news around the world
Free Will Baptist International Missions serves churches, pastors, and people by helping them fulfill their role in establishing churches beyond North America
so unreached peoples can know the joy of a
relationship with the living God. To find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist International Missions, visit www.fwbgo.com.
Abidjan Attacked; THP, IM Teams Safe
Antioch, TN—Al Qaeda sympathizers attacked resort hotel guests Sunday, March 13, near Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Clint Morgan, in Abidjan, summarized the situation:
Sixteen people were killed in a terrorist attack on a luxury beach hotel in the town of Grand Bassam, located about 35 miles east of Abidjan. The Al Qaeda group of North Africa claimed responsibility for the attack.
We had THP teams in two locations in the interior. Also, Elizabeth Hodges, executive director of WNAC, and my wife Lynette attended a national women’s conference, attended by over 500 ladies. The ladies held a portion of their conference on the beach the day before. We praise the Lord we all arrived safely in Abidjan last night. Today, Monday, March 14, everyone is doing well and preparing for tonight’s departure.
The teams departed for Côte d’Ivoire March 1 and March 4. A large number of the THP team conducted a soccer camp (pictured below) for hundreds of children and worked to complete construction of a school in Bondoukou.
Morgan took teams into three unevangelized villages where people heard the gospel for the first time. Doctors Eagleton and Mandy worked in the Doropo hospital/clinic established by Dr. LaVerne Miley. Dr. Mandy performed 20 surgeries and two small procedures while providing training for the Ivorian doctors. Elizabeth Hodges spoke multiple times to more than 500 ladies attending the four-day women’s retreat near Abidjan.
Everyone left Abidjan Monday, March 14, and arrived safely in Nashville, Tennessee, Tuesday, March 15. Read more: fwbgo.com
Cuban Free Will Baptists Convene
Pinar del Río, Cuba—The Cuban Convention of the National Association of Free Will Baptists met on the Cedars of Lebanon property in Pinar del Río, Cuba, February 26-28. They conducted business early, allowing focus on worship services, a graduation ceremony for seminary students, and youth competition. The facilities were filled to capacity.
The Seminario Cedros del Líbano (Cedars of Lebanon Seminary) graduated seven students (four with A.A. and three with B.A. degrees) during the Saturday evening service, February 27. Over the last year, the seminary trained 216 people.
Additionally, Cedars of Lebanon, in cooperation with a consortium of Free Will Baptists, will provide online Bible courses later this year. This should benefit Hispanic Free Will Baptists worldwide.
IM’s formal, written partnership agreement with the Cuban association facilitates the national church’s growth. Assistance focuses on church planting (home missions) and training (seminary, camps, and retreats). IM works directly through the structure set by the Cuban association, according to their priorities. Through this partnership, the Mission provides professors and financial support to Cedars of Lebanon Seminary.
Kenneth Eagleton (regional director for Latin America and Africa), his wife Rejane, and a delegation of pastors from Alabama were on hand for the convention. American and Cuban pastors shared preaching responsibilities.
Antioch, TN—The Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions accepted the resignation of Mick and Rachel Donahue from missionary service to Spain. The Donahues submitted an official letter of resignation to Free Will Baptist International Missions dated February 11.
“Our family has been facing many challenges over the past couple years…our three boys have been diagnosed with various special needs and are now undergoing therapy,” the couple wrote.
International Missions General Director Clint Morgan said, “We at IM are sad to see them leave the field, but the wellbeing of their children must take priority at this point.”
Mick, Rachel, and their boys (Keith, Ian, and Gabe) returned to the States July 22, 2015, for a vacation. During this time, the boys underwent tests, and the family extended their stay. The couple anticipates a three-to-five year timeline to meet their family’s needs.”
Appointed in December 2006 as creative access missionaries, the Donahues began working under The Hanna Project after its creation. The couple pioneered work among the immigrant population in Malaga, Spain. Their resignation became effective March 31, 2016. Read more: fwbgo.com
Sargents Approved As
Antioch, TN—The Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions approved the Sargents’ status change from interns to career missionaries on March 8.
Chris and Tori Sargent were approved as two-year interns in southern Spain on December 4, 2012. At the time, the Sargents planned to join a team already in place, serving immigrant populations. After raising 100% of their support for two years of field service, they arrived in Spain in October 2015.
“Because of the resignation of Mick and Rachel Donahue,” explained Jeff and Susan Turnbough, regional directors for Europe, “we asked the Sargents to assume leadership of our Malaga team. They have all the educational requirements and as much or more ministry experience as most career workers sent out in recent years.”
The Sargents’ shift in status was effective April 1, 2016. Read more: fwbgo.com
Uruguay Holds Family Camp
Rivera, Uruguay—Family camp was held in Rivera, Uruguay, February 6-10. Examining three biblical characters’ lives emphasized the camp’s theme of unity.
Tony, a young man from the Cristo es el Camino church, was baptized. Tuesday night’s closing service resulted in the salvation decisions of five young people and six rededications.
“A spirit of unity was truly evident during these days,” wrote Jaimie Lancaster, “and, hopefully, will be the springboard for a movement in our churches. The camp was organized by a wide range of people from the various churches—a truly collaborative effort that resulted in a wonderful camp. Please pray for those who made decisions of faith and for those who were challenged to work together to advance the Kingdom.”
Snapshots Around the World
Bulgaria—Trif Trifonov hosted a discussion (above) about the works of the famous Bulgarian writer, playwright, and dissident Georgi Markov on February 17. The discussion offered the opportunity to talk about the hope found in Jesus Christ. About 15 people attended. Seven of the participants had not attended church before. Most of the others are not regular members.
Brazil—On Easter Sunday, Pastor Dyone Kendel baptized two ladies at the Nova Vida FWB Church in Antônio Carlos, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The church also celebrated Easter with a morning breakfast and fellowship. Easter services were held Sunday evening.
Uruguay—FWB Uruguayan women experienced their first ladies’ retreat February 26-28. The two-night retreat included crafts, a beauty salon time, games, and more. Kathia Mendoza, a pastor’s wife from Panama, developed the theme “God Is Faithful...in the Past, Present, and Future” for 14 women.
Côte d’Ivoire—Silas N’Guettia, pastor of the Yopougon FWB Church in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Africa), baptized three young people (pictured above) Sunday, March 6. The Yopougon Church meets in rented space. They have purchased land and are constructing phase one of a building that, when finished, will seat 600 people. They used the baptistry of this unfinished building for the baptism service.
France—More than 125 international students attended a luncheon at the Nantes church on Sunday, February 7.
Spain—On Sunday, February 7, 2016, the Alpedrete Church celebrated its 10-year anniversary. People shared testimonies of how God brought them to the church.
Bulgaria—Eleven couples attended the dinner and marriage seminar hosted by the Svishtov New Life Church on Saturday, February 13. The seminar was part one of four.
Brazil—On March 12, Paulo César Carvalho, pastor of Nova América FWB Church (Campinas, Brazil), ordained Leandro to preach the gospel. A graduate of the Bible college in Campinas, Leandro, his wife Cristina, and daughter Jamile were commissioned as home missionaries in the same service. They will to go to Delmiro Gouveia, Alagoas, to begin the first Free Will Baptist work in that state. The town does not have any evangelical churches. Leandro is a barber and plans to set up shop to support his family. His home church and IM will help with evangelistic expenses.