Category Archives: Missions
Ben and Joseph lose their mothers, but find a family looking just for them. Antonio is rescued from what seems like a hopeless situation. Caitlyn dares to trust that truth will set her free. Jorani is delivered from slavery into the arms of grace.
Follow these real-life stories on a journey to foreign places and extreme struggles. Travel through their challenges and see the hand of the great Storyweaver — our Defender God — shielding and defending the defenseless in amazing ways.
These are the tales of the ones left wounded…
You know how much I love children and causes protecting children. So when I received this book to review, Tales of the Defended Ones, I jumped on the opportunity.
I’m so glad I did. What an amazing and powerful book this is.
I enjoyed Beth Guckenberger’s writing style; it was simple, easy to read and descriptive. I finished this book in a couple of hours, I couldn’t put it down.
I journeyed to different parts of the world and learned about precious children. Children that perhaps seemed to have been forgotten, but weren’t. Our heavenly Father watched over their lives and had a specific plan for each of them.
Beth Guckenberger refers to God as a Story Weaver. God is writing different chapters of their lives, our lives and the generations to come. We may not see the entire mosaic, but He does. He intricately weaves people’s lives and stories together in His perfect timing.
I was relieved and thankful there was a happy ending for each child mentioned in this book. Because while I was reading about these children, I couldn’t help but cry. I also thought about all the other children in the world who are undergoing similar situations and need intervention too. I get overwhelmed with emotion just thinking about it.
I admire people like Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd for caring enough about children in need. They were willing to offer up their lives as a sacrifice and help children. I honestly wish I could one day serve in this capacity without fearing for my life, financial security and a host of other things. I admire their courage and the work they with Back2Back Ministries.
I highly recommend reading Tales of the Defended Ones, you will definitely be stirred, moved and motivated to action.
Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Monterrey, Mexico, where they serve with Back2Back Ministries. They both graduated from Indiana University with degrees in education and between biological, foster, and adopted, are raising nine children.
Missionary Leaders Reveal Behind-the-Scenes Glimpses from Africa
Continuing where their book Expecting Miracles left off, this narrative draws from the last five years of the life of Iris Ministries. Woven alongside fascinating narrative from Mozambique is teaching from Heidi and Rolland that communicates the distilled wisdom about the heart of the Gospel from all their years of serving the poor.
More than any of their previous books, this one has the most to say about what Rolland and Heidi have learned about love–whether in Africa or wherever home might be: finding intimacy with Jesus, concentrating on the humble and lowly, being willing to suffer for love’s sake, finding God’s supply of utterly needed miracles, and walking in the unquenchable joy of the Lord. Every reader will find incredible challenge and refreshment in these pages.
I remember Heidi Baker visiting Times Square Church back in 1995. It was a 3:00pm service and she preached a touching message entitled, “Who will go?”.
I was a baby Christian. I had just started attending Times Square Church back then. The strangest thing started happening to me. To my surprise, I began to weep.
She did an altar call and I was propelled to go. I went and fell on my knees sobbing my heart out. I wasn’t familiar with the move of the Holy Spirit or anything like that. So everything was completely brand new, coming from an open and sincere heart.
I remember that day like if it was yesterday. I never forgot Heidi Baker, Mozambique or that altar call. There were only a few of us at the altar answering the call. I honestly thought I would wind up in Africa one day, but I didn’t.
It was refreshing reading Learning To Love and seeing all that the Lord has done in Mozambique years later.
Heidi and Rolland Baker share wonderful and encouraging testimonies of their work through Iris Ministries.
Granted, I personally struggle with the whole miracle element; the blind seeing, the deaf hearing and the dead rising. However, I respect the work that God is doing through the Baker’s in Mozambique.
I enjoyed reading the different stories throughout Learning To Love. The book is inspirational and I recommend it.
In conclusion, I want to thank Chosen Books for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review.
Heidi and Rolland Baker, founders of Iris Ministries, served as missionaries in Indonesia and Hong Kong before following God’s call in 1995 to Mozambique. In the face of overwhelming need, the Bakers now watch God provide miraculously for well over 10,000 children every day through their ministry, and many more through the Iris network of more than 15,000 churches, Bible schools, primary schools, and remote outreach programs. They live in Mozambique, Africa.
Meet Naiderson. My sons and I watched this video together.
I do not want them growing up not knowing the needs that exist around the world. I’m also trying to instill in them biblical principles.
God teaches us not to forget the poor or the orphans. (James 1:27)
I’m trying to serve in any way I can which is why I am now a Help One Now blogger.
This is all voluntary. I do not get paid to blog for any organization. I do this on my own accord as a way of giving back and helping in some small way.
God has given me the gift of writing and I want to sow it back to Him.
The Lord seems to be reminding me lately about the necessity and importance of children receiving an education.
I just finished reading and reviewing a book called Creating Room To Read by John Woods which is about the importance of education. Mostly, children living in poverty around the world who do not have access to books or schools.
When we watched the video of Naiderson, we were very sad. After the earthquake in Haiti, it left children like Naiderson without schools.
I’ve learned by John Wood and Nick Kristof that children receiving an education is one of the ways to break the cycle of poverty.
In the days ahead, I will be blogging more about the work Help One Now is involved in and how you can get involved or help.
If you are moved to give, just click on the photo above to donate towards this cause. Any amount will be helpful and appreciated.
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27
I remember when I first read the above bible verse. It was as if the words jumped up from off the page and hit me in the face.
These words went deep into my heart, never to be forgotten.
My heart has always been for the children; the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, the abused, the neglected and the orphans.
This was even before I had children of my own.
My husband remembered my sponsoring children from Compassion International when he first met me.
My desire has been and will always be to help in some small way and make a difference to children in need.
But honestly, I can’t do it alone. I realize that no matter how much I try to help, it isn’t enough.
Recently, a sweet sister in the Lord who lives in Pakistan reached out to me. She is a young girl who has dedicated her life to feed orphans in the town where she lives. The need is so great there and the money she receives unfortunately doesn’t suffice.
I am troubled by this. I am troubled by the fact there are children who are hungry and have no family.
I personally give to the capacity I am able, but again, it’s not enough.
This grieves me and I find myself crying out to God for help.
The burden is great.
Recently, I watched a movie by Tyler Perry called “Good Deeds”. I am happy it had a Hollywood ending, but the entire time I watched, I suffered. There was this one character who was a struggling single mother. She was evicted from her apartment in the worst way. She became homeless overnight and had to live in her car with her young daughter. It was a sad situation and it broke my heart.
I know there are countless women in the USA alone in dire straits, trying to make ends meet to feed and care for their children or are homeless and living in shelters.
The needs are great.
Which is why I became a Compassion International blogger, because I want to make a difference somehow and in some way to help children around the world.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, my dream isn’t about me, my blog isn’t about me, my writing isn’t about me. It’s all about Jesus, His dream and His heart for His children throughout the world.
My life isn’t about me, it’s about Jesus. It’s about living His Word to the best of my ability. His Word is the rulebook for our life. As Christians, we need to follow what it says and not live our lives according to ourselves, our dreams, our motivations or our desires.
We are to live our lives helping and serving others, being the hands and feet for Jesus on earth.
This is why the above verse means so much to me, because I believe this is God’s heart and dream for mankind.
For those of us who say we love Jesus, we are to love what He loves and obey His Word by caring for the widows and orphans.
We must realize that God’s dream is much bigger than our own dreams. The gifts He gives us is not to be used for ourselves, for our gain or recognition, but for His cause and His cause alone.
We all can do our part and make a difference, even if it is just donating a dollar to help a hungry child. Any little bit would help.
Won’t you join Children International by helping them fulfill God’s commission here on earth by donating any amount or sponsoring a child today?
Many years ago, I traveled to different states as an amateur boxing official representing USA Boxing. I used to judge bouts on a National and Junior Olympic level.
I’m sure you are curious as to how I got involved in boxing. It’s a long story that I might share with you some other time.
One of the things I enjoyed on my free time between bouts was visiting churches and attending their services.
However, at that time, I was living a double life, which is another story.
Despite my living in disobedience, my heart longed for God.
At the time, God used people I didn’t know to speak into my life. People would literally walk up to me and prophesy over my life.
I learned firsthand that God is real, He uses people and He is aware of every detail of our lives.
The reality of this made me feel convicted. I was in awe of God and shocked at how these complete strangers knew so much about me.
I would continue to get the same prophecy wherever I went. Each place I visited, someone would come up to me and say the same thing.
God was definitely trying to get my attention.
The last time I received this same prophecy was about two years ago at a prayer meeting.
However, I started getting cynical and inwardly questioned God about this prophecy.
I couldn’t understand why I was getting the same prophecy over the years, but yet nothing was happening in my life.
However, this past week while I was on the bus going to work and I had an epiphany.
I realized the same prophecy I received repeatedly through the years was true and I was floored.
God finally revealed it to me.
The prophecy is this, “You will be a prophet to the nations.”
Each time I heard it uttered, I would weep from the deepest part of my being. I felt so unworthy (if truth be told, I still do).
I kept telling God He made a mistake and chose the wrong person. I felt I had failed Him and disappointed Him too many times (and still do).
I conjured up an image in my mind of what I thought “a prophet of the nations” would look like or translate to. I thought I would have to sacrifice, give up everything and travel the world.
When I got married and had my boys, I was shocked I was still getting the same prophecy.
I told God, how am I suppose to give up everything now and leave my family behind (traveling with my son who has health issues and put him at risk).
Finally, God revealed the truth, in that, He had no intention of having me sacrifice, give up everything, leave my family behind and travel to serve Him in that capacity.
I was thinking inside the box, but God doesn’t.
He revealed to me that I am a prophet of nations by writing. It finally made sense and all came together. I felt such a peace come over me.
God wants to use the gift He’s placed in me to communicate to others through writing which is my reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
He wants to do the same with you in whatever He’s called you to do.
Do you know what God has called you to do? Are you living out His calling?
Tears Water the Seeds of Hope is the inspiring true story of a Midwest husband and wife that become disenchanted with the relentless pursuit of the American Dream and embark on a journey that spans six countries and redefines their values and lives. The story begins in a small town in Wisconsin and weaves its way through South and Central America as the couple gathers an army of supporters and establishes an organization to save the lives of children in the end stages of starvation in eastern Guatemala. The narrative is filled with action-packed adventure and heartwarming victories as the characters face incredible odds and seemingly hopeless situations, while hundreds of volunteers join mission teams to offer help and hope through the programs of the ministry. Readers of all ages will enjoy the roller-coaster ride of emotions–from laughter to tears to sheer joy–as they realize that ordinary people can make a difference one life at a time.
There are times when things happen in the most interesting way. For instance, how I found out about this book, Tears Water the Seeds of Hope.
I happened to be visiting a book bloggers page on Facebook, when I came across Lori Caswell’s post requesting bloggers to review Tears Water the Seeds of Hope for her blog, Great Escapes Book Tours. I read the description of the book and was hooked. I wrote her a private message and expressed my interest in reviewing Tears Water the Seeds of Hope and she graciously accepted.
A couple of weeks later, I received the book in the mail directly from the author Kim Tews. I was so surprised when I opened the package. She had tied a ribbon around the book, which also had a flower on it and matched the flower on the book cover. She even wrote a lovely note on matching stationary, thanking me for being willing to read her book. I immediately saw Kim Tews heart and was touched by her kind gesture.
I was eager to begin reading the book and I finished it in four days. I couldn’t get enough of this book. I simply didn’t want to stop reading it. I was completely drawn in from start to finish.
Kim and Randy Tews live in Wisconsin. They are both successful real estate agents. They were living comfortably and had all they needed, except they felt a void. They began attending church and felt a calling to help the poor in Central and South America. They eventually wound up helping high risk children in Guatemala and started a program called Outreach for World Hope.
Tears Water the Seeds of Hope is about their story, from their humble beginnings to the present. Kim Tews did not sugar coat anything nor did she hold back anything. I found their story to be riveting and convicting.
I was touched and inspired by the what the Tews were doing. They took many risks and witnessed a lot of difficult situations. Quite frankly, I admired that they didn’t lose their faith by all they witnessed and experienced.
I really respect the Tews, many people would have simply given up and thrown in the towel with everything they’ve been through. But they did not give up. They kept going by the grace of God and kept loving the children of Guatemala no matter what. Now this is what I call exemplifying the Lord with your life, which is very rare today.
Tears Water the Seeds of Hope especially touched me because I did a short missions trip in Guatemala years ago. Everything described in this book is the truth. I know it to be true, because I was there and saw it with my own eyes.
Tears Water the Seeds of Hope provoked, inspired and challenged me all at the same time. This book resonated with my heart’s desire to help children. I hope I can return to Guatemala again one day.
In the meantime, I will continue to read and tell others about wonderful books like this one. Christians, here and around the world, who making a difference in this world.
I highly recommend this book. If you have been on a missions trip, this book will inspire you.
In conclusion, I want to thank Lori Caswell, Kim Tews and Cross House Publishing for facilitating and sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Kim Tews was raised in Madison, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Economics. She and her husband, Randy, pursued careers in real estate before beginning mission work together in Ecuador, South America, in 2001. In 2005, they established the non-profit organization Outreach for World Hope to save the lives of starving children in eastern Guatemala. The couple lives in Verona, Wisconsin, with their three children, traveling back and forth to Guatemala frequently to facilitate the ongoing programs of Outreach for World Hope (www.outreachforworldhope.org and Facebook).
“I don’t write this book as a condemnation or as a sermon. The last thing I want to do is provide a ‘how to be the best Christian in ten easy steps’ guide. I pen these words as a fellow struggler who is learning that what we think about God matters, how we allow Him to reign in our hearts matters, and how we obey Him in the moment matters. It all matters. Everything.”
Author and speaker Mary DeMuth has been abused, foreclosed, abandoned, and betrayed. She has been pressed and drained till it was too much . . .
But it was just enough to bring her to a place of surrender, piece by precious piece. In that surrender, she found the freedom of giving everything to God. And through Scripture, community, and the work of the Holy Spirit, she gives it all over again, every day.
In this gentle and challenging book, DeMuth describes the process and the nuances that shape us to be more like Christ. Her words are clear, vulnerable, and thought provoking, and every chapter is infused with Scripture.
Most of all, DeMuth provides personal and practical evidence that there is no greater pursuit than Christ. We must surrender everything, but it does not compare to the Everything He is, the Everything He gives.
I received an advanced copy of Everything to review. I also had the privilege of endorsing this beautiful book.
I read this book on my week off from vacation back in July. God spoke to me that week through Everything. I was beyond blessed.
While I was reading about Mary DeMuth’s life and experiences. I was able to put myself in her shoes. At times, I even felt we lived parallel lives.
I laughed and cried throughout this book. Everything made me think; it convicted me as well as challenged my walk with Jesus.
I had to ask myself the same question many times while reading this book, is Jesus my everything? If I say He is my everything, do I live as though He is?
I loved Everything and I highly recommend it. I believe in the message and believe every Christian should read this book.
***Special offer for a limited time only*** If you’d like to receive these sweet gifts, purchase Everything October 16-23 and send the receipt to EverythingPromo@ThomasNelson.com. Check out the details here.
Mary DeMuth is an author and speaker who loves to help people lived uncaged, freedom-infused lives. She’s the author of fourteen books, including six novels and her critically acclaimed memoir, Thin Places. After church planting in Southern France, Mary, her husband, and their three teenagers now live in a suburb of Dallas.