Secure but Not Suppressed

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Why is it so important that our church does not share full names, countries or ministries where secure missionaries are serving? While we do this to protect them from harm, it also allows the worker to still have Gospel impact in places where being a Christian or sharing about Christ are illegal. A government finding out what the missionary is “really” doing can hurt that worker’s outreach ability and potentially lead to an entire mission agency’s work in that country to end.

If we can’t share about exactly where they are, then how can we support them? Imagine having to constantly be careful about what you say while meeting with someone at a coffee shop or teaching in a classroom or even texting about God to someone within that country. One of our workers, C in Asia, shared some insight on her recent home assignment, “I have to be always paying attention to what I say about my faith, who I talk to about it, and who could be around me that would report me. You do get used to it after a while, but it is still hard to remember this at all times. Not sharing about my Father openly can be one of the hardest things about my teaching position here.” We can pray that C and our other secure missionaries will have strength and courage as they have to be consistently on guard during each interaction and conversation to follow God’s leading to share their faith.

Another way we can support these workers is to pray that they continue to reach the unreached regardless of legal obstacles that Satan has placed in their way. C also shared a story with us from her 2018-2019 school year in Asia:

“L is my national team liaison with the school. This year I was tasked with being the team leader which meant a lot more interaction with L than anyone else. Most of us didn’t get along with L as she tended to be difficult to work with and even frustrating at times. I tried to connect with her in several different ways, but I was not having any success. Regardless of how much L was avoiding any relationship with me, God was telling me to share Jesus with her so that she could join in the Father’s kingdom with me. I knew sitting in a coffee shop would not work—too many other people around, and I also knew that inviting her to my house wouldn’t work either. Towards the end of the school year, God provided the perfect place to share my testimony of faith with L in her office with no one else around. L is still not a child of the Father, but we have built a friendship that I hope will lead to more conversations like that one. I am excited to see what opportunities God will give me this coming year to continue to show His love to L and others at the school.”

C’s story is a testament to the amazing impact that our secure workers are having around the world. Pray for C as she returns to Asia in August that she will continue to build relationships like the one with L. Safe travel back to her country in August is another way we can pray for her. Pray for all of our secure missionaries and that God will continue to protect them when Satan tries to suppress them.

Represent and Own It

SMI 2019

Following a fantastic VBS week at Palmcroft and 13 weeks of training, our High School Students served for 2 weeks alongside the Craig Family who are missionaries in Barstow & Bishop, CA. Between our Barstow and Bishop teams they would run 22 different VBS programs reaching over 400 hundred children with the stories of Jesus’ encounters like His walking on water, death and resurrection and more. As a result, 53 kids would come to know their Savior Jesus Christ and several communities in California were impacted by the Gospel!

One of the students, Tyler S., shares his story about how SMI impacts those communities: “This week was amazing. It was very fulfilling to work with all the kids, but it was getting towards the end of the week and I didn’t get the opportunity to pray with a kid. I was starting to wonder if people would remember the work I did 6 months from now. But then I was talking to a kid named Kevin and he was asking me if I knew any of the people that had come on an SMI to that church 2 years before. Somehow even though he did not attend that VBS, he knew all of the names of the SMI students. Later that day, it hit me that the people in that community must have talked about that SMI team a lot for Kevin to know them 2 years later. God really encouraged me through that experience and showed me that even the people in the community who couldn’t come to the VBS were touched and our team planted hundreds of seeds for God.”

 

Impact 2019

On June 26, 42 of our junior high students left to go to Ventura, California on their Impact mission trip. During the week, our students ran a day-camp at a local park and shared their faith through a skit. They also were able to share their faith through their evangelism training around the Ventura community. God gave them the opportunity to plant many seeds of the Gospel and lead 6 people to Christ!

The team not only had Gospel impact on the community but also helped the Christian school they stayed at by painting, cleaning, spreading rock and working on many other projects around the campus.

