Bcm World March 2017

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An Inside Look at BCM Global Ministries


Putting Hand to the Without Looking By: John Peter with Jeanette Windle

BCM Africa director John Peter needs only to remember his own childhood to recognize the urgency of missions. Sometime back while speaking at a conference in Canada, he had the privilege of meeting the missionary lady who led him to Christ at a Bible camp when he was nine-years-old. “I thanked that Canadian congregation for investing in sending missionaries into countries like South Africa,” he reminisces now. “Sometimes we don’t realize the impact sending missionaries can have.” For John Peter, that impact would be a lifetime passion for global missions, especially across the continent of his birth, Africa. Of South African Indian descent, John Peter and his wife Vijay both grew up in the countryside outside of Durban, a municipality of 3.5 million that is South Africa’s principal port city. It also holds the distinction of being home to the largest community of Indian descent outside of India. John’s own family has a strong Christian heritage. He and his four siblings all graduated from Bible college and entered ministry. John himself pastored an ECSA (Evangelical Church of South Africa) church in Durban for almost 35 years. He oversaw the denomination’s missions program, including outreach from South Africa’s Indian churches to India itself.

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It was this outreach that brought John Peter into contact with BCM International when then-VP of International Ministries Dr. Vararuchi Dalavai (now with the Lord), founder of a BCM church-planting movement across India, visited Durban to share BCM India’s ministry with the Indian Christian community in South Africa. Over the following years, ECSA sponsored a number of BCM churches in different regions of India. John Peter was among denominational leadership who traveled to India to see firsthand BCM ministry there. Helping build BCM churches in India stirred up John Peter’s own lifetime passion to serve in mission outreach. Then Dr. Dalavai challenged him to consider fulltime ministry with BCM. At the time, two BCM missionaries were heading up a thriving children’s ministry in Swaziland (see Raising Next Generation’s Leaders, BCM World, Winter, 2008). But prior ministries in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and elsewhere had shut down for lack of personnel. BCM was receiving routine requests for In Step with the Master Teacher (ISMT) leadership training from such countries as Nigeria, Gabon, Niger, and Malawi. A capable leader with a passion for missions was needed to spearhead a new generation of BCM ministry across the African continent. It was at that point when both John and his wife Vijay recognized that God’s time had come for them to leave pastoral ministry. It was not an easy decision


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since leaving the church they’d pastored for thirty-five years also meant leaving a steady salary. But both their church and the Peters’ own adult children, thriving professionals and regular contributors already to BCM ministry in India, encouraged John and Vijay to follow God’s call. With their pledged support, John and Vijay Peter were commissioned as fulltime BCM missionaries in 2001. John first served as BCM Southern Africa coordinator, but as the ministry grew, he was appointed BCM Africa Director. In the fifteen years since John Peter’s appointment, Africa has become BCM’s fastest-growing ministry region, with new fields and missionaries added in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, western Kenya, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, as well as South Africa itself. BCM Africa maintains a headquarters in Durban, South Africa, where many local evangelical churches participate in BCM ministry. Children’s outreaches remain a central focus with almost 20,000 reached weekly in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar alone. But pastoral and ISMT leadership training, aid to orphans and HIV victims, and church planting continue to grow as well. John Peter himself teaches many leadership conferences as well as speaking at Bible camps and Continued on page 4

On the Road with God in Africa By: Corrie Evans I am not a missionary, but I grew up in a missions-minded family. Whenever a missionary would visit our church, they would be our guests for Sunday dinner. We listened to their exciting stories and tried to imagine what it was like to be a missionary, especially if they were from Africa. In Sunday School, my teacher would have us take an offering each week for missionary projects like church roofs and bore wells in Africa. We would march up front, singing, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world”, while we put our offering in a little woven basket. I prayed and I gave, but I never dreamed God would ever take me to Africa myself. Then I married a missionary, Bob Evans, president emeritus and currently international representative for BCM International. A few years later I had the privilege to travel to Africa for the first time with him. Along with conducting leadership training seminars and preaching in local churches, we visited a number of BCM Africa ministries and missionaries. On May 5th, 2014, we arrived in Durban, South Africa. Early the next morning, BCM Africa director John Peter and his wife Vijay picked us up in their vehicle, pulling a fully loaded trailer behind it. The drive was long and dusty, and it was well into the afternoon when we arrived at a public high school where BCM missionary Colin Wung teaches. But the principal immediately called all seven hundred students together for an assembly. They sang a beautiful choral piece for us. Then Bob spoke on the shortness of life and presented the gospel. From the school, we drove down the mountain to the small home Colin Wung shares with his wife, their little girl, and a new baby. The home consisted of one room in what looked to be an old, run-down motel. It held a bed, a hot plate for cooking, and a TV. Other families lived in adjoining rooms. Here we unloaded blankets and clothing from the Peters’ trailer for distribution to needy families, then visited and prayed with the Wung family. We were Continued on page 6 www.Facebook.com/BCMInternational

