Mission Arlington Final Report

Wednesday, March 8

Today was our last day. We all stayed healthy. Thanks for the prayers. We were in the encouraging business this year. We prayed with 75 people individually for encouragement. We had one person accept Christ as their Savior. We checked 36 people’s eyes.

We were able to help people who had lost their jobs . We were able to help people with severe health issues. We were able to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

This was my 35th year to do this Mission trip. God is so good to bring just the right helpers on every trip. This year God continued to amaze us as among the donated glasses we had found very specific glasses prescriptions. Nothing is impossible with our God!

Thank you to all who lifted us up in prayer. We felt it.

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Costa Rica Team is Home!

Friday, March 10

We are home! Just landed in DFW. Thanks for all of your prayers! We had an awesome trip! What a great group of students and adults we had. Praying for all of you on the team as you seek to “Live the Mission!” Thanks for letting the Lord work powerfully through and in you! Hope to see you on another trip soon!

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Wednesday, March 8

Hey guys. Hope all is well back home. Just wanted to let you all know we are having a great week! God is moving in a powerful way! Many lives are being impacted and transformed! Everyone is doing well and getting more comfortable sharing the gospel. They have several stories of how God has moved as they have shared their testimonies! Today is our last day of ministry, so please pray for all of the divine appointments. Tomorrow, he head back to San Jose and have our cultural day along the way. Love you all.

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Volunteer Christian Builders

The FBC Allen crew of Volunteer Christian Builders is participating in a Spring Break Project at New Life Ranch in Colcord, OK. New Life is a year-round youth camp/retreat center. Learn more about New Life Ranch and how God is at work HERE.

We are assisting the camp’s construction crew assemble and erect several heavy timber beam/trusses. As well as, framing, cornice, siding, porches and possible electrical work.

36 total folks have committed to participate during this first week of March 6-10, but because Spring Break falls on different weeks for our surrounding school districts, we have added another week to our schedule there. An addition 19 have already signed up for next week (March 13-17.) There’s still time for those who are interested and available to join the team. Contact Ken Kemp for details.

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News from Mission Arlington

Monday, March 6:

We had a good first day for the most part. We lost two team members due to sickness. Please pray we all stay well. Dr. Wood performed 10 eye exams. One person accepted Christ as their Savior today.

Tuesday, March 7:

Today we prayed with 25 people for encouragement and performed 12 eye exams. Please pray for us to finish strong tomorrow.

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Costa Rica Team Update

Saturday, March 4

Made it to San Jose. Crazy windy approach and landing, but everyone is good. On our way now to San Vito along the coast and up into the mountains.

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We made it to our ministry site for the week. Tomorrow we go out to share the Gospel and partner with our sister churches in Costa Rica to encourage and spread the word.

Sunday, March 5

Our team had a great first day in Sabilito. We divided everyone into three groups and worshipped in three different churches. After delicious “arroz con pollo” lunches, we walked through our assigned communities and spent some time sharing the gospel. Tonight, we had a spaghetti dinner and are wrapping the day up with Catalyst and debrief. Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, March 6

Prayer and worship this morning as we prepare our hearts for the harvest. Luke 10:2. Join us this week and stop and pray at 10:02 every morning that we may encourage and train the laborers to go out into the harvest. Well after we have been here.

Chris J: Watching students sharing the good news of Christ is for me the most incredible worship I could experience. Praise God for faithful students and the Next Generation stepping out of their comfort zones to be faithful to God’s commands.

Sharing

Zach G: Today God showed me the importance of sharing the gospel regardless of a person’s situation. We talked to a woman who we thought was saved. I thought the conversation was over but we decided to share the gospel with her anyway. By the end of the conversation she admitted that she wasn’t actually saved. We got to pray for her and she accepted Jesus as her Savior.

Courtney C: Today I was able to share the Gospel with multiple Catholics I encountered. One woman in particular was confused about how the gift of salvation was simply based on faith and no works were necessary. It took a while for her to fully understand, but when she did she started tearing up and wanted to truly accept Jesus as her Savior, now knowing that it was only by her faith. We got to pray for her and gave her one of our Bibles since she couldn’t find hers.

Brianne D: Today I got to talk to a lot of believers who have strayed away. When we got the chance to talk about the gospel it was amazing to see how quick they became engaged. A couple of the actually re-dedicated their lives to Christ. One guy in particular was actually a believer and we just got to talk about his story and his life. It was truly inspiring to see how passionate he was.

Halle H: Today was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We got to eat new and amazing food that the church girls, both named Lorena, had prepared for us. Then we headed out to our mission site. I got to talk to two ladies that were on their way back from gathering coffee. I got to learn all about their beliefs and challenge them to new beliefs. The next house was one of my favorites. As Shannon shared with a mother, I got to play with her daughter. This girl was so adorable and absolutely loved playing with me. I knew a little bit of Spanish so I got to talk to her a little bit but even with the barrier, we brought so much joy to each other. I have a special heart for children and it was so incredible to bring a smile to this little girls face. When we left she cried out to her mom “why does she have to go” this goes to show that even though we didn’t share the same language, we both impacted each other greatly. We also got to learn about a mother with a premature 4 month old who was in the hospital on the other side of Costa Rica. She has had a very hard time coping with the fact that her daughter is a days worth of travel away, I can’t imagine that pain. We got to pray with her and encourage her to visit the church and find encouraging fellow believers. God is doing such great things here in Costa Rica, I know that He is using us in ways that will impact us for a lifetime. I can’t wait to share more stories!

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Mexico Mission Team in Action

Our team made it to Mexico.

Alicia is a missionary for her community. She leads a cell group. Cell groups are part of the local church. The church is focused on going to the people instead of having the people come to the church. There are 8 cell groups that meet in this community.

I got a chance to share with the cell group. I told them FBC Allen is praying for them. They need hope and strength. This group is made up of new believers and others who are searching. The host home for this cell group is a brand new believer. Thankful he and his family are starting to disciple others.

We spent some time painting Alicia’s home. I call it “Mavericks” blue. I’m not sure she’s a big Mavericks fan but she loved the blue.

We are also getting the ground level to pour the concrete.

Sam and Owen are pouring concrete for a support beam for the addition to Alicia’s home. Alicia wants to host church activities at her home. This new room will make that possible.

 

Continue to pray for our team, for Alicia and for the community.

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Guatemala Mission Wrap Up

What a great week of ministry in Guatemala! The majority of our group were grandmothers whom God used to connect with children who needed to feel the love of God through the hugs, smiles and warm voices of these dear ladies. Many in our group had never been on a mission trip before and had never traveled outside of our country, so it was a growing experience of ‘next steps kind of faith’ on the part of many in this group.

God’s amazing plan of salvation and love was shared with hundreds of people during this week through VBS, Bible stories, salvation bracelets, crafts, singing in English and Spanish, leading a pastor’s and wives conference, hosting a workshop for local government officials, feeding the hungry both young and elderly, testimonies, worship, and the list goes on.

Thank you church family for your prayerful support for each one who traveled with us. Continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to move in the lives of the people of Guatemala. And to God be the glory for any and all eternal good accomplished in this effort!

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Guatemala Mission Trip

Sunday morning, we were in church together in Allen, Texas, followed by dinner together at The House of Blessing in Guatemala City!

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We conducted a mini-VBS for 60-75 children complete with singing, a Bible story about Noah, juice, cookies and a rainbow craft!

While the kids were involved in the VBS time, the moms made salvation bracelets as we shared the gospel.

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After our mini-VBS, we served lunch to 20 Senior Adults and our folks led a wonderful time of music, testimonies, and preaching.

What a joy-filled, God-focused day! Gloria a Dios, for sure!

 

Here’s a picture of Damaris, one of our translators. She is an amazing young woman who loves the Lord and has complete mastery of the English language – and oh, by the way, she also has a Black Belt in Karate!

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Here are more pictures of our time so far:

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Cambodia Wrap Up: Final Report

Our team arrived back home safely Monday afternoon. We were blessed to be a part of 12 teams & 49 Americans who went to serve and share the gospel in Cambodia.

During our time there, we saw 11,026 decisions and 400 baptized as new believers in Christ. To God be the glory!

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Thursday, we shared the gospel with these children. They are holding up our testimonies and bookmarks which is in their language, Khmer. We then shared with the adults. 44 accepted Christ at that house. They want to start a home church there.

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On our final morning we had church at the hotel, with a time of worship and time of sharing stories. One of the Cambodian Pastors closed our service.

