- June 18, 2018
“He who wants to be great among you, must be the servant of all”
No one needs the Good News more than the poor. Especially those in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, the world’s densest concentration of impoverished people. Three out of four people in a city of four million are packed into nine massive slums. Families are forced to live in inhuman spaces—typically 8 people in a 12’ x 12’ dirt-floor room with no running water or toilet. To rent such space costs about $8 a month—and most households earn only $1 a day. Slum life here may be the world’s most oppressive existence on a mass scale.
Yet caring for these suffering, struggling poor are true heroes of the faith: the dedicated pastors of Nairobi’s slums. They’re slum residents themselves, and they serve their neighbors at great sacrifice to their own families. Many earn less than their parishioners. And some are barely literate. With a 5th grade education, the typical pastor can have trouble reading the Bible even in his own tribal language. And Bible school is beyond his reach, as most local programs cost about $1,500 a year. Yet his ministry is vital to the oppressed, distraught people he serves.
World Challenge has come alongside these pastors to supply them with the help they need. We partner with a program offering slum-dwelling ministers an education in theology and hands-on pastoral training—all at no cost to them. So far, two schools have been established in Nairobi’s largest slums, Kibera and Mathare.
Students entering the program have to demonstrate a high level of commitment in their present pastorate or calling as a minister. Once they complete their coursework, they receive a degree certifying their training. Thanks to this program, every year hundreds of pastors bring renewed vision to their neighborhoods, extending greater hope to thousands of the world’s most marginalized people.
The program’s goal is to have a Bible school in each of Nairobi’s 9 major slums. Would you prayerfully consider helping to expand this vital aid to pastors in need? Thank you for your precious partnership. With each prayer or financial gift, no matter how large or small, you’re making a difference in the lives of those Jesus affectionately calls “the least of these.”
- April 16, 2018
Reaching Muslim Nations with the Good News
Two men stood face to face in the small store, eyes locked in a stare-down. Assam*, a fierce young ISIS warrior, stretched out his arms to reveal a suicide bomb strapped to his body. Samir*, the store owner, knew this day would eventually come. He had a legal right to run his Christian bookstore in this predominantly Islamic country. But Assam snarled as he clutched the detonator, “You infidels are ruining my people with your false teaching.”
Calmly, Samir replied, “Go ahead if you must. You can go to your God, and I am not afraid to meet mine. But first I want you to read this.” He pointed to a plaque with these words: “Love is patient, love is kind…[it] does no harm to anyone, always believes the best and hopes the best. True love never dies.”
With a glance at the passage—from 1 Corinthians 13—Assam froze. Then suddenly he bolted from the store yelling, “I am not done. I will be back to kill you!” Days later, Assam did return—this time bewildered. He told Samir Jesus had come to him in a dream. “I want to know this Jesus,” Assam wept, “the One who makes you unafraid of me.”
Samir introduced the young man to Christ and has discipled him ever since. Assam is now a cheerful Muslim-background follower of Isa (Arabic for Jesus). He risks his life daily to fulfill his new calling: to reach his people with the gospel. He’s found the Good News of Jesus is starkly different from the hatred he was taught.
The gospel will always be at the forefront of World Challenge’s mission. And in strife-torn regions like this one, your gifts help us partner with local ministries to support humble servants such as Samir to bring Christ’s truth and love to the world’s most unreached people. Stories like Assam’s take place across the Islamic world, from Africa and Asia to the Middle East, thanks to support from faithful partners like you. If you would like to help, donate using our secure online form. And thank you for your prayers and support to see Jesus’ love demonstrated to those who don’t know him!
*Not their real names. For our ministry partners’ security, we don’t release names or locations in highly sensitive areas.
- February 21, 2018
"My life is an example to many…I declare your glory all day long. And now, in my old age, don't set me aside. Don't abandon me when my strength is failing" (Psalm 71:7-9, NLT).
Billy Graham passed away today at 99 years old. He was truly an example to many. More than any person known, he declared the glory and power of God to generations. He was publicly known for his passionate gift of evangelism, yet we also see in him one who, as his physical strength failed, cried out to God for deeper intimate fellowship.
My prayer and desire is that the torch he carried will be passed not just to one other prominent evangelist, but to tens of thousands; that we all would take up the fallen cloak and ask for a double portion of God's Spirit to evangelize; that we would spread Christ's gospel with love, power and great passion. Whether we have a pulpit that reaches masses, or we speak on street corners or in shops, malls and restaurants, let us all take up the mission that burned so brightly in Billy Graham's heart.
This generation is being called to a one-on-one witness of Jesus as well as mass evangelism—to once again capture the zeal of first-century churches to see Christ's works and message broadly proclaimed. We are being called once again by the Holy Spirit to be filled with power from on high, so that signs and wonders and healing and mighty miracles are performed in his name, to draw lost souls to the precious knowledge of God and his saving, healing love.
