South Asia seaside

Worker Profile: Adam & Elise Sauder

December 21, 2023

Adam and Elise (names changed) serve with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. They help staff six-month discipleship schools where young adults learn about God’s heart for people of every nation, which is followed by an “outreach” phase to South Asia.

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Call to Prayer: Renewal Starts With Prayer

December 21, 2023

A resourcing network that David Stutzman works with in Germany has hosted a prayer month for three years now. David writes, “It has felt like one of the more encouraging things we have done with others. There is something about prayer, as a church, that helps us see the spiritual landscape around us and bring into words God’s movement among us.”

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Baker Rigg

Partnerships Enhance Jail Ministries

December 21, 2023

Skip Tobin writes about prison ministry in the local jail in Harrisonburg, Va. “This is a relatively new field for us at VMMissions. We are being invited to take our place among partners. We have the privilege of supporting what God is doing across denominational lines as we pray together and work in a field that is not far away but at our very doorsteps.”

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A Vision of Long-term Renewal

A Long-term Vision of Renewal

December 21, 2023

What Devin Stipe, a tranSend intern serving with SLAQ (Servant Leader Quest), appreciates about the SLAQ program is that instead of going out to make as many new disciples as possible, SLAQ takes a handful of youth who already have a relationship with Christ, and provides an opportunity for them to become particularly strong disciples.

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Reimagining Our Mission

Reimagining Our Mission

December 21, 2023

“Our main resource for spreading the gospel is people, but it is the Spirit who is at work in the lives of those we engage with the gospel,” writes Solange Tartari, serving in Shkodër, Albania. “All we can do is be clear about our role and purpose in God’s reconciling work in the world.”

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The Soil and The Seed concert

New Expressions of Ancient Practices

December 21, 2023

The Soil and The Seed Project is an innovative expression of mission. Director Seth Crissman writes, “If we can maintain an ongoing posture of learning, it can help us to let go of some preconceived ideas about what the best way to be “sent” and joining in God’s work in the world looks like. We can then follow Jesus and join in God’s work in the world in new and beautiful ways.”

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Aaron Kauffman

The Mission Imagination

December 21, 2023

How is the Holy Spirit continuing to lead us into new horizons in mission today? I’ll name just two. First, the “receivers” of mission have become the senders. Second, the mission field has come home.

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Worker Profile: Kate Miller

September 11, 2023

Kate (not her real name) is a computer programmer for a U.S. company that is partnered with a company in Central Asia as business for transformation (B4T). She is working with the office in Central Asia to help strengthen the relationship between the two companies, and lives with a local family.

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Call to Prayer: Sowing Seeds in the Dust

September 11, 2023

Sarah Schoenhals, serving among the Isaan people in Thailand, writes, “It’s a lot easier to pray when we’re buoyed by seeing tangible results! And yet, so often, the results we seek are not immediate, nor the kind of results we imagined.”

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Pam Lehman

Worker Support on the Ground

September 5, 2023

Partnering with workers on the field gives Ministry Support Team (MST) members the opportunity to share in what God is doing. It was especially meaningful for MST member Pam Lehman to visit VMMissions workers Dan and Mary Hess in their ministry location of Milot, Albania.

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There’s More to Mission Than Going

September 5, 2023

Praying for and contributing financially to the work of mission is also a response to God’s call. This backbone of support is essential for VMMissions to exist and do its best to train, send, equip, support, and encourage people as they serve near or far.

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Pilgrims on the Silk Road

August 14, 2023

“Sometimes it was painful to say goodbye to move to another place, leaving dear brothers and sisters behind,” writes Paulo (name changed), a worker in Central Asia. “But it was also like turning to a new page in a book. And that is how the story of our pilgrimage continues, in this vast land along the Silk Road.”

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Bible study on the farm

Mission on the Farm

August 14, 2023

Marketplace Worker Ben Yutzy knew he was being called to be a missionary. “I began by asking Jesus, where are you sending me?” he writes. “The workplace was obviously where I spent the most time, and after I asked that question, it became the obvious choice. Jesus gave me eyes to see my coworkers with compassion and in great need of the gospel.”

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Aaron Kauffman

What’s a Missionary?