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The day before, on our day of sight-seeing, Cindy from our team led 2 people to the Lord just by using her testimony in Khmer. She did not have a translator available, but the testimony has the steps to become a Christian. We were next to a school bus and had bookmarks left over. The bookmarks were in Khmer and they also have the plan of salvation on them. We opened our van window and passed them out. Again no translator, but the power of Christ and the word of God is all we need.

Continue to pray for the people in Cambodia. Pray for the many new believers and for those who have yet to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

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Nicaragua Wrap-up: Final Report

God is glorified when we are willing to serve. Here are the numbers from the Nicaragua mission team:

Sunday:
20 men prayed to accept Christ during the evening Pastors conference

Monday:
20 accepted during street evangelism
Approx 15 accepted during the crusade.

Tuesday:
21 accepted during street evangelism
Unfortunately, the invitation time was rained out.

Wednesday:
15 accepted during street evangelism
Approx 20-25 during the crusade.

Thursday:
At volcano-1. Arden lead a street vendor to Christ.

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Friday:
On the plane-1. Carl lead his seat mate to Christ. Carl had his headphones on and the guy tapped him on the shoulder. He asked why he was in Nicaragua and then had questions about the Catholic Church. Carl answered his questions and led him to Christ on the plane.

Thank you for your prayers and continue to pray for these new believers in Christ.

Here are some more stories and pictures from our experience, and the people and places we encountered along the way.

On Wednesday, we wrapped up our ‘boots on the ground’ mission outreach in the western outskirts of Estelí. By most accounts, Estelí is the second largest city in Nicaragua and draws many from the outlying rural towns and ranches seeking work. Many residing in the outlying areas are clearly less fortunate than those who live in urban Estelí. Dirt roads, open sewers, dirt floors and cooking with firewood are commonplace. Door-to-door witnessing and ministry went very well with a few individuals coming to Christ and praying over an infirm man, who appeared to be not long for this world.

On Thursday, we were fortunate enough to catch some sight seeing as we made our way to Managua to catch our flight back to the USA, which left Friday morning.  We took in spectacular views and ate lunch at the scenic “Mirador de Catarina.”

In the foreground, we gazed down on to “Laguna de Apoyo,” a lake occupying the caldera of an extincted volcano sitting at 240 feet above sea level. In the distance we could see the much larger “Lago de Nicaragua”, the 19th largest lake in the world (by area), the only with a species of freshwater shark, with an elevation of 102 feet above sea level.  Although geographically near the Pacific, the lake drains East into the Caribbean Sea via the San Juan River.

Additionally, on Thursday we had to opportunity to visit “El Volcan de Masaya”, which is an active volcano.  A constant faint drone and rumbling emits from the caldera as lava and gases churn below. The smell of sulfur permeated the air. Yes, the red glow in the hole is lava.

Needless to say, we were in awe as we took in these wonderful creations of God.

We certainly could not have accomplished all the Lord’s work without our Esteli translators. This is not all of them, but here we share a face and a name of a few of them:

  • Top left: Franklin (left), a young professional, translated the Sunday morning sermon delivered by Carl (right)
  • Top right: Dimas helped translate in our daily outreach efforts.
  • Bottom left: Victor (left) translated for Pastor Taylor (right) at the men’s conference and every night of the crusade
  • Bottom middle: Enoc (left) helped translate in our daily outreach, accompanied here by Nathan (right)
  • Bottom right: Mara also helped translate in our daily outreach efforts

We are also so grateful for our bus driver, Ricardo. Ricardo, along with his wife and two daughters (ages 9 and 13) are active members of the Primera Iglesia Bautista Emanuel De Masaya.  Ricardo learned to drive large vehicles in the military after joining at the age of 17. It’s evident his years of experience have helped him become a great chauffeur as we navigated through narrow and crowded streets.

Ricardo shared that he publicly accepted Jesus Christ as his savior when he was 8 years old. Unfortunately, his father rejected his decision. The rejection was extremely difficult even through his adult life and he experienced various trying struggles but ultimately recommitted his life to Christ years ago and has one of the kindest servant’s heart you’d ever meet. Pray for Ricardo.

Lives in Nicaragua have been changed for eternity. Our lives, too have been changed by the experience.

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