BCM World December 2023

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An Inside Look at BCM Global Ministries



BCM World | December 2023 | A Publication of BCM International

Find us online at


BCM International 201 Granite Run Drive Suite 260 Lancaster, PA 17601 USA www.bcmintl.org Page 2 www.bcmintl.org 1-888-BCM-INTL

December 2023

Editor: Jeanette Windle Designer: Elizabeth McCutcheon Contributors: Dr. Rick Rhoads, Jeanette Windle, John and Dasia Abramovich, Tony Schaapman, Don Crowder, Lisa Biegert


Stewarding God's Mission In Us and Others

15 Still Reaching Poland's Next-Gen 23 From Montreal's Streets to Poland's 31 A Pastor To Missionaries 41 A Unique Vacation Children's Program

In good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability

BCM International is a global Bible-Centered Ministry dedicated to making disciples of all ages for Jesus Christ through evangelism, teaching, and training so that children are December 2023 www.facebook.com/bcminternational Page 3 reached and churches strengthened.



December 2023


CM Africa Conference at Emseni onference Centre - South Africa

By Dr. Rick Rhoads President, BCM International

We are a celebration of indigenous missional leadership. BCM International has ministry taking place in fifty-six countries on five continents with more than eight hundred fulltime missionaries.

December 2023


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BCM Hungary Elim Center

A dear mentor once said to me, "You can only take others as deeply as you’ve gone yourself. Principle being, you can’t offer to others what you haven’t experienced yourself." Page 6


December 2023

I’ve found this principle true in my personal spiritual journey as well as the discipleship and leadership development relationships I’ve lived. As I reflect upon this guiding principle, I am reminded of how God wants to transform each of us first, then through that transformation use us to impact others. The following are a few highlights and observations from this first year as president of BCM International. We are part of a larger BCM family. This year has encompassed six international journeys spanning five continents and over thirty countries (see also Reflections from the Road, BCM World, August 2023). My wife Naomi was able to join me on two strategic trips. As we’ve met many dear BCM ministry leaders, both Naomi and I have felt incredibly blessed, welcomed, and made to feel a part of this extraordinary global team. These relationships are priceless. Thank you! We are a celebration of indigenous missional leadership. BCM International has ministry taking place in fifty-six countries on five continents with more than eight hundred fulltime missionaries. As BCM Hungary Elim Center

we near the end of 2023, ninety-seven percent of all BCM missionaries are indigenous to the nations in which they serve. This is a significant answer to prayer, accomplishing the vision of leaders being raised up to make disciples and reach the peoples of their respective homelands. It has been an honor to witness this movement firsthand throughout this year and to be immersed into so many amazing cultures. Global revival includes a movement among teenagers. From the mountainsides of Sri Lanka and equatorial Africa to the jungles of Peru and the war zones of Ukraine, BCM ministries are witnessing significant revival-like movements among teenagers. They are coming to Christ in significant numbers. Making decisions to be disciples. Leading evangelistic children’s events. Even planting churches. A significant portion of BCM’s nearly fifteen thousand volunteer leaders are teenagers. I sense God doing something beautiful in this next generation and look forward to many of them becoming future leaders December 2023


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of BCM as well as with other kingdom-

Hungary’s Elim Center (see Here I Am,

oriented ministry organizations.

Send Me—to Hungary?, BCM World, March

With all that said, let me share some

2016). Though I was meeting almost every

specific reflections and experiences from

teammate for the first time, the evening

this first year of becoming acquainted

was filled with deep laughter, profound

with BCM missionary personnel and field

conversation, supportive prayer, and a


renewed presence of how God brings


all of us together. And of course, an


incredibly delicious meal. We finished

An evening meal in Hungary. On

the evening having experienced deep

the first leg of my fourth global tour,

community that fueled each of our souls

teammates from Ireland and Germany,

and profoundly ignited new vision for

including BCM Europe director Richard

future and ministry.

