I am amazed to think that this year is almost complete, and we are looking at all that has been accomplished for His glory! All of this is the direct result of your contribution into this ministry, that we are able to send you this year end update. How grateful I am for you, your heart for the Lord, and for your partnership together with us that makes all of this possible. Because of this commitment, we continue to see the ministry grow and expand; I’d like to share some international highlights from 2017:
January – The library project was held in Red Bluff, CA where, for two weeks, a hearty team of volunteers prepared and shipped approximately 15,000 books for the Grace Bible College (GBC) Library. Great job, team! This is one of the largest Christian libraries in India.
February – India ministry at IM’s Children’s Home and GBC Winter Teaching Module, graduation and several women’s meetings were held. Shortly afterwards, the library books arrived from CA with no tax charged on the shipment (a very special answer to prayer).
March & July – Iraq ministry to church plants, refugees, children and women. The launch of the Yazidi Women’s English Classes; Indigenous Ministries obtained NGO (non government organization) status in Kurdistan. Outreaches continue to refugees with food packets, clothing, medical and counseling needs met.
September – The Refugee Child Sponsorship Program was launched in N. Iraq for Iraqi and Syrian refugee children. In the Philippines, the children in Payatas continue to improve in school, and more families are integrated into Bible studies and church there, and in Antipolo. A large gift was given to finish Grace Bible College library building, so that project is complete as to the building, now we are praying for the furnishings.
October – The Egypt Pastors’ Conference and Women’s Conferences were held. We celebrated the third anniversary of IM’s Egypt Child Sponsorship Program; 57 children are now in the program. A new Global Church Planting Initiative church was planted in Egypt. Our Kurdistan office moved to a bigger facility to accommodate ministry growth.
Celebrate with us all the Lord has allowed to happen! Your prayers and financial support given to these areas, empower us to partner with nationals through the Holy Spirit’s guidance to reach nationals with the Gospel. As a result, many are coming to Christ, finding healing, forgiveness and hope.
Year End Giving Fund: We are asking the Lord for the largest financial target ever. Would you prayerfully consider being part of this powerful, life changing goal? There are still so many lives who need the Good News of redemption!
The goal is $90,000 for the Year End Giving to help fund these great needs:
* Furnishings for the Grace Bible College library; India, $15,000
* Van for the Refugee Child Sponsorship Program; Iraq, $25,000
* Refugee Relief for kerosene, heaters, clothing, food; Iraq, $20,000
* Salaries for finance and front desk in the Colorado Springs office, $30,000
As you give, please designate your gift “The Greatest Need.” We are seeing an incredible impact that only the Lord could make happen. Thank you for your partnership in serving the Lord, His Church, refugees, widows and orphans; we are truly honored to be in His Harvest together with you. May the Lord continue to bless you as we serve the Lord together.
In Christ, John
John W. Cook, CEO
If the heart of Indigenous Ministries is the Church, how do the child sponsorship programs fit in with this prime directive? Our programs are designed to draw our sponsored children and their families into the national churches, in order that they might be ministered to by the pastor and church families. It’s working!
In Egypt, that’s the reason the CSP (Child Sponsorship Program) along the Nile was begun. With so many widows, several years back, our ministry team asked, “Is there anything we can do month to month to help these destitute women? They are really struggling and anything will help. We would like to help them and share Jesus with the children and widows.” Now, three years later we have 57 children in the program. So many hearts have turned to the Lord as a result.
In the Philippines, the need for families to secure a better income than continuing as scavengers, tied them to Resty and Mel who prayed with a local pastor, and together they are assisting many families. Their children are receiving a quality education along with critical nutritious food. It begins and ends with the Church.
In Iraq, with 3.4 million refuges in Northern Iraq alone, many families living in UN camps and settlements face difficult choices; food or backpacks and school supplies? Pastor Sabri and his wife have stepped in and visited many families extending to them help and an open door to the fellowship of this church plant. The children are being enrolled in our CSP, and as the program approaches 50 sponsored children, we marvel at changes already evident!
The Scripture reminds us that “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27. Thank you for praying for and sponsoring the children in our CSP programs! Join us…there are so many lives waiting to hear the Gospel!
The Yazidi high school girls and women in N. Iraq took their final exams this month and have done well! We’re so proud of each of them. A special word of thanks to our team lead for this project, Wesam, and to Elham, who has been teaching since July. For 10-15 minutes before classes, Wesam has been sharing the Word of God. The ladies asked to know more about our beliefs, and say they really enjoy these sessions.
