It came in a small brown package but carried along a big gift.
The package was filled with letters, pictures, notes, and prayers, all meant to encourage MVI missionaries Tim and Julia Dang.
When Juan Pablo Noreiga was just a young boy growing up in Guatemala, he already had big dreams. “I want to be a doctor,” he told a team of visiting missionary doctors. And it wasn’t just a pipe dream. Juan Pablo was very bright and had been able to read since the age of 3.
The girls took two very different paths. Years ago, during a visit to a rural village in Belize, MVI missionary Elizabeth Ayala noticed two 15-year-old girls, Carmen and María, (not their real names), sitting under a tree. She approached them to chat and learn more about them, intrigued that they were not in school.
Sometimes we can read the Bible and think those times must have been so different. Does God really heal people the same way? Does the church really grow in exponential ways? We have received encouraging reports from Thailand that the Lord is moving in a similar way to the early church.
In the tiny Kingdom of Tonga, where Missionary Ventures has helped empower Tonga Christian Radio, our New Zealand office (MotiVate) invited their young adult leadership for a retreat in Auckland. Twenty-four young people attended – for 17 of them, it was their first time to leave their island nation.
In northeast Thailand, Pastor Suphon and Pastor Ying lead communities of believers who want to reach out to others in the Nong Khai province, which hugs the Mekong River along the border with Laos. These pastors and their churches are part of Mission Ventures Thailand who are planting churches all across Thailand and helping them to reach new areas. They are all very excited about the connections and open doors in Nong Khai.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, unreached people groups are within reach for pastors like Pastor Sethi Munenwa, who lives about 300 km (186 miles) from the Pygmy forest tribes. These tribes have historically been devalued by almost everyone. Through both colonialism and discrimination from other tribes, they have often been thought of as the lowest of people groups. Some even believe it themselves.
It’s amazing to see what can happen when just one person is empowered and equipped in their calling from the Lord. For example, Pastor José Herrera first became acquainted with Missionary Ventures in Ecuador, when he was a missionary there from his home country of Colombia. He met Don Wolfram and learned about the Bible seminary classes they were teaching in the jungle.
As a former Soviet Union country, Latvia’s population consists of many people from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Since the conflict began in Ukraine, we let local people know (especially those with family in Ukraine) that the Baltic School of Ministry (BSM) was open to receiving refugees.
Tomás Guzaro’s life could have been nothing more than living and dying in a small village in Guatemala. But God had other plans.