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May 22, 2013 - Much of my work involves helping churches discover their unique gifts and talents that they can contribute to the work of World Renew. Sometimes I hear, "my church is too small to really get involved," or "we have a hard enough time paying our ministry shares; we can't take on another offering or missions project." Sometimes I want to say, "Yours is exactly the kind of church I want to work with!"
May 21, 2013 - Sy Ellens, an artist in Kalamazoo, Mich., has created a painting commemorating next month's 125th anniversary of Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM). The 50-by-40-inch painting highlights images from CRWM's ministry with Native peoples in North America and work in Africa, Asia, and Latin America over the years.
May 20, 2013 - Plane, boat, rickshaw, taxi, truck, bus, motorcycle, camel, subway . . . you name it and Mike and Claudia Elzinga have probably taken it. The Elzingas are half-way through their year-long volunteer service to Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM). See and read their work, and learn more about them, on their website: twocamerasonemission.com. Since October, they've visited CRWM missionaries and partners in over 10 countries.
May 17, 2013 - Ismael Ruvalcaba was working at a large funeral home in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2001 when he came across the body of a man who was about to be cremated. Then something shocking happened. Ismael looked at the man's face and saw his own. His mind froze, and he heard God tell him he would one day be in the same position.
May 13, 2013 - Barbara Hampton has been interested in connecting with Muslims ever since she began meeting them in her classes at College of Wooster in Ohio several years ago. As an advisor for the college's InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter, she met many Muslim students who were curious about Christianity. So she researched, wrote, and gave Christian students a Bible and Quran study to use with their Muslim friends.
May 13, 2013 - Plane, boat, rickshaw, taxi, truck, bus, motorcycle, camel, subway . . . you name it and Mike and Claudia Elzinga have probably taken it. The Elzingas are half-way through their year-long volunteer service to Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM). Since October, they've visited CRWM missionaries and partners in over 10 countries.
April 30, 2013 - For 4 years or so, Christian Reformed World Missions in East and South Africa has been training teachers and school staff in Educational Care, a 6-module program that teaches a biblical worldview, that shows the teachers how to teach math through the scripture, how to teach science through the lenses of the Bible. The program covers things like creation care, preventive and corrective discipline, understanding and celebrating each childs God-given gifts.
April 23, 2013 - "I dont have a single American friend, I dont understand them." Tamerlan Tsarnaev This is a telling quote, one that is of special interest to me and all supporters of Salaam Project. One of Salaam Project's goals is to increase the engagement of the CRCNA membership with Muslims now living in the United States and Canada. After the Boston bombings many Americans and Canadians, Muslim and Christians both, bore the heaviness of grief and anger in the face of another terrorist attack.
April 16, 2013 - After entering the ornate offices of Al Azhar University and Mosque, our delegation from the Christian Reformed Church of North America was seated in the reception room and offered tea and Turkish coffee. Everywhere we went we experienced Egyptian hospitality that was warm and welcoming. After a period of sipping strong coffee, we were led into a large conference room. We were expecting a quick meet and greet, but to our surprise we were invited to sit down with the Grand Sheik, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb
April 9, 2013 - Five years ago, Lesley Toussaint volunteered to help Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) with accounting matters in Haiti for 10 months. As soon as she finished, Lesley accepted a new opportunity in Haiti - a missionary position with CRWM in partnership with Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI). For the next four years, she helped BTGMI expand its radio and discipleship ministries in Haiti.
April 9, 2013 - Two years ago, Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) wrote a teacher-training program, Educational Care, for Christian teachers in underserved areas who had little training on integrating their faith into their classrooms. CRWM missionaries and others began using the program in Kenya, Nigeria, and West Africa. Now CRWM partners with Worldwide Christian Schools (WWCS) to distribute the learning program more widely. Educational Care is transforming Christian schools in Africa and Latin America from the inside out.
April 5, 2013 - Garba Umar, 49, had planned to be a lawyer. But shortly after finishing his legal training, he realized that the nudging on his heart to become a pastor was growing. So in 1997, at the urging of then-Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) missionaries Bob and Ineke Lodewyk, Umar became a church planter in Nigeria. Today Umar is an evangelist with the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN).
April 5, 2013 - In the 1970s, political instability forced Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) to stop planting churches in Nicaragua. When CRWM returned in 1996, it realized that Nicaraguas Protestant evangelical churches had the real potential to transform the nation. One thing, however, was holding them back. "Their impact on society and culture was limited by a dualistic worldview," said CRWM missionary Joel Huyser. Evangelical Christians separated their faith from the rest of their life.
April 5, 2013 - Twenty-five years ago, Misato Reformed Church in Japan was a small church plant in the middle of rice fields outside of Tokyo. Today it is a light for Christ in an ever-growing city. Rev. Hiortsugu Mochida, a pastor with the Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ), started Misato RCJ with two Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) missionary couples, Mike and Trudy DeBerdt and Richard and Sandy Sytsma.
April 2, 2013 - The whole world watches with great hope that in time something new and exciting will be born out of the 2011 Egyptian revolution that toppled longtime autocratic ruler President Hosni Mubarak. This is the assessment that members of a Christian Reformed Church (CRC) delegation that included one member of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) bring back with them after spending 12 days on a fact-finding trip to Egypt. The 10-person CRC delegation was led by Rev. Joel Boot, executive director of the CRC. The group traveled to Egypt from March 8-20 to gain a firsthand look at the CRC's newest multi-ministry endeavor involving Anne Zaki and Naji Umran, who live in Cairo and work for Christian Reformed World Missions.
March 25, 2013 - Mike and Claudia Elzinga, the Grand Rapids, Mich. couple, who is traveling the world to tell the stories of Christian Reformed World Missions missionaries, recently left Bangladesh. From Bangladesh, they traveled to Egypt, where, among other things, they visited a cave church that is one of the oldest Christian churches in the Middle East.
March 22, 2013 - Rachel Horlings, a well-respected underwater archaeologist and the daughter of Christian Reformed Church missionaries Andy and Linda Horlings died unexpectedly last week in Ghana. At this point, it looks like she was electrocuted when she touched a computer cable. Her parents will be leaving Ghana in West Africa soon and returning to Syracuse, New York, for the funeral of their daughter.
March 22, 2013 - Rev. Istifanus B. Bahago has assumed leadership and program development for the quickly growing Christian Reformed Church of Sierra Leone. Bahago, a former seminary professor, recently served as president of the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN). He replaces Rev. John Phiri, director of lay training and empowerment for the Reformed Church in Zambia, who had served in Sierra Leone for many years. CRCN missionary Rev. Ezekiel Sudu and his family are continuing to serve in Sierra Leone.
March 12, 2013 - The voice of Christian churches in the West - the "people of the message" - has not been heard loudly enough in challenging forces of secularism and globalization, one of the chief leaders for Sunni Muslims around the world told a Christian Reformed Church delegation this week. Looked at in this manner, the Sunni leader told the delegation, Christians and Muslims should not be enemies. Rather, they should join forces to identify and resist the challenges of godless modernism, secularism, materialism, and globalism.
March 11, 2013 - On the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Christian Reformed World Missions has posted a video detailing the impact the disaster had on many Japanese Christians with whom CRWM has worked. The earthquake swamped the northern part of Japan on March 11, 2011, causing nearly 20,000 deaths, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and leading to widespread destruction.
March 5, 2013 - The Southeast Asian country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has been undergoing significant political change in the last few years. And, as a sign of this, President Barack Obama became the first American president to visit Myanmar late last year, praising the government's progress in shaking off military rule and putting on pressure to complete the process of democratic reform, according to news reports.
March 1, 2013 - Rev. Greg Sinclair was pleased to see more than 60 people, including presenters, attend a recent conference whose focus was on better understanding the Muslim faith. The conference took place at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. People at the seminar and especially a large group of Calvin College students were clearly eager to learn how to create a dialogue between and disciple their Muslim brothers and sisters, says Sinclair, training director of the Christian Reformed Church's Salaam Project.
February 20, 2013 - In a former dental office turned Christian community center in Yamamato, Japan, missions organizations and Japanese Christians are offering much needed support to people devastated by the March 11, 2011 earthquake. Through their care, Nozomi Center (Center of Hope) staff and volunteers are pointing people to their only true source of hope Jesus.
February 18, 2013 - While my wife and I were missionaries in West Africa, our children attended day care with a little girl named Jihad. At the time I thought it was a strange name (and this was before September 11, 2001, when Jihad entered the Western world's lexicon). I have since learned that jihad, to put it simply, means struggle; any kind of struggle, but particularly a struggle for the faith. Jihad could include the struggle to get up in the morning, the struggle to resist a particularly tempting sin, or the armed struggle to defend Islam.
February 13, 2013 - In January, Rev. Istifanus B. Bahago assumed leadership and program development for the quickly growing Christian Reformed Church of Sierra Leone. Bahago took the position on behalf of the Christian Reformed Church of North America and the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN), for which Bahago was a seminary professor and most recently served as president. He replaces Rev. John Phiri, director of lay training and empowerment for the Reformed Church in Zambia, who has been serving for many years in the position.
February 4, 2013 - Last night at church a young lady shared about her work with YWAM saving children from the sex slavery industry. We all know to some level that child prostitution is happening but I dont think many of us know the reality and depth of this evil. I wish you were all there to hear her stories and see the faces of the children she worked with.
February 1, 2013 - For seven years, members of Jacquet Christian Reformed Church in Haiti prayed to God for land to build a church. Last August, the church broke ground for a new building--a building made possible through God's work in events, members, and other organizations.
January 29, 2013 - A new chapter has opened in my life and in my service here in Nicaragua. As many of you well know, I have embarked on a new journey with an old friend...Nicaragua Christian Academy (a.k.a NCA). When I first came to Nicaragua over seven years ago (!) I came as an English teacher at the fledgling school called NCA Nejapa.
January 28, 2013 - What can an evaluation of Christian Reformed World Missions' 90+ years of sending missionaries to Nigeria tell us about being a missionary today, right where we are? For two weeks earlier this month, I had the opportunity to participate in a country evaluation with Christian Reformed World Missions in Nigeria. From the Daniel Center, to the missionary compound in Jos, to visiting historic partner denominations in Takum, we put on a lot of miles and interviewed countless people who are involved with ministries there.
January 14, 2013 - World Renew (formerly CRWRC) celebrated 50 years of ministry in 2012. In 2013, Christian Reformed World Missions will celebrate 125 years of ministry. That's a long time! How is your church emphasizing missions these days? If you are looking for some up to date inspiration, here are some ideas:
January 12, 2013 - Today is the anniversary of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that shook Port-au-Prince and its surrounding communes, killing hundreds of thousands and causing an untold number of injuries and massive loss of economic resources. For us it is a milestone, because we survived the earthquake which struck at 4:53 pm as we were eating an early supper on a Tuesday afternoon. Though our home didn't collapse and bury us, we were terrified and a little cut-up from all the broken glass and falling furniture.
January 10, 2013 - After receiving an anthropology degree from Michigan's Grand Valley State University, Kelsey Davies wanted some "real-world experience." So she was instantly interested when she heard about an intentional community living opportunity in Costa Rica with Christian Reformed World Missions missionaries Jim and Ruth Padilla DeBorst.
January 10, 2013 - Ten years ago, Trinity CRC members in Goderich, Ontario, adopted a new vision: "Building disciples who bring Christ to the community and the community to Christ." By 2007, the church had grown so much it needed a new building. The church appointed a fundraising team and the team soon developed a plan to nurture peoples faith locally, build a new ministry center, and bless churches in other countries.
Does your church feel a calling from God to go out and make disciples by sending short-term teams, long-term missionaries, or through cross-cultural encounters in your area? Or maybe your church wants to live out your missional calling through disaster-relief ministry or reaching out in various ways to your community and neighborhood? If these questions resonate with you, Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM), in conjunction with other agencies of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), can help.
January 7, 2013 - Enrique Manuel Alvarez was a Cuban guy in his mid-30s making a living as a gym teacher and, on the side, drawing caricatures for a humor magazine. To get ideas he'd listen to a humorous radio program out of Miami. But just before that show came on, an evangelist preached about Jesus. Little by little, Alvarez paid more attention to the evangelist. "Sometimes the Spirit spoke to my heart and said, 'I'm going to take you to church,'" Alvarez recalled through an interpreter. "He was talking about new life in Christ. I said, 'I need that.'"
December 17, 2012 - Steve and Jan Michmerhuizen do not readily fit the customary definition of "missionary." Although both are experienced leadership trainers, they did not go to Romania with a predetermined program to implement. Think of the Michmerhuizens as tillers or cultivators. The seeds of the gospel have been planted in Romania by others. Many of these seeds have grown into plants that are already bearing life-giving fruit.
December 17, 2012 - In just a few weeks I'll be participating in an evaluation of Christian Reformed World Missions' work in Nigeria. One of the questions we'll be asking is, "Is there still a role for Western missionaries in Nigeria? If so, what should that role look like?"
December 11, 2012 - The Christian Reformed Church's synod appointed a small committee in June of 1888 to oversee missions work among the Sioux nation of Native Americans in South Dakota. Although the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) ultimately began its outreach in 1896 to the Navajo and Zuni people and not the Sioux, that initial synodical action, taken 125 years ago, ended up launching the agency that has become Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM).
December 10, 2012 - Two and a half years ago, we received an email from a church we had never even heard of before - Covenant CRC in Appleton, Wisconsin. A contact person for the church wrote, "We are a small church, so our initial support is modest. But . . . there is very strong interest in having a vibrant relationship with you and your family . . . We want to mention your name and things about you in our services, newsletters, updates, letters, items of interest, prayer requests, etc. In other words, we desire to get to know you and feel connected to your work and lives (and kids) in the Ukraine."
December 10, 2012 - Samuel directs a K-12 school in West Africa. While he mainly supervises teachers, sometimes he teaches classes to stay familiar with teachers' experiences. Like many Christian administrators and teachers in the region, he's had little training or experience on nurturing a biblically-based school environment. In September, Samuel participated in the first part of the Education Care teacher training program. Christian Reformed World Missions missionary Sheila Dykstra facilitated the workshop.
December 10, 2012 - In Acts 17:23-24 Paul makes reference to an altar with the inscription: To an Unknown God. Paul then proceeds to describe who that God is, as he has revealed himself through his Son Jesus Christ. In doing this Paul uses a bridge to the Gospel from another faith (in this case Greek polytheism). This idea of finding a bridge through other faiths to the Gospel is also possible with the Islamic faith.
December 7, 2012 - All Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) missionaries are accounted for and were not harmed by the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that occurred this morning in Japan, says Gary Bekker, director of Christian Reformed World Missions. The earthquake hit at 2:18 a.m. EST (today) off the eastern coast of Honshu, Japan.
November 30, 2012 - Aliu (not his real name) is one of the leaders of a small group of Fulani Christians living in a region in West Africa. Formerly a devout Muslim, Aliu now serves as an evangelist. His transformation began when he went to a spiritual conference hosted by Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM). He attended only because he wanted to learn to read. But the conference gave him more than he had imagined.
November 15, 2012 - A Christian Reformed Church pastor says he is seeing many Muslims move into the southwest Chicago suburb in which his congregation is located. He has not been certain how to respond to this influx of people - and this is a reason why he attended the recent Salaam Project Conference at Trinity College in Palos Heights, Ill.
November 12, 2012 - Five pastors in Kenya are seeing their churches flourish since they began crafting their sermons with tools received and learned through Timothy Leadership Training (TLT). The pastors are church planters among two of Kenya's unreached people groups, the Maasai and Pokot. Before participating in TLT, these pastors had little formal training or experience in applying God's Word to life. As a result, their sermons were often surface-level and based on stories unrelated to the text.
November 12, 2012 - Marcos, now 35, was raised in a dysfunctional family. His parents managed to move from Mexico to the United States when he was young, but his father struggled with substance abuse. Marcos followed his dad down the same path and became involved with a street gang. By the time he was 24, he was using and selling drugs. Eventually he wound up in prison, a heroin addict.
