Helogeen Helps Hurting Children in Jamaica

God has given me an immense passion for children. It all started a few years ago when I began attending Miracle Open Bible Church. I joined choir, but it didn’t take long until I was branching into other ministries of the church. It wasn’t until I began volunteering for children’s church that I realized God’s calling on my life. I was certain that working with children was my life’s work!

Helogeen Hepburn (left), is studying for a Master of Counseling and Psychology degree at Caribbean Graduate School of Theology
Helogeen Hepburn (left), is studying for her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Caribbean Graduate School of Theology

Since then, I have earned a degree in Child and Adolescent Development and am now studying at Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (CGST) for my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. I am sincerely appreciative for CGST expanding my horizons and teaching me so much thus far in my studies. I am grateful to God for providing for my financial needs, even when it seems I won’t have enough funds to meet my school expenses. He’s in control of my future, and I know He will be faithful to complete this work in me!

In addition to my studies, I am president of the Children’s Church Ministry at Miracle Open Bible Church and truly enjoy ministering to all my kids. I love teaching them from the Word and showing them how to apply it to their own lives. I use fun and creative ways like songs, dance and dramas to reinforce what they’re learning in our Bible studies. When I look around, I see such an incredible need in our region to love and support our children. There are so many little ones hurting. We simply can’t turn a blind eye to them. They’re our future, and we must help lead them to the Savior.

Because children are the foundation for the future of God’s Kingdom, it’s imperative we impart the knowledge of God to them. It’s now in these formative years that we have the privilege to train them to be powerful little evangelists, intercessors and worshipers. I’ve witnessed the Holy Spirit changing some of these children as they have come to know Jesus through Children’s Church. I am blessed beyond measure to be working for the Lord in this capacity. I look forward to His continued blessing as I finish my studies and grow this children’s ministry.

 

“Please continue supporting students like me who are answering a Heavenly call on their lives. We need your prayers and encouragement as we help multiply God’s Kingdom!”

                                              – Helogeen Hepburn

 

 

God Called Khalil Out of Satanic Worship into the Ministry

Although I grew up in a Christian family, God wasn’t important to me. I started hanging out with some new friends who were into satanic worship and rituals.

Khalil Moussa, Bachelor of Theology student at Arab Bible Theological Seminary
Khalil Moussa, theology student at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary

In 2008, a Christian friend invited me to visit his church’s youth group. One evening at the meetings, the pastor challenged us in a very unique way. He asked us to stand if we believed we would go to Heaven if we died. The question shook me to the core. I knew I was not a child of God.

That evening was a turning point for me. I prayed, ‘God, I have made the decision to follow you, but I don’t have the power to become more like You. Please help me to become more like You.’ Since then, I have felt God calling me to ministry. Shortly after my conversion, I started working with Syrian refugees. For two years, I visited them in their homes and studied the Bible with them.

I sensed the Lord wanting to spiritually grow me and my ministry, so I applied to Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS). I have tremendously grown in my walk with Jesus and in my understanding of the Bible. Throughout my schooling, I have continued visiting and studying with refugees. Some of them have even joined me in my ministry now!

Take Ahmad, a convicted criminal, drug addict and alcoholic. When I met him, he was terribly unhappy and very abusive toward his wife and three children. I felt impressed to visit with him and to form a friendship. For the first week, I did not mention Jesus. I simply listened to him and laughed with him. After the first week of regularly visiting together, Ahmad shared with me, “I see Jesus in your life and in your wife’s life. I want that too.” Ahmad is now serving with me in the men’s meetings and is studying with two families who are seeking the Truth. Praise the Lord! He works in mysterious ways.

After graduating this summer, my wife and I plan to continue building a ministry team among the Syrian refugees. Our ultimate goal is for our team to work with Middle Eastern Muslims in need of a Savior. Please pray that He will show us where we need to serve Him in the Middle East.

“As God has led us in the past, we know our future is in His hands.”

                                              – Khalil Moussa

 

Jairo Ministers to an Unreached Tribal Group in Colombia

I was fortunate to be raised in a Christian home. Although I knew about God and was taught the Scriptures, I did not come to accept Jesus as my Savior until I was 18 years old. Once I understood the gift of salvation, my walk with the Lord became real.

Jairo from BSC
Jairo Rincón, student at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia, assists another student in the computer lab

Shortly after accepting Christ, I met a missionary named Rick. We talked a lot about transcultural missions and the unreached people groups in Colombia. I was on fire to share the Good News with these people and decided to live among the unreached tribal group called JiW. Over the course of several months, I learned the language, the culture and began understanding their animistic world view. The JiW people’s belief system is heavily focused on witchcraft. They actually use satanic mediums to fight between families. I quickly realized my need for more biblical training in order to better serve my JiW friends.

Through much prayer, the Lord guided me to BSC for my theological education. I plan to graduate in 2018 and return to work among the JiW people. There is an immense need to translate the Bible into their tribal language and other tribal tongues throughout Colombia. After graduation, I specifically want to work to translate the Bible for the JiW people and to help them know my Friend and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know God wants to free them from their demons as much as I do.

 

“Thank the Lord for His love for the JiW community and for providing me with the necessary training to share Jesus with them!”

                                              – Jairo Rincón

 

 

 

Compassion, Care and Love (a CAST partnership)

Eastern Star Church (located in Indianapolis) and Overseas Council have been partners since 1996. We are now in the second year of a unique CAST commitment (Church And Seminary Teamwork) with our mutual seminary friend and partner, the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Port-au-Prince (Haiti).

The CAST Program brings together the hearts and resources of an Overseas Council partner seminary with the hearts and resources of a partner church in North America. CAST is an efficient and effective method for establishing dynamic, mutually satisfying, two-way relationships. It not only facilitates financial support for the seminary, but also allows the church a deeper impact in the Kingdom through the school beyond essential funding needs.

Please take a minute to watch the world-changing work taking place in Haiti due in part to the special partnership with CAST. We hope you will be blessed!

 

Courtesy of Eastern Star Church

 

 

Overseas Council’s Story | Overseas Council

 

 

Thank You for Helping Me Realize My Dream

My whole world changed when my father died in 2004. I was not walking with the Lord then, and I felt that God was punishing me by taking my father away. Ironically, that is when my search to find God began. It has been a journey. I have not only discovered a relationship with God but have discovered my calling in life as well – to become a teacher.

Emily Khoury, Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies graduate of Bethlehem Bible College
Emily Khoury, Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies graduate of Bethlehem Bible College

Through many peaks and valleys, God led me to BBC where I earned a degree in Biblical Studies. Since then, God has fulfilled the desire of my heart by giving me a job as a religion teacher. I love my work! God has carved out the best mission field for me right here in my classroom. Every day, I have students share their struggles and questions with me which opens the door for me to point them to Jesus.

I am tremendously grateful to BBC for preparing me to be a teacher. From my Bible classes to my Child Psychology course, BBC trained me to serve children. By God’s grace, I plan to start a master’s program at BBC soon. I want to be the very best teacher I can be, and I believe furthering my education will help me do just that. I am excited to see how the Lord will use me in my ministry!

 

“I can’t say thank you enough for helping me realize my dream.”

                                              – Emily Khoury

 

 

 

Multiplying The Kingdom Through Africa’s Rural Pastors | Overseas Council

 

 

 

 

Guest Lecturer – Dr. Scott Cunningham

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Dr. Scott Cunningham, Overseas Council Vice President of International Partnerships

Vice President of International Partnerships, Dr. Scott Cunningham, was the guest lecturer for the annual Mission and Evangelism Lectureship at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). His topic was “Seminary of the Future: Trends and Challenges in Evangelical Theological Education in the Majority World.” Scott has become a globally appreciated strategist regarding the role of theological education in the mission of God: theological education that is both theological from the outset and educational from its core, and that aligns with God’s purpose in his world. So we are not surprised that DTS would tap Scott for this important task.

