Preparing People for Christ's Return
Team Myanmar's Dan Banac writes, "Great day! We believe that the National leaders and Team Myanmar are both happy for the fruitful results of our first leadership meeting represented by the six local pastors and some of the newly graduated pastors. It is the Holy Spirit who works behind us all. We praise God for this declaration of clear partnership between TCM and the Nationals. Ministry is not sponsorship but rather a partnership. (Philippians 1:5)
TCM-Kenya leaders, Titus Kivilu and Peter Kagwi made the long road trip to Uganda once again to provide pastoral training for TCM-Uganda church members. Pastor Titus writes: We thank God for safe journey for Pastor Peter and myself from Kampala, Uganda back to Nairobi. We had a great time and opportunity to train in Uganda Grace Pastoral Training (UGPT) and to minister to the brethren in Uganda Grace Gospel Church of Christ. We praise God for the UGPT students who are very brilliant and noble Bible students who are searching Scriptures daily like the Bereans (Acts 17:11). We were encouraged by their testimonies that the Holy Spirit is enlightening them with great truths from the Bible and they are ready to convey it to others. On Sunday I ministered at UGGCC in Luzira Kampala and Pastor Peter and Elder Livingstone went to minister to a new Grace fellowship in Nabasumba which has over 25 people who are meeting every Sunday to worship God and to learn the Grace message. We greatly appreciate all your prayers.
Grace Berean Bible School (GBBS) in South Africa is expanding! In addition to the main Boksburg campus, two satellite schools have been opened in Tshepisong and Shoshanguve. TCM missionaries Dean Padayhag and Paul Craesmeyer are actively involved in teaching the courses alongside national leaders. Their wives work hard preparing the Bible school materials and doing the registration paperwork. Dean writes, “It’s so rewarding to see students learning the truth and growing in their relationship with the Lord.”
Rowen Heath, brand new son of TCM short-term missionaries to the Philippines Robby and Tegwen Heath, and grandson of Ben and Joyce Anderson, was born last week with a congenital heart defect: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. This tiny infant was airlifted from Davao to Manila last Sunday and will undergo open heart surgery on Thursday afternoon, March 16 (Philippine time is 12 hours later than USA Eastern Time). They have the best surgeon in the country, but this remains a very high risk operation with a high mortality rate. If successful, two more surgeries will be required over the next couple years. Pray our Almighty God will do a miracle of restoration for Rowen. Pray for His abiding peace to be with the Heath and Anderson families throughout this ordeal. May God be glorified!
TCM Team Cambodia missionary Ariel Mahilum sent this update about Sophal who is undergoing chemotherapy for rectal cancer. “I just came back from visiting Sister Sophal at the hospital after receiving a message that she threw up many times in her 6th chemo session. This did not happen in her previous chemo sessions. I prayed for her and her husband Pastor Chrrorn. At the end of this month Sophal needs to undergo a rectal operation followed by another 6 chemotherapy treatments. We trust in the Lord in all times and believe that everything has purpose for His glory and honor. All praise goes to Him alone and thanksgiving to those who prayed and gave.” Continue praying for full healing for Sophal. Thank you to all who gave so generously toward her medical treatment! We have reached and exceeded our fund-raising goal for her.
TCM-Kenya Director, Titus Kivilu shared this very moving story: Pastors Peter Kagwi, Samuel Mwangi and myself had a blessed ministry at Ndururi GBC in Nyahururu last weekend. On our way back we met Pastor Paul Kinyua in Nyeri and went together to Consolata Hospital to see sister Hannah Wangari who has been hospitalized since October last year after she had an accident where she was knocked down by a motorcycle and got very bad fractures in both legs. Hannah's faith and confidence in the Lord amazed us all. Though she is in a very difficult situation her heart was full of praise and thankfulness to God for who God is and what He has done for her. Before Hannah had the accident she was continuing with Grace Pastoral Training at TCM’s Thika centre. We were encouraged that she is sharing the word of God and the saving grace with her fellow patients in the hospital. Pray that God will heal Hannah and get her out of the hospital. (click on picture to see larger image)
Pastor William Mdluli, National Coordinator of TCM-South Africa visits Kenya to meet with TCM-Kenya national leaders, Pastors Titus Kivilu and Peter Kagwi among others, and TCM-Uganda leaders, Pastors Philip Walendo and Stephen Cwinyaai. The visit began with an evangelistic outreach in Nakuru, during which 8 people put their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. After attending the funeral of Pastor Titus’ mother, Pastor Mdluli traveled to Mombasa and met with the Coast regional pastors. His visit will culminate in a TCM Africa leaders meeting February 23-24. It's our prayer that from this meeting the objective of unity and strengthening our ministries will be the priority as we look forward to reach the unreached countries in Africa. Praise the Lord for this cooperation and partnership!
TCM Team Cambodia missionary, Julia Liles writes, " I would like to raise awareness of the need for prayer for this precious family. Assistant Pastor Chhron and wife Sophal have recently become parents to their son Riek. However, much to everybody's shock Sophal has just been diagnosed with Stage 2 Rectal Cancer. Times like these are never easy and I'm just thankful that this couple share the comfort of Christ together and have a supportive church and family back in the village too. Sophal is an incredible witness of God's faithfulness and I am inspired by her courage at this challenging time. Please would you pray with us or send messages of support to this lovely family... We are currently raising funds for the medical fees to help contribute to the high cost of Chemo treatment... If your heart is burdened to get involved please contact either myself or Things to Come Mission. Thank you for your involvement in the lives of others in faith and love." TCM missionary, Ariel Mahilum, said this of the couple when he performed their marriage ceremony: "Pastor Chhrorn Sorn found Jesus while staying in our college dormitory in the capital and committed his life to serve the Lord while studying in college in an assistant pastor capacity. Sophal is one of the pioneers of TCM Cambodia. She is a scholar of our student's assistance program and has been one of the strongest pillars of the church."
TCM Team Myanmar missionaries, Dan and Amy Banac write: “We are learning basic Burmese in a language school but we needed a tutor. We are thankful for Wan [pictured foreground with Amy behind], our Thai friend and classmate for teaching us more. We've learned a lot. She feels like part of the Banac family now. She visits our house and often eats with us. Please pray that she will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ in a very personal and intimate way. We are also thankful to God that we speak better English, for many nationalities want to learn more English through us. We consider this an advantage for sharing the Grace gospel. Thank you our senders and supporters for your share in the mission field through your earnest prayers. Blessings!”
Pastor Titus Kivilu, national director of TCM-Kenya, writes: “I thank God for the two days evangelistic and revival mission last weekend at Machakos town which was organized by Kenya Grace Bible Church (GBC) pastors from Nairobi region. Seven people prayed to receive Christ as their personal savior and a great revival to the believers was experienced. Pray for Daniel, the pastor of Machakos GBC, and his wife as they do follow-up and help these new converts to continue growing in the Lord. Glory to the name of the Lord! ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’”
Jessie Easterly and her first husband, Herbert Palmer (pictured left at their wedding) were the founders of Things to Come Mission. Lord willing, Jessie will turn 100 years old on January 14, 2017. Her daughter reports Jessie has had a slow overall decline, but more so during the past year. Mom has stabilized following a bad spell in late August and part of September following a fall. She is up in her wheelchair for good portions of each day. Therapy helps her up to walk with the walker for a short distance on good days. Jessie doesn’t think she needs to eat and just looks at her food unless her care-takers feed her. Due to macular degeneration and decreased eyesight Jessie doesn’t read anymore. Hearing is poor, but has been decreasing for some time. She doesn’t go to her church now due to safety issues and because she was sleeping most of the time. She does, however, attend the services held at the facility where she lives. Jessie's life is a testimony of a long obedience and love for the Lord!
Team Myanmar missionary, Dan Banac, recently took a riverboat journey deep into Myanmar to visit a small group of Grace believers. He writes, "Christmas celebration is useful in Myanmar! It is a launching pad for evangelism. Through biblical passage exposition I explained to the Grace believers here how to see a balanced message about the life of Jesus Christ in a panoramic picture. For example John 3:16 "...He gave his only begotten Son..." implies Christ’s incarnation and crucifixion. Both are components of the saving plan and process of God. Without the birth of Jesus it was impossible for Him to die. And without His death there is no shed blood for our sins. They are both equally important. We are not saved by His birth but by His death. Without His birth and death there is no mission!" Read more about Dan's trip here.
The Campos and LeFeber families serving in North Brazil have launched their annual Christmas celebration outreaches as part of their Project ABBA children’s ministry program. The first event was held at the Jardim Jordao church, with the second at Ibura Grace Bible Church. Joe Campos observed, “God has been really good to us. Another great turn out. Pray that many kids will come to salvation in Christ.” With what appears to be over 100 children attending each event, please pray for thorough follow-up, particularly of those who receive Christ. For further photos and videos of the event, check TCM’s Facebook page or Joe Campos’ Facebook page. Thank you to all who have given to make this outreach possible!
TCM missionaries to Thailand, Genesis & Verna Maraat, are planning for Christmas: "Our Thai church members asked that we continue with Christmas celebrations in different places. They insist that their neighbors are demanding this in spite of the advisory from the government to avoid loud celebrations because Thailand is in mourning due the recent death of their revered king. We will not use a public address system this time, but we can still give out gifts and share the story of Jesus' birth with many Thai Buddhists. Here are the dates of our activities: December 17-18: Our church retreat in the mountains. We will have some visitors during this camp and will be sharing the message of Christ birth. December 23: Christmas celebration at Lacky's house. Expected attendance will around 60 to 70 people. December 25: Christmas celebration at our church. December 30: Celebration at Mareewan and Allen's village. Around 70 people are expected to attend. The guests who attend these celebrations are 98% non-believers. Please pray that God's word will minister to them effectively."
Robby and Tegwen Heath are active in the church on the IGBI campus in Davao, Philippines where they are teaching and studying. Robby and Pastor Abib Autida are the same age and work very well together. They organized and led a youth event, which involved all the IGBI students helping with worship, games and snacks. The event, entitled Christians in Action, was advertised at the local high school within walking distance. Nobody knew what kind of turn out to expect so everyone was incredibly excited when over 100 youth poured into the little church. The response was wonderful and the next CIA is planned for December 6. Pray for the same turnout and that youth will put their faith in Christ! Pray also for the church itself, as it struggles to stabilize Sunday attendance as well as increasing its presence in the community. The Heaths are working with the members to get a Children's Church started. This is in an effort to better meet the needs of the regular attendees as well as potential new members!
The Banac family exited Myanmar to Thailand for 3 days to renew their visas. Dan Banac wrote: All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose." After three days of waiting our gracious God granted us visas for re-entry into our field of Myanmar. We thank God for your fervent prayers for this process. To God be the glory! We rejoice with you all!” Unfortunately the visa fee was doubled, which makes it particularly expensive for a family of four. This visa is only good for 28 days. Pray the Banacs can find a long-term visa solution.
Kenya Coast pastor and regional leader, Peter Kagwi, announced, "It was a great day at Mombasa. The ministry center for the coast region was dedicated to the Lord. Thanks for all your prayers and all kind of the support. We started worshiping in our building as we trust the Lord in completing the project. Robert Ogema, a graduate of Berean Grace School of Ministry shared his testimony to Joyce Anderson on how he won two ladies to Christ." The building will be used for regular church services, regional meetings, and the home of the Coast Grace Bible School. About half of the funding needed for this project has been received. Pray the remainder needed will be given. (Click on the picture for a larger image.)
Paul Craesmeyer, newly arrived in South Africa, writes: “The coordinator of the national association of Grace churches here, Pastor William Mdluli, has already made a schedule for us to visit the different churches in the next few months. I was with him in Soshanguve this weekend, and we are connecting very well. There are 7 churches, and we've already spoken at a couple of them, and a few soon-to-be-a-church Bible studies. Meeting some of the upcoming leaders gets me excited. Please pray for us as we adapt to the country and meet the people whom we will be training. There is a meeting this weekend between several of the key leaders to talk about Vision 20/20, and how to continue to implement it. The idea is to have 20 Grace churches planted in key places by 2020.”
Mingalaba! means Hello in Burmese. On completing their first week in Myanmar, Dan Banac writes: "We just attended our first double Sunday service here, the morning and evening service. I preached to almost the same attendees in both services. It seems they are hungry for more spiritual food. We Filipinos were very happy during the morning service to sing an English song when 10,000 Reasons flashed on the screen. The worship service ended with the Burmese version of the song Still. Team Myanmar was able to meet the church leadership and clearly discuss our role as missionaries and our partnership with the nationals.” Please pray for wisdom for the Banacs as they explore how best to apply for business visas to enable them to stay in Myanmar. They see many challenges and opportunities and want to proceed in God’s best plan. Happy birthday to Mrs. Amy Banac and Salvina Ulfindo, celebrating their first birthdays in Myanmar together!
Ben and Joyce Anderson joined Kenyan leaders Titus Kivilu and Peter Kagwi to visit the Uganda Grace Gospel Church over the past two weeks. They each taught courses to students in the pastoral training program. At the end of the week 13 students completed the 3-phase program and graduated. Pray these graduates will help the Grace work in Uganda expand and grow. The guest speakers took a trip to visit a potential church plant in Fort Portal, western Uganda. Joyce led seminars for women and youth, and was thrilled when 10 young people prayed to receive Christ! Pray for thorough follow-up of these new believers.
“Hey guys, I made it to my home, Tagum, Philippines!!!” writes Janae Brown, TCM’s newest short-term missionary. “I love my little house! We got me some appliances, groceries, and even a dresser! And yes, I had pre-house warming gifts. Love this new beginning—all for the glory of God!” Janae, an active member of the Grace church in Grants Pass, Oregon, felt God calling her to missionary service. She joined TCM’s Asia Adventure this past spring to get a taste of missions in Southeast Asia. During this year in the Philippines, Janae will study Bible courses at IGBI-Tagum and gain hands-on training in cross-cultural ministry from experienced Filipino leaders alongside Robby & Tegwen Heath.
Paul, Mariana and Mathias Craesmeyer arrived safely in Johannesburg, South Africa to begin their new work with Dean & Sheba Padayhag. It is a blessing to have new laborers to share the load in this harvest field. The Craesmeyers will assist with the existing Bible school and church planting ministries, learning how TCM works. They also have a vision to reach out to Portuguese-speaking people in the city. Angola and Mozambique, countries bordering South Africa, are Portuguese-speaking so the opportunity is open! Pray for a smooth adjustment, unity in working together with the Padayhags, and a genuine Christ-love for the South African people. Pray also for the church left behind in Brazil under the leadership of Pastor Wezel.
We rejoice this week that Salvina Ulfindo was able to exit to Thailand and re-enter Mynamar with a business visa! Freda Guimba and her sister, Faith Bunglo, are returning to the Philippines today to attend their father’s funeral. Pray peace and comfort for them. October 30 Paul, Mariana and Matthias Craesmeyer will move from Brazil to their new field, South Africa. TCM International Director, Ben Anderson, will accompany them, then go on with Joyce to Uganda and Kenya. November 3, Gomer & Nene Indino will travel from Brazil to the Philippines for a 3-month furlough. November 7, Dan & Amy Banac and family will leave their Philippine homeland to join Salvina in Myanmar. Meanwhile, the Killion family and Tim & Judy Heath are completing their circuit of mission conferences in the Northwest USA. Isn’t it great that God can be everywhere at once, watching over each one?
Genesis & Verna Maraat write from Thailand, "We are rejoicing and praising for what God has done! During our Bible study at Jintana's house this evening, her eldest brother (Khun Rith) prayed to trust Jesus as his Savior. He has been a Buddhist since birth. God used the death of their mom to impact the life of Khun Rith. While their mom was still alive, Khun Rith was not interested in our Bible study. We are also rejoicing because in our second Bible study at Noi's house this evening, her son and mom prayed to trust Jesus alone as their Savior! We started these Bible studies in March this year. May these three souls who prayed to trust Jesus as their Savior grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18"
Salvina Ulfindo posted this message this morning, "I thank God for traveling mercies! I arrived at Yangon International airport today at 8:00 in the morning. The new Yangon International Airport looks beautiful!!! It's amazing to witness how this country is moving forward! I pray that the work of the Lord that has been started here through TCM will soar high as the people of God work together in love and unity with one ultimate goal -- To the praise of His glory alone!" Keep Salvina in your prayers as she looks for affordable accommodations and furnishings, learns her way around, and begins studying the Burmese language. Pray for unity of vision for Team Myanmar and the existing Grace ministries there headed up by Burmese Pastor Kenneth Ling.
Kenya Field Director, Titus Kivilu reports, "Nyangwa and Karambari Grace Bible Churches in the Mbeere region of Kenya held a joint regional conference on Aug. 25-27 at Gikondi. It was a great time for the believers coming together to fellowship, worship and to learn God’s Word. The organizing team had chosen great subjects under the theme, “The mystery of God’s will.” Believers of the 7 GBC churches from the two regions were very excited and enjoyed having such a wonderful moment and an opportunity to interact and bond together. It was truly an uplifting moment especially seeing several people making a decision to receive Christ as their personal Savior."
"South Africa, here we come! Departure date: Oct.31!" write Paul and Mariana Craesmeyer. "Now we have 48 days to get the rest in order for our trip/move. Mariana and I wish to thank you all who have kept us in prayer about this visa process. Your intercession has certainly been heard by God! His name be praised! Wisdom is what we ask for these days, not just in deciding what goes, what stays, and what's junk, but mostly for deciding how things will be set in the newly formed church in Sorocaba. Please join us as we pray for these saints, and as we part ways - we have become so fond of them! Yet now we must commend them to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build them up (Acts 20:32), knowing that none of this is our work, but God's."
As TCM's International Director, Ben and his wife Joyce endeavor to visit all of TCM's fields to offer vision, guidance, training, encouragement and accountability. On September 7 they left the Philippines for South Africa where they will be working with TCM missionaries, Dean & Sheba Padayhag until October 19. They will then proceed to Brazil until November 1st. During November and the first 3 weeks of December they will visit TCM's work in Kenya and Uganda before returning to the Philippines. They plan to relocate to Singapore as their base in January 2017. Pray for stamina and safety for them with all the traveling and moving from place to place, as well as wisdom from the Lord as they build up the work of TCM worldwide.
TCM regional leader, Pastor Peter Kagwi writes: “Thank you for your prayers. Last Sunday our ministry at Bura in Taita Taveta was so successful. A new Grace church was planted. We praise and give glory and honor back to God for opening an opportunity for the people of Bura to hear the gospel. Pray for Pastor Jacob Doto as he teaches the word of God rightly divided. Tuesday this week he started a weekly Bible study.” We are also encouraged to hear of progress on the ministry building under construction in Mombasa. They have already ordered and paid for the iron roofing sheets this week. By next week they hope to complete the roofing.
As Louisiana experienced floods, people across the world in Myanmar (Burma) were also suffering from flooding. TCM was able to provide aid from our Humanitarian fund. Pastor Kenneth Ling writes, “We do very much appreciate the funds you sent for the flood victims. On Saturday I was giving the help to the victims. This time I only can help within our church. I bought 7 bags of rice, 7 kilos of cooking oil, and 7 kilos of onions as there are seven families in our church affected by the flood. We do very much appreciate for the help which is uncountable value for the victims and for our church. On behalf of our church I would like to say thank you to all the donors and all who pray for Myanmar and also to TCM.
Praise the Lord, we started a house group at Li Sa’s apartment last month. God provided money to buy 10 chairs and a table. Thank for your partnership. At least 6 persons regularly attend this weekly fellowship. Some just want to practice English but our main goal is to teach them the Word of God. We have to be creative in our teaching to keep them interested, so we play games and kind of inject some Bible principles in our discussions. One night we presented some Bible verses to them, and last time we gave Khmer Bibles to two who have heard the gospel and learned a little bit about Jesus but do not go to church. Four others are not yet Christians so please include them in your prayers. Li Sa suggested telling them some short stories from the Bible then compare them to our present situations. We try to be creative, interesting and clear in our presentation of God’s truth but ultimately it is God who opens the hearts and minds of the people.
Pray for Team Myanmar! These friends and coworkers are separating from loved ones and all that is familiar to answer the call to evangelize the Burmese people. Nearly the entire country is lost and spiritually blind to the Truth. Last week a send-off service was held for Dan and Amy Banac and their children, Daniel and Daniella, and Salvina Ulfindo. Pray for them as they apply for visas and make their final preparations to depart for this new field! Salvina is scheduled to leave September 28 and the Banacs on November 7.
The Association of Berean Grace Ministries in South Africa successfully launched its newest church plant, Grace Berean Church-Hammanskraal on August 14, 2016. Fourteen people from the locality committed to work in the furtherance of the ministry in the area. Please pray for their need of a building structure and more chairs. TCM missionaries, Dean and Sheba Padayhag hope to start two more churches before the end of this year with the help of their new Bible school graduates. Fourways and Krugersdorp cities are the target places. Pray as they create a church planting team in these areas. Depending on the situation and growth of the members, their prayer is to develop the Bible study groups into full-fledged churches, with the vision of 20 churches by the end of the year 2020.
Mrs. Remy Delani Improso, wife of long-time pastor and leader of TCM Philippines, Antonio Improso, and step-mother of TCM missionary to Kenya, Gardner Improso, passed from this life into the presence of the Lord on August 15 after a long bout with cancer. Ma’am Remy’s association with TCM-Philippines began when she met Mrs. Deborah Pielago on a boat from Manila to Cebu in the late 70’s. Ma’am Remy was then a full-fledged nun of the Philippine Independent Church. Both women had a good time together around the Word. The boat meeting was a turning point in Ma’am Remy’s journey with the Lord. She decided to study in IGBI-Ozamis and after her graduation she was assigned as head of the Children’s Department. She was instrumental in preparing Sunday school materials for children. She also trained at the Asia Center for Missions (ACM) in Cebu City and served as a missionary in Mongolia. Ma’am Remy later married Pastor Antonio Improso, Director Emeritus, TCM-Philippines. May the Lord comfort her husband, relatives and friends until we are reunited with her in heaven.
Phnom Penh Grace Gospel Church of Christ celebrated its 9th anniversary with great enthusiasm on July 31. The guests were neighbors, students, friends and missionaries. One of the highlights of the event was the formal acceptance of the 3 newest members of the church. God has added more people into His family. Also featured was a special song presented by the children from Rathy and Chantha’s outreach ministry on the other side of the city. This couple’s main goal is to plant a house church; but for now, they are teaching the children in their neighborhood while trying to reach out to the parents. May the church continue to evangelize those who have not yet learned of Jesus Christ. Pray for willingness and boldness of each member of the church to share the gospel with their friends and families, and to live out their faith in the community.
Nathan and Jessica Killion have been holding Sunday meetings at the “House of Grace” in a village outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Killions are partnering with Allen and Mareewan Radtke, who live in the village, in this outreach ministry. For several weeks the focus has been on sharing Bible stories from the book of Genesis, always pointing people to the gospel and their need for Jesus Christ. As a result, some of the children are beginning to ask questions about what it means to be a Christian. Pray for these kids, that they will truly put their faith in Christ. Pray for the ministry to continue during the Killions’ absence—on August 12 they return to the U.S. for a year to connect with family, friends and churches and share about their ministry.
Singapore’s late President Lee Kuan Yew, was fond of saying in one generation Singapore moved from third world to first world. Although there are churches in Singapore, the population is just 7% evangelical Christian; the majority beliefs are Buddhism, Islam and secularism. In 2016 TCM took the bold step of engaging Singapore with the goal of planting a Grace church. James & Agape Bermejo answered the call and already have an active schedule of preaching and training as they seek ways to obtain a permanent visa. A 45-minute ferry ride south of Singapore is Batam Island, Indonesia. The Indonesian Grace Bible Churches have committed to plant a church in Batam as a sister church to the future Singapore Grace church. On August 2-3 International Director Ben & Joyce Anderson will meet with Indonesian leaders in Batam to strategize planting this new church. TCM is excited to organize this kind of partnership which is essential for the continued growth of the Body of Christ.
TCM is now in all 18 Regions in the Philippines: in 54 out of 82 Provinces; 40 out of 145 Cities; 48 out 1,489 Municipalities; for a total of 512 Grace Gospel Churches. This means that the TCM membership represents a notable spectrum of society in the Philippines. However, our country’s present population is now 102,250,133 (Philippine Statistics Authority)! God’s Word strongly re-echoes the same challenge: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15). Pray for the pastors, Bible women and members of the Philippine churches as they continue to bring the Good News to their countrymen.
TCM-Kenya leaders, Titus Kivilu and Peter Kagwi traveled to Uganda to continue Part 2 of the pastoral training program. Pastor Titus wrote, "We praise God for the 6 days of powerful and successful Bible and ministry training at Uganda Grace Pastoral Training that ended today. How we thank God for the 16 committed men and women who sacrificially participated in this Part 2 of training. We pray that as they have a willing heart to serve, God will use each of them to advance the gospel of the grace of God in this country and beyond. Tomorrow Pastor Peter and I will worship and minister the Word of God here at UGGCC and after the service we will start our trip back to Kenya. We appreciate your prayers. We give all honor and glory to God!"
These students are enrolled in the following four IGBI-campuses, namely, IGB I-Tagum City: 55; IGBI-Ozamiz City: 54; IGBI-Bataan: 16; and IGBI-Cauayan City: 13, or a total of 138. The present number of students is significantly lower than that of last year; the same campuses had 203 students last school-year. The main reason for the low turn-out of enrollment is the government’s national implementation of the K-12 program. The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for college (tertiary education).
“There are only two words that truly fit the unforgettable 50-year Martial Arts celebration that I was incredibly blessed to receive: Awesome Surprise!” writes Bob Xavier. “I received gifts of five professionally crafted albums with letters and pictures from hundreds of students and parents. What’s more, I was given the supreme gift of a first-class sword, engraved with many of our Grace Martial Arts Black Belt names. This truly was way over the top! What outshined all of the joy that the Lord let me experience the evening of May 24, was the surprise of the presence of some very longtime (over 40-years), distinguished, faithful friends and students from Connecticut. Grace Martial Arts (GMA) is dedicated to providing a variety of non-violent martial arts defense skills with Biblical life-skill illustrations applicable for training children, youth, teens and adults. Our purpose is to proclaim the Gospel of the Grace of the God, reach the lost, serve our communities and touch the lives of “at risk youth” and families in need. The GMA ministry is a powerful tool for connecting with our kids’ world while affirming them with vital Grace-centered Christian family values. Our challenge is to lead students to know the Lord and His Word so well that they will make wise lifestyle choices and succeed in life.”
The Southeast Asia Grace Conference (SEAGC) was well-organized and a product of hard work and well-thought-out planning! The 164 registered delegates representing 11 countries actively spent the four full-day (May 26-30) special gathering in meaningful vision-mission-casting workshops, challenging testimonies and messages from the Word of missionaries, free time lively inter-actions among participants, God-glorifying worship services, educational tour, and, of course, healthy and “eat-all-you-can” delicious food, and super hotel accommodations! Ben & Joyce Anderson, Ariel & Faith Mahilum and the Cambodia team, and members of the different local committees: God bless you all for your hard work! The SEAGC was awesome and unforgettable! Let’s all prayerfully look forward to the next SEAGC in Thailand 2018! (Pastor Pielago)
The third Southeast Asia Grace Conference is set to begin in Siem Reap, Cambodia! This is an exciting time of teaching, goal-setting and fellowship following the theme When Mission Gets Real: SENT! New TCM Team missionaries will also be commissioned. The conference will run May 26 – 30. Over 160 delegates from countries all over Southeast Asia as well as Asia Adventure participants from the USA and UK are registered to attend. Conference coordinator, Ariel Mahilum writes: “We are ready to meet you guys! Pray for travel mercies for all. 'Jesus I believe in You and I would go to the ends of the earth for You'! Soli Deo Gloria!”
Heavy rains have caused a landslide that has damaged the wall of the new Mombasa ministry center in Kenya that is still under construction. In the photo you can see the lower right side of the back wall has a big hole in it. Pastor Peter Kagwi estimates it will cost $1400 to repair the damage. This is in addition to the $3500 needed to complete the construction project. The building will house the Mombasa Grace Bible Church as well as the Berean Grace School of Ministry that trains pastors and leaders for the work in Kenya. Pastor Kagwi has planned a local fund-raiser on June 5th. If you would like to contribute to this project, contact TCM by phone (317) 783-0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis and Lydia Kenepp have been actively involved in ministry and event planning at Altoona Bible Church in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years. Dennis (aka Denny) is currently employed as a computer technician with a local school district. Lydia works as a nanny. They, along with their children Emma and Graydn, are looking forward to serving with TCM in Southeast Asia. Next week they will join the Asia Adventure trip and attend the Southeast Asia Grace Conference in Cambodia where they will meet the missionaries and many national leaders from the countries in Southeast Asia where TCM works.
This father-son duo hails from Altoona Bible Church in Pennsylvania. John has been actively involved in many areas of the church and has taught an adult Sunday School class for the past 30 years. He holds a PhD in nuclear engineering and is a professor at Saint Francis University. Aaron has been a special education teacher but is currently working as a pastoral intern at Altoona Bible Church. These men join our faithful board members (rt to lft), Aaron Harris, Jesse Vaught (chairman), John Harris, Jim Tollar, Tim Heath, Don Sommer (Treasurer), Tim Board (Secretary) and Doug Cox. TCM thanks these men for giving of their time and wisdom to serve on the Board.
In 2012 the TCM-Philippines Grace Churches set a goal called TCM IMPACT: 115 x 2017. Their goal was to plant five churches in each of 23 regions by the end of 2017. The churches rose to the task and began opening “pioneering areas.” In the past 12 months, 27 churches were planted making 83 since the project started. The total number of recognized Grace churches is now 512. Field Director Pielago writes, “The project is only short of 32 churches before hitting the target! Pray that the Lord would continue to bless and allow us to reach our goals.” IMPACT is an acronym which means I Must Plant A Church Today.
“We prayed and GOD provided! We searched and we found it! We thank the Lord for blessing us with a new Gospel Truck!” write TCM South Africa missionaries, Dean and Sheba Padayhag. The truck project was featured in the spring issue of TCM’s International Harvest magazine, published last month, and already people have responded with tremendous generosity to provide all the needed funds to make the purchase! The truck will be used to carry sound equipment and instruments for outdoor evangelism. The sides and back of the truck bed fold down to serve as a stage for the preacher and carrier for sound instruments for outdoor evangelism. Please pray for safety and empowerment as the ABGMSA evangelistic team travels to target places preaching the wonderful message of Grace. Praise the Lord for the donors and contributors of this much needed project.
New Team Myanmar members, Dan Banac and Salvina Ulfindo, have joined Ben and Joyce Anderson and Gardner Improso on a survey trip to Myanmar. Pray for good rapport and shared vision between the Team members and the Burmese Grace pastors. Team Myanmar is enthusiastic about the opportunity awaiting them. Salvina writes, “I am excited to tell you that we had a great time of fellowship with brethren in Baguio City last Sunday. I taught in the Sunday School and Pastor Dan delivered a very powerful message during the worship service. After the message, we sang the hymn Go Tell the Untold Millions. The church leaders offered a send-off prayer for the Team, and a love offering was also given. We are grateful that God moved the hearts of brethren in this part of the Philippines to respond to God's call of partnering with us in bringing the gospel of the grace of God to the regions beyond. Let us all continue to be ‘expendables’ for His Glory and Honor!”
On opening the TCM mail this week we are in awe of the Lord’s provision and overwhelmed by the generosity of His people! We have received donations that completely cover the expenses of all three projects listed in the recent issue of TCM’s International Harvest magazine! Faith Bunglo responded to the news of their homeschooling needs for this year being met, “At this very moment our hearts are rejoicing and praising God for His riches that He keeps pouring on my family. We thank the Lord for this answered prayer. Last Friday, my children were reminded by the school administrator that they need to be enrolled this week, and we needed money for their registration and fees. Jude and I prayed hard this weekend for this particular need and, before we knew it, God answered already through these donations. Really, God is great and worthy to be praised! We thank the Lord for all of you who work hard to provide all our needs. God is really preparing our children, too, for this new system of learning.”
Three Filipino saints entered the presence of our Savior today. “Pastor Buen” Bienvenido Sausa, 64, a faithful servant of God, was instrumental in planting a TCM church in Anahawan, Leyte and another one in Iligan City, where he was the pastor for more than two decades. He served also as a Bible teacher in IGBI-Tagum. He is survived by his wife, Delia, daughters Eunice & Lois and son Timothy, five sisters (three are Bible women) and four brothers (three are pastors). His mother, Salud, 87, also went home to heaven just a few hours earlier. Steve Mahilum, pictured with his brother, Ariel Mahilum (TCM-Cambodia missionary) was called home while being treated for liver tuberculosis. Ariel writes, "We'll appreciate your prayers for his wife and 2 kids and for my family as we cope with this painful reality of life. Thanks for those who have visited and assisted him during his treatment. It made him feel loved and cared for. Still, God is good all the time. The Lord gave and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Philippians 1:21."
Close to 200 were in attendance for the Joint-Church Service hosted by Grace Berean Church-Springs in their brand new building! We celebrated God's provision for the construction, especially as the floor had just been poured earlier that week! We used to have just a couple cars during joint services and today the area around the church was full! The hosting church started off the service with their beautiful music, followed by worship teams from other churches. Pastor Kennedy Mandaza, chairman of the national board, led the adult Sunday school inside, while the kids met outside with Bible woman Neo Thobela, and Bible student Hazel Cura. Pastor Mashinini shared a devotion with Pastor Sphewi Hlatswayo interpreting, and missionary Dean Padayhag preached the message. National ministry president, Pastor Steve Thobela led the turnover ceremony of the church building to the GBC—Springs congregation. We thank the Lord for the hospitality and generosity of the hosts who spent a lot of time in the kitchen and outside preparing food for visitors. Thank you for all those who let the Lord use them as channels of blessings.
