A Life Transformed

Makenzie is 18 years old and is from Victory in Christ Fellowship in Flora, Indiana. She is a part of IGNITE Class 15 and has spent the last three months training in Whitefish, Montana. She wants to thank the sponsors for their generosity and prayers that make them a part of transforming lives.

Dear Sponsors,

    Flashback to August 8th, when I found out that I will be living and serving in Cambodia for six months with two of my teammates! After knowing what God can do in my life during three months of training, I am so excited to see what He has to hold for my time on the field. One of the things that I was told over and over again by people from my church was that I was going to learn a lot about myself throughout this year. I believed it, but I did not expect it to rock my world like it has so far. Since my time in Montana, I have watched God transform me from the inside out. He has taken my feeble faith and shown me what it looks like to truly dedicate my life to serving Him.

38834146_1954000914621094_6868981234177933312_o.jpg

    These past two weeks of training have been the most impactful weeks of my time here. During week three of being in Montana, I was working at a horse camp and had the opportunity to work with a sweet fourth-grade girl. As soon as I met her, I knew she was someone special. I only spent four days with her, but by the time the week was over, I had a connection with her unlike any I had ever known before. I was heartbroken by the end because I did not know when I would get to see her again, if ever. Skip ahead to two weeks ago, and I am at an event at the Mudman gallery in Whitefish. I heard someone say, “Makenzie, that girl from camp was just in here. Did you see her?” I had not seen her, but I was not going to miss my chance. I ran outside and got the biggest hug and the chance to catch up with her. I had been questioning that week whether I knew that God really loved me. That encounter was exactly what I needed, and He knew it. Since then, I have been able to identify and feel God’s love more than ever before.     

    I grew up in a Christian home and got saved when I was eight-years-old. I have walked with Christ my whole life, but never has it been on this level. I think one of the most important things that IGNITE has done for me so far is show me how to study my Bible and pray without ceasing. I have seen a glaring difference in the way I respond to situations and the way I think about others. I have learned a compassion that I thought I could never obtain. I am seeing my mindset shift from an earthly to an eternal perspective. I am slowly being stripped of all of the doubt, uncertainties, and pride that followed me to IGNITE. My eyes have been opened to who the Lord truly is, and I am finally learning the depths of His love for the people of His world and me. 

40438567_1988009891220196_8335498203944189952_o.jpg

    1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’— I have no idea what God has in store for me after this year, but I do know that I am going to let Him make the decision. I can only imagine how much greater His plan is for my life than mine. My life is forever changed because of this program, and none of it would be possible without your support. Just know that your generosity and prayers are transforming lives. Thank you, and may God bless you!

’Til the Whole World Hears,

Makenzie Metzger

A Deep-Rooted Thank You!

Colin is 20 years old from Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, WA and has spent the last five months serving in Uganda. From the deepest part of his heart, he would like to say “thank you!”

Dear Sponsors,

Right now, I am in the final month of my six months of field time in Uganda, and words cannot express how bittersweet it is. First and foremost, I’d like to extend many thanks to all of those who sponsor and support the work of Potter’s Field Ministries around the world. Every ounce of what you have poured into the work that God is doing is producing fruit that will last eternally. Sometimes it can be difficult to see how God is working in the day to day, but as I reflect on the past five months, it’s obvious how much your support has blessed the ministry God is doing in Uganda. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to reach these children each week with a warm meal, lessons from God’s word, and personal relationships that nurture and grow them into who God has created them to be.

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 9.45.31 AM.png

Colin spending time with the children at PFK Uganda!

What God has chosen me to be a part of through IGNITE is beyond my wildest imaginations, and I have been so blessed not only to love children but learn to love those who I’m surrounded by each day. Without IGNITE, so many stones in my heart would have been left unturned, leaving me entangled in sins and not genuinely growing in my relationship with the Lord. Being away from the distractions that American culture is so indulged in has allowed my heart to be slowly and properly tended to, healed, and grown. I would most liken God to being a gardener in this season of my life. He has been cutting away the branches which aren’t bearing fruit, pruning those which are so they may multiply, and continues watering and feeding me through the Bible and prayer. I genuinely have no idea where the Lord will take me beyond this year, but the one thing I’ve become confident in is Him and His promises. What is said in Proverbs 3:5-6 could not be any more of a reality for me, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” This year has been teaching me what it means to trust Him with all my heart and to acknowledge Him in all my ways, and each day that passes I realize on a deeper level how much I truly need God in all my life.

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 9.57.05 AM.png

Team Uganda!