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retreats. One vital topic on which he speaks frequently is the Christian marriage and family. But serving as BCM Africa director has not been without challenges. The very vastness of Africa, larger than the United States, China, India, and most of Europe together, along with sub-par road and transportation systems, makes regular visits to BCM Africa’s scattered ministry fields an adventure in itself. Along with long days on the road, high crime rates, hijacking, and even terror threats are a routine aspect of travel as well (see On the Road with God in Africa on page 3). Another challenge is the extreme poverty John Peter encounters in many places where BCM Africa ministers. It is not uncommon to be working with children who may only eat once every 2-3 days. One answer to this need came in an unusual way. Shortly after graduating from Bible college in 1969, John Peter had taught a children’s Bible club. Several of the small boys who accepted Christ in that Bible club have since grown up to be prosperous businessmen in South Africa. One day in 2011, they approached John Peter.

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“Pastor, we remember how you taught us in Bible club when we were little boys. Now we are in business. We know what you are doing in these countries, and we know you often take more aid supplies than you can fit in your vehicle. So we’re going to buy you a trailer.” His former students took John Peter to a large store where they showed him a deluxe-model trailer. John Peter immediately refused: “That’s good for a holiday, but it’s too big and fancy for the places I go. All I need is to be able to haul lots of stuff.” So instead, his former students had a two-meter-long trailer custom-built for John Peter. That trailer has now jolted along thousands of kilometers of potholed, rutted, and rocky southern Africa roads, piled high with canned food, clothing, blankets, Christian literature, and other donated materials. One bakery donates several hundred loaves of fresh bread. On another occasion, the Peters received bags and boxes of shoes discarded by factories. With each aid distribution, John and Vijay also share God’s redeeming love. With missionaries spread out from Madagascar and South Africa all the way to Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, member care is another challenging aspect of serving as BCM Africa director. John Peter shares a recent visit to two BCM Africa missionaries, Collin and Tandi, who work with church planting, children, the elderly, and HIV victims in northern South Africa. Collin had suffered a stroke, which has made carrying out his pastoral and other ministry responsibilities an arduous task. Tandi, who recently Page 4

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received her college degree in social work, not only maintains a day care and children’s ministry in their home, but counsels and teaches on HIV in schools, churches, and care centers. In the midst of their own trials, Tandi is preparing to take a missions team to Zimbabwe in April to help in BCM children’s ministry there. “We ask for prayer for Collin and Tandi as well as our other missionaries,” John Peter expresses, “for their encouragement and for their needs. It might be a feather in our cap to have a ministry in every country in Africa. But what we need now is to stabilize what we’ve got and strengthen our current leadership. We need ministry that can sustain our missionaries, who are struggling for lack of finances and personnel.” John Peter asks for prayer as well for the future of BCM Africa. Above all, for wisdom in knowing which ministry opportunities to pursue. Already, a number of leadership training and regional conferences have been scheduled for 2017. But one graduate of BCM’s Train the Trainer program in Uganda has been asking for help from BCM for two years now. Requests from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Eastern Cape are on hold for lack of personnel. Still, however great the challenges, BCM Africa director John Peter is even more greatly encouraged at the opportunities he sees ahead for BCM across the African continent. “If I had to choose a message for BCM Africa,” John Peter sums up, “it is the admonition of Jesus in Luke 9:62 that no one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. This is the path to which God has called me, the plow I’ve chosen. Whether I am facing a high or a low in ministry, I’ve promised our Lord that I will put my hand to the plow and not look back. That is the message I want to communicate to our ministry personnel in the field. If you put your hand to the plow, don’t look back. The temptation is always there to look back, especially with the challenges we face. We need to encourage ourselves and our missionaries of BCM Africa, if you put your hand to the plow for the cause of Jesus Christ, there is no turning back.” Photos Pages 3 and 4: Top Right: Aid trailer hits the road Panorama: shanty town, South Africa Pages 4 and 5: 1. DRC School outreach with ISMT training 2. John and Vijay Peter 3. South Africa BCM church 4. Unloading John Peter aid trailer 5. John Peter, Paul Padmakar, and Vernon Govender dedicate Morepally church www.Facebook.com/BCMInternational

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deeply touched by these BCM Africa missionaries, who live with very little and yet serve God selflessly.

