From the Director - June 2017

After a trip to Africa, British journalist Matthew Parris wrote: “Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes …  Education and training alone will not do.  In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.”  I witnessed this reality recently in Haiti. Millions of dollars have poured into Haiti since the devastating 2010 earthquake. Food, medicine, and supplies have met many physical needs, yet the poverty of the body and soul is rampant today. However, it was exciting to meet many transformed by the Gospel. I witnessed their joy, peace, purpose, and most of all love, that comes from Christ alone. Christians must never lose sight of this truth that Parris observed. While ODBM often communicates Christ’s compassion through meeting physical needs, our purpose, priority and passion remain preaching the Gospel, making disciples, and planting churches for God’s glory! 

David A. Smith(Director)

 

Missionary Updates - June 2017

Kristi Colas is excited about local churches in France helping a national missionary from Mexico reaching the lost on Mayotte, a French island where 97% of the population is Muslim. They packed a shipment of clothes, food and children’s Bible story CDs.  Pray God will use His Word in the lives of these living in darkness in Mayotte.

Tim and Jeannette Joyner are rejoicing for how the Lord is blessing the ministry in Uganda. Daphne, was saved after attending their Ladies conference. At the 5-Day Club, several children and one of their mothers also came to Christ.   Pray for these recently saved and that God would send two missionary families to help them in this growing ministry. 

Harry and Melissa Peart are praising the Lord for His blessing on their school for the Deaf in Haiti and for the great progress their students have made this year. In about a year the daughter of a witch doctor has learned to use sign language, write, read, sew and has also been faithful to church. Please pray for her salvation as well as for the many other deaf children they serve.

Elena Caballero has just returned from Guatemala and is giving God the glory for what she was able to accomplish. She was able to lay the foundation for a complete curriculum for teaching deaf children. She was also able to train a co-worker to continue helping national churches establish Deaf ministries. Please pray God will bring fruit for His glory.

 

From the Assistant Director - May 2017

If  ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above....  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col. 3:1-2)  The first verse applies to the believer and how he should live his life here on earth. The second verse gets to the point of admitting that unless there is an affection in your heart for the Lord Jesus you cannot seek those things that are above. As I am getting older, investing in the things above is becoming more important to me then ever before. It is so easy to get involved in worldly stuff only to realize laterhow much was wasted and invested in things of little lasting value. So how should we invest in the things above?  1)  Set your affection on Christ by loving Him and spending time daily in His Word.  2)  Fulfill the second command to love your neighbor as yourself.  3)  Proclaim the Good News. Your financial and prayerful investment in an ODBM missionary reaches around the globe as the Good News is faithfully proclaimed.

Kim-Axel J. Kuhr(Assistant Director)                    

 

Missionary Updates - May 2017

Barbara Soucy will be returning to Thailand soon for another short term opportunity to serve the Lord.  Recently she asked the Lord ifit was truly His will for her to return to Thailand, as funds had not yet come in allowing her to purchase tickets and start the visa process. This week she learned of the Lord’s goodness and pledged support of $1,000.  Our God is faithful.


►During the end of April, Alvin & Sharon Weiss celebrated with their church family in Mexico the church’s anniversary. Special services were held Wednesday through Friday evenings. Guest preachers included the pastor of one of their church plants. Pray God will use the preaching from His Word mightily for the salvation of souls and the revival of His people.

Dan & Edna Cadavos are busy with summer ministries in the Philippines. In mid-April, 60 campers attended their mountainside camp.  During May 17-21 a second & larger camp will be held with an expected 150 campers.  Pray for additional staff counselors. Please also continue to remember Edna in your prayers for healing of the cancer in her leg.  She is responding well to treatment.

Ryan & Debbie Meers continue to follow the Lord’s leading in the planting of Redeeming Grace Church in Nebraska. Pray that the Lord would lead them to core team members, direct them to the best place to hold public services, and provide much needed start-up funds. Pray for lasting fruit from the regular Bible studies, and for the salvation of one young couple coming to Bible study.

