Loved by God

This is the story of seven-year-old Natalia of PFK Costa Rica, as told by our IGNITE Class 12 intern, Kenadie (of Crossroads Community Church). Kenadie has been serving in Costa Rica for the past four months through the Potter’s Field IGNITE program and has been able to get to know and love little Natalia through serving at the local Kids Clubs both in Llanito and in Villarreal (alongside Calvary Chapel Villarreal). Please be praying for Natalia and all of the children who attend Kids Club in Costa Rica.

Like most of the kids in Llanito, Costa Rica, Natalia was born in Nicaragua. She moved to Costa Rica when she was five years old to live with her extended family. She faithfully attends Kids Club every Monday in Llanito, Costa Rica with two of her older cousins. Kids Club has only been in Llanito for about a year, so she hasn’t been attending for very long, but she is part of the original group of children. Natalia knew nothing about Jesus when she first started coming to Kids Club but is now hearing about Him every week through the songs and Bible stories.

Costa Rica is the melting pot of central America, and it is common for Nicaraguans to move to Costa Rica because of how much safer it is. Unfortunately, they are not always welcomed with open arms. Nicaraguans are looked down on by the majority of native Costa Ricans. Even if they’re good citizens, they are viewed as dirty and considered outsiders. Children like Natalia who move here are going to stand out for their entire lives. At the school in Llanito, most of the students are from Nicaragua, but anywhere outside of that, biases are going to follow them. Natalia is part of this group of people seen as slightly “less than” simply because of where she was born.

Natalia lives with her aunt and cousins while her mom lives in Nicaragua. Her mom didn’t do this out of a heart to protect her but because she didn’t want her daughter to be with her. Although she lives in a safer country, the heartache of not being wanted by her mother has deeply hurt Natalia. Seven years old is old enough to know that she isn’t wanted by the woman who should love her more than anyone else. Through Kids Club, Natalia is learning about the God who loves her enough to die for her. She is learning that she is valued and wanted by the King of kings. For the first time in her life, she is being shown the love that she has always needed. She is being told that our God is near to the broken hearted.

 

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Natalia (right) at Potter’s Field Kids Club Costa Rica

 

This reality of being unwanted is one that is not uncommon in Costa Rica. It is normal to start having children by the age of 15 or 16, almost always outside of marriage and usually with multiple men. be committed to raising a family together and even more rare that they get married. Because the family unit isn’t prioritized, children are not seen as precious blessings from the Lord. Without the Lord breaking into Natalia’s life, this is all she would ever know. She would never see that there is any other way of life. We know that the Lord can do anything, but watching Him break the cycle of brokenness never ceases to amaze me.

Please pray for Natalia to have a heart that loves the Lord from a very young age. Pray that she would find healing and comfort in the fact that Jesus loves her and died for her sins. As the Lord begins to change her life, please pray that she would be an example to her family and friends of what it means to love the Lord with your whole heart.

 

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Natalia (center) with IGNITE Class 12 intern, Kenadie, of Crossroads Community Church (right)

 

 

Impacting Guatemala

A young adult from Guatemala, IGNITE Class 12 intern, Izabella, shares how being in the program has brought her out of her comfort zone and widened her worldview. She has a word of thanks for those who faithfully pray for and support Potter’s Field Ministries.

Dear sponsors,

Hi, my name is Izabella, and I’m from Guatemala City. A lot of interns came here very excited because they knew the necessity the country has and they wanted to help. I am embarrassed to say that even though I knew it too, I ignored it. It wasn’t until God called me to IGNITE that I saw the parts of Guatemala I have never seen before and their desperate need for Jesus.

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Iza praying over a local woman during an outreach

 

While being here, I have been able to grow in my relationship with Christ in a place excluded from worldly distractions. It is incredible to me how much I have been able to learn about the Bible and Jesus’ love. My heart is extremely thankful for the help and prayer you have provided. It is beautiful to me how you were able to be part of my journey. It completely changed my life, and I will never forget it.

Love,
Izabella

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IGNITE interns (left to right) Julie, Jess, and Izabella during an outreach in Xela, Guatemala

 

 

Hearts on Fire

“The work that Potter’s Field is doing in Antigua is changing lives…”

The following was written by IGNITE Class 12 interns Nick and Julie Borghi of Calvary Chapel Chattanooga. Our interns have already spent over a month serving on the field and getting to know the children who attend our various Kids Clubs around the world! One little girl, in particular, caught Nick and Julie’s attention.