Then we were on our way again, this time driving along the hairpin curves and incredible scenery of Africa’s east-south coast. Thankfully, John Peter is an expert driver on all different kinds of roadways. The next evening, we enjoyed dinner at the apartment of another BCM Africa missionary, Pat Govender, who had recently returned from conducting an In Step with the Master Teacher training in Malawi, a small country nestled between Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

Bob began teaching, but by time for the morning break, no tea supplies had arrived, so Bob went on into the next session. Lunch time came with still no food or teaching materials, so Bob kept on speaking. But no one complained or seemed restless. At 2pm, a cooked meal arrived. Afterwards, the sessions continued. By now, no one even suggested an afternoon tea break. Despite the morning’s frustrations, in the end the day proved a rich time of learning from God’s Word and fellowshipping with God’s children.

We headed next to a Bible conference in a very poor area of South Africa. BCM Africa director John Peter and his wife Vijay again brought a loaded trailer. What joy as blankets, clothing, and teaching materials were carried in! Bob and John Peter taught morning and afternoon, and there was much discussion at the lunch table among pastors and Christian leaders.

We then flew on to Nigeria, where Bob had been invited to speak at the ECWA (Evangelical Churches of West Africa) Sunday School teachers conference. On the plane we met two Nigerian women who shared that they too were Christians. We arrived in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, late at night. Security was very high, and the two Nigerian women expressed concern for our safety, explaining how to get our luggage and making sure our driver was there to pick us up.

The seminar was scheduled to start at 9am, and it had been advertised that teaching materials as well as morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea would be provided for all attendees. But when we were picked up after 8am, neither food nor photocopies of materials had been arranged. We headed to the church while Titus headed into town to make purchases. After several wrong turns on bumpy dirt roads, we finally arrived at the church shortly after 9am to find over a hundred in attendance.

We finally arrived in Jos, another large city where the conference was being held. Just as we were being dropped off at a missionary compound, we heard two bombs go off some distance away. There was no TV, and internet was spotty, so it took some time before we found out that the bombs had been

From Durban, we flew to Johannesburg and on to Zambia, where we were welcomed by another BCM missionary, Titus. After a conference led by John Peter and Bob, we drove to another city for an all-day Saturday training seminar. What an adventure that proved!

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We spent the night at a mission guesthouse. The next morning, we began our three-hour journey by car to the conference. In those three hours, we were stopped over a dozen times by men with weapons or big sticks, who threated to puncture the tires or damage the vehicle if our driver didn’t give them something. Sometimes they insisted on seeing who (us!) and what (our belongings!) was in the car with him. A young Nigerian man, our driver faced this gauntlet each time he drove from one city to another.


planted by an Islamic militant group. 118 people had been killed with many more wounded.

Though the seminary compound where the conference had been scheduled was on full security alert, more than 1100 Sunday School teachers of many different tribes with different styles of dress, customs, and even music arrived the next day from all over Nigeria for the three-day conference on teaching children. Many who attended had lost a friend or relative in the bombings and other terrorist attacks. Bob spoke six times each day, and it was exciting to see the group’s interest and the Holy Spirit at work in their lives. After the last session, it was announced that an offering would be taken for the ECWA churches’ own short-term missions trips that summer. After prayer, all 1100-plus attendees began to sing as they walked, marched, or danced to the front of the auditorium to place their offering in a large woven basket. To me, it felt as though my life had gone full circle—from praying and giving as a child for missionaries to take the gospel to Africa to seeing God’s church in Africa today, now bringing their own offerings to send out their own missionaries. I left Africa thanking God for our BCM Africa missionaries and with a fresh understanding of the challenges, hardships, and dangers they face in taking the gospel to the continent of Africa. Yes, Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world! Pictured below: Students at Colin Wung School

Pictures at right, top to bottom: ECWA Sunday School teacher conference - Nigeria; Counting missions offering - ECWA conference; Corrie with child; Bob and Corrie Evans with John and Vijay Peter

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By: Lisa Biegert with Stephen and Jane King

“How can I not go? Just like Queen Esther, if I live, I live, but if I perish, I perish. I must do God’s work.” So writes “Aunty Aida”, a Nigerian Christian who teaches BCM’s children’s ministry training course In Step with the Master Teacher (ISMT) in regions dominated by Islam. Her courageous attitude could be echoed by BCM Asia/Africa regional director, Stephen King, and his wife, Jane, recently returned from their own latest ministry trip to Nigeria. BCM missionaries since 2008, the Kings came to missions from a professional background, Stephen in technology and management and Jane a teacher. They’d spent many years in lay ministry in their local church with the youth and leadership when they recognized God was calling them to full-time ministry.