 

From the Director - April 2017

I remember preaching in a remote village one Easter morning several years ago.  I began my sermon by asking “what special day is today?”  No one could give the right answer.  Some thought it might be Christmas!  I remember thinking “how could they not know that today is Easter?”  The sad reality is that for millions around the world, Easter is just another day.  They have never heard the Good News that on that first Easter, Jesus, being God, willingly gave His life and shed His blood to pay their payment for sin.  Each Easter we celebrate God’s amazing grace, His unfathomable love, and His eternal salvation, but do we soberly reflect on those who need to hear.  This Easter, may we rejoice and give praise for Jesus’ resurrection, but also weep and pray for those lost in darkness. How will they hear? (Romans 10:14-15)

David A. Smith(Director)

 

Missionary Updates - April 2017

► There is light at the end of the tunnel, as Brian & JenniferBuckley have received 83% of their support for ministry in Asia. Pray for effectiveness as they finish their deputation ministry, as well as for safety and good health as they continue to travel in the US.  They have applied for their visas and are still in need of outfit and passage funds. Pray that God will begin preparing hearts.

Paul & Melinda Schlehlein ask for your prayers for the Tsonga people in South Africa: Try - Evangelism has just started in the nearby village of Try Try. Salvation - Many are showing interest. Overseers -The men are nearly ready for leadership. Courage is needed. New Materials - Discipleship books in Tsonga are underway. Growth is needed, spiritual & numerical. Ask God!

►The Middle East is home to Salem & Elvira Jaraiseh. Salem ministers faithfully in the local church. Hereaches out to develop relationships, for the sake of the Gospel, and works full time as a medical doctor. Recently a coworker came to Christ. Pray for spiritual growth. Pray also for wisdom as they raise their family for Christ as well as for health and strength to continue to be salt and light in a dark part of the world.     

►God has graciously answered the prayers of Ryan & Jennifer Horkavy in Arizona during a serious, extensive surgery for Jen. The doctor’s found no cancer. Pray for continued healing without complications as she recovers. Their son, Ben, is having oral surgery inApril so that orthodontia work can be completed.  Please pray that the upcoming surgery would be successful and for God’s financial provision.

 

Missionary Updates - March 2017

Elena Caballero is serving the Lord in Guatemala until May 26th. Her main focus is to train Elda Chavez, a missionary from Peru to teach and reach the Deaf for Christ.  Elena will also continue to develop a basic training curriculum for teachers of the Deaf. How can the Deaf reach their own if they’re not properly trained to teach the Bible in their own language?

►For 10 weeks, Seth & Any Myers have been worshipping in two “churches” weekly in South Africa.  They begin Sundays with a small English congregation in a town of 30,000. In the afternoons they meet at a lady’s home in a rural area for another service.  Recently, Tinyiko raised her hand, and gave her testimony of salvation, saying, “I have now entered at the small door.”

En Khan & Lun Kham praise the Lord for the successful completion of their school’s academic year in Myanmar.  En Khan has a busy schedule with the missions training program and seminars during March and April in the Chin State and the Sagaing Division. Pray for open doors to reach more people among other religions with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

►A local church property in Michigan has recently become available for sale.  Mark & Tacy Tolosa are excited about the possibility of a permanentbuilding for their church in Michigan. The property also includes a home. Currently they are meeting in a renovated store front in a strip mall in a strategic intersection of a rural recreational area. They are seeking the Lord’s direction.

From the Assistant Director - March 2017

I often have to be reminded, and I am sure many of you as well, that there are responsibilities that we must follow daily if we are truly a born again creation.  In I Peter 1:22 & 2:1, Peter gives us these instructions:  1. Love your brethren with a pure heart (a sincere and intensive love) and not one that is unfeigned (not hypocritical, or pretended); 2. In Chapter 2:1, Peter goes further and says that we must also lay aside all malice (dislike, ill will, or wickedness in our heart) and guile, (deceitfulness in word or action) and all hypocrisies (being someone you are not) and envies, and all evil speaking.  This is ourdaily task that we are to work towards with God’s help.  This is how we as believers are to express the new life in Christ Jesus.

Kim-Axel J. Kuhr(Assistant Director)

Missionary Updates - February 2017

► John & Karen McPherson have ministered to most of the 11 teens in the Teen Class since they were little.  Recently, one mother of 3 teens thanked Karen for their ministry in Grenada.  Her 2 boys had begun to follow after friends.  Because of their sister’s encouragement they started coming to church & teen class. Now they read their Bibles & don’tfollow their friends.
 
►Alvin & Sharon Weiss in Mexico praise the Lord for another soul saved & 2baptized. Many godly decisions were made at a family conference. Prayer is requested for complete victory in each of the couples’ lives.  Seventy women attended a ladies’ retreat & their Christmas program was well attended with many 1st time visitors. Pray for fruit in hearts and lives.

►This summer we wrote you about the health challenges that Michael & Lisa Miller were facing in Canada.  In July, Lisa had surgery to remove a tumor that was causing deafness in one ear.  After the surgery she suffered from dizziness.  Michael recently wrote that Lisa woke up almost 6 months to the date and the dizziness was gone.  Praise the Lord for his healing hand for His servants.

►During 2016, Ryan & Debbie Meers prepared to leave their home & employment to answer the Lord’s calling to plant a church in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Since their move in June, they have had a meeting for interested families & begun two Bible studies.  Ryan is bi-vocational & just began a new job.  Pray for faithful core team members, a public place to meet that is affordable & accessible.

From the Director - February 2017

Missionaries often face intense trials and challenges. Their engagement in constant spiritual battle often leads to despair. Like the Psalmist in Psalm 42, missionaries often feel abandoned and forgotten. They wonder if God still cares about them. While they may seem to be spiritual superheroes they are all too human, subject to discouragement and depression. They desperately need God’s strength and refreshment. We can play a vital role in encouraging missionaries to find hope in God. His grace is truly sufficient. He will sustain them when their strength is gone. He will satisfy their hunger and thirst. He will protect them when their enemies are surrounding them. May we faithfully pray for our missionaries and encourage them to set their hope in God, to remember His mighty works, and to find deliverance through praise.

David A. Smith (Director)

Missionary Updates - January 2017

► Dan & Enda Cadavos recently asked for prayer for effective revival meetings in the Philippines.  Dan traveled over rough terrain for around 8 hours from their home for special meetings in a distant province.  The meetings were attended by about 18 pastors and their congregations.  Dan preached for 3 days, morning, afternoon, and evening.  Pray for spiritual growth & fruit from the meetings.

►Brian & Jennifer Buckley pray that by December 2017 they will be in the place of God’s choosing in Asia.  Praise the Lord that their support level has risen to 69%.  They need 14 more churches to join their support team. Persecution continues in this part of the world, yet their vision is to evangelize, disciple, plant churches, &  train local church leaders.  Thank you for partnering with them to reach the lost.

►As we finish 2016, Emile & Dianne Barrouk press onward to deepen their relationship with the Lord and be a testimony for the Gospel to the people they meet and serve in the Middle East.  Many of their dear friends face hatred and difficult trials.  God’s work in this land has many lonely and dark times.  The Barrouks continue to develop relationships, make disciples, and encourage believers for Christ.

►Expansion in the USA-Prison ministry is exciting news for Scott & Shelley Krystowiak.  Students in over 125 prisons across 25 states are enrolled in the Bible Institute. The Krystowiaks are working with ODBM to develop a distance-learning seminary program for foreign missionaries, national pastors, & inmates.  Pray this new expansion will make a greater impact for Christ.

From the Assistant Director - January 2017

"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:" (Matt. 6:19-20).  Our Lord Jesus frequently warned us against trying to hoard wealth in our temporary home on Earth.  Often much time and money is spent on ourselves so that we may live comfortably on this side of heaven.  We plan for advancement, education, investment, vacation, and retirement.  Yet as Christians, we would be wise to also consider eternal investments concerning our time, talents, and possessions.  As we enter into the new year of 2017 may we as pilgrims cast our eyes upon our future home in heaven and press on to impact others for Christ around the globe. Consider partnering with ODBM to make eternal investments for God’s glory.

Kim-Axel Kuhr (Assistant Director)

Missionary Updates - December 2016

►Dolly Wong is trusting the Lordto bring forth fruit for His glory in a farming community in Taiwan. Disasters do not always direct people’s attention to seek the Lord.  After a recent typhoon, most people’s hearts were hardened by the hardship and thus their idolatrous worship intensified.  Dolly prays that her teaching ministry will encourage and equip national believers to pierce the darkness with the Gospel.

►Tim & Jeanette Joyner are thankful for the many who partner with them in ministry in Uganda. They are planting Open Door Baptist Church.  God has blessed their dogged evangelistic and discipleship efforts with lasting fruit in the form of several young people who are growing and serving alongside them.  Pray that these will remain faithful, stand strong against temptation, and reproduce to make new disciples.

