Global Mission Update — July 2023
Through just three updates from missionaries we support, it is evident that God is at work throughout the world. We are grateful for the ability to support these missionaries and many others through your generous donations to missions. Be sure to mark your calendar for our Global Missions Weekend coming September 29 through October 1. We have a lot of exciting things in store including the opportunity to hear firsthand from Bob and Andrea Burnham about their ministry in Romania and Ukraine.
Bob & Andrea Burnham live in Odesa, Ukraine, but they have been forced to relocate to Romania due to the war. Their ministry, however, continues amid these challenging circumstances.
Last month, they received news that Romania’s refugee program would begin changing and winding down. While additional limitations were introduced this summer, financial aid will continue throughout the end of the year only for those who meet strict parameters. For a majority of refugees, this impacts their ability to pay for housing, utilities, and food. Although most Ukrainians don’t consider it safe to return to their homes in Ukraine, they are faced with few other options.
Many of the women have younger children and aren’t able to work full-time. In addition, the salaries that Ukrainians receive there are typically less than the salaries for Romanians. As such it’s not enough to live on. Others with older kids cannot enroll their kids in the required Romanian schools since they do not speak the language. Some in their community have already returned while others are trying to fulfill requirements allowing them to stay as long as they can.
Please pray that God would lead the Burnhams in His wisdom to explore sustainable ways to help these families.
Brooks & Riva Cain and their four children live and minister in Nagoya, Japan. They focus on reaching the “10/30 Window” which is youth between the ages of 10-30. Recently, they were listening to a sermon on the story of Jesus healing the paralytic man carried in by his four friends. As Christians, we often focus on the faith of these four friends who were willing to vandalize a house in order to get their friend to Jesus. But the Cains were struck by the pastor's question "Do you have the faith to be the paralytic in this story?". Meaning, do we know when we desperately need Jesus? Can we trust others through ways we can't control to get us there?
This month has brought the Cains many moments of recognizing their need for prayer, Jesus's wisdom, and Jesus’ intervention. There are several areas where they feel "stuck" and need us to carry them to Jesus. Join with us in praying for the following:
- Direction for the future of Connect, their city-wide youth group
- Office space for their team
- A larger apartment for their family in their neighborhood
- The upcoming MK (missionary kid) camp next month
Todd & Sally Wessman live in Tbilisi, Georgia, a small former Soviet republic sandwiched between Russia and Iran. This summer they are helping to lead a youth outreach camping program. They just got settled back in Tbilisi and are thankful that their Russian language ability is still very useful in Georgia.
Last weekend, they went to a Muslim village near the Russian border to help their new teammates with outreach there. Last summer their team held English camps for more than 50 kids in the villages there. As a result, they have been asked now to do monthly visits to help the kids continue to develop their English and Georgian. Even though the villages are located there in Georgia, the communities largely speak Russian and a local language. So, the Wessmans were able to communicate with the kids in Russian. It was a cool, unique opportunity as the people groups in the village are almost all living in Russia and are currently inaccessible due to the difficulties of living and working in Russia at this time. But these were pockets of the same people groups the Wessmans had been trying to reach in Russia, right there across the border in Georgia.
They will spend about five weeks this summer, in July and August, living in the village and helping teach the kids along with their new team. Pray for this ongoing outreach and that many would respond to the Gospel.
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