At the start of this year I was so uncertain as to what God had in store for me, and I never honestly felt like I was changing. But now looking back I can say I would not be who I am today if God hadn’t taken me away for a year to work on my heart and set my feet upon the solid rock who is Jesus Christ. IGNITE is without a doubt the best decision I’ve ever made, and I’m thankful that God called me to be a part of it, for it truly has helped to direct me onto the path God has for me. I would be lying if I said it was easy, but I would also be lying if I said it wasn’t the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. The fruits of this year will not only abide forever but will continue to multiply as the seed which was sown in me produces and I am able to sow into the lives of others.

Thank you again to all who support the work of the Lord through Potter’s Field Ministries. All of your prayers, financial support, and sacrifice, big or small, are seen, heard, and felt in each and every life we get to be a part of here on the field.

A Joyful Smile

IGNITE Class 14 Intern, Emily, from Calvary Chapel West Side in New York shares about a young boy, Dalton, who has blessed her during her five months while serving in Uganda!

 

A child after God’s Word, Dalton, is a 6-year-old boy that I have had an opportunity to teach these past six months here in Uganda. The joy that his smile brings all the teachers when he does something silly or achieves a goal has been some of the sweetest moments for me. Dalton lives with both his mother and father. He shares his one-room household with his two older brothers and younger sister. Dalton is very quiet but full of knowledge for his age, he is always looking onto the old kids in class and around the playground. He watches the way the older kids interact with each other and their walk with the Lord, looking into ways to improve and do better. His goal is to be able to share the Word of God to the people he loves and to know everything about the Bible.

IMG_8161-5.jpg

Daltons mother has been struggling with many sicknesses for three years now, he doesn’t share much about her because of how ill she is all the time. He did share about how much she does try to be with him in his day to day life, but even Dalton at such a young age seeks to understand why she isn’t able to. His older brothers take care of him and his younger sister most of the time. It is his willingness to be driven by the Holy Spirit along with his little legs that get him to Kids Club every Saturday. PFK Uganda has been such a blessing to him and an outlet that allows him to grow further in learning more about how much Christ loves His children. He has shared a lot about how the meals at Kids Club are the biggest and “the best” meals, and at most points the only meal he will receive all weekend.

Dalton is a proud and faithful attendee of Potter’s Field Kids Club and loves the environment with the teachers and kids that also attend. He has greatly enjoyed the Bible stories and the way the “funny teachers” act them out. Even though his time coming has only been a few months he has learned many Bible verses which he has been able to memorize and apply to his life. He said he still has his very first prize from memorizing Psalms 139:1 “Oh Lord you have searched me and know me.” Dalton says he keeps his little rubber rabbit next to his favorite feather and every morning remembers how his Father in heaven is with him. He shared how he has never ridden in a car before, so he has walked far for many things, but the Saturday Kids Club would be the one place he would gladly walk the farthest on any given day. Dalton even in class has voluntarily come up beside me and brought the rest of the kids into prayer before ending class. He has been able to learn many new games, meet many sweet people at Kids Club and counts them all as his friends.

IMG_8169-7.jpg

The way the Lord has blessed me with knowing this full-hearted young man of God is just another reason why I know the Lord’s hand is entirely over this place, that I now call home!

Investing In Faithfulness

Potter’s Field partnered with Crossroads Community Church from Vancouver, WA to send seven young adults to participate in the 7th annual, week-long VBS hosted at Harrah Assembly of God. There, we ministered to nearly 120 children from the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation in Harrah, WA! It was a wonderful week to be there with an incredible team of 18 from Eastgate Community Church, who have been a part of this VBS since the beginning. Although located in Cincinnati, OH, many of the team members had been there in previous years and, in a sense, have “grown up” with this community.

edit2-0065

Pastor Jerral Campfield and his wife Ginny Campfield, of Harrah AOG, have been faithfully serving in Harrah for 10 years and in the Yakima Valley for over 30. They were both born, raised, and married in the area and even attended Harrah Assembly of God as a young newlywed couple, never imagining that God would call them back to minister in their hometown 50 years later. They are examples of saints of the faith. They love this community and are excited for what God has in store for Harrah and the Yakima Valley.

The VBS was called “TIME LAB,” where the overall concept was being able to go back and forward in time to see that Jesus is real. We started each day with an assembly and ended with an assembly, where the kids recited their memory verses. Every day the kids played games, did crafts, ate snacks, listened to a teaching, and did an experiment. We also served a pancake breakfast every morning.

At the start of the trip, the team set up for the VBS and then went door to door to hand out invitations. There were some families who actually came for the first time through this outreach.