After completing candidate orientation in August of 2008, they jumped right into service. Stephen filled a variety of roles at the IMC, while Jane became a global ISMT trainer and continued teaching at a Christian school. Their ministry took a new direction with their first trip to Nigeria in September, 2010. Africa’s most populated nation at more than 190 million, Nigeria became a focal point of international attention due Page 8

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to the rise of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, notorious for its kidnapping of school girls from Chibok. Islamic terror attacks and religious persecution are daily occurrences for Nigeria’s sizeable Christian community.

BCM ministry began in Nigeria in 2008 when Rev. Ishaku Yaro, National Coordinator for Children’s Ministry for ECWA, Nigeria’s largest evangelical denomination with more than five million in attendance, invited BCM to present ISMT in its 6000+ churches. Following an initial ISMT training there in 2008, Stephen and Jane King spent more than three months in Nigeria between September 2010 and February 2011. Joined by other BCM trainers from Russia, South Africa, and North

America, they taught not just basic ISMT courses, but Train the Trainer (TTT), which prepares gifted national leaders to become ISMT trainers (see Because Children Really Do Matter, BCM World Magazine, Spring, 2011).

The Kings have been back and forth to Nigeria multiple times since 2010, staying for a few months at a time and conducting weekly ISMT trainings in different cities. Stephen expresses, “This is great, but with more than 6000 ECWA churches alone in Nigeria, plus other denominations who have participated, there is still a need for more trainers. For the last few years, our travels to Nigeria have been focused on training trainers. We want to equip capable children’s ministry workers,


If I Perish

I Perish

who can then go out to places we never could go to continue equipping others. We use 2 Timothy 2:2 as our ministry model.”

In 2014, the Kings had to cancel a planned trip due to an Ebola crisis in the region. While at first disappointed, the Kings were able long-distance to equip and facilitate onsite TTT graduates to carry out the first level of Train the Trainer themselves. Jane shares, “In retrospect, we see these circumstances as a catalyst for tremendous growth in ministry. Our goal in Nigeria has always been to equip and encourage the national church for the task of reaching the Nigerian children.” The Kings have also traveled to Niger to hold trainings there. On every trip, Stephen spends substantial time with pastors and church leaders, challenging them from God’s Word to develop a vision for children’s ministry. Each time, he hears the same response: “We did not know that God spoke this way about children! We must change, and we must do better.”

One Train the Trainer graduate, Martin, an elder in his church, challenged his church leadership to invest in children’s ministry. When he met with resistance, he took it as a spiritual challenge to rely on the Holy Spirit, fasting and praying with other teachers that God would provide for the money and location for a holiday Bible club. Ultimately, they were offered seminary grounds to hold the Bible club.

Not only did many children hear about Christ, but God supplied so abundantly they were able to donate leftover food to the seminary and give the remaining funds to the pastor and church leaders as an offering and testimony to how God had met all of their needs. When Queen Esther went before King Xerxes to plead for the lives of the Jewish people (Esther 4:16), she knew the personal risk involved. Similarly for the Kings, serving God in Africa has not been without its risks. Both Stephen and Jane have contracted malaria multiple times. Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness that causes extreme flu-like symptoms and remains dormant in the body, triggering periodic relapses. They’ve also faced the reality of Islamic extremism. One Niger church where they trained volunteers for two weeks in 2013 was burned to the ground by extremists in January of 2015. In Nigeria, they used to travel extensively, but due to the growing extremist threat, they now stay in one location and let trainees come to them. This originally seemed a setback, but Kings have seen more people from diverse regions able to attend through holding training events in a single, safe location. Jane elaborates, “By trainees coming together from multiple districts, there was a cross-pollination of ideas and experience which enhanced the learning for everyone involved. Since then, all our trainings have followed this model of using one central location.” In 2015, Stephen King was appointed

BCM’s Africa/Asia Regional Director, which now means travel to many countries from South Africa and Madagascar to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. But continued leadership training in Africa remains a heart priority for Stephen and Jane both.

In November, 2016, the Kings returned to Nigeria, this time focusing specifically on in-depth Train the Trainer instruction. Each week a new group of approximately 40 ISMT trainers from different regions of Nigeria would arrive at the Christian retreat center hosting the event for a week of intense instruction 10-12 hours a day. One highlight of this trip was meeting together with the original Train the Trainer pilot group from 2010-2011, which included debriefing how they have been using and adapting the TTT material. Jane shares, “We were able to learn a lot from their feedback and experiences. In fact, their input will be reflected in revisions I am currently working on for ISMT.” But even more exciting was being invited to join ECWA’s 2016 Sunday School Summit convention with more than a thousand children’s ministry leaders in attendance from all over Nigeria. The climax of the conference was the presentation of ECWA’s new chronological Bible Sunday school curriculum, developed under the leadership of national children’s ministry coordinator Rev. Ishaku Yaro. Seventeen of the TTT regional leaders Stephen and Jane trained were involved www.Facebook.com/BCMInternational

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in the curriculum development, and the Kings were delighted to see how many elements from ISMT training had been incorporated into the new curriculum. Stephen and Jane King were thanked for their contribution to the training of leadership and its impact on the creation of the curriculum.

