March 22, 2017

Riding for a Cause

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Roy and Karen Schlabach take some time to share their thoughts on Ride for Missions Florida, which recently covered over 150 miles of trail and road along the west coast of central Florida. They discuss this ride as well as the summer ride (July 22-26, 2017).

While levels of biking enthusiasm vary among riders, Roy trends towards the higher end of that spectrum. He has participated in the Ride for Missions (RFM) summer ride nine times, and in just the last year, he rode his bike over 10,000 miles. He rides with numerous groups but considers RFM one of his favorites “for a few reasons.” One of these reasons is the comradery he feels while interacting with other riders both on the road and during the evening meetings. “The other thing is that we are doing it for a good cause. We love what RMM is doing and we love being a part of it with this trip.”

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Planting Seeds: A REACH Update

By Amy, Team Montana, USA

This past week I had some really cool experiences with taking steps in trusting God and what he’s telling me. One story goes like this…

Kelly and I were driving home one afternoon and I decided I wanted to be dropped off at my favorite coffee shop. We drove past the coffee shop and for some reason it was closed, so Kelly suggested taking me to one we hadn’t tried, but where our friend was working. So she dropped me off there and I talked to my friend and got some coffee. I was just hanging out there, waiting for her to close up when a girl walked in and ordered. Obviously, that’s normal, as this is a café, that’s what people do. She took a seat at the table next to mine and after getting her food, she just sat there staring at it, looking pretty despondent.

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March 16, 2017

“I planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase...”

By Jill Wagner*

During the years our family served on an RMM team in the Middle East (1982-89) a young engineering student, Abdullah,* came to living faith in Christ. He was a member of our house fellowship, baptized in our bathtub.

After we had to leave the country in 1987, Abdullah became the local leader of the house fellowship until he was arrested for his faith, imprisoned and interrogated for a month, and as a result, expelled from the university.

Korean brothers and sisters working in the same Middle Eastern country took Abdullah under their wing, paying for him to finish his education and to receive advanced theological studies in Korea. He married a Korean woman.

Fifteen years ago Abdullah and his wife Fatima* moved back to the Middle East with their two children, called to raise up a church there. A third child was born. Many members of Abdullah’s extended family came to faith through their witness. As they lived in a totally unchurched region of the country's largest city, prayer walking its crowded streets and meeting their neighbors, a thriving house fellowship was born in their living room.

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March 14, 2017

We Are Vessels: A REACH Update

By Daniel, Team Eurasia

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

During our day off last week, we had the opportunity to hike to the ancient Roman aqueducts in the town of Moria. Two thousand years ago these towers and vessels were created for one purpose, to carry potable water from the center of the Island to the cities along the coast. This is one of the reasons the Roman Empire flourished. They knew the importance of transporting large amounts of water from miles away to bring life to their citizens. The aqueducts were not life, but they carried life. Today these aqueducts serve no purpose other than being a tourist attraction. Large sections have already broken off and fallen to the ground showing that this structure is unable to carry water from point A to point B. No one took the time to repair them as they deteriorated. Today they are not carriers of life.

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March 08, 2017

Fuel on the Fire: New Sparks of Faith in Southeast Asia

By Tom and Candice, workers in Thailand

It’s with joy that we share about a new team that has formed in spreading the gospel in a restricted access country in Southeast Asia! Although the RMM team is based in Bangkok, God has consistently led us to a neighboring country since the beginning of our work here. This year, it’s been thrilling to see God orchestrating the formation of a national “sister” team and to bless that team in any way we can.

There is a registered church in this country and good things are happening within the church. However, leaders tend to exert a great deal of control – in part because the church needs to limit their activities to stay in the good graces of the government. In the last year, our friend Lan began meeting with several men, who like him, were frustrated by the lack of opportunity to work within the structures of the church. They began praying and talking about what they could do independently.

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March 06, 2017

To See Them Flourish: A REACH Update

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By Erica, Team Ecuador

These past few days have offered a lot to think about. One hurdle is learning to love even when some of the kids don’t want to be loved. I wish so badly that I could just hold them and tell them over and over and over how precious they are, how loved they are, how powerful the love of the Father is, and how they can just let go and trust in him. But they don’t let that love happen. Instead, I have to be okay with giving them the touch they need in passing, with looking them in the eyes when they let me and saying, “Listen to me, I love you, my team loves you, the Tia’s all love you, God loves you! Why are being this way?” I don’t know if it gets through to them, but I hope it does.

I was calling home the other day, spilling out my frustrations over the phone when I realized that what I’m doing here is not for here, it’s for eternity. I know that sounds trite and overused, but it’s true. If I were here working week after week with children whose love is so conditional simply to get my self-approval tank filled up, I would’ve gotten on a plane back to the States long ago. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned here, it’s that I’m not as awesome as I’d like to think I am and I don’t have very much approval to give myself. What I do have is love. I can offer them love because I was loved first.