November 12, 2012 - I'm reading through the Qur'an for the second time. The first time I read through it, I was in Pasadena California at the Zwemer Institute for Muslim Studies. It was a good break from a cold January in Winnipeg, Canada and while we enjoyed the warmth, I diligently read the Qur'an from beginning to end.
November 5, 2012 - "Our goal as Christians is never simply to build our own tribe. Instead, we seek the peace and prosperity of the city or community in which we are placed, through a gospel movement led by the Holy Spirit." (Timothy Keller in Center Church) I love reading missionary newsletters, as you can probably tell. Last week I posted about a church that was started out of a literacy class meeting underneath a tree in Uganda. This week, I'd like to share with you some words of wisdom from Gil Suh, who works with Christian Reformed World Missions in Cambodia.
October 31, 2012 - Rough footage from the documentary Becoming Fools features Italo Castro, the holy clown, walking in floppy shoes among street kids in Guatemala City. With a painted face and wearing colorful clothes, Castro keeps stopping to speak to swarms of kids about clowning and perhaps one day becoming a clown themselves.
October 26, 2012 - Rev. Albert Strydhorst has joined the Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) community as the Lee Huizenga Missionary in Residence for 2012-2013. Strydhorst has served with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) in Nigeria since 1993, soon after he graduated from CTS. His roles included church planter among the Avadi people of northwestern Nigeria, country director for CRWM in Nigeria, and partnership coordinator between the CRC and national churches in West Africa.
October 25, 2012 - Helping people, especially members of the Christian Reformed Church, to better understand their Muslim brothers and sisters will be a focus of a conference being offered on Nov. 10 by the Christian Reformed Church's Salaam Project. Featuring a keynote speaker and several workshops, the Salaam Project Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on the campus of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill.
October 22, 2012 - One of the questions I'm frequently asked is, how should churches make decisions on which missionaries to cut from their support roster? Which is fine if it is done intentionally in order to focus the church's ministry to the world, but not so fine if it's done out of an inability to raise funds for missions. Below is an article from sixteen:fifteen that talks about how the resources needed to finish the Great Commission are already in the Church. The question is: "How do you unleash them?"
October 18, 2012 - How are we doing today at loving Ishmael? Do we care about all of Abraham's descendants? Many of them, called Muslims today, are living among us. They may not be inheritors of the covenant of grace, yet, but they are still Abraham's children whom God said he would make into a great nation. It is only by loving Ishmael as Abraham did that we can introduce Muslims to the Promise that God made to Abraham - that his descendants would be a blessing to all nations through his Seed, Jesus Christ.
October 16, 2012 - Through the Nehemiah Center's teachings on the biblical worldview, pastors in Leon, Nicaragua, realized a few years ago that they needed to serve beyond their church walls. This realization spurred a vision for working together to reach their city for Christ - and this includes working with the police on issues of crime prevention. In September, Nehemiah Center network members met and shared their experiences with people involved in transformational networks worldwide.
October 10, 2012 - Elaine Lee has been praying for twelve years about starting Coffee Break in Mexico. This fall she felt God telling her it was time. The changes shes seen in Coffee Break attendees since then have confirmed the programs timeliness and value.
October 10, 2012 - Through the Nehemiah Center's teachings on the biblical worldview, pastors in Leon, Nicaragua, realized a few years ago that they needed to serve beyond their church walls. This realization spurred a vision for working together to reach their city for Christ. In September, they joined other Nehemiah Center network members in sharing their experiences with people involved in transformational networks worldwide.
October 10, 2012 - Pastor Enrique Alvarez came to the United States to, among other things, visit with and thank Christian Reformed Church members and officials for the solid support they have shown over the years to his church, the Cuban CRC. Alvarez is president of the Cuban CRC, a denomination of more than 20 churches that the CRC had a hand in founding.
October 2, 2012 - Gang members, prostitutes, drugs addicts, orphans and those whom society wrongly considers "the least, last and the lost" are among those featured in a new book titled Geography of Grace: Doing Theology from Below. Years in the making, the book features compelling stories and reflections on working for Christ among the hardest-to-reach communities around the world. Its authors are Joel Van Dyke, a Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) missionary, and Kris Rocke, executive director of the Center for Transforming Mission (CTM).
October 1, 2012 - Global Coffee Break, the Christian Reformed Church's small-group, Bible-based evangelism program, has been formally introduced in Cuernavaca, Mexico.... Christian Reformed World Missions missionary Elaine Lee says she is delighted that Global Coffee Break has come to Mexico - and it fits with a number of things happening with the ministry in which she and her husband, Abraham, are engaged in Cuernavaca.
October 1, 2012 - Mary and Thomas (their names have been changed for security reasons) had been arguing bitterly for months. Both are members of a small community of believers in a predominantly Muslim West African country. Theirs was a clash of personalities. Mary sees things as right or wrong. She eagerly serves the church, but often feels she does not receive enough recognition. Meanwhile, Thomas, a recovering alcoholic, struggles to be independent after years of relying on others to care for him. Things got so bad that the only time Mary and Thomas acknowledged each other was to insult one another. Their quarrel created tensions within the whole church, says a Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) missionary who works with Mary and Thomas's church.
September 21, 2012 - Mike and Claudia Elzinga will be traveling around the world in the next year to find and tell the stories -- through videos and writing -- of the lives and work of Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) missionaries in nearly 20 countries. Using his own equipment, Mike Elzinga will be doing the video work and Claudia Elzinga will interview people and write stories and a blog. Both will take photographs of the missionaries they meet and the work in which they are engaged.
September 14, 2012 - Since late last year, Christian Reformed World Missions partner missionary Josh Shaarda has been leading 15 people in Obulle, Uganda through the first part of the Freedom in Christ program. Shaarda and his wife, Mandy, are serving in Uganda with International Teams, an interdenominational, evangelical ministry that works in teams to bring the gospel to people who are often oppressed and in need around the world.
September 12, 2012 - Dave Gifford, a Christian Reformed World Missions missionary, and several Reformed Presbyterian Church of Mexico pastors in Mexico City have been meeting every month for over a year. They study a Christian book together, share recent joys and struggles, and pray for one another. New to ministry, the pastors are largely young and eager to avoid the mistakes of previous generations. Their recent welcome of an older pastor, and the baggage he carried, is telling of their growing maturity.
September 5, 2012 - Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) has just posted for the first time more than a dozen, easily accessible videos chronicling the ministry of individual CRWM missionaries all over the world. Until now, missionary home service videos were normally available through the missionaries themselves. But now there is one place that churches can go to view the work of missionaries whom they are supporting.
August 28, 2012 - Once a month I attend a prayer meeting to pray for Muslims in my city of Hamilton, Ontario. There are about 30,000 Muslims in my city. Close to me, in Toronto and Dearborn, Michigan are many more Muslims. As we pray I am struck by the faithfulness of one woman who hosts our meeting. She is a committed prayer woman. Not only does she host this prayer meeting, but once a month she also drives around the city praying for different districts and neighborhoods.
August 24, 2012 - Dan Roels, a Christian Reformed Church (CRC) pastor from Holland, Mich., recalls the night when he and William Quinonez, pastor of a church in Guatemala, needed to rush a woman whose diabetes was out of control to the hospital. Roels, pastor of Montello Park CRC, was in Guatemala as part of a pastor-exchange program, which its coordinators refer to as a "learning circle." The learning circle exchange is a part of Global Impact, a program offered through Christian Reformed World Missions.
August 23, 2012 - The Salaam Project, a new Christian Reformed Church (CRC) ministry, has just launched a website providing training resources and other materials for churches interested in doing ministry with Muslims. The goal of the Salaam Project is to help individuals and churches to learn more about the Islamic faith so that they can get to know their Muslim neighbors better, said Rev. Greg Sinclair, training coordinator of the Salaam Project.
August 17, 2012 - Just before Easter weekend, Christian Reformed World Missions missionary Gil Suh received a call from Pastor Savouen, a leader of a group of church leaders in Cambodia's rural Svay Rieng province. The group meets regularly to encourage and learn from one another. Cambodian church leaders receive training for their roles. "We want to learn more about 'the day that Jesus lived again,'" Savouen said.
August 15, 2012 - Tijuana, Mexico is a burgeoning city near the U.S. - Mexico border. People flow into the city every day, looking for jobs in one of the citys 1,000+ factories and opportunities to improve their living situation. Yet the busyness hides another growing reality - a widening gap between parents and their teenaged children.
August 15, 2012 - Kamifukuoka Church of the Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) has always had a vision for spreading the Good News through church plants. Now recent worship and fellowship changes have bolstered evangelism efforts within Kamifukuoka RCJ too.
July 30, 2012 - It's easy to listen to world news and hear all about crisis situations: Churches are bombed, governments are overthrown, terrorism rises, murders and kidnappings increase. Sometimes you get an urgent prayer request from your missionary. Other times you read about political unrest in a country where your youth group will be volunteering. Did you know that CRCNA has a crisis management team that monitors and evaluates these sorts of situations to help keep missionaries and volunteers safe? Recently I interviewed Ron Geerlings about how it all works. As West Africa Regional Director for Christian Reformed World Missions, he is no stranger to responding to dangerous situations.
July 20, 2012 - Taliba Harriet Susan was troubled by what she saw in Soroti, Uganda. Young men and women were having strings of girlfriends and boyfriends, and their sexual boundaries were lax. Caught up in the "party lifestyle," they were drinking excessively and becoming unruly, Taliba says, and her heart broke as she saw them making lifestyle choices that harmed themselves and others. "[Only when a youth is] hooked in the Lord . . . will he or she be sure to escape these behaviors," Taliba says.
July 20, 2012 - Franciso Obregón is a youth pastor in Mateare, Nicaragua, a small town just outside the capital city. Many of the town's youth get involved in gangs, finding value and community in gang life in the face of few job opportunities and difficult home situations. These youth are often viewed as rough and tough, persons to be avoided and ignored. Yet, Obregón has seen a different side as he's reached out to them in love.
July 20, 2012 - When Pastor Robert Shpontak started getting involved in Timothy Leadership Training (TLT) two years ago, he had no idea how it would change him and the small Christian Reformed Church congregation in Mukachevo, Ukraine. "In Ukraine, there is both a lack of practical pastoral training and a need to help pastors train their lay leaders," says George de Vuyst, a Christian Reformed World Missions missionary in Ukraine.
July 9, 2012 - It was a relatively peaceful morning in Nigeria, the missionary recounts in a prayer letter dated June 25. She had just finished the morning chores, having done the dishes, washed the clothes and baked bread and cookies. In her June letter to Christian Reformed World Missions staff, she goes on to describe how her family had been warned on the previous day of potential attacks "and have been advised to stay home again."
June 29, 2012 - As missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions, Mike and Megan Ribbens typically have three-year rotations. After two-and-a-half years on the field, we spend the remaining six months doing ministry and reporting to our partner churches and individuals in North America. This year our family started home service in February, traveling weekly to one of our 18 partner churches and letting them know how God connects and equips the Nigerian leaders and organizations with whom we work for positive transformation.
Jun 22, 2012 - Many churches bless their missionaries with prayers and money, but not all can reach out and touch them in person. The church created a diaper cake to celebrate the diaper shower. San Diego (Calif.) Christian Reformed Church has the advantage of living just miles from their missionaries to Mexico, James and Barbarita Lee. "They are just across the border in Tijuana," said Cyndi Boss, the church's secretary. "We do participate in a lot more of their events than most churches do."
June 22, 2012 - For the last six months Boko Haram terrorists have attacked churches in Nigeria with car bombs, smaller explosive devices and gunfire. The attacks have intensified this month with multiple attacks on three consecutive Sundays.
June 19, 2012 - Having had their lives transformed by accepting Christ themselves, members of the Christian Reformed Church of Sierra Leone (CRCSL) are now taking the gospel to others in southern Sierra Leone. Several months ago, a group of believers traveled to a village in hopes of sharing the gospel and starting a church in the community.
Jun 13, 2012 - Rev. Takashi Yoshida, moderator of the Reformed Church in Japan, brought thanks to Synod 2012 for help given by the Christian Reformed Church following last year's earthquake and tsunami. "We came here to express deep appreciation, face to face, for all that you have done and are still doing for us, responding to the great earthquake, tsunami, and the following accident of the nuclear plant," Yoshida said.
June 12, 2012 - Reformed church leaders in Nigeria are making a plea for prayers in the wake of attacks on Christian congregations in the central and northeastern regions of the country. "We ask for prayers and encouragement," says Peter Aya, general secretary of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC) in Nigeria.
June 4, 2012 - "Garba Umar has been a fantastic evangelist," says Mike Van Der Dyke, a Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) missionary who encourages Umar in his ministry. "Although he originally studied law, he was called by God to serve the church and has done so sacrificially. He has worked hard to understand the culture and language of the indigenous people he is working with."
June 4, 2012 - An unsettling image began emerging from the Dominican Republic (DR) ten years ago. Dominican youth living in the capital city's slums seemed increasingly to be behind the city's violent and criminal acts. Yet, it appeared that little was being done to prevent youth from getting involved in criminal behavior.
May 23, 2012 - Nearly 30 new countries have asked the Timothy Leadership Training Institute to make available to them TLTI's popular and effective, church-leadership training manuals.
May 18, 2012 - Nine years ago, Pastor James Ramos was about to give up being a minister. His church in Binmaley, Pangasinan, the Philippines, had only 15 to 20 members and seemed to be stagnant. Meanwhile, he was experiencing personal struggles and felt buried by regret, denial, bitterness, and depression.
May 15, 2012 - Ana Marisse Barahona has known and believed for many years that the cost of attending Calvin College was out of the reach for her hard-working parents. There was no way, given their challenges, they could afford to send their daughter to the college of the Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich, even though they knew that it had an excellent reputation.
May 3, 2012 - Former missionary Rev. Kurt Selles has been appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) to serve as the director of Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI), the electronic media ministry of the denomination.
April 25, 2012 - The Timothy Leadership Training Institute (TLT) says that the definition of the word "coupled," as presented in the online Free Dictionary, refers to two items that are united and linked together in various ways. TLT is, however, adding to that definition. Based in Grand Rapids, Mich., TLT is a comprehensive, worldwide ministry-training institute that has defined "coupled" as including husband and wife teams who train together, side by side, on equal footing.
April 24, 2012 - The Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) recently celebrated National Volunteer Week by marking the significance and the wide range of work that volunteers from the United States and Canada engage in to further the work of the church. Although National Volunteer Week April 15-21 has just ended, there's still time - in fact, there is always time - for churches and others to honor the crucial work that volunteers do.
April 11, 2012 - "Something 2 Share," a collaborative, Easter-season effort between Christian Reformed Home Missions (CRHM) and Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM), has made available a range of worship materials for CRC congregations to use in the weeks leading up to Pentecost.
April 5, 2012 - An expanding Christian church in Nepal is taking the gospel forward, making inroads in a place where Christian testimony was once severely restricted. As the church expands, strong Nepali leaders are needed to guide the church to full maturity. "They pray for what they lack, they take what resources they have, and they go," says Troy Bierma, a CRWM missionary in Nepal.
April 5, 2012 - On Wednesday, March 21, a group of Malian soldiers staged a successful military coup d'etat. The country remains very unstable. Land borders have been closed, air travel discontinued, and the transfer of fuel into the country has been halted. Many expats have evacuated from the country.
April 4, 2012 - All Christian Reformed Church in North America-related personnel and their colleagues are accounted for and unharmed following the recent military coup d'etat in the West African country of Mali.
