Free Indeed

 

Kaydra is from Boston, Massachusetts and was a part of IGNITE Class 14. She spent her field time in Uganda, Africa! She will be returning in January as a part of the IGNITE 2.0 program at the ministry headquarters in Montana.

I remember believing that the broken pieces of my life could never be mended back together, that I would forever be glued to a vortex of hurt and pain. I remember being as James and Jude, who grew up with Jesus but never knew Him. I never knew the God I claimed to believe in and I surely never knew the endless amount of grace and mercy that was bestowed on my behalf, even through my wandering. IGNITE was my divine intervention to stop wandering and to heal from a past that was less than ideal. I ran into the loving arms of Jesus Christ surrendering my heart, mind, and soul to the only One who could transform my life and make me whole.

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    The most impactful moments in IGNITE were during my field time in Uganda. For the first three months after landing, I found that I had created a barrier between myself and those around me. Though externally it may have appeared differently, I was isolated, alone, and miserable. Misery was where I found comfort in a life that had no meaning. I was battling against God and the longing to be different. Why? Because if I could no longer be the “victim” then who could I possibly be? As the days dragged on, other situations and circumstances arose that drove me farther and farther away from the people who wanted nothing other than to see the Lord do great work in my life, if only I would surrender to Him. The Lord continued to bless me immensely, even giving me the opportunity to assist teaching in middle class during the week. As I sat in and helped the teachers with these rambunctious children, the Lord broke through to me as I witnessed child-like faith put into action. These children relied on us for all of their needs; when they sobbed, we were there to comfort them, and when they made mistakes, we were firm to correct them. What a beautiful picture this painted, as I realized that the Lord isn’t looking for beauty, success, or wealth, but complete and utter dependence on Him. Watching these children gave me hope in a life of simplicity, showing me that access to the Lord requires me to simply walk through the door at street-level, exactly as I am.

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    Though there were many breakthroughs, there was still one area in my life that hindered me greatly. It wasn’t until August that I was brought to a crossroads where I could either choose the Lord and surrender completely or pack my bags and fly home. The Lord had been knocking on the door of my heart for the majority of my life, and I chose to ignore Him every time, but at this point, I believe, He had had enough of me thinking I could have victory in my own strength. As I witnessed this event unfold before me, I realized I was no longer in control. As I look back, I still can’t fathom the amount of love the Lord has for me to have brought me to the end of myself; this was grace extended and mercy overflowing. I chose the Lord. I chose freedom. I chose to surrender. The Lord used the remaining two months of my field time to break down the walls that I had built up in hopes of protecting myself. I noticed each day my heart becoming softer than the day previous as His heart became mine. I was no longer battling against God because I was battling with Him alongside me.

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    I remember waking up one morning refreshed, forgetting the feeling of misery. I remember breathing in the Ugandan air and praising God because, through Him, I was a new creation, sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. The failures of my past no longer defined me because I was set free, and who the Son sets free is free I N D E E D. I am currently interning at my home church in Danvers, Massachusetts where I continue to grow in the Lord through His Word. Though it is an uphill battle, it is a battle nonetheless as I must choose every day to pick up my cross and walk with Him and every day, it’s worth it.

I am but clay in the Potter’s hand.

Thank you, Potter’s Field Ministries and Sponsors!

’Til the Whole World Hears

The Impact of His Light

We are excited to share a praise report regarding our relief efforts to help those affected by the volcano and seismic activity that rocked Guatemala in June. To those who have helped support these relief efforts, we would like to once again say, “Thank You!”

The volcano shelter administrators from the city of Alotenango and representatives from the Guatemalan department of child services welcomed us with open arms and were excited to extend the invitation for us to teach weekly English classes in the shelters! We started in September with pre-school aged children. We held three classes with about 20 students total. They were between three and six years old so it was quite interesting! Since then, they have asked us to commit to entire mornings, so we set up time slots for different age groups from pre-school to adults every Tuesday from 9am-12pm. 