One of the students, Abby D., shares her story: “A man we met mentioned to us that someone had been talking to him about the Lord the other day and then now we were telling him the same thing. He said he had been thinking about all of it and we were excited to hear that God had already been working on him. My group and I were so blessed to keep planting seeds for God. It was so neat to see that God was already preparing the way before we got there.”

 

Wrapping It Up

SMI and Impact both offer the opportunity for adults in our church to come along side the students and mentor them in their Christian walk. These trips do not just allow the adults to encourage the students, but they also help the leaders grow in their own walk with God. One of the SMI drivers, Devon M., shares this about his experience, “It is always amazing to go on these trips and see what God does each time. Each trip is always different and this year in particular there were many opportunities to get to know new leaders that came on the trip. God is so good in giving us new people in our lives that help us to grow as Christians. Our Father uses the experiences and people on these trips to show us who He is in our own lives. He does this by not only letting us watch our kids step out and talk to complete strangers but also allowing us to see pastors in other places giving their all for Jesus.”

We praise the Lord for the awesome things that He did on these trips. Continue to pray for these students as they go about their lives that God will use them in their homes, in their communities and in this world. Pray that God would open their eyes for the plan He has for each of them.

Please pray also for the Larissa Craig, Missions Door missionary, and her family as they continue to serve the areas around Barstow and Bishop, CA. Praise the Lord for the $4,500 that was raised during Palmcroft’s VBS week that we were able to present to the Craig Family to further reach the unreached in California for Christ.

Remember also to pray for those in Ventura, CA that our Impact students spoke with. Praise the Lord for those who accepted Him as their Savior. Pray for the people that did not accept Jesus that someone else would reap the seeds that were planted.

 

¡Cuan Grande es Dios!

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HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD! The team of 11 from Palmcroft had departed to Madrid, Spain on April 19 and arrived back home safely on April 27 very tired but hearts so full of witnessing how God was working at the Friendship House in Spain. The team had the opportunity to serve alongside the Cross Family and the other missionaries at the community center during the week. Donna Buckles says this about the trip, “I was glad to be able to witness the love and care that the missionary staff have for the refugees they serve. We were able to be an encouragement to them and have some great interaction with the North African children we worked with.”

Our missionary appointee, Chelsi Johnson, was also with the team and she noted how the team served at the Friendship House during the week in her recent letter, “The team from my church and I did many things over our week there including teaching English as Second Language classes and crafts with the K-6th Graders, doing activity time with the 7th & 8th Grade boys, sorting clothes for the Clothing Closet, cutting material for the Sowing Initiative, getting ready for the garage sale at the Friendship House that would happen after we left and one of my favorite things, doing baking class with the 7th & 8th Grade girls! My top story from the week was on the last day of baking class with the girls when they were told by the Friendship House Director that my colleague R and I would be back to keep teaching them and those girls came up to us and said that they were excited to keep baking with us.”

God truly was working in the hearts of the Palmcroft Team and one of the team leaders, Alicia, says this about her experience, “Having the opportunity to interact with the kids at the Friendship House each day was truly a blessing in more ways than one. There was nothing better than seeing the excitement on their faces when we started to explain the craft for the day.”

The Friendship House ministry is growing and God is doing amazing things there. Continue to pray for the Friendship House and the relationships they are continuing to build through the different ministries. Pray that they will be able to have spiritual conversations. Also, continue to pray for the Cross Family, Sean, Ruthann, AJ, Ethan, Jack, and Evi as they continue language school and assimilating into Spanish culture.

Atención!

Sean and Ruthann Cross, WorldVenture: Spain

 We have purchase our ONE WAY Tickets and will leave on February 12 for Spain!

We are excited to announce that we have received departure clearance from WorldVenture and will be leaving for Spain on February 12.  As this part of our journey is ending it is a privilege to look back and see all that our God has done for us over these last four plus years.

He has provided numerous people in our lives who are committed to praying over our family and the ministry. He has showed us that His timing is the best timing. Always! He has grown and stretched us in our faith and love for Him. We are just an ordinary family, with ordinary abilities, and yet He has chosen us to go. (Personally, this still blows my mind away.) "Who are we O Lord and who is our family that you have brought us this far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes...Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness..." (2 Sam. 7:18-21) There are no better words that I can write of God's great love for us. David really says it best. We praise our Lord for what is doing in our lives and in each of you!