As of 2017, more than two hundred Nigerian ministry leaders have received the full Train the Trainer program. These in turn have gone on to equip thousands of children’s ministry workers throughout Nigeria. Jane adds, “We remain in contact with many of them and continue to receive reports of trainings and children’s programs that are scheduled throughout the country. We have heard stories of people attending these trainings, and through the lesson of ‘Presenting the Gospel’ have for the first time understood and received salvation through Christ.” Going back to ISMT trainer Aunty Aida’s quote from Queen Esther, Stephen and Jane King note that Queen Esther might have been the catalyst that saved the Jewish people, but the story was never truly about her. It was about God placing a young Jewish girl in a position of both danger and opportunity “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). “From the beginning of our ministry in Africa,” Jane King reflects, “we understood it was never about us. A ministry that depends on us will also end with us.”

One truth the Kings’ African ministry experience has made evident—that persecution and terrorism is no obstacle to God’s people, but merely a catalyst for the spread of the Gospel. If God brought Stephen and Jane King to Africa for such a time as this, it is the multiplication of their ministry by thousands of “Auntie Aidas” courageously doing God’s work, live or perish, that is ensuring a next generation of Nigerians will be raised knowing, loving, and obeying God. Pictures top to bottom: Page 8: Jane teaching in Nigeria; Stephen and Jane King Page 10: Ministery to children; A training conducted by Nigerians; A new Train the Trainer group November 2016; Stephen teaching Building Relationships

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Building Children’s Lives Across India

By: Paul Padmakar, Executive Director BCM India, with Jeanette Windle

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rs. Joyce Solomon, area director of BCM Tamil Nadu, was walking down the street after having finished a school-time Bible class, when sudden a female police constable approached and grabbed her by the hand. Mrs. Solomon was taken aback, since she’d done nothing wrong that could have drawn police attention.

But the police constable was smiling as she asked, “Don’t you recognize me? My family was not Christian, but I attended a girl ’s school where you taught a Bible class.”

The police constable went on to share that through the Bible class she and her entire family had accepted Christ as Saviour. The young woman’s story is one of countless throughout Tamil Nadu, a province in southeast India with a population of more than seventy million, where Mrs. Solomon heads up a team of fifty BCM missionaries who reach over 100,000 children each year in Bible clubs and school release classes. BCM India children’s ministry was founded in 1973 by Mrs. Christina Lal, BCM’s first missionary in India (Disappointment Becomes God’s Appointment, BCM World, Fall, 2011). As other missionaries were commissioned, Bible Clubs spread to many other places, including Hyderabad-Secunderabad, a twin city municipality of more than seven million where BCM India headquarters is located. Ministry in Tamil Nadu began in 1974 under leadership of Lawrence and Seeli Devadasan (see Still I Will Follow, BCM World, Fall, 2011). BCM India camping ministry began in 1977 in Bangalore under leadership of J. P. Jesudoss. Today, BCM India children’s ministry is carried out through a three-pronged program of Christian education, church development, and socio-economic development.

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1. Christian Education BCM India children’s ministry began with just four missionaries in the 1970s, but has grown today to sixty fulltime missionaries and hundreds of volunteers reaching than 170,000 children annually through 656 weekly Bible clubs and other outreaches. These include children and youth meetings, rallies and retreats, as well as camps for children and youth. In Tamil Nadu, which has a sizeable Christian population, BCM missionaries have been invited to conduct Bible clubs in many schools as well as to teach special classes on the Bible along with spiritual, moral and ethical values. As of 2017, BCM missionaries are conducting Bible clubs in 286 schools across Tamil Nadu state. Through their witness, countless children have experienced for the first time the love of Jesus Christ, resulting in transformed lives. One such example is three teenage boys from Kasimedu,

a fisherman community right on the Bay of Bengal. They attended weekly Bible classes in their secondary school. But the three of them together were constantly disrupting the class, playing mischievous pranks like throwing balled-up paper or teasing the girls. Troubled, the BCM missionary who taught the class committed to praying intentionally for these three boys.

Once the three finished school, the BCM missionary didn’t see them again for some years. She was recently back in the area, teaching at another school, when three young men approached to introduce themselves. She immediately recognized the three troublemakers. They had sought her out expressly to apologize for all the trouble they’d caused and to thank her for how BCM children’s ministry had changed their lives. All three were now in Bible school, studying for ministry.