Praise God for the ten students in Phnom Penh, Cambodia who attended the first Level 1classes in Cambodia Grace Theological School. Lessons are offered every other Saturday from 7a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Everyone on Team Cambodia is involved in teaching courses: Bible Synthesis, Hermeneutics 1, and Basic Bible Doctrine 1—Ariel Mahilum, Julia Liles—Evangelism , Myra Omictin— Old Testament Survey, and Stewardship—Faith Mahilum. Pastor Sorn Srouch shared the Word at the chapel hour. Please pray for the teachers and the students!
“A sea of faces” is how Pastor Pielago described the celebration of thankfulness for the establishment of 100 Grace churches on the island of Negros in the Philippines. Five hundred people were expected, but over 1000 attended the activities of the opening night! God’s faithfulness is un-expendable, indeed! Incredibly amazing! As early as 8:00 a.m. on March 23, 2016, motor cycles, cars, and cargo trucks full to the maximum of Grace believers, began arriving from different parts of Negros island. Most of the vehicles carried colorful streamers identifying their church locations along with colorfully printed “Grace Grand Thanksgiving Celebration” banners! At 4:00 p.m., the Governor of Negros Oriental gave a short talk welcoming the visitors to his province. A three-minute fireworks display at the Tambo public plaza signaled the opening ceremonies of the historic celebration. The Word was strongly proclaimed and expounded by Pastor Ben Anderson and TCM national leaders during the two-day celebration. Some 30 adults and young people professed salvation at the close of the grand event. The celebration was superb, unforgettable, spiritually enriching, and God-glorifying!
TCM International Director, Ben Anderson was the featured guest speaker at the Negros Grand Thanksgiving Celebration this past week to commemorate 100 Grace churches on one island: 1000 in attendance, 101 churches, 30 professions of faith. Pastor Jesse Nombre, pictured with Ben, is one of the faithful church planting pioneers of TCM in the Philippines. The TCM Grace ministry on the island of Negros began in 1960 through the ministry of the late Pastor Vernon Anderson and pioneer Filipino workers including the late Pastor Potenciano Undag. The late Pastor Joseph Watkins (70's) and Pastor Vernon Bigelow (early 80's) were tremendously used of the Lord to encourage the ministry along with the late Pastor Simforiano Babylonia. 1960-2016 – 56 years! All through these years, “His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness!”
Dean and Sheba Padayhag write: “For the first time ever in our South African ministry, we will be holding a MISSIONS CONFERENCE on May 1 to 2. This is for the Association of Berean Grace Ministries South Africa Board, church planters, pastors, GBBS students and ministry leaders. We will feature the different foreign mission fields to impart ideas and generate passion for the mission work. The main goal of this conference is to create a solid action plan in saturating the 9 provinces of South Africa...as well as reaching into the bordering countries within and around.”
TCM Team Cambodia is inaugurating a ministry training program in a Bible school setting to raise more leaders and ministers in Cambodia. The launching is March 27, 2016 in Phnom Penh Grace Gospel Church of Christ. The first meeting is on April 9, 2016 (Saturday 7 AM to 4 PM). If you are interested to join this ministry training please contact the school registrar Myra Omictin more information. Contact TCM USA if you would like to sponsor a student’s registration scholarship of $66. Please pray for this program, for the students, faculty & staff. The medium of instruction is English. Soli Deo Gloria!
On March 19, Valerie Anderson married Pete Wynalda of Grace Church, Indianapolis. Valerie has served with TCM as a missionary educator for 30 years and is currently the USA Office Administrator. She is the daughter of TCM’s first foreign missionaries, Vernon and Darlene Anderson. Valerie’s brother, Ben Anderson (TCM’s International Director) and his wife Joyce were able to return from the Philippines and participate in the wedding thanks to incredibly cheap tickets and the generosity of their sister, Hope, who paid for them. The wedding ceremony was performed by Don Sommer, pastor of Grace Church and TCM’s new Executive Director. TCM missionary to England, Barry Pumphrey gave the invocation and former TCM missionary to Brazil, Barbara Bowman Sistelos performed a solo. It truly is a beautiful occasion when members of the Body of Christ gather to witness a marriage as God designed it to be!
TCM International Director, Ben Anderson writes: “We just participated in the first ever mission conference in the Philippines. It was held in Matlang, Leyte and several churches took part. We brought Gerson Bermejo (head of Mission Department) and the Guimbas along with their prospective new missionary teammates, Judy & Faith Bunglo and Juna Umacob. Quite a number of members filled out pledge forms and one church gave their entire offering to for the missionaries.” The theme of the conference was “Finishing the Task” based on Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Pastor Peter Kagwi, head of TCM's Kenya Coast Minstry writes, "Although there have been many challenges in our construction, we thank the Lord for how far that He has taken us. Since timber and stone are so expensive in Mombasa, we have decided to use metals. More funds have been used in excavating the ground. It is so sloppy and had a lot of work. This week the wall will be finished. Then we look forward to put on the roofing. We thank the Lord for every donation given for this project, and trust the Lord will provide for finishing it. Our aim is to have the project finished and dedicated to the Lord by March this year."
International Director, Ben Anderson, writes: January 20 could be the greatest day in the history of Things to Come Mission. The TCM board, meeting in Indianapolis, accepted 12 new missionaries from three countries who will be proclaiming the good new of Jesus Christ in five countries. Now the work begins of assisting these missionary candidates to form their sending teams and travel to the place God has directed them by the end of 2016. Please be in prayer for them: Dan & Amy Banac, James & Agape Bermejo, Faith & Judy Bunglo, Paul & Mariana Craesmeyer, Robby & Tegwen Heath, Salvina Ulfindo and Juna Umacob. It is an honor to be working with these faithful men and women of God.
TCM’s newest missionary, John Cook, has arrived safely at his destination in the Southeast Asian country where he will live and work. He writes, “ Our flight was delayed out of Chicago by about 3-4 hours due to weather conditions. Other than that, it was smooth sailing (our should I say flying!) from there. I was greeted warmly by Pat and Michelle Kilgo as well as Ben and Joyce Anderson. Thank you all for your support and prayers as I traveled. This is the first full day of a wonderful new chapter in all of our lives. Let's continue to do great things for Him! Please pray for me as I go to look at apartments. Pat has graciously offered his home (and Robert his room...poor Robert....I snore), until I can settle into a place. Please keep both the Kilgo family and myself in your prayers!”
If you’ve read Corrie Ten Boom’s story, you may recall her refusal to join her sister in thanking God for the lice and fleas in their concentration camp barracks. Those vermin did turn out to be a blessing for the Ten Boom sisters, and they have provided a unique and practical form of outreach for our missionaries in Siem Reap, Cambodia! After getting a permit from the village chief to conduct a health education seminar and lice treatment to the kids in their neighborhood, Ariel and Faith Mahilum joined up with a YWAM discipleship training team to provide those services. Parents brought their kids by to have their hair washed with special lice treatment shampoo and to be trained in basic hygiene. It was a great opportunity to interact with the neighbors and their children, and to share how their sins can also be washed away through the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood!
The wife of a Filipino couple working in a high-risk southeast Asian country has set a record for the longest time out of the Philippines for a TCM Filipino missionary family: 4.5 years! That’s a long time to be away from home! The couple returned to the Philippines last week for a 3-month break. In an interview with Ben Anderson, TCM’s International Director, the wife said, "I could have stayed longer, but I thought that [my husband] needed a break." That was after she showed him the dog bites where she was attacked by three dogs while walking in the city where they serve! What a faithful servant of the Lord! Pray for this couple as they have a time of refreshing and regroup for the work when they return!
For the past month Ben and Joyce Anderson have been teaching missionary training courses at GTCM in Manila, Philippines. On Sundays they have been visiting Grace churches in the area for encouragement and to present the church’s responsibility for mission. They are excited to see many of the churches active in nearby outreach as well as supporting foreign missionaries. Following the GTCM graduation, Ben and Joyce have begun traveling to other places for ministry. This past weekend they spoke at the Luzon Workers Conference and Advanced Training Seminar with around 100 members and trainees. They focused on the theme “Mobilizing the Local Church for Growth” from Eph. 4:11-16 where Apostle Paul shows that ministers are Christ's gift to the body of Christ for preparing the members for works of service leading to growth. Their next destination is Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia for a two-days visa renewal trip. At the end of December they will embark on a longer journey to visit other TCM fields in Southeast Asia as part of Ben’s International Director responsibilities.
