Posts Tagged ‘Kent and Kelly Craig’


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South Africa
Bethesda Outreach will be making some changes in the family homes this month. Two long-serving couples, the Shikwambanes and the Phagos, will be retiring and returning to live in the community near BOMI. Both couples have been with the orphanage as house parents since the beginning of the ministry. Both husbands, Fritz Shikwambane and Jones Phago, will continue working some days at Bethesda while Masello Shikwambane begins ministry at a local nursing home. Lena Phagos will continue caring for some of the children from Bethesda as these kids have known no other parents or home. Pray for these two couples as they transition into the community. Ask God to make their witness strong. Pray for the new house parents Bethesda has trained to take their place. Ask God to help the children in these homes adjust.
Kelly and Sherri are praying for more missionaries to join those already serving in Central Asia. More missionaries would enable ABWE to expand ministries in those countries. Some of the countries are largely Muslim and foreign Christian workers can’t get residency permits, so they make ministry trips into the region to teach at a seminary and help local pastors plant churches. In Kyiv (Kiev, Ukraine), Kelly is encouraging the opportunity to upgrade and expand the space that the Church Ministries Institute (CMI) uses on the campus of the Kyiv Theological Seminary. The CMI will occupy a dedicated wing and will be able to expand its programs, including online courses, which offer short-term biblical education to church members. Kelly led this ministry during his first term as a missionary. Pray for the funding needed to facilitate this project.
Craigs shared highlights in the ministries of missionaries under their supervision in the regions of Asia Pacific and East Asia. Asians are taking more and more responsibility for sharing the gospel. Four hundred graduates of the Asia Biblical Theological Seminary are serving across Asia with 300 students from more than a dozen countries preparing for service. Sixteen graduates from Goroka Baptist Bible College in Papua New Guinea have dispersed throughout their country to pastor and plant churches and lead in congregations. A Chinese couple saved in a Bible study 10 years ago are pastoring a church in a capital city. A Cambodian who became a Christian in a US jail and was deported from the US back to his home country where he married a Christian woman. They are now in training to reach other deportees and to plant a church for them. Praise God for His work in the lives of these national Christians and for the ministry they bring in their own language and culture to their countrymen.


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Rich and Cherry say God keeps bringing people into their lives. They meet new students regularly at language school with whom they can build relationships. They also get to know a variety of Spanish instructors and have learned about their personal lives and families. They use these opportunities to share their testimonies. They’ve also met Guatemalan and other American missionaries who shed light on possible ministry opportunities for the time when they leave language school. They are enjoying their Thursday night English teaching for high school and university students in the village of Magdalena. They have devotions with these kids during classes. They’ve been on a short vacation trip to the US and ask us to pray with them about settling back in language classes when they return at the end of February. They’re also considering attending a three-day-month bilingual pastoral training institute where they would find networking opportunities with local pastors. And, pray for energy in the enervating, tropical climate.
Rich and Karyn are rejoicing in “some good things happening over here”. Remodeling on the classroom building of the Institute is almost complete. The French mission agency, AMEBI, has taken on two new missionaries who’ve completed their obligatory year-long probationary service. Their church plant in Luxembourg City is showing new growth with a consistent attendance of 20-25. And, the Luxembourgish New Testament, newly released, is selling “like hotcakes”. Vissers are planning to retire in the summer of 2019, possibly near Paris where two of their children (with families) live. They have some replacement staff coming who will take over some of their ministries at the Bible Institute and the Luxembourg City church plant. Rich will be handing over the presidency of AMEBI to a French pastor in March next year. Thank God for blessing in the various ministries Vissers have undertaken. Ask Him to work on behalf of students from Francophone Africa who can’t get into France because of the overwhelming refugee problem.
Kent was recently in Papua New Guinea at the Goroka Baptist Bible College where 16 students, mostly trained pastors, graduated. Pray for these men and women trained for ministry to get the Word of God into communities around the island. Continue to pray about the Rohinga refugee crisis in Bangladesh where Muslim Burmese have been chased into the region of BD where ABWE’s Memorial Christian Hospital is located and has been called upon to care for the most critically injured. Along with Samaritan’s Purse, the hospital has erected a special Rohingya Recovery Ward, raised resources to care from these patients and are thanking God for the opportunity to share the Word with this people group. Craigs administer some of the most populated mission fields in the world, encouraging and counseling missionaries and local Christians and recruiting more staff to keep the gospel moving forward in Asia.