July 21, 2023

Over the past decade, I’ve learned more about what it means to live an everyday missional life. We invest in the faith formation of our four kids. We build meaningful relationships with our neighbors and the families we get to know through the public schools. We pray for those far from God and look for opportunities to share the hope we have in Jesus. We support missionaries financially and pray for them. These are things all Christians can do as participants in God’s mission.

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Worker Profile: Rissa Martin

May 30, 2023

Rissa serves at Agape Home, a Christian-run orphanage located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she had volunteered several times before returning as a VMMissions worker. She coordinates with incoming volunteers, teaches English in their Montessori Preschool, and manages the website and social media presence.

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Yute and Tukata

Call to Prayer: Living the Lord’s Prayer

May 30, 2023

The greatest shame in Isaan culture is to die without friends gathering, without the monks chanting their blessings. This is what Ying’s family expected. But instead, members of the local church showed up in force and, as is the custom, stayed with the family until the ceremonies were completed. Ying’s relatives were powerfully impacted.

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Being On Mission Through Our Prayers

May 30, 2023

“Sending and receiving mission workers undoubtedly brings us closer to the global community,” Elena Buckwalter de Satalaya writes. “However, it is just as important, if not even more so, to pray for the global church and the people and communities it reaches.”

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The Impact of Ministry Collaboration

May 25, 2023

“Our ministry of church planting, pastoring, and gospel outreach has been deeply impacted by partnerships that God has brought together,” Veronica Sanchez writes. “We know that God is on mission in the Waynesboro, Va., community where we have planted a new community of faith.”

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Pastor Blake Wood

The Beauty of the Body of Christ

May 25, 2023

Churches across denominational lines have come together to support reaching the local Arabic-speaking community in Harrisonburg, Va. “What has blessed and stretched my faith has been the “unity amidst diversity” that I have seen expressed in the team which has come alongside [VMMissions worker] Yacoub. This is the body of Christ at its best,” Pastor Blake Wood writes.

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Italy New Year's outreach event

Mission Is a Partnership

May 22, 2023

“Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection is often the focal point of his purpose on earth, and for good reason,” Shawn Green writes. “But we shouldn’t overlook or miss the countless bits of perfect knowledge that Jesus taught and shared as he walked among his followers, and with which we are invited to align our hearts and immerse our souls in God’s goodness and mercy.”

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Aaron Kauffman

Moving Together in Mission

May 22, 2023

A few years ago while recovering from surgery I picked up a book gathering dust on my shelf called In His Image, written by Dr. Paul Brand (with the help of Philip Yancey). I’ve always been interested in science, so I found the combination of medical insight, missionary zeal and biblical wisdom to be fascinating and moving at the same time. It seemed especially fitting to read about how our bodily systems reflect the genius of the Creator while my own body healed.

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Jhustin Thompson

Worker Profile: Jhustin Thompson

March 7, 2023

Jhustin serves in a college ministry assignment with Every Nation Campus (ENC) and VMMissions, and is sent by Divine Unity Community Church (DUCC), Harrisonburg, Va. “My work and goal is to show the love of God and be a light to campus. I want to see lives changed by the good news and do the work of God,” he writes.

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Perspectives

Call to Prayer: Joining God’s Heart for Mission

March 7, 2023

Prayer is a fundamental underpinning of how we partner with God to engage in our small part of the great gospel task. As followers of Jesus pray together, the Holy Spirit enables us to see the grand reality of God’s plan for the restoration for humanity, and to see the immediate needs of the people right in front of us.

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God Helps Us Speak the Message

March 1, 2023

Receiving the call to go to another place implies many changes and a lot of learning in unfamiliar areas, such as language, culture, and food. All of this can become overwhelming,” David and Marta write. “But we can be filled with encouragement and hope knowing that the Lord will be with us.”

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Juan José Lagos

God’s Mission Is Bigger Than Mine

March 1, 2023

“God’s mission is bigger than mine,” church planter Juan José Lagos writes. “That allows me to join his story and his mission rather than carrying the burden of accomplishing it all on my own strength. This is how we must see ourselves as we follow the call of God our Father who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ.”

