ACCTS in action M ay
O ur M ission :
To assist in the development of Christian leaders in the armed forces of the world and in the establishment and growth of military Christian fellowships.
Mucho Gusto, Latin America! * * Nice to meet you, Latin America!
For thirty years ACCTS staff members Bob and B.J. Reifsnyder have worked in Latin America to encourage individual military Christians and to help them develop their military Christian fellowships. At the March staff meeting the Reifsnyders updated the ACCTS family on Latin America ministry and praised God for what He is doing in that region of the world.
Latin American photos courtesy USDOD
In South America, they report, every nation has at least one indigenously organized military Christian fellowship. Brazil and Chile have multiple MCFs, and Paraguay and Ecuador have two. Brazil has the largest military Christian fellowship in the world, with approximately 200,000 members. Regional conferences in South America have played an important role in the spiritual and numeric growth of military Christians. To date there have been 13 regional conferences, which are usually held every two years. An Interaction leadership program, led by the Reifsnyders, has been held after eight of those conferences. The status of the chaplaincy has been a major concern for many military Christian fellowships in Latin America, as not all continued on page 2
Mucho Gusto, Latin America! Continued from page 1
countries have multi-confessional chaplaincies. Several MCFs have requested and received chaplaincy training, which is usually conducted by the International Association of Evangelical Chaplains. In Central America, the vice president of ACCTS’ ministry partner, AMCF (Association of Military Christian Fellowships), is working to re-start the inactive MCFs in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Mexico is unable to have an MCF in the military due to legal restrictions, which is also the case in Cuba. There are also regional MCF conferences and Interaction programs held every other year in Central America. Military personnel in Latin America deal with many different issues, from physical challenges such as helping
Alpha for the Military Update ACCTS staff members Noel and Meryl Dawes, who are seconded to Alpha for the Military, report that Alpha Bible study courses are leading international military personnel into a deeper understanding of God, Christ, and the meaning of life. “The number of all types of Alpha courses, including the marriage course, carried out in the U.S. armed forces increased in 2009,” Noel reports. “About 38 courses took place on about 14 different military bases, installations, ships and units, an increase of about 35%.” Alpha for the Military courses are also held in nations around the world, and to date military personnel in more than 20 nations have completed Alpha courses.
ACCTS IN ACTION • Page 2 • May 2010
nations rebuild after natural disasters to man-made challenges such as the ongoing war against illegal drugs. As you remember Latin America today, please pray that these words from 1 Peter 5 will resonate in the hearts and lives of all military Christians throughout that region: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you... And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”
New Staff Members We are excited to welcome Ed and Sally Ward to our ACCTS staff. They will be ministering in Mongolia and China. Ed is a retired USAF colonel who served in various positions during his time on active duty, including the position of commander of the Air Force Element of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Before retiring, Sally worked for the International Bible Society and Focus on the Family. Like the majority of our staff, the Wards will serve without pay. They will raise money as needed for ministry expenses. If you would like to learn more about their ministry plans, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to financially support their ministry, contact Bernhard at email@example.com or call 1-800-487-8108.
Brave New [Technology-Driven] World: Keeping Up-to-Date with ACCTS national security policies. Read our Blog: ACCTS’ blog -militarychristiansworldwide.blogspot.com -- links to topics of interest to military and civilian Christians and gives ACCTS-related updates and prayer requests. Receive this Newsletter by Email: Contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive this newsletter and prayer reminder by email.
Once upon a time in a land far, far away...the 1980s...Louisa Buxton produced ACCTS’ newsletter by typing the copy, cutting out the text, and pasting it up for printing. That publication was our main way to communicate about international military ministry news.
“Social networking like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have become part of the fabric of our culture. You can love them. You can hate them. But you can’t ignore them or dismiss them.” - Heidi Tolliver-Nigro, thedigitalnirvana.com Today, though, there are numerous ways for you to stay up-to-date on military ministry around the world: Join us on Facebook: If you are on facebook.com, the popular social networking site, we invite you to join the ACCTS page and keep informed about ministry events and prayer items.
Donate Electronically: Donating to ACCTS via electronic funds transfer (EFT) means you’ll never miss an opportunity to support military ministry, even if you are traveling, deployed, or moving. Contact Bernhard (email@example.com or 1-800-487-8108) to receive the forms you need to begin regular EFT donations. You can also give via credit card - talk with Bernhard about this option as well. Or go “Old School”! If you have questions about our ministry or would like more information, you can always pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-800-487-8108. We’d be happy to talk directly with you and give you the information you need.
“The Department of Defense announced a new policy allowing users on Pentagon servers to access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr and other similar sites. The new rules show an increasing awareness by top brass that more troops, even those overseas, are using social networking on the web to keep in touch with loved ones.” - politicsdaily.com
Visit our Website: Learn about our current ministries, find out more about our staff members, or view the latest newsletter at www.accts.org. Study Military Ethics: One of our newest endeavors, The Journal of Faith and War, is an online-only publication focusing on the innately spiritual nature of leadership in the formulation and execution of ACCTS IN ACTION • Page 3 • May 2010
O ur C ore V alues
ACCTS Facts: International Mission Trips
ACCTSâ€™ regional staff members try to make at least one mission trip to their geographic area every year. Generally, the objectives of these trips are to respond to the expressed needs of national military Christian fellowships (MCFs), many of whom request these visits; to make personal contact with
established national MCFs and individuals, assist and encourage them by all appropriate means, and gather information to share with others; to identify, meet and share with military Christians where there are no known contacts; and to follow up with participants in ACCTS programs.
- Biblically-based - Spirit-led - Prayer-centered - People-focused
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED Association for Christian Conferences Teaching and Service PO Box 27239 Denver, CO 80227-0239 Phone: 1-800-487-8108 Fax: 303-986-4710 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.accts.org
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