General COVID Relief Update

Through your generosity, we have been able to send over $8,400 into countries like Uganda, Pakistan, Nepal, and others where the people are hungry for more than a piece of bread. This aid has impacted over 200 families for the Gospel!

In one area where our missionaries delivered food, a family invited them in and began cooking for them. They said, “You have food?” and the young woman replied, “last night we ate our last rice and now the Lord has provided more.”

Many families were brought to tears by the practical example of love that these simple food baskets represent. Please continue to pray for these families and pray that they would seek and find Jesus in the midst of these trying times.

If you would like to give more to continue the work, feel free to donate via the link below.

Serving Abroad and Preparing to Serve Abroad

Planning and Preparation

I am taking advantage of this unexpected season by preparing myself for the mission field. I am continuing to pray the Lord will lead me, in His timing and perfect will, to teach English.  I’m really open to wherever He wants to send me.  He knows that. So in preparation for my calling:

I finally got my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification. How cool is that?  The 12 verb tenses were a killer. Really. Hey, this isn’t England you know. But it all worked out by God’s grace.  My final exam took forever – did a lot of praying!

Teaching English at VOR

And then few weeks before Covid-19 caused the lockdown in the states, I started teaching English at Voice of Refugees (VOR) in Anaheim.  We conduct several levels of ESL (English as a Second Language) to local refugee families. On June 1, we started online classes.  Awesome.  VOR has been around for some time and has been doing a fantastic job serving the needs of refugee families with food (around 200 families weekly!), clothing, education and many other “essentials.”Check out Voice of Refugees

Our SGWM internship program resumed after a little break, a la social distancing.  We are learning how important it is to seek the Lord diligently and consistently in prayer while reading and studying the Bible. We must be so grounded in prayer, His Word and fellowship. The early church did it and look what the Holy Spirit did for them.  It’s all throughout the Acts of the Apostles book, our missionary user manual.We so want to follow the example of the early church.  

We are all called to serve the Lord Jesus Christ – like now.   Telling others about Jesus and His love and grace wasn’t for just the apostles, prophets, priests and the clergy kind.  The Great Commission is for every believer, everywhere, old and young alike.

I want to thank all of you who have been praying for and have partnered financially with me.  My calling to teach English remains fervent.  I know the Lord is leading me down a path to serve Him to reach those who have not heard of Jesus Christ.  I know His purpose for me. His word is jumping out at me like when I was young – like all of you!  It’s exciting and fun to go after my purpose, my calling and to prepare for it day by day.  I thank the Lord for this season although it has been a sorrowful and sad one in so many ways for so many millions of people.  If you feel led to help me financially for my next trip, please click on the Financial Partner button below.  All I can say is, once the Lord gives me the green light to go, I’m outta here baby!   Thank you very much.

Praise Report

We had our first “open” church service on May 31st.  We were so cleeeen and happy to be able to worship, pray and hear the Word of God together. Let me hear an Amen!
That I am realizing more the depth of God’s love and grace for all of us. I need Him more and more (ah, I guess that’s a prayer request – sorry!)
That I am teaching English now and at the same time getting blessed by the students.
That all my family and friends are in good health

Prayer Requests

That I will continue to remain steadfast in my daily prayers and  studying the Bible in preparation for serving abroad.
To remain teachable, flexible, open, to all that the Lord has for me.   Pray the Lord continues to make me patient. 
To daily remember His compassion and mercies are new every morning.  Expect surprises, anticipate blessings just because God is good and loves us all so much.

If you’d like updates sent to your email Inbox, click on Jim Needham updates. You can reach me at jneedham@sgwm.com.  The Lord bless all of you.

Jim Needham

Things are Changing

This month has been one of incredible changes in our church, in our country, and in our world. We’ve seen the back and forth squabbles of when to open our economy and how, we’ve seen frightening protests and riots, and we’ve seen the church doors open up to continue being the pillar and ground of truth in a world where truth is so often twisted and marred. 

Last week we had our first in-person, sit-down church service in our courtyard after spending weeks in our parking lot (I lost count of how long we were out there). It was INCREDIBLE! I wish you could have been there to hear the sweet sound of God’s people praise His name in the midst of the unrest we see around us. 

We were singing Tremble and the chorus says, “Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble. Jesus, Jesus, You silence fear,” and the bridge continues, “Your name is a light that the shadows can’t deny, Your name cannot be overcome. Your name is alive, forever lifted high, Your name cannot be overcome.”

How true are those words and how they filled my heart with hope as we sang them together. It was empowering and uplifting, a moment that gave us a tiny glimpse of our eternity in heaven. 

We paused our missionary prayer meetings as we transitioned back into the office but are picking back up on a once a month basis and I am so excited! We will have them on the first Thursday of every month until the end of the year and then we will reevaluate. 

From what I hear from my missionary friends, things are steadying out. We’ve received fewer emergency requests for help and through all of this we have been able to send over $4,000 of aid to numerous countries. It has been a joy simply to be a gear in the machine by which God ministers to people around the world.

I have taken on the new responsibility of processing check donations so I get to be part of the relationship with the senders and then I get to send the money to the missionaries so that they can minister to the people. I see the Lord use my little office job as a great bridge between the support of the sending Church and the needs of the mission field and it is an honor.

Like our missionaries, my position is entirely support based and I have been blessed to receive my salary up until now from a generous one-time donation. That donation is now gone and God is going to provide for my needs by some other means. I pray that that includes you. If you feel called to support the work that we are doing here at SGWM, specifically the work that I do in the office, I would be outrageously blessed by your financial support. 

You can click on the link below to make a one-time or recurring gift of any size. 

The Lord is the one who provides for all of my needs and I thank you in advance for your faithfulness to Him in donating if He has called you to be a vessel through which He provides for me. 

With love,

Hope

Praise Reports

  • We are back in church and God has raised up trainees who will help with the live-streaming of service so that I am not the only person capable.
  • The high school students are doing well for the most part and are excited to get back in church.

Prayer Requests

  • Please continue to pray for our country and our law enforcement.
  • Please lift up my wedding- it is increasingly difficult to plan with all of the back and forth of our government and with the current unrest. 
  • Please pray for our missionaries who serve in countries where this is the ordinary. Pray that God would fill them with greater strength and boldness to carry His name to all people.

May Update

“In every situation, no matter what the circumstances, be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18 (ASB version)

These are definitely different times that we are living in! We are making adjustments in the way we minister and meet the needs of the people here in Tijuana with the Coronavirus pandemic, as I’m sure you all are as well. We have to be creative, and so far all is well. I am thankful and blessed to serve God in whatever capacity I am able to. Here are a few highlights of these past two months:

Since we are not able to have our after school program/soup kitchen, we are driving to the kids’ homes and passing out “dispensas” (care packages) of food and health and hygiene supplies. This has been a great blessing for our families as many are out of work and literally have no food!

April 30th in Mexico is “Día del Niño” (Kid’s Day), and is a huge celebration honoring all of the kids (and there are many)! We were not able to have our big party this year, so we received some donations of clothes and toys from our dentist friend and were able to bless the kids, all 40 of them received something. Just seeing their smiles brightened our day!

We collaborated with Calvary Chapel Tijuana in blessing all of the front line workers here in Tijuana–doctors, police officers, fire-fighters, ambulance drivers, and even patients with medical supplies. We received a donation of 15,000 face shields, 12,000 face masks, 15,000 gloves, hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies, three medical tents, and 30 plastic folding chairs , so the entire church body came together to make the face shields. It was a great opportunity for many to serve and keep busy during this time, and it blessed the workers, as you can imagine, tremendously, as they don’t have these supplies. They have to purchase them with their own funds.

three vehicles filled with medical supplies for Tijuana

I am reading Bible stories on facebook live to the kids every day at 12:00. My prayer is to reach the kids and their parents for the gospel. (I’m sure the parents are listening too)!

Another Update from Pakistan

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your generous donations!

Your gifts have made it possible to continue the aid and outreach in Pakistan. The following photos are of Christians in a southern area of Pakistan receiving food supplies. Our partners found out about this struggling area after hearing that Muslims had gone in and delivered food to those in need unless they were Christian. Christian families received nothing.

Thanks to your generosity we were able to respond and bring aid to our brothers and sisters.

If you would like to contribute to other needs around the world, you can click on the link below to be taken to our secure giving page. The funds collected will be used to respond to needs presented to us by other SGWM missionaries around the world.

What is What?

As I am sure you are all aware, the world is being rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and it has greatly affected everyone of us and our daily lives. This past month has been interesting as I have transitioned to working from home and have experienced a drastic change of pace. 

Ministry

All of my ministry responsibilities have been on pause as we are unable to meet in person on Sundays or throughout the week but our church leadership has been very intentional in reaching out via technology. We are meeting with the youth of our church through Zoom- an online meeting platform that allows up to 100 people to connect via video chat from their own computers. We have also utilized this resource to connect with the guys and girls separately according to age group (high school girls with high school girls, etc). The high school girls are meeting twice a week to go over a short devotion together, exchange prayer requests, and keep one another accountable. It has been a total blessing to be able to see all of their faces and briefly connect during this time of social distancing.

Life in the Midst of COVID-19

I have also found the change of pace to be very beneficial for my brain- I have few to no headaches and I feel much less stressed. Praise God all of my tests have come back normal-the doctor thinks it has been stress and now that things have slowed down and I feel better, I 100% agree. 

Another factor that has contributed to the decreased stress is the pause on wedding planning. Isaac and I will be getting married on July 18th, 2020 but at this point, we don’t know if we’ll be able to have a wedding so I haven’t been worrying about details. 

Regardless of if we can have a gathering, we won’t be able to afford much as my mom was laid off during this time and without my parents help we will only be able to afford a very modest wedding (which I am totally ok with!) So in the strangest way that has relieved a lot of stress. I’m not worried about finding a caterer or arranging details or ordering and sending invitations because there may not be a wedding to invite anyone to. 

We hope and pray that all of this is cleared up long before then and that everything can go off as planned (or dreamt of) but if it doesn’t, we know that the only details that are important are the two of us standing before God and entering into a covenant to honor Him and love one another for the rest of our lives. The other details of the day are insignificant and unimportant.

We would still LOVE to include all of our loved ones in our special day but it may not be the traditional American wedding we’ve come to expect. It might be dessert and coffee only, it might be a potluck, it might be a small ceremony broadcast live on Facebook because we can’t have more than 10 people in the room. Whatever it turns out to be I am just so thankful to have a marriage to prepare for regardless of what the wedding looks like. 

The Urgency of the Gospel

I know that the coronavirus has many of us floundering for a new “normal” and that it has shocked many, if not all of us but I also know that God is working in the midst of it and preparing people’s hearts for eternity. 

In my own family I have seen this. My uncle, my dad’s little brother, passed away last week and he received Christ just 24 hours before he died. The circumstances of our world and his life caused him to realize the frailty of his life and his great need for a Savior and by God’s grace, he accepted Jesus before passing into eternity. My dad had the privilege of witnessing to him for the upteenth time, expecting rejection, but he was obedient to the Holy Spirit, shared, and asked if Mike wanted to receive Christ. He was ready and now he’s in heaven because of God’s grace and my dad’s obedience.

So in a way we see great blessing flowing out of great hardship and I want to encourage all of you to keep sharing Christ with those around you! Even those “hard nuts” who have always been hard to crack. You never know if they might be primed and ready to receive Christ in light of our world events. Don’t let coronavirus become an excuse for not doing what God has called us to do, but use it as an opportunity to shine the light of Christ in an ever darkening world.