Thompson, accompanied myself and

BCM camps in Netherlands and the

president emeritus Dr. Marty Windle

British Isles. I am always struck by God’s

to meet our Hungary team at BCM

creation and how it declares His power.

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December 2023

De Herikon Netherlands

Images from Top: Castledaly Manor, Ireland Mullartown House, Northen Ireland Dr. Rick Rhoads With BCM Netherlands at De Herikon December 2023


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We visited three BCM camps on this trip—

morning, teammates gathered in silence

De Herikon in the Netherlands, Castledaly

for Scripture reading, then prayed for each

Manor in the Republic of Ireland (see

of Africa’s fifty-four nations.

Historic Ireland Guesthouse Becomes BCM’s

Time was also given to developing the

Newest Camp, BCM World, Fall 2010), and

soul of a leader through collaborative

Mullartown House just off the shores of

discussion sessions, vision casting,

the North Sea in northern Ireland (see

prayer practices, and providing space for

Celebrating 70/40 in Northern Ireland, BCM

individual teammates to care for each other

World, October 2018). As I wandered camp

through listening and prayer. Through

grounds and took a prayer walk along a

these discussions, four regional working

North Sea beach, I drank in the beauty

teams were formed with at least three

of God’s creation and marveled at these

different countries represented on each

stunningly picturesque properties God

team. The goal for each team is to follow up

has provided to BCM. The “Emerald Isle”

with further work in a specific area, then

lived up to its reputation of greenness and

bring their recommendations to the entire

colorful foliage as did the magnificence of

BCM Africa team and its director Rev. Dr.

the historical estate that is now De Herikon

John Peter. The four team assignments are

(see A Look Back at BCM Netherlands,

Prayer Group, Funding, Promotion, and

BCM World, Fall 2007). More amazing

Leadership Structure for Africa.

was hearing many stories of how God is transforming children and teens through


the ministry of these camps and our BCM


teams there.

Our sixth BCM Global Tour came to an end with the biannual BCM Europe


conference held in Wisla, Poland (see Still

In mid-October, I had the opportunity to

Reaching Poland’s Next-Gen, BCM World,

fly to South Africa for the first Pan-Africa

December 2023). As teams from Hungary,

conference in the history of BCM ministry

Poland, Germany, France, Ireland, Poland,

on that continent. Teammates from Kenya,

Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland,

South Africa, Madagascar, Uganda, Zambia,

and Ukraine came together for the first

and Eswatini were in attendance. The

BCM Europe conference since the COVID

conference schedule was a collaboration

shutdown, a significant communal spirit

that included worship music from Uganda and devotions by key leaders from Uganda, South Africa, Madagascar, and Kenya. Each Page 10


December 2023

Top: Worshipping Together BCM Africa Conference Left: Daily Prayer Board - BCM Africa Conference Right: Madagascar Team Leads Worship - BCM Africa Conference

December 2023


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was palpable. Some countries unable to

the area. Visiting over outstanding meals.

attend such as Russia, Spain, and Italy were

Each gave opportunity for conversation,

able to join through live-streaming.

laughter, reconnecting with BCM Europe

A special blessing was the arrival of all twenty-two adults and six children of the

teammates, and simply being present together in community.

BCM Ukraine team. They expressed what a

As I continue to reflect on all God

special gift it was to be in a place of safety

is doing throughout our world and

and respite from war even if briefly. The

specifically in and through BCM, I am

rest of us were equally blessed to spend

humbled and amazed at how He never

time with our Ukrainian teammates and

gives up on us, transforming us from

challenged by their ongoing faith and

the inside, then inviting us into the

commitment to continue carrying the

opportunity of transforming others. I am

gospel to conflict zones under fire.

grateful for the honor of serving alongside

An outing on Wisla’s famed “choochoo” tram. Touring the Polish president’s

each member of this remarkable global family.

summer palace. A guided historical tour of

BCM Europe Conference Outing - Wisla "Choo-Choo" Tram Page 12


December 2023

Castledaly Manor Sign, Ireland

As I continue to reflect on all God is doing throughout our world and specifically in and through BCM, I am humbled and amazed at how He never gives up on us, transforming us from the inside, then inviting us into the opportunity of transforming others. December 2023


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December 2023

Children's Outreach, Poland

By Jeanette Windle With John and Dasia Abramovich

Our goal personally is to continue being a bridge between one generation and the next in raising up the next generation of church leaders. Pray with us that God will provide new BCM Poland missionaries to carry on this vital ministry.

December 2023


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On October 22-28, 2023, BCM Poland hosted the first in-person BCM Europe conference since the Covid lockdown. Over ninety BCM personnel from Europe and the British Isles as well as leadership from Africa and North America met in beautiful Wisla, a resort town near the Czech border, for a week of Bible teaching, field ministry presentations, and fellowship. A major answer to prayer was travel visas and safe arrival for all twenty-two members of BCM Ukraine. BCM Poland under leadership of country director John Abramovich and his wife Dasia has partnered with a children’s Page 16


December 2023

Top: BCM Europe Conference Group Shot - Wisla, Poland Middle: John and Dasia Abramovic Right: Daniel Band

ministry organization, Miłość Edukacja

camps for children and youth as well as

Dojrzałość (English translation: Love,

an annual camp for special needs were

Education, Maturity, or MED), since its

held this past summer of 2023, reaching

founding in 1990 shortly after the fall of

more than four hundred campers. A band

communism (see Raising Up NEXT-GEN

of volunteer musicians called the Daniel

Leaders in Poland, BCM World, September

Band, which includes previous MED youth

2016). Poland has seven million children

campers, ministers to children, families,

and teens with only a small percent

and church congregations through a

attending Bible-based churches. MED’s

variety of MED events. The biggest is a

chief goal is to evangelize and lead to

summer evangelistic week in southern

spiritual maturity children and teenagers

Poland for about two hundred children

across Poland. This is carried out through

ages 7-11.

children’s evangelistic meetings, Bible

Another exciting MED program is

clubs for pre-school and school children,

entitled “Scouts on the Rock,” a Christian

summer camps, training courses in

scouting program led by MED workers

children’s ministry, and free Bible lessons,

and volunteers and carried out through

missionary stories, music, teacher’s books,

local church congregations. Scout troops

and other materials published and/or

hike into Poland’s beautiful forests, where

translated by MED in Polish.

they hear the gospel along with learning

While many MED ministries were put on hold during the Covid pandemic, in-person

practical skills typical to international scouting programs. A top focus is discipling

December 2023


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scouts in Bible truth and application. Though moving technically toward retirement, neither BCM Poland director John Abramovich nor his wife Dasia are slowing down in ministry. Born and raised in Poland, Dasia has served as director of MED until recently, overseeing its eight full-time personnel and countless volunteers. She continues to work with MED as needed, including planning and directing the special needs camp. She also leads a counseling ministry to women and provides English-Polish translation for preaching and teaching. Only half of Polish churches have pastors. In consequence, John regularly preaches on Sundays and teaches during the week in six congregations. He has an English conversation ministry with students and teaches in youth meetings. BCM Poland is also active in providing humanitarian aid for conflict zones in Ukraine. The BCM Ukraine team provides a list of needs, which is shared with Polish

"Scout on the Rock" troup

congregations. The collection point is a garage owned by Dasia’s brother. Periodically, BCM Ukraine missionaries drive an industrial van to Poland to pick up the collection which is distributed to needy Ukrainians along with sharing the gospel (see Keeping The Faith in War-Torn Ukraine, BCM World, November 2022). In northern Poland, BCM missionaries Tony and Kornelia Schaapman minister to Ukrainian refugees through a BCM Canada Ukrainian relief fund (see From Montreal’s Streets to Poland’s, BCM World, December 2023). One such family is Luda, a single mother with two teenage children, and her mother, who took refuge in Poland when the war reached their town. This included sponsoring Luda through training as a dental assistant so she can provide for her family. Her mother was excited to receive greatly-needed hip surgery and dentures. While Luda has received Christ as Savior, other family members haven’t, an ongoing prayer request. After thirty-five years of ministry with BCM Poland, Page 18


December 2023

MED Children's Camp

December 2023


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John and Dasia Abramovich see much

We have seen a number volunteering in

remaining need but are also excited at the

other BCM ministry fields such as Scotland

fruit of the children and youth ministry

and the Philippines. Our goal personally

and its promise for the future.

is to continue being a bridge between one

“We are seeing good leadership among

generation and the next in raising up the

the youth as well as adults in the churches

next generation of church leaders. Pray

with which we work,” John expresses.

with us that God will provide new BCM

“Among them are many who been raised

Poland missionaries to carry on this vital

and discipled in the MED ministries.


Youth are preaching in churches. They are growing their own peers in the Lord.

Poland Children's Camp Campfire

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December 2023

Poland Home Bible Clubs

"Youth are preaching in churches. They are growing their own peers in the Lord."

Children's Outreach Program

December 2023


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December 2023


By Jeanette Windle With Tony Schaapman

“There is still so much need here,” Tony summarizes. “But it is also a time of red-hot opportunity to share the gospel."

and Kornelia Schaapman

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In 2018, BCM Canada missionary Tony Schaapman traveled with his wife Kornelia to Poland to attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. Zofia Tataranian first heard the gospel from a neighbor when her daughter Kornelia was twelve. After accepting Christ, she became a powerful evangelist in a town where there were few believers. Her funeral exuded the depth of her faith and assurance of an eternity with her Savior. After the service, several locals who had attended expressed surprise to be encountering hope in the context of bereavement. “That they should be so surprised to find hope there broke my heart.” Tony shares today. “I don’t know why this had such a profound impact on me as though God was

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December 2023

Pastor Piotr Singing With Blind Musician Daniel

Poland Park Youth Evangelism Outreach

...northeast Poland, famed for its two thousand lakes but also very few churches with just .01 percent believers. telling me, ‘Tony, you’re heading to Poland!’

ministry (see To the Streets of Montreal with

There was just one problem. My Polish was

Love, BCM World, 2008).

virtually non-existent.” Tony Schaapman has headed up a street

While Tony met his wife in Paris when both were studying French there, Kornelia

evangelism ministry in Montreal, Quebec,

is from the Warmia Mazury province

since 1998, training countless hundreds

of northeast Poland, famed for its two

of young people in open-air evangelism

thousand lakes but also very few churches

over the last quarter-century and seeing

with just .01 percent believers. Though the

hundreds come to Christ through his

Protestant Reformation reached Poland December 2023


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Church Elder Sharing Gospel with Youth in Park

centuries back, most notably through

gospel in both English and French. Tony

fifteenth-century Czech martyr Jon Hus

also took street evangelism to France (see

and Martin Luther a century later, the

God is not Dead in Bourges, France, BCM

Jesuit counter-reformation largely stamped

World, September 2015). They traveled

out the Reformation in northern Poland.

many times to Kornelia’s hometown of

Only half of existing churches have pastors,

Dźwierzuty to visit family and prayed

and there is little outreach to unbelievers.

consistently for the region and great need

Today’s youth is strongly atheist or agnostic

of Christian ministry leaders there. But

while some also dabble in witchcraft.