Since our first Kids Club in Guatemala, five-year-old Marianny has grabbed our attention.  This sweet five-year-old is full of energy and always on the move.  Her mom, Sylvia, summed her up in one word – “active.”  Usually, Marianny can be found on the trampoline near the tent.  She loves to jump and climb.  Besides play time, Marianny’s favorite part of Kids Club is the songs that we sing under the tent.  Her favorite song is “Tu Me Renuevas” (You Renew Me).  She even sings and dances the moves to that song at her home.

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Julie and Marianny at Potter’s Field Kids Antigua

Also at home, Marianny loves to pray.  She always volunteers to pray for meals for her family and before going to bed.  Her older sister, Natalie, and baby brother, Alejandro, are watching her pray every chance she gets at home, and I believe that Marianny is showing them the light of Jesus that lives inside her.  Her heart is so big that not only does she want to pray for other people, but she also wants to be a veterinarian and help save the lives of animals.  Her dog and turtle must be very lucky to have her as an owner!  She also has chickens that she takes care of with her parents’ help.  Sometimes her cousin likes to help her, too.

Her cousin is her best friend and comes to Kids Club with Marianny every Wednesday.  When the two are not at Kids Club, they enjoy drawing and painting and coloring and playing princesses.  Marianny is always Elsa, but dresses up in pink because it is her favorite color.  Marianny has a big heart for others and a personality that draws people.  She loves Jesus, and we believe God has great plans to use her as a light in this world.  When we asked who Jesus was to her, the answer was, “everything.”  Out of the mouth of babes… (Matthew 21:16).

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Julie and her son with Marianny and her family

For two years now, Marianny has been coming to Potter’s Field Kids Club, and we are so happy to have her.  She found out about Kids Club from a pamphlet she received while an IGNITE class was doing an outreach.  The reason that Marianny’s mom keeps bringing her back is because our Kids Club teaches children how to pray to God.  Marianny was once ashamed to pray but now loves to pray every chance she gets.  This child’s biggest prayer has greatly impacted her Mom and Dad.  She prays every day for her Dad to get a job.

The change of heart in her prayer life happened during a medical clinic at Calvary Chapel Antigua when someone with Potter’s Field prayed over her.  Since that day, Marianny’s attitude has changed, and she has grown a love for the Bible stories.  The work that Potter’s Field is doing in Antigua is changing lives.  What we may see on the front end is just seeds being planted, but other classes of IGNITE get to see the fruit that comes from it.  Marriany is a little girl who not only has been transformed by the Holy Spirit that lives in her, but she has also been a light to her family and ours as well.

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Unless the Lord Builds the House…

It was in October of 2014 when I was last in Uganda before my wife, Michelle, and I traveled there on April 24th -May 1st of this year. We were blessed to be able to spend time with Potter’s Field Ministries’ recently deployed IGNITE interns serving there, minister with and to the Calvary Chapel Entebbe (CCE) staff and church members, and to simply fellowship with our brothers and sisters there in Uganda who are so dear to us and all who serve with Potter’s Field Ministries (PFM). In addition to those reasons for going, there was also another purpose for our time there – to be a part of a building dedication that had been years in the making!

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Final preparations on the two-story educational building and courtyard

Potter’s Field Ministries has been involved in the private Christian school at CCE, Calvary Chapel Christian School, since it’s very beginnings. Over the years assisting in the building of needed educational buildings, providing funding for the administration for the school and, especially dear to us as a ministry, providing scholarships to hundreds of kids yearly to attend the school and get needed education, PFM has been blessed to be an intricate partner in all the school has grown into. As is always the case, school growth has led to the need for added facilities and, at the time of my last trip to Uganda, there were plans drawn up for a two-story educational facility, though the actual building of it was still just a dream. That dream came to reality over the past two and a half years, and it was our privilege on Friday, April 28th, to be a part of the dedication of this new building, along with our IGNITE interns and overseers.

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The Mayor of Entebbe cutting the ceremonial dedication ribbon

It has surely been a long haul for Pastor Craig Linquist, founding pastor of Calvary Chapel Entebbe (CCE), and the staff of CCE, in seeing this building come to fruition and dedication day was truly a celebration of perseverance but, even more so, a special day to acknowledge the provision of the Lord. What started in July 2015 with a ground-breaking ceremony attended by the mayor, local dignitaries, and CCE staff and church members, was culminated on that Friday with many of the same people in attendance along with many others, including individuals from the local school board and even a member of their parliament. There were speeches, performances by the kids in the school and also some from our Potter’s Field Kids programs, and the unveiling of dedication plaques. I was blessed to be able to unveil the “Donor Plaque” acknowledging the many partners who the Lord worked through to build the new facility, which not only includes six new classrooms but also a computer lab and a library! We were privileged to get to know Ed and Germaine La Guardia, who provided the funds specifically for the library, dedicated in honor of Germaine’s father.

