Our mission statement is “Helping people connect to God and to each other in every neighborhood.” As a church our goal is to expose people to—and help them engage in—every neighborhood of our city, nation and world.
This week, we begin a 3-week emphasis on missions. We are blessed to partner with incredible gospel-centered organizations around the world that are working to bring glory to God and reach people for Christ. Our missions partners are not exempt from the trials that this crisis brings and so as we highlight our global partners, we also wanted to spend some time praying for them.
1. WEST AFRICAN VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS (WAVS), Guinea-Bissau
WAVS is a Christian non-profit in Fresno that offers hope and opportunity to young men and women in Guinea-Bissau by teaching them critical job skills, such as auto mechanics, welding, sewing, computer basics and English.
- The Country Director is currently stuck in the country. No US Embassy in the country
- All WAVS schooling has stopped
- Prayer for government stability
2. INTEGRATED TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (ITDF), Thailand
ITDF works to help improve the lives of the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand by providing fresh drinking water, teaching practical agriculture skills, supporting economic development through fair trade coffee grown by the villagers, helping build and support schools and medical facilities, and by sponsoring children.
- Marshal Law is in place and there is a curfew from 7pm to 7am
- Coffee is stuck in the villages and needs to be brought to Chiang Mai. Lots of travel restrictions.
- Pray for continued safety for staff. Many are back in their local villages or towns
3. STUDENTS INTERNATIONAL (SI), Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Costa Rica
SI focuses on long-term, ongoing Christian community development in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Nicaragua, through full-time staff missionaries serving in those countries.
- Currently SI is planning on hosting teams this year
- Countries that we visit, DR and CR are in quarantine.
- Pray for staff and funding as everything has come to a halt
4. HAITI GOSPEL OUTREACH (HaitiGO), Haiti
HaitiGO works within the community in Pignon, Haiti and surrounding towns. They provide care for orphans, discipleship, public health for the community, and create sustainability by empowering Haitian Christians.
- Poorest country in the western hemisphere
- COVID-19 creates more instability in the government
- Pray for staff on the ground and their continued good health
5. AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS (AIM), Cambodia
AIM is working with vulnerable kids and families in Cambodia that are easily exploited for human trafficking. They are rescuing, restoring, and reintegrating survivors. In this process the hope is that survivors will know their work and value in Christ.
- Safety for staff
- Financial need to help with programs and national staff
- Pray for people drawn into human trafficking
Global Extended Family & Interns
1. JESSIE RYBACZYK, SI (Costa Rica)
Jessie serves as a long-term missionary with Students International (SI) in Desamparados, Costa Rica, working in the areas of fitness programs, team sports outlets, and mentorship, showing Christ’s love to students of all ages and helping them reach their God-given potentials.
- Creating videos for their fitness program so people can do it at home
- Pray for Jeff and the other directors
- Stress is affecting her stomach
2. SMITH FAMILY, (Eastern Europe)
Smith Family will be working with college students while serving in Eastern Europe, with the goal of making disciples who walk in obedience to Christ and multiply themselves throughout the world.
- All teams from the US have been sent home and all ministry halted
- Newly married and they are learning a lot being quarantined.
- In a few months they’ll be moving to a new city for ministry
3. GRIFFITH FAMILY, (Western Africa)
The Griffith family relocated to a remote village to start learning an ethnic group language, with the purpose of moving closer to the heart of the people and eventually translating the Word of God into the local language.
- Have been told that they can’t travel to cities
- Feeling very isolated
- Good health care is not close to them
- Pray for their safety and through whatever happens that Jesus is being shown and shared with the village
4. JEFFCOACH FAMILY, Global Outreach International (Ethiopia)
- Insults for being foreigners are being yelled at them
- Hospital is not equipped to take COVID-19 patients
- Some staff have left earlier than planned leaving a strain on doctors
- Pray for Soddo Christian hospital and that the Jeffcoaches are able to come to the states for furlough this summer.
1. BRENNA MCBRIEN, Network of International Christian Schools (Peru)
- Being stuck in her apartment has been difficult
- Has been able to have great conversations with her students
- Thankful she hasn’t been having internet issues!
2. LAUREN, International School in North Africa
Lauren will be serving as a teacher at an International School in North Africa. The school focuses on educating local children through a curriculum that correlates to the Common Core Standards. Through the relationships that are developed among the kids and their families, Lauren will show Christ's love to them and share the teachings of Jesus as the Son of God.
- Patience in the waiting for clearance to go.
- Continuing to invest in the relationships she has here.
- Preparing for the task ahead by making the best use of time.
COVID19 Local impact
1. EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD PARTNERSHIP
Connects churches and community partners with underserved school neighborhoods to meet literacy needs and be an active presence at Saturday Sports, helping kids grow spiritually and in their character. They also mobilize individuals, groups and organizations to serve alongside residents and existing non-profits through servefresno.org.
2. FRESNO RESCUE MISSION
Reaching out to the homeless, drug- and alcohol-dependent, impoverished families, neglected and abused children, single transient adults, and other displaced people in the greater Fresno County area, they partner with the Christian community, social service agencies, businesses, families and individuals to meet the spiritual and physical needs of all men, women and children in our community.
3. HIDALGO NEIGHBORHOOD
Manuel and Kim Contreras, World Impact
A former gang member and a small-town girl from the Midwest, the Contreras family is investing in the Hidalgo neighborhood and inviting people into the Word of God with the support of World Impact.
- Kids in their neighborhood have to walk 2 ½ miles to get their free breakfast and lunch.
- Kim’s prayer for their family is, “To be where God wants us to be. We don’t want to waste this season.”