April 5, 2012 - Spencer Okoroafor, a Nigerian Christian school principal, firmly believes that his school needs to be grounded in a biblical worldview. He's attended several Christian education training workshops in recent years. Each time, he says, he's found ways to apply what he learned to his school. "While he could just tell the teachers what to do and change in their teaching and classrooms, he doesn't see this as a reasonable solution," says Sheila Dykstra, Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) education consultant in West Africa, who led several of the trainings.
April 3, 2012 - Blest be the Tie is a new booklet that highlights how one of the Christian Reformed Church's first missionaries to China, Rev. Dr. John De Korne, became the great-great grandfather of a 14-year-old Chinese boy who was an orphan and now lives with his new family in College Station, Texas.
March 29, 2012 - The Salaam Project, the Christian Reformed Church's new educational ministry focusing on Islam, will hold its first training conference on April 28 at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.
March 22, 2012 - Three years ago, two people attended Pastor Ngui Muithya's church in Mariakani, Kenya. But the pastor, who was planting the church among the Giriama people, was not discouraged. Pastor Muithya knew that bringing the message of the Gospel to the Giriama was going to take time.
March 21, 2012 - Last night, a group of Malian soldiers led a successful military coup d'etat in Bamako. The country is under military curfew with reports that the airport and borders are closed. All CRC related personnel and their colleagues are accounted for and are unharmed.
March 20, 2012 - On Tuesday afternoon, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit near Oaxaca in southern central Mexico, 200 miles (322 km) SSE of Mexico City. All CRC related personnel, as well as members of the larger mission community, are all safe.
March 20, 2012 - Christian Reformed Church agencies responded quickly and in a variety of ways when a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami shook, shattered and swamped communities on and near the northeast coast of Japan, causing many deaths and widespread destruction last year on March 11.
March 12, 2012 - A painful irony was brought home on Friday to many of the 600 leaders and representatives of evangelical churches, including seven from the Christian Reformed Church, who attended a peace conference in Bethlehem on the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories....Mariano Avila and Rev. Albert Hamstra represented the Christian Reformed World Missions' program Hope Equals, which connects North American college and graduate students to Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers.
February 27, 2012 - Eight people died and at least 38 others were injured in the explosion that occurred at the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in Jos, Plateau State, say CRCNA officials who serve on a team monitoring the situation in Nigeria.
February 24, 2012 - Japanese pastor, Rev. Ashida, and CRWM missionary, Ken Lee, work together to build leaders in the Reformed Church of Japan. One church in the Tokyo area grew from a weekly attendance of 20 to over 60 in four years.
January 11, 2012 - Christian Reformed World Missions announced today that Steven Kabetu has been appointed as CRWM's Canada director.
January 5, 2012 - Rev. Jon DeBruyn guides teams to pray for and with Christian Reformed missionaries and relief workers who are based in such countries as Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Haiti. Read more...
January 4, 2012 -- Following a series of attacks around Christmas by Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group based in Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency. Click the headline to read more...
December 21, 2011 -- For many Fulani in West Africa, to be Fulani is to be Muslim. Their fathers, grandfathers, and the fathers before them, have all been Muslims. Being Muslim is who they are. Fulani who decide to follow Christ are often ridiculed and rejected by their families and friends for turning from the faith of their fathers.
December 21, 2011 -- "For most of our adult lives, we have felt called to live and serve outside of our home culture," say Jeffrey and Lisa Schra, partner missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions. When they heard that International Christian School in Vienna (ICSV, formerly Vienna Christian School) needed to expand its donor development efforts to continue long-term, they felt God calling them to go and offer their gifts and experience in that area.
December 21, 2011 -- The Christian Reformed Church in North America is joining with the Reformed Church in America to host an anti-poverty, fund-raising bicycle tour that will pass through the United States and Canada in the summer of 2013.
December 20, 2011 -- Having raised chickens with my wife for many years, we are very familiar with the pecking order among chickens. It is easy to see a hierarchy among a group of chickens and quickly one can select out the higher ranking chickens from those of lower status. The dominant ones have the nicest feathers and strut with their heads up high. Whether we realize it or not, we often follow a similar pattern of classifying others in relationship to ourselves.
Dec 19, 2011 -- In April I was returning to Managua, Nicaragua, from a visit to Seeds of a New Creation, the partner with which Christian Reformed World Missions does ministry in El Salvador. Riding to the airport in the capital city of San Salvador, I spoke with the taxi driver, who told me he had been assaulted numerous times, often with a pistol to his head. He cursed his country and said he should have left 40 years ago when his brother fled.
December 16, 2011 -- The Angklung Players began to shake their traditional, Indonesian instruments, ringing out Away in a Manger during the Christian Reformed Churchs Christmas Chapel and Luncheon this week in the Prince Center at Calvin College.
December 15, 2011 -- Over the last five years, the Strategy of Transformation in the Dominican Republic has offered theological and spiritual formation for about 1,500 leaders, played a role in helping a group of prostitutes start a jewelry-making business, and translated several book chapters and articles from English into Spanish to be used by such organizations as Christian schools.
December 15, 2011 -- The Rescue team in Honduras was called in to help in the investigation of a case involving the sexual abuse of Edward (not his real name) by one of his relatives. Part of the Peace & Justice Project of the Association for a More Just Society, (AJS), the Rescue team helped police bring, Luis, Edwards uncle, to justice. It also is assisting Edward, 10, deal with the gruesome aftermath of having been repeatedly abused by his uncle.
December 12, 2011 -- Could your efforts to help the poor really be hurting them - and you? Should Western Christians just stay home and send money overseas instead? Is missionary care by churches really necessary? These questions and more answered in CRCNA Global Mission Webinars available for on-demand watching/listening.
December 5, 2011 -- Looking for the perfect way to celebrate those special occasions and events in the lives of your family members and friends? These special projects from the Christian Reformed Church agencies and ministries are gifts that will change peoples hearts and lives in Christs name. Thats gift giving with a difference!
November 29, 2011 -- Churches can end up with lots of missionary connections. Gradually, and for a variety of reasons, new relationships are established... Soon a modest sized congregation has a dozen or more commitments. Even the missions committee or GO team has a hard time remembering what is going on in all these ministries. The congregation as a whole has even less idea, of course... What can be done?
November 23, 2011 -- TLT has taken root in a brand new country this month! Christian Reformed World Missions, staff member Luis Pellecer recently returned from a TLT in Guatemala and had high praise for his group of trainees and confidence that God was going to change this community of believers because of TLT.
November 22, 2011 -- Almost six years ago, Christian Reformed World Missions partnered with the Reformed Church of Zambia to send one its pastors, John Phiri, as a missionary to Sierra Leone. Since then, Rev. Phiri has mentored and trained Christian Reformed Church of Sierra Leone (CRCSL) leaders in evangelism, discipleship, and leadership. Maxwell Kanu is one leader impacted by Pastor Phiris work.
November 22, 2011 -- "B4 - its the name we gave to our peermentoring group," say Christian Reformed World Missions missionaries Abe and Elaine Lee. "It reflects our goal to make ourselves move away from the old being - be-fore."
November 18, 2011 -- Nearly 20 people were commissioned this week to serve as volunteer mission workers for either Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM), the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), and partner ministries with ServiceLink, the office that helps to recruit and train volunteers for the denomination.
November 16, 2011 -- Christian Reformed World Missions and the CRWM-supported Strategy of Transformation have helped Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI) of Grand Rapids, Mich., open a new satellite campus in Guatemala.
November 8, 2011 -- Bishara Awad feels very disheartened as he watches the final pieces of a 23-foot-high, cement wall being built. When it is finished, the wall will then totally encircle Bethlehem, the town in which Jesus Christ was born and where Bethlehem Bible College, where Awad serves as president, is located.
November 9, 2011 -- The Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) continues on a daily basis the arduous task of restoring homes, counseling, and praying for and healing families and individuals who were wounded in many ways following this years Great East Japan Earthquake.
November 8, 2011 -- More than 500 people were waiting when the Christian Reformed Church-led medical team from the United States arrived this summer in Kathiani, Kenya, to conduct a six-day health care camp.
