Letter from Mike: Congo – May 2019

As I write, I am traveling home from the impoverished country of Democratic Republic of Congo, where God is doing an amazing work. During my trip I thought often about Matthew 4:16, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” Even today, the world holds some very dark areas, spiritually speaking. Many have never heard the gospel message of Revelation 14. Of the 41 million people in Western Congo, tens of millions have never even had an opportunity to hear God’s last warning message. In fact, a majority of the cities and villages in this region have no Seventh-day Adventist church. The people are left to believe in the evil traditions of ancestor worship and to seek counsel from witch doctors for guidance in their lives.

For the past year and a half, Mission Projects International has been working with a team of twenty Bible workers led by Thomas Ongasa, a faithful Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our mission together is to plant churches in the darkest places of the DR Congo. Many of these remote villages can be reached only by foot or 4-wheel drive.

Before being sent out into the field, the workers attend a training school to give them a thorough understanding of public and personal evangelism. After their classroom education, they work in a local church under a faithful pastor who supervises and guides them. This gives them training in organizing church services and preaching. During my trip, I visited with all twenty of the Bible workers we support to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and to see the churches they have raised up. I saw firsthand how God is using these Bible workers to reach the unreached!

Emmanuel, one of the Bible workers hired by Mission Projects, is working in the region of Bandundu, a remote area on the Wamba River. The Lord has blessed this faithful brother’s work. In just a year and a half he has established three new churches and is working to raise up a fourth. Through his energetic enthusiasm to share Christ’s love in the Three Angels’ Messages, more than 110 people have been baptized. When Emmanuel shared the Sabbath in his first public campaign, many were convinced of the truth from the Bible. The village chief attended that meeting, and he was convicted of the truth and decided to surrender to the Lord. To follow through with his decision, the chief donated a plot of land to build a bush church and there began observing the Sabbath along with a large group who had also taken their stand. A few weeks later, as some of the new believers were going to church, they saw one of their number going out to work in his cornfield. The chief and several others approached this man and warned him not to work on the Sabbath. The man said he was going to work anyway. That day he had a terrible accident. Many who heard about it were convinced that the Sabbath must be God’s day of worship. The man’s accident actually helped more people to listen to the Bible worker’s message! A mighty work began in this area and has been spreading like wildfire throughout the surrounding villages.

Mission Projects would like to hire more Bible workers to plant many churches in the dark areas of the Congo. Our first goal is to have fifty Bible workers fanning out through this land. To support a Bible worker costs less than three dollars per day. If you feel impressed to help send more Bible workers into dark regions, mark your donations “Congo Workers.”

Yours in letting the light shine!


Letter from Mike: Colombia – February 2019

After Christ arose from the grave, He spent forty days with His disciples teaching them and preparing them for the work that was before them. Finally, the day came for Him to return to Heaven and carry on His work of redemption. Jesus assembled His disciples on the Mount of Olives to receive His instructions for taking the message of a risen Savior to the ends of the earth. He did not tell His disciples that their work would be easy. Instead, He showed them the vast confederacy of evil that would be arrayed against them. They would have to battle against the enemy of souls, who would oppose them in their work of saving souls. Jesus assured them that if they moved forward by faith, He would be with them. “He made full provision for the prosecution of their work and took upon Himself the responsibility of its success. So long as they obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail. Go to all nations, He bade them. Go to the farthest part of the habitable globe and be assured that My presence will be with you even there. Labor in faith and confidence; for the time will never come when I will forsake you. I will be with you always, helping you to perform your duty, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, sustaining you, giving you success in speaking words that shall draw the attention of others to heaven.” Acts of the Apostles, 29.

Spiritual battles are raging in the country of Colombia, and Satan is trying to oppose the progress of the message there just as he did in ancient Israel. Daniel Maranda and his team of Bible workers entered a new area of Colombia with the hope of starting a church. Going door to door for weeks is not easy, but the Bible workers moved forward by faith, trusting that they were moving under the shield of Omnipotence. Arnold, one of the Bible workers, knocked on a door where a woman named Eunice lived, and he offered Bible studies to this desperate-looking lady. He learned that she knew God when she was younger, but had returned to her old sinful ways. As Arnold stood on the doorstep of her home, telling her of God’s willingness to forgive all her backsliding if she would return Him, hope lit up Eunice’s face. Arnold began Bible studies with her, and her conviction to return to the Lord deepened. Soon he invited her to attend the evangelistic meetings that were being held by Baboloki, another one of the Bible workers. After weeks of intense studies with Arnold and stirring sermons on the Three Angels’ Messages preached by Baboloki, Eunice committed her life to Jesus and was baptized. The truth transformed her life, and her sons noticed it. As her sons saw their mother’s newfound love for Jesus, they asked Arnold to come and conduct Bible studies with them.

Eight precious souls were baptized through the evangelistic meetings, and many more people are studying for baptism. The home where these new believers are worshipping is far too small. They urgently need a church building to accommodate all who are currently attending. If you feel impressed to help with this project, send your donation marked “Colombia Churches,” and please pray for the work in Colombia as the workers enter new areas.

Yours in pressing the gospel to the ends of the earth,


Marlenny

Marlenny

A widow haunted by the past finds hope through student visitors.

The world we live in is full of brokenness. Although people greet their neighbors with a smile, they’re often struggling to hide the hurt and pain inside. Unless we’ve made a genuine surrender to Christ for him to take our brokenness and bind our wounds, we’re just pretending or looking for a distraction. Marlenny knows what this sort of life is like.

Marlenny was once a beautiful and very social young lady, growing up in simpler times in Colombia. She was educated enough to finish second grade, and worked as a cook on coffee and plantain farms for years. She married a special man who loved her and treated her gently. But one day, her life completely changed.