We thank the Lord for such a great example in Billy Graham. And now we thank him in advance for his favor in raising up an army of men and women with the same zeal and passion for people's souls.
Pastor Gary Wilkerson
- February 19, 2018
The Nationwide Witness of a Restorative Family Ministry
There’s a wonderful phrase used in Burundian culture: “Eh’lkirezi” means “Look at the royal pearls.” The phrase dates back to the time of kings and queens, describing a breastplate reserved for royalty. Yet today these precious words are used to describe Burundi’s abandoned children, thanks to an amazing ministry partnering with World Challenge. Across Burundi, Eh’lkirezi Children’s Home represents a powerful miracle taking place for hundreds of youngsters.
The tiny African nation of Burundi (next door to Rwanda) is deemed the earth’s poorest. For years it has been torn by political and ethnic violence, with no end in sight. The conflict has orphaned or separated more than 1 million children from their families. That’s where Eh’lkirezi Children’s Home steps in.
Director Pacifique Nyozisenga was once an abandoned street child himself. Seven years ago, he helped start the fledgling home, to offer shelter and an extended family to orphaned or abandoned children. Yet soon the ministry shifted its energies, becoming a powerful force to restore separated families. Since then, Eh’lkirezi Children’s Home has reunited more than 400 children with their families or adopted them into the families of Burundian Christians.
What this ministry accomplishes is monumental. It’s hard to even locate a child’s family in war-like conditions like Burundi’s. It can take years of dogged persistence, and Eh’lkirezi works with several agencies to see that task through. Once the family is found, Eh’lkirezi oversees a long process of reintegrating the child into family life, ensuring everyone’s stability
and monitoring their progress. Christ’s gospel is central to every stage.
Eh’Ikirezi Children’s Home has emerged as Burundi’s foremost voice for child advocacy. It is a beloved and trusted partner for government agencies and non-government organizations seeking to help homeless, abused and neglected children. Through its powerful testimony, a nation’s eyes are being opened to God’s choice pearls: its young people.
Thank you for taking part to reunite families in one of the earth’s neediest nations. If you would like to help, please make a donation using our secure online form. Your gifts of support and prayer help vital ministries like Eh’lkirezi Children’s Home bring the light of Christ all around the world.
- February 15, 2018
We are grieved at the senseless loss of life at the school shooting in Florida. Let us all pray for the wounded and for the families who lost their loved ones in such a shocking and unexpected manner. The Bible says that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. Evil seems to relentlessly march on in its most vile form. Let us engage in spiritual warfare, through prayer, against the powers of darkness in this world. We believe in the power of prayer. We believe prayer changes things. We believe things need to change. We know the God who can change anything.
- November 20, 2017
The testimonies of our partners still blow me away. David Wilkerson wrote a book called Triumph over Tragedy. This book contained stories about constituents/partners that suffered major tragedies and yet remained victorious in their faith. The following story could have easily been included in that book.
Hurricane Harvey caused major devastation in the Texas coast and disrupted the lives of so many. One of our dear partners lost her husband of 64 years. Prior to the Hurricane Harvey, her husband was evacuated from a nursing home to a center in San Antonio, and then again to another center, and finally to a nursing home near a granddaughter where she was staying. All the moving proved to be too much for her husband and he passed away. Furthermore, her house is so damaged that she cannot get back home. She states in her letter that her “heart so longs to be able to get her life together again and return home”. Currently things are at a standstill as she waits word from FEMA. Overall, she felt her life had turned into a tragedy, but her next words show how the Lord made her story triumphant.
She goes on to explain how this event “keeps me seeking strength and wisdom from the Lord. I keep reminding myself that He knows exactly what is going on and what will go on”. The months her husband was in the nursing home she learned to take one day at a time. Now she is looking to God to give her the ability to do the same in her current situation. “I could not have made it without the Lord’s help and strength. I have witnessed His strength in my life since the passing of my husband. A strength I never thought possible. My husband loved God and was ready to go to Him. That brings so much peace. For the rest of my days I want God’s will most of all”. She goes on to thank World Challenge for making contact with her and offering to help. She ends her e-mail with saying, “prayer is a powerful thing and I would so appreciate prayers from fellow believers for my situation”.
Please lift up this dear saint in your prayers. Pray that all hindrances will be quickly removed so she can return to her home. We also want to thank those that support World Challenge. It’s because of your generosity that we are even able to offer such assistance.
- October 16, 2017
A month ago, I had lunch with the evangelist Nicky Cruz, and we had the joy of leading our waitress to Jesus. In turn, she asked if we would pray for her coworker, a woman with pancreatic cancer. We gladly prayed for the sick woman, laying hands on her as Scripture instructs, and immediately she felt dizzy and had to sit down.
Nicky and I could see she was experiencing the power of God from head to toe. We knew that what Jesus began 2,000 years ago is still going strong: His miracles haven’t ceased, and his healing breaks through despite the evil one’s plans to steal, kill and destroy.
