Missions News & Stories

I am very excited about your desire to push for finishing the task! I want to have a part in this effort!! Praying that the task will soon be done!! Until there is a witness for Christ in every nation.

— Jean P.

After recent scandals, I have become skeptical of the native missionary movement. I have been supporting native missionaries for decades now, but these scandals have really burnt my trust. Thank you for addressing trust and accountability in Prayerline letter.

— Jann F., IL

We give thanks to our loving, compassionate, Sovereign God for your ministries. Thank you!

— Rick and Debra R., WI

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you, for such wonderful weekly articles. I look forward to each one, as it helps me to view beyond my own thoughts/circumstances enabling transformed and focused prayers outwardly to what God is doing around the world. It helps me to think outside of my little, local box, to see as God sees that there is more at stake than my problems. These articles and this ministry are a simple grace that is calling us to pray together as one body in Jesus Christ. Again thank you!

— Mark M., FL

God’s Joy and Blessings as we remember what Jesus did for us, new Life in Him.

— Jim and Lorraine H., WI

Thank you for all you do in helping us share in the needs of our brothers and sisters in God’s Kingdom! You are precious! Never forget the value of being the facilitating Hand of Jesus!

— Dale and Nancy D., NY

Thank you for all of your hard work in all of the hardest situations around the world, and thank you for making us aware so we can pray and help support your efforts. May God bless your efforts abundantly!

— David S., OR

Thank you for sending us the newsletters from the various ministries Christian Aid supports with its thrilling testimonies and their needs for us to pray for them.

— Keith and Carla H., CA

God bless you for being a great agent in the Hand of God to build His Kingdom!

— Doug R., GA

God bless your efforts on His behalf!

— Larry W., SD

May God richly bless your wonderful efforts on His behalf. Keep up the great work!

— Gary and Cheryl M., FL

Your work is superlative!

— Jacqueline B., IL

God bless you as you continue helping these hurting people! We serve a GREAT GOD.

Ryan and Cynthia S., WI

Thank you! We so appreciate your ministry.

— Bob and Tina R., OH

I pray daily using the prayer calendar. God bless you. As a former missionary kid, I commend you to God and to others for this wonderful work.

— Daniel S., TN

May the Lord bless you in all you do.

— David M., NY

God bless you and keep you safe. Praying for the needs of this ministry.

— Jerah C., PA

Just wanted to thank you this is such a great cause and so informative God bless you all keep up the great work so amazing

— Joey S.

Breaking the Cycle of Violence

April 10, 2013

Everyone in the community knew the two families were feuding. For months they had squabbled over rights to a tract of land.

Their war of words finally turned violent when Felix and his brother, Rigoberto, became embroiled in an argument with a member of the opposing family. Felix watched in horror as the man pulled out a gun and fired a shot at Rigoberto.

It was an image that seared Felix´s mind and froze his heart. He had watched his brother die.

From that moment on, the 38-year-old man was driven by thoughts of revenge. He felt justified in what he wanted to do. After all, the brother he looked up to, just two years older than he, had been cruelly and needlessly taken away. The desire for vengeance grew deeper each time he saw Rigoberto´s grieving widow and their four children.

Felix may have carried out his intentions, if not for the compassion and wise counsel of a missionary who came to their village in eastern Colombia. Diego (not his real name) is one of dozens of full-time missionaries who serve with the Lord´s Vineyard of Colombia (VOC), a Christian Aid-assisted ministry that sends indigenous workers to hard-to-reach jungle areas to preach the gospel and plant churches.

These missionaries face many challenges. First, there is the difficult terrain and little or no infrastructure. Diego´s journey from his home church to Felix´s isolated community was a two-hour trek on horseback. Others travel by boat, bicycle, motorcycle, or on foot.

Travel can be treacherous, too, with communist guerrillas and opportunistic bandits lurking in the darkness.

Since the start of the ministry in 1965, there has been a focus on taking the gospel message to isolated peoples. Most live in extreme poverty, lacking access to stable employment and quality health care. VOC missionaries have planted over 50 churches in these remote rural villages, many of which can only be reached by river.

Christian Aid Mission has provided funding for motorboats to make travel safer and faster. They have also helped supply horses and motorcycles for the missionaries to use in areas where there are no paved roads.

Proclaiming a gospel of peace

When they visit a community for the first time, a team of VOC missionaries begin by going house to house, forming relationships with the people and telling them about Jesus Christ. In the evenings they hold evangelistic meetings with music, prayer, and worship. In a village where a number of people accept Christ, a worker will stay on to continue Bible studies and discipleship.

That´s what happened in Felix´s village two years ago. Diego was visiting his community and going from house-to-house to share the gospel. Felix´s family was one of those who received a visit. Still grieving, Felix told the missionary about the murder of his brother. His heart was angry and bitter. The missionