Friday, January 25, 2019

Christmas in Congo: Jesse Mitchell

Here's a slice of life from Jesse Mitchell, one of the ten GOM missionaries Karen and I helped orient and train back back in August 2017. We spent the next year coaching Jesse through fund raising and he's now been in the Republic of Congo for five months. Jesse serves as part of our non-medical staff at Pioneer Christian Hospital (PCH). PCH is our hospital in the village of Impfondo.

Jesse Mitchell, Republic of Congo

Jesse is a trained chef working to develop a feeding program to help our patients heal faster, start a sustainable gardening project to supplement the local food varieties, and assist at our partner ministry, Kimia Leprosy Center just down the trail.

From Jesse:
"This has been a crazy holiday season here in Congo...which is perfectly normal for here, I guess. The children at the hospital church put on a brilliant Christmas Nativity play. Mary and Joseph finding nowhere else to stay, ended up in a little palm-thatched hut all lit up with Christmas lights and tinsel, nestled in a small grove of banana trees.

Joseph and Mary and the birthplace of Jesus.

The shepherds and their sheep.

"Angels jumped out of the grove screaming, 'DO. NOT. BE. AFRAID!' As shepherds and sheep (choir boys with ears on) fell to the ground shouting and bleating in terror, respectively. Then the Wise Men came down the isle following the star (a little blinking bicycle light on a pulley). It was perfect.

The Wise Men following the star.

"When the Angel warned Joseph and Mary to not go back to Nazareth, King Herod became furious and sent his terrifying Masked Gunmen to kill baby Jesus. As they searched the church for Jesus, terrifying the little kids, the Angel ushered Joseph and Mary out the side door and on their way to Egypt seconds before the masked gunmen found the hut and blasted away at it with their beeping, sonic laser guns."

Stay tuned for more slices of life from Jesse. 
It's our tremendous pleasure to share how God is working through your partnership to send and sustain GOM's missionaries all over the world.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Talking With The Future

Each fall, Karen and I travel to Louisville, Kentucky to represent our mission at the Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC). GMHC is the largest conference in the United States focused on medical missions. Over 150 agencies, vendors, and service providers participated in this year's conference, November 8-10. The conference is an intense time of personal interaction, relational development, networking, recruiting, and mobilization with medical professionals, and future medical professionals, interested in mission service.

Our Team: Rachel, Karen, Me, and Greg

This year our team consisted of Rachel, Recruiting Administrator; Karen, Partnership Resource Manager; me, Director of Partnership Development; and Greg, VP of Personnel. Over the course of the conference we made over 100 solid connections with individuals, couples, and families interested in learning more about joining Global Outreach Mission in revealing Christ to the world.




Greg shares one of our ministry brochures.

Karen leads a tour of Pioneer Christian Hospital, our medical facility in the Republic of Congo, using our touch-screen kiosk.

Thank your for joining us at the conference through your prayerful and financial partnership!

Monday, November 5, 2018

To Africa With Love

You may remember my May 17 blog about making dresses for "Dress A Girl Around the World." I'm excited to share that girls in the village of Msholozi, South Africa are now wearing those dresses!

Holgar & Maria, friends of ours from Germany who serve in South Africa, connected with us prior to their recent visit to the US. When Maria learned that my friend Cindy and I had sewn the dresses, Maria shared that she worked in a camp with a group of girls that desperately needed new dresses! And to have dresses sewn by hand specifically for them and sent with Christ's love would be even more special to the girls. While Cindy and I had made 13 dresses, Maria said she needed 31!

Keith's Mom in California financed the project so I had everything needed to keep sewing. Our friends Chris and Kathy from Ohio were vacationing on the Outer Banks, heard about the dresses, and offered to stop on their way home and take them back to Coshocton. Holgar & Maria would stop in Coshocton, pack the dresses, and hand-carry them to South Africa, and the girls in the camp.

Chris & Kathy stop in Graham to pick up the dresses.

Maria delivered and distributed the dresses to her girls. Here are photos of some of the girls in their dresses. Thanks for sharing these, Maria! The smiles on the girls' faces makes my heart glad!

Here we are with the first of the dresses back in May.

Gods hands worked in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Germany, and South Africa to create and deliver these dresses to bless girls in a tiny camp in a small village. Faith relationships going back 20 years...bearing fruit in ways unimagined. Can dresses have eternal impact? Maybe not the fabric itself, but the hands and hearts that sewed, drove, stored, packed, traveled, and delivered the dresses...just might. 

Thanks for being part of this Kingdom Adventure through your gifts and your prayers!

If you'd like to have your hands and heart involved in projects like don't have to be able to sew, leave your home, OR know girls in Africa!


Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Blind Finch

This week our focus in Sunday School was on "awareness of creation." We were encouraged to not only spend time exploring silence but also to be outside in order to observe God's creation. To be still. To stop activity and sit or stand until we see and hear things we haven't seen or heard or paid attention to in a long time. Like birds singing or moisture dripping from leaves after a rain storm. Like crickets or bumble bees. Like thrashing branches as squirrels leap from tree to tree, invisible to the eye but vibrant to the ears. And if quiet enough, long enough, maybe even hear God's voice for a moment or sense his Spirit in the swirling morning mist. Who knew what would happen if we were silent, still, and open.

The sun had risen, though still well hidden behind the thick wood-stand behind our house. The pre-dawn fog had faded to a cooling mist as I stood in our back yard. The sky turned from gray overcast to blue. I was quiet. I was looking. I was listening. Five feet away were our bird feeders, assorted shapes and sizes filled with song bird mix, thistle, and dried meal worms. Birds are part of our landscape--a multicolored winged pallet of God's colors. The quiet, the bird food, the woods provided a wonderful place to be aware of Creation.

Those of you who follow our blog know about our birds. Birds that God loans to us each day, week, month, enjoy, laugh at, take photos of, and marvel over. And the usual suspects were here as I stood there: Chickadee, Cardinal, Goldfinch, Sparrow, Tit-Mouse, Carolina Wren, Blue Bird, Brown-headed Nuthatch...and a female House Finch. But this Finch was different. I moved closer, the wet lawn soaked my sneakers. All the other birds took off for the tree line. But not this Finch.

I moved closer still. She just sat and ate her food like I wasn't even there. The woods grew quiet. I talked to her in a gentle voice. "Hello, little Finch. What are you doing today?" I drew close enough to touch her.

I noticed her during my silent time yesterday and realized she was different. Calmer. I had even prayed for her as she didn't fly well. In fact, she flew in little flutters up and down a little forward, up and down a little forward...Hesitant, yet confident. But that was yesterday and today I was stroking her with my finger as she sat there and ate. She could not see. There was something wrong with her eyes. She was blind.

God's voice. Do you want to hear God's voice? Get up early, go outside, discover a blind bird, watch her eat to her belly's limit, let her climb onto your finger, and be aware of creation.

Photos by Karen