We participated in the youth group which brought 26 junior high and high school students to the VBS. Many of these kids have been coming annually and have looked forward to this event.

edit2-0587.jpg

“I got to interact with the girls of the youth group. Something so precious was being able to share with them that God has a purpose and plan for their lives and that they were not an accident. We were able to share personal testimony and God’s word daily. There is a lot of pain and hurt in the Yakima Valley but the Lord wants to do a mighty work. I left there being assured of that.” – Joanna, PFM Staff / Team Member

 “One of the young boys kept causing problems but I was determined to love him… he was my friend by the end of the week. It is a place that needs investment – the Pastor and his wife invested so much but can’t do it all themselves. The youth is what needs investing in. This week I saw the power of just investing in one kid and seeing how it actually impacted his family too.” – Dani, PFM Staff / Team Member

_DSC0953-1.jpg

Dani spending time with the children!

“Yakama is a place with a wide Hispanic community. It was a blessing to connect with them through not only language, Spanish, but also through our similar culture. The Lord uses Harrah church and the Cincinnati team every year to pour into the children! It was beautiful to serve alongside of them!”  -Izabella, PFM Staff from Guatemala / Team Member

edit2-0444

Izabella with the teen girls!

On the last day, we invited all the kids, their families, and members of the community to an outreach dinner where the kids were able to put on a special presentation and win prizes for the week. We also had the opportunity to share about the vision of Potter’s Field and our love for the Yakima Valley.

It was a great privilege to be able to participate in this trip. Please continue to keep the people of Harrah in your prayers!

Persevering in Love

Alejandro is six years old and one of the sweetest kids I think I have ever met. He is in first grade in Linderos school, a small town in the Guanacaste province. He is a part of the new Kids Club in Linderos. The Potter’s Field Kids (PFK) Bible Club started four months ago. Alejandro was one of the first kids to attend.

When I met Alejandro, he was very quiet. He didn’t like talking very much and kept to himself a lot. He would make funny noises at times and give you a sweet smile. There are about 20 kids that attend PFK Linderos, and they all go to the same school. They all hang out and know each other. Linderos is mainly an agricultural town. The community as a whole is very close-knit. In the beginning, all the kids were pretty distant, which I understood, but you could see the desire to open up in Alejandro’s eyes. You could tell that he wanted to know more and to be known more. And that is just what happened.

Alejandro_IMG_1194

In the last three months, we have seen and gotten to be a part of the beautiful process of his opening up. When Alejandro and all the other kids first started attending Kids Club, they didn’t know who Jesus was. They didn’t know that He had died on the cross for them so that they could be saved, and that He desires to have a relationship with each one of them. They didn’t know about the gospel or what grace was. And over the last three months, we have seen the power of the message of Christ start to transform each one of their lives. We have begun to see fruit in their words and actions. Alejandro talks now. He shares his feelings and his thoughts. He shares his silly jokes and his life with us.

IMG_1395. Vanessa_Alejandro_jpg

Alejandro with IGNITE intern, Vanessa, of Calvary Chapel OKC

There was a bit of discouragement at first because I wanted to know him more, but he didn’t seem like he would ever be willing to share. But as we were able to love him, and share with him more about the God of the Bible, he became a new Alejandro. I still remember that day, we had just finished setting up, and he ran all the way to me from across the field and jumped into my arms. Alejandro, the kid who had barely said maybe five words to me in the last six weeks, had just run to me from across a field and hugged me. He started to talk to me about his day at school, the games he liked to play and how he was excited for the Bible lesson. To say I was shocked and overjoyed all at the same time isn’t even enough. From that day on I have just gotten to know more and more this boy who loves to laugh.

        IMG_1022. Alejandro_JPG                    img_1599-alejandro_jpg-e1531253327837.jpg

Alejandro is a sweet boy who loves immensely even if it takes time for him to warm up. He loves to play, and he loves to learn about the God of Abraham. The story of Abraham has so far been his favorite, and you can see it in his face as he is sitting and taking in this story about a man who failed and doubted time and time again. Yet, God used him and kept His covenant. You can see the desire he has to know more about this God who surpasses all our humanness and to learn more about His word. Pray that Alejandro would truly give his life to God. And that even at just six years old he would shine as a bright light in his home, his school, and his country. Pray he would continue to grow in his love for God and His word. That he would grow up to be a man who fears God, a man who loves God, and a man who walks with God.

Guatemala Volcano Relief

PFM Staff members went with Helbert Castellanos, overseeing pastor of the Ciudad Vieja PFK program, to visit two families displaced by the volcano eruption.

Don Victor and his grandson, Wilber, are from San Miguel de Los Lotes – situated at the base of the volcano. It was one of the communities completely destroyed in the first eruption; the population before the eruption was 2,500 and only 500 survivors remain. Wilber, his wife, their two children, and Don Victor, along with a few more family members are the only survivors of their extended family. Around forty family members are still missing. The nine remaining family members now live together in a small bedroom in Wilber’s mother and father-in-law’s home.

