Dr. Dennis Jackson
Dear Global Partners:
Thank you for your steadfast partnership in the global mission with which we are all entrusted. Like 2020, 2021 has been a challenging year for many of us. It isn’t difficult to list the obstacles of fulfilling Christ’s command to go make disciples of all nations. Losses have been significant. In many parts of the world, travel has been very restricted. Public gatherings were severely limited. Pastors and leaders around the globe have passed away from COVID-19. As you read these reflections, I’m sure that the face of a close friend or family member recently passed may vividly come to mind.
In spite of the obstacles and losses, we have seen numerous examples of God powerfully moving. The Church did not disband due to COVID. Instead, the Global Church united more strongly than ever around the mission.
- Since the beginning of the crisis, over $447,000 has been raised for COVID relief, with approximately 25% of that amount coming from house church networks in a creative access country!
- In South Asia, in the midst of political instability and persecution, Wesleyan churches in the region have stepped up to proclaim the gospel by caring for the neediest in their communities.
- In Haiti, The Wesleyan Church, along with World Hope International, was strategically positioned to respond once again to urgent needs created by the latest earthquake.
- After much prayer and planning, Global Partners is launching a new sending pathway known as “Global Marketplace Multipliers (GMM),” to see professionals strategically engaged in making disciples globally.
Global Wesleyan churches participated in “21 Days of Prayer and Fasting” leading up to Pentecost Sunday on May 23, 2021, providing a beautiful snapshot of our global unity, Spirit-led prayer, and missional focus. Wesleyans from 55 countries focused their prayers on being filled and led by his Spirit, to see disciples and churches multiplied — especially to reach the 4 in 10 who have no access to the gospel in their community.
As you read this Global Update, may the same Holy Spirit fill you with hope, expectancy, and longing. May your hope rise in the power of God to transform individuals, communities, and nations. May you be filled and led for how God will use you to fulfill the mission. May your longing grow to see those who live without access to the gospel introduced to their loving heavenly Father who welcomes them home. Thank you again for your partnership in the mission that matters — forever!
Global Partners Executive Director
We look for partnerships that are both relational and strategic. Relational means regular, ongoing contact. Strategic means a long-term investment with a clear aim in mind.
EAST ASIA PHYSICIANS SUPPORT SOUTH ASIAN COVID PATIENTS ONLINE
By Global Partners Missionary to East Asia*
The Wesleyan Church in India has a branch in Nagpur. Nagpur was especially hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic. At one point, there were more than 70,000 active case that were completely overwhelming their medical system. Patients were 2-3 to a bed, and some patients, unable to get into the hospital, died in the parking lot waiting.
The church there became involved, purchasing medicine, conducting funeral services for their unsaved neighbors, and assisting patients to get to the hospital. Christian doctors affiliated with Global Partners in East Asia were asked to provide online medical consultations. Over a 10-day period, the time when the epidemic was at its peak, the East Asia team met five times with Indian church workers who had been with their neighbors. We answered medical questions, prayed together, and provided bereavement and spiritual support. It was truly a life-changing event for all of us.
One of our East Asian Christian doctors wrote:
It’s a great honor to have the opportunity to join our medical team in support of COVID-19 patients online. … I later found out that although we had some barriers in language communication, our hearts were connected with the people of India. Thank you, God! We love each other by serving the Lord Jesus together!
It has been so encouraging to see the effects of the gospel go from everywhere to everywhere.
*Name omitted for security reasons.
A STORY ONLY GOD COULD WRITE
By Kerensa McFrederick
Global Partners Europe Area Director
Julia,* an immigrant from a war-torn country in the Middle East, was disillusioned with Islam and found herself thinking as an atheist after settling in Europe. Her new husband, a scientist and atheist, had growing concerns for her well-being as he watched her struggle with anxiety and depression. Finally, he expressed, “Julia, maybe you are someone who needs faith in your life. We already know it is not Islam because of your experience. I have studied many religions, and Christianity is the best one because it is based on love. Why don’t you try it?”
Julia made her way to a Catholic cathedral for mass. She found it hard to understand as the sound bounced around the huge, mostly empty space. She was frustrated and prayed, “God, if you’re real, then show me!”
When the mass ended, she walked outside and immediately ran into an old acquaintance. She had often wondered if this woman had faith because of her kindness. Julia explained why she was there and how difficult it was for her to understand. The woman explained that there were other believers in the city, and some spoke English. Julia couldn’t believe it! Her English ability was excellent, and she became excited. Unfortunately, COVID lockdown ensued, and she could not continue her search. Then one day, she remembered key words the woman shared and began to search online.
Soon, she found online services and was even able to join a Bible study. Later, when our missionaries were able to meet her in person, she shared, “Watching online and learning about Jesus every week began to change my heart. I have so many questions, but I think I want to follow him.” Julia is following Jesus today, and her husband is growing in openness too. Isn’t it wonderful that God used an atheist to set Julia on the path to Jesus? It’s a story only he could write!
AMPLIFIED LEADERS UPDATE
By Mike Morgan, Director of Executive Initiatives
Bible School Principal Equipped in eSwatini
After years of study and hard work, Rev. Joshua Azikiwe (pictured) has completed his master’s program through Wesley Seminary (Marion, Indiana). Although Joshua began his training while serving in his home country of Kenya, he now sees that God was also preparing him for his current role at Emmanuel Wesleyan Bible College in eSwatini where he currently serves as principal.
Training to Pastor in Rwanda
Due to increased government regulations, pastors in the country of Rwanda can only serve if they have a certain level of education, training, and certification. I’m excited to share that we have been able to help three pastors enter education programs that will bring their training up to these standards in order for them to pastor in local churches.
Additional Pastor Studying in Ibero-America
Isaac Roman is one of the latest additions to the Wesley Seminary Spanish MDiv Cohort. Isaac is currently pastoring a local church in Panama. As a result of this training, he will be better equipped to serve his local congregation and also have the skills to help train and equip future pastors.
WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH JIBICAM?
By Perry Hubbard, missionary to Panama
In the last few years, JIBICAM, the Ibero-America Mission Board, continues to grow. JIBICAM is organized by zones where they have camps, do short-term missionary trips, practice the four pillars of missions (resources, communication, mobilization, and training), and have a school of missions, training in theory and application. The regional church has awakened little by little to the selection of missionary candidates and sending them for preparation and training. As a result, they now have missionary projects like the one to the Fotizo people where two people are being sent for training on the field. JIBICAM has missionary bases in Guajira in the north of Colombia, in the Amazon, in Spain, in Southern Asia, and a project to Alaska and in Africa. JIBICAM is looking for key partners for a worldwide outreach.
WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
By Caryl Aukerman, missionary to Albania
Due to COVID-19, 46 Albanian children finished a discipleship course in our neighborhood! Prior to the pandemic, only 15-25 children had faithfully attended weekly meetings. Initially, with strict COVID restrictions that barred us from meeting, the children’s ministry seemed impossible in our impoverished, technologically challenged neighborhood. Yet, in the end, God revealed a way.
As we prayed, correspondence lessons came to mind, and we secured permission to use some from Child Evangelism Fellowship. When the government allowed us to leave home to shop for necessities, we walked by houses of children who had attended meetings in the past. We delivered lessons in page protectors while wearing gloves and masks in keeping with recommended health precautions. Even some children who had never participated in children’s ministry decided to participate. Not only did they complete the course, but all of them expressed their desire to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and to follow him!
For resources on making a legacy gift, including a free online will creation tool, visit gponline.org/legacy.