►Challenges often bring renewed and new opportunities to share the Gospel.  Recently Eric & Cathy Chapman reported a robbery at their rural location in Lithuania.  Through this trial God has re-opened a door with a 33-year old man who has heard the Gospel but remains lost.  There have also been new opportunities to share the Gospel with two young men.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts. 

►God’s extraordinary grace and mercy continue to be demonstrated as Kristi Colas ministers in France and beyond.  The Church in France was edified during a recent music camp through the preaching, teaching, music, and fellowship.  Developing Gospel relationships requires perseverance and patience. During a walk, a young woman tearfully admitted, “I want to know more about Jesus, but I’m scared...”

From the Director - December 2016

This is the time of year in which we reflect, praise, and thank God for who He is and for all that He has done.  As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we stand in awe of Christ’s virgin birth, His miraculous incarnation, and His love poured out on the cross.  Hopefully our adoration will deepen our love for Christ and our devotion to serving Him.  It is His life and story that drives Open Door Baptist Missions (ODBM) to serve churches to send more laborers around the globe to preach the Gospel to those who have not heard.  Your partnership is vital and greatly appreciated.  Thank you for praying and partnering with our ODBM family.  We are asking God to provide $15,000 to meet our 2016 annual budget.  Please pray with us for God to meet this financial need and to send more laborers into the harvest fields.  Merry Christmas!

David A. Smith (Director)

 

Missionary Updates - November 2016

►This summer, Elena Cabellero went on a mission trip to Ecuador. Her team shared the Gospel in several towns and conducted a camp. Many children from difficult, impoverished backgrounds attended the camp and heard the Gospel for the first time. Some made professions of faith.  Elena also travelled to Peru and made strategic contacts for her future ministry to the deaf in Latin America.   

►In August, Joel & Deanna Porcher celebrated with the church in Ghana, its 7th anniversary.  They praise the Lord for numerical and spiritual growth as well as for obtaining the necessary land permit for the church.  Additional blessings include four weddings since last August and the expected arrival of several babies.  Pray for the salvation of young people whom they minister to in a local school and youth home.

►This summer was a time of refreshment and moments of iron- sharpening-iron for David & Roxana Keiser as they traveled in the US on deputation and furlough, presenting their ministry in Puerto Rico.  They praise the Lord for the new church building where they have worshipped since May.  David was privileged to invest in the lives of 70 campers during a 1-week music camp in Mexico.

►After many years, Barbara Soucy was invited to return to Thailand  short-term to minister to children and ladies in a remote region.  Her servant’s heart has given her opportunities in many outlying areas to demonstrate Christ’s love to others. She thanks the Lord for being part of a team where souls are being saved and trained for Christ’s service.  She recently wrote of the salvation of eighteen.

From the Director - November 2016

“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for the wickedness is come up before me.” Jonah 1:2We no longer live in a country that honors God. Many Christian schools, colleges, and churches are experiencing lower attendance and some have closed their doors. Life styles that are not honorable before the Lord are given approval. Constitutional rights including freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and religious liberties are being threatened and even eroded away. Abortionsare common-place and often involve the sale of aborted baby body parts for profit. Like Jonah, God has called all believers to go and cry out against wickedness announcing Christ’s return which can be at any moment. It’s not only missionaries and pastors who are to proclaim the return of Christ, but all of us. The Great Commission tells us so. (Matt. 28:19-20) “Go ye therefore…”  Are you going? Are you telling? And are you voting? 

Kim-Axel Kuhr (Assistant Director)

The City of Lights - A Place of Great Darkness

By Kerrie-Lee Amoson

            PARIS— “Those of us who live here are more aware than ever that it is a place of great darkness,” wrote Missionary Kristi Colas.

Kristi Colas - France

Kristi Colas - France

            On the night of Nov. 13, explosions and shootings marred this “City of Lights.” Millions in the following 24 hours broadcasted their support and grief saying “Pray for Paris.”       

            “The terrorist attacks have made a big impact on French culture in general. We have been under a state of emergency for over a year,” said Colas. “The police can do searches without warrants, we get our purses checked in big shopping centers, and there is much higher security everywhere. Lawmakers are trying to figure out how to balance personal liberty and the need for more government surveillance.

