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The information in this post comes from Steve Sherman, GMI missionary who has been serving in Tanzania for many years with his wife, Barb.

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In October Mike Caraway, another GMI missionary, and I had an exciting trip to Ghana, West Africa. We were asked to conduct a second survey trip by the GMI board (Joseph Asong, a GMI missionary in Malawi, having made the first trip a year ago). It was fascinating to visit a group of 13 Grace churches that got started through a correspondence ministry 35 years ago. Working on their own with only books to guide them they have developed into a strong indigenous church with proactive plans for evangelism, church planting, and leadership training.

The reason that I am writing this email is to ask you to pray as both they and Grace Ministries International (GMI) consider partnering together to plant churches in other parts of Ghana and more importantly to reach the surrounding countries of West Africa.

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We traveled many hours and were able to visit 12 of their 13 churches.

 

      

In each church we were able to preach and encourage them to continue to reach out. We also were given time to explain who GMI is and how GMI would like to partner in the gospel. They had a lot of questions which we took the time to answer.

      

They had been operating in isolation and were encouraged to learn about the Grace churches in 11 other African countries.

      

On the last day we met with 12 of their 14 leaders to dream about future possibilities. I also got a chance to preach on a radio station that covers half of the country.

Since returning I have been asked to participate on a task force with GMI board members as we seek the way forward in working together with the Grace Churches of Ghana. Please be in prayer that God guides both sides as they decide whether or not to have a partnering relationship and what form that relationship should take.

Thank you again for your prayers and support!

Steve and Barb Sherman

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Tom and Michelle previously served with Grace Ministries International in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1987 to 2000. With the graduation of their youngest daughter Rebecca from Rift Valley Academy in 2000, they returned to the States to create a home base for their three children. Throughout the past few years, they’ve realized God’s calling to return to the mission field and are now ready to take the next steps in serving Him.Tom and Michelle Sanchez.

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We’re back home in Allendale, MI after a long time away visiting churches out West. We made it home in time to reopen our house and spend Thanksgiving with our kids who live in New York City. We’ve been home for a few days, and today Tom is about to leave for Wisconsin to visit churches over the next ten days.

We’ve taken a step of faith and purchased tickets to Zambia and leave on January 16th!  Zambia is our first place of ministry for up to 12 months. We will work with the leaders at Grace Church Zambia in the city of Kabwe before opening a new work in Burundi. Tom is collecting study materials for the workshops and seminars he’ll conduct for church leaders. He will also preach and lead Sunday morning services at Grace Center Church. The nursing school attached to the general hospital is also interested in Tom working with them part-time.

 I will work with Operation Mobilization, which is an international organization that prepares Africans as missionaries. I’ll help future teachers in the schools by observing lessons, coaching them in the process of developing lesson plans, classroom management, biblical integration, and walking with God in the classroom.  We’ll also host two Grace Bible College Senior Worship Arts students, Hailey Petty and David Schrock, for two months. Hailey and David will minister with the main Grace Center Church in Kabwe.

The other big news is that our daughter Samara is engaged, and wedding plans are set for April 28th.  Needless to say we purchased round-trip tickets to Portland, OR where they will marry. It will be a quick trip home for us, but we’re excited for Samara and Phil (pictured left) as they begin a new life together.

We look forward to serving God once again in Africa! Please pray with us as we’re not quite fully supported. We’re stepping out in faith and leaving in January trusting that God will supply all our funds. Pray also that we’ll make a smooth transition to Zambia, for the Zambian leaders, and that God will keep doors open for our future ministry in Burundi.

Thank you all for partnering with us! We appreciate your faithful prayers for the work God has called us to in Africa.

With Love, Michelle & Tom

NOTE: Pictured above right is Tom with our granddaughter Sophia

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This comes from “Crossing the Seas with the Capraris,” the blog of GMI missionaries John and Naomi Caprari and was originally posted October 31, 2016:

It’s an amazing thing to witness the hand of God.

Pregnancy, itself, is a miracle. The way God fearfully and wonderfully makes and creates human beings, His masterpieces, from their very beginning. God has shown us His faithfulness to a higher level than which we have experienced before through this pregnancy. Let us explain:

We found out that Naomi was pregnant in the middle of August. You can only imagine the extreme excitement we felt when we got this news. Maybe, you can also imagine, because of our recent struggles (losing our baby at 5 months, and a second miscarriage last February), the immediate fears and worries that entered our minds.

A couple weeks later Naomi started feeling and having the same exact symptoms she had in our second miscarriage. Because of this Naomi was convinced she already had or was going to miscarry this baby as well. That’s when we started to pray fervently.

By God’s grace, we live nearby a nurse, Joanne Moyer, who was able to direct us to a doctor in the area and gave Naomi the advice to be put on bed rest. Once we visited the doctor, he ordered an ultrasound. After we returned to the doctor with the results, he shared with us that Naomi was pregnant with twins but it was too early to find a heartbeat and that we would need to return in two weeks. During that time, Naomi was to be on bed rest.

Those were two long, difficult weeks. Naomi’s miscarriage like symptoms continued for most of those two weeks and her discomfort only increased. However, we experienced what Scripture describes as a peace that surpasses all understanding. The peace was not necessarily that everything was going to be okay with the pregnancy, but more so, that God was in control and no matter the outcome He has great plans for us.

Those two weeks went by, and instead of returning to the doctor that told us we were pregnant with twins, we decided to go to the main city in Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam, to seek better treatment and accurate results. This is when we met our favorite ultrasound tech.

We’ve visited her twice and she has only given us good news! Also, she is really good at what she does and has great facilities. In our first appointment with her we immediately found out that our baby still had a heartbeat. We were overjoyed with tears of this great news . Then, she also discovered there was a hematoma (a bleed/blood clots) that had formed in the womb.. We’ll never forget what she said about this, “you were going to miscarry, and something stopped this miscarriage.” She then asked us what we had taken or what we had done. Immediately we both knew that it had only been God who kept this baby alive and well.

We were on a high leaving this appointment. Naomi wasn’t required to be on bed rest, but needed to rest often and wasn’t able to do much. We then were to wait 6 more weeks until we returned to Dar to find out if the hematoma had done any scarring to the baby, placenta, or sac that could potentially hinder the continual development of the baby.

As many of you know, we announced that we were pregnant just last week after having our second appointment in Dar. At this appointment our ultrasound tech was astounded that the hematoma had indeed dissolved. She said “that thing was huge” and was amazed that it was completely gone. Once again, we knew right away, that this was surely the hand of God.

We are so thankful to God for his grace, which he has given our family. We anticipate great things for the baby and we covet your prayers for everything to continually develop well. Thanks!

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