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Pastor Craig Linquist of CC Entebbe (left) with Ed and Germaine La Guardia

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Children reading in the new library!

All in all, it was an incredible time being involved in the final preparations of the building, including the planting of plants and setting up the library, and we will long remember the smiling faces of the kids and their parents as they marveled at what the Lord had provided for them. I can’t say thank you enough to Pastor Mike and Pam Rozell, along with the staff of Potter’s Field Ministries, for the privilege of representing all of them at the dedication, as well as for all the special times of fellowship we had with our IGNITE interns and those who call Calvary Chapel Entebbe their home church and school.

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Performance by some of the children enrolled in Potter’s Field Kids Uganda

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The planting of the “Donor Tree”

Blessed Faithfulness

Connor Strong is an intern in the Potter’s Field IGNITE Mission Training School. Over the last six months, he has traveled to Cambodia for seven weeks and joined Pastor Michael and Pam Rozell in their Touring Ministry. The following is a thank you letter from Connor to the sponsors of Potter’s Field Ministries for their faithful prayers and support. Together we are making disciples of all nations and making known the name of Jesus.

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Connor Strong with IGNITE Class 11 teammate (Noah Ehrhard) and their overseer, Zach Martinez

Looking back at the last nine months of my life fills me with such joy and humility. The IGNITE Mission Training School has opened so many doors in my life that I wouldn’t have expected in a million years. Starting in July 2016, I spent three months in Guatemala for training, then I was blessed to go on tour with Potter’s Field Ministries as a part of my six-month field time. After traveling the United States, my teammate and I spent seven weeks in the Kingdom of Cambodia, and now we are serving in St. Petersburg, Florida alongside Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg! I know that it all seems like a lot, and it is. However, I’ve grown to learn how truly blessed I am by this ministry and its faithful sponsors and supporters, without whom, almost all of what I’ve been able to experience wouldn’t be possible.

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Connor in Cambodia

In November I stood at the back table of a Potter’s Field presentation and watched many people come and sign up as regular supporters and select Cambodian prayer children in our program. Not even two weeks later I was in Cambodia sharing Jesus with the same kids who those people were praying for. I even watched a young girl receive a bike as a gift from a sponsor. It really hit me, what I’m a part of, and that our supporters are truly affecting the lives of young children globally and young adults who are seeking after Christ. Your donation and support do so much more than what surface level might show. Now, at the beginning of the re-entry phase of IGNITE, I can know and trust that the course of my life will never be what I thought it was. This ministry will continue to have opportunities to build relationships and shape lives across the globe because of the faithfulness of sponsors that God has blessed Potter’s Field Ministries with. With you, we can continue encouraging people and children to pursue Christ forever and ever, ‘til the whole world hears.

Thank you, beyond what my words on paper could express,

Connor Strong

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At Potter’s Field Kids Club in Guatemala during training phase of IGNITE Program

Potter’s Field Kids Kenya: Cedrick

The following was written by IGNITE Class 11 intern, Michael Buduson (Calvary Chapel Webster) on one of our Potter’s Field Kids, Cedrick

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Cedrick is, most likely, my favorite kid at the Potter’s Field Kids Club here in Kenya! Every time I see him, he has the biggest smile on his face, and he always calls me over to sit down to talk and play with him. There’s a lot about Cedrick that makes him stand out among the other kids. For one, his English is far superior to even some of the older kids. He understands the language very well and can speak in complete sentences with the proper structure. In fact, the only issue he has is a hard time differentiating between “he” and “she.” The masculine and feminine concept doesn’t really translate well here since, in Swahili, the word ‘yeye’ means both he and she, so to him its the same thing. Also, like many here in Kenya, Cedrick is one of those who likes to respond to questions with his eyebrows. If the answer is to a question is yes, he’ll usually slightly tilt his head back and raise his eyebrows high along with a small grin while, if the answer is no, he’ll usually just raise them without the tilting of the head or smile. I have gotten to where I can with about an eighty percent accuracy what his answer is at times like this!