The Mizpah Youth Group is a gathering of young people of different nationalities (Korean, Singaporean, Cambodians and Filipinos) for fellowship, prayer, worship and Word. This was organized by Pauline Mahilum, daughter of TCM missionaries to Cambodia, Ariel and Faith Mahilum, and her friend, Roxy Prieto. Please pray for these youngsters in Siem Reap as they continue to seek God's will in their lives. Praise God for His unspeakable gifts! The financial need for the Mahilums' Christmas party and mini-concert with gift giving for Cambodian kids has been provided. To God is all the glory!
Berean Grace School of Ministries in Mombasa, Kenya has celebrated its fourth graduation ceremony. The six graduates of this year’s class are excited to serve the Lord! This ministry training program is directed by Pastor Peter Kagwi and is intended to train pastors and leaders for churches all across Kenya. TCM missionary Gardner Improso participated in the graduation ceremony. Rejoice with these graduates and pray for them as they enter the ministry!
The Padayhags are celebrating their 10th anniversary in a unique way! They are visiting 10 cities across South Africa in 12 days, traveling over 4000 km/2485 miles! Armed with DVDs, gospel tracts, books and charts, they are ready to minister to new acquaintances and social media contacts. They have scheduled some Bible studies and meetings with online students of the Bible school. Pray that God will open doors of opportunity for the expansion of the Grace ministry in South Africa! Of course, they will be stopping at some tourist attractions en route to our destinations. Please pray for their safety, health and provision for this trip.
Fourteen Filipino missionary candidates have graduated from Grace Theological Center for Mission in Manila, Philippines. Most of these candidates have family and ministries, so their involvement with this mission training program was a sacrifice. The trainees have all expressed strongly their calling to take the gospel to the regions beyond the Philippines. TCM missionary Genesis Maraat challenged them from 1 Cor. 9 at the graduation on Nov. 29 with over 250 Grace members from the Manila churches attending. A favorite song performed by the trainees is “Go Tell the Untold Millions.” Several more people were challenged for mission and discussions are already underway for the next class of GTCM. Pray for Pray also for TCM-USA and TCM-Philippines as we review applications from these candidates and assist them with fund-raising in both countries.
Our TCM missionaries in a restricted Southeast Asian country wrote: We celebrated a Thanksgiving feast with fifty people from the following countries: Britain, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Praise God! Most of them are from our Bible studies. They invited their friends and brought their favorite dishes to share. We had an interesting assortment of food, as you can imagine! It was quite an accomplishment to get so many people under one roof and speaking different languages! Now we're in the planning stages of our next potluck gathering on Christmas Day. Already our friends are anticipating a wonderful time!
Luz Gaddi is retiring after 30 years of ministry with TCM in Indonesia, Uganda and Kenya. Kenya’s national director, Titus Kivilu, writes, “We sincerely thank God for tremendously using Madam Luz during her 1 year ministry in Uganda and the 7 years of ministry in Kenya. Her ministry in Kenya was quite unique as she never lived in one place but she moved around the country every 6-12 months, living among the people and ministering to the local churches. The commitment and sacrificial spirit Luz has expressed in her missionary work is a challenge to all of us to serve the Lord selflessly and with total devotion. During her ministry Luz mentored and trained competent Sunday school teachers, youth and women’s leaders. She has also been one of the instructors in our Bible School training programs. Our faithful Lord has her reward in heaven for all such labors for Him. As Madam Luz retires she leaves a great legacy in Africa and everywhere else she worked as a missionary.”
Chomphoo (pictured on right) is a neighbor of Mareewan (pictured left) and Allen Radke in Chiangmai, Thailand. They invited Chomphoo to attend Grace Church the past two Sundays. This was a special Sunday for Chomphoo since she decided to pray to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior after TCM missionary, Nathan Killion, and Mareewan explained the gospel to her. After she prayed, Chomphoo said she wanted to cry because her heart was so filled with happiness. Please pray for Chomphoo that she will grow in her walk with Jesus and that she can be a testimony to her Buddhist family.
The 9th church anniversary of Grace Berean Church-Kempton Park was heart-warming for TCM missionaries, Dean and Sheba Padayhag. This was the first church they planted when they arrived in South Africa as a newlywed couple. As the founders, they could not help but be in tears to see their "children in the faith" doing the work in the most splendid way. Pastor Kennedy Mandaza, who took over the leadership 3 years ago, is doing great in leading the church forward. This church has been the home of 12 graduates from Grace Berean Bible School, the national organization’s board chair, national youth president and other officers, outreach ministry head, pastoral fellowship representative, national women's fellowship president, and 4 church planters!
Dean and Sheba Padayhag invite you to join in celebrating the victory and success of the Association of Berean Grace Ministries South Africa’s national conference. One hundred and forty delegates attended. Five of them accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Sixteen committed to enrolling in the Bible school in January, and more are expected from other churches. The graduation ceremony was solemn and memorable. The hosts did a great job of feeding the delegates. There were even extra funds left for the venue deposit for the next conference. It's great to see believers fired up, motivated and involved in the ministry!
GRACE THEOLOGICAL CENTER FOR MISSION (GTCM) in Manila, Philippines has commenced training 13 missionary candidates. They will study the following courses for these next two months: Theology of Missions, History of Missions, Missions Strategy, Missionary Life and Stewardship, Church Planting, Leadership, Hermeneutics and Teaching Strategies, Missions and Culture, Orientation to TCM Policy and Procedures. The program will also include an international exposure trip and research paper. Pray that God would bless this maiden missionary training school as she embarks on this endeavor. Pray for both physical and spiritual strength for the teachers and students as they engage in their daily hectic schedules. Also, pray for the financial needs of the school, teachers and students. Pastor Gerson Bermejo is the director of the program, and TCM veteran missionaries Ben & Joyce Anderson and Ariel Mahilum are among the lead instructors.
Julia Liles received a warm welcome from co-worker Myra Omictin upon her arrival in Cambodia last Sunday. She writes, "My first reaction was joy! To have landed, to be back, to hug old friends, to recognise the area! These feelings were hurriedly filled in with questions like 'Can I really do this long term? Can I really leave my family & friends in the UK who need my support? Can I settle here and be a successful witness of Jesus and teacher?' I'm feeling a little more relaxed today as I gave some Bible verses to a girl during my first solo stroll down the street and spoke a little Khmer greeting to my neighbours. I also managed to speak with my family via Skype which made me feel normal despite the distance! I need to enroll in a language course and plan out a weekly schedule following a team meeting this coming weekend. This is just the start of an incredible journey and I thank God you are with me in this!"
“Not Good Enough,” the first of four gospel tracts Dean and Sheba Padayhag plan to distribute in South Africa this year, has been published! Dean wrote the original messages for these tracts. “Not Good Enough” is designed to reach those who have been in or around church all their lives but have never entered into a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It sends a powerful message of the grace of God in freely offering salvation to all who have been trying to be good enough to merit God’s favor. Five thousand copies of the tract were printed and half of those have already been given to the churches to use for evangelism. Pray that the Lord will use these tracts to bring people to a clear understanding of salvation by grace through faith, not of works.
Benalin Chepkemoi shed tears of joy during the worship service in Eldoret, Kenya as she shared her testimony of how God delivered her from a pit of sin and death. Benalin was a traditional brew (changaa) addict before she came to know Christ. One Sunday she entered the church compound completely drunk to a point she could not understand herself and she was a nuisance to the worshippers throughout the worship service. Pastor James was told about Benalin’s life story and the following day he and a church elder went to her home. They talked to her about Jesus Christ, explaining that if she put her faith in Him, all her sins will be forgiven and her life will be changed by the transforming power of the Lord. Benalin trusted in Jesus and got saved. Truly the grace of God has power to save and to transform lives! Benalin’s life has completely changed and she is now using her singing talent to glorify God in the church!
Pastor James Bermejo and his wife Agape are stepping out in faith to follow God’s call to become missionaries! James & Agape are both graduates of IGBI, TCM's Bible School in the Philippines. They have planted two urban Grace churches and have proven faithful in their eight years of serving the Lord. At TCM's Southeast Asia Grace Conference in Kuala Lumpur last summer they made the decision to be missionaries. James has just submitted his 30 days resignation notice from his secular job in preparation for attending the missionary training program in Manila in October and November. He writes, “We will be honored once again if you please include us in your prayers that may God will continue to meet our needs during and after the training since I will no longer be receiving salary from my secular job. It is indeed a great leap of faith but, with great hope, we believe that God will make His ways possible.”