With love,

Hope

Delight Yourself In the Lord

…and He shall give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) 

FEBRUARY 29,2020
The day we got engaged

Ever since I was a little girl, the greatest desire of my heart has been to be a wife and mother. To be the wife of the man God chose for me, who loves Him with his whole heart and loves me with the rest of it. To walk alongside that man and help him be all God has called him to be, to edify, exhort, challenge, and encourage him all the days of our lives. 

Some of you may know more of my story than others of you, but to make a long story short, I have been given the privilege of saying “yes” to that very man after waiting on the Lord for most of my life.

When I was a little girl I decided that I wasn’t going to date until I was ready to get married but going through high school and college “alone” was difficult! There were so many seasons of wrestling with the Lord and crying out to Him but ultimately He helped me trust Him to bring the right guy in His perfect timing. 

When I was 21 years old, I met Isaac Douglass. 

At the time I was dating my first boyfriend and Isaac was just an acquaintance. I quickly realized that my boyfriend was not the man I wanted to marry so we broke up after dating for four months. Shortly after that, God brought Isaac center stage and we quickly fell in love. I saw in him so many of the qualities I have always dreamed about in my future husband; he is kind, compassionate, outgoing, fun, intelligent, personable, friendly, trustworthy, patient, generous with his time and money, and so many other things on top of being 100% devoted to following Jesus and serving His people. 

He’s the whole package and I am so excited to see the Lord continue to write our story as we plan our wedding and prepare for a life-long marriage that is focused on magnifying the person of Jesus Christ to all who know us. 

I love serving God alongside Isaac and I’m in awe of the grace we have been shown.

We got to lead worship together the day after we got engaged (that was SO special!) and these are some of the youth we have the privilege of ministering to at church.

Thank you to all of you who have encouraged us, exhorted us, and poured into us throughout this journey as the Lord has brought us face to face with our sinfulness and each others’ and helped us work through so many struggles. We are so grateful for the body of Christ and the way you have all surrounded us and celebrated with us this past week.

Here’s to a lifetime of many more struggles, victories, and celebrations in Christ TOGETHER.

With love,

The Future Douglasses

Coming to you SUMMER 2020

January Update

January proved to be yet another great month of serving Jesus here in Tijuana, Mexico! We are in a new year, 2020, and the vision of this year from our pastor to all of us at CC Pedregales, is to reach, disciple, and send out others, and to have 20/20 vision–a clear vision from the Lord in all that we do for Him! 

I was blessed to be able to attend this year’s Mission’s Conference at Murrieta Hot Springs, and what a great conference it was. It’s always nice seeing old friends and making new ones. To hear how God is working all around the globe–well, there’s nothing quite like that! Definitely, the best conference of the year for me!

Our after school program, “Amigos del Rey” (Friends of the King), is still what takes most of my time, and I love these kids more every day! The library is a hit, (they are loving the books). We just saw a movie, “The Little Prince,” and I had my class do a journal entry in their journals, and they are improving so much in their writing skills, I am so proud of them! A sixth grader asked me recently how and when to use commas. Her teachers have never taught her this and she’s going into Jr. High! I sometimes assume that they know these basic concepts but they don’t! It’s still not too late to donate a book to add to our library. Just click above on the link that says “donate a book to Amigos del Rey.” (You can also choose a used book in good condition from the list).

Jeremy’s Journal Entry

The parents of the kids have mandatory meetings every three months, and the next one will be a little different. We received a donation, and so we decided to bless them with a fancy dinner and gospel message from our pastor. They have heard the gospel many times, but they simply don’t want to give up their lifestyle of sin! We know, however, that God has His perfect timing, and we just continue sharing the love of Jesus with them and God is in charge of the rest.

Amigos del Rey, (Friends of the King)

I continue to disciple young adult single gals from our church; currently, there are 5, and it is a great blessing! We are becoming close and being able to share and pray together intimately is something very special to me. They all know that when they finish the class, they each will take a girl and do the same: disciple them. I’m excited to see how God will use them in the future.

Three of the five girls from the discipleship group

There is currently construction going on here. We are making the children’s play area a little bit bigger by shortening our basketball court. (It was huge). This will be nice for the kids, as the trash area will also be separate from the play area instead of a part of it! I am praying for a brand new playground structure for the kids. 

construction of new play area

As I’m sitting here writing this post, it is 39 degrees outside and I have a new heater! I’ve never had heat here before and it is so nice to finally have one. It was a blessing from a friend, and I know it’s not much, but it’s the little things sometimes that mean so much. Although I can’t help but think of all the homeless people here in Tijuana that I pass by when I cross the border. It’s supposed to be 30 degrees at 3:00 am tomorrow morning!!!

My new heater

The Lord gave me a verse for 2020, and it is John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” I so very much need the Holy Spirit in my life and desire to be led by Him!

I truly am blessed by all of you and cherish and thank you for your support and prayers for me and the saints at CC Pedregales 

Prayer Requests:

  • For my upcoming trip to Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Michoacan to do teacher training. I will be gone from Feb. 16th until March 8th. That all would flow smoothly in my absence, and blessings on the teachings at the different Calvary Chapels.
  • For my health, specifically migraine headaches.
  • For continued blessings on the discipleship with the young ladies
  • For the parent dinner in March, that they would come to Christ and give their lives to Jesus!
  • for the Children’s Ministry–we are currently in need of several teachers
  • for a new playground structure

Lovin’ Jesus,

Deanna

Jorden is in Jordan

Hello to all my friends and family reading this!

On the Mount of Olives

I usually publish my updates in the last week of the month letting you know what has occurred in that month. However this time I purposefully waited until the first week of February. That is so I can write to you from the land of Jordan! Around 3 o’clock on the 3rd of February, Jorden crossed over the Jordan river from Israel into Jordan. I am so excited about this vision tour and to see how God will speak in our time here. Thank you so much for all of you who have supported me, prayed for me, and encouraged me as I have taken the steps of faith that have led me here. To Jordan!! 

I Hit the Ground Running

Already the year 2020 has been extraordinary and I’m so excited for all the Lord has for the rest of it. When the clock struck midnight and 2020 began I was halfway between Northern California and Southern California on Interstate 5 driving through the night so I could be at a church staff meeting and a missionary gathering the following day. So from the beginning of this year, I hit the ground running. The first week being back from Northern California there was a Missions Conference at Calvary Chapel Bible College which I attended for the week. As a graduate of Calvary School of Missions, several fellow interns and I were asked to come to the conference to host a table for the School of Missions. So for that week, I was back at a Bible college dorm, rooming with some friends. It was such a blessing to be able to catch up with friends as well as meet many new people. For the whole week, I got to share with others about the school and how it changed my life. I spent the week hearing teachings on church planting, and meeting and talking with Pastors, missionaries, and fellow believers from around the world. The Lord also blessed me with some amazing chances to pray with others and encourage them. The following week was a week of fasting and prayer at church. Each morning and night we had an hour set apart to meet and pray in addition to whatever times we decided to pray and fast. It was an amazing week and the Lord showed me so much through that time and prepared me for this trip. Then this last week before entering Jordan I had the life-changing opportunity to tour Israel. This trip has changed my life forever! It has opened my understanding of God’s Word and deepened my love for the Lord and His Word. I will never read the Bible the same way again. Every time I read of Galilee, Jerusalem, En Gedi, the Dead Sea, or any of the other locations I was able to visit they will no longer be just a name. Now I have been there, seen the landscape, and I am able to understand the Word of God in a new way. The Lord has already taught me so much in this week and prepared my heart for Jordan.