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Rachel Janney

God’s Heart Is for Reconciliation

February 27, 2023

God leading this mission helps me acknowledge that he doesn’t need us to accomplish his plans, but rather, God invites us to partner with him. Personally, this demolishes any ounce of pride in my heart that tries to make disciples without Christ’s partnership. This also allows me to rest in the fact that I don’t have to be in control.

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God’s Mission Has a Church

February 27, 2023

Our church history is shaped by the legacy of Christendom: the church aligning with political power to protect and maintain our position in society. This is vastly different from understanding the church being shaped as a missionary church whose calling is to be embedded as “sent ones” in our own societies.

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Aaron Kauffman

Doxological Mission

February 27, 2023

God’s mission is first and foremost about the pursuit of God’s glory. Yes, it includes us, but it is not primarily about our needs, ambitions or hopes. God’s burning desire is for all of creation to know God’s glory—his awesome and utterly unique presence—and to give him the praise he deserves so that we might enjoy him together forever.

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Whose Voice Are We Listening To?

November 11, 2022

Anita (name changed), serving in a slum in Indonesia, writes, “It is lovely when we have attainable rhythms and goals to keep us healthy and measure “success” clearly. But on the mission field, so often this seems impossible. Much of our energy is spent just surviving in a different culture, language, and religious context. For those of us in uncharted territory of ministry, it can feel impossible to measure.”

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Paul Yoder

Success Requires Transformation

November 11, 2022

“In my four years on the VMMissions Board of Directors, I have found that our vision statement serves as a beautiful and life-giving objective,” Paul Yoder, board chair, writes. “The verb “envisions” speaks to the “picture” that we are painting. Three scriptures have recently been helping me more fully “envision” success in God’s kingdom.

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Success Can Rise Out of Failure

November 8, 2022

One experience that Anne (name changed) had illustrates her struggle with success. “How could people in our own faith community act so vengefully and with so little consideration for their children’s faith?” she writes. “Just when I rejoice at how good things are going, at how much fruit is resulting from my ministry, things fall apart. I could easily name ten other situations where seeming success crashed down into failure.”

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Success Is Doing What Pleases the Lord

November 8, 2022

“My own definition of success has to run deeper than just a sense of accomplishment, or I’m not going to make it very far,” Nathan Carr writes. “Early in my ministry I fell into that trap of thinking I was the one who had to make things happen. I put everything on my own shoulders, and it wore me out. I was forced to face the reality that I could only give them so much.”

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Joyel Allen

Success Is the Outflow of Abiding

November 7, 2022

Joyel writes, “We can see there’s something so special about creation being with our creator. The outflow of abiding and being with God is the fruit that we bear that not only benefits us, but those around us. We’re constantly approached with opportunities to remain distracted, in bondage, and lost. But even then, God is faithful to redirect us back to him.”

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Call to Prayer: Praying Together Is Success

November 7, 2022

“My teammate and I stood soberly looking at each other—wives and mothers with parallel journeys across those seven years together,” Carol Tobin writes. “Both of us had struggled and endured, but because we struggled in vastly different ways, each was always a frustrating enigma to the other. The painful judgments and the bitter disappointment we had been to each other hung heavily between us. ‘Was it worth it?’ we asked. But it wasn’t a question either of us was prepared to answer.”

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Worker Profile: Ken Wettig

November 7, 2022

Ken serves as the initiator and director of a youth discipleship program called SLAQ (Servant Leader Quest), which seeks to raise up diverse cohorts among the next generation of serving leaders in the way of Jesus through outdoor adventures, community service, and “crucial conversations.”

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Aaron Kauffman

Faithfulness + Patience = Fruitfulness

November 1, 2022

I confess I feel some discomfort with measuring “success” in missions. Depth of transformation is not an easy thing to quantify, nor do we often see immediate results. Perhaps the key to long-term fruitfulness in Christian mission is faithful witness combined with patient trust in the Lord of the harvest.

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Carol Tobin

Carol Tobin, VMMissions Mission Advocate, Retires

September 1, 2022

On August 31, Carol Tobin retired from her staff role as Mission Advocate and Transforming Content Editor. Though her formal role has ended, she will continue in volunteer roles for VMMissions, including helping to coordinate the upcoming Perspectives course and local missions recruitment efforts.