Julia Liles leaves her home in England this Saturday, September 5th, for her first assignment as a TCM missionary! She will be joining Myra Omictin in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Julia asks prayer for wisdom in prioritizing her time in these last few days at home, comfort in all the good-byes, perseverance with packing her life into a couple suitcases and safe travels without feeling too nervous! Pray also for her family, as it’s hard to see a loved one move to the other side of the world. We trust that the Lord will anoint Julia and make her bold in faith and still in Him. Visit Julia’s page on our website to see her latest updates.
TCM-Indonesia’s national leader, Harold Sigar, went to Manado to attend the Bible School graduation on August 22nd. The nine graduates have been sent to their new posts on the islands of Sulawesi and Java. Pray for the ministry in Indonesia, as Pastor Sigar plans to go to Nias this month to attend ministry training for elders and youth. (Nias is an island off the coast of Sumatra where a church was planted after the devastation of the 2004 tsunami.) After that, Pastor Sigar will visit several churches before returning to the island of Sulawesi to lead the 2016 Indonesia National Conference.
Ariel and Faith Mahilum report, “It was an amazing night of worship and fellowship in the Word and with each other. Four couples came together and shared our journey as husbands and wives, and we were challenged to build a household of Faithfulness, Affection, Insight, Truth and Hope. It was the first Grace Couples Fellowship and the birth of TCM Cambodia Board of Trustees that will provide leadership, decision making, and nurture to TCM members in Cambodia and will work alongside TCM Missionaries. Please pray for these couples that we will grow hand in hand and heart to heart, together in the Lord. To God be the glory!”
Ben Anderson reports from Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria: “The Grace Bible Church national conference was held at the YWCA in the town center. The space was adequate for around 120 people, but more kept arriving each day, eventually going well past 200! We had to move into tents in an open area. The conference set several records including total attendance, international visitors (ten people from Uganda plus me), pastor's wives attending and location in a major city. The theme of the conference was ‘Proclaiming God's Wondrous Works’ in celebration of 30 years of GBC in Kenya. I spoke four times plus gave a challenge at the cake cutting ceremony. There was a strong sense of unity and a desire to take the gospel to the rest of Kenya.”
“Praise the Lord, last Saturday we had 10 kids who studied the Bible with us! Three kids were new and two kids decided to receive Jesus Christ!” Mareewan Radtke writes from Thailand. Mareewan, a Thai believer, and her husband Allen, have a weekly outreach to children in the village where they live. They attend TCM’s Grace Church in Chiang Mai. “Seven kids went to church with us yesterday. For two, it was the first time they went to church in their life. They had a wonderful time at church. They told me they love our church because they like worship songs and friends in church. Please pray for our kids to grow up in Christ. God loves Thai kids. May God bless you all too.”
Kenyan national leader Peter Kagwi took Ben Anderson to visit the land near Mombasa which has been purchased for the Coast Grace Centre. During the visit, Peter told Ben the rather humorous story of a neighborhood goat that fell into a deep and narrow well on the property. A local man offered to go into the well to get the goat for Sh500 ($5). Unfortunately, the rope broke and the man fell into the water. When they called down to see if he was OK, the man shouted, “Throw down a stick, there's a snake down here also!” Eventually both man and goat were rescued from the well, a bit banged up but alive and well. So if you think you're having a bad day, it could probably be worse . . .
A summer ministry team from Frontline Bible Church just returned to Michigan after a very fruitful visit to the TCM work in North Brazil. The team completed a roofing project for the Dois Carneiros Bible Church and trained 32 teachers for the TCM churches in Recife. Those teachers immediately put their training into practice through VBS and youth programs. Joe Campos wrote, “We had the second meeting of our recently started youth program. It was amazing! The Lord doubled the attendance from the first meeting, and we had almost 80 young people worshiping, learning and serving! We are going to follow up with a meeting for young men to talk about specific struggles they go through. Thank you for your support and prayers!”
The South Africa ministry had an incredibly busy weekend with a visit from TCM International Director, Ben Anderson! The Padayhags reported, "Friday morning, we videotaped TCM’s Troas Strategy at our studio, and in the evening Ben spoke at a joint service in the new church in Boksburg. Saturday morning Ben met the board of Association of Berean Grace Ministries South Africa, then taught at Grace Berean Bible School the rest of the day. Sunday morning we drove to Tshepisong for a service attended by delegations from several churches and a historic ground-breaking ceremony for the Tshepisong church multi-purpose ministry center! One hundred fifty believers took part in the momentous occasion. Grace TV was also officially launched as our newest ministry and the first batch of DVD copies were released!"
Pastor Cadelina shared this story: The first night of evangelistic meetings was way up in the mountains. We left the van due to broken bridges and hiked barefoot. When I walked about one kilometer, a member told me to ride on his horse. I had not ridden a horse in quite a long time. It was exciting. Two of the three team members hiked with another horse carrying the generator, wires, amplifier, tracts, etc. The first night meeting had many problems like rain showers. Two persons who had unsolved conflicts got into a fight in the meeting hall. One was hit with a stick and the bolo (machete) was ready for stabbing. There were drops of blood. So, I stopped the show. When the two were gone, we continued. Then we almost ran out of gasoline for the generator. In the end nearly all attendees professed to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord. We are so happy!
Pastor Kenneth Ling sends this urgent request, "Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is my special prayer request: In the past two weeks there was a big rain in Myanmar resulting in floods and landslides in the Chin State. They lost many houses and many people are now homeless. Roads and bridges also collapsed. Our Chin people need your prayer and help! We are also giving our help by money, clothes and rice. One sack of rice costs 100,000 Kyats ($85 US). I do really believe that God will hear our cry from our deepest heart and He will wipe away our tears from our eyes. Please pray for our Chin State and Chin people."
As the Africa Safari team flies back to the USA, TCM national leader Titus Kivilu writes, “Thank God for the 9 successive days of ministry with the Africa Safari Team 2015. We evangelized in towns and villages, helped in church building projects, ministered to children in churches and orphanages, taught in 3 pastors and leaders seminars and preached in different churches. We saw souls come to saving faith by believing in Jesus Christ as their savior, believers being encouraged and edified through touching messages and testimonies from the Safari team members, and pastors and church leaders challenged to serve God with vision and passion as we prepare people for Christ’s return. By the end of the 9 days a preacher was made! That preacher is Safari Team member, Josiah Prindle, who preached his first ever message at a night fellowship in Ndutori Church and his second message at Sunday worship service at Kiganthi Church! Thank you Safari Team members for your service for the Lord here in Kenya.”
This past week the Grace Church in Dubai celebrated its third anniversary. Ken Omictin (pictured), shared the history of the fellowship. Ken is the sister of Myra Omictin, TCM missionary to Cambodia. She founded this fellowship made up mostly of Filipinos living and working in Dubai. The church invited Ariel Mahilum to come from Cambodia as the guest speaker for their four-day anniversary event. One of the members wrote, “Thank you Lord for the successful celebration and for all your prayers and support. To God be the Glory!!!”
The Africa Safari summer ministry team of five volunteers led by Ben Anderson arrived in Nairobi, Kenya on July 17, shortly after President Obama landed. They were delayed leaving the airport until security opened up for TCM missionary, Gardner Improso, to drive in and pick them up. The team started out in Embu, one of TCM's regional headquarters, with a building project and outreach. Ben reported, "All is well on the Safari. I think we have already worn out the one guy with me who can preach. Everyone is working hard and enjoying the opportunities to do evangelism. Interestingly, their favorite activity is evangelizing in the towns and villages."
Pastor Peter Kagwi writes from the coastal region of Kenya, “We have a great hope for the growth of the work here. More students of Berean Grace School of Ministry are being used in the ministry of church planting. We are reaching new areas through evangelism. One of those is Voi, a town along Mombasa-Nairobi highway. One of our graduates is preparing to be the pastor who shall work together with Grace Bible Church in pioneering the new work in that region. Pray for Pastor Patrick that the Lord will fully prepare him and his family for that calling.”
Carl Sommer and Neil Skinner spent two months in Cambodia as summer missionaries. One of their projects was to build this shelter for outreach to village children. During their stay Carl and Neil also taught computer classes and built a wall around the village ministry property, evangelized in the city and village and mentored college students. TCM Cambodia thanks Carl and Neil for their love and sacrifice.
The Grace Gospel Fellowship invited Tim Heath to be the opening speaker for their annual Family Bible Conference that took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. TCM sponsored a luncheon for the attendees, during which Ben Anderson outlined the Mission’s history over the past 60 years, detailing how TCM was founded, which year each field was opened and the current missionaries and ministries in those countries. The luncheon also provided an opportunity to introduce John Cook, TCM’s newest missionary, as well as TCM’s new leadership team: Ben Anderson as International Director, Tim Heath as Development Director and Valerie Anderson as Office Administrator.