until his mother-in-law’s funeral, Tony had

The Schaapmans married in 2002, and

not once considered actually moving to

Kornelia moved to Canada, where for

Poland. A major motivator was that he’d

almost twenty years the couple shared the

struggled greatly to learn French. Polish

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December 2023

would be even more difficult, and unlike many European nations, few people were bilingual in English. But Tony remained convicted that God

wonderful happened. Tony explains. “By the Holy Spirit's design, the ongoing Covid pandemic created an environment in Canada

was calling them to Poland. Kornelia

whereby Christians for the first time in all

had uprooted to his country. It was now

my years on the street were coming out in

time for him to move to hers. In 2019,

large numbers to preach the gospel. This

the Schaapmans took a sabbatical in

new and lasting wave of zeal provided us

Olsztyn. Tony studied Polish, and Kornelia

with a surplus of volunteers for the street

translated for him as he shared his faith

evangelism ministry. It soon became

and met with area pastors, churches,

evident the time had come to hand it over

and missionaries to better understand

and start a new ministry elsewhere.”

the needs there. Caught by the Covid

In December 2021, the Schaapmans sold

lockdown, they didn’t return to Canada

their home, made their goodbyes, and

until June 2020. With no clear sense of

moved to Olsztyn. Though still learning

how to proceed, Tony continued his street

Polish, Tony immediately began preaching

evangelism ministry. His greatest concern

in area churches with Kornelia and other

in considering a permanent move to

English-speakers as translators. This

Poland was that the Montreal ministry

includes a ministry to Ukrainian refugees.

would not survive. Then something

He also began training volunteers in street

Ministry Outreach Ukrainian Refugees

December 2023


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evangelism, among them Piotr, pastor

those who have participated in the street

of the Olsztyn church, a blind musician

and park outreaches, especially after

named Daniel, and church elders Arthur

witnessing firsthand the overwhelming

and Mateusz. Outreach comprises of sketch

lack of religious belief among the youth in

art evangelistic presentations in public

a country once staunchly Catholic.

streets along with music, testimonies, and

“I don’t know what to make of this,” one elder expressed. “It is not the same Poland

preaching. This summer, the team also took a different program to the parks where

I was raised in!” Recognizing the enormous disconnect

young people congregate. They approached

between the church and today’s generation

teens and some adults through a survey

has made this elder and others realize how

containing questions like the following.

urgent it is to get their congregation out of

“What is the purpose of life? What do you

the pews to carry the good news of Jesus

think happens when you die? If God asked

Christ to those outside. Where once there

you why He should let you into heaven,

was reluctance, Tony now sees a flicker

what would you say? What do you think of

of excitement within the local Christian

Jesus?” If someone showed interest, they

community to participate in street and

shared the good news of salvation in Christ.

park evangelism. His prayer is that by God’s

Most were glad to continue on the topic.

Spirit this flicker becomes a flame.

“Sadly, we didn’t meet a single person

Meanwhile, Tony’s original street

who was already a believer,” Tony says.

evangelism ministry back in Canada

“One did identify as Catholic and was

continues going strong under its new

actually reading the Bible. She asked

leadership. And the Schaapmans have no

questions to clarify her understanding

plans to leave their new home.

of the gospel. What a joy! It shows us

“There is still so much need here,” Tony

how great the need is and the urgency of

summarizes. “But it is also a time of red-hot

evangelism versus just hoping unbelievers

opportunity to share the gospel. Which is

will walk into a church. That said, even

why it drives me crazy I’m still not fluent in

younger Polish teens will interact seriously

Polish! Please pray for me as I continue to

on these questions where back in North


America they typically would shrug and say they have no clue.” Even more exciting for Tony and Kornelia has been to see a complete change of heart on evangelism among Page 28


December 2023

Tony Schaapman - Pastor Piotr Street Evangelism

December 2023


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December 2023

Preaching at Liberty for The Captives Church in Arua, Uganda

By Jeanette Windle With Don Crowder

It has been interesting to learn these last six years that people are often asking for member care without knowing it.

Their use of words and facial expressions indicate they need help, but there can be a stigma attached to asking for counseling or guidance. Many see it as a sign of weakness or disqualifier from ministry. But this shouldn’t be. We are all human. We all face challenges. We all need someone to come alongside us to encourage, pray, and advise.

