He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2
Our mission in the Republic of Georgia a few weeks ago made me remember the scripture about the fruitful and unfruitful branches of the vine. Christianity came to Georgia in the 3rd century AD through a Cappadocian woman named Nina. She came to the land that grew vines and produced grapes and wine. To show the Georgia people the sign of a cross she took two vines and tied them with her hair. She converted the king and the queen of Georgia through a prayer for the healing of the queen that was answered miraculously: and the rest is history, as they say. Georgia became a Christian nation and even fought many wars to protect their Christian culture. Somehow though in the process they elevated the culture over the very root of their faith. They have slipped into the complacency of their historic roots, rather than pursuing a living, deep and personal relationship with Christ. This is a dangerous trap the enemy sets up for the followers of Christ.
In the passage of John 15: 1-8 Jesus gives us a prescription of how to avoid this trap – to be a fruitful branch. If we bear fruit, we are inevitably attached to the vine and therefore we abide in the Vine and the Vine in us.
Though we are heading into the spring season, in the spiritual realm it is Harvest Season! In this newsletter you will find out what your prayers and donations achieved among the Kurdish people in Georgia, discover “jewels” in the Garbage City in Mexico and new missions opportunities the Lord is opening for you in 2022!
Helen and I pray the Lord’s abundance over your life. As you produce and gather fruit in His Kingdom, may you experience His extravagant fullness in your life!
We are excited to see you at the Greater Purpose Conference March 30, 31 and April 1. If you can’t travel to Branson, Missouri, sign up for the digital conference and experience The Kingdom with us!
Chuck & Helen Todd
January 2022 was much colder than usual. Some days the temperatures were in mid 20s F . The Georgian people were not quite prepared for the cold, but it was much worse for the Kurdish refugees from Azerbaijan who live on the outskirts of the city in homes made of plywood and sheet metal. When we arrived at the settlement most of them did not have warm clothes or shoes, but they were so excited to see our team! The kids were eager to sing songs and play games. The weather did not permit us to do outdoor activities with them for long. While the medical professionals went door to door seeing patients who have not seen a doctor in years, the rest of our team members were invited into their simple dwellings to share a cup of tea and sit by the fire. We sat on the dirt floor in the primitive huts listening to their stories and needs, praying for them and sharing about Jesus, their only hope.
Most of them were Muslims and had heard of Isa (Jesus), the prophet. When we shared with them that He was the son of God and handed them New Testaments in their own dialect, many of them thanked us with tears in their eyes.
The distribution of groceries and other supplies was a huge success. We witnessed their humble living conditions, and it was evident that these supplies were a life saver for most of the families. Part of WMA gift to them were warm blankets that Pastor Rezo delivered to the refugees after the team left.
The Christmas celebration for the Kurdish kids at the church was a huge success. They were excited to receive school supplies, toys, candy, clothes and children’s Bibles in their gift bags. They prepared songs and traditional dances for our team. We were blessed to see their smiles and sparkling eyes. They were excited to receive Christmas cards from our WMA family. The kids and their parents were encouraged by the love from their brothers and sisters in Christ in the US.
The Kurdish people in Georgia are the minority, but their hunger for God is remarkable. They may become the catalyst of change for the entire nation.
Our team was able to bless the Kurdish Ministry Center and Pastor Rezo with the funds to purchase a new van. This ministry reaches out far beyond the borders of the Republic of Georgia! We plan to continue our outreach in this land and will return to Georgia January 5-15, 2023!
If God has given you a heart for the Kurdish people or for the nation of Georgia, we would love for you to join us!
In the beginning of 2019, the Lord gave us a burden for the Balkan region and connected us with ministry partners in Serbia who share the same vision and passion for evangelizing their region, reviving the influence of the local churches and reaching the under-reached or previously unreached minorities.
Through this partnership we have expanded our outreach into Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and soon Kosovo. Serbia, however, remains the central and key location of our Balkan ministry.
July 5-15 we will return to Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia. We will also minister in its suburbs and the nearby towns and villages. We will partner with the largest evangelical church in Serbia in evangelism, youth outreaches, ministry to the homeless, ministry to people with addictions and reaching the Roma (gypsy) communities, who are separated from the society by their unique culture and lifestyle.
Economic hardships and political instability, the emotional wounds of the civil war, massive problems with drug use and many other factors make Serbia a very important mission field.
The purpose of our mission in Serbia is two-fold – to reach the lost and to strengthen the church. We will utilize medical missions, Bible and food distribution, intercessory prayer walks, street evangelism, worship, drama and other creative ways to communicate the Gospel message inside and outside the church.
If you are gifted in any of these areas of ministry, if you are a medical professional, if you have a heart for the homeless and marginalized communities, if you love to work with the youth – we need your gifts and talents on this team!
Novi Sad lies on the banks of Danube River. Its beautiful Old City and the historic Petrovaradin Fortress, as well as many historic sites around the city will take you back into history as far as the Roman Empire.
We are excited to take the Good news to the Balkans this summer and look forward to having you as a part of this mission.
In just 3 weeks we will take the Gospel message to one of Mexico’s largest garbage cities. The garbage pickers toil in the hot sun, sifting through mounds of refuse in a search for recyclable materials, such as cardboard and glass. Some of the pickers are middle-aged, while others are teenagers trying to help their families survive. “We stick ourselves with needles, with nails. We cut ourselves almost immediately. And we tend our wounds on our own,” said a 42-year-old grandmother who has been picking trash for 14 years. Most of them have been living there for decades in generational poverty. We will be hosting a medical clinic to provide them with medical care, distributing food, clothing, Bibles and Gospel tracts.
We invite you to help us with this outreach in two ways – 1. Help us purchase medications for the clinic (inhalers, eye care medications etc); 2. Helps us provide food, clothing, shoes for the kids and adults.
Yes, I want to help the people in the Garbage City in Mexico!
This is a wonderful focus for the new year. Jesus lays the pursuit of the Kingdom as the foundation for a blessed life in Matthew 6:33.
At the Greater Purpose Conference in Branson, MO every speaker will share a message based on a verse concerning the Kingdom of God. The worship team from The King’s University, under the guidance of the Gateway Church, is also centering their songs around the Kingdom theme. WMA prayer team will be available to pray with you between the sessions, and, of course, the best part of the conference is the fellowship with believers from different countries, who have the same heart and vision as you.
If you can’t travel to Branson, MO to attend in-person, please consider the digital conference which you can watch online. Please check out the registration options below and visit our website rfwma.org/greaterpurpose/ for more information.
Updated Mission Trip Schedule
Macedonia/Greece July 8-20, 2024
Thailand/Laos August 2-12, 2024
Republic of Georgia September 5-15, 2024