Today we are preparing to venture out internationally. Another opportunity to share the love and truths of Jesus to others in other parts of the world begins tomorrow. Please pray for safety in travel, good health, open doors to share the gospel, and new believers to disciple.
These pictures depict the daily ministry of our friend and co-worker, Roel, in the Philippines. Roel makes contact with individuals through a Cebuano-translated gospel tract that GraceWorks Global has produced. This brochure gives the gospel and also a brief plan for spiritual growth of new believers. (The area in the photos is a park in the center of a very large round-about.)
Roel led one man to Christ, then gave him a Bible in his language and within days several more people were reached through the brochures and the testimony of the new believers. The group is growing and some are now even attending church! The most exciting part is that this is not an isolated occurrence. It is happening every single week! Roel also spends many hours each week discipling and teaching the new believers.
We praise God for His grace and mercy in the hearts and lives of these individuals. We also praise God for allowing us to be a part of our co-laborer’s family on the opposite side of the world
GraceWorks Global has been working in Nicaragua for several years and we (the Mann Family) personally have friends in many areas of the country. Currently, there is political unrest (revolving around the nation’s Social Security Program) and people are being injured. We are asking for prayer for this dear country for wisdom for its leadership, peace for its citizens, and most importantly, that God would open hearts to His free gift of eternal life through this and every circumstance.
We love all the different ways God has enabled us to share the gospel internationally, but one of our favorites is having fun with the kids! Here is a clip of adorable Filipino kids during one of our recent times of children’s ministry in Cebu.
Matthew 2:11 says of the wisemen… “After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
They worshiped Him and gave Him their finest gifts. May we ever do the same!
Have you ever locked your keys in the car? It’s really never at a convenient moment, but I think maybe one of the worst times is when your family of six is at the airport curb, ready to leave the country, and your passports and suitcases are still inside.
Yep. That’s how we started our first family mission trip to Nicaragua! And if you are thinking, “Surely, things will get better…” You should probably go read our vacation story from last year which, oddly enough, also involved locking keys in the car as well as a broken foot, broken tooth, broken toe, a closed theme park, and swimming in raw sewage. (We don’t make a habit of swimming in sewage, in case you were wondering. We save that for special occasions.)
Our flights were fairly uneventful, aside from when they took our most important carry-on bag from us. (It was the one with all the technology we need for the ministry, as well as the money we had already exchanged for Cordobas.) Oh – and the Wendy’s in the Houston airport was out of baked potatoes and I had to eat french fries. Not that I’m bitter or anything.
We did finally arrive in Managua, Nicaragua. Our friends were waiting for us and we only had to get our luggage, clear Customs, and find them. Unfortunately, both Customs and the luggage inspectors weren’t quite sure of us. Apparently, two 40-somethings traveling with 4 teens and 11 suitcases seems nefarious. Maybe it was because I snapped this picture before Allen informed me that no pictures are to be taken in this part of the airport. Oops.
After they walked Allen out to find our friends to verify our story, called in several people to ask us questions, and did a lot of paperwork, we were able to get our luggage, which was then inspected. Twice. We were finally allowed to leave the airport at 9 pm.
It took 2 trucks and quite a few friends, but we got the 6 of us and all our luggage to our “home away from home” in Diriamba, Corazo. We are staying in the second house of the Mayor of Diriamba. I will say more about him later because he is the kindest, most thoughtful and humble man and we are thankful to be counted among his friends. But for now, I’ll just tell you that the hurricanes of the past months flooded this house and ruined all his furniture. We knew this and our team planned ahead, having cots and an air mattress waiting for us. We even found out that the Mayor had installed a window A/C unit just for us! This Arizona girl was seriously excited about that news!
However, it was very late when we arrived “home”, and the power had gone out. This meant no air conditioning, but it also made it difficult to inflate the “Self-Inflating Air Mattress”. We decided to take turns blowing. We each blew until we felt faint, at which point the other would take over. We got it up to about 2 inches high before we passed out. (Not really. We’re just quitters.)
Deciding to sleep on it “as is”, we crawled on. This is when I discovered that my legs weigh far less than my head and every time Allen moved – my legs would “jump up in the air like they just did not care”. This led to jokes about the hokey pokey and I had a strong urge to turn our bed around. It was at this point we realized it was useless to try to sleep like that because we were laughing too hard.
We ditched the mattress, put the blanket on the cool tile floor near the open door, hoping to catch a breeze, and tried hard to sleep. Just as we were finally drifting off, around 3 am, the power, and every light on the property, turned on.
Party at the Mann’s! We had air conditioning AND an inflated bed! Who could ask for anything more??? And in just a few hours we would start a new day and we were excited about the ministry opportunities! Plus, maybe our adventures would be… less adventurous! One can always hope!
What do 25,000 rubber bands have to do with evangelism?
“Wordless” Bracelet Packets
One of the ways we share the gospel is through the use of what we call “The Wordless Bracelet”. We make packets containing colors that represent sin, purity, the blood of Christ, growth and heaven. Kids (and often adults too) make the bracelets and hear the gospel as they work. Then they are also able to use that bracelet to share the Good News with their friends and family as well!
Kids in Philippines making bracelets
More kids making bracelets and learning to share the gospel
But making packets takes time. A lot of it. Imagine putting 25,000 individual rubber bands and 1,000 minuscule plastic clips into 1,000 tiny baggies… I don’t have to imagine. Sometimes I can’t even escape those rubber bands in my dreams!
Evil Rubber Band Dream Man
But Ponderosa Bible Teens came to our rescue! In just one hour they did what takes my family weeks!
Tallying the Totals
Thanks PBC Teens. You guys are the best!
And we have 1,000 bracelet packets vacuum sealed and ready for Nicaragua!
Graceworks Global travels to many developing countries that desperately need clean, safe, water – and we do our best to get them as much help as we can, but until recently, it was almost unthinkable to need such a thing in the USA. However, with all of the recent hurricanes and subsequent flooding, we find it necessary to lend aid to some of our own here in the States.
One of our local churches in Payson, AZ, Mountain Bible Church, (in cooperation with Samaritan’s Purse), is taking a clean-up crew to areas near the Houston, TX area – and we want to help! It’s not possible for us to physically go at this time, but we are sending some water filter kits ahead of them to distribute to those whose ground water has been contaminated. Our friends at Mountain Bible will be using these buckets to share the good news of Jesus and it is our hope and prayer that many will receive Jesus as the Living and True Water of Life.
If you would like to be partner with us and purchase a filter kit for a family in need…
We just need 82 people to sponsor 1 bucket in order to reach our goal!
Because we are ordering in bulk, we are receiving a special rate from GreenHitechs.com as they are helping us accomplish a part of the vast need. The kits, normally $100 plus shipping, are being offered to us for only $80. Families will not have to wait for stores to re-stock water or for the humanitarian workers to get water to them. They will be able to purify their own water wherever they are! This is a huge benefit to them.
If you cannot contribute financially, please be in prayer for those going, that they may truly be a light in the darkness and that many will be saved through the distribution of these buckets.
The Pastors and Church Leaders conference is in its final day.
Kids have been fed and given school supplies.
But my favorite part has to be the gospel bracelets. Using the colors of the “Wordless Book”, kids make bracelets and learn about God’s gift of Salvation AND how to share that gift with others! Take a look…
Please pray for these dear children and new friends that they will take their knowledge and share the gospel with people we will never meet! I love how that works!