Water Filtration Buckets For Houston!

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…

Click Here!

We just need 82 people to sponsor 1 bucket in order to reach our goal!

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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.

Posted in Allen Mann, GraceWorks Global, Help for Houston, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Relief, Missions

Rubber Band Evangelism. Is that even a thing?

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!

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Kids in Philippines making bracelets

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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!

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Evil Rubber Band Dream Man

But Ponderosa Bible Teens came to our rescue! In just one hour they did what takes my family weeks!

Thanks PBC Teens. You guys are the best!

And we have 1,000 bracelet packets vacuum sealed and ready for Nicaragua!

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Philippine Update…

The Pastors and Church Leaders conference is in its final day.

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Kids have been fed and given school supplies.

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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!

Posted in GraceWorks Global

Philippine Ministry Continues…

One of the most amazing things about having a ministry of training local pastors to minister to their own people is that — local pastors end up ministering to their own people! This is particularly exciting because…

A.  It happens year-round, not just when we are in-country

B.  The language and cultural barriers we face are non-existent for them, so they can minister effectively with the tools and knowledge they have been given.

and…

C.  The results are exponential because they will connect with people we will never even meet!

“GraceWorks was able to minister to youth and preaching time during Sunday worship. Praise the Lord I was able to minister to the family of church members.” –Pastor Roel

The ministry has continued in our absence, but there is more to be done!  Allen and his father, Rich Mann, will be traveling this week to train new pastors and work with the children and poor areas of the Philippines.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!  You are making a difference around the world!

Posted in GraceWorks Global

HUGE NEWS!

We are so excited to announce that GraceWorks Global has received its 501(c)(3) approval!  What does that mean?  It means we are an official Non-Profit Organization recognized by the IRS!

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We will be spending the next few weeks transitioning our financial arrangements, so if you are a current donor, please continue to donate as you have in the past until you hear differently from us.  But be on the look-out for a letter from us and thank you for sticking with us through the changes of the past years.

We have more exciting news to share in the days ahead.  Great things are happening at GWG and it’s all because of the grace of Jesus Christ and the faithfulness of His people!

 

 

 

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Philippine Ministry Update

We are so happy to welcome Pastor Roel Allocod to our overseas team. Pastor Roel has been working hard to share God’s Word with local as well as remote churches.  He runs children’s ministries, holds weekly Bible studies for young adults, and shares the gospel wherever he goes.

I met Pastor Roel a few years ago just prior to full-time mission work. Through strange and various contacts, God brought us together and we developed a great friendship. Over the past couple of years, God has been moving in him to work among the regional churches and to impact the lives of children – most of whom are very poor and destitute. He cares deeply for these kids, and it shows! We have had teams work with him over the past couple of years and they can attest to this fact.

We decided to add Pastor Roel and his family to our overseas, Filipino ministry family. He has been working hard and traveling much. He continues to develop relationships for open doors to share the gospel and the truths of God’s Word.

Please continue to pray for our work in the Philippines. We have some dreams and goals about which we are praying. An example would be to see a small “Family Center” built for orphaned children. We have a location but need the necessary funds to not only build a couple of small dorms, but to also be able to feed and clothe the children on a monthly basis.

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Orphans in need of a permanent home or facility with the dear ladies caring for them at the church.

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Philippines – Prayer and Praise

Some great things are happening in the Philippines with our GraceWorks Global Team!  Our co-laborer, Pastor Roel Allocod, has been traveling throughout his community, sharing the gospel, encouraging churches, and preaching and teaching.  Recently, he started meeting with young adults in a shopping mall to study God’s Word weekly.  Many of these are now beginning to attend church and participate in the church events as well.  Pastor Roel sent a request for funds to purchase Bibles for these young adults and now they all have their own Bibles and are studying them daily!  Please pray for their salvation and spiritual growth in discipleship.  Prayerfully and financially, I (Allen) will be returning to teach and encourage them soon.

However, we also received word this morning from Pastor Roel that his hometown has been affected by a strong earthquake.  Here is what he says…   “Please extend prayer to my home city Surigao where we held our pastor’s and church leader seminar[.  The city] was hit last night by 6.7 magnitude of earthquake –  gaisano mall and hotels were badly damage[d], church people were [al]so affected. They need our help and prayer as well.”

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!

Posted in GraceWorks Global

Beneficial Buckets on a Broad Barge

We finally got our water purification buckets shipped, and we did it for a fraction of the initial $22,000 quote we received.  (I think we might have laughed at the poor man giving us that number but he had to know that was ridiculous!)  We had to load them up and take them to Phoenix (where they sat in Allen’s gracious parents’ front yard for a week while the shipper tried to fix a paperwork error!) but they were finally picked up a few days ago.

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The buckets leave the States on the 12th, traveling by boat (we are literally SHIPPING them) and will arrive on Christmas Day.  Allen will be distributing them to areas with no access to clean water and areas that are particularly affected by jaundice caused by water contamination.

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We have not shipped to this country before so please pray with us that there will be no Customs issues (as we are distributing these freely, not selling or making money in any way) and that BOTH pallets will arrive safely and on time!

Posted in GraceWorks Global

GraceWorks Philippines

Our GraceWorks team is halfway through their 2 week Philippine trip and things are going well…

We have an outstanding team…

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Ed and Jan Miller, Gene Watts, Allen Mann, and Joe Falkner

And the food isn’t bad either…

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The first picture Allen sent me…  Such a surprise.