            France, still bleeding from its wounds, is searching for peace and salvation. However, only the Great Shepherd can lead by still waters. Only His salvation is real and takes the sting from death and the heartache of this life.

            Kristi Colas has her own prayer for France. Her prayer is that those around her would come to know of His salvation.  After eight years in France, she now works with two other American missionary families in a church plant in Sarcelles in Paris’ northern suburbs. Sarcelles is one of the most multi-ethnic communities in the whole country. She serves in the church’s music and children’s ministries, special programs, evangelism, and discipleship of women. Last year, she started English clubs for neighborhood children. Several families signed up even when she advertised that Bible stories would be included to teach English. She tells, “I was delighted when several families signed up, knowing the very negative perspective that most people have about the Bible here.”

Kristi in Africa

Kristi in Africa

            Colas also has a burden for what God is doing beyond France. Her heart is burdened to see the Gospel carried to other nations. The Lord has opened doors for her to minister on a regular basis throughout France. She has also made a few short trips throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.  Because of her burden for cross-cultural missions, she eagerly encourages French churches to be more involved and interested in cross-cultural missions as well. “Most French churches see very few missionary presentations, and their missions programs are very under-developed,” she said.

            Her passion for music also causes her to reach beyond France. She heads up her Ecclémusica ministry. Ecclémusica is a little group of French people that help Colas with different music and missions projects. Her passion for music has grown into a strong desire to train better music leaders, instrumentalists, and pianists through church music seminars. She uses this passion as part of her ministry to local churches where church music is not very developed. In Central Asia, she has been able to teach music seminars in dangerous regions. Her recent music seminar had to be cancelled due to a terrorist attack.

Kristi teaching music seminars

Kristi teaching music seminars

            For some time, the field of ethnomusicology has interested her. Church music training has interested Colas for years along with teaching music, and studying music education. It makes up her two passions—missions and music. Last year, she began working on her masters degree in this field to “help train believers in other countries around the world in developing worship that reflects their culture,” she said. She is excited about other places that the Lord will lead through her music ministry.

            “My light feels very little indeed, surrounded by such pervading darkness. But by God’s grace, I’m gonna let it shine, thanks to your prayers and the help of the Holy Spirit . . . the Lord reminds me often that all He asks of me is to faithfully sow; He will take care of the harvest,” Colas writes.     

          

Missionary Updates - October 2016

►This summer, Dan & Anita Wells spent almost a month in Ghana ministering to children through VBS. This was their 4th VBS trip to Ghana.  On the second day of VBS in one city 249 attended, and 18 were saved.  On the third day 305 attended, and 22 were saved. Please pray for the discipleship of these children and the Lord’s continued leading regarding a potential youth camp ministry in Ghana. 

►In January, Edna Cadavos had a break in her femur due to metastasized breast cancer (2008) to the thigh.  After surgery, a variety of homeopathic treatments have continued.  She is recovering and feeling stronger while able to resume some responsibilities.  Dan & Edna praise the Lord that their difficulties have opened doors to share the Gospel in the Philippines, and souls have been saved.

►June 1st began the 2016-17 academic year in a Bible college in Myanmar. En Khan & Lun  are praising the Lord for the 31 new students they have received.  This is twice the amount of students that they usually have at the beginning of the year. The college currently has 70 students, which is the largest student body for the college. Pray for the finances and facilities needed to house all of the new students.

Stephen & Tammi Wess are rejoicing over fruit in their church in Nevada.  Two have recently professed faith in Christ.  In June Stephen baptized five new believers.  Two of the young believers have expressed joy in the weekly Bible studies and are sad when they are finished each week. Pray for continued spiritual growth in these new believers and for the steady growth of the church.

From the Director - October 2016

I love the fall season for the cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and football!  Football is an iconic team sport.  Each position has very distinct roles yet each is vital to the team’s success.  In this aspect, I am reminded of missions.  First are the missionaries, serving on the fields, making disciples, and planting churches.  The foundation to each missionary is their home and sending church.  The local church is the missionary’s primary stability, authority, and refuge.  Next are many other churches and individuals who faithfully pray and financially support the missionaries.  Finally, the mission agency serves a critical role to the team effort by using its experience and expertise to encourage and strategically assist both missionaries and churches.  Pray for ODBM as we serve churches and missionaries to impact the nations with the Gospel for God’s glory!  

David A. Smith (Director)