endeavours

Malawi and Back

Recently Jon Batisarisari and Don Greer flew to Malawi to see what GOD is doing through an amazing YWAM initiative there. Jon’s parents — Villi & Judy — are missionaries there, so Jon and Don had a great couple of weeks visiting and tagging along with them wherever they went.

When they got back, our Small Group invited Jon’s small group over and our two groups got to hear their report while it was still fresh!

Jon showed a great video, showing us the new church building and the Sunday school facility in Buli Village. What is extra exciting is that Don was a part of seeing the Sunday School building come to reality, so he got to witness the Grand Opening and tour the facility with a lot of excited church members and kids! At the grand opening there were around 150 adults and around 60 kids. In the crowd were 17 chiefs from neighbouring villages. It was a big deal!

Notable, on the edge of the church property is a Witchcraft Hospital. What a perfect place for a church to sit. Pray for them and their ministry in a dark and broken community with unique challenges!

Jon and Don got to see many of the orphanages and crisis centers that Judy and Villi minister at. At one of the homes their role is just to hold babies. This sounds so simple, yet babies die if they are not held, so this simple act of love is saving lives and extending care to the most vulnerable!

They also got to see the beginning stages of Villi & Judy’s co-worker, Delia’s, dream. She has been working in the area for over 10 years and she is trying to establish a crisis center for girls in trouble. This will require a financial input she does not have, yet she is determined to see this happen. There are girls who get pregnant and have nowhere to go, or experience other kinds of abuse and trouble. If they have a place to go, they can have a second chance at life!

While there, Jon got the chance to preach and help with communion and Don shared his testimony as well — in front of those 17 chiefs, what an honour!

The church in Buli is full of passion; just like us they are learning what it means to be disciples of Christ — not always getting it right! Sometimes the pastor has had some training but not a lot of training and there can be some need for correction in doctrine and practice, to really understand the heart of the Gospel. When this ministry comes to mind, please pray for there to be wisdom and understanding and that the church would be led by the Spirit of GOD into all truth!

Don and Jon described the church as full of celebration! Long services with lots of singing and dancing, lots of improvisation, lots of prayer.

Standing on the campus looking at the new Sunday School building, Jon had commented to Don, “Look what you have done for them, Don.”

And Don said, “No, look what they have done for me.”

Isn’t that the truth about these things? When you know GOD has allowed you to participate in something greater than yourself, the blessing turns around and blesses us more than we could have asked or imagined.

Thank you Don and Jon for sharing your stories with us. It was encouraging and challenging! May SunRidge be filled with people who are “living mission” locally and globally!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho To Mexico We Go!

If you aren’t already feeling the energy, you will starting this Sunday! Student Ministries is preparing for another Mexico outreach and their first Coffee Fundraiser is on for this Sunday! SunRidge loves getting behind this great endeavour and we are already looking forward to seeing the blessings pour out on our young people.

Our Youth Pastor Kyle and the students have already done a good job hyping the event, but in case you have missed the on-stage updates and videos, I thought it might be interesting for our blog-followers to read a bit about the story of Amor. Amor Ministries is the US-side ministry we have connected with for over 15 years. We love them! We love what they do! Catch the vibe yourself by reading up on them. You can go straight to their website, or read what I have cut and paste here!

The Amor Story

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(You can read the full story of Amor if you order their book from Amazon: “Disrupted” — Click here )

More than thirty years ago, Gayla Cooper felt reluctant to spend even one day ministering to children in a Tijuana orphanage. However, after meeting a group of children from a Mexican orphanage, Gayla's heart was touched so deeply that she decided to pack her bags and move to Mexico to work in the orphanage full-time.

Meanwhile, Scott Congdon traveled to the very same orphanage with a community service group from his college. The children had such a profound impact on Scott, that when he returned home, he began collecting food and clothing for the children, returning to deliver the collected items.

Together, Scott and Gayla soon discovered that they shared the same dream of ministering alongside the poor in Mexico. In March of 1980, Scott and Gayla founded Amor Ministries. That fall, they recruited their first ministry group to participate in a building project at a Tecate orphanage.

One year later, Scott and Gayla were married and four more missions teams traveled to Mexico with Amor. The Ministry continues to live out the Congdon’s initial calling and provides homes for families each day. Today, more than 300 missions groups take part each year in short-term Mission Trips with Amor Ministries! Each of those trips is part of the bigger mission of the local communities.

Scott and Gayla, along with the full-time Amor Team, carry out their commitment and passion for helping the poorest of the poor in Mexico, South Africa, and, increasingly, other locations around the world. They mobilize volunteers and work with local churches to respond to the physical and spiritual poverty throughout the world.

When groups come and provide a home, it becomes much more then that:

It Keeps Families Together

Having inadequate shelter provides stress for a family that can lead to separation with individuals looking for work in other cities. Inadequate shelter can also cause parents to decide they cannot care for their children which could lead to institutionalization of the children, children being sent to live with friends or family members creating separation of parents and children, or outright abandonment. A home keeps a family together and a job that provides a living wage allows a family to care for itself.


Promotes Health & Education

Having a cement floor and shelter that protects a family from the elements dramatically increases their health. Kids are more likely to attend school when they aren't sick, and with the solid foundation of a concrete floor they aren't as sick as often. A home helps children get education that could break the cycle of poverty.

Averts Trafficking

Human trafficking, in many parts of the world, is a migration problem. When people are separated from their community because of their need for work, they are vulnerable to traffickers. A home allows a family to stay intact.

For more information of how a simple home benefits the family and community, click here.

Check out SunRidge’s Mexico Trip page and get involved by helping them get ready (they can always use an extra hand), by supporting them through prayer, by getting behind them financially, and by encouraging them personally.

Let’s love and invest in the next generation and high-five them for serving Jesus beyond our borders and their comfort zones. It is a real stretch for most of them, so let’s go out of our way to fill them up in anyway we can, the way a family does!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen