Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ministry Update from Leah Busick ~ Urbancrest Argentina Mission Team

Our trip to Argentina this summer was a very different experience from years past. Our team of five ladies, including 3 teens, joined two Urbancrest interns who were already in Argentina. We joined with two missionary couples and two interpreters in the city of Salta, in the province of Salta, Argentina. We had the opportunity to work with a local Salta church in many different ministries. From the Thursday evening we arrived through Sunday night we worked in two "Happy Hours" (which are weekly children's Bible studies much like VBS), ministered in a local school teaching English and the love of Jesus, visited patients in the local hospital, attended a large youth event involving four churches, and shared our lives and testimonies with the church at teas, Sunday Schools, small groups, and during their main service.

Monday our team moved to a town outside of the main capital of Salta which was a bit smaller than the city of Lebanon. When we arrived, we went directly to the local high school where we met Juan Jose, a teacher there and also the elder of the local church. We found out that recently this city has been plagued with sadness because of a rash of suicides and suicide attempts among young people. They do not know the extent of this sad epidemic, but it has been as bad as 15 attempts in one day. Needless to say, this was a dark place in need of the hope that only Christ can bring. The Lord opened so many doors for us to share. We were primarily in the public high school, but we also visited the elementary school and spent one afternoon in a private high school. Each classroom was different. Sometimes we started with an English lesson, but sometimes we just started with our testimonies and lead straight to the Gospel. Not once were we stopped in these schools; not one student was disrespectful to the message we were offering. In fact, quite the opposite; many students ASKED how we could live with such hope and joy. We can only attribute that to the Lord and His work in the lives and hearts there. It was an amazing experience where God just let us be a part of and see what He can do. We spoke to over 600 students in this town where hope and peace were planted in a people that are calling out for it.


In all, our team got to witness 79 souls changed forever as they gave their hearts to the Lord. We ask for prayer for these people as they start their new lives in Christ--for discipleship and growth and protection. Please pray for the missionaries we worked with in Argentina: Will & Alejandra Herndon, Chema and Analia. Please pray for a young man we worked with in Salta. Raul is only 18 years old but had a massive stroke after we left the city. Last we heard he is in a coma and his situation is very serious. He is a core worker for the church. Please pray for his recovery.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! Without prayer and the Lord's guidance we would all be hopeless!

Ministry Update from Doss Estep ~ Urbancrest Uganda Mission Team

Fourteen team members were in Uganda for two and a half weeks from June 23-July 9, 2010. This team began their ministry with IMB missionaries George and Geraldine Smith on Bavuma Island. Leadership training was taught at the Pastor’s Training School by Charles Fry and Doss Estep, while basic foundational training was taught to other pastors and laymen by Ron Whitmer, Eric Norman, Cliff Glenn, and Andrew Mendez. Women’s conferences were held in two different locations on the Island by Diane Lynch, Linda Estep, Darlene Whitmer, and Kayla Kresslein. Jeri Cook, Cliff Glenn, Kayla Kresslein, Andrew Mendez, Ed Mendez and Samantha Smith taught in the Island schools while Darlene Whitmer and Heidi Mendez conducted a 3-day teacher’s conference.

The team ministered in a children’s hospital and also with Pastor Alfred Adundo of MCOP in the Jinja slum Masese. Ed and Heidi Mendez and Eric Norman conducted a medical clinic while the rest of the team taught Bible studies to children and adults. They also taught both men and women in the prisons of Jinja, seeing many come to Christ.

After the ministry in Jinja, the team then moved to Masindi in northern Uganda where they conducted Bible conferences once again on Canaan Farm with Susan and Richard Angoma of Family Empowerment Uganda.

355 souls came to Christ in Uganda as a result of your prayers and offerings and the obedience of these who went to share the Good news of Jesus Christ.

Ministry Update from Dave Bickers ~ Urbancrest Key West Mission Trip

Twelve Urbancrest members traveled to Key West, FL to assist our ministry partner Pastor Bill Welzien and Keys Evangelistic Ministries in the 34th Annual Swim Around Key West. Over 100 swimmers from around the country participated in this event. The Urbancrest team assisted in administrative tasks, assembled goodie bags with gospel materials and served the guest swimmers in other practical ways. We also participated in Sunday worship services, prayer walks, and two nights of open air evangelism. Team members were able to share personal testimonies and give witness to Christ to many tourists and locals during this week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

News from Missionaries ~ New Zealand Earthquake

You have probably heard of the recent earthquake in New Zealand. I have had email contact with our missionaries that are living in the area. Jamie & Sandra Thompson currently live in Auckland and Erik & Michele Stapleton live in Vanuatu but are on furlough in Chicago for several months. They are all fine. I have posted their comments below.

Hey Doss,
Thanks for your concern. The earthquake was located on the south island and we are on the north island. We have never felt an earthquake in Auckland. Thankfully no one was killed. God bless and we are thankful for our church family!
In Him,
Jamie Thompson

The earthquake damaged the office some. It was felt all over Vanuatu. We assume our house in the village is fine but don't know since we are stateside. If anything, it would have cracked the concrete foundation but not much else. Thanks for asking!
Erik Stapleton