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Thank you, says BOMI, for the gifts and prayers which made the 2016 Christmas project a huge success. Two new wells now provide excellent sources of water which will supply abundance even in drought so that houseparents can once again plant vegetable gardens for their ‘families’. Now BOMI is praying for the resources to build an enlarged team center where the entire student population of Jabulani Christian Academy, 200+, can meet for weekly assemblies. JCA is a strategic part of Bethesda’s outreach to vulnerable children and families in the community. Pray that God will connect Bethesda with new, qualified, house parent couples as BOMI’s board is making transitions in some homes, trying to reduce the number of children in each ‘family’. Ask God to give the board wisdom as it continues development of South African church ownership and leadership of the orphan ministry.
Kent and Kelly paid tribute to Doane Baptist Church in Iloilo City, Philippines, as the congregation celebrated its 90th anniversary this year. DBC is also the birthplace of ABWE and the first church planted by its missionaries. Kent said, “By God’s sovereign design…this cradle (congregation) has grown a church multiplying movement in Iloilo City, on Panay, across the Western Visayas, throughout the Philippines and to the nations!” When he visited the church recently, Kent noted that the leadership and congregation of DBC retain the compassion for the lost, instruction of Christ’s followers, reproduction of workers, multiplication of churches and extension of ministry to the world that the original founders had. Thank God for this congregation and pray for the continuation of its outreach and influence throughout Asia.
As we approach Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for the many missionaries it has been our privilege to support since our beginnings as a congregation in 1966. Several of our earliest missionaries are with the Lord–Rich Rich (Japan), Joyce Rudduck (Bangladesh), Bill Klopp (Mali, Quebec), Gary Candlish (Jewish ministry),Cliff Kaufield (US) and DeElda Payton (Philippiines, US), The retirees we continue to support in prayer are: Mrs. Regina Kaufield (N. America), Mrs. Ruth Klopp (Mali, Quebec), Kay Lamb (Chad, US), John and Lois Mixon (South Africa), John and Hope Murdoch (US Military), Norm and Evelyn Nicklas (Brazil, N.America), Dr. Marvin Stephens (US-Spanish) and Mrs. Nancy Payton (Philippines, US).



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Phil and Martha are preparing for a team from West Bridge who will be arriving in Sao Paolo to minister with them at Refuge Baptist Church October 13-21.  Our team will help by working on the Refuge Baptist facility, canvassing the neighborhood surrounding the church to invite kids to kids club (young people), offering leadership training to the men’s class Phil has been teaching (Rick Baker), preach at services (Pastor Ron McDugle), enjoy the fellowship of Pastor Davino and his family and church members and visiting the Bloomer children’s school, PACA and other places of interest in the area.  Pray that the impact of this trip will be mutual:  both WBC team members and church members blessing each other as they work together and learn about each other’s lives and spiritual challenges.  Thank God for giving this opportunity to the WBC team to see His church in a different setting.
Continue to pray for the pastors and Christians of South Sudan who have been scattered throughout the South Sudan/Uganda/Congo region by the brutal civil war in their country. They’ve lost their homes, their possessions, their crops and animals, everything that kept body and soul together, but not their faith. Doug reports that pastors are planting new churches in the refugee camps where they find themselves and discipling new Christians so they can effectively preach God’s Word in the refugee camps and in their home villages when they return. Doug recently conducted two Tri-M courses for the South Sudan Evangelical School of Theology for all pastors who could get away from their camps to attend. Pray that God would bring an end to the vicious power struggle between two Sudanese leaders and allow Sudanese back to their villages. Pray that pastors and Christians will bring home a message of hope and reconciliation between people and God.
Kent and Kelly spent their first two terms of service in the Philippines church planting and in administration of the ABWE work. They rejoice, Kent says, in reports about the Philippine ABWE (PABWE), an indigenous
mission agency that has planted churches throughout the country for 60 years, training Christian leaders and workers and discipling converts from non-Christian religious groups. The PABWE work spread into Thailand and Cambodia where “granddaughter mission movements” are gaining strength. Kent says, “…the future of the (PABWE) mission agency represents great potential for expansion through new recruits, new initiatives and new targets.” Pray with Craigs for continued growth and spiritual vision amongst Philippine, Thai and Cambodian Christians.




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