Missionary Updates, February 2024

Missionary Updates - February 2024

It is winter here in Oregon, and as is inevitable when this time of year rolls around, the rain is coming down in droves. But while the rain has arrived—slowing down the frequency of our outside activities—the work of the eight fulltime missionaries we support continues all throughout the world. And thanks to you, and your generous giving, we are able to allocate 12% of our tithes and offerings to their respective ministries.

Below is just a glimpse of what they are doing and how the Holy Spirit is moving in their work and ministry:

Harry Douglass / Team Expansion

Upon Harry’s 55th trip to visit the people he loves so much in Cuba, he came back thrilled to report on all that was happening there in spite of intense economic challenges. With transportation serving as one of the biggest barriers for most people because of the cost of gasoline and energy, medicine has gotten harder and harder to come by for people that need it. This reality coupled with the price of food, and though you’d think this would slow down the work of the Gospel, it has been anything but.

During Harry’s 56th trip, while we were all buried in ice here our area, he teamed up with Luis and Alex, from Venezuela, to continue the training he was doing on his prior trip. This trip to Segundo Frente in the province of Santiago, has already resulted in 30 new groups being formed who are digging into God’s Word together and being the hands and feet of God as they make more and more disciples for Jesus. Harry’s work has been a part of a rapidly growing Disciple Multiplication Movement that is spreading to towns all throughout the country.

On the outskirts of Jiguani, one of his leaders that he helped train named Junior, along with his wife, have a growing house church of some 25+ people—many of which are new believers to the Christian faith. There were 32 people in that town that were recently baptized. Lord-willing, Harry will be back in Cuba as soon as March or April.

In one of the most incredible ongoing stories happening in Cuba, Harry reported that Lorenzo, who has been in prison for awhile now due to his faith and beliefs, and we’ve been praying for at Harvest, has had multiple opportunities to see his family. When Lorenzo has been in prison, though, he continues to baptize new followers of Jesus seemingly every week—including 12 in the main prison in Santiago that we know of recently. Lorenzo’s wife was even able to not only visit Lorenzo, but bring these new believers some food as well and talk to one one the phone as he shared the excitement of his new life in Jesus Christ with her. Because Lorenzo has been a model prisoner in the eyes of the Cuban government, he has been given more and more leeway and freedom to share the Gospel, and he’s making the most of it.

Jonathan Turner / Key Communications

With the unrest happening in the Middle East, and the fervor that comes from it as it relates to end-times and other prophecies, Jonathan and Key Communications are keeping their eyes on the ultimate prize: Giving as many Urdu-speaking people as possible the opportunity to know Jesus Christ before He returns. Though their concern for those involved in the Gaza conflict is ever-present, and they are actively praying for them considering their relative proximity to the events happening, Jonathan and his team are focused on putting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the hands of the people they work with in Pakistan and beyond.

Outside of producing their regular audio programming in the Urdu language, which is the national language of Pakistan, they have been busy with other literature projects as well. With the help of LATM, Jonathan’s 600+ page Urdu commentary on the Gospel of Luke, based on the expository programs they broadcast, was completed and published. He also published his book, Coming Home: A Ramble Through the Middle East and Europe.

For the Android user, Key Communications has released their Awaz-e-Haq World Radio app for devices so people can listen to their broadcast streams directly. But for the more traditional computer user, their website for listeners continues to see a lot of action as well. The Urdu side of their site has logged traffic from 3,000+ different addresses while the English sides has seen traffic from 900+ addresses. People have downloaded 578 of their books as of the end of 2023.

On top of that, after some recent anti-Christian violence encouraged by a local Muslim cleric in Pakistan, including the burning and/or desecration of at least 19 church buildings and 96 homes of Christians (with some reports putting that total closer to 200 homes), the need for more Christian literature to replace what was lost and increase what was available became very clear. Coupled with some amazing reconciliation that took place between Christians and Muslims after the fact, and God continues to move in the hearts and mind of the people that Key Communications serves. One of Jonathan’s co-laborers and fellow brothers, Saleem, was even able to distribute a set of 12 books each and other related content to over 60 churches from the Jaranwala and Faisalabad areas.

Saleem and some others that Jonathan has been teaching have been able to establish two new churches this year, where there’s been at least 16 baptisms that he knows of.

Bev Meyer / South Sudan African Mission

It is with heavy hearts that one of the most significant events in recent months for Bev and the South Sudan African Mission was the loss of her father, and SSAM co-founder Paul Douglass. Paul started SSAM back in 1988 with his wife, Marilyn, and 35 years later, and Bev has continued to shine the torch bright for Jesus Christ in South Sudan. Paul was a longtime member of Harvest Christian Church before his advanced age and health challenges kept him from being able to attend.

With a legacy that includes over 35 churches that have been established in South Sudan and over 500 baptisms every year, the impact of “Father Paul,” as so many affectionately call him, continues to be felt in the country and far beyond.

As Joseph Wei Ajiing described him, “Paul Douglass was our Moses. … He was the first person to preach to us the good news. The church was moved to tears as I announced his death to the congregation on Sunday, September 3, 2023, at Malek Church of Christ. Indeed, Paul Douglass was one of us despite his white skin, race and geography. He contributed, prayed, and stood with us in times of need.”

Watch Paul’s “Celebration of Life” below to remember this great man:

Doug & Shelly Kallestad / IAM (Iberoamerican Ministries)

Working on various projects in Chile, Peru and Ecuador, 2023 has proven to be a very busy year indeed for the Kallestads and IAM. In one of the most recent projects in Ecuador, specifically, the Kallestads led five teams to Ecuador, where they worked on several projects, including the construction of a children’s center which ministers to over 500 vulnerable children and their families. In all, they have four children’s centers and a school in Ecuador, which serves approximately 20000 children and their families.

Outside of the projects they’re working on and assisting with church plants throughout the world, Doug continues to mentor a group of preachers at his local church. He serves as a teacher for a leadership training institute that works in conjunction with Hope International University and leads a marriage class together with his wife Shelly.

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Thanks so much for your ongoing love, prayers, and support for our local church family here at Harvest along with the missionaries we support overseas. We would not be able to do what we are able to do without your regular tithes and offerings.

Your financial contributions to Harvest continue to bless our missionaries, along with the people and families that come through the doors here every week. And as a result, your Kingdom impact is being felt worldwide as one of our five core values, which is cross-cultural mission. Thanks again for making it possible!

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The other fulltime missionaries we support are …

Cash Lowe / Grace Network International

Jim & Kathy Tierney / Tierney Christian Mission

Pablo Martinez

Jaffet Perez / Gate of Hope Mission International

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Did you know?!

God’s Work around the church doesn’t end with our missionaries, though. We also have others in our church family doing God’s Work in so many other wonderful ways as well!

Did you know our very own Steve Valdez and Dave Compton also oversee ministries? If not (or even if you did),  be sure to check out and support their work for God’s Kingdom as well at SavePoint and Love Your Neighbor, respectively.