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Ministry Updates

Connecting in Crisis - Maryuris' Story - Ecuador

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Maryuris' StoryMaryuris Rodríguez is a church planter in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The area where she is working is poverty-stricken. God called her to work with children and adolescents and to her joy, the kids’ parents are also coming to hear the gospel.

“We worked to provide the children and adolescents with activities to help prevent them from falling into bad habits such as drug addiction, which is very common in this area,” Maryuris says.

She has had this passion for serving others since she met Christ. When Maryuris was invited to the training provided through you by Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM), she immediately accepted because she felt she had been limited in her knowledge to be able to pursue her calling and share the love of God with others more strategically.

Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, however, the circumstances have changed. Maryuris has not been able to continue directly attending to these families through meetings as she had been doing. The city where she lives has registered the highest number of cases of both infected people and deaths. As a result, Guayaquil has declared a health crisis and put a curfew in place.

But this has not stopped Maryuris from following her call.

She saw the difficult situation that was arising in her community and recognized that many would be looking for an answer of hope so she set to work. She established devotional times for prayer, family Bible study at home, and has committed to counseling people through phone calls or video calls whenever possible.

Maryuris also mobilized her church to help low-income families with supplies as they have been directly impacted by the inability to work every day. She is grateful God is using her to bring His light and hope.  She is constantly reminded of her favorite verse from Psalm 126:5-6: “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Maryuris continues to sow seeds of hope during this time of international crisis.

Connecting in Crisis - Marcos' Story - Paraguay

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MarcosMarcos Blanco is a church planter for the Assemblies of God in Paraguay. He is currently halfway through the church planter training provided by Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM). Marcos has a discipleship group established in an area where the people have difficult lives and struggle to get ahead every day.

When Marcos learned that a state of emergency had been declared in his country due to the Coronavirus COVID-19, he knew he needed a plan to continue to serve the vulnerable people of the area.

Marcos organized several members of his discipleship group

to make food kits for families who would be affected by not being able to work or leave their homes. In each of these packages he wrote a verse and a note of encouragement for these families.

He also knew he couldn’t stop providing spiritual care for each of them, so Marcos prepared discipleship materials for the days of the quarantine, even providing activities for the children.

“The Word of the Lord teaches us to be light – this does not stop us. May we continue to advance and be strategic in the Work of the Lord,” says Marcos.

This church planter knows the work has not stopped and that this moment is crucial to show the love of God in a time of despair, uncertainty, and fear.

COVID-19 - KEEPING YOU, OUR PARTNER, INFORMED

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Dear friends and partners of Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM):

May the peace of Christ be with you!

I’m glad to report to you that our global staff, your team, is safe and taking precautions during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Travel has stopped, large gatherings postponed. But everyone is finding ways to minister despite the isolation. Thankfully, the MNM model of national partnership does not require us to repatriate foreigners to their country of origin. Instead, national leaders have been trained and prepared to be “spiritual first responders” in their own contexts, proclaiming a word of hope and encouragement—looking out for the most vulnerable in the name of Jesus.   

Some compare the COVID-19 pandemic to a world war. A “war creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it” (CS Lewis, Learning in Wartime). The US Army War College uses the term VUCA when referring to times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Whether in business, ministry, or family, this describes the disruption we have all experienced in our lives over the last few weeks. Many are asking questions. Many are considering their station in life. The indigenous and national leaders MNM has already trained are now well positioned, on the front line, to share the gospel.

A few days ago, I read Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” The verses that follow list a series of imminent dangers and threats to the psalmist. I love that in the Psalms there is room for the full range of human emotion and I suspect many of us are spending time there.

Recently, we gathered as an MNM team and remembered three principles that are important to us:

  • Name the pain: It is good to be honest and transparent of how we are feeling. Make room for lament. I like that the Scriptures give us permission to be real and name the pain and acknowledge the sense of loss we experience.
  • Remember your identity: We are not our own but belong to the Lord. We are children of God. We are rooted in the gospel and anchored in Christ. Circumstances change but our identity stands on solid rock.
  • Remember your vocation: We are called to walk in the Light and to be missionary agents of hope and reconciliation. Even in this situation we are still servants of the Kingdom: wash hands and keep washing feet!

The last verse of Psalm 27 calls us to patience saying, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” That is what we are attempting to do at MNM.

The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us globally as national leaders in newly planted churches are having to find different ways of ministering in their communities. Much more is now being done through social media and virtual online meetings. As everyone practices “social distancing” to abide by nationwide restrictions to “flatten the curve,” amazingly we are finding people have much more time for sustained meaningful conversations. A time such as this is not being wasted! The MNM National Director in Spain, wrote: “In just the last 24 hours hundreds of people have died in Spain because of the Coronavirus. But in the middle of this sadness, we have opportunities the Lord provides to us.”

We want to thank you for allowing us to partner with you in mission to the world with the truth and peace of the gospel.

The opportunity that we have in God’s ministry of reconciliation in the world is to use both common sense and also be bold in ministering to others. With God’s direction and through the power of His Holy Spirit, MNM (you and us in partnership) can not only survive this global Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic but realize it is possible to thrive as we trust and place our faith firmly in Him.

John Wagenveld

Founder / President

Multiplication Network Ministries

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