There are many opportunities to meet people and share the hope of Christ…

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Children sell necklaces on the beach…

And that message is just what people need!

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2 trust Christ for salvation after Sunday’s gospel message! 

Wifi isn’t always available, so details are slow in coming, but we appreciate your prayers and are excited about the ministry happening!  There is still a week to go, so please keep praying!

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Nicaraguan Newbie – Final Day

Oh, was it early!  3 hours of sleep was SO not enough.  But we were going home today. Home, where I knew the language and bathrooms didn’t hate me. Home to my kids, whom I missed more than anything.  I was very much looking forward to being understood again.  But I didn’t count on how much I was going to miss these people, their culture, and even the language.

We were up, dressed and waiting for the airport shuttle by 4:45.  Because of the conference we had attended, the shuttle was very full.  I was worried we would have to wait for the next one and be late to the airport, but I forgot!  This is Nicaragua!  We can all fit!  The driver ushered Allen and me into the front bucket seat, where, 20 years ago I could have easily fit with my husband beside me but now, not so much.  Thankfully, I love my husband, we are totally into conserving space, and it was only a 5 minute ride.

At the airport I smiled, nodded, handed over my passport and pretended I was mute.  Nobody bought me.  I was wearing no buttons whatsoever, and no little German ladies searched me.  It was going to be a good day.

Our flight was uneventful, and my adorable husband fell asleep before we even left the gate.  He woke up mid-flight and wondered if we had taken off yet.  And while I plagued him by taking pictures every time he fell asleep, I have to explain.  Yes, every time we he sat down for even a few minutes, he fell asleep…

…but there is a good reason for this.

If you’ve known Allen for any length of time, you know he is a hard worker. It’s one of the (many) things I love about him.  This trip was a whirlwind.  He slept very little.  He went to bed very late and got up very early.  When he wasn’t in meetings, trying to #freethebuckets, driving, or preaching, he was working on the receipts and accounting books, making sure the music and teachers were ready for church back home, praying with people, praying for people, and building relationships.  He missed several meals completely and ate others at odd times because he was too busy to stop.  If you are a supporter of GraceWorks Global, let me assure you, this man works hard to make sure your money is used to honor Christ, and he works with his whole heart.  So, when he is forced to sit, he sleeps.  He wasn’t fond of these photos, but I love them because to me, they are a resounding testimony of his hard work and integrity.  (Plus he’s just plain cute in them!)

Ok, so while he was sleeping, I had a lot of time to think.  I mean, I couldn’t talk without getting myself in trouble, so thinking was the thing!  This trip was, in every way, not what I expected.  Nothing went as planned.  Literally.  Not.  One.  Thing.  Not our plans at least.  And even this day, the things I was looking forward to most (aside from seeing my kids again) didn’t go according to my expectations.  I had spent a week being frustrated with a language barrier I could not control.  I expected to be relieved and grateful when I entered the States and could once again be understood, but instead, I stood in line in Houston security, listening to everyone around me (and understanding them!) and missing the beautiful sounds of the Spanish language, wishing to hear it again.

And can I just tell you about the Nicaraguan people???  These are generous, gracious, loving people who accept even the flakiest of Americans as one of their own. The men:   I couldn’t pick up a suitcase, a box of buckets, or really anything at all without a gentleman running to carry it for me.  They helped me out of cars and waited patiently when I wasn’t exactly on time in the morning.  Once I found one of them carrying my purse for me when I forgot it in the lobby.  The women:  They give without expecting anything in return.  Their hospitality is unmatched.  They are gentle and sweet and always thinking of how they can serve others.  And across the board, they have smiles that can light up any room.

These are not people of privilege.  They are people with a story, many times a diificult story of overcoming and forgiveness, hard work and determination.  They are adult daughters taking in their once abusive father to nurse him back to health after major surgery.  They are former gang members, running an honest business and trying hard to stay clean.  They are teens caring for Grandparents; women selling fruit in the middle of a dangerous street, trying desperately to earn enough money to feed their families.  They are families of 15 in a  house the size of my kitchen who gladly invite you in and share what they have.  They are even high government officials disregarding the mountain of work on their desks to get 10 buckets to their people  because they care that even 10 families are drinking unsafe water.  These are people I respect and came to love in a very short time.

But it was time to leave.  So we flew home.  We arrived safely.  We accomplished most of what we had gone to do (and quite a few things we didn’t)!

We did, however, leave some items in Nicaragua:  10 water filtration buckets, quite a few water filtration bottles, Allen’s watch, access to amazing fruit, new friends, and… part of my heart.  But the rest of my heart holds these memories and new friends dear.  The people of Nicaragua are part of the fabric of my life now; threads that cannot be unraveled.

To all of you who have gone on the virtual journey with me, thank you.  It is my hope that you have enjoyed your “visit”, but more importantly that you have grown to love them as I do.  And it is my hope that when you turn on your faucet and safe water comes out, you might take a moment to pray for this dear country with people so sweet, not just for them to receive safe water, but most importantly that we might continue to be able to tell them of the “Living Water” – Jesus Christ, and the free gift of salvation He offers.

May the gap between our countries be small, and the love be great!

 

 

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