Nov 7, 2011 -- When Frank and Aria Sawyer arrived in Hungary 20 years ago to teach at Sárospatak Reformed Theological Academy, church growth had halted during the countrys 40 years under Communist rule. The academy had closed, pastors and church members were aging, and home Bible studies and outreach programs were forbidden. Whole generations had grown up knowing little about Christ.
November 2, 2011 -- One Cuban church leader recently reported how the Timothy Leadership Training Institutes resources helped him to draw 16 new members to his church and another reported a 40 percent increase in tithes and offerings.
November 1, 2011 -- On 27 July, 2011 the Church lost one of its greatest leaders, Rev. John Stott. There were many tributes written in the days immediately following. He contributed so much in so many areas that it is hard to overstate his significance. He was called "a Renaissance man with a Reformation theology." Indeed.
Oct 24, 2011 -- A group of Temne people wanted to start a church in their community of Rochen Mara, Sierra Leone. But with few leaders, the believers said they needed "organization, a better understanding of the gospel, and some training in how to get a new church growing." Having heard about the growth of the Christian Reformed Church of Sierra Leone (CRCSL), they approached Pastor John Phiri for help.
October 24, 2011 -- As Pastor Lemète Zéphyr drove around Port-au- Prince, Haiti, his heart grew heavy at the sight of people with disabilities begging at his car windows. He wondered, was this really all that God had intended?
October 24, 2011 -- With the words of Romans 12:15 in mind, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn," volunteers from the Reformed Church in Japans (RCJ) East Kanto Presbytery and teams of North American volunteers traveled to northeast Japan this summer and fall to minister to people affected by the March earthquake and tsunami.
October 20, 2011 -- "Becoming Fools" is a story that is waiting to be told. The film will portray the vision of Italo, a professional clown who invested in the lives of street youth. He spent years working with a group of street kids and dreamed of a holistic youth center that would provide hope and opportunity.
October 17, 2011 -- Sometimes a short-term mission trip is just a beginning. At least, thats what it was for Carol Van Klompenburg. In 2008, a team leader asked members of a 2008 service and learning team to the Nehemiah Center in Nicaragua what each of them was seeking from the trip. Carol answered, A bigger worldmine is too small.
October 17, 2011 -- Christian Reformed World Missions is seeking an experienced pastor to provide voluntary, part-time pastoral care to CRWM missionaries who are on home service in the US and Canada.
October 7, 2011 -- For the last few years the word "missional" has been used and abused a great deal. As with any buzzword there are varieties of meaning attached to it and sometimes people talk past each other because each has different connotations in mind when saying "missional."
October 6, 2011 -- September 29, 2011 The Christian Reformed Church in North America will soon release a wide-ranging set of resources that help to explain the denominations Kingdom-building program known as Ministry Shares.
September 30, 2011 -- Some Haitians have embraced a stronger faith in God following the catastrophic earthquake that laid waste to parts of their country late on the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2010, say Zachary and Sharon Segaar-King.
September 30, 2011 -- Sharon Segaar-King, a Christian Reformed World Missions missionary in Haiti, was grateful that nearly 70 women were willing to gather earlier this year for an annual, three-day conference of fellowship and spiritual nourishment.
September 28, 2011 -- Missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions continue to work with the Reformed Church in Japan in relief and reconstruction efforts following the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that caused wide-spread death and destruction in northeastern Japan on March 11.
September 26, 2011 -- From my window in our apartment I can see Parcul Copiilor or Childrens Park. During these final days of summer the park has a constant flow of people, usually towards the cooler part of the day. A few days ago while I was at the park with my own boys, I met a young man and his toddler son.
September 26, 2011 -- Students at UNELA (the Evangelical Univesity of the Americas as it is known in English), are capturing what it means to live for Christ. Through classes centered on a biblical worldview, students are discovering how their faith intertwines with all that they do.
Sep 25, 2011 -- The Christian Reformed Church in North America has today become a big tree providing enduring shades of salvation and love for the Reformed Church in Nigeria (RCCN), says Rev. Risae Yakubu Shamaki, president of the RCCN. The CRC began working in Nigeria during the early years of the 20th century. That work continues, although different from the early years.
September 19, 2011 -- This summers Hope Equals journey to the Middle East was pleasurable, challenging, and informative in many ways, said Mariano Avila, coordinator of a Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) initiative called Hope Equals. Hope Equals is a network of mostly college-age North American missions activists, who support the reconciliation efforts of Israelis and Palestinians.
September 13, 2011 -- Rev. Greg Sinclair, a Christian Reformed Church pastor who worked among Muslims in West Africa for nearly a decade, has been named the first training coordinator of the CRC's new ministry Advancing Ministry Among Muslims (AMAM).
September 13, 2011 -- As a kid, I thought of a cross-cultural missionary as a church planter or community developer sent by a denominational agency to some remote country of Latin America, Asia or Africa. Frankly, that definition left most of us comfortably outside of any of the possible lines of responsibility.
September 13, 2011 -- During the Summer months we often host groups of North Americans on what we call "vision trips." In contrast to a "mission trip," (centered on what an outsider is invited to come and "do" in another culture), a vision trip focuses on the invitation for an outsider to come and "see" what God is doing through local, grassroots leaders serving their own people in hard places.
September 9, 2011 -- Yesterday morning I had a profound experience that I feel compelled to share with you all. I had breakfast with 14 year-old Gabriela.
September 1, 2011 -- Pastor Joseph Ngugi, who leads a church just outside of Nairobi, Kenya, has always believed that God called him to shepherd the flock. But he didnt realize how that call extended to his wider community until he began Timothy Leadership Training (TLT).
September 1, 2011 -- The practice of mission work has changed dramatically in recent decades, and the pace of change seems to constantly accelerate. The way that we celebrate missions in the churches should also be dynamic.
August 31, 2011 -- More than 200 Christian leaders attended the recent Theological Education in Africa (TEA) conference in Kenya to discuss the advancement of theological education across Africa, which is experiencing explosive growth in Christianity. Coming from 12 countries in eastern and southern Africa, the attendees included leaders from universities, denominations, agencies and churches.
August 30, 2011 -- I grew up in Sully, Iowa, in the 1960s. Every year my parents would take us to Mission Fest at Market Square in Pella. I thought of missionaries as rather exotic creatures who travelled to far off lands. They showed slides that could have been borrowed from the files of National Geographic.
August 24, 2011 -- When terrorists attacked the United States by piloting planes into buildings on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Joel Hogan was undergoing orientation for his new job as director of international ministries for Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM). Hogan had just returned from serving for 17 years as a missionary with CRWM in the Philippines.
August 24, 2011 -- Carrying sacks full of New Testaments and gallons of drinking water, two Christian Reformed Church missionaries often trek many miles through volcanic mountain landscapes, dry savanna grasses and parched red-gray desert to bring Gods good news to remote villages in a predominately Muslim, West African country.
August 24, 2011 -- Joel Hogan, director of international ministries for Christian Reformed World Missions, says the CRC may use materials from the Crescent Project as it begins training congregations about how to share the love of Christ with Muslims. The training will be done as part of the denominations new Advancing Ministry Among Muslims (AMAM) project.
August 22, 2011 -- With a membership of about 130 members, Cornerstone CRC in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, may be considered a small church. But, its a church that acts beyond its walls. When the congregation decided in March to repair the church roof, they saw an opportunity to impact another community through the project.
August 22, 2011 -- George de Vuyst began leading Ukraines first Timothy Leadership Training (TLT) group over a year ago as part of his own TLT action plan. He started with nine people from the Mukachevo Christian Reformed Church, but the training has since touched the entire congregation of 50.
August 22, 2011 -- The Sierra Leonean Church has expanded rapidly since the country's civil war ended in 2002. The Christian Reformed Church of Sierra Leone, in partnership with Christian Reformed World Missions and the Reformed Church of Zambia, has planted over 40 churches and seen over 3,000 people come to know Christ.
August 22, 2011 -- I want to encourage short term mission trip planners/participants to think long term commitment.
August 18, 2011 -- Several years ago, Christian Reformed World Missions missionaries Joel and Marilyn Van Dyke, who live and work in Guatemala City, hosted friends from the United States who were adopting two children from Guatemala.