 

Below are the topics (linked to Scott’s presentations) he shared at the 2015 Missions and Evangelism Lectureship at DTS:

The Seminary of the Future
Reflecting Change in the Academy
3 Changing Trends in Majority World Seminaries
The Direction of the Seminary

 

 

God is Multiplying His Kingdom in India

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John Varghese, Bachelor of Divinity graduate of New Theological College.

After my theological training at New Theological College (NTC), I had planned to serve an impoverished region of India, but God had other plans. I was given the opportunity for church ministry in Delhi and accepted the call. I have discovered an incredible need for mission work in this region. There are still many in Delhi who have not heard the Gospel.

The Lord opened the door for us to start five fellowships (small church-like gatherings) in eastern Delhi. NTC is now placing recent graduates to pastor and help guide these new believers.

Since starting to work in this region in 2006, by God’s grace, I have baptized 150+ people. Where there were only a few churches, there are now 15!

 

“God is multiplying His Kingdom right here in Delhi. I am so grateful to be a part of this special work.”

                                              – John Varghese

 

My Journey from Fear to Free

I had a difficult childhood. My father was an alcoholic and physically abused my sister and me. Our mother had health problems and was often sick. When I was young, I attended an Orthodox church with my mom. We kept the traditions they taught and hoped that would help our problems go away. But our dismal situation never seemed to improve.

Olesya Shchepeleva, Bachelor of Missiology graduate from Kuban Evangelical Christian University, sharing her puppet ministry with children.
Olesya Shchepeleva, Bachelor of Missiology graduate from Kuban Evangelical Christian University, sharing her puppet ministry with children.
Olesya Shchepeleva, Bachelor of Missiology graduate from Kuban Evangelical Christian University, with her ladies Bible study group.
Olesya Shchepeleva, Bachelor of Missiology graduate from Kuban Evangelical Christian University, with her ladies Bible study group.

In fact, fear nearly paralyzed my heart. I was terrified of the dark, afraid I would die in my sleep and never wanted to be by myself. My parents hired various healers to try to cure my troubled soul, but nothing worked. Fear lingered around every corner of my mind. I could not seem to shake it.

Then one day, my life changed forever. One of my mother’s friends invited me to go to her church. This church was different. I began learning who Jesus really is. Over the course of time, God became my Friend and Savior. For the first time in my life, He became real to me. Sometimes when things were rough at home I would look out the window and be reassured that He was near. Even in the most difficult times, I knew with God in my life I would never be alone. All of my paralyzing fears vanished. I had discovered God’s perfect peace and trusted Christ with my whole life.

As a young adult, God gave me a passion to help children from difficult family backgrounds. I started volunteering at a local orphanage, but I was anxious to do more. I decided to become a missionary, but I wanted to be well-equipped before embarking on this new journey. That’s when God led me to Kuban Evangelical Christian University (KECU) in Russia.

I was thrilled to be accepted into KECU’s Missiology program! I was given such a great education. I was thoroughly trained and grounded in God’s Word and learned the necessary tools for mission work.

After graduation, I joined the outreach ministry team of a local church. We had a program where we would go into the community and befriend those who were disabled and homebound. We ministered in practical ways by being a friend and helping with housework and cooking. Our objective was to make their lives more pleasant. I truly enjoyed this work, but I especially loved the other part of our outreach ministry – children! I was actively involved in our local orphanage and children’s hospital as well. It was during my time with the outreach team that I learned you do not have to go abroad to be a missionary. There’s work to do right where you are – in your home, your church and your community.

Currently, I am the leader of the women’s and children’s ministries of my church as well as a member of the deacon’s ministry team. In addition to holding weekly Bible studies for the ladies of our community, I lead out in our puppet ministry for children called God’s Ladybug. My team and I regularly visit the children’s hospital and our local orphanage to share God’s love with many precious children. It is wonderful sharing the Good News with young and old alike through fun and interactive puppet shows.

Once a timid, abused, fearful little girl, God has transformed me into a mighty missionary for Him. It is an awesome privilege to work for God!

 

“I genuinely love the ministries God has ordained me to be a part of! Thank you for helping us further God’s work in our corner of the world.”

                                              – Olesya Shchepeleva