In Curacao over 100 people from the island and from Holland, Bonaire, Aruba, and the United States participated in the first Caribbean Grace Conference October 9-11. Pastors, church leaders, and Bible students were challenged to consider the distinctions between law and grace, Israel and the body of Christ, and to understand the story of the Bible transitioning from Israel to the gospel of grace for all nations. GMI missionaries Carlos and Denise Brunk worked with an exceptional team of pastors and leaders from the GMI-affiliated churches in Curacao to organize the conference. Pray for these believers who are discussing plans to plant additional churches in Holland, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, and throughout the Caribbean.
Katazi, Tanzania was the site of the National Youth Conference of the Grace Church of Tanzania. GMI missionary Brook Seekins shares that more than 30 came to know Christ as Savior during the conference in mid-September. Those who were single attended classes which promoted abstinence as God’s plan for them until marriage. The married attendees also had classes which uplifted the sanctity of marriage. Putting together a conference of this sort is a significant undertaking and requires a unified team working towards the same goals. Regarding this Brook writes, “I am thankful for these godly pastors I work with.”
Mafisi, Malawi, located in the southern part of the country, is the area where GMI missionaries Joseph Asong and Eric Mango, along with a team of Malawian pastors, taught the first module of the Chichewa Bible School. Joseph was thrilled by the level of commitment of the 11 students who registered for the courses. Reflecting on the eight-day trip, Joseph shares, “We can say with deep praise to the LORD that Mafisi was a resounding success and has come to establish a wonderful foundation for our future training in Chichewa.” In the evenings the team showed The Jesus Film in different locations. Many responded positively to the gospel presentation and received Jesus Christ as their Savior. The next Bible school module in Mafisi is scheduled for April 2016.
In Costa Rica, from September 2 to September 14, pastor and author, Craig MacDonald, conducted seminars and preached on a variety of topics including the Church, salvation, miracles, baptism, and sanctification. He also gave an introduction on dispensational theology which is the topic of his book, Understanding Your Bible, also made available in Spanish. An average of 75-85 people from different churches attended the sessions held at Comunidad Bíblica de la Gracia (Grace Bible Community) in San Antonio de Belén. One couple was so impacted by the message of grace that they returned to the church the following Sunday with another couple and committed to making it their church home.
Sumbawanga, Tanzania. GMI missionary Mike Caraway is pleased to report Mr. Mbwana was hired as the new Executive Director of Grace Community Development and Education (GCDE) and will begin his duties at the end of October. Mike describes one of GCDE’s objectives as helping “people realize that God has given them various resources right where they are and it is their job to identify and utilize the local resources to help improve their own situations.”
In Bolivia, women from several churches affiliated with GMI enjoyed the annual women’s retreat at Camp Buena Vista in early October. GMI missionaries Dan and Mary Sue Reed write, “This wonderful time of teaching and fellowship was a blessing to all who attended.” Mary Sue “was able to present the camp’s opening devotional on the topic of ‘Our Response to Life’s Trials.’”
Bonaire is the home of a new and growing church planted by GMI missionaries Carlos and Denise Brunk. On September 25 they hosted an evangelistic prayer meeting for the community in their home. The twelve people who attended this event were so blessed that they said more activities like this should be planned so they can invite their families and friends. Carlos and Denise thank the Lord “that our church attendance on Sunday is starting to grow with a regular group of believers.” They now have four couples who regularly attend services and want to study the Bible.
Ilemba, Tanzania is the village where GMI missionary Mike Benton is overseeing the construction of a primary school which will be run by the Grace Church of Tanzania. The walls are complete and now the goal is to put on a roof before the rainy season.
Brazil. Praise the Lord for GMI missionaries Ken and Mary Mueller’s successful visit to the Vila Borato Church in the southern part of Brazil where they had previously ministered for 14 years. Ken preached, Mary shared a Bible study, and they field tested a portion of their book on Ephesians. One event which made this trip special is that a woman for whom they and the church had been praying for 30 years decided to accept Christ’s gift of salvation.
Around the World is published every other month by Grace Ministries International, PO Box 9405, Grand Rapids, MI 49509, phone: 616-241-5666. Jeremy Clark – editor. Visit us at: http://www.gracem.org.