August 16, 2011 -- Circles of friends with a shared vision are the birthing rooms for Kingdom collaboration. But sometimes circles of friends can become closed networks. Closed networks have an upside and a downside.
August 10, 2011 -- Christian Reformed World Missions will award up to six $200 scholarships to encourage qualified applicants to attend a Perspectives course, a 15-week mission's education program developed by the U.S. Center for World Mission.
Aug 4, 2011 -- B, a retired Fulani man living in West Africa, has a generator repair business. Since he lives near a Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) radio production studio, B often fixes the studios generators. B quickly sees what needs to be done and how to do it. But when he came to help one time, he wasnt feeling well.
July 30, 2011 -- Christian Reformed World Missions volunteer missionary Dirk Vander Steen had been back home for a few days from his most recent trip to Nigeria when he received a shocking and deeply troubling email message.
July 26, 2011 -- In October, Prayer Missions International and Christian Reformed World Missions will join together to lead a short-term intercessory prayer mission trip to earthquake-ravaged Japan and to Korea.
July 26, 2011 -- Participants in the Christian Reformed World Missions-sponsored program Hope Equals landed safely in the Middle East this week and have begun a five-week, summer learning tour in which they will visit holy land sites and interact with groups working to establish a lasting peace between people in Israel and those living in the Palestinian territories.
July 22, 2011 -- A young pastor in the Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) thought about quitting his job. He was frustrated. He had lost his confidence and was struggling to fulfill ministerial duties. He needed something to revive his spirit.
July 22, 2011 -- The Christian Church in West Africa is small, but growing. Leaders are emerging from within the church who are committed to following God and nudging others along the same path.
July 22, 2011 -- For Martha (name changed), a single mother living in Mexico, life is not easy. Her husband left her two years ago. Now she works six days a week to provide for herself and her teenage daughter. She leaves early in the morning and comes home around six or seven each night. The stress of life is visible on her and her daughter; they both struggle with anxiety and other health problems. Martha testifies that if it were not for Gods presence and help in her life, she would not be able to make it.
July 20, 2011 -- Abe and Carol Vreeke have once again finished undergoing Christian Reformed World Missions intense orientation sessions before leaving for Nigeria to serve as missionaries. Involving nine partner missionaries who will work in Asia and Africa, the week-long orientation took place recently at the Grand Rapids, Mich., office of the Christian Reformed Church.
July 18, 2011 -- In the fiscal year that just ended, the Timothy Leadership Training Institute (TLT) conducted 38 leadership trainings in 18 countries, teaching at least one TLT course to about 600 students, and starting work in Mali, according to Charles Powell, president of the TLT.
July 5, 2011 -- More than 40 winners were announced recently for the annual Christian Reformed World Missions' poster contest. Using as inspiration such themes as "Seeking Sheep for the Shepherd" and "We Are All Missionaries," 1,032 children from CRC congregations and Christian schools across Canada and the United States submitted entries.
June 23, 2011 -- The Reformed Church in Japan has recently determined how it will disperse the more than 50 million yen -- about $650,000 in U.S. currency -- that it has received from its initial, large-scale fund-raising campaign following the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on March 11.
June 23, 2011 -- Several fraternal delegates offered greetings and eloquently addressed Christian Reformed Church in North America delegates during last weeks Synod 2011. But one of the most extensive and informative presentations was given by Rev. Risae Yakubu Shamiki, president of the Reformed Church of Christ in Nigeria.
June 20, 2011 -- Hezron Luka was born in a rural area in Nigerias Adamawa State, about 15 hours away from his current home in Niger State. Since his family was quite poor, Hezron grew up living in a mud block hut and helping his father work the family farm by hand.
June 20, 2011 -- Jorge is a young person in the Christian Reformed Church of Honduras (CRCH). Hes the president of his classis young peopless group and has a deep concern for the church. Hes someone who shows potential for thinking outsideof- the-box and a willingness to step out and see where God will take him.
June 20, 2011 -- At the Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ), we strive to carry out the Great Commission by evangelizing non-Christian students and by discipling Christian students. So as I (Kim) read my students essays, I was excited to see how my students are growing.
June 14, 2011 -- Interested in Muslim Ministry? Looking for ways to help your church grow in its focus on missions? Gearing up for Vacation Bible School and you want to make it exciting? Or did you know that helping can actually hurt if you're not careful? Read about these topics and more on in the Global Mission section of the Network.
June 9, 2011 -- The Reformed Church in Japan continues, with the help of the Christian Reformed Church and many other church organizations, to do the hard work of obtaining resources and then using them to help rebuild lives and buildings devastated by the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
June 1, 2011 -- During a commissioning service, friends, family and a group of missionaries recently gathered around and laid hands on the 30 or so volunteer workers who are being sent by the Christian Reformed Church in North America this summer to countries and ministry sites all over the world.
May 31, 2011 -- About three years ago Christian Reformed World Missions began experimenting with webinars as a way to connect with people and provide valuable resources to understand global missions. Today, we're looking for feedback...
May 24, 2011 -- Through a new teacher training curriculum, Christian school teachers in Kenya are viewing classroom discipline in a different light. The teachers have been testing Christian Reformed World Missions new six-part Educational Care teacher training curriculum since last summer.
May 24, 2011 -- Champa Barmon is a librarian at the College of Christian Theology Bangladesh (CCTB). Shes the second eldest of six children and comes from northwest Bangladesh. Her father and his family converted to Christianity from Hinduism in the late 1970s just before Champa was born. Since her father, who became a pastor, recently died, Champas income is crucial to supporting her mother and two younger siblings. Champa is among a growing number of women who work outside the home in Bangladesh.
May 24, 2011 -- Attendance at Agua Viva, a small church plant in Tijuana, Mexico, had been low all winter. Some people had stayed home rather than venturing out into the cold and rain for weekly Sunday services. Sicknesses and surgeries came, capturing several key Agua Viva members and leaders and preventing them from fully participating in the church. Then, a few personality clashes broke out among some of the members. By January, Agua Vivas members were feeling tired and dejected.
May 23, 2011 -- The Christian Reformed Church remains active in a variety of ways, especially with the Reformed Church in Japan, in continuing to plan future efforts and responding to the immediate needs of people impacted by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of northeastern Japan.
May 16, 2011 -- The call of Islam goes out to more than 1.5 billion Muslims from Dubai to Dearborn (Mich.), from Timbuktu to Toronto and from the other side of the world to our neighbors in Canada and the United States.
May 16, 2011 -- Eight years ago, worship began in a most unlikely location: in front of the Guadalajara, Mexico, central market, a bustling place with 3,000 vendors.
May 12, 2011 -- Reparando, a documentary that follows the lives and ministries of two members of the Christian Reformed Church-supported Strategy of Transformation in Guatemala City, wraps up a 10-city tour in Grand Rapids, Mich., on May 12.
May 2, 2011 -- As a church deacon and a theology student, Basona Areng was looking for something to deepen her leadership skills. She joined Bangladeshs first Timothy Leadership Training (TLT) group just over a year ago. Today she is one of 19 Garo Baptist Church leaders who are using the training to develop other leaders.
May 2, 2011 -- In 1993, Cambodia opened its doors to mission organizations and development agencies. While outside help was needed after the horrific years under Khmer Rouge rule, no one realized how the agencies would splinter the Cambodian church.
May 2, 2011 -- "Small-group ministry is a brand-new concept to many Japanese churches," says Jeong Gho, who works for Christian Reformed World Missions in Japan. Yet its a concept thats gaining traction as leaders learn how they can use small groups to reach out to their communities.
May 2, 2011 -- Interest in Christian education has increased in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, alongside rising interest in Christianity. But in many areas Christian teachers and administrators have had little training on what it means to practice their faith in the classroom. Thats where Christian Reformed World Missions steps in.
April 26, 2011 -- Larry Spalink, Japan field leader for Christian Reformed World Missions, says he was deeply moved and saddened by the in-depth survey that he and a handful of others made last week to communities in northeastern Japan that were devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the country on March 11.
