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.

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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.

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“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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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!

The Uttermost Parts (Acts 1:8)

I was very blessed to be able to go on this trip. I didn’t know what to expect, but God placed in my heart a peace that these were His children. Yes, they are in great need, but they are His, and I was called to serve them in any way I could.

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Staff member and IGNITE Alumni, Colin, interacting with some of the children at the outreach.

Day 1
On Thursday may 17, our first day in the town of Moyo, in Northern Uganda, we visited a camp called Palerino. This camp was one of the poorest of all, with the most orphans of all the resettlement camps in Uganda. At this camp, Me, Colin Sandberg, and Laura (a young lady invited by Pastor Roger) got the opportunity to play worship music for the youth in this camp. It was amazing to see the turnout of this event. There were about 250+ youth and pastors at the event, and even though they didn’t fully know all of the songs we played, they still worshipped the Lord in their own way. Local pastors were given the chance to speak to the youth and invite them to get connected to churches in the camps. Pastor Roger Gales from Heritage church spoke to the crowd to encourage the young people. Ashton Nones, my team leader here in Uganda, was able to encourage the group with a message of hope. After a while of playing well-known worship songs, Colin decided to change up the pace and play a few children’s ministry songs that really got them involved. Their favorite was Romans 16:19, a song which I believe was a very apt song, and a good on the spot choice by Colin. All in all, it was a very good, hot, day of worship with God’s children from South Sudan.

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Pastor Roger Gales taught over 500 Pastors and Leaders Inductive Bible Study

Days 2 and 3
Friday and Saturday were focused on pastor’s conferences. The pastors in these areas are very underprepared for long-term ministry and have the tendency to burn out or lose sight of God in these tough areas. At these conferences, there were about 500+ pastors who heard Pastor Roger Gales teach Inductive Bible Study. There were also encouraging messages on leadership, conflict management, and forgiveness brought by Pastor Peter Klause and Pastor Roger. All pastors attending received writing materials and a Bible. It was amazing to see the unity of all these pastors, for there were many denominations present, and even more local tribes, but it was an act of God to see everyone working together to build each other up and help one another in their IBS exercises. There were so many people at the second camp; two translators were needed for everyone for the two local languages present. All the pastors were very touched and blessed by the messages, and they all left refreshed and equipped, ready to effectively lead their congregations.

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PFM Staff Member and IGNITE alumni, Ashton, helping distribute food!

Day 4 and Prison Outreach
On Sunday we briefly visited a local prison in the town of Moyo. There were about 100+ prisoners there, some of which were Christians. We were able to play music for them, something they don’t get too often. Pastors Roger and Peter encouraged the men and women there, and we were able to give them soap, mosquito nets, and salt for their meals.
That night we began to unload food boxes and prepare for the next day.
On Monday we were able to distribute boxes of prepackaged self-contained meals to about 100+ families in the town of Moyo. We were also able to give shoes to the women and children, of which many did not have shoes. It was a short, well organized time, but we were very blessed to hand the food and shoes to the people, and they were all very thankful and appreciative, all leaving knowing that these things were gifts from the Lord.

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Our Team! Pastor Roger Gales of Heritage Christian Fellowship, Denise Carlsen, Director at MISSIONS 1040, PFM Staff Members, Ashton and Colin Sandberg, and #IGNITEClass14 intern, Ethan, on the day the team distributed food.

The whole trip was very successful, and a real teaching experience for me. I am very grateful for this opportunity, but I would ask to keep these people in prayer. Pray for provision for the people, and hands and feet to go, for there are many who still need to know there is someone who can heal the hurting and restore hope to hopeless.
Thank you, God bless – Ethan McClain, IGNITE Class 14 Intern

 

The Calling of God

IGNITE Class 14 Intern, Micah, is getting ready to head to Guatemala for his six months of field time. Be encouraged as he takes you through a bit of his journey, all the Lord has done so far, and extends his thanks to you for being a part of it.

My name is Micah Martin. I am 22 years old, I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and I’ve been attending Calvary Chapel OKC for about a year and a half. I am a member of IGNITE Class 14 in the Training Phase of the program. The story of how I decided to come to IGNITE is really a tale of how God has showered grace upon my life. I first came to hear about the ministry at a church service when I was 17 years old. At that time, I was encouraged to be passionate about the idea of being used by God to build His Kingdom during my time on earth. But ultimately, I still clung to my pride and my desire to stay safe and secure, apart from any area of ministry that would force me to get too involved, thinking that I wasn’t good enough to be used by Him. But I was very wrong about what God’s plans for my life were.

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IGNITE Class 14 in worship {Psalm 33:1-3}

What I failed to realize was that joining IGNITE was always God’s plan for my life, and there was nothing I could do to change that. He let me live in my disobedience for the next two years, and at that time I hit the lowest point in my life. It was the start of God’s plan to get me moving in the right direction as it taught me to start trusting and seeking Him in a way I hadn’t searched for Him before. He began to show me that the passion He had placed in my life for building the kingdom wasn’t for nothing. It was a slow process, but I began to want to do more for Him, especially after delivering me from my lowest point. I owed God a debt I could never repay, and I sought to do something more than what I was doing.

A conversation with my pastor about the IGNITE Program seemed to be confirmation to me that this was God’s plan for me as He put it on my heart earlier that year to join something like it. Naturally, though, I resisted the idea of going right away. When I told my pastor this, He said, “Why wait? What’s holding you back? Just go! Start living!” And it hit me that I hadn’t really felt alive up to that point in my life. I had been asleep, in the comfort of my own world. God wouldn’t be able to use me had I stayed in that place. So, I got the application filled out, booked a flight, and now, here I am.