Our funding for this project has run out, however, the girls and women have asked to continue, and 36 jumped in and signed up for the next classes. By faith, I’ve said we will continue with this great opportunity, as long as the funding comes in. We will also include a backyard Good News Club-style meeting for the children each week.
To donate, go to IndigenousMinistries.org and select Beautiful International Women’s Ministries. The need each month is $2950; we are asking the Lord for six more months of classes. Thank you so much for praying and giving.
With 50-60 people already meeting, this brand new Indigenous Ministries’ church plant is moving ahead quickly. IM CEO, John Cook, met with the Egyptian ministry team praying together about this new work. What a praise to be able to see this come together.
As you pray, please keep the pastor, leadership, families and young people in mind. Young people in Egypt are looking for meaning in their life and a future with promise and hope. Pray for them to seek the Lord and grow in their relationship with God.
Thank you for your partnership with our Global Church Planting Initiative here and in other parts of the world. The Lord is reaching His Harvest. To learn more, visit our website and search GCPI.
As part of IM’s Global Church Planting Initiative, one of our Middle East pastors recently shared with us these updates:
– In October we distributed the spiritual books among refugee families who attend our ministry each Saturday, which many of them want to know specially about the biblical perspective about Mary in the Gospel.
-Since the 1st Sunday in October, I have been preaching about the Core Values for the ministry to help the congregation and the servants adopt these values, and serve the Lord in the light of them.
-In Thursday 26th of October, we had a very blessed time with the young people of the church, who met to pray, worship, listen to the Word of God, and spend time together from 8:00 pm till 8:00 am on Friday.
-One of the church women has a Christian bookstore and is dressing as a Muslim woman to make Muslims comfortable as they look for biblical resources (see Sept. 2017 The Liaison).
Please pray for this pastor and church, as this is a very difficult time for them in Baghdad, and they depend on our prayers and support. Thank you to our faithful Global Church Planting Initiative faith partners for your hand in this.
Our weekly prayer bulletin is sent out on Tuesdays. To be included in the email blast, please sign up on the website, right side, up top. Thank you for engaging in this vital part of Indigenous Ministries. Watch our FB page for stories on each of these photos.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. I John 5:14
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
This month our IM team in Egypt gathered most of the 55 kids in our Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) together, and we celebrated three years of our CSP together! Donned in new IM pink shirts, it was a real joy to see these kids heartily singing and sharing memory verses they have been learning.
God truly has brought this vision together for helping children of widows in the Upper Nile region. As you can imagine, each family has its own story of tragedy as fathers have died unexpectedly and widows are left alone with a family to raise. But this is a ministry of bringing opportunities, education and God’s hope! You are part of this with your prayers, and for our sponsors, you are a HUGE part of giving these young people a better life in Christ.
Beneath the Nile River’s dark green-blue waters flows a very swift current. On a hazy afternoon, we sat mesmerized as boats navigated up and down her beautiful waters. Like the Nile’s current, we’re all reminded that time passes by very quickly. It’s been 14 years since IM began ministering to national pastors in the Middle East; these conferences continue to be a good investment into their lives and ministry.
Another IM National Pastors’ conference was held this month in Egypt, in its wake leaving pastors blessed, grateful and encouraged. A well known Egyptian Christian leader said, “John, I see your heart to serve and bless our own Egyptian Pastors year after year and I want to thank you and Indigenous Ministries for caring for them.”
On September 25, Kurdistan held a referendum in northern Iraq for independence, which, although overwhelmingly passed in its own region, was harshly condemned by Iraq, Turkey, Iran and some other world leaders. In swift action, Iraq closed Erbil and Sulaymaniyah’s airports to international flights, leaving many relief organizations and our own IM office wondering what the future holds. Iraq and Iran announced earlier this month they would hold joint military operations on Kurdistan’s northern border. Mid October, one of Iraq’s Vice Presidents, Al Nujaifi, met with Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani and agreed to talks between Baghdad and Erbil with Barzani stating he would freeze the results of the referendum to see Baghdad recognize and ensure more rights of the Kurdish region.
How you can pray: Pray for peace in this region; for wisdom, foresight and understanding to prevail in negotiations as government leaders meet. Pray for the 3.2+ million refugees, the vast majority depending on international relief for daily life. Pray for the Church as it continues to minister the love of Christ through relief aid, food, child sponsorship and counseling. Pray for IM’s church planting and child sponsorship ministry teams; like everyone else, they know that another civil war could break out at any time and yet are not in a panic…they’re very busy doing a great job in ministry, and we greatly love and admire them! Our love, prayers and support as a ministry is a big encouragement to them in these days.