DO YOU WANT TO SEE A MIRACLE?
Believing God still works wonders pg. 16 ON EARTH AS IN HEAVEN How prayer is fueling missions in central Asia pg. 18
PRAY FOR THE WORLD Requests from the Allianceinternational workers you send pg. 24
DO YOU WANT TO SEE A MIRACLE?
Believing God still works wonders pg. 16 ON EARTH AS IN HEAVEN How prayer is fueling missions in central Asia pg. 18
PRAY FOR THE WORLD Requests from the Allianceinternational workers you send pg. 24
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. —1 Cor. 4:20
Recently, I was privileged to travel to Vietnam and teach at a discipleship center that is training pastors from the hill tribes. This ministry is marked by great risk, bountiful spiritual fruit, and miraculous provision. Our Vietnamese sister who oversees this ministry pointedly said to me, “What has happened to the Church in America? You have fallen asleep!”
Her words left a lasting impression on the recesses of my heart, and as I look around me, their echo intensifies. Have we been lulled to sleep by comfort and numbed by continuous distractions? Has what was once holy become common and our faith been diminished?
In His hometown, Jesus did not do many miracles because of the people’s lack of faith (see Matthew 13:58). They only saw Jesus as the son of a carpenter, Mary’s son—a member of the family who lived down the street. The holy was common to them, and their faith had run dry.
On the other hand, there was a centurion in the city of Capernaum with whom Jesus was “amazed” and said of him, “I have not found such great faith even in Israel” (Luke 7:9). This man asserted that Jesus’ authority was all that was needed for the healing of his servant—Jesus’ physical presence wasn’t even necessary. He need only “say the word” (Luke 7:7). This was a bold and daring expression of faith.
Reading accounts of miraculous responses to prayer stirs up faith within me and fans the flame. And I know the accounts of daring prayer in the pages of this issue will do just that—at least for a little while. But how do we maintain and nurture that Holy-Spirit fire for the producing of greater faith-filled prayer? How do we move from living in faithless Nazareth to taking up residence next door to the centurion? How do we become those who dare for the sake of the gospel?
Dear brothers and sisters, we must lay aside all lesser loves, clean our spiritual houses, deny ourselves, and choose to launch out into deeper water.
O, that we would all become Kingdom risk-takers! Like our Vietnamese sister who has seen a whole village supernaturally be given the ability to read so they could study the Word or has seen the heavens open and give rain at a command—may we too be those who keep in step with the Spirit and watch as God does amazing things. For the sake of a sleeping Church—for the sake of a dying world—may it be so.
Ty King and her husband, David, have served The Alliance for 40 years as international workers in Thailand and a pastoral couple in the United States. Ty has written two books, Pray the Word and Pray the Word for Your Church, which have an accompanying app available for free download. Ty and David will also be leading weekly prayer sessions for the Alliance 40 Days of Prayer (see p. 23).
Founder A. B. Simpson
E ditor - in - C hie F Peter Burgo
M anaging e ditor Emmy Duddles g raphi C d esigner Caylie Smith a ssistant e ditor Julie Daubé
sta FF Writers / e ditors Julie Daubé Hannah Castro Hannah Packard
e ditorial a ssistant Mandy Gove
C irC ulation Ful Fill M ent Julie Connon
© ALLIANCE LIFE
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04 Christ - Centered
Daring God to do the impossible by Ted Kang | pg. 4
FREE VERSE Quotes from the Kingdom | pg. 7
THE TOZER ANTHOLOGY Compiled by Harry Verploegh | pg. 7
INTO THE LAND OF THE UNKNOWN by Emmy Duddles | pg. 8 12 Acts 1:8
MY DELIVERER WILL NOT DELAY Love rescues in a moment of crisis by Sarah Carey | pg. 12
DO YOU WANT TO SEE A MIRACLE? Believing God still works wonders | by Emmy Duddles | pg. 16
ON EARTH AS IN HEAVEN How prayer is fueling missions in central Asia by Hannah Packard | pg. 18
FOLLOW THE DETOUR Stopping to listen to God’s voice | by Jamie O’Dell | pg. 22
PRAY FOR THE WORLD Requests from the Alliance international workers you send | Requests compiled by Alliance Life staff | pg. 24
YOUR GENEROSITY IN ACTION Let the Children Come by an Alliance international worker serving in North Africa | pg. 30
BOARD SUMMARY LETTER by Steven C. Lausell | pg. 34
ALLIANCE FAMILY NEWS
Personnel changes, obituaries, and classified ads | pg. 35
OUR LIFE Snapshots from around The Alliance | pg. 46
FOUNDATIONS Answering the Burden of Prayer | Adapted by Alliance Life staff | pg. 48
There are many great stories of faith in the Bible. However, one that stands above them all comes from Joshua 10. Having heard that Joshua had just taken the great cities of Jericho and Ai, the Gibeonites melted in fear and surrendered without putting up a fight. The five kings of the Amorites heard about their surrender and decided to march out against the city of Gibeon. And just as God had promised, Joshua and his fighting men won the battle, and this massive army fled.
As Joshua pursued the Amorites, the Lord hurled down a large hailstorm to destroy the fleeing enemy. The story could have ended there. It would have been good enough for us—not for Joshua. As daylight was fading, Joshua gathered all his men and made this one outrageous request: that God would still the sun and moon until they could avenge their enemies (see Joshua 10:12–13). What is more outrageous is that God granted this request! He stopped the sun and moon until the Israelites were able to destroy the entire Amorite army.
The story ends with this rather peculiar statement: “There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel” (Josh. 10:14).
Is this a warning? Is the author saying this is simply a one-time event in human history that God would do such an outlandish thing? Or is it possible that this is an invitation? Is God saying that no one has ever dared Him in such a radical way before or since that time? Is it possible that God is willing to make a cosmic disruption time and again for a man or a woman who would place such radical confidence in Him?
Consider Joshua. There is not much in Scripture about Joshua’s early life except for one verse. Exodus 33:11 states, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” Joshua learned early on that Moses’
anointing came from many face-to-face encounters in the presence of the Almighty. He, too, had to learn to enter, remain, and tarry in God’s presence, believing that the same God who parted the Red Sea and fought for the people of Israel would do the same for his generation.
Consider David. When everyone said they could not fight the giant Goliath, David rescinded, saying, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:37). David’s confidence was not in his slingshot but in God who rescued him over and over when he was walking in the shadow of the valley of death.
Consider Jonathan and his armor bearer. When people were hiding in caves, the armor bearer said, “Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few” (1 Sam. 14:6). Their seemingly reckless confidence was based on one idea: perhaps! And God fought for Jonathan and his armor bearer when the two of them decided to go after an entire Philistine outpost.
The Kingdom of God has always been advancing through people who will take nothing less than God Himself as the ceiling of their faith. God is still waiting for such men and women of faith to dare Him to do what others deem impossible. This kind of faith or courage does not come from academic learning or hearing a sermon, nor is it a prayer model or script to follow. This kind of authority is only possible not because of what we know but because of who we are.
Tim Keller once said, “The only person who dares to wake up a king at 3:00 a.m. for a cup of water is a child.” We have that kind of access not because of our training, but because we are His children.
Consider my friend Kidane from Eritrea. After receiving Jesus as his personal Savior, Kidane met his wife in Ethiopia and was blessed with two daughters and two sons. Due to the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, his wife and children were forced to return to Eritrea without him. After being separated for four long years, Kidane reunited with his family in Asmara, where he served as a pastor. Due to persecution, he was imprisoned for his faith from 2005–2007.
By the grace of God, he was miraculously released without any explanation and resumed serving in the local church. In 2013, due to the intensified persecution, he had to flee for Ethiopia, once again leaving behind his beloved family in Eritrea. During this time, his daughters were hunted by the Eritrean government to serve in the military and were constantly under tremendous persecution.
By God’s provision, Kidane moved to the United States in 2015 and was granted political asylum. In 2016, he joined a new Alliance church plant called New Vine Community Church in San Jose, California. The church came alongside him and prayed for his family’s release.
In 2018, our little church plant raised enough funds to arrange for two of his children to be smuggled into neighboring Ethiopia. They had to walk through the jungle at night, avoiding wild animals and government soldiers. The terrain was so treacherous that one of his
children’s shoes was destroyed by the end of the threenight travel. After they made it across the border to the refugee camp, it was clear that his youngest son, who was six years old at that time, would not be able to walk across the rugged terrain. His wife and two of his children were still left behind in Eritrea.
When I asked him how they would ever reunite, his response shocked me. With peace, he gently said, “Perhaps the Lord has another way. Perhaps the Lord will deliver my family.”
Our prayers began to change. We started to pray that the Eritrean border would open. The prayer persisted for months before we began to see God move on our behalf.
• April 2, 2018: Abiy Amed, a devout Christ follower, was sworn in as the new prime minister of Ethio-
pia. In his election speech, he publicly promised he would work toward reconciliation and unity between the two countries. We kept on praying.
• May 2018: Abiy Amed visited Eritrea and asked for forgiveness for all the atrocities and ethnic divisions. We kept on praying.
• July 2018: There was a Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between the two countries. We kept on praying.
• September 11, 2018: The border opened for the first time in 20 years. Kidane’s wife and two remaining children drove across the border and entered Ethiopia freely.
When this news broke, the church erupted in joy and praise. Some said this historical event was merely a coincidence, yet our little church plant was convinced that God was singlehandedly responsible for opening the border on our behalf.
We took another collection to purchase plane tickets and provide a home for his family. Kidane’s family did not have any paperwork to prove that they were his wife and children, so we prayed more daring prayers that they would be given visas and passage to the United States before Christmas. By that time,
it did not take much for us to believe that God would deliver what we asked in faith. The family was reunited for the first time in five years and gave their testimony before the church on Christmas Sunday.