The guerrillas were widespread throughout Colombia 30 years ago. They especially invaded the mountains and countryside. One day, Marlenny’s husband did not return from work as usual. Worried, she went out to search for him. The police got involved, and it was found that he had been captured and killed by the guerrillas. Marlenny insisted on seeing his body, but the memory of the sight would haunt her for years.

Marlenny went into emotional shock and lost confidence in people. She became schizophrenic and abandoned her friends, believing that everyone was out to get her and do her harm. She stopped brushing her teeth and hair, and rarely bathed or changed her clothes. She refused the help offered by her children and social services, and eventually she was rejected by the community and what remained of her family.

Students from Fundación Las Delicias met Marlenny when we began a church planting project in Buenavista. The young people were selling bread, giving health talks and working with the needy of the community. They listened to Marlenny and hugged her in spite of her lack of hygiene. The widow had almost forgotten what it was like to be treated with love and respect. The Adventist message, shown with practical godliness, won her confidence.

I met Marlenny for myself one day, and felt deeply impressed by her need. I asked Marcela, a sister with a talent for social work at Las Delicias, to pay her a visit. Thanks to the witness of the students, Marlenny quickly accepted Marcela’s help. The widow answered Marcela’s questions and cooperated with a plan to improve her mental and physical health.

Everyone in Buenavista knows about Marlenny and the kindness we have shown her. At first, Marlenny was fearful to even have a haircut, but Marcela has been her confidant, teaching her to connect with Jesus and receive His healing. With patience and many tears, Marlenny has moved forward and is experiencing new healing every day.

We invited Marlenny to come for convocation in November and share her testimony. She is growing in love and grace, and the Lord is being magnified in her life. But there are many more like Marlenny who need this message. Please pray for our students who are carrying out this precious work. Pray for our health and the Bible workers who labor through towns and villages. We expect there to be many more testimonies like Marlenny’s.


Location
Colombia

Author
Daniel and Kelly Miranda are volunteers at Fundación Las Delicias, a self-supporting ministry equipping youth for ministry in Bible work, health and agriculture.

How You Can Help
Pray that Marlenny will continue to faithfully serve the Lord. Also pray for those who currently study the Bible with her.

Donate. If you have a desire in your heart to help Bible workers reach more people in Colombia, mark your donations, “Colombia Evangelism” and mail to:

Mission Projects International
P.O. Box 151
Inchelium, WA 991138

For electronic options, visit:
www.missionspro.org/donate


Total Transformation

Total Transformation

A young woman’s family didn’t believe she could change—but the church persevered.

Challenging neighborhoods surround the Central Adventist Church in Armenia, Quindio, Colombia, with drug use common. Still, week to week the members go and search for hearts that are open to the gospel. One Sabbath afternoon as we went out to give Bible studies, a church member happened to meet a former neighbor of hers. The neighbor said she believed her daughter Helen was demon possessed and asked if we could help.

We found the house, and a young woman greeted us—the very person we were looking for. Helen accepted our invitation to study the Bible, but from inside the house, family members screamed obscenities. “Oh yes, she needs Bible studies,” they cackled, “but good luck: she’s got demons.”

The next week when our outreach group met up, we asked who would go and study with Helen. Some were afraid, but Martha and Argenis stepped up to the challenge, saying, “If God be for us, who can be against us? We will go.” Grateful for their courage, I agreed to accompany them. Bowing our heads, we prayed for protection and asked the Lord to work on Helen’s heart.

Soon Martha, Argenis, Helen and I settled in the living room to begin our first Bible study. Helen’s family sat in the other room. Everything seemed normal at first. Then, as we looked up texts, Helen’s eyes started to roll back and forth wildly. Even stranger, the family began screaming obscenities at each other and at Helen.

The shouting continued as Helen recovered, but we pressed on with the study despite it. Helen seemed genuinely interested, but we knew she had a major battle to fight against the enemy of souls. I was glad we had several in our group so that we could pray for Helen, her family and each other all throughout the study.

At the study’s conclusion, we returned to the church shaken but prayerful. Sharing our testimony, we asked for prayer. All that week we interceded for Helen.

The following Sabbath, I asked Martha and Argenis if they were still up for studying with Helen. They smiled bravely and said, “Yes.” Baboloki, an intern from Las Delicias, also tagged along. Nothing strange happened, and Helen showed such great interest and enthusiasm that Baboloki invited her back to the church for a Bible class and youth program. Stepping into the Adventist church for the first time, Helen listened carefully and asked for help looking up the Bible texts. Her face beamed with peace and love.

The next Sabbath after her Bible study, Helen asked to tag along with us to hear our Bible studies with our other contacts. Once again, she came for the afternoon Bible class and Adventist Youth program. Then she asked when else the church has meetings.

Beginning that day, Helen has faithfully attended the Sabbath morning and Wednesday evening services. Two months later, she was baptized and became a very active church member. She gives Bible studies herself, shares during Sabbath School and sometimes leads out in the Adventist Youth programs.

If you met Helen today, you would never guess that she once had demons. The power of prayer and constant intercession made the difference for her. She been freed from the chains of the enemy and now beams hope to her family and community. Please partner with us in praying for Helen and the others reaching out in this community. Pray that we will reach many souls like her with the Three Angels’ Messages!


Location
Colombia

Author
Daniel and Kelly Miranda are volunteers at Fundación Las Delicias, a self-supporting ministry equipping youth for ministry in Bible work, health, and agriculture.

How You Can Help
Pray that God will continue to keep Helen faithful. Pray for those with whom she and others are studying the Bible.

Give. If you have a desire in your heart to help Bible workers reach more people in Colombia, send your donations marked “Colombia Evangelism” to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

For electronic options, visit:
www.missionspro.org/donate