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A long-term issue, apart from permanent housing, is the people becoming dependent upon the help they are receiving and therefore growing less and less motivated to act for themselves to make a difference in their lives. This is partially why the administration is so excited about English classes, because no one living there now would ever be able to afford them, but they have the power to make a difference in their lives for the future. The administration was also very encouraged to see two teenagers (Izzy and Audrey McClain, two of our missionaries’ daughters) volunteering. One staff member commented that she hopes this will be something that they can speak to the youth about to encourage them to see that they too can make a difference and their age doesn’t hinder them to help. At that point, we were able to share a bit more of our heart as a ministry and the vision that has been given for Guatemala. It was really exciting to see them excited for the youth of their own country.

We met with one of the shelter officials, Jorge, who shared how there is still a long way to go before each family is functioning fully on their own again. There are now a few organizations that the shelter officials are looking at to be part of the process to help the people move forward in their lives. They are looking at Potter’s Field to be part of the process! They’d like to have our input and would like to include us in future steps for the improvement of the lives of the people.

Jorge thanked us several times for being part of the relief efforts and, more so, the lives of the people since the beginning. They’ve seen the impact the ministry has had on the lives of the people. They are thankful for our willingness to come and teach the children English. They are willing to help in whatever way they can to motivate the people to be a part of the classes. They see the value and are excited at the possibilities.

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At first, we only had a handful of kids, and Jorge and Sandra, the public relations coordinator, took note of that. They want our time there to be fruitful and they asked us to use the registration forms that we use with normal Kids Clubs for those that will participate, seeing that it is a great benefit that parents see our level of commitment to their kids and their learning English. Next month, we will hold a Transforming English camp in a city building with the backing of the city leaders free of charge due to the relationship formed with the Alotenango city officials!

 

Sandra has one son who attended a school funded by the La Reunion Golf Club. Since the golf resort and the school were destroyed, her son, as well as many others, fell behind in their studies during the time immediately following the eruption of Fuego. Eventually, they began classes in another location, but now her son is failing English. We’ve offered to tutor her son in English while we are at the shelter on Tuesday mornings. She was overjoyed and thanked us profusely for what, for her, is an incredible blessing. She shared with me Tuesday how excited her son is to start working with us.

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La Reunion Golf Club

Sandra shared her story of the day of the eruption with us a couple of months ago and the part that was so impactful to me was her sharing how she is still haunted by the people that they could not fit in the first rescue truck – the ones who ultimately lost their lives because there simply was not enough room in the truck. She said there were so many that they could not save. I reminded her that day that she was a part of the lives of the 1,000+ people that were living in Alotenango that were saved that day.

“After our meeting in the shelter, Matt and I drove up closer than we had before to Ground Zero. I cannot describe how haunting the scene was. I felt the air in my lungs escape me, and it was not due to poor air quality, but because what I was seeing took my breath away. We have driven that road so many times, but I could not recognize where we were.

I truly have nothing to offer in the aftermath of a tragic natural disaster like the eruption of a volcano. I have nothing to offer a person who has lost their entire livelihood and most of their family members in a matter of minutes. Nothing could have ever prepared me or anyone else for what we have experienced the past four months. But God.” -Brooke McClain, PFM Missionary

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Ground Zero of the eruption

We were blown away and so thankful for this open door to be a light in the middle of such darkness and hopelessness. It truly is a privilege. 

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An outreach our team had at one of the shelters.

If you are encouraged by this update or feel led to get further involved, we would like to extend an invitation for you to join us on our upcoming Medical Mission Trip to Guatemala, January 5-12, 2019. Even if you are not medical personnel, there are still open spots available! Come and see for yourself the work the Lord is doing in Guatemala! We will be offering medical care in the volcano shelters. Click here for more information and to download an application.

Lastly, in addition to asking you all to join us in prayer for the people of Guatemala and for how we can best help them at this time, should the Lord lead you to help financially in this relief effort, you can donate toward this by clicking here to process an online donation (be sure to select “Guatemala 2019 Medical Mission Trip” as the Directed Giving Fund) or by calling us directly at 1.877.337.2624. Funds will be directed toward sharing the love of Jesus, including providing medications, for our multiple upcoming medical clinics. Any funds raised over and above the medical trip need will support the ongoing work of Potter’s Field Ministries in Guatemala.

THANK YOU all for doing what you do that allows us to be able to serve here for such a time as this!

Dr. Denny Schultz

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.

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    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. 

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    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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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.