2. Vacation Bible School BCM churches and missionaries also hold summer Vacation Bible School programs in many provinces across India. The VBS programs run from 5-10 days and include Bible stories, songs, games, competitions, and other activities. The longer time investment of VBS provides a wonderful opportunity to nurture children spiritually and inculcate Christian values. Every year sees thousands of children dedicating their lives to Christ through VBS programs. An added blessing is witnessing a new generation of Christian leadership who were themselves introduced to Jesus

Christ through BCM India children’s ministry. Mrs. Joyce Solomon recently participated in a VBS teacher training program. A local pastor had come in to give the morning devotional to the trainees. He approached Mrs. Solomon to introduce himself. As a small boy, he’d been part of a group of children from mostly poor vendor and day labourer families who’d attended one of Mrs. Solomon’s Bible classes. Through that class, he’d accepted Christ as Saviour. Not only had he grown up to be a pastor, but in time his entire family had also come to Jesus Christ.

3. Children and Youth Camps While BCM churches hold various camps and youth retreats in different regions of India, BCM India maintains a permanent Christian camp and retreat facility in the state of Bangalore. Children’s and youth camps are held there each summer, while winter camps are hosted at Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), another Christian retreat center some 130 kilometers from Bangalore. BCM India area director Mr. B. V. Mani heads up the camping ministry along six other BCM missionaries, who also work in Bible clubs and other children’s ministries throughout the year. Around three hundred children and seventy youth from various denominations and independent churches attend each camp, ably supported by thirty-plus leaders and volunteers. 2017 celebrates forty years of BCM camps in Bangalore. Along with countless children who have come to Christ, among the exciting fruits of this ministry are the many adults

now serving in camp and children’s ministry who came to Christ themselves while attending camp as children.

One camper, Eunice, shares: “This was the second chance I got to attend the BCM Camp. I learned many things, like when we ask God for what is good for us, God will definitely give us what we ask. There were many quiz competitions, which were very interesting, and I learned many memory verses. After camp was over, I learned fifty more memory verses, and it has become my hobby. I wish there was BCM camp twice a year!”

Sabrina, a camp teacher shares her own experience: “I was given twelve children to teach them the Word of God. I am happy that all the children believed in Jesus [during camp] and learned more about God. I felt the presence of God each and every second of the day.”

4. Church Development With over 1.2 billion residents, including more than 450 million under the age of 18, BCM missionaries cannot begin to reach every child across India with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Which is why church development is an important Page 12

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element of BCM India children’s ministry. This includes In Step with the Master Teacher (ISMT) training programs for children’s ministry leaders. A key aspect of this is Train The Trainer (TTT), which trains key regional leaders to teach

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ISMT within the local churches.

Two BCM missionaries, B.V. Mani and Yesuraj Manuel, have qualified as Lead Teachers to conduct TTT training. They in turn have now trained twelve other pastors and missionaries as TTT trainers. These have already trained 245 children’s ministry leaders in various regions of India

with more training events already scheduled. The ultimate objective is to multiply well-prepared Sunday school teachers and children’s ministry leaders throughout BCM churches across India as well as other denominations that have asked for training.

5. Socio-Economic Development Programs With a majority of India’s 450+ million children under the global poverty level, BCM India seeks to meet physical as well as spiritual needs. One such outreach is the Evening Study Program, held in four different areas of the HyderabadSecunderabad twin city municipality. Under the program, children spend two hours in the evening at study centers,

where they receive help with their studies, school supplies, a nutritious snack, along with spiritual and moral nurturing. Many of these children also participate in local BCM VBS and other children’s programs during Christmas and summer vacations.

“Scripture tells us to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6),” BCM India executive director Paul Padmakar sums up. “BCM India is striving its best to reach more and more children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ that they may surrender their lives to God, grow in the knowledge of God, and also become a witness to others of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

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By: Lisa Biegert

El Niño

Devastates

BCM Peru

Over recent weeks, the weather phenomenon El Niño has unleashed across Peru the worst downpours and floods in two decades, leaving more than ten thousand homes destroyed and over half-amillion people displaced. On March 15, 2017, a river edging BCM Peru’s main ministry campus an hour southeast of the capital city, Lima, breached its banks, inundating the entire property. By late night, rising floodwaters necessitated evacuating all mission personnel, many with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Located in the beautiful coastal Lurín river valley, BCM Peru’s main campus has transformed over the past twenty years from empty fields to a facility that houses missionary families, student dorms and classrooms, a camp/ retreat center, a small school for missionary children, pool, soccer fields, and a playground. Various ministries including camps, Bible Institute, and retreats are held yearround. Twenty BCM Peru missionary families, a total of fifty-five people, including nineteen children, live onsite. On March 15th, as the property’s access road began to flood, the team gathered to pray that the waters would subside. But just a few hours later, neighbors came to the property, warning that the river had crested and the retaining wall protecting the property had collapsed. Evacuation was imperative. The neighbors were from a nearby orphanage, sponsored by Kids Alive International. Orphanage director Juan Carlos del Cuadro and older teens from the children’s home Page 14

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pitched in to help BCM families evacuate. By the time small children were woken from their sleep and backpacks with essentials had been thrown together, the river was tracking a fast-moving path through the middle of the property—and their homes. Another neighbor, Richard, drove over in his front-loader tractor. The children piled into the front-loader’s bucket and were ferried to dry ground while everyone else trudged through muddy torrents of river water. Carlos and Marion Odicio, founders of BCM Peru and now heading up BCM USA Hispanic Ministries, had been visiting Peru when the floods hit and were scheduled to fly home that very week. Marion was carrying a backpack with their passports, plane tickets, and computer when the rushing water knocked her off her feet. She was able to reach safety, but passports, tickets, and other paperwork were damaged beyond use, necessitating a postponement of their return trip until items can be replaced. Local Kids Alive directors Mike and Diane Fietje graciously opened two of their properties to house most of the displaced missionary families. Others were invited to stay with local family members or friends. The morning after the evacuation, BCM personnel were able to return to campus to assess the damage. Water still ran swiftly


through the property and had entered almost every building. As the flood receded, it left behind a thick sediment of clay-like mud. The wreckage was devastating. BCM Peru director Jonatan Odicio and other missionaries immediately began mobilizing clean-up efforts. On Saturday, March 18th, two hundred volunteers arrived from area churches, boots on and ready to serve, including one entire large youth group from “Camino de Vida” church. Volunteers worked on moving materials and equipment for safe-keeping to the second story of the campus dormitories. Then began the grunge work of ridding the buildings of mud and water. The cafeteria was the hardest to clean out, with more than six inches of mud layering the large room. Shantal, Jonatan Odicio’s wife, describes: “I think at one moment we actually had fifty people working in there to get all the mud out. We would not have been able to accomplish this any other way!” By end of day, the cafeteria was almost back to normal. The same could not be said of missionary homes. Two homes closest to the flood zone were hardest hit. One family with four daughters found kneedeep mud throughout their house. Bedding, clothes, and other household furnishings were ruined. The other family, a young missionary couple with a toddler, spent the day digging

through the mud, but by evening had found hardly anything salvageable. The narrow, unpaved road that accesses the campus has also been washed away, hindering any efforts to truck out salvaged belongings or ferry in supplies. Leaving with just the clothes they were wearing and contents of their backpacks has left BCM Peru’s twenty missionary families fairly destitute. However, the body of Christ in Peru and around the world are already coming together in response. The very next day after the evacuation, donations and aid began pouring in. Toys, towels, clothes, bottled water, and food have all been divvied out between the missionary families. “We have more tuna fish than we could ever dream of !” Shantal jokes, then adds on a more serious note: “We have plenty for the time being. However, we don’t know how much longer we will be like this, so we don’t know how long these provisions will need to last.” As the BCM Peru team carefully divides out the donations, they continue to pray that God will truly give them each day their daily bread (Matthew 6:11). But they are also praising God for His safe-keeping and provision. And with their own families safe, they are now doing their part to help thousands of Peruvians similarly affected by the flooding by passing along provisions they do not need and

helping with clean-up and repairs, just as they were helped. Meanwhile, an immediate priority has been to build a sand-bag barrier to stop water still flowing across campus. This is just a temporary fix, since the river could rise again at any moment, and its new path has been now carved straight through the campus. The long-term goal is to build a sturdy perimeter wall. The road will also need to be repaired before the campus can be accessible for use again. Other ongoing needs include replacing thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture, clothes, appliances, ministry stuff, sound equipment, and tools. The two most damaged houses need completely rebuilt while three others will have to be drywalled. Already, BCM Peru has scheduled a rebuilding project for July, 2017. Any individual or short-term mission team interested in participating can contact BCM Peru director Jonatan Odicio at jonatanodicio@gmail.com Jonatan add, “We thank everyone for the donations, love, and prayer. We still have a long way to go but we hope to resume ministry ASAP!” Pray for the BCM Peru family to remain united and strong—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—through this ongoing crisis. Donate to BCM Peru Flood by clicking here. www.Facebook.com/BCMInternational

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A Welcome Blast from the Past By: Joyce Murray with Jeanette Windle What is the impact of touching the life of one child with the gospel of Jesus Christ? BCM missionary Joyce Murray was enjoying the 80th Anniversary celebration banquet for Bible Centered Ministries, International when BCM president emeritus Bob Evans and his wife Corrie stopped by to tell her of a friend who’d attended the banquet with them. Did Joyce remember Trista (Pike) Steinhauer? Of course! Even after more than three decades, how could Joyce forget the name of a child she’d been privileged to lead to Jesus.

