around the world
Free Will Baptist International Missions serves churches, pastors, and people by helping them fulfill their role in establishing churches beyond North America
so unreached peoples can know the joy of a
relationship with the living God. To find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist International Missions, visit www.fwbgo.com.
Convention of People With
Pinar del Rio, Cuba—The third national convention of people with disabilities (pictured below) was held October 22-23, 2016, on the campus of Los Cedros del Libano (Cedars of Lebanon) Free Will Baptist seminary in Pinar del Rio, Cuba.
Ariel Gomez, a leader of the Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn) ministry, stated, “God has been faithful, and the third convention of people with disabilities is a fact. Thanks to everyone who prayed and supported us one way or another, and those who serve to manifest the love of Jesus. May the Lord bless you in the same loving way in which you have served these people.
Alpedrete Congregation Presents Musical
Alpedrete, Spain—On November 12, the Alpedrete Church presented a musical journey (below) through biblical history that culminated in the Christmas story. Around 175 people filled the seats of the Alpedrete Cultural Center and witnessed the multi-scene, dramatic presentation. This was the first year the Alpedrete Cultural Center provided the church with a date for a performance in Alpedrete. For the last several years the congregation’s performances were held in the nearby town of Collado Mediano.
“From Eden to Bethlehem: Salvation Has Come” featured scenes from the Garden of Eden and the lives of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and Jonah. The stories traced God’s promise of salvation through Scripture. The presentation concluded with the birth of Jesus as the stage filled with children and adults proclaiming, “Salvation has come!”
More than 50 people from the church performed onstage. A crew of sound technicians, costumers, and stagehands worked behind the scenes. The church provided an encore performance in a nearby town on December 17. City officials in Moralzarzal offered to host the production at their cultural center, free of charge.
Family Burns Idols
Dokodouo, Côte d’Ivoire—In November, Pastor Sié Roger Noufé reported that a man and his wife accepted Christ as Savior in Dokodouo, a village about 20 miles from his church. The couple and their six children burned their fetishes (idols) in public as their testimony to abandoning the way of the fetish to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Common objects mixed with the firewood—most noticeably a slim, wooden doll. Fetishers believe spirits that control a certain aspect of their lives inhabit these common objects. Those who worship the idols do so out of fear, constantly seeking to appease the spirits. Burning the idols is frightening for those who have always lived in fear of them, but faith in Jesus brings a new sense of freedom in Christ.
Board Holds Year-End Meeting
Antioch, TN—The Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions met December 7-8, 2016, in the Antioch, Tennessee, offices. Jeff Manning presided over his first meeting as board chairman.
Will Harmon, Cameron Lane, and Rodney Yerby—elected at the NAFWB convention in July—participated in their first IM board meeting. The trio arrived early to attend a time of orientation on Monday, December 5, prior to participating in the Leadership Conference (December 5-6) and board meeting. “Our three new board members meshed well with those already serving,” observed Manning. ”We enjoyed a sweet spirit throughout the meeting.”
The board voted to change the status of several IM employees and affiliates:
In December 2013, Matt and Halie Deckard received approval as interns with The Hanna Project. However, the couple began experiencing a pull toward serving with a partner organization.
The board voted to release the Deckards from their internship commitment and give them a partnership blessing as they pursue ministry with Jungle Kids for Christ in Ecuador.
The board voted to restore Dr. Neil Gilliland to director of member care. During the financial downturn, Neil was placed on part-time status as member care consultant.
The board voted to officially recognize Trif and Vanya Trifonov as members of the IM Bulgaria team.
The board voted to officially recognize Manu and Noemí as members of the Malaga THP team in Spain.
The board granted Reese and Charity (Dankson) Brown a partnership blessing, as they serve with a partner organization as English teachers overseas. Reese, the son of David (director of FWB Foundation) and Temisia Brown, was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Charity, the daughter of Mike and Debbie Dankson, was born in Winterville, Florida. The couple graduated with honors from Welch College in 2015. The Browns hope to leave for Asia in August 2017.
The board approved an operational budget of $5.95 million for 2017. Projected self-funded programs carry the total budget to $8.2 million. IMpact projects, The Hanna Project trips and projects, student missions, etc. require fundraising separate from the operational budget.
“Our time together was punctuated by praise for the Lord’s work among Free Will Baptists internationally, and by reminders of Satan’s desire to hinder that work,” Chairman Manning summarized.
General Director Clint Morgan concurred, adding, “This year, for the first time in several years, the meeting was not dominated by financial issues. It is always a joy and honor to work with these godly people focused on laboring ‘with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.’”
All board members (Jeff Manning, chairman, NC; Jeff Nichols, vice-chairman, TN; Mark Price, secretary, OH; Janice Banks, OK; Nelson Henderson, AR; Robert Posner, TX; Will Harmon, AR: Cameron Lane, AR; Rodney Yerby, AL) were in attendance.
Snapshots Around the World
Cuba—Pastor Samuel Ramos (pictured below with IM Director Clint Morgan, left, and Sam McVay, right) arrived in the States on October 4 as an official representative of the Cuban Free Will Baptist Directiva. He traveled extensively, raising awareness and promoting the partnership between Cuban Christians and the Mission, before returning to Cuba November 18.
Brazil—Clovis and Cristina Leandro (see the October/November issue of ONE) held an outreach event (pictured below) in Boa Esperança, October 23. Many people came for haircuts, diabetes testing, and children’s games. The town has no evangelical churches. A donation has allowed them to purchase land for a church in the village. Several children and adults have accepted Christ as Savior.
Spain—Three young people were baptized in the Alpedrete Church, Sunday, October 23. More than 90 people crowded into the small space to be part of the service.
The Hanna Project—Eighty-three students participated in the fall semester of English, computer, and French classes in southern France. Shane and Joy spearhead this ministry.
Brazil—Seven people from the Second FWB Church in Araras, were baptized October 30. Pastor José Assunção of the Marabá FWB Church assisted pastor Israel Paranhos do Nascimento, who has yet to be ordained. On November 27, Pastor Paulo César baptized seven more people at the Nova América FWB Church in Campinas.
Japan—Daiki, in Tokyo, Japan (pictured below with his mother), accepted Christ as Savior. He studied the Bible with Heath Hubbard prior to the Hubbard's stateside assignment.
Panama—Pastor Cirilo Mendoza baptized three young people in the Good News Church in Chitré, on Sunday, October 30.
Côte d’Ivoire—Pastor Kobena Gboko Yao of the Gouméré FWB Church baptized 13 people on Sunday, November 27.
France—Myriam (Mimi) Le Louarn departed for France as a two-year intern December 14. She will work with young people in the J’Pense ministry.