It is at the beginning of a new year here at Harvest Christian Church, and as part of that celebration, we wanted to give you a glimpse into yet another amazing element of ministry we are blessed to be a part of … our missionaries.
Harvest supports eight full-time missionary families—all of which our missions board keeps in touch with regularly. And over the last couple of years, while many of them have had to adjust plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic, separate health-related challenges, or other unforeseen circumstances, all our missionaries continue to do God’s Kingdom work.
Here are some of the latest updates from some of them, including Pastor Mike Halstead regarding his recent trip down to Kenya with Jim Tierney:
Jim & Kathy Tierney / Tierney Christian Mission
As the Tierney’s home sending church, Pastor Mike Halstead had a chance to travel down to Kenya with Jim Tierney for a long-awaited visit to the PoKot people. Between some tough but necessary conversations with some local pastors down there, along with some much-needed Biblical teaching to help re-center and re-focus them, Mike and Jim were able to accomplish a lot in just a few weeks.
Of the things they wanted to accomplish, one of the most important was getting food to the people in the villages who needed it the most. In the area where the PoKot people live, they have not had rain since August. As a result, the corn which is their main source of food has not been able to grow as they are normally accustomed. This has been a huge challenge for the PoKot people because if there is no corn, there is no eating. (For breakfast, they normally have chai tea with camel’s milk). Mike and Jim were able to use the resources you provided to bring in a couple of loads of food to shore up the needs along with helping make sure it gets to the people in the surrounding villages where churches are planted.
Throughout the region, there are 18 official churches—each with an overseeing pastor and a range in size from 20 to 100 people. As part of the work the Tierneys do with the PoKot people, this means that one of the other things they do is helping each pastor in whatever capacity they can. Mike and Jim were also able to help by lining up work and funds to fix a well that has been broken for the last year. This has caused many of the kids and their families to have to drink water from the local riverbed instead, which is filled with parasites and other things that can make them very sick. This coming month, this problem with the well will be fixed and, before long, be up and running again for the good of the entire village.
Paired with the opportunity to talk with the pastors over all the churches, and the trip was a huge success. Thanks, again, for helping make it possible.
As one of our faithful elders here at Harvest and longtime missionary to Cuba and other Spanish-speaking areas, Harry is finally getting close to being able to visit his people down in Cuba for the first time in two years. Due to COVID restrictions, and various other challenges, he hasn’t been able to see many of them in person but is set to do so here in January after his Religious Visa has been approved by the Cuban government. The trip is being planned out by one of the faithful natives who live there.
Outside of his pending travels, Harry has been in almost daily contact with his people along with serving in support roles in whatever ways he can. One of those ways has included financial support to put time on his team leaders’ phones so they can stay in regular contact with Team Expansion as well as with their people locally. That financial support has also helped provide funds to each of the five areas in Cuba where churches are planted as well as a new one in Venezuela, and has gone almost exclusively toward food and medicine for those most in need.
Locally, Harry and Team Expansion have also been busy. Between Spanish-speaking churches planted in Hillsboro, Albany, and a new one in the Cornelius area, Harry and his team have been able to faithfully reach, train, and send out many workers to the harvest right here in Oregon. They are prayerfully planning to start new work in East County right here in our own neighborhood.
Devoting their time to provide life-changing training, human resources, and consulting services that impact organizations on the front line of addiction and abuse, the Lowes are on the front lines of one of our culture’s main struggles in Central Oregon. Dealing with both Crohn’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis himself (along with a prior battle with cancer), Cash, along with his wife Lisa, continue to push forward with what God has called them to do for those experiencing homelessness.
Outside of providing a wonderful traditional Turkey dinner for the people they serve in their region; they are also continuing to host more guests nearly every night at their emergency overnight shelters. Between their large shelter in Bend and partner churches in Redmond, they are doing what they can to provide a place of rest, safety, and recovery for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Jonathan & Fawn Turner / Key Communications
Focused on proclaiming a message of hope in a dark world, Jonathan and Fawn, along with their team at Key Communications, have done what they always have to get the Gospel into as many ears as possible through their broadcasts. With a connection to many of Pakistan’s discouraged pastors who are concerned about church attendance, Key Communications is doing what they can to be faithful to the calling they have received from God to continue their efforts despite the increasing challenges of our current moment—something Jonathan’s family has done faithfully for 61 years.
Whether always visible or not, the fact remains: your ongoing support continues to help them bring light into one of the spiritual darkness of Pakistan. Their ongoing hope for a “Pentecost Moment” when thousands respond to the Gospel continues to be on the forefront of their prayers, and they are confident that the Holy Spirit will continue His work in response.
Doug & Shelly Kallestad / IberoAmerican Ministries
Outside of the exciting expansion of their own family with the birth of their ninth grandchild, the Kallestads continue to faithfully serve God’s Kingdom in Chile. Hosting both in-person services since August, as well as expanding to online services in order to reach more people, the Kallestads are regularly helping churches not only get planted, but supporting the ones that have already been established.
Unfortunately, like so many other churches and Christians around the world, they have also been hit with challenges that span from COVID, to cancer, to other ailments that have struck some of the people they serve. They recently requested prayer support for one of the missionaries they serve, Marcelo Puentes, as he was recently diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. With the help of the Kallestads, Marcelo and his family have been planting a church in Paraguay for the last three years. Marcelo currently had to return to Chile to receive cancer treatment.