SMI Student Missionary Internship

SMI 2018 was a great success! Our theme this year was Unashamed, and our key verse(s) was Romans 1:16-17. We had 83 kids complete 13 weeks of training that included scripture memorization, daily time in The Word, weekly prayer time with multiple prayer partners, and they learned how to run a VBS.
Over the weeks of June 11-15 and 18-22, we completed 30 VBS’s all over the areas surrounding Barstow, CA and Bishop, CA. Our highest combined attended days totaled 405 attendees and throughout the 2 weeks we saw 26 children pray to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

After these months of training and the weeks of execution, the inspiration of SMI does not end. It is more than an event. These students will continue to be impacted by what they witnessed God do in tough circumstances. Many of their life choices will be influenced by the discipleship and mentoring by adult leaders as they consider life after high school. Many of them will return in the future to be van drivers, youth leaders and support for this amazing ministry. 

Thank you all for your prayers and support of SMI at Palmcroft. This trip doesn’t happen without the support of the church body, and we won’t ever stop being grateful.

Eyes Wide Open

Roy and Shereen: Closed Access Country

We need to go in with our eyes wide open.

So, what have we been doing to prepare for our adventure? In our spare time, we are reading books and attempting language with our Pimsleur CDs. I've always enjoyed learning about other cultures so I am reading a book about how to prepare to adapt to other cultures. The book is Cultural Intelligence: Improving Your CQ to Engage Our Multicultural World by Dr. David A. Livermore. 

The beginning of the book has been inspiring with the illustration of the cultural iceberg. There are many things that make up a person or groups of people, many are difficult to see or understand, and yet the understanding that we make assumptions on so little information has been humbling.  We often default to the use of our five senses… what we can see, touch, hear, taste, smell, or our experiences. We usually don't go below the surface to understand the why's. We need to go in with our eyes wide open, but we need to see with our hearts, be curious, and humbly ask questions. We have to be willing and eager students, to learn and try new things. These are just a few of the things I am learning in preparation to go.  (Roy and Shereen are currently at 75.5% support raised.)

What I Learned on My Short Term Ministry!

George Brown, Short Term Ministry in Colombia

George participated in SMI for 3 years and is currently a student at Grand Canyon University.

The majority of our time in Colombia was spent teaching the hope of the Gospel to the Wayuu people group. They are a minimally reached people with only the New Testament translation in their language. My team was able to tell many for the first time of Jesus Christ and of the truth in Scripture that they never heard before. This experience allowed me to realize the need and urgency for Bible translation around the globe. Did you know that nearly 2 billion people around the world do not have access to the Bible in their language? 

One morning I was able to share the Gospel in a prison with 2 men on our team. I was greatly encouraged by the response of the men seeking freedom, forgiveness and reconciliation in Christ. Please pray for Alex who returns weekly to conduct a Bible study with the prisoners as they grown in Christ.

Caring for Babies

Kevin and Leilani Humble, WorldVenture: SE Asia (Actual location withheld for security purposes.)

As God calls new believers to Himself, we are responsible for the care and feeding of these new disciples, which includes the fighting of spiritual battles. 

One evening, we were called to pray for a man who had been ill for several months. As we entered the dimly-lit room, we picked our way carefully through a crowd of hopeful and quiet family members sitting on the floor with the gaunt, sickly man and his wife. We quickly assessed the situation, praying quietly, asking for the Lord’s guidance. He impressed, “Tell the story of Lazarus coming back to life.” 

I paused and gathered myself, then shared in all earnestness the wondrous story of Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Afterwards we talked with the man and his wife and in front of everyone gathered, prayed for his healing in the name and power of Jesus Christ. 

The next morning, I returned to the home where he was sitting up. Another man was in the shadowy room, bent over. I did not know who he was, or what he was doing, but went about checking in with the patient, asking how he was feeling today. He was still in pain. A moment later, the strange man straightened his back, revealing a bowl of liquid. He was a witch doctor who was casting spells over his ‘holy’ water. He dabbed it on the man’s chest several times and I realized anew the spiritual tug-o-war that was alive and well.

I Peter 5:7 warns: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

April Fools’ Anniversary

Dr. John and Karen Tannous, HOMES International, China

The loss of a daughter led to the closing of the children’s clinic, but when the clinic reopened, the first patient was her sister!

A baby girl died precipitating a series of events that led to the closure of our charity clinic at the Hua Xia Disabled School here in Kunming.  We were devastated and our avenue of service to the community was gone. Even worse, the Ma family had lost their daughter. But the Father has a way of redeeming even the most tragic circumstances. Within two months, the Father drew Mr. and Mrs. Ma into relationship with Himself. They soon found new work and new fellowship within the Kunming community.

After we discovered a new hospital to partner with, we trudged through mountains of paper work wondering if we would ever be allowed to legally serve the poor of Kunming again. But 8 years ago on April 1, we received a long-awaited phone call from the Yunnan Provincial Health Bureau.  After enduring months of meetings, negotiations, documentation, and many, many rejections, we were granted Chinese medical licenses. What many said could not be done in Kunming, China had come to fruition: the first international, openly Christian, charity medical clinic in Yunnan Province was legally registered to see patients. Immediately, a phone call went out to the Ma family. Their daughter, En Ci, became our first registered patient.   

Now 4 locations and 8 years later, the clinic has cared for thousands of patients. And, to my knowledge, the charity clinic is the only independent, openly Christian, medical clinic operating in China. We easily forget that we have much to thank God for. The journey has been amazing, and He has been so faithful to us. When people hear about the clinic, they often note what great sacrifices the doctors have made to leave the US to serve in China. However, any sacrifice we make pales in comparison to the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.

Coffee and missions… 2 of My Favorite Things!

From a supported partner in a creative access country (politically sensitive)

Simple Coffee is a business that uses the platform of growing coffee, blending coffee and brewing coffee to create opportunities for sharing the Gospel of Jesus.  

In this top growing coffee region, there is a Christian business man who wants to partner with Simple Coffee. The plan…Simple Coffee will plant a coffee farm on property he owns, and then employ (not enslave) people from a local ethnic minority group in the production process. He also wants to see these people learn about Jesus, and so a pastor has recently moved to the property to serve this marginalized and very poor people group. Think about the potential for both economic and spiritual impact in this community through this cooperative project!

We may not be able to go out and rescue kids ourselves, but a new partnership with a local non-profit called Blue Dragon does just that! They rescue kids in crises. We helped this organization by developing an exclusive blend, the proceeds of which go to the work of Blue Dragon. We launched the DRAGON blend in December exclusively for Blue Dragon's use, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. (Sorry, it is not available in the states!)

By March 30 I have spent six weeks of the past nine working at the Simple Coffee shop in Bangkok. What I truly love about my time there is training our baristas. But it's not without its challenges. Some of these girls come from rough backgrounds and often have no previous work experience, no familiarity with the food and beverages we serve, and sometimes don't like to be told what to do. A challenging combination! We press on in faith that we are somehow making a difference.