Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pastors to Missionaries in Full Swing

During the month of January and February we have traveled 1,000's of miles to visit and work with WGM Missionaries. God has graciously blessed us with wonderful opportunities to pray with counsel these wonderful missionaries as they continue to lift high the name of Jesus. Our team of missionaries in Paraguay were a wonderful blessing to us and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. We spent four days in  a Sabbath Retreat together as we studied God's word, prayed and shared our hearts with one another. The field directors Larry and Sharon Carr lead this tremendous team of servants and they are seeing the message of hope in Christ changing lives in Paraguay. There are currently 9 churches in that country and Andy and Lizeth Bowen offer language school training for missionaries desiring to learn the heart language of Paraguay which is Guarani'. Guarani' is a mixture of Spanish and the indigenous language of the Paraguayan people. Andy is a gifted linguist and an excellent language teacher. We also spent time with Mark and Bev Donahue who serve in the Asuncion Christian Academy and church ministry. We enjoyed a tour of the city with them and hanging out with them and renewing our friendships from Circleville Bible College (OCU) days. Our time there allowed us to connect with Weadette Burge and Beverly Lewis learning about their important ministries in the church and training of pastors for ministry. Great times of fellowship and connecting together was an encouragement to our souls.
A highlight for Ned was preaching at the WGM's Nueva Jeruselen Church. It had been nearly three years since he had preached in Spanish and many of you on our prayer team were praying for him. The Lord was faithful to bless and help him preach in Spanish and we thank the Lord that His Word goes forth never to return void. Continue to pray for this church as they need a pastor to lead this church forward. The seminary there has been preparing pastors as they have celebrated there 25th year of ministry. Ask God to provide for this struggling congregation.

After 10 days was up in Paraguay we boarded the plane and headed for Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We arrived there to begin our week of ministry. It was our second visit there and we find relationships deepening and growing with each visit. It becomes evident to us that the greatest gift that one can give to someone is the gift of listening. We enjoyed many visits with the team there and had great times of fellowship as we shared together. The highlight of our time there included an evening with the MK's,(Missionary Kids). We enjoyed a pizza party, ice cream and had great time of devotions and prayer. The highlight of the night was when we were able to Skype in with Jordan. Jordan went with us to the retreat last summer in July when we visited Bolivia. The kids were so excited about talking to him and he was able to share some of his experiences of transitioning back to the USA from living in Ecuador.

The next day we had an all day retreat with the missionaries there. We focused on teachings of encouragement and celebration of the victories that God has been doing on the field. Our theme included some teaching on transition and vision casting. At WGM we talk a lot about a "cause" and the team concluded that they are understanding God's "cause" for them in new and greater ways. It was so exciting to share that day together as we committed our ministries to His service. Hearts were encouraged and lives we challenged as we met together.

No visit is complete with out a time of enjoying a meal together and that is what we did as 29 of us gathered at a favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz. Rick and Lori Lampen provide leadership to this great group of missionaries. They are involved in many ministries including education, medical, a baby center, church ministries and much more. It was particularly special to visit with fellow alumni from Circleville Bible College (OCU) Mike and Donna Brown. It is so amazing to now be pastors to several of our classmates from college days. God has blessed us abundantly. He is good! All the time!

On a more solemn note, one of our classmates serving on the WGM Honduras field suddenly was called out of active duty and promoted to his heavenly reward. Kent and Rhonda Harmless served with us on the Texas Mexican Border during the 1980's when we were missionaries there. Kent and Ned were very close as Ned directed the field and Kent was his chief maintenance man. Kent went home to be with Jesus during our time in Bolivia. We returned to the USA and was able to attend a wonderful memorial service in Circleville, OH to honor his life of service to Jesus. He was a tremendous missionary and impact so many lives for Christ. WGM lost a wonderful missionary and heaven has made a gain. We ask an interest in your prayers for Rhonda as she survives and continues in ministry. Their daughter Theresa and granddaughter Sydney need our prayers as well.

This past week we participated in Orientation Camp back at WGM headquarters in Marion, IN. We provided training for missionaries headed to Spain, the American Indian Field and Kenya. It is a wonderful opportunity to invest in the training and preparation of our newest missionary disciples being sent out to serve Christ in the harvest field. At this writing Ned asks an interest in your prayers as he will be ministering on the American Indian Field in AZ. Marlene will be continuing her work and ministry here in Marion, IN.

Please pray for strength to minister. Wisdom to counsel, ears to listen and a heart to understand. Your faithfulness in giving and your prayers enable us to do this. You are our champions and with thank you for all you do.

May the Lord Bless you greatly.
Ned and Marlene McGrady