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Mission News

Monday
Mar232015

Rev. Ferrari - Milan, Italy

Yi Wang is a young man 25 years of age.  Five years ago he came to Italy as an unbeliever to study architecture.  While studying at the University of Turin, he came across some evangelical Christians and was subsequently converted and baptized in a Baptist church.  He attended this church until he moved to Milan to continue his studies.  As a new believer, he was hungry for the Word of God, and sought to understand more deeply the Gospel.  He began to find material on the internet, and, in the providence of God, came across Reformed literature online.  Consequently, he began reading Calvin's Institutes and some of the puritans.  He then began to search for a Reformed church, and soon found the website of our congregation. Yi and his fiance Huimin - who now became his wife - have been part of our church for more than three years now.  Yi is not only an exceptionally bright young man, he is also very passionate about the Gospel and the Reformed confessions.  He has consistently invited people to church - many of whom are Chinese students in Milan - and several have professed faith and become members of our church.  Yi also translates Reformed material into the Chinese language and has developed a website dedicated to teaching Reformed theology to Chinese speakers.  Yi feels a call to minister to the rapidly growing population of Chinese people in Milan, Italy, and hopes one day to help plant a church here.  After observing Yi's godly character, humility, and zeal for the Gospel, our Consistory began to encourage Yi to consider training for the ministry.  Recently, we received communication from Westminster Seminary California about scholarships for students willing to plant churches outside North America.  The seminary will cover the cost of tuition, but not living expenses.  We have asked churches in our Federation to assist us in sending Yi to the seminary.  Some churches have already responded, however, at this poinit, we are not yet in a position to know if Yi will be able to start in 2015 or 2016.  Europe has around 3,000,000 Chinese.  In Milan alone there are over 20,000 Chinese.  It is our hope and prayer that Yi will not only plant a church in Milan, but also might start an outreach to the European Chinese community.

Monday
Mar232015

Word & Deed

The past year has seen increasingly aggressive Islamist terrorist groups carry out deeds of hatred in an every widening number of countries.

Word & Deed came alongside churches in Turkey in reaching out to thousands of Yazidi refugees fleeing the mind numbing horror that is ISIS.  Many Yazidi refugees have heard the Gospel, likely for the first time in their lives.

In Nigeria, where Boko Haram (which means "western education is forbidden") is wreaking havoc in northern areas of the country, Word & Deed has been supporting two Christian schools for 15 years which have grown to a total of just under 2,000 students and are now totally self supporting under God's gracious provision.

Please continue to pray for the child oriented projects in Ecuador, India, Malawi, and Myanmar.

Monday
Dec082014

Dale and Nancy Knutson

Jared Sheppard a first year medical student in microbiology, came to Cambodia as a summer intern. Displaying his gift for teaching at Mercy Medical Center, he graciously and skillfully imparted to the students how to begin a physical examination, based upon the knowledge he gained as student at medical school in Houston Texas.  Students, including young ladies, joyfully received practical medical knowledge. As the Khmer students leave each session they pray for the Knutsons and invite them to return to teach them. The Knutsons have a new donation address: Mission to the World, PO Box 2589, Suwanee, GA 30024-0982, Account 13944.

Dale writes on Nov. 6, 2014:  “On October 24, Nancy and I traveled to Thailand to the Bumrungrad hospital. I was scheduled to go into hernia repair surgery on the 27th and two days later I was released from the hospital and so far have felt minimal pain.  The support of a loving wife, loving attention from team mates, and prayer and encouragement from people all over the world, clearly reminded Nancy and myself of God’s grace and mercy. Thank you for your support and love.”

Sunday
Apr282013

Bill and Aletha Green

Bill and Aletha Green

Bill and Aletha Green serve in Central and South America. They live in San Jose, Costa Rica, but as the executive secretary of the Latin American Fellowship of Reformed Churches (CLIR in Spanish), Bill (aka "Guillermo") has been engaged in the training of pastors, elders, and leaders of Christ's church throughout all of Latin America for the past 27 years! There are many Reformed Churches in Latin America, but they are disconnected and many are struggling. By putting stronger churches in touch with weaker ones, CLIR has been changing that. They also help pay for the airfare of professors and gifted pastors so that they can participate in conferences and teaching ministries throughout Latin America.