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Cedrick is one of those kids you can just sit with, talking and laughing for hours. What stands out above all that is special about him, it is the joy, love, and hope that he has – it is just amazing. The reason I say this is Cedrick has a condition where he is unable to walk. He doesn’t know why or the cause, he just knows that he has very little feeling in his legs and is unable to move them or support himself standing. Because of this, he is almost always carried everywhere he goes and usually requires a seat where his back is supported so he can sit upright. But even his condition doesn’t stop him from laughing and playing with the other kids. Even without the use of his legs, he’ll crawl around the ground to play hide and seek or to race or just to explore. I’ve given him the nickname ‘Superman’ because of his heart, strength, and determination that he possess. Plus he also loves Superman. We would play hide and seek together, and when it was my turn to look for him, he would always try and sneak up behind me to scare me. Every time we gather in the sanctuary for kids songs, I always carry Cedrick in and he would have me sit right next to him, or he would ask if he could sit on top of my shoulders to see better.

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Cedrick has been attending kids club here in Kenya for a few months now. He’s brought by his mom and ever since coming he’s been able to connect with other children and make many new friends and have a great opportunity to learn about God. Cedrick lives with his mom, aunt, and his baby brother. His dad is always working so he only sees him on certain occasions, but he loves to spend time with him. Usually, when he is home, he likes to watch tv or play his racing game on his mom’s phone, but one of his favorite things to do is to cook. He says he loves cooking for his mom and will always make her sausages and chips (french fries). He also loves to listen to music, and when he gets older, he wants to learn how to play the drums and the guitar. When he’s all grown up, he plans on being not just a pilot, but also a doctor, that way he can save people while he’s flying. He has very high hopes for the future. Cedrick is very thankful for everything that God has provided for him, his family, his friends, his ability to cook, and even without the use of his legs he is so thankful for the life he has been given. He fully believes that God will heal his legs and that he will be able to walk and run. I am so thankful for Superman Cedrick and the joy and love he brings every week to Kids Club. Pray for his family and their continual provision, for his legs that he would be healed and have the ability to walk, and for God to continue to bring love and joy into his life.

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Dear Ministry Friends,

We truly can’t believe we are starting our 25th year of Potter’s Field Ministries! Time surely does fly. Pam & I and the entire team and staff look forward to what God has in store for this milestone year!  We would appreciate your continued prayers.

We would be remiss however if we didn’t share some of the highlights with you from 2016, that through your partnership, you helped make possible.

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Pastor Michael and Pam Rozell at Potter’s Field Kids Guatemala

We started our first domestic Potter’s Field Kids Club on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, MT. We have deployed seven interns for service there and also hosted two short-term mission trips.  We trained 42 interns in 2016 through the IGNITE Mission Training School at our Headquarters in Antigua, Guatemala where they ministered to thousands of children in our locations on four continents.  (These were our two largest IGNITE classes ever and these young adults represented an equivalent of 21 years of missionary service.)  We also hosted 18 mission teams at our Center in Guatemala where over 250 people from 16 different churches across America joined us to serve.

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IGNITE interns serving during an overnight outreach in Escuintla, Guatemala

In our three locations in Africa, we have had some of our largest Potter’s Field Kids Clubs ever!  In Uganda, we had 1,000 kids in attendance this past Saturday alone. We also did 17 island outreaches where 3,828 children were reached; in Kenya, 566 children came to PFK Club and our work in The Democratic Republic of the Congo has an average of 600 kids per week.

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Potter’s Field Kids Uganda

We have started a new PFK program & expanded our borders to a second location in a neighboring town in Costa Rica.  I took a team and a potter’s wheel to Cambodia in Phnom Penh and did a presentation at our partnering church, New Life Fellowship.  Our domestic horse camps doubled in size with 98 kids attending our 11 camps in Whitefish, MT from May through December.  We partnered with Child Bridge & CASA ministering to foster kids and Lighthouse Home for disabled adults. We also hosted an annual day camp for 30 underprivileged kids from TurnAround Ministries from Atlanta, GA.  We just completed a three-day Holiday Horse Camp.

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First Potter’s Field Presentation at New Life Fellowship in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

As we reflect on all The Lord has done this past year, we can say without hesitation, we experienced the God “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.”  Eph. 3:20.  To Him be the Glory!!  We could not do this without your faithful support & prayers.  Thank each of you, our partners in ministry, for an awesome year!

‘Til the Whole World Hears,

Pastor Michael and Pam Rozell

Founders, Potter’s Field Ministries

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‘Til the Whole World Hears!