December 2023


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Teaching at Chapel International Academy of Suriname

Pastors Training Uganda

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December 2023

What does a pastor to missionaries do? “Pretty well what I’ve always done,” explains BCM Ministerat-Large for Member Care Don Crowder. “The difference is that I now have a congregation of almost nine hundred scattered over five continents and the Caribbean.” Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Don Crowder’s first experience with BCM began as an elementary student sitting under the teaching of a BCM Canada missionary in a school Bible class. Though he’d felt God’s calling to be a pastor in his teens, he was forty when he finally attended Bible college. During his studies, he served one summer as head counselor at BCM Canada’s Millstream Bible Camp and Retreat Centre. For the next twenty-five years, Don pastored four different churches in southern Ontario. He and his wife Cherlyn maintained close connections with various BCM Canada missionaries, including those who taught their own twin sons at school and church. In 2012, Don was invited to join the BCM Canada board. Don was approaching retirement when he began praying over what God might still have for him in the future. Though his call to be a pastor hadn’t changed, he’d long felt two other callings on his heart—to travel internationally and to teach national pastors in countries where few pastors had Bible college or seminary training. He also had a burden for pastors and missionaries. While they served others, who pastored them? Sitting down with then-BCM president Dr. Marty Windle, Don asked bluntly, “Here is what is on my heart. Is there a place in BCM for someone like me and for this type of ministry?” “Definitely,” Marty replied. “I’ve had just such a role in mind to provide member care for our personnel around the world. In other words, to be a pastor to our BCM missionaries and pastors around the world.”

December 2023


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Sendoff to BCM Don and Cherlyn Crowder at right

In 2017, Don Crowder attended BCM

Ministry team conflict. Cross-cultural

candidate orientation and stepped from

misunderstandings. Temptation and sin.

being a BCM Canada board member to

Persecution. Ill health, socio-political

fulltime missionary and pastor to the

upheaval, and other crises. All these are

global BCM family. His new title “Minister-

no more foreign to missionaries and

at-Large for Member Care.” As Don

pastors than the average citizen,” Don

explains, his role entails basically being

elucidates. “Yet there is often no one who

pastor and mentor to BCM missionaries

can walk with them as they navigate these

and national pastors so they in turn can

stresses. The result is that they can’t thrive

be healthy, happy, and productive in their

personally, infect those around them, and/

ministries. Missionaries may be seen by

or fall into temptation. In consequence,

many as Christian “super-heroes.” But

they can’t focus on their ministries and

they are also ordinary people who struggle

may end up leaving the ministry altogether

with the same life issues as anyone else in

with immense negative impact on God’s

addition to the unique challenges they may

kingdom. This is not unique to BCM but is

face in the cultures in which they serve.

characteristic of missions in general.”

“Marriage and family issues. Page 34


December 2023

Don has been serving as pastor to the

BCM global family for six years now. In

and resisting sexual temptation in France.

that time, he has pastored, taught, and

Spiritual development sessions for BCM

counseled at BCM regional conferences

candidate orientations in North America,

as well as one-on-one in Suriname,

Africa, South America, and Europe.

Panama, Spain, Germany, France, Poland,

Theology courses for students at Africa

Netherlands, Ireland, Uganda and more.

Renewal University, a Christian university

Thanks to modern technology, Don

in Uganda. All have given opportunity to

counsels and mentors BCM missionaries

exercise Don’s expository teaching gifts as

around the world from his own home

well as pastoral.

office in Canada through Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, email, or phone call. Don’s second calling of teaching and

Then in 2018, Don’s member care role expanded further. The International Academy of Suriname (IAS) is an English-

training national leadership has been

language Christian school located in

realized as well. Workshops on teamwork

the Suriname capital of Paramaribo.