Jorden in Jordan

Jorden at the Jordan River

Since August 2018 I’ve been praying for a door to open that would allow us to reach the Middle East with the gospel of Jesus Christ potentially from Jordan. Now I am here in Jordan to see what the next step God may have me take is. Please be praying for the Lord to make it clear what I am supposed to do next. For the next 7 days, the team members and I will be spending much time in prayer and seeking the Lord through His Word as we meet with local ministries in Jordan. All of us are praying about moving to Jordan to be missionaries and potentially to start a bible school. We have of course been praying for this for some time but now we are here in the land of Jordan. We are here for the purpose of hearing from the Lord to see what His will is for each of us. I would appreciate all of your prayers for direction and wisdom concerning the future. I’m confident this trip will bring about so much change in my life and I know it has already changed me. So please be praying for the Lord to lead all of us as we take this step of faith to see what God is calling us all to next. I look forward to updating you all more and showing you pictures of Jordan after I return. Thank you all and God bless

For His Glory,

Jorden Skiles

The Hills of Jordan

Praise Report 

  • I’m in Jordan!!! The Lord provided all the finances I needed to go on my trip and I’m here seeing what God has next. 
  • I have begun, as part of my internship, to help co-lead a life group as well as teach once a week in a hermeneutics class. Both of these are further preparing me for pastoral ministry. 

Prayer Requests

  • God’s clear direction on what is next 
  • Continued Monthly Provision 
  • For myself to continue to be disciplined as well as opportunities for me to disciple others

Every Day I’m Ministering

January was an awesome month of seeing God work and move in my life and ministry. Every day comes with its own ministry opportunities and every day I see God’s hand at work.

I serve in the youth ministry at my church and I had the privilege of seeing 6 youth get baptized, one of them receiving Christ just a few weeks prior. I had the opportunity to sit with, listen to, pray for, and counsel one of our students as she shared her burdens with me, I just started meeting with one of our high school girls for discipleship and am excited to see how God uses me in her life and how He uses her in my life, and I will begin meeting with another girl this month. It is such a privilege to walk with God and be used by Him to plant seeds in the lives of these high school and junior high students who are just beginning to seek God for themselves and make their faith their own. I love seeing God transform and restore lives! 

The six youth who got baptized this month. Photo credits to Erin Thiemann of Captured Grace Photography

We have our youth winter camp this month and I ask you to pray with us for the salvation of the youth coming who have not yet accepted Christ as Savior and Lord and for the growth of those students who have. God has provided in amazing ways through our church body so that even students who would not be able to go because of finances are able to attend with full scholarships! Thank you to all of you reading this who were a part of that, it is such a blessing to see God’s hand move on behalf of these precious kids. 

I also had the opportunity to attend a few sessions of the Calvary Chapel Missions conference at the beginning of the month and I am excited to be able to attend a Youth and Young Adults Missions conference this February in St. George, Utah. A few interns and I will be representing Calvary School of Missions at the conference and we ask for your prayers! Please pray that God would stir people’s hearts to step out in missions and be equipped for the work. 

I want to send out a special thank you to my financial supporters- your gifts are such a blessing to me personally and I am incredibly humbled to be able to serve God in this capacity thanks to your faith and faithfulness in donating. I pray that God would be glorified through every penny and that you would be abundantly blessed through seeing the fruit of this ministry which abounds to YOUR account! I wish I could quote all of Philippians 4 because I feel it is so applicable but I will summarize with Philippians 4:19 which says,

“and my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

That is what God has done in my life through you and what, I’m sure, He continues to do in your life as well. 

I love you all and treasure your prayers!

Remember, please pray for:

  • Youth Winter Camp on February 21st-23rd: salvation and growth!
  • The Just Go Missions Conference in St. George: Safe travels, sweet fellowship, productive conversations.
  • God’s continued financial provision through financial partnerships.

With love,

Hope