Ariel Mahilum, founder of TCM’s work in Cambodia, writes, “Memories flooded over us as we celebrated the 8th Anniversary of TCM's work in Cambodia. This year’s celebration was unique because our speaker was a Cambodian Grace believer, Rathy Cheng. Youth and adults from Takeo and Siem Reap provinces joined guests in Phnom Penh for the celebration of thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness to the work in Cambodia through all these years. Our vision is to usher Cambodians into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to plant missional and transformational Grace churches all over Cambodia and beyond. We are grateful for all your prayers and support for the ministry here. To God alone is the glory!”
Three of our missionary kids graduated this month. Andrea Maraat (pictured) lives in Thailand with her parents Genesis and Verna Maraat and brother Josiah. Andrea graduated from high school at Grace International School where she has attended since sixth grade. Andrea will enter Calvin College in August to study for a BS in Secondary Education-Biology. Keren and Kezia Improso lived in Kenya from 1996 until 2011 when they returned to the Philippines to get BS degrees in International Studies. They are now on a short trip to visit Kenya and look for jobs. Pray for our TCM missionary kids to do well in school and glorify God with their lives after school.
At the May 20th board meeting John Cook was accepted as a missionary candidate to Southeast Asia. John is passionate about reaching Chinese people with the gospel. John accepted Christ as Savior in the Altoona Bible Church in Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Grace Bible College and a Master’s degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. After working with Pat and Michelle Kilgo for one month John felt called to partner with them. He is currently traveling on deputation in preparation for a December 2015 departure. Reaching the lost and teaching the Bible to church members and pastors will be John’s main ministry focus. Read John's bio.
Sheba Padayhag writes, "Here are the memories from the successful Youth Camp 2015. With the theme: "Grace Gladiators" (Ephesians 6:10-20). Held last April 2-4 at Magalies Retreat Centre, Magaliesburg, South Africa. Comprised of 36 campers, 7 staff and 2 kids (Shedea & Shedesh). Praise GOD for the 16 youth who got saved while the rest confirmed their salvation. Thank you to the donors and to our volunteer staff. Thank you to the parents who entrusted us their children for the duration of the camp. Thank you to the churches of ABGMSA and everyone around the world who prayed along with us."
TCM is so grateful to the Lord for blessing her with 14 new churches planted from April 2014 to March 2015 in various places in the Philippine islands! From April 2012 to March 2015, God has blessed the TCM ministry in the Philippines with 59 new churches. This means that we are only short of 56 churches more to reach our five-year goal of 115 by 2017. Let’s continue praying, working, supporting, and believing that God will honor our prayers to reach the goal, or even overshoot the target before holding our thanksgiving conference in 2018! (Recent survey shows that TCM-Philippines has now a total of 497 churches spread out in the big islands of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Indeed, God is so faithful and gracious!
Every year the Philippine TCM Grace Church hold their Grace National Annual Conference. This year the venue was in Zamboanga, a city in southwest Mindanao. In spite of the threat of rebels in the area, some 500 leaders and members attended the conference from around the Philippines. One hundred leaders started their Summit meeting on April 20 and the main conference was April 21-24. Seven men were ordained while 28 men and women graduates from the six Bible schools were accepted into the ministry. Missionary Gardner Improso attended the conference on behalf of TCM International and was a speaker during the Summit and also the opening night of the conference. Take a look at the Field Work presentation.
"What an incredible 12 weeks it has been!! So many churches, so many brothers & sisters, so many conferences and talks... and I'm still standing (and speaking!) by God's grace!! I have met so many wonderful people and had great opportunities to share what I will be doing in South East Asia for God's glory. It's so important to realise that what we do in faith comes out of a place of grace... NOT guilt! All that we do should be in LOVE because that it was reaches the heart of the broken and gives joy to those who are comforted by the Lord. 'Actions speak louder than words,' that is true, but there is great value and necessity in" More . . .
The Grace Gospel Churches of Myanmar celebrated their first anniversary on March 26-28. Pastor Kenneth Ling is the director of the churches and planned a weekend of activities. TCM-Cambodia missionary Ariel Mahilum is in Yangon to speak at the celebration, "Arrived in Yangon safe and sound and met Ptr. Kenneth and wife at the airport last night. Anniversary celebration will start tonight, one-full day seminar tomorrow and 2 more nights of sharing the Word. I will be speaking and teaching on 'Grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ'." The initial contact between TCM and Pastor Kenneth Ling came in 2011 through Henry & Lilly—a couple from Myanmar living in Indianapolis. Several ministry visits were conducted by Ben Anderson, Tim Heath, Nathan Killion and Genesis Maraat. Pray that the gospel of God's grace will continue to impact this diverse land which has only recently opened to the outside world. Pictured are Pastor Kenneth and Eunice praying for a church member.
Pat Kilgo is in the Philippines to speak at the graduations at IGBI-Ozamis and IGBI-Tagum. International Grace Bible Institute began operating in 1959 and has now grown to six campuses located throughout the Philippines. Pat is also speaking at the Grace Professionals of the Philippines organization. Pastor Cadelina is Pat's traveling companion and reports that 36 ministry students graduated from the two Bible schools. Although their vehicle was broken into and Pat lost all his clothes, they were able to maintain their busy schedule on the island of Mindanao until April 10.
From missionary Luz Gaddi: Thank you very much for your prayers and support on our mission to Uganda. Maureen and her daughter traveled with me from Kisumu and were able to reach out to the Ugandan youth. Praise God at least 10 youth will attend the Kisumu, Kenya conference in August 2015. The plan to have an inter-church youth conference between Uganda and Kenya will one day be a reality. To say the least the members were happy to meet us. We conducted Bible studies and visited homes. Often we went to the guest house past 10:00pm. Sunday Maureen taught SS and Pastor Philip asked me to deliver the message. The church was full. After the service we met the women for an hour. Read Luz's newsletter.
Philippine Grace Church leaders are planning a Grand Thanksgiving Celebration in 2016 for Godís blessing of 100 churches planted in Negros, including Panay Island. Latest reports confirmed that there are now 98 TCM churches in the Negros provinces, including Iloilo in Panay Island (Negros Oriental, 48; Negros Occidental, 48; and Iloilo, 2). Please continue praying for our co-workers from these two big islands as they work together in planting more churches to overshoot the target before the Grand Thanksgiving Celebration in 2016.
Missionary children receive their education in many different ways including homeschooling, day schools and missionary kid schools. These schools always have a need for teachers and administrators. Often these are volunteer positions although some schools provide housing for their teachers. If you are interested in teaching missionary kids overseas, please contact TCM as we have heard of several positions available including at Grace International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. MK teachers not only have a lifetime impact on the MKs, but also have opportunities to minister to the people around the school.
TCM's newest missionary is from London, England and is on deputation in the US for four months. Julia writes, "It has only been 4 weeks and yet I feel as though I have been here for months! So far I have been to Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans; Florida- East and West coast; Indianapolis, Indiana and Olney, Illinois! Take a breath! I'm currently based in Indy at Things to Come Mission Head Quarters! I have begun an online theology course which I'm really enjoying and this week I have my Orientation too." Pray for Julia Liles as she prepares for serving in Southeast Asia. More . . .
Director Ben Anderson will be teaching an intensive class on the Theology of Mission at the Berean Bible Institute from January 12-15. Topics will include Godís overarching purpose of creating a people in his image, the purpose of mission in the life and teachings of Paul for the dispensation of grace and the saving gospel that the world needs to hear today. One of the foundational points Ben makes is that the Bible is primarily a theology of missionóGodís mission to the world. Why not take a few evenings to be challenged by the Word in this essential purpose of our Christian lives?
On a cold December day in 1955, TCM founder and former missionary Herbert Palmer incorporated Things to Come Mission in the state of Colorado, with its headquarters at his home in Craig. His vision was to send dispensational Bible study literature to anyone who requested, as well as to reach the mountain towns of Colorado with the gospel. Little did he know that after teaming up with a group of students from Milwaukee Bible Institute that the mission would be instrumental in sending missionaries with the gospel of Godís grace to over a dozen countries, resulting in tens of thousands of souls won for Christ, hundreds of churches plus radio programs, translation and printing ministries and numerous Bible schools and training programs. Although Pastor Palmer died in 1961, his life work is giving an ever greater return on investment. Join with us in celebrating our 60th year of proclaiming the wonderful grace of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth! May you truly have a Happy New Year 2015 by making our Lord the center of your daily walk.