Don Crowder with BCM Ireland Personnel

December 2023


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Parents may be diplomats, United Nations

Christian teachers for the upcoming

personnel, employees of an international

school year and a new director with a clear

corporation, local government

Christian testimony. Stepping in as interim

dignitaries, as well as a small percentage

director, Don Crowder set immediately

of missionaries. Most students are not

to work reorganizing administration,

from Christian homes, making IAS school

recruiting new teachers, and ensuring

a mission field in and of itself. BCM

through Bible classes and weekly chapel

Suriname personnel have been involved

that all students regardless of religious

with IAS over decades, enrolling their own

background understood the gospel (see

children there and serving on the school

Reaching a Unique Community in Suriname,


BCM World November 2019). When the

In 2018, IAS requested a partnership with BCM. Urgent needs were qualified

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December 2023

Covid pandemic shut down in-person classes, Don returned to Canada, where he

Don Crowder Mentoring over Lunch - Uganda

Don Crowder TV Interview - Uganda

oversaw the transition to online classes and

“The people I was teaching serve in

continued to give oversight as director for

churches, mission organizations, and

the next two school years.

itinerant ministry. They are children’s

More recently, Don’s prayer to reach

leaders, trainers of children’s workers,

and teach national pastors also came to

pastors, and evangelists. Many came

fruition. With two others, he traveled

great distances walking, cycling, and on

to train more than two hundred pastors

motorcycles. They listened to my lectures

and church leaders in various regions

attentively, making notes and asking

of Uganda. Topics included the role of a

practical questions so they would know

pastor, spiritual development, shepherding

how to apply the teaching we provided.”

God’s flock, spiritual gifts, models of

Don continues to follow up with some of

church organization and growth, how to be

his students by Skype, Zoom, or phone and

an effective leader.

has already been invited by one Ugandan

Don discovered that most attending had

Bible college to teach some courses next

no formal theological or pastoral training.

year. He also emphasizes that he is always

But that made them even more eager to

available in his role of member care,


whether virtually or in-person. December 2023


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BCM Africa 2023 Candidate Orientation

"When you come into missions, specifically BCM, we want you to understand that we don’t just throw you out there to sink or swim but that there are people to walk through difficult periods with you." Page 38


December 2023

“It has been interesting to learn these

we want you to understand that we don’t

last six years that people are often asking for

just throw you out there to sink or swim

member care without knowing it. Their use

but that there are people to walk through

of words and facial expressions indicate they

difficult periods with you. If you are a BCM

need help, but there can be a stigma attached

missionary, pastor, and/or volunteer going

to asking for counseling or guidance. Many

through something difficult or just need

see it as a sign of weakness or disqualifier

someone to come alongside, lend a listening

from ministry. But this shouldn’t be. We

ear, pray with you, seek out a biblical

are all human. We all face challenges. We

perspective, or just offer encouragement, I

all need someone to come alongside us to

am here for you. Just email me at dcrowder@

encourage, pray, and advise.”


Don concludes with an invitation. “When you come into missions, specifically BCM,

December 2023


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December 2023

By Lisa Beigert

Even more wonderful was hearing about children who’d given their lives to Jesus as their personal Savior, especially those who responded from the far side of the planet.

’S VBC Craft Time

December 2023


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For a second summer, three BCM

known as Vacation Bible Club (VBC), was so

missionaries have organized an innovative

well-received that International Children’s

version of the traditional Vacation Bible

Ministry Coordinator Sophia Wong, Lisa

School (see Online + In-person + Vacation

Biegert from USA, and Shantal Odicio from

Bible School + Backyard Bible Clubs = Vacation

Peru expanded the program for August

Bible Club, BCM World, November 2022). The

2023. While Sophia coordinated with

first experimental program, which became

churches and Bible clubs, Lisa prepared

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December 2023

Top: VBC Zoom Session Right: Children Participating in VBC Program

"Seeing them smile, laugh, or volunteer to pray was so rewarding!” Bible lessons, and Shantal created puppet

worship song videos, and puppet skits.

skits, crafts and music videos, print

Videos showing how to make the crafts

materials and more.

were distributed to leaders ahead of time.