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March 03, 2017

Haircuts, Diesel, and Burgers

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By Eugene and Katrina,* RMM workers in North Africa

Eugene and Katrina and their two children traveled to North Africa in January of this year. To learn more about their story, read their introduction here.

We arrived in our new town three weeks ago, dragging through the terminal to get outside with two sleepy kids after an overnight flight, a stroller, car seat, and five bags. What a relief to be met by our friendly teammate with a car! Thanks for your prayers!

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February 28, 2017

Why Are We Here?

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By Judah* RMM worker in the Middle East

Since being here we have been asked this question more times than we can count – by locals and foreigners alike. Honestly, it can be a bit wearisome, especially after you have answered the question many times, and every time it feels like you have given an unsatisfactory response. This is mainly due to the fact that the answer we give would not have brought us here on its own. Because of this, I sat down one afternoon and reminded myself of why we are here. So to you on the other side of the big pond, here is a bit of why we pulled up roots and moved to the other side of the world.

Our Father has told us to “Declare His glory among the nations...He is to be feared above all the gods.” As I write, I hear the call to prayer sounding in my neighborhood. I am sure men are going to the mosque to pray, trying to please a god whom they fear, but we know the power he truly has. I am here because my God is to be feared, yet he loves each person deeply and paid the ultimate price for them.

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February 24, 2017

Walk and Talks: A REACH Update

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By Candace, Team Himalayas

Team Himalayas spends much of their outreach time encouraging believers and visiting different villages. Because of the sensitive nature of the region, this team uses creative language to discuss certain spiritual concepts.

We have been in our current village for about three weeks now, and every day has been quite the experience. Lately, we have been finding more time to go to town and talk to store owners and make relationships. A lot can be talked about over a cup of chia (tea)!

Recently we traveled to a village about 2 ½ hours away and stayed there overnight. It was a short time, but it was packed full of “walk and talks” with the Father. There are very few believers in that area, but the passion of the ones there are incredible. They want to share with everyone everywhere! One of the places our team and some local believers walked to was a shop/house of a family who had recently come to faith. “There are very few believers in that area, but the passion of the ones there are incredible. They want to share with everyone everywhere!”We were gladly welcomed in and were given some tea. We sat together and introduced ourselves and then had a time of listening to requests and talking to the Father with the family. We later left with the shopkeeper and he showed us where the land he donated for the Father’s house would be. There is currently no building, but construction is soon to start! We then lifted up to the Father the land that was given and then headed back to where a small fellowship was being held at a house. There was lots of singing and dancing, and then Jared shared.

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February 21, 2017

SEND Interns 2017

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2017 SEND Interns: Paige, Sarah, Josh, Cameron, Amy, Jenny, Janelle

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Each year, from January to December, a group of seven young people come to the Rosedale International Center (RIC) in Columbus, Ohio, to live and serve as SEND Ministries staff interns. The year is designed to help them mature in their faith and grow as leaders through times of training, mentoring, ministry, and community outreach. Throughout the summer and fall, they each play a vital role in facilitating the City Challenge program and REACH Discipleship Training School (DTS). They invest a lot of time and energy into the lives of the many participants of these programs, and also into their daily responsibilities at the RIC.

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February 16, 2017

Being Fed for the Journey: Team Thailand Retreat

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By Candice, worker in Thailand

The RMM Thailand team had a wonderful retreat this past weekend with visiting speakers Steve and Phyllis Swartz! Our theme was "journey" and we learned so much and each heard from God in unique ways. The Swartz's first took us through a "hero's journey" where we learned the steps of a disciple maker's journey looking at the parallel story of Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. We talked about our call to adventure, our big steps over the threshold from known to unknown, and the challenges and temptations that follow, eventually leading to death, resurrection, and finally reproduction. "Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over." What an encouragement to us! We understood again the importance of sticking with our adventure here and dying to self in order to produce fruit – to be patient in waiting for God to bring us a harvest in Thailand.

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Introducing New Executive Assistant

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By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

The newest member of the RMM office staff, Danae Stoltzfus, will be working as the Executive Assistant at RMM. We couldn’t be more delighted to have such a capable and creative person fill this role. In her free time, Danae enjoys creating art, participating in church outreach, and attending local soccer, hockey, and baseball games with friends. Danae grew up in Apple Creek, Ohio, but has been living in Columbus for the past three years working as a pastry chef at a number of bakeries, and most recently, as a nanny.

Before moving to Columbus Danae traveled to Hawaii to work with Surfing the Nations for four months, and then to Honduras for ten days to help out at an orphanage. This past summer she joined her aunt and uncle in Kenya to help with some of the various ministries they are involved with there. She has a great desire to see the love of Jesus impact every nation. Throughout Danae’s life, God has shown her that his timing is always perfect and she can trust him to take care of her needs. She looks forward to this new position with RMM and is excited to see how God will use her here.

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