The next week I went back to the restaurant with my wife, and we saw the woman Nicky and I had prayed for. Amid a flood of tears, she told us her doctors had run tests prior to her next round of chemotherapy—and they found no trace of cancer. She was fully, absolutely healed.
I’ve preached to crowds of tens of thousands, but nothing so moves me as when God’s power visits one person to heal and save them. This past year I’ve been amazed to see healings and salvation break out in ordinary settings—restaurants, sidewalks, malls. It all happens by Jesus’ grace—and by trusting in his promise to empower us to do greater works than he did.
Friend, you are a part of this move of God. At World Challenge, we’ve seen scores of hungry children fed, orphans provided with homes, families lifted out of extreme poverty, and by God’s grace those works will never cease. Yet nothing is so important, no mission so central, as leading people to Jesus—to see his kingdom come, his power breaking chains of darkness, sickness and fear. Not all of us can build an orphanage in Africa, but each one of us can receive his power from on high and make a life-changing impact on others right where we live.
It’s time for all of us to do more than read God’s great promises of power in the Bible; we are to live those promises. And I can tell you firsthand this amazing shift is available to all who simply have faith. We usually close our missions update by asking for prayer, but this month is different: We will instead pray for you and your God-given mission. Go in faith, love and power. It is a new season!
- October 13, 2017
Why are you so passionate in helping the poor?
Their answers were all similar in nature. “I knew what it was like growing up poor.” “I wasn’t as poor; however, I know the feeling and understand what it was like to go hungry.” ”Love for the children.” This was the standard reply I received from many of the volunteers.
John Morales admits that when he first started feeding the poor with World Challenge’s Raven Truck Ministry in NYC he had a negative attitude towards the homeless. He projected the behavior of a few of those that were engaged in hustling onto all homeless people. Once he got personally involved with the homeless population his attitude changed.
John Morales, upon retiring to Florida, immediately went to task encouraging those in his local church to start an outreach to the poor and needy. Currently, there are 40 (mostly senior citizens) that volunteer through the Sharing Hope Ministry. What a blessing to see an underutilized resource being recruited to fulfill Matthew 25:35–40. Many of the volunteers are widows and widowers that are lonely and feel they are rendered useless due to age. Helping the poor provides them with something worthwhile to do and provides fellowship, as well. Most of the volunteers are on fixed income and have limited funds to purchase food on a weekly basis. What they do have to offer is time. On Friday mornings, volunteers prepare homemade soup, hot dogs for the kids, bread, and bag food items to be delivered in the afternoon. They deliver food to those in need at various motels, mobile home parks and shut-ins. Many of the recipients, besides receiving food, are prayed for.
World Challenge considers it an honor to assist Sharing Hope Ministry with funds to purchase the food. It was a joy to witness so many seniors engaged in helping others. If you would also like to help, use our secure online donation form and keep Sharing Hope Ministry in your prayers.
- October 3, 2017
"There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery, they employ violence so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns and everyone who lives in it languishes" (Hosea 4:2-3a).
Let us all take some time to pray for the families grieving over such horrific sudden loss of their loved ones. We mourn and languish with them. In times like these, it is the task of the politician to attempt to legitimize ways to decrease such instances. It is the task of law enforcement to attempt new means and methods to discover and disrupt future attacks. But as people of God, we hold a power that the world cannot offer. We have a God who hears and who acts on behalf of those prayers. If ever a change is needed, it's now and prayer changes things.
We agree together, Lord. Heal our land; stop the plans of the evil one. Cause every wicked and malicious intention to come to naught. We now agree together that our prayer of faith will cause discovery of wicked plots, the change of plans of those intending evil. We pray for those in law enforcement to have godly insight, wisdom and skill in their vital task. And we pray together now for those who are in such unbelievable pain at the loss of a loved one in Las Vegas. Amen.
We add to our prayer, actions that God calls forth. This coming year, we will be conducting urban outreaches across America. We will preach the gospel of peace. We know we will see many saved and we pray as a result of Jesus coming into hearts that the peace of Christ will be coming in greater measure to our cities. Our ministry started on the violence-filled streets of New York and we saw miracles such as Nicky Cruz’s salvation. This coming year we will be joining with Nicky Cruz to pray for peace as well as to preach the gospel of peace.
- September 19, 2017
Hurricane Irma affected at least 1,200 Clay County Florida homes with at least 300 people marooned by the rising floodwaters. The Springs Church Jacksonville, along with support from World Challenge, reached out to its community to minister not only spiritually but practically as well. Two semi-trucks with supplies including diapers, water, food and cleaning supplies were given to those in need.
Tim Veledhuizen, The Springs Church outreach pastor, commented, “Clay County was so blessed by the outpouring of generosity from World Challenge and it was a huge building-block in our outreach ministry.”
At World Challenge we are thankful for God’s blessing and the support of so many of you. Without your support, outreach and relief efforts like these could not take place. Please continue praying for those affected by Hurricane Irma, and thank you for extending the love of Christ to many in need!