Vacation Bible Club is a hybrid version

The entire program is distributed in

of summer five-day clubs, mostly carried

booklet form to the leaders while children

out through online tech. Meaning the

each receive their own handbook with

VBC team presents much of the program

daily activities, lyrics to the theme song,

over Zoom. Some of the program was

and memory verses.

prerecorded, including Bible lessons,

This year’s theme was “The Radical Life of Paul: Rescued, Restored, Refined, Remade.” Each day focused on a different story from the life of the apostle Paul. Groups from across Canada and the United States logged in to Zoom for singing, puppets, and a Bible lesson, followed by an interactive review time with the teachers and other participating Zoom groups. Once that hour was complete, local volunteers used the provided program guide to lead their children through the rest of the program, including games, crafts, memory verses, and snacks. On Friday, December 2023


Page 43

everyone came back together for a closing

with local Christians making it an “English

missionary story, a longer review game,

as a Second Language” opportunity to

and a chance to show all the other groups

share the gospel. The children were still

something special from their week.

able to interact, answering questions over

Shantal recalls, “I enjoyed seeing the reaction of the children to the puppet

Zoom, then participating in the in-person portion once they logged off.

videos or the lesson. The question-and-

Much prayer went into this second

answer time was proof they were really

broadcasting as there could be risk for

paying attention. Seeing them smile, laugh,

families who chose to log on and join in.

or volunteer to pray was so rewarding!”

But God protected all involved, and the

The program ran each morning for five

club ran without incident the entire five

days in the western hemisphere. But the

days. One small adventure occurred the

three members of the VBC team taught the

second night when a heavy thunderstorm

entire program a second time at night for

rolled through the section of the United

about one hundred children in a “closed

States from which team members were

region” spread across several time zones.

teaching, disrupting internet connection.

This was carried out entirely in English

Providentially, the Bible memory passage

Joining VBC Worship Songs by Zoom

Page 44


December 2023

Lisa Biegert Teaching on Screen

included Philippians 4:11b, “I have learned

be content when things don’t go our way is

to be content whatever the circumstances.”

something all Christians will face. This was

Sophia explains how the verse tied

my personal reminder that VBC was not

into the evening’s drama. “I became very

just for kids to learn about God but also for

nervous when comments being posted in

adults to be reminded to trust in Him.”

the Zoom chat function included, ‘You’re

During the final day, each group was

freezing! We can’t hear you! Your Wi-Fi has

given opportunity to share with everyone

problems!’ Eventually, these comments

else something from their week. It was

became unkind and even angry in nature.

wonderful to listen to children reciting

As the situation began to get out of hand,

verses and see the team crafts they’d made

I was reminded that God is still in control.

during the in-person part of the program.

I thank God we had a chance to address

Even more wonderful was hearing about

the issue in a calm way and that people

children who’d given their lives to Jesus as

returned to the program the next day. To

their personal Savior, especially those who December 2023


Page 45

responded from the far side of the planet.

couldn’t help but feel moved knowing that

Lisa shares, “So many hands went up

not only did children across the world hear

during the third night when we gave a

the gospel being presented clearly and

clear gospel presentation that we lost

some chose to believe in it, but they were

count. It was both exciting and a humbling

also challenged to share it with others.

experience to sit in my own kitchen

They get to be lights in their own country.

teaching children on the other side of the

I trust and pray God will use them right

globe, to witness the Holy Spirit working,

where they are to bring glory to His name.”

and to see these children respond to the message of God’s love and salvation.” Shantal adds her own perspective: “I

VBC In-person Class

Page 46


December 2023

"They get to be lights in their own country. I trust and pray God will use them right where they are to bring glory to His name.”

December 2023


Page 47

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"If we have nothing else to give our children, they have enough if they have God." –Charles Spugeon




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