A Word From Steve Jones
MAY 13th, 2019
Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… I thought you would be encouraged to hear about some stories of ministry from our Fellowship International missionaries. These are good news stories:
It is difficult to share Christ in this country. Last year one of our veteran missionary families was told by the government they had two months to leave the country. After 20 plus years of ministry and no explanation, this was a shock. Our mission’s personnel live in difficult circumstances, but God remains faithful and the church continues to grow. Our personnel have been involved in Family Camp through the years. Here is one story, the testimony of one Pakistani mother who attended a family camp recently:
“When my husband said we were going to a family program, I was extremely worried; who knows what kind of environment it will be? My husband said they are not of our religion (those at the camp where we would be going), so I made a lot of excuses so that we could not go. But my husband and children really wanted to go.
“The first day went by with a lot of shame and fear, and I only enjoyed it a little bit. But by the second day it seemed like everyone were brothers and sisters; they were like friends and people we’ve known for a long time – I received a lot of love.
“I say my daily prayers and used to believe that only our fellow religious people are good and worthy and that all others are blasphemers. But coming here to this camp, I felt like I was in my own home or together with my own relatives. I have learned fundamental things about family life, even though I am a teacher at a government school.
“I will tell my relatives and friends that the followers of Jesus Christ are people of love. We hope we will receive an invitation to the next camp. I will bring my girlfriends’ families with me.”
Our Fellowship International personnel serving in Spain live in a region called Extremadura (which, in English, means “very hard”). The ground is stony, but they have experienced some very encouraging signs of spiritual thirst. Here are a couple recent stories told by our missionaries themselves.
Cookies turn to conversation with a “person of peace”:
“November 13, 2018 was International Kindness Day, so I baked some cookies to deliver to friends and neighbours. There are too many details to share here, but the best part was the reaction of the owners of a nearby bookstore, a married couple with whom we’ve chatted from time to time. At the precise moment I walked into the shop with my basket of cookies, they had been talking about inviting me to be the guest storyteller at the bilingual school’s Christmas celebration. They were surprised, to say the least, to see me arrive just then! The secretary of the parents’ association was in the store at the same time. To summarize, the couple asked if they could meet for coffee with us and some of their friends (including the secretary and her husband) so they could hear us talk about our “stuff” (and that’s how they put it!). They would plan the place and time and do the inviting. On December 1st, we met for the first time and they chose the coffee shop of some other friends of ours who are also, we believe, seeking Truth. We were able to share about how God led us to Spain and why our faith is based on the Truth of the Word of God rather than tradition. They were very open and want to meet again. We believe this couple are “persons of peace”. Please pray that they will schedule another gathering and that a regular time to meet will be set up."
A Book begins a friendship with an Apollos:
“Early in December 2018, we received a call from the Catholic radio station that covers all of Extremadura, requesting an interview about the book I wrote about marriage. The interviewer asked very good questions and we were pleased by how it went. About 10 days later, we received an email from someone who lives in a town about two hours away. He had heard the interview and wanted to purchase seven copies of the book. You may remember that last fall, I had travelled to pray in every town and village in Extremadura. The town this man lives in was the one that I decided I wanted to return to. So, the decision was quickly made that we’d go to his town to meet him and deliver the books in person. We spent several hours with him. He happens to be the Catholic priest of this parish. Could he be the Apollos we’ve been praying for? He was very open about his frustrations with the empty ritualism of his people and his desire to see them have a real encounter with Jesus. It was an amazing conversation that went on for several hours as he showed us the town. He’s a very nice guy and we feel this is the beginning of a friendship. We feel God is up to something special and amazing! Pray for Kingdom advances!”
Fellowship International missionaries seeking partners
Thank you for praying for our Fellowship missionaries around the world. Currently, we have four career missionaries looking to go to their field in 2019 / 2020. They are looking for churches and people to become a part of their support team. Please prayerfully consider this:
Bechara and Roula Karkafi
to Lebanon; sent by Greenbelt
Church, Ottawa, ON
Kevin and Micaela Miller
sent by Calvary Baptist Church, Edmonton, AB
Adam Pietrantonio to Japan; sent by Church of the City, Guelph, ON
Wayne and Shirley van der Merwe
to Indonesia; sent by Westsyde Fellowsh
Have a blessed week,