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Hannah Shultz

Worker Profile: Hannah Shultz

September 1, 2022

My assignment is to disciple children in our local Hispanic churches in the way of Jesus through word and song. I am currently partnering with Iglesia Menonita Monte Moriah. I teach piano, violin, and biblical truths about worship to Pastor Alfonso and Milagros’ daughters, who in turn help facilitate worship through leading music at their church.

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Mission Training Center

August 17, 2022

Excitement builds as an existing barn on the property is renovated into a space for training, meeting, and community events. Taking a storage barn and transforming it into a training center will give it a new purpose for a new generation of missional leaders.

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Business for Transformation

August 15, 2022

VMMissions is blessing communities through kingdom business through a subsidiary board of business experts who find and coach partners, vet plans, monitor progress, and makes loans to new and growing enterprises. Christian-led businesses can create just employment and sustainable economic growth even as they invite spiritual transformation through the gospel.

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Global Church Planting

August 15, 2022

VMMissions is mobilizing church planters from around the globe to the places where the gospel is needed most. The following profiles feature the first recipients of the Global Church Planting grant. What an opportunity to join God in launching this new generation of global church planters!

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Explore God’s Heart for Justice on the U.S.-Mexico Border, March 5-10

August 5, 2022

Border Perspective, a VMMissions E3 Collective, is an immersive and educational service learning trip that will offer participants a first-hand connection with immigrant leaders serving families on the U.S.–Mexico border. Participants will gain an understanding of the complexity of immigration on the border and service opportunities to help support local immigrant ministries.

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Perspectives Course Coming Back to Harrisonburg Early Next Year

August 5, 2022

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course is offered next spring (held on Tuesday evenings, January 3 to May 2, 2023) in Harrisonburg. The 15-week course is heartily endorsed by a broad spectrum of evangelical denominations, ministries, and mission agencies.

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Aaron Kauffman

Catching the Wave

July 28, 2022

Launching a campaign in the middle of a pandemic has been a venture of faith. Dreams were stirring in our hearts as we celebrated our centennial in 2019. We asked God, “Where are you leading us as we enter our second century of ministry?” The clear response was to continue sharing new life in Jesus Christ with all people, especially those who haven’t heard.

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Andressa-Coutinho

Worker profile: Andressa Coutinho

April 26, 2022

Andressa’s assignment consists of cultural and linguistic learning as well as support of the church planting ministry of Albanian leaders and VMMissions workers Rafael and Solange Tartari, currently serving in northern Albania in the city of Shkodra. She is involved in the prayer and multimedia ministries of the church, and connects specifically with the women and youth.

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Call to Prayer: Reminding Ourselves of God’s Future

April 26, 2022

“It is good that we remind ourselves of God’s future…So often, our prayers reflect our present sorrows, weariness and broken hopes. Our God wants to hear those things, for he cares deeply about us. But, God also wants to speak to us about what he wants to do,” Ruthy writes.

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The Ultimate Adventure Story

April 26, 2022

“I want this next generation to embrace the challenge leveled at all of humanity in the life of Christ: the challenge that those who wish to be the greatest must be the servant of all,” Ken Wettig writes. “My hope is that SLAQ would be an invitation for young people to be apprenticed to the one person in human history whose Spirit is still present with us today: Jesus of Nazareth.”

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The Future That God Sees

April 21, 2022

See visions of “Imagining God’s Future” from VMMissions worker children serving internationally, as featured in the Spring 2022 issue of Transforming. Read artist statements and view the artwork close up.

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A Vision for Creating Community

April 19, 2022

People around us are longing for community, but they are not turning to the church for this community. This has been our challenge over the course of the past few years. It is hard to build community! But tucked away in a poor and immigrant-dense part of Mannheim is the Villa. This experiment of ours is unexpectedly bursting at the seams with life.

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What God Sees For Central Asia

April 19, 2022

“We sense that we are on the brink of a breakthrough that God wants to bring to this region,” Em says. “For me there is exhilaration edged with nervous anticipation. For Jay there is vigorous and contagious confidence, a beautiful sense of clarity as to what we are to be doing.”

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