CLIR has a print shop in San Jose that publishes theological journals. Each year some 5000 journals are printed and sent out to Latin American pastors. The print shop also translates into Spanish and publishes many well-known Reformed books and commentaries. For example, the print shop is currently working on John Calvin's two volume commentary on Genesis. You can visit the CLIR website at http://www.clir.net to see the many books that have been already translated and printed. CLIR also promotes theological education by maintaining an international Accreditation Committee for seminaries and theological institutions.

Besides CLIR, Bill and Aletha have helped to establish the Tepeyac Christian School. At present there are some 25 students in attendance at the School who come from families who are members of a local Reformed church. This church is located in a marginalized community, called Los Cuadros, which has severe social needs and much family disintegration. The vision of the school is to provide Christian education to these marginalized Christian families. However, since the families are unable to pay tuition for this kind of Christ-centered education, the school relies on the support of donors in the U.S.

The new Tepeyac High School building is a continuation of the completed Christian grade school, but the construction of the building is not yet completed, having been underway since 2001 (almost 12 years). The construction of the school has been largely done by work teams sent by United Reformed Churches in the U.S. on a yearly basis. Because of the recent economic downturn, however, the construction of the three-story high school building, made of concrete and steel, has been much delayed. Right now all 12 grades are meeting in a very crowded grade school, waiting for the completion of the new High School.

For pictures of the construction of the school over the past 12 years, watch the video at the following link:

http://www.reformedmissions.org/costa-rica-2012-many-hands-work-project-video.html

Sunday
Apr282013

Dale and Nancy Knutson

On Sunday, December 2, Dale and Nancy Knutson, two of our missionaries, gave a report of their work in Cambodia during the Sunday School hour. The Knutsons have been affiliated with Christ Reformed Church for many years, and Nancy is the sister of Charlotte Anderson. Here are some highlights from their presentation.

Under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s, all but 30 medical professionals were killed, creating a vacuum in Cambodia of medical workers. Dale, a pediatrician, works at the Mercy Medical Center (MMC), where Mission to the World (MTW) and other mission agencies work together in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Missionaries and pastors refer poor patients to MMC for care, where medical care is given and the gospel is presented. In this setting, Dale speaks to patients about their physical needs and also their spiritual needs. The MTW medical team also provides physical care and evangelistic outreach via mobile medical clinics in village areas.

Dale and Nancy mentor Cambodian medical students who accompany the teams to the village areas as interpreters. One such medical student, named Kosal, has worked closely with Dale and is mentored by email with a California oncologist who served on a short-term medical team. As Kosal translates for Dale, he is a captive audience. Dale has given Kosal a Bible and asks us to pray that God would open his heart to Christ.

In Dale’s report, he spoke too of several other Cambodian doctors and medical students for whom we can pray. Vatay is a Cambodian medical student who attends Khmer Christian Church. Chen, Sophy, and Pheareum are Cambodian medical doctors who will be leaders in their generation. Pheareum is already a Christian and will work as an intern at the MMC. Socheata is a pediatrician and is open to the Gospel. Jeany Jun is the MMC's pharmacist, who also mentors a young Christian pharmacist. Sovanny and his wife (a midwife) are new Christians. Sovanny is also employed by MTW.

Early in 2012, a new church started in the city of Phnom Penh, called Khmer Christian Church, planted by Pastor Samath and his wife Vina (also a medical student). Luke and Sokha Smith are church planters in another province of Cambodia, and their church building has walls made of woven bamboo! Besides Cambodia, the Knutsons also visit Myanmar (formerly Burma), where there is a church plant there organized by Pastor Puia.

Dale does antics with his fingers that he calls his "silliness." He can make his thumb appear and disappear, play music by strumming his lips with his fingers, and create hearing aids and inhalers out of old plastic bottles. Once he gets going, he always attracts a crowd. These have proved to be wonderful opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with those gathered around!

Please continue to pray for the Knutsons’ work and pray too for those Dale mentioned: Kosal, Vatay, Chen, Sophy, Pheareum, Socheata, Jeany Jun, Sovanny & his wife, Pastor Samath & his wife Vina, Luke & Sokha Smith, and Pastor Puia.