On December 28, 2018, Eritrea blocked the border, and it remains closed to this day. In 2019, Abiy Amed received the Nobel Peace Prize for his effort to bring reconciliation and healing between the two nations. What people may never find out is that a small church plant in California dared God to do the impossible, and He listened to His people.
Where will God find such faith? Are we even supposed to pray like this? God is looking and waiting for people to dare him just as Joshua, Caleb, David, and this small Alliance church plant did. The Kingdom of God is an enchanted reality. Natural eyes and minds cannot see it nor understand it.
What we need in this hour is not more strategies or training in how we do things better or faster. Rather, we need people with audacious faith to dare God to do the things that only He can do. And when God’s children express their shameless, matchless, and even reckless confidence in the Father, He loves to act because He is for His children.
Kang and his wife, Sandy, are the pastoral couple of San Jose (California) Christian Alliance Church. They serve with a multicultural pastoral team that ministers in seven different languages to a beautifully diverse community.
Are we even supposed to pray like this?
“Whenever we base our hope on trust in the divine mystery, we feel deep down in our hearts: There is someone who is waiting for you, who is hoping for you, who believes in you. God is our last hope because we are God’s first love.”—JÜRGEN MOLTMANN
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
—1 JOHN 5:14
“We are starved for intimacy—to experience God in ways we can see and feel and know in the very cells of our being. We are starved for rest—to know God beyond what we can do for Him. We are starved for quiet—to hear the sound of sheer silence that is the presence of God Himself.”—RUTH HALEY BARTON
“A carefully cultivated heart will, assisted by the grace of God, foresee, forestall, or transform most of the painful situations before which others stand like helpless children, saying, ‘Why?’”compiled by Harry Verploegh
Retire from the world each day to some private spot, even if it be only the bedroom (for awhile I retreated to the furnace room for want of a better place). Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God’s presence envelops you. Deliberately tune out the unpleasant sounds and come out of your closet determined not to hear them.
Listen for the inward Voice till you learn to recognize it. Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God and then be what and who you are without regard to what others think. Reduce your interests to a few. Don’t try to know what will be of no service to you.
Avoid the digest type of mind—short bits of unrelated facts, cute stories, and bright sayings. Learn to pray inwardly every moment. After awhile you can do this even while you work.
Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility. Read less, but read more of what is important to your inner life.
Never let your mind remain scattered for very long. Call home your roving thoughts. Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul. Practice spiritual concentration.
All the above is contingent upon a right relation to God through Christ and daily meditation on the Scriptures. Lacking these, nothing will help us; granted these, the discipline recommended will go far to neutralize the evil effects of externalism and to make us acquainted with God and our own souls.
Mrs. Jaan supports her grandchildren by selling fruit and vegetables in her neighborhood. She is growing in her faith and studying the Bible and theology. She joins the pastor of her church and his wife every Friday to share the gospel in nearby house churches, often located in rural areas. Mrs. Jaan has brought many people to faith using orality with her customers as she sells her wares on the street.Photo by Olivia McCash
Imet Sharon* many years ago because our daughters were in preschool together in our small town of Waren, Germany. She had been struggling with her mental health for a long time, often wrestling with depression and anxiety. None of her family lives near her, so she has been alone for a long time as a single mother of two. As we met frequently for playdates and coffee, our friendship deepened. She found comfort and safety being around our family and was encouraged by the way we raised our children and the faith we had shared with her and her daughters, Penelope* and Yvette.*
During a moment of crisis in November 2020, Sharon chose to call me.
All my husband and I knew that morning was that we were to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and be intentional with the relationships He had given us. Little did we know how our foreseeable future was about to change.
The next day, we got Sharon into a clinic about 25 minutes from our home so she could get the help she needed, and we offered to take in her daughters while she healed. I’ll never forget the look on Penelope’s face that afternoon as she came home from school and found me in her living room instead of her mother. I told her that she
and her sister would be staying with us for a while. “Your mom wants you both to be safe while she gets some help so she can take care of you better in the future,” I said.
We proceeded to live out our lives with Penelope and Yvette as if they were part of our family—school, daily devotions, family outings, dinners, weekly church, and much more. What we thought would be three weeks turned into four and a half months as their mother sought help from professionals.
Taking these girls in meant more than simply providing a bed and a roof over their heads. This meant everyone would be making adjustments. It meant finding ways for these girls to connect and feel loved as part of a family they really only knew as playdate friends. It meant shifting from speaking English in our home to German all day every day. It meant navigating crises, like COVID-19, together. Homeschooling also became a whole new challenge as I now had to teach two more children who were feeling afraid and alone.
Though our four children adjusted to this drastic transition well, they still faced their own challenges spiritually and emotionally. They sacrificed their space, routine, and family time. But they loved on Penelope and Yvette as quasi-sisters for a season and became even more grateful for knowing Jesus. Our children be-
came excited to be the hands and feet of Jesus to these young girls.
As the days and weeks went on, things became more comfortable, but we had to face normal teen and child problems with children who were not our own. Helping Penelope and Yvette feel like they could talk to us and process their feelings regarding this life change now and for the future was a daunting task. These girls were also learning new routines they had never experienced before, like our daily devotions. Many of these things had already been established for us, but we were now teaching and living them out with the hopes it would help this family see health.
It’s one thing to be a friend in a time of crisis—it’s another to step in and fill the role of mother, pastor, and counselor in such a deep, unexpected way. Having worked overseas now for 15 years, I know that God will give us the strength and endurance for all kinds of unexpected situations. We can have all the training in the world, but God will give us exactly what we need in these moments where we see His Holy Spirit work in miraculous ways.
God had clearly been preparing us for this very moment. During my own journey of health, God had been teaching me to let Him be my feet. This became so true in this unexpected season as I needed Him to give me the emotional strength to care for myself, my family, and also this family in need. We knew that loving them in this way would show the deep truth of who God is in our lives and who He desires to be in theirs.
While Penelope and Yvette were living with us, I called Sharon daily, sent her notes, visited her weekly, and shared Christ’s love with her. Every time Sharon and I would talk, whether on the phone or in person, I was intentional to pray for her. In one of our conversations, she shared with me that in 32 years, she had never heard about Christ until she met me and my family. The way we love Jesus and have a relationship with Him is something she’s never seen or understood.
During this time, I was also regularly sending her worship music. What I didn’t know was that music is one of Sharon’s main love languages. The worship music I was sending to her, especially “The Blessing” by Elevation Worship, helped her to believe that God truly cared about her and her daughters.
One evening, Sharon told me over the phone that she realized she needed a relationship with Jesus. After talking to me the night before, she had prayed in her room, asking God to help her and be a part of her story. She asked me if I would pray again with her to be sure she did it right and that God heard her. We prayed and
cried together, and that evening she received Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. During this time away from the chaos of life, she was truly able to hear from the Lord and learn that He is the only One who can heal her.
The reunion of this family after a long but beautiful season was wonderful. Sharon now regularly comes to our church with her girls, invites her friends and neighbors, and attends the Alpha course at our church where people of all backgrounds discuss questions of faith.
Sharon’s journey is still difficult at times: however, the beauty of it all is that she knows now when she is struggling that she is never alone and that her heavenly Father will provide for all of her family’s needs. “I know I’m not doing it alone when I have my church body and Jesus in my life,” Sharon says.
We never know what God is going to do in a relationship when we meet someone, but we do know that He has a story to write. He’s called us all to be intentional, love as He would love, and be ready for what sometimes seems difficult, but He will guide and help us in these unexpected seasons.
Expectancy leads to anticipation, and we are readily anticipating how the Lord will lead and move us.
Your presence at Alliance Council 2023 is vital to the growth and vitality of our work together. Come expectant of the Spirit’s presence as we gather and seek Him in:
• The updating of our Alliance Statement of Faith
• Polity on men and women in leadership
• The election of new Board members
• The Project ReImagine timeline
• Healing and Communion
• The commissioning of new international workers
• The forward momentum of our All of Jesus for All the World vision
For more information and to register, go to COUNCIL.CMALLIANCE.ORG
“Do you want to hear a miracle story?” Di Ullrich asked me as we sat down to talk about her ministry with CAMA Services in the Balkans. I leaned forward, eager to hear what she would tell me next.
In 2021, Di was hospitalized with COVID. The hospitals were so overrun that each room was packed full of patients, and Di was so close to the women on either side of her that she could easily reach out and touch them.
At the same time, the room was crowded with friends and family members. Nurses don’t take care of the day to day needs of their patients, so family members are expected to come along to bathe them, take them to the bathroom, change catheters, etc. Because Di doesn’t have any family living in the country with her, the students from the school where she teaches as an occupational therapist took turns taking care of her.
“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40
Believing God still works wonders
When Di had been in the hospital for more than two weeks, a woman two beds down to Di's left, Maria,* passed away. Her sons were crying over her, and the older son took a napkin to cover his mother’s face. Di clearly heard the voice of the Lord say, “I want you to pray for Maria.” She thought, We don’t pray for the dead, so the only reason to pray would be for God to resurrect her.
Now, Di had double pneumonia, so she could barely speak. But she mustered up her strength and asked in a hoarse voice, “Excuse me, I want to pray for your mom. Can I have your permission?”
When the son agreed, the voice of the Spirit came, and Di spoke God’s love and life over Maria and her family, telling them how much He cares for them and the desires of their hearts. As soon as Di finished, Maria sat up and started talking. Her sons ran to her side and rejoiced.
Di doesn’t remember which student was with her that day, but she does remember saying to them:
I want you to remember what you’ve seen. God is alive, He is close, and He cares. He still does miracles today. He still heals today. When you are struggling with something, I want you to remember this and go straight to Him.
A few days later, the woman between Di and Maria, Helga,* died. Her daughter and daughter-in-law were trying to get her to respond, but she was completely unresponsive. Once they realized Helga wasn’t breathing anymore, they wept. Again, the Lord said to Di, “I want you to pray for her.”
Di reached over to the daughter and said, “Excuse me, I want to pray for your mom. Can I have your permission?”
The daughter said yes, so Di put her hand on Helga and prayed the same prayer she prayed over Maria. As soon as Di prayed that Helga’s eyes would open and that she would start speaking, Helga woke up and spoke. Her family rejoiced.
When we hear stories about the miraculous, it’s easy to be taken aback, surprised that God would do something so outrageous, like raising two women back from the dead. Di says:
It’s sad to me that when we pray, we’re not praying with the belief that what we’re praying for is actually going to happen. We’re always praying, “Lord, if it is Your will,” or “Lord, will You please?” But the Book of Acts still applies today. Instead, we should be praying, “Lord, show us who You are. I am partnering with You because I know You can do this. You have brought people back from the dead throughout history, and I know You can do it again.”
Maria progressively got better every day. Every time someone came into the room, the oldest son would point to Di and say, “That’s the American who prayed for my mom, and God brought her back to life!”
“He was declaring God’s glory to everyone who would listen,” Di says. Maria eventually returned to her life in good health only one day after Di was released from the hospital.
Helga, on the other hand, had been very sick. They were taking her out for dialysis every day, and she was in so much pain. A few days after Helga came back to life, she passed away again. Di thought, Lord, why did You keep one alive and not the other? All You did was bring breath back to her. Her quality of life was so poor. Why?
Di felt God respond immediately, “Your job is just to be obedient to what I’m asking you to do. All of the results are up to Me.”
Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we expect Him to—an illness lingers longer than it’s meant to; a family member dies after a hard-fought battle with cancer; a company lays off its workers right after a prayer for better financial health. The results don’t always seem to match what we know is true about God’s heart for us. However, He knows the whole story—the wisdom we will receive, the love and compassion we will give, and the lives that will be changed forever.
“If God wants to reveal Himself and meet people on their journey through me, then who am I to disobey?” Di says.
When we are met with difficult outcomes to our prayers, may we trust that God’s purpose in those moments is still to bring reconciliation and redemption to our world. May we believe that when we ask in faith, He will rescue the oppressed, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, and raise the dead to life.
I want you to remember what you've seen.
How prayer is fueling missions in central Asiaby Hannah Packard
When the Holy Spirit fell on the Church on the day of Pentecost and the work of Jesus’ Great Commission began in full force, all the believers were gathered together in prayer. For 10 days after Jesus ascended to heaven, “They all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14a). Their waiting was not idle. It was not helpless. As they huddled together, some bold, some doubtful, I think it likely that they prayed to the Father, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This was how Jesus taught them to pray.
Opposite: Alliance international workers John and Nancy regularly travel into these mountains to bring the Holy Spirit's presence and power into places fraught with spiritual warfare. Above: "Prayer is perhaps the most important work a believer can engage in."
Our primary way of partnering with God in seeing His Kingdom come and will be done on earth is through prayer, and prayer is a fascinating thing, full of tension and apparent paradoxes. God is all-powerful and not in need of our help or our prayers, yet He chooses not to work without our participation. The Lord never changes, yet sometimes He appears to change His mind at the prayers of His people. Prayer is perhaps the most important work a believer can engage in, yet it can often feel like the most insignificant. But it is in our seemingly weak contribution of prayer that God’s power is made perfect.
A HOUSE OF PRAYER IN CENTRAL ASIA John* and Nancy are aXcess workers who have served with The Alliance in central Asia for the last nine years, working in language literacy and preservation, discipleship, and church planting. The spiritual atmosphere of the country they work in is oppressive and dark. As they engage with their neighbors and surrounding communities, they have experienced demonic oppression and attacks like never before. “It has challenged us in prayer,” Nancy says.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Seven years ago, John and Nancy, along with seven other organizations in their city, decided they needed to spend more time gathering to pray together. God moves powerfully when His people pray, but His presence comes in a unique way when we gather together corporately in His name.
Nancy notes, “We meet, secretly, in a hidden house of prayer with padded walls so people can’t hear the worship outside. We’ve found that if we don’t start with prayer and worship, we’re going to be defeated everywhere we go.”
“Prayer is one of the most important things we do with our presence here,” John adds. “We begin with worship just to glorify God and to have the Holy Spirit there, active and present in our work. Then we pray for everyone in the country—for the local church, the secret believers, and the seekers.”
“We’re good friends with the director of another mission society in the country who’s been there for 25 years,” Nancy says. “He started coming because he noticed a difference, a change in the environment, since the house of prayer began. He told us that more people have come to Christ in the last seven years while the house of prayer has been present than in the previous 20 years he’s been in-country.”
In addition to their work among the lost in their city, the Lord has also given John and Nancy a burden for the remote villages of another unreached people group in a nearby mountain valley. The trek to get there is arduous, and once there, the demonic oppression is nearly overwhelming. The locals practice a folk version of the majority religion with many shamanistic practices.
“Women are treated worse than animals,” John says.
“Children also suffer a lot,” Nancy adds. “I don’t know a
single family that has not lost a child just because they got sick.”
For seven years, John and Nancy have been visiting the valley, building relationships with the locals and interceding for the light of Christ to break through the darkness. For seven years, they have struggled to be there longer than a few days due to spiritual attack and nightmares.
“It’s very difficult to have any spiritual conversations there,” John says. “We share stories from the Bible, but something blocks everything we say. There’s a work that the enemy is doing that is keeping these people in bondage and spiritual blindness. But when we go, we’re bringing God’s presence with us. And when we bring God’s presence, when we bring the Holy Spirit there, the darkness has to go away. That’s what we hope to see.”
“I have wondered why we keep visiting the valley when we haven’t seen anything happening,” Nancy adds. “This past April, we went again. We walked over 25 kilometers to get there, through avalanches and landslide zones, and this was the first time we were able to have a spiritual breakthrough.”
“It was the first time we were able to share the gospel without interruptions, without objections,” John says.
“It was the first time I wasn’t spiritually attacked in the middle of the night,” Nancy says, smiling. “I feel something shifting—something is changing.”
Breakthrough in the Kingdom is always preceded by the prayers of God’s people—without exception. As A. B. Simpson insisted, “Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work.” Prayer is important to God; so important that He defines His eternal dwelling place as a place of prayer: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isa. 56:7b). In The Alliance, we often talk about the ways you are invited to participate in missions—praying, giving, and going. These are all important, but prayer is the most vital. How will we get financial breakthrough? Through prayer. How will we see more laborers sent into the harvest field? Through prayer. To paraphrase Leonard Ravenhill, If we fail in prayer, we fail everywhere.
Prayer and mission have a cyclical relationship with one another. The work of mission necessitates prayer— nothing can be accomplished without it. Similarly, the work of prayer necessitates missions—no one who prays and gets close to the heart of God can ignore how His
heart burns for the unreached, oppressed, and wayward. Those who are on God’s mission must pray, and those who pray must be on God’s mission.
The prayer, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” often reminds me of Jesus’ prophetic charge in Matthew’s Gospel: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14). The ultimate end of God’s Kingdom coming to earth is when Jesus comes again, when God will once again be physically present among His people. Our hope lies in His return and eternal reign. But until that happens, we have work to do. The Great Commission is still incomplete. The Kingdom is here but not in fullness.
Looking ahead, John and Nancy are planning a cabin building project in the valley. The Mountain Cabins project, a now more-than fully funded strategic project with The Alliance, is in collaboration with three other local ministries and seeks to address various needs in one of the villages. John says:
One of our aims is to provide some employment and a model for ways the community can create supplemental income through tourism. But probably the most important thing is it also aids us in our presence and how we impact the community. It gives us something to contribute. We also really want to see these huts used for more than tourism; we hope that like-minded people go up there and pray.
The cabins now have foundations and walls, and John and Nancy hope they will be fully completed next year. If all goes well with their project, their goal is to build more cabins in the future, potentially in other villages in the valley.
Like John and Nancy, I am convinced of the crucial importance and the efficacy of prayer. Even still, when I
find myself distressed at the turmoil around me or feel the weight of darkness and spiritual oppression, prayer can feel so weak and ineffectual. I find myself wondering if that’s precisely why prayer is so important. It’s in this faith-filled show of weakness—declaring that we can do nothing, we have nothing apart from Him—that God’s strength and glory are on display.
We live in a time both similar and different to the disciples’ as they sat praying in the Upper Room before the day of Pentecost. We are waiting—always— for the Spirit of God to move in power. We are praying, as we wait, for God’s Kingdom to be manifest on earth as it is now in heaven. But we already have the Holy Spirit with us, filling, guiding, empowering, and breaking the power of darkness as we ask. Let’s not fail to ask, and let’s persist in asking until God brings the breakthrough.
When reflecting on the change they’ve begun to feel in the spiritual atmosphere in the valley, John and Nancy know it’s not only their prayers and those of their ministry partners that have made a difference but also your faithful prayers. “It’s because of the prayers and support of our Acts 1:8 family,” John says. “It is the prayerful presence of God’s people that pushes back the darkness.”
“It is the prayerful presence of God’s people that pushes back the darkness.”
Ilooked up anxiously at the clock on the wall in the hotel restaurant. It was time to head over to the local Alliance church where our meetings were being held. Our whole family was attending the Chinese Church Association’s Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida. My husband, Chris, was the keynote speaker. That morning, he was skipping breakfast to get his mind ready for the first session of the day, so I was eating with our three boys.
As I cut up pieces of egg for the baby, chatted with the big boys, and snuck bites for myself, I glanced behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a woman. She seemed radiant, which often happens to me when God is highlighting someone He wants me to pray for or interact with. She was in a wheelchair, and her hair had been shaved off. I knew there was a cancer center nearby and wondered if she was here for treatment.
I looked back at my table, and my two older boys had just gone up for seconds from the buffet’s donut section. I turned to look at my baby, who in that moment had just knocked my coffee over.
As I hurriedly wiped up the mess, I glanced behind me again. I was certain God was prompting me to talk to this woman. My heart was burning within me. My brain, on the other hand, was looking for excuses—the pastors and their families, who were my priority that weekend, were filtering out of the breakfast area; it was time to hop in the car; the boys were not aware of the time crunch as they made their donut selections; my husband had just brought the car around; I still needed to wipe up the baby; and I wanted more coffee!
In that moment, my spirit became suddenly alert, my mind cleared, and I knew it was time to act in faith. No more doubts, excuses, or uncertainty. I had to obey quickly before I was swept away by all the reasons why I shouldn’t bless this woman.
I stood up, put the baby in the stroller, and walked straight to her table. She looked up, a little startled, eyes tired.
I introduced myself, discovered her name was Thelma, and asked if she was in the area for cancer treatment. Thelma opened up about her struggle with cancer and
her recent bone marrow transplant. She had been living in the hotel for months to have easy access to her treatments. I asked if I could pray for Thelma, and she happily agreed.
I prayed for healing in Jesus’ name and shared God’s love and hope with her. We both welled with tears, two strangers connecting deeply in an unexpected context, and God’s presence filled the space.
As we said our goodbyes and I herded the boys out to the car, I swelled with hope, feeling 20 pounds lighter. Meeting Thelma was a divine appointment that I didn’t know was on my schedule for the day. In reality, my other priorities suffered very little due to this detour. It didn’t cost me anything to say yes to it.
What felt like an unfair burden or distraction for a moment became a great blessing for Thelma, her husband, and me. They encountered the living God who loves them and sees them, and my spirit was renewed with joy and faith in my Savior.
God has given me specific callings and responsibilities, but my calling is first and foremost to He who called me. When He leads me into detours, I follow. I choose to be present and obedient, whether it is living out the gospel in motherhood, doing the work He’s given me to do with excellence, or following Him into the unknown. I choose to be present and attentive to His voice, whether it makes sense according to my own understanding or not.
Each one of you, readers, are the aroma of Christ wherever you go. Whether you’re serving in a church in America or on some island across the world, you can choose to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit when He prompts you to take that step of faith.
Jamie O’Dell and her husband, Chris, are Alliance international workers serving with Envision in Taiwan. They have three boys: Enoch, Noah, and Judah. Their ministry includes a coffee shop, an education center, and a church.
• Week 1–Prayer as Worship
• Week 2–Prayer as Kingdom Partnership
• Week 3–Prayer as Petition
• Week 4–Prayer as Confession
• Week 5–Prayer as Spiritual Warfare
• Week 6–Prayer as an Expression of Hope
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During a prayer meeting at the National Office in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Tim Meier, the vice president for Development, opened the gathering by reminding us of God’s faithfulness to answer one of the boldest prayers in Scripture—Joshua’s seemingly crazy petition to make the sun stand still. “God can and will do crazy things,” Tim said, emphasizing that He is not only able but also willing to do the impossible on behalf of His children.
Because of our authority in Christ, we have reason to be even more audacious in our prayers than Joshua was. Members of the Early Church regularly exercised the authority Jesus had given His followers over sickness, evil spirits, and even death itself. Instead of merely asking God to heal the man crippled from birth, the Apostle Peter commanded him in the name of Jesus to get up and walk (see Acts 3:1–10). After Tabitha had died, Peter did not plead with God to raise her back to life; rather, he said to the dead woman, “Tabitha, get up”—and she sat up (see Acts 9:40).
The Alliance has a rich history of saints who frequently stormed the gates of hell to foil “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12b). For 136 years, Alliance people have been bringing heaven down to earth by taking God at His Word and expecting immeasurably more than they could ask or imagine. John MacMillan, a pioneer C&MA missionary, spoke directly to the forces of nature, kidnappers, illness, and demonic powers—and they obeyed him.
By speaking God’s promises back to Him and declaring His victory to the forces of darkness, faithful prayer warriors like John have healed the sick, cast out demons, led millions of souls to Christ, and even raised the dead in some instances.
As you read these prayer requests from Alliance international workers (IWs), some may seem impossible from an earthly perspective. But we serve a God who is famous for doing the impossible: parting the Red Sea; delivering Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace; feeding multitudes; restoring sight to the blind; and more. Imagine what He can and will do as we continue to exercise our God-given authority on behalf of His servants throughout The Alliance.
Mr. Braser is a contractor who has worked with us on construction projects for the past 15 years. Four years ago, he came to faith. He is now overseeing the construction of a mission health center in a remote area of northern Cambodia. Only one other known Christian lives in this village, and Mr. Braser wants to start a Bible study while he’s there. Pray that this new ministry will thrive.
—Dave Manfred, an Alliance IW serving in Cambodia
Bouba’s wife and children were taken away when he chose to follow Jesus, and he has been kicked out of numerous homes when the landlords found out he was a believer. He now shares the good news on the radio, answers questions of those who respond, and disciples those who come to faith. Ask the Lord to anoint him with Holy-Spirit power so many will come to faith.
Cherno and Lama are moving to work at a new center for persecuted believers. Pray for the Lord to provide work for them and for them to be filled with the love of Christ that will overflow to the persecuted believers they will be serving.
Alasan has been asking an IW questions about Scripture. Pray that the Lord will sendIntroduction by Julie Daube; Requests compiled by Alliance Life staff
him dreams and visions of Jesus and give him a hunger for God’s Word. Pray also for the IW to have wisdom as he shares the good news and answers Alasan’s questions.
—an Alliance IW serving in West Africa
Millions of people who practice another major religion call Europe their home, and many Alliance workers are positioned across this region to serve these refugees and immigrants. Pray that people who follow this religion will turn to Jesus.
Loubna has a missionary heart to reach people from her home country. She bravely shares her testimony and continues to invite women to Christian-led events. Pray that she will discern the Spirit's leading and courageously obey Him. Pray for spiritual breakthroughs for her family.
—an Alliance IW serving in Europe
Emomali was a language tutor for an IW serving in central Asia. He has shown signs of softening to God but was recently forced into military service. Pray for his physical safety and for favor with those in command. Pray that he will encounter another believer and receive dreams and visions so the seeds that were planted will take root.
—an Alliance IW serving in central Asia
Many students at our English center who follow the majority religion have become interested in reading the Bible. Pray that God will provide more workers as we don’t have enough staff to engage all the students. Pray that God will bring more seekers and that their hearts will be changed as they engage with Scripture.
—an Alliance IW serving in West Africa
Tolina and Yolita just relaunched a kindergarten in Papua, Indonesia. Pray for them as they faithfully teach 25 children in this remote area where there is little opportunity for education. Pray for opportunities to disciple them in God's Word as well.
—Myrna and Buzz, an Alliance IW couple serving in Indonesia
Because of a poor economy and lack of opportunities in Kosovo, many young adults are leaving for better jobs, especially medical professionals and skilled laborers. It is estimated that 10 percent of the population has emigrated in the past year, creating a lack of qualified workers in Kosovo. Pray for young people to be able to stay and work for the good of their home. Pray for churches to have wisdom as they help families through this crisis.
—Connie, an Alliance IW serving in Kosovo
city lockdown for the pandemic started August 10, 2022, and has lasted more than 100 days. Millions of people are living in fear. Food supply is limited. People are losing jobs. The common people are suppressed, nervous, and hopeless. Pray that God will open hearts and share His hope.
Gina’s* family has been in an education camp, and her mother has not been released. Because of this, Gina is not able to find a decent job. She is a new believer, but her family is angry with her. Pray for this courageous woman as she follows Jesus.
—an Alliance IW serving in central Asia
Recently, an inner Mongolian came to our church. He told me he has been looking for the chance to find freedom with Jesus instead of living under the constraints of his family’s religion. He prayed to receive Christ and is meeting with a missionary for discipleship. Pray for this man’s faith to grow so he will lead many from his home to Christ’s freedom.
—Jeremy, an Alliance IW serving in Mongolia
s a new team, acquiring the language and cultural knowledge we need can feel overwhelming. Pray for steady progress. Pray also for our English business to open doors for discipleship.
—an Alliance IW serving in Asia
Japanese young people are becoming increasingly non-religious, creating a spiritual vacuum that only Christ can fill. With geopolitical unrest and a struggling economy, many feel little hope for their future. Pray that God will use Japan Alliance youth meetings to bring many young people to faith in and recommitment to Jesus. Pray also for young men and women to respond to God’s call to church leadership so the church can continue its mission.
—Don Schaeffer, an Alliance IW serving in Japan
Taiwan has more temples per capita than any other nation in the world. Pray against the spiritual warfare our Taiwanese friends go through on a daily basis.
In 2019, we baptized Andrew at Aroma Café, a ministry of Envision Taiwan, and he joined our staff in our church shortly after. Andrew’s passion for Christ continues to grow as he learns more about the Bible and leads the church in community growth. He recently started classes at Alliance Theological Seminary. Pray for Andrew as he grows in his faith.
Angela came to Aroma Café for a part-time job in 2016. She fell in love with Jesus and got baptized. In 2021, she managed the café as we transitioned to a new building. Pray as she continues to develop the business and the people she serves through it.
—Chris O’Dell, an Alliance IW serving in Taiwan
ocal Alliance pastors are excited to share God’s Word in new neighborhoods at five church plants in Paraguay. Pastor Angel’s church is reaching out to a nearby city, Luque, through a local couple who are excited to tell their neighbors about Christ. Some have already received the gospel and are starting a discipleship group. Pray for lasting fruit in people’s hearts in Luque and in the other four church plants.
—Donna Bracewell, an Alliance IW serving in Paraguay
In our country, people are reeling from the economic fallout of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Thousands of Russians have fled here to avoid the draft. Meanwhile, people from this central Asian country who work in Russia are sending less money to support their families. Pray that God will use these Russian refugees and the unsettling circumstances to create a new openness among people of the majority religion in this country.
—an Alliance IW serving in central Asia
Sully* enthusiastically takes every opportunity to study God’s Word at our center. He continues to do so as part of a WhatsApp Bible study group led by two new believers. Pray that he will believe in Jesus!
—an Alliance IW serving in West Africa
fter escaping genocide, refugees find themselves in a hopeless situation: Their new host county has denied them the right to move freely, receive education, and work with dignity. They are oppressed by police who extort and beat them. Pray that discriminating hearts will find love for these unwanted people so these refugees will be safe to return home.
Without a complete Bible in their language, the small group of believers we work with is in dire need for the fruit of the Spirit. They are riddled with division and mistrust. There are a few faithful saints among them, so pray that they will be a light to these quarreling believers.
Our access to the refugee camp has been severely restricted. Pray that the Lord will provide the right pathway to return and that the relationships and activities we are investing in will build His Kingdom.
—an Alliance IW serving in Asia/Pacific
The Baan Bo area of Samut Sakhon province, Thailand, has over 30,000 people and no visible church. Two nearby Thai C&MA churches are planning to plant a church there in the coming year. Pray that many will come to faith and that this church will be planted. Pray that God opens doors for us to partner with this effort when we return after home assignment in June 2023.
Many churches have been closed in our country, forcing pastors to leave to provide safety for their families. Pray as these displaced pastors look for areas where they can continue to serve. Pray as we work to ensure that their children can attend school this year.
—Esther, an Alliance IW serving in West Africa
For decades, some least-reached people groups in Indonesia have been resistant to the gospel. Pray that God will raise up workers for His harvest field who will focus on reaching these people groups and that the Holy Spirit will prepare the soil.
Pray for Alliance IWs to find opportunities to partner with the Alliance national church in Indonesia to reach the majority population. Pray that God will raise up a discipleship movement.
—Andy Brake, an Alliance IW serving in Indonesia
Sara* and Sam* cried out to God during a serious illness, and the Lord guided them to the gospel. They have now connected with our church, and Sam is asking for prayer for deliverance from spiritual attacks that inhibit his ability to read the Bible. Several others have experienced spiritual warfare recently. Pray for complete freedom for these brothers and sisters.
—Kathy Eikost, an Alliance IW serving in Bosnia
Despite decades of work, there have been few Fulani believers. However, there is a new openness among them. Pray for the advancement of new and existing ministries and for a solid foundation to be laid for a flourishing Fulani church.
—an Alliance IW serving in West Africa
Ever since Alia’s* father passed away three years ago, she has been having recurring dreams of a man in white comforting her. Her family has told her it is Mohammad, but she wonders if it is Jesus. Pray for Alia and others like her to see the love of Christ and for IWs as we continue to face intense spiritual warfare.
—an Alliance IW serving in the Middle East
mir* is very religious but doesn’t know Christ. I often ask him how I can pray for him, but his requests are always general. People of his faith usually pray rote prayers in order to gain merit. Pray that God will stir in Amir’s heart a desire to have a personal relationship with Him.
—an Alliance IW serving in Asia/Pacific
Through an open volleyball game, Muhammad,* devout in the faith of his family, met believers who spoke truth to him, and he is now showing interest in Jesus. Pray that Muhammad will soon say yes to Jesus.
Despite Mira’s* openness to prayer and Scripture over the years, she seems only to become more devout toward her religion. Pray that as she wrestles with difficulties in her life, she will remember the verses she’s read and hear Jesus offering her peace.
Deep divisions exist among the few believers and churches in our country, which hinders their witness to seekers. Pray for unity among the believers as they reach their own people.
—an Alliance IW serving in central Asia
Our English center is continuing to steward new students. Pray that God will bring the right students to our center and that we will have eyes to discern who is seeking. Rebecca* practices the majority religion. Recently, she has had a lot of interactions with us because she is a language teacher. She has been asking questions as she reads Scripture. Pray that Rebecca will have the courage to receive Jesus.
—an Alliance IW serving in the Middle East
Working at the Government Regional Training Center for Nursing is a challenge as most students are not believers. Pray for open hearts to hear the gospel and see what God is doing for them. They could be in strategic positions as Christian nurses and midwives to share and pray with patients.
—Joyce Johns, an Alliance IW serving in Cambodia
sturias, Spain, was once mined for coal.
The mines are now closed, leaving the valleys economically depressed. Pray for two new church plants in one of the least-reached communities in Spain.
Barak* and his son came to Christ but had to flee their home due to death threats. God has allowed Barak to work to support his family, but they were denied residency in their new country. Pray that God will provide residency for this believer and other immigrants and refugees facing similar obstacles.
Migrant workers live in dangerous conditions in “seas of plastic” at plastic-covered greenhouses in Almería, Spain. Our team visits them and their families to teach their children, play, and sing. Pray for us as we build bridges of trust to share God’s love.
—Tim Westergren, an Alliance IW serving in Spain
When we arrived in North Africa, our plan was simple: open an internet café, make contacts, and make disciples. We expected to complete our work in two years, leaving behind a growing national church. However, God had other plans.
The café was in the lower level of our home. For the first few months, most of our clients were kids who came at all hours of the night. Many of our adult clients came only to make sure the café was safe for their children. We asked God to send us adults, hoping to reach business people with the gospel.
Eventually, the Lord brought us teenagers who became our first ESL students. As our ministry grew, we established our English Language Center and moved into a new building, which we still occupy.
The growing, thriving national church was still a dream after almost 15 years. We had many opportunities to share the gospel with our students, but we made few disciples through the center and we had to close the café. However, as Scripture reminds us, God’s ways are
not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (see Isaiah 55:8).
Before the pandemic, my husband and I returned to school. While my husband studied for his PhD, I pursued a master’s in education. God impressed a new project on our hearts during that time: to open a Christian school in a country where almost everyone else adheres to another religion. It seemed impossible.
I finished my degree during the pandemic, thrilled to have additional skills and knowledge to use at our English center. Once again, God had other plans. While I was shopping at a local bakery, I ran into the family of a girl who had been involved with Girl Scouts alongside my daughters. The mother mentioned that she wanted to take English classes online through our program.
After she had completed a few classes, she asked me to take on another student—her son. I had homeschooled my daughters but hadn’t planned to homeschool children from other families. My husband and I prayed, and Jesus reminded us of His words when
His disciples tried to drive the children away from Him: “Let the little children come to me” (Matt. 19:14). That year, I led two non-Christian children through the Christ-centered curriculum I had used with my daughters. Jesus opened our hearts to a ministry we hadn’t foreseen.
Thanks to God’s faithfulness and the constant prayers and support of our Alliance family, we have been teaching students from the local community for three years now. Each year, although our school is not officially registered, God brings us more families to serve. We started as a one-room school, offering instruction to children by day and adult ESL classes by night. Today, we have expanded into three classrooms and serve 10 students across multiple grade levels.
When we arrived in North Africa, we failed to model Christ’s love toward the children who visited our café. While we engaged them in spiritual discussions, we prayed under our breath, “Lord, send them away. Bring their parents. Bring the adults.” We did not understand what God was doing.
Today, when we encounter these children as adults, many of them still recall their conversations with us. Some even ask for prayer. We couldn’t have imagined the lasting impact we would have on them just by welcoming them into our café. We have learned to say, “Let the children come.”
Some of our students have been overlooked or rejected by other schools. One of our students, Alie, is dyslexic and spent two years out of school. Now 11 years old, she is at the level of a third grader in her academic development. Although we had never taught someone with her unique learning needs, we said, “Let her come.” Our school also drew students from Spain and Sudan who spoke little to no English when we met them. Again, we said, “Let them come.”
Our school is in the Lord’s hands. He provides for our needs according to His purposes and His timing. Recently, to meet our increased staffing demands, He provided five Christian educators to lead our classes and partner with us in prayer for our students. We are grateful for those who join us in prayer. Pray for our teachers—for those who have joined our staff and those who have yet to come. We are asking God to provide more teachers who are skilled with students who have special learning needs.
The Lord has also provided funding from people who share His compassion for the children of North Africa— we are so grateful for our donors! Some of our students cannot afford tuition, books, and other supplies. God meets their needs through our donors, whose generosity
also enabled us to purchase land to expand our ministry among overlooked families.
We are seeking the Lord’s guidance and provision for each step of our expansion efforts. We are in the early stages of building the North African Christian Academy (NACA) on the land we purchased. We still need authorization and additional funds to move forward with the project, so as we trust Him with several key steps, we invite prayers for open doors and open hearts. With a faithful network of donors and prayer partners, NACA will be a guiding light for students seeking the way to God’s eternal Kingdom!
Only through the generosity of Alliance family and friends are children in this North African country able to receive an education rooted in Christ. All current education is based on either the country’s majority religion or secular teaching. To have a lasting Kingdom impact on under-reached children and their families, visit cmalliance.org/give; select “a project you love/Find a project”; and type in “N Africa Christian Academy.”
Learn more about Alliance strategic projects throughout the world in need of your prayers and financial support by requesting a copy of the 2022–23 Strategic Giving Opportunities Gift Catalog at email@example.com or by calling toll free (866) 443-8262.
In San Sebastian, Mexico, locals celebrate Mexican Independence Day with food, music, dancing, and festivities. The Alliance has just opened their third church in the city, located on this main plaza. The space used to be a well-known bar and was closed due to murders and other illegal activities. Alliance workers take advantage of community celebrations, like the one pictured above, to meet new people in town and build relationships.Photo by Olivia McCash
My name is Batu.* After sixth grade, I dropped out of school to care for my drunken father. When he passed away, I became strangely ill for three years. I felt broken, alone, and fearful.
In June 2021, I met a husband and wife from a distant place in our mountain region in central Asia. While I was in their home, they took me to see several doctors who all said I was healthy with one exception—a minor shake they could not explain. I confessed to this couple that three shamans had said my illness was caused by evil spirits because they had chosen me to become a shaman.
This couple said to me, “Then your only way to freedom, peace, and health is through Jesus Christ.” They asked if I would be willing to receive Him as my Savior. I called my four uncles, one after another, to ask them for permission to follow Christ. After two days of heated arguments, my uncles allowed me to choose for myself, and I accepted Jesus as Lord.
I was to become a shaman, but now I am a disciple of Jesus Christ! Recently, I finished my first semester of Bible school. I am no longer a fearful person but a child of God. Please pray that I will finish Bible school in 2024 and become a pastor one day.
The Board was delighted to meet on the uniquely beautiful campus of Toccoa Falls College at the peak of intensity for the fall colors. We were warmly hosted by President Bob Myers and his team as we worked through a full slate of issues critical to the health and growth of The Alliance.
On Wednesday, the Board participated in the student chapel where Charles Galbreath gave a dynamic message on the way God communicates to us through lament. On Thursday, Thomas George, an alumnus of Toccoa Falls College, delivered a challenging devotion from Deuteronomy 7:6–9.
The Board approved five new workers to Africa and Asia and prayed individually for their future ministries. Alliance Missions (AM) Vice President Tim Crouch shared a vision for reaching the lost in the next season of missions by maintaining a focus on reaching the nations, exploring new frontiers, and engaging in creative networks. The AM administrative team has largely completed its move to Ohio and is thriving under Tim Crouch’s leadership.
The Board authorized the C&MA administration to negotiate and purchase the final of four parcels of property for the new U.S. C&MA headquarters. Site preparation and construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2023.
The Board approved a proposal to specifically include spiritual abuse as a basis of discipline in the Uniform Policy on Discipline, Restoration, and Appeal. Church Ministries (CM) also presented a new policy on spiritual abuse that will be part of the CM Handbook. CM Vice President Terry Smith reported on recent district leadership challenges, which the Board responded to with prayer, guidance, and affirmation.
The Committee on Development commended Development Vice President Tim Meier on their vision to bring synergy across all areas of ministry over the next two years “since the joyful completion of Alliance Place is intricately tied to God’s vision for the future of The Alliance.” Tim and his team were commended for their exceptional leadership over many initiatives including donor engagement, Alliance 101, the Alliance World Tour, the Diversity Initiative, and International Worker Partnership and Engagement.
The Board acknowledged Ken Baldes’ strong leadership over Operations/Finance and noted the key hires he has made as part of the move to Ohio, along with steady guidance in development of the revised Great Commission funding model. Finally, the Board celebrated the minimal 4 percent increase in health care premiums for the coming year and approved that the C&MA obtain a $10 million line of credit with Orchard Alliance.
The four college and university presidents gave detailed reports of growth amid increasing political, cultural, and demographic challenges. Nyack College officially changed its name to Alliance University and continues toward stability in a particularly challenging season.
The Board approved an extensive array of updates to the Sensitive Issues Consultative Group (SICG) Guidelines as part of an ongoing focus to provide a compassionate response to any who may have experienced some form of abuse while in the greater Alliance family.
Overall, the meeting was marked by rich fellowship, quality discussions, and strong encouragement. We are blessed to be led by a wise and grace-filled Board.
In Christ’s love,Steven C. Lausell, Corporate Secretary
Recently, we attended a gathering called Migration and Missions. The plenary speaker was Stanley Jones from Alliance Theological Seminary. Here is a spattering of thoughts:
Some migration takes place because people are victims of war and famine, and other migration happens because people hope to better their lives. The New Testament has many examples of this with Paul, Priscila, Aquila, Niger, Lucius, and others. Like the biblical examples, Christian immigrants are often fervent evangelists. Their children soon blend in with the nation’s culture where they’ve moved—and those children are often among the next generation of church leaders in their adopted country.
As we listened to the sessions, our hearts reflected on the many Brazilian immigrants who have come to Portugal and joined our church. We minister to them and let God determine the boundaries of where they live and where they should go to church. Sometimes it’s messy. They are needy, lack transportation, and need help with documentation, finding a home, and just surviving. Sometimes it’s a blessing. The immigrant Christians who come to our church sing and worship gustily; one of them is a musician on our worship team.
Pray that the immigrants will adapt to their new culture in Portugal, gain the trust of the Portuguese, and live with integrity. Pray that the Portuguese will look at them with love and respect and that the immigrant presence will be winsome rather than a barrier.—Ruth and Mike Davis, Alliance international workers serving with aXcess
On Monday, November 21, 2023, a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the area of Cianjur in West Java, Indonesia, claiming over 300 lives, destroying 22,000+ homes, and leaving more than 58,000 people displaced. Pray for CAMA staff and local partners as they continue to assess the situation and serve on the ground. Pray that God’s mercy will be revealed through the lives of the local believers. Pray for the victims’ families and for wisdom for the C&MA church in Indonesia as they strategize to continue to reach out in that area.
Helen and Fausto are the founders of Creación de Dios (Creation of God), a nonprofit whose mission is to train up responsible citizens who will thrive in life. They are working with 110 at-risk kids, providing after-school tutoring and education, feeding them, and helping them break the cycles of poverty. The kids are also learning new strategies so they and their families can advance in life.
This ministry helps the vulnerable child population with limited resources. According to our statistics, we are providing 45 percent of the children’s nutrition. They are being well nourished with the food we provide—in some cases, we can physically see the change in infants.
Pray that this work will have an eternal impact on these children and their families. Pray also for Helen, who serves as the director, and for Fausto as they help the kids to develop spiritually and reach their full potential.
—Rich and Elisa Brown, Alliance international workers serving with Envision
From around the block to the ends of the earth
Stanley D. and Jayne R. Walker, and family, in August. The Walkers are involved in field administration.
Joel T. and Elin M. Bubna, in September. The Bubnas are the chaplain/pastoral couple for faculty and students at the C&MA university and seminary in Abidjan.
Christopher L. and Amanda J. Edman and family, in September. The Edmans are involved in medical ministry and administration at Bongolo Hospital.
Sandra L. Freeman, in September. Sandra is the director of the nursing school at Bongolo Hospital.
Eric B. and Gwen M. Hofman and family, in August. The Hofmans are involved in field administration, bookkeeping, and medical/health ministries at Bongolo Hospital.
Jeffrey L. and Amy M. Lane, in September. The Lanes are involved in medical/health ministries at Bongolo Hospital.
Zachary J. and Jennifer J. O’Connor and family, in August. The O’Conners are involved in medical/health ministries at Bongolo Hospital.
Wayne G. and Suzanne L. Spronk, in September. The Spronks are involved in medical/health ministries with people living with HIV at Bongolo Hospital.
Isaac and Kristie Bickford, and family, in August. The Bickfords are involved in language study in Canada.
Mark B. and Susan M. Davis, in September. The Davises are involved in language study and community development.
Emily Bellinger, in October.
Emily is involved in third culture kid education for the Desert Springs Team.
Christopher S. and Jamie J. O’Dell, and family, in August. The O’Dells are Envision site coordinators and are involved in church ministries and business management.
Andrew J. and Esther C. Schaeffer, in September. The Schaeffers are involved in higher education and women’s ministries.
Joel A. Arndt, pastor, Arise Church, Sheboygan, Wis.
Todd J. Auch, associate pastor, Missoula (Mont.) Alliance Church
Leslie J. Benfield, institutional chaplain, Mid-Atlantic District
Jason O. Boyers, associate pastor, Envision Jesus, Clarkston, Ga.
Meica B. Campbell, director for ministry development, Ohio Valley District
Meica B. Campbell, lead church planter, Creekside Community Church, Georgetown, Ky.
Michael C. Carletti, pastor of mission and multiplication, York (Pa.) Alliance Church
Evans J. Christian, special assignment, Northeastern District
Robert S. Cole, pastor, New Life in the Bronx (N.Y.) of the C&MA
Daniel D. Dinkler, executive pastor, Alliance Bible Church, Mequon, Wis.
Robert R. Douglas, district superintendent, Central Pacific District
Andrew M. Driscoll, pastor, LifePointe Church, Louisville, Ky.
Nguyen D. Duong, local church ministry, Vietnamese Alliance Church, San Diego, Calif.
Mark B. Edwards, pastor, Grandview Alliance Church, Erie, Pa. Johnathan D. Emmons, student pastor, Centerville (Ohio) Community Church
John Estey, pastor, La Iglesia Esperanza, Underwood, Wash.
Kevin L. Frank, associate pastor, Cheyenne (Wyo.) Alliance Church
Brian R. French, pastor, New Design Church, Frederick, Md.
Mark T. Galbreath, teaching pastor, Northview Alliance Church, Wooster, Ohio
Tommy J. Garcia, National Guard chaplain, Metropolitan District Cheryl M. Grossoehme, special assignment, Eastern Pennsylvania District
Mark H. Grossoehme, special assignment, Eastern Pennsylvania District
Nathan D. Grossoehme, ministries pastor, Grove City (Pa.) C&MA Church
Kaleb D. Gugger, associate pastor, First Alliance Church, Billings, Mont.
Adam C. Harper, director of church mobilization, Ohio Valley District
Wilbert S. Henderson, churchplanting pastor, LEAD Community Church, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Simon K. Her, associate pastor, Family Alliance Church, Fresno, Calif.
Jennifer Hong, executive pastor of family life, Princeton Alliance Church, Plainsboro, N.J.
Maurice R. Irvin, minister-at-large, Eastern Pennsylvania District
Jean C. Joseph, associate pastor, Calvary Bible Alliance Church, Delray Beach, Fla.
Edward W. Jurimas Jr., camp director, Fellowship Alliance Chapel, Medford, N.J.
Kee Chan Kim, local church ministry, Walking with Jesus Church, Ridgefield, N.J.
Joe Kisselburgh, pastor, Seeds Church Collective, Vancouver, Wash.
Joshua C. Kong, pastor, Cross & Crown Alliance Church of the C&MA, Oshkosh, Wis.
Joseph Kue, church planter pastor, Hmong District
Brian P. Laxamana, associate pastor, Jericho Road Church, Muskegon, Mich.
Chee-Meng Lee, minister, Long Island Alliance Church, Dix Hills, N.Y.
Shoua Lee, assistant pastor, True Life Alliance Church Tulsa (Okla.)
Tegga Lendado, pastor, Envision Jesus, Clarkston, Ga.
Joseph M. Litton, pastor, Alliance Church, Fort Pierce, Fla.
Deborah J. MacKay, executive pastor of strategy and operations, First Alliance Church, Lexington, Ky.
Daniel D. McPherson, pastor of high school, First Alliance Church, Lexington, Ky.
Mickey S. Morello, associate pastor for youth and young adults, Ridgeway Alliance Church, White Plains, N.Y.
Cher C. Moua, care pastor, Kingdom Life Alliance Church, St. Paul, Minn.
Pang S. Moua, church planter, New Hope Ministry of the C&MA, Stockton, Calif.
L. Keith Neigenfind Jr., donor relations at Pocket Translation League, South Pacific Alliance
Sara A. Nishimoto, director for communications, Cable Road Alliance Church, Lima, Ohio
Carol Park, connections pastor, Risen King Alliance Church, New City, N.Y.
Soon Tak Park, local church ministry, The Serving Life Church, New Milford, N.J.
Aaron T. Pfahler, youth pastor, First Alliance Church, Columbus, Ohio
Duane A. Richards, associate pastor, First Alliance Church, Port Charlotte, Fla.
David M. Rivera, associate pastor, Building on the Rock Community Church, Manchester, N.J.
Roy N. Roten, pastor, Ashe Alliance Church, Jefferson, N.C.
Darren T. Rowles, pastor, Hillside Alliance Church, Ithaca, N.Y.
Elden J. Saba, church-planting pastor, Revive Church, Rochester Hills, Mich.
Noah N. Sanwyn, lead pastor, South Pacific Alliance
Paul M. Seabold, pastoral care, Fairhaven Church, Dayton, Ohio
Arthur M. Seifert, pastor, The Table Philadelphia (Pa.), A Church of the C&MA
Trevor G. Skalberg, district superintendent, Alliance New England
At Shell Point® , you’ll enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle where you can explore, worship, learn, grow and even continue to serve. And with new additions to our campus, like Tribby Arts Center, a sparkling centerpiece for the arts, and the state-of-the-art Larsen Health Center, you can rest on a firm foundation, knowing that your needs will be taken care of – both now and in the future.
Kent J. Sovine, district superintendent, MidAmerica District
J. Wayne Spriggs, director of Church Advance and Crucial Issues, Central Pacific District
Locheng Thao, church planter pastor, Hmong District
Timothy Thao, assistant pastor, Pontiac Hmong Alliance Church C&MA, Waterford, Mich.
Donald E. Tucker, assistant pastor for congregational care, Allegheny Center
C&MA Church, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Andrea M. Vincent, director of ministry, Central Alliance Church, Detroit, Mich.
Thien An H. Vo, pastor, Grace Alliance Church, Milpitas, Calif.
Matthew J. Walker, shepherding pastor, Northview Alliance Church, Wooster, Ohio
David E. Westmeier, special assignment, Metropolitan District
Daniel R. Wetzel, interim pastor, Faith Community Church, Red Oak, Iowa
Erik J. Williams, special assignment as youth ministry coach, South Pacific Alliance
Calvin S. Xiong, senior pastor, Kingdom Life Alliance Church, St. Paul, Minn.
Sanouk Xiong, pastor, Bible Life Church, Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Koncheng Yang, pastor, True Life Alliance Church Tulsa (Okla.)
Noah L. Yang, youth pastor, Kingdom Life Alliance Church, St. Paul, Minn.
Peter Ntxoov Tuam C. Yang, DM pastor, Kingdom Life Alliance Church, St. Paul, Minn.
Unparalleled setting. Unparalleled lifestyle.™
Shell Point is located in Fort Myers, Florida, just minutes from the islands of Sanibel and Captiva. Shell Point is a nonprofit ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. ©2021 Shell Point. All rights reserved. SLS-4424-21
Toulia Yang, senior pastor, First Hmong Missionary Alliance Church, Wausau, Wis.
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AllianceCommunity.org 644 S. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, FL 32720 | 800-334-4133 Call 386-734-3481 or scan the QR code to learn more.
Xaliyas Yang, pastor, Hmong Seattle (Wash.) Alliance Church
Ann Arbor, Mich., LEAD Community Church, 2250 S. Huron Pkwy., 48104
Brooklyn, N.Y., Lighthouse Church, 121 Gravesend Neck Rd., 11223
Marysville, Wash., Simple Church Collective, PO Box 1816, 98270
Muskegon, Mich., Roots Church, 280 Muskegon Ave., 49440
Rochester Hills, Mich., Revive Church, 1000 Bagley Ave., 48309
Tacoma, Wash., Anchor Lincoln, 2401 S. Orchard St., 98466
Toledo, Ohio, Visible Church, 20 Arco Dr., 43607
Vancouver, Wash., Seeds Church Collective, PO Box 5383, 98668
Matthew R. Bratton, high school resident, Christ Community Church C&MA, Omaha, Neb.
Oscar M. Briones Silva, pastor, Iglesia ACyM El Encuentro, Tampa, Fla.
Lisa Bruno, director of congregational care, Bedford Community Church, Bedford Hills, N.Y.
Isaac I. Charles, church-planting resident, First Alliance Church, Columbus, Ohio
Meredith P. Cowman, family ministry coordinator, Christ Community Church C&MA, Omaha, Neb.
Marshall Cress, youth pastor, Snoqualmie Valley Alliance, Fall City, Wash.
Kendall D. Dean, church planter, Belong Church, Muskogee, Okla.
Noah A. Fultz, youth pastor, East Park Church, Vancouver, Wash.
Donald A. Gerhart, Coast Guard Auxiliary chaplain, Sarasota (Fla.) Alliance Church
William J. Goldsmith, assistant pastor, Iglesia la Hermosa ACyM, McAllen, Tex.
Bruno Gonzalez Garcia, pastor, Iglesia ACyM Kissimmee (Fla.)
KyoungShik Ham, local church ministry, Salt Covenant Church, San Diego, Calif.
Jose L. Hernandez, pastor, Iglesia ACyM de White Plains (N.Y.)
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Stephen M. Hoadley, production pastor, Fellowship Alliance Chapel, Medford, N.J.
Alison Ibanez, youth pastor, Iglesia Alianza, Randolph, N.J.
Dong Hoon Ko, visiting professor at the University of Bethlehem, Korean District
Amee J. Kuch, director of worship, Hope Church, Westerville, Ohio
Jose F. Lara, church planter, Familias De Fe, Palmview, Tex.
Chon Lee, local church ministry, Noel Church, La Habra, Calif.
John H. Lee, district personnel, Metropolitan District
Qimin Li, missions pastor, Chinese Alliance Church, State College, Pa.
Lynn D. Long, director of discipleship, Hope Church, Westerville, Ohio
Keicha Morris, minister to women, The Oaks Community Church, Bakersfield, Calif.
Antonio Mottola, pastor, Alianza Cristiana Y Misionera, New York, N.Y.
Binh H. Ong, assistant pastor, Vietnamese Alliance Church of Atlanta, Snellville, Ga.
Yeon Dam Park, local church ministry, Federal Way (Wash.) Mission Church
Gerardo Pena, church-planting resident, Common Place East, Lock Haven, Pa.
Scott M. Slade, pastor of discipleship and family ministries, Harvest View Alliance Church, Grand Junction, Colo.
Marquis W. Strickland, military chaplain, Metropolitan District
Sandra Traver, director of Richard Bush Renewal Center, Bannister, Mich.
The following ordinations and consecration took place September 12, 2022, at Elkins (W.Va.) Alliance Community Fellowship.
Gabriel (Gabe) Bruno. Gabe is the senior pastor of Smyrna Church, Cleveland, Ohio.
Joy Elizabeth Cochran. Joy is facilitator of groups at Heartland Church of the C&MA, Lexington, Ohio, and serves as a chaplain with Marketplace Chaplains at Hord Farms.
Erik Hansen. Erik is pastor of Technical Arts at Grace Church, Middleburg Heights, Ohio.
Nathan McKeen. Nathan is the lead pastor of Flushing (Ohio) Alliance Church.
Jordy L. Vickrey. Jordy is pastor of student ministries at Grace Church, Middleburg Heights, Ohio.
The following ordinations took place September 20, 2022, at The Alliance Southeast Office, DeLand, Fla.
Adam Atkinson. Adam is currently unassigned in Miami, Fla.
Rosales Geffrard. Rosales is the senior pastor at New Covenant Alliance Church, Ocala, Fla.
Jean Claude Joseph. Jean Claude is an associate pastor at Calvary Bible Alliance Church, Delray Beach, Fla.
Joseph (Joe) M. Litton. Joe is the senior pastor of Vero Beach (Fla.) Alliance Church.
Randy John. Randy is an associate pastor at Fellowship Bible Church, Middleburg, Fla.
Duane A. Richards. Duane is an associate pastor at First Alliance Church, Port Charlotte, Fla.
Timothy P. Adams, The Alliance Southeast
Robert D. Barner, Eastern Pennsylvania District
Kelly R. Baughman, Alliance Northwest District
R. Mark Droll, Western Pennsylvania District
R. Daniel Hammond Jr., Western Pennsylvania District
George P. Leffel, Ohio Valley District
Thomas J. Nevius, MidAmerica District
Anthony Nguyen, Vietnamese District
Bradford L. Smith, Central District
Robert W. Storey, MidAmerica District
Mary Patricia (Pat) Lynch Johnson
March 15, 1942–December 15, 2021
Born in Heavener, Okla., Pat prayed to receive Christ around the age of five while “playing church” one night with her siblings. She graduated from Bethany Nazarene College with a home economics degree.
On June 9, 1961, she married John C. Johnson in Denison, Tex.; both had been planning to be missionaries. For 30 years, the couple served with the C&MA in the Philippines. At one point they lived in a house built on stilts on the archipelago of Sulu, and they later served in Zamboanga City. They were also dorm parents at the Dalat School in Malaysia for several years.
Mary is survived by her husband and children Mark, Rhonda, Ronald, and Mary Beth.
Calvin Kin-Fun Lai
December 26, 1944−September 4, 2022
Born in China, Calvin accepted Christ as his Savior in his late teens and was baptized after high school. He met and married his wife, Pearl, at a Methodist church in Hong Kong; they immigrated to the United States in 1970. Calvin
earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Hartford as well as a master’s and doctorate from the University of Connecticut. While in New England, Calvin founded the Gospel Tape Ministry to help believers grow in their faith.
Prior to becoming a C&MA missionary, Calvin had a career in engineering and worked for the Department of Energy. He and Pearl attended the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland where he was an elder, a Sunday school teacher, and a fellowship advisor. As he became more active in the local church, he sensed God’s call to full-time ministry and enrolled in the Capital Bible Seminary. He earned a master’s in biblical studies and then served as a pastor at the Chinese Alliance Church of Pittsburgh. Calvin was ordained by the C&MA in 2000.
In 2004, the Lais were appointed as missionaries to Germany where they planted a church and were involved in Bible studies and discipleship. During their post-missionary years, the couple frequently traveled to Hong Kong where Calvin was a volunteer pastor with the Shuen-Tak Alliance Church in Yuen Long. Calvin also partnered with Leadership for
Development, an organization whose mission is to train young Chinese ministers to serve as crosscultural missionaries.
December 17, 1928–September 11,
Ed was Born in Jacksonville, Fla. He began his college studies in architecture and then trained for missionary service at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., and later the Missionary Training Institute (now Alliance University, New York, N.Y.).
On January 27, 1951, Ed married Shirley Shippee, and the couple embarked on 57 years of formal ministry. Together they built and founded the Bible Baptist Church in New Buffalo, Mich. They completed their C&MA home service with A. W. Tozer at the Southwest Alliance Church in Chicago, Ill., before departing for overseas ministry. The Maxeys served among the Dani, Ngalik, and lowland tribes of New Guinea, now Papua, Indonesia (1956–1994).
As pioneer missionaries, the couple took the gospel to several valleys and people groups, building numerous houses and airstrips as well as dozens of schools, clinics, and churches. Along with his gifted wife and several mother-tongue translators, Ed helped complete the New Testament in the Dani and Ngalik languages and the Shorter Old Testament in the Ngalik language. Ed’s ability to compellingly communicate God’s Word brought transformation to thousands and mobilized countless workers for the Kingdom.
Ed also launched a myriad of community development programs and education initiatives in one of the neediest corners of the world. Upon retirement from overseas ministry, he served in the Alliance Church of Asheville, N.C.; the Missionary Church of La Porte, Ind.; and the Alliance Chapel in DeLand, Fla. Whether on a jungle trail or in the grocery store checkout line, Ed was known for his wit and enthusiastic friendliness.
Ed was preceded in death by his wife; he is survived by children Joy, Michael (“Buzz”), Anne, and Eric; 12 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren.
May 3, 1937– September 29, 2022
Born in Potsdam, Ohio, John preached his first sermon at the age of 15 and received his BS in theology from Bethel College. On June 22, 1957, he married Darlene in Phillipsburg (Ohio) Missionary Church.
For 15 years, John pastored several Missionary Church congregations in Ohio and Indiana. In 1973, he moved with his family to Ohio and founded Living Hope Counseling Services, where he served for 10 years helping many people find hope and freedom in Christ. John returned to pastoral ministry as a staff counselor and Christian education director and then as senior pastor of two different congregations before he retired in 2010. He also served for eight years with the C&MA at Fellowship Alliance Chapel in Huber Heights, Ohio, and with the Evangelical Free Church and the Church of God. He was a wise counselor and mentor to many people.
John is survived by his wife; sons, Mike, Doug, and Dave; 9 grandchildren; and 1 great-grandson.
Elizabeth (Betty) Christine Howard March 8, 1940–October 13, 2022
Betty was born in Portland, Ore., to Edgar Fuller and Esther Jackson Howard. The family lived in the Milwaukie, Ore., area until Betty was 12. Then they moved to London, Ont., Canada.
Betty attended Ohio University and received a BS in elementary education. She then returned to Portland where she taught fourth grade at Irvington Elementary School. Betty went on to receive an MA in Christian education from Wheaton (Ill.) University while she worked and led Bible studies in Chicago’s inner city. While a grad student at Wheaton, Betty was called to minister to women in two Middle Eastern countries where she served for 31 years. Many women—along with their husbands, children, and friends—came to faith and experienced lifechanging transformation through her ministry.
During her home assignment in 1975, Betty joined Salem Alliance Church as an intern. She retired from the mission field in 2005 and returned to Salem Alliance, where she continued intercultural ministry. In the last 15 years of her life, Betty founded and led a significant ministry at Salem Alliance that focused on coming alongside and discipling incarcerated women at the Coffee Creek Prison in Oregon both before and after they were released. Betty continued this outreach into her 80s until leukemia forced her to hand off the ministry to others. Betty’s curiosity and care engaged her with people wherever she went. She also enjoyed hosting teas, gardening, chatting with neighbors, and traveling.
Betty is survived by her brothers Raymond and Richard and their families; she was preceded in death by her parents and brother Eldon.
Pastor Paul Bubna was loved by many in the greater Alliance family. He was an Alliance pastor, president of Alliance Theological Seminary, and the U.S. Alliance president for two years. No matter what role he served in, Paul led through his preaching. His children are excited to share his sermons with you through a podcast, Dr. Paul F. Bubna Legacy Podcast: The Long Hill Years, which you can find on your favorite podcast player.
Alliance Chaplain Candidate Jihoon Park spent the summer of 2022 with nine other chaplains, ministering among reserve officer training cadets (ROTC) at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Jihoon conducted field services where about 88 cadets attended three times a week. He also led weekly Bible studies, provided military-specific spiritual resiliency training, provided about 90 counseling opportunities, and led bilingual worship services in Spanish and English. During this time, four cadets came forward to invite Christ into their lives and asked to be baptized. “I used to have an unbelieving heart about how I could impact people’s lives for Jesus with my weaknesses,” Jihoon says. “But I am not the One who impacts people’s lives. It’s Jesus, and I’m just His instrument. Share the heart of Christ through your presence, and through it all, God will dwell and work among us.”
Tad and Kit, members of Flightpath Fellowship in Erie, Pennsylvania, felt called by the Holy Spirit to provide quality boots, foot care, and the love of God to houseless people in their community. Even with financial support from Flightpath and the public, the cost was still too high, so Tad and Kit had to find a way to raise money. Tad had competed with his hot sauce at chili festivals years earlier, so in early 2021, they decided to start selling Mad Cow Hot Sauce and put all the proceeds toward expanding this new ministry, Harvest912. They partnered with their local hospital and started building a mobile, foot-care clinic, which they have been running since April 2022. With the help of profits from Mad Cow Hot Sauce and grants from local foundations, Harvest912 has distributed more than 350 pairs of boots and served more than 300 guests in the mobile clinic. Learn more at www.harvest912.org/madcowproducts.
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In 1925, I was dying. I had contracted a fever while serving as an Alliance missionary in Ecuador and was brought to a small hospital where I was diagnosed with typhoid fever. When my wife arrived at the hospital, the nurse told her, “You cannot go into the room. The doctor has said that your husband is dead or very close to death, so no one is to enter.” But my wife insisted. The nurse lifted the sheet and told her, “Feel for yourself that death has set in.”
When the mission superintendent arrived at the hospital shortly after, the doctor said, “We cannot detect a pulse. There is just the slightest indication of life, but almost certainly he will be gone any moment. I advise you to make all your preparations.”
My wife went home, where some women helped her dye her wedding dress black for the funeral as she had nothing black to wear. The mission superintendent bought a casket and sent a young boy to call for the elders of the church to come hold the funeral service.
They did not know that on the same day the Annual Missionary and Bible Convention was being held at Camp Hebron in Massachusetts. When the Alliance superintendent arose to bring the first message of the morning, he said, “I cannot teach this morning; my heart is so burdened. I cannot tell why, but if God gives you the spirit of prayer, kneel by the altar and pray with me.”
There came a great burden of prayer. The group did not know I was ill because no word had come home about it, but someone began to pray for me. This prayer group gave themselves to intercession before the throne all morning. In the middle of the afternoon the burden of prayer lifted, and they sang a hymn of thanksgiving. They knew their prayer had been answered.
This group didn’t know that 3,500 miles away, the doctor, the mission superintendent, and my wife were watching and waiting. There was still a little bit of life left in me, and by evening the doctor said, “If he lives through the night, he’ll make it.”
In answer to the prayer at Camp Hebron, I did live through the night. In the morning, though I was unconscious and had been for quite some time, there was every indication that strength was beginning to return— so complete was the healing of God in answer to their prayers. Is God now calling you to a ministry of intercession, the like of which you have never known?
Adapted from an interview with Raymond Edman later in his life. His account of these events has never been published before.