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Micah helping clean the kitchen during servant time.

Since coming here, God has shown me a lot about who He is and how He’s working in not only my life but the lives of everyone else here. It’s been incredible and inspiring for me to see, and I’ve truly been blessed with being here. I had been struggling with hearing Him speak, and I was in such a place of confusion and desperation that I fell flat on my face in prayer, asking Him to speak to me in some way. Well, He spoke, and I broke. He showed me how legalistic I had been towards myself. I had fallen into the trap of thinking that I had to be good enough for His purposes and that I had to work to earn His grace. But grace isn’t earned, it’s given, and given freely. But I hadn’t been asking for it. I was trying to live up to an impossible standard that Christ had already met. Now I feel free in a way that I haven’t previously felt in Him. His grace is boundless, and His love everlasting. Though I shouldn’t have any value, He has counted me as valuable to Him. I continue to learn more about who He is and how wonderful it is to be able to be just a small part of His plan for the world.

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IGNITE Class 14 — Team Guatemala.

I’m excited to see what God will do through me and the other members of the team that is being sent to Guatemala. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be given a chance to be a part of the work God has called me to do for Him and for those who haven’t yet heard the Gospel. I thank you very much for making it possible for someone like me to be a part of something greater than myself, something that will serve the Lord and His purposes. We here at IGNITE are all learning so much about the callings God has for each of us, and God has used your support to make this happen. Again, thank you for all of your support.

I pray for grace, peace, and blessing upon you for your support. With much love and gratitude,

Micah Martin

 

An Impact that Echoes

IGNITE Class 13 intern, Kenny, is finishing up his time on the field. Below is a testimony of his time in Uganda and a letter of thanks!

My name is Kenneth Bryant, and I’m 26 years old. I’m an intern in IGNITE Class 13, and I’m from Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg. I’m currently in the last month of my field time serving in Uganda, and I’m very thankful for my time in IGNITE. Field time here in Uganda is incredible. You can find us serving alongside Calvary Chapel Entebbe helping lead worship, teaching the kids in Sunday school and helping out at the cafe which helps support the church. Not to mention the Potter’s Field Kids program that goes on where we help by teaching the kids about Jesus, serving them a meal and playing and loving on the kids that don’t get to attend Calvary Chapel Christian School. Beyond that there’s so much support from my team and the team leaders. It’s been amazing serving alongside one another, growing in the grace of the Lord and sharing our struggles and victories with one another. If I’m being honest, living with 20 people secluded in a remote Ugandan village can create tension. Even in the times of tension, there is a great victory. I’ve seen people humbling themselves after realizing a wrong, me chiefly being one of those having to bring my self to a lowly state and ask for forgiveness for a wrong action or reaction. The best part about all of it is even when there is tension, at the end of it we’re all united in the Spirit joined together by a higher calling that is far beyond what we can think or imagine. With that being said, after all, we’ve been through together, being able to lock arms and encourage one another to press on and continue moving forward in what God is calling us to do. Spending time with the children here is fantastic. It may be cliche, but they truly impact us more then we impact them. Seeing the personalities of the people and children that are molded by the circumstances generated by a third world country and how strong they are and joyful with the little amount that they have brings a whole new perspective to the cushy lives we live in America.

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Kenny spent his six months in Uganda.

I believe the most significant impact that IGNITE has had on me was a phone call from Pastor Mike. He was not happy with our actions and some of the things he had seen from us and called us out on our immaturity. I fully believe that by discernment and being lead by the Spirit, Pastor Mike brought to our ears well-needed words of exhortation, challenging us in areas that we needed to be challenged in, breathing life into a team that was on the verge of falling apart. Me being the oldest intern, it hit me hard, and it positively impacted me, pushing me to strive harder and not take for granted the time that I have here. Though I still catch myself at times being less than grateful, I know the Lord is working in me through this tool we call IGNITE. Being here I’ve been placed in situations that bring to the surface ugly truths about my nature, and I need God’s grace to pour out upon my life. I need Him to continue to put me through the furnace to allow those impurities to rise that He may scrape them off with the gentle touch of His Spirit.  

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Kenny during Potter’s Field Kids Uganda.

After going through IGNITE and all that it has to offer, it has made an impact on my life that will continue to echo throughout the rest of my life and even bleed into the lives of others. Since I’ve been here, my mother has begun seeking after Jesus. While on the phone with her she began to express how she started going to church and looking to get involved with the woman’s fellowship and proceeded to say “I’m just following in my son’s footsteps.” Though I know it’s all the Lord, and IGNITE isn’t the reason why my mom decided to seek after Jesus, she had seen a step of faith I took and decided she should too. That leap of faith I made happened to be IGNITE. It has been a very foundational experience which I will always be able to look to for encouragement, given that I’ve seen God show up on so many occasions speaking into my life and driving me to continue to press on.

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(From left to right) Interns Kenny, Max, and Rachel during an island outreach.

I would highly recommend IGNITE to anyone looking to dedicate their life to the Lord. This time of intense discipleship, minimal distractions which leave us with no excuses, being able to spend quality time with the Lord is something that is very impactful, and if approached with the right heart God will use it to radically transform the lives of anyone who is willing. I want to say “thank you” to all of the sponsors who have supported this ministry and the transformational work that is happening in all the field locations. All of the lives it’s touching beyond the interns, but as well as the surrounding ministries and the relationships with the churches we’re able to develop and most of all the relationships with the children that we’re able to create. Just know that everything you’re doing is touching more lives than even us on the field can fathom. 

May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Sincerely,

Kenny