In 1956, Joyce Murray and her ministry partner Eleanor Riker (who was welcomed home to heaven June 1, 2016) formed a missionary team that over the next fifty years would reach thousands of children with the gospel across twenty-two states as well as Canada and short-term in Europe. One major outreach program was a two-week evangelistic campaign for elementary and middle school children called Bible Adventure. The meetings would take place each afternoon for two weeks after school and included a gospel presentation, Bible lesson, Bible game, missionary story, contests, songs, and other special activities that appealed to children. In 1984, Joyce and Eleanor held a Bible Adventure campaign in First Baptist Church of Essington, PA. Among more than fifty children in attendance was nine-year-old Trista Pike. Trista was not from a church-going family, but she faithfully attended each Bible Adventure meeting, receiving a certificate for perfect attendance. She was also among those who responded to an invitation to accept Christ as her Savior. That Bible Adventure campaign would mark a turning point in Trista’s life. Not long after, her parents accepted an invitation from a neighbor to attend church. Then in 1989, the entire family attended an outdoor tent revival crusade called Encounter 89. At one of the tent meetings, both of Trista’s parents as well as her younger brother accepted Christ. That little mustard seed of faith planted in Trista at that Bible Adventure campaign had now had grown into a flourishing plant. When she became an adult, Trista married a godly young man named Tom Steinhauer. Together, they became short term missionaries to France, learned to lead worship as Page 16

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a team, served as youth leaders in their church, and started a family of their own.

Today, Trista works for a Christian radio station, WDAC 94.5, as the afternoon news announcer and host for a Saturday morning interview program called Ministry Focus. She is known for her signature closing: “Signing off, but pressing on, I’m Trista Steinhauer for WDAC news.” Her call sign derives from Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained all of this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Not long after that 80th Anniversary banquet, Trista visited Joyce for a wonderful personal reunion. Joyce was able to show Trista the Bible Adventure records. Trista was amazed and delighted to find her own name and the date when she’d received Christ as Savior still clearly legible on the faded, 32-year-old document. Before saying goodbye, Trista wrote in Joyce’s guest book: “It has been an absolute honor to meet one of the ladies who introduced me to Jesus so long ago. I’m forever grateful to God!”

So what is the impact of touching one child’s life with the gospel? We may not always have the privilege of a personal reunion three decades down the line. But as with nine-yearold Trista Pike Steinhauer, the gospel seed planted in a child’s life will continue growing, spreading, and multiplying to impact other lives in turn onward into eternity.

Pictures top to bottom: 1980’s Bible Adventure Club; Joyce Murray and Trista Steinhauer reunion, 2016


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Think Outside the Box While cash is the most popular way to support BCM, there are many other alternatives to consider: • Appreciated Stock • Appreciated Real Estate that is no longer needed. • Obsolete Life Insurance policies – make BCM the beneficiary • IRA – make BCM the final beneficiary • Collections • Personal Property items

You may also want to consider a Life Income Gift, where you donate cash or an asset to BCM in a contract that provides income to you for life. Some plans are not available in some states.

Call us for creative ideas to further your support of BCM around the world. Development Office BCM International 717-560-9601 ext. 201

Or email: rweidman@bcmintl.org www.Facebook.com/BCMInternational

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Get Involved!

PRAY

GIVE

GO

Consider praying for all the BCM International ministries, not just the few featured here! If you decide to make this commitment, let us know so we can send you regular updates from around the world.

Our missionaries and ministries are supported through people like you. Please consider giving towards the ministries of BCM International. You can give online at www.BCMINTL.org. Just click Donate Now from the main menu.

Maybe God has laid it on your heart to do more. Contact us for more information or about the possibility of joining our team! There is much left to be done. Contact us at reachndevelop@bcmintl.org

President Dr. Martin D. Windle Editor Jeanette Windle Graphic Designer Brian Biegert Contributors Lisa Biegert Corrie Evans Joyce Murray Paul Padmakar John Peter

BCM International is a global Bible-Centered Ministry dedicated to making disciples of all age groups for the Lord Jesus Christ through evangelism, teaching, and training so that churches are established and the Church strengthened.

Š 2017 BCM International To subscribe to future BCM World Magazines go to:

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