Love on the Move: Missions Emphasis Month

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” Acts 13:2-3

“Love on the Move” has been designed to encourage the body to carry the gospel of Jesus to their world and to the whole world. We will highlight what our missionary partners are accomplishing for His glory. As a part of this special month, on February 10 Palmcroft will send off Sean and Ruthann Cross and their family to begin their ministry at the Friendship House in Madrid, Spain. For a schedule of missionaries and events, click here.

Help needed!
February is our month of Mission Emphasis and there will be missionaries who will be coming to Palmcroft to participate in this event. If you would like to host a missionary at your home, Wednesday through Monday, of one of the weeks in February, would you please contact Maggi at maggi.garrison@palmcroft.com.

Why record Job of all books of the Bible?

Steve and Laura Newkirk, WorldVenture, Senegal

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This next week we will be recording the book of Job in Wolof. So why record Job of all books of the Bible? There are universal questions, asked by people from all over the world from all walks of life and through all of human history: Who, what, or where is God? Does God see or care about my life? Why doesn’t God answer my questions? Why does God allow suffering and death? Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do bad things happen to good people?

These are some of the important questions that Job and his friends grapple with, both for their sake and ours. But as Philip Yancey says, “The arguing never seems to help Job much. His is a crisis of relationship more than a crisis of doubt. CAN HE TRUST GOD?” God shows up with an amazing response at the end as Job is astounded and affirmed in God’s trustworthiness.

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Please be praying for our recording team. We have a team of 8 Wolof speakers for the 13 voices heard in the book. We want to see God glorified and desire Wolof speakers to know that they can trust their Maker and the truth that He has given in His Word for whatever life might bring. Our friends at Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) will help us record and edit the recordings.

49 Baptisms! A modern day Acts story!

Jonathan and Susan Kopf, Ethnos 360, Papua 

An exciting development from our discipleship-toward-leadership classes has been that people realized they had been trusting in their attempts to be good rather than placing their confidence in Jesus to pay their sin debt. That gave opportunity for the elder/deacon trainees to lead them to faith in the Lord. Since then this realization has spread and many more have come forward saying they want to turn to Jesus to become children of God.

Then we told our village friends that before our elder/deacon “ordination” service we would like to hold a baptism service for the ones who had already given testimonies of faith in Jesus, and wondered if there were others who would also like to get baptized. Several expressed a desire to publicly demonstrate their faith in Jesus so we asked them to meet with the elder/deacon trainees to share their testimonies. On October 5, eight people shared how they were trusting in the death of Jesus to pay for their sin debt, but then more people arrived so we said we would gather again the next evening to hear their testimonies. On October 6, ten more people articulated trust in the blood of Jesus to make them children of God. But then more people arrived so we met again on October 7 where seven more people shared faith in Jesus. But more people arrived and asked us to gather again the next evening so on October 8 eleven more people confessed turning from religious attempts to satisfy their sin debt to trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus! That’s not all. Our own daughter, Mikenna, also wanted to publicly express her faith in Jesus along with the others. Saturday, October 13, 49 members of the Hewa tribe were baptized! Thank you for praying! This is truly a modern day Acts story!

Thank You for Praying!

Sean and Ruthann Cross, WorldVenture: Spain

We finally have our letter of invitation from Spain’s Ministry of Justice!

Although we are excited to FINALLY have this letter, we also know “good-byes” that once seemed so far off are now uncomfortably near. Painfully near, if I’m allowed to be honest. One thing stressed many times in our training was the truth of great sadness in leaving our “home country”. This truth has become a reality for us. The flip side of this is with great sadness comes great comfort in knowing that we have loved and been loved well. As we near the end of this part of our journey we ask that you would not give up, but be even more fervent in your prayers for our family. Please pray for our children by name: AJ, Ethan, Jack and Evi. Next step…visa appointments at the Spanish Consulate in Los Angeles on November 12!