April 21, 2011 -- Amadou was looking forward to the annual Fulani believers conference for believers living in a particular West African region. The conference would not only be a time to learn more about following Jesus, but also to visit with other believers. Knowing that, Amadou knew he had to do what he could to go.
April 21, 2011 -- Troy Bierma and Arbin Pokharel became good friends while they were at Kuyper College and Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They played soccer together, prayed together, and learned each others stories. Arbin was from Kathmanudu in Nepal. Troy from Sioux Center, Iowa. Arbin has always planned on returning to Nepal, and as the years passed, Troys interest in serving in Nepal grew.
April 21, 2011 -- In February, six pastors met in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to begin learning relationships with people doing similar work in different countries and cultural settings. Each pastor comes from a different place Michigan, Florida, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, and Nicaragua each one coming with a desire to learn from others. Over the next five years, they will visit each other, pray for each other, and learn from each other about following God.
April 20, 2010 -- Representatives of the Reformed Church in Japans Diaconal Action Committee are to begin to do an in-depth assessment of damage to RCJ churches and believers in the area impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
April 8, 2011 -- Honduras faces an educational crisis: many public school teachers went on strike in March, and the lack of classes for weeks has been detrimental to Honduran children and society. It has also been unjust.
April 11, 2011 -- Christian Reformed World Missions missionary Ken Lee left Japan and recently spent two busy weeks in California.
April 7, 2011 -- Rev. Jerry Dykstra has resigned as executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, effective April 5, 2011. Rev. Mark Vermaire, president of the CRCs Board of Trustees (BOT), announced the resignation on Tuesday afternoon.
April 7, 2011 -- If you live in Calgary, Alberta, head to the Uptown Theatre on April 14 to watch Reparando. Reparando is a film that tells the powerful stories of Shorty -- a former gang member who is now a pastor, and Tita -- a woman who started a school in Guatemala's most notorious slum, as they join forces to repair La Limonada.
March 30, 2011 -- Larry Spalink, Christian Reformed World Mission's Japan team leader, has written an informative, heart-rending reflection on what he has seen and experienced since the massive, magnitude 9 on-the-Richter-scale earthquake and the subsequent tsunami struck the northeastern part of the country on the morning of March 11.
Mar 24, 2011 -- Jolly Tanko and Elisabeth Bako first served as missionaries with the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN) in Nigerias Niger State almost 20 years ago. Now, eight years after moving on to other things, the Bakos are back to help groom leaders for the expanding church.
March 21, 2011 -- Like so many who live in Japan right now, World Missions missionaries Jeong and MiSook Gho are concerned about the threat of radiation falling from sky, carried their way from the crippled nuclear power plants in Fukushima, in the northeastern part of Japan. Nonetheless, in this time of tragedy and uncertainty, the Ghos find themselves compelled to tell people they encounter about the hope they find in Jesus.
March 17, 2011 -- Missionary Larry Spalink writes about his experiences following the strongest earthquake he's ever endured throughout his thirty years of ministry in Japan. Read the lastest prayer letter from Larry and Ruth Spalink.
March 16, 2011 -- "Cameroon is a highly diverse country with over 280 distinct languages and more than 500 ethnic groups," Harold says. "Large traditional Christian churches dominate the souths religious landscape while Islam is strong in the north." However, churches are growing rapidly in the north and with the rise comes a need for strong leadership.
March 16, 2011 -- With a new Survivor reality television show being filmed in Nicaragua, it seemed fitting to design a retreat on the theme, Surviving or More Than a Conqueror? Aimee Bootsma, NCAs fourth grade teacher, and two of her colleagues organized activities that took students to a new level of experiencing nature.
March 16, 2011 -- Christian leaders, including teachers and church planters, want to serve effectively. In Japan, CRWM missionary Michael Essenburg helps leaders do so by offering coaching, consulting, resources, and training.
March 15, 2011 -- This letter, dated March 14, 2011, was written by Rev. Takashi Yoshida, Moderator of the Reformed Church in Japan and Pastor of Sendai Reformed Church in Sendai, Japan, the closest city to the epicenter of the earthquake. It was translated by Rev. Larry Spalink, a missionary serving with Christian Reformed World Missions in Japan.
March 14, 2011 -- Rev. George Young is spending a second night in his car at a camp in Ushibori, Japan, as he is not comfortable sleeping inside. There has been a lot of damage to roads in the area, so he did not want to try to get back to the house in the dark.
March 11, 2011 -- Get the latest updates from CRC News about the earthquake in Japan. Find out how you can help.
March 7, 2011 -- Join CRWM at Dordt College on March 25 to watch Reparando, a film that tells the powerful stories of Shorty -- a former gang member who is now a pastor, and Tita -- a woman who started a school in Guatemala's most notorious slum, as they join forces to repair La Limonada.
March 1, 2011 -- This past weekend in Guatemala City we lost a great friend and colleague who loved the unlovable of his city with reckless abandon and unbridled passion.
February 18, 2011 - CRWM works in partnership with the Mizoram Presbyterian Church in India, a church with over 550,000 members. Together we are supporting the work of several Indian nurses working in the remote, mountainous country of Nepal.
February 18, 2011 -- One December Sunday, Pastor Moyos son came home from Sunday School and shared with his father how Jesus had entered his heart. Pastor Moyo rejoiced at what he heard. His son had made the most important decision of his life and the training he was doing with Sunday School teachers was making a visible impact.
February 18, 2011 -- In 1974, Hurricane Fifi hit the Caribbean with extreme power, killing between 3,000-10,000 Hondurans. Betty Roldan, who had recently moved from Chile to Miami, Florida, volunteered with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) for a six week hurricane relief project in Honduras. Little did she know that these six weeks would lead her to a long career in missions.
February 18, 2011 -- Less than one percent of Japans population is Christian. Many Japanese follow a broad range of gods and a mixture of Shinto and Buddhist practices. For them to know the Gospel, more of them need to hear it.
February 17, 2011 -- Christian Reformed Home Missions and Christian Reformed World Missions are once again collaborating to help churches celebrate the time from Easter to Pentecost.
February 14, 2011 -- Extreme poverty has always been the most outstanding feature in Haiti, but now is much worse. Many ruins remain exactly the same and thousands still live in ragged tents in tent cities. However, not everything is discouraging.
February 7, 2011 -- A group of Calvin College students participating in a January interim course joined CRWM missionary Joel Van Dyke in Guatemala. They are learning about the 36 year armed armed conflict (1954-1996), it's implications for today, and contemporary urban issues in Guatemala City through historical and theological reflection.
February 1, 2011 -- It is so easy to say, "I'll pray for you" or "I'll pray about that." Actually praying in a disciplined and passionate way is a great deal harder. In addition to good intentions and the Spirit's work in our hearts and minds, tools for prayer can come in very handy.
January 31, 2011 -- CRWM is partnering with Multiplication Network Ministries in Latin America to plant more churches and to grow healthy churches. Watch the video to learn more.
January 25, 2011 -- Coffee Break, the popular outreach-oriented small group Bible study for women, is going global.
January 24, 2011 -- Bombings in Jos, Nigeria over Christmas Eve and in Abuja, Nigeria on New Years Eve brought the worlds spotlight onto Nigeria once more.
January 24, 2011 -- At 4:53 p.m. on January 12, 2010, an earthquake registering 7.0 on the Richter scale struck Port-au-Prince and its environs for approximately thirty-five seconds.
January 24, 2011 -- While the story of Jesus birth is the same in every language, people celebrate His birth in different ways.
January 2011 -- A team of seven travelled to Nicaragua to pray. "People were amazed that [the team] came just to pray with and for them," says Steve Holtrop, a CRWM missionary in Nicaragua. "One pastor said, 'As pastors, no one prays for us, and we needed that.'"
January 2011 -- A report of the work of CRWRC in Haiti, including a brief video.
January 2011 -- For Jack and Cindy Ippel, Christian Reformed World Missions partners in Hungary, pizza parties equal ministry opportunities.