Welcome Home

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Greetings are important in any missionary work. But special importance is given to greeting a newborn.

Koffi and Elisabeth had drifted from their Christian faith and were both living far from their own people group. Lomé, Togo, is a very big city and it is easy to get lost. But soon a group of refugees from Ivory Coast who are working with Togo House Ministries found them and took them in.

The newlyweds soon discovered they were parents to be, but with no family around to help, did not know how they would make it. Their new friends from Ivory Coast pitched in. A room was found for the couple to rent, a job was found for Koffi and daily prayers and visits shared with Elisabeth.

A week after little Gracia arrived it was time for her first coming out. The new parents choose Wednesday Bible Study, which meets in a garage in the Ivorians house for the occasion. Greetings and blessings in prayers and songs were shared over this newest family member by all of us—and in a real way by those who partner with CBF. Together, we greet Gracia and welcome her to her new home, the family of God.

- Lynn & Mike Hutchinson, CBF field personnel serving in Togo, West Africa

Loving with God's Love

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Recently I assisted a Karenni refugee family make a medical appointment and made sure they had the right address.

Thirty minutes after the appointment time, I received a call from the doctor asking if the family was coming. I called and discovered the family had walked into the wrong office on the same floor. They were in the process of getting costly physical exams and vaccinations they didn’t need!

After a couple more calls, I got them to the right doctor and the director of the wrong medical office waived the fees for the exams they had finished, but had to charge $225 for two vaccinations!

Because we have so many relationships with service providers and officials in the community, the doctor we knew could call us when something went wrong. Without that call, the Karenni family would have paid $1,000 for medical services they didn’t need.

As CBF ministers, the Karenni, Chin and Karen refugees know we love them with God’s love, welcoming and ministering in ways that help them survive and get stronger in America. Sometimes even the simplest of tasks go wrong for immigrants and refugees with expensive consequences, but God’s love and presence can turn things around and move us all in the right direction.

- Steve Clark, CBF field personnel serving in Louisville, Ky.

With Full Confidence

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Rafif is a precocious 5-year-old Iraqi Muslim girl who weekly runs into the library to greet me with a big hug. I first met her last year when she was a part of the Ready for School program and learning her colors, shapes and numbers.

Last fall she entered pre-K and is learning to read and write. After Christmas she asked me to find her books with sight words in them, and she read to me. She then told me she wanted to read to the group at story time. With full confidence she read aloud the simple book.

A few weeks ago, Rafif and her family moved to another city. I’m happy to have known her, experienced her huge smile and hugs and am privileged to be a part of her early learning. I’m sad to see her go, but pray that she remembers that I, as well as other Christians, love her and welcome her family.

- Karen Morrow, CBF field personnel serving in Fort Worth, TX

Weep with Those Who Weep

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Like everyone else, I was shocked by the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Seeking to be an instrument of Christ’s peace, I participated in an inter-faith prayer service at a local Turkish mosque. Attending merely as an observer, I saw an opportunity to bear witness to Jesus Christ when leaders from other faith communities were invited to speak.

Romans 12:15 popped into my mind. I shared that the Bible teaches us that we, as Christians, are to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. I said that American Christians were grieving with them today. Afterward, a number of people came up to me to thank me for my words of comfort and compassion.

- Rick Sample, CBF field personnel serving in Fremont, Calif.

Prayers for Hannah James

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ZAMBIA, HERE WE COME!!!!

May 14 – 28, 2019

I am involved with the Presbyterian Christian Ministry at the UNC, Chapel Hill.  We meet on Thursday nights learning and experiencing God through worship, discussion, and fellowship.  Each year the group goes on a mission trip which this year is to Zambia, Africa. I applied and was accepted to go.  I hope to use this as an outlet to experience God in different places, with different people. I want to learn how to approach and love people who have language and cultural barriers.  I believe one of the greatest gifts that God has given me is my passion for people. I plan to use this experience to shape my vocation as a potential educator.

I am writing this letter to you asking for your prayers for me and our team.

Thanking you for your continual support of me.

Yours truly,
Hannah James

Hmjames82599@gmail.com
PO Box 27
Whittier, NC 28789

Growing So Fast

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On Saturday, April 13, the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project opened for its 9th growing season. On the roof of Metro Baptist Church, in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC, more than 60 community volunteers filled about 50 plastic kiddie pools with seeds and young plants (thanks to a partnership with a local farmer).

We planted lots of spring crops, including many lettuce varieties, mustard greens, collard greens, bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, turnips, radishes and a cherry tree. The apple trees are already covered in flowers and the radish seeds have already sprouted. With a whole week of rain right after our farm opening day, everything is growing so fast!

All of the produce harvested from the rooftop farm throughout the growing season goes directly to fill our client-choice food pantry ministry.

- Lesley-Ann Hix Tommey, CBF field personnel serving in

New York City

Templo

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In a humble tin structure that serves as the templo (sanctuary) in Carmen Grande, Manuel and his older brother begin to sing in beautiful harmony, accompanied by their guitars.

In the far south of Mexico, in the rural state of Chiapas, the future is bleak for young men and boys. Land is essential for survival, and poor, indigenous families own little land. Subsistence farming is the norm; families grow beans and corn and raise chickens and hogs. Between growing seasons, many men head to El Norte (the north) to work in northern Mexico or the United States.

Pastor Manuel’s family has suffered much. They’re a family of all sons where the oldest son inherits land from his father – and there simply isn’t enough land to divide among them. One brother committed suicide; two others are working in the U.S.

“It’s hard,” said Manuel. “There’s a lack of hope here. My younger brothers send money back so we can rent land to farm.” Leaving home is a necessity. There’s no work in the community to generate income.

Pray for the indigenous peoples of Mexico who live in communities with little hope and see migration as necessity for survival.

- Sue Smith, field personnel serving Latino immigrants in Fredericksburg, Va.

MISSIONS NIGHT -- APRIL 10TH

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Come to the Wednesday night supper and stay for a special evening that addresses the Mercy Challenge of ministering to the poorly clothed.  Our GAs kick off the evening with an international fashion show.  Although they will not be poorly clothed, they will remind us of the importance of culture and clothing.  We'll hear a report from Charlie and Diane White about the clothing ministry they have been spearheading with poverty stricken counties in West Virginia.  The evening will conclude with a hands-on missions project that will help bring warmth to the children receiving Christmas shoeboxes.

One more opportunity to minister:  bring an item of clean, in good repair, clothing (or several items) for the Sylva Linings Resale Store.  There will be a box for these items as you enter the MFC.

Thanks in advance for helping make our first quarterly Missions Night fun and informative!

Sylva FBC WMU

Secondary Benefits

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It takes two soccer balls, two goal posts, 25 jerseys and an empty sand lot. Open the doors and 60 neighborhood kids show up for Sunday afternoon soccer club. A start up cost of about 100 dollars and it is set to go for 6 months.

Mike Hutchinson, CBF field personnel in Lomé helps 4 young Christian men form the soccer club. They learn how to plan, organize, work within a budget and then evaluate the program as it goes along.

Forming leaders who can share their new skills in developing their community is the goal of the program, the kids having a great time playing soccer is a secondary benefit.

We begin with a Bible verse and end in a circle with a prayer. Join our prayers with us!

- Mike and Lynn Hutchinson, CBF field personnel serving in Togo, West Africa