PIC_8852

Neal, Pastor Helbert, Don Victor, Wilber, and Matt (From left to right).

Don Victor was stranded on a hill as the ash river rushed around him on both sides of the hill. First responders rescued him about four hours after the initial eruption. He is 81 years old.

Wilber is thirty years old. He had just finished his home where he was living with his wife and two children. He was self-employed and lost everything. He went back for the first time to visit his community and found nothing remaining of his home. The ash is still steaming and is about a story and a half high.

PIC_8842

PFM Staff members, Matt and Brooke, giving Wilber some items for his children.

______________________________________________________

Sandra and her husband lived in a small community that has been declared uninhabitable since the initial eruption. They were forced to leave their home initially due to the eruption, but have not been allowed to return since. They now live with Sandra’s sister in a small room with another sister and nieces and nephews.

PIC_8880

Hearing the story of Sandra’s family.

Due to the damage to the main road towards Escuintla, her husband now must leave the house at 3:30 am in order to take the bus around the other side of the mountain to get to his job. He arrives after the kids are in bed. Sandra’s son lost his best friend the day of the eruption. The children have not been back in school since the eruption and the government plans to move the affected children to the next grade level, regardless of whether they complete the full year or not.

PIC_8890

Praying over Sandra and her family.

Please continue to pray for these families and Guatemala!

In answer to our prayers and through our hands-on efforts, we have found that one of the greatest needs we can help meet, in the immediate, is by providing basic personal hygiene and baby care kits to those most impacted and displaced by this disaster.

Want to get involved? We are working diligently to raise resources to target this need of providing these kits, which would include such things as:

Personal Hygiene Kits for Men/Women:  Towel, washcloth, bar of soap, razor, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, toilet paper, wipes, shampoo, pack of gauze, feminine products, hair ties, comb, laundry bar soap, large market bag  – approximate cost: $25

Baby Care Kit:  Diapers, wipes, towel, washcloth, bottle, 800 gram can of formula, jar of juice, two jars of baby food, large market bag – approximate cost: $40

Click on the link below and select “Guatemala Relief Fund.”

Click Here to Donate

 

A Letter Across Continents

IGNITE intern, Hope Greenberg, of Calvary Chapel Boston, shares how the Lord used a sponsor’s correspondence letter for their prayer child to encourage her.

As Christians, we are to boast in the things that we are weak in; because of the things that we are weak in, Christ makes us strong. In this time of my life, I am proclaiming how faithful the Lord has been and how He indeed showed me His steadfast love. The last two weeks in February were probably the hardest but most God apparent weeks of my time in Uganda. At the beginning of this time, I got sick. I got amoebas, which put me out for several days. I could not go across to the school and teach which was discouraging. We had only started school a week prior, and I knew this time was pivotal in getting to know the kids and building those solid relationships. Being sick always puts me in a low place.

 

IMG_8748 Hope

Hope with Potter’s Field Kids in Uganda.

As I laid in bed, I would either think of home or what I could be doing. The enemy used that downtime to discourage me. But thankfully in a few days, I would be feeling better and was able to attend the Kids Club that Saturday. But then that Tuesday, the pain came back. I was sick again. It put me out for only another day, thankfully, but that day was the most discouraging. I knew I needed to cling to the Lord at this time. I was weak and missed the things that comforted me like my family. I reached this low and became very homesick which was foreign to me as I have been away from home the last two years.
We were going to be studying in Psalm 17 that Thursday for our Girls Study so I began to read it. I clung to this Psalm the whole week as I needed to seek refuge in the Lord. I woke up the next day praying Psalm 17:6-7,

“I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.”

I had a feeling it was going to be a hard day, so I prayed that the Lord would show His steadfast love and answer my call. After I had gotten all my work at school done, I began to think about home again as I walked to the church’s cafe. As I was sitting there, Betty asked if anyone wanted to help a prayer child read a letter and write back to its sender. I immediately said I would do it. So, I waited for the child to arrive not expecting what was going to happen. Betty gave me the letter from the family, and I read it to the little girl. The letter included what the family had been doing and asked her some questions. I then read, “Hope Greenberg from our church is in Uganda right now. Maybe you’ll get to meet her.” Tears came to my eyes as I read that. The Lord knew I needed to see that. I needed that little piece of home. God was so faithful showing himself to me that way. He indeed showed me His steadfast love that day, and it is something I will never forget.

IMG_1382

Correspondence letter from members of Calvary Chapel Boston to their prayer child in Uganda.

Thank you, sponsors; your correspondence letters are making an impact for the Kingdom!