Bolivian culture. This is the ideal time for them to return to Bolivia. They bring experience and passion in the desire to work alongside the Bolivian leadership to help prepare the next generation of pastors and Bolivian missionaries to reach other areas of South America.

“Tomorrow morning, we’ll be making a trip to Viru Viru airport to pick up 4 grandchildren of former missionaries, Art and Gretchen Matychuk. The following Wed., the John Mattias family will be arriving. John’s father and mother, Eduardo and Dorothy Mattias, were also missionaries for many years here in Bolivia. This will be a special time for these family members to again visit the country where their relatives are so loved.

“Tonight is a fund-raising concert for a new ministry in Cochabamba. The son of one of our pastors is working towards creating a ministry to children living on the city streets. The goal of tonight’s concert is to provide food for 1,000 street children.”

Exciting things are happening in Bolivia!

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