The year 2020 is a year that will go down in history as one of the most challenging years for those who lived through it. Covid-19 and the response of various governments seemed to almost thwart the work of the gospel going forth. We at SGWM have been absolutely blown away at how our God, the God of the impossible, has used this very tragedy to bring the gospel to many in need of truth and hope. Stateside we have been blessed to see the culture returning, for the most part, back to normal. But in many places around the world, the pandemic is on the rise. We have had the great honor of coming alongside many nationals to provide much needed relief and spiritual support during these dark and trying days. One pastor in South Asia has been extremely active during this time and we at SGWM have by your support and prayers, been able to send relief to these areas through this pastor and his church. As Covid cases rise, so do opportunities to share Christ through relief efforts. *Pastor E was able to gather his church together and fill dozens of bags with for for those who were suffering. Here’s a portion of his last update.
“God opened up an opportunity to visit and share the Gospel with people who are suffering and broken. Almost everyone in the families we visited got tears in their eyes, and asked us to please pray for them. It is really sad to see them suffering during this time of COVID. We prayed and distributed food among them. We also visited each family and shared the Gospel and prayed over them.We were so blessed that one family believed on Jesus. Most of them are unbelievers. On the day we did food distribution, they really felt loved and cared for. So please continually pray for these families. They need Jesus. Every Sunday we are going to meet with them and share the Gospel. We are planning to start a Bible study and then start having Sunday worship. This will be another new church plant. So please continuously pray.” – Pastor E
Calvary School of Missions
The Calvary School of Missions has been a huge part of SGWM and raising up the next generation of world-changers. It’s exciting to see the program grow and evolve. More and more people are catching on to the beauty of what God is accomplishing through CSOM and because of that we have seen an influx of amazing people get added to our team. Each year the Lord has provided a strong and steady team to help lead the summer program, and this year is no exception. Pastor Trent and his wife Debbie will once again be able to join for most of the summer, coming back on weekends to lead church services at Calvary Chapel Saving Grace in Yorba Linda. Pastor Tim Pappas, who oversees the school and all our current interns, and his wife Jenn, will be on the ground full time providing leadership and spiritual direction.
We are also blessed to have SGWM missionaries and great friends of ours Pastor Aaron Garcia and his wife Jena and baby Lily. Aaron has recently taken the role of Missions Pastor at Calvary Chapel West Grove but will continue to partner with SGWM to see churches planted all over the 10/40 window. One of our own interns, Nancy Gutierrez will also be with us for the entire duration of the program as Tim’s assistant and the girls dorm leader. She will also be our main translator as she is completely bi-lingual. Elaine Sedillos is joining us again for the first few weeks helping with student oversight and weekly outreach which is always a great blessing. This amazing team has been hand- picked by God and we look forward to all that He has in store for this year’s students. Please pray for each team member, that God would protect them from sickness, discouragement, and opposition. Also, pray for them to wage a good warfare, to walk in the power of the Spirit, and to love each student with the heart of the Father.
It’s easy to forget that many, if not most, missionaries do not have access to the kind of fellowship and community that believers who live in their native home and culture have. The body of Christ is a gift to each and every believer for our encouragement and our sanctification. This is a gift that many missionaries, in making the sacrifice to preach Christ in another cultural context, do not get to take advantage of regularly.
Consider one SGWM missionary family who serves in a “closed” country: Living in a Muslim culture, the R family have little to no access to the benefits of a community of strong believers to hold them accountable and build them up. This month, as they have been home on furlough, SGWM staff and CCSG church members have had the incredible privilege of coming alongside this beautiful family while they are home to offer the love, encouragement and rest that is much needed. Every year they come home to us on furlough, SGWM’s hub church, Calvary Chapel Saving Grace, seeks to lay out a sort of “red carpet” for them while they are here. Through their care team and CCSG, we try to provide them with a vehicle, a phone, and a place to share their story. We invite them to share from the pulpit, come to Life Groups to share and be prayed for, give them a Missionary Update Night where they can share and have opportunity to raise support, as well as just have them in our homes. Missionary care is an essential part of what SGWM does and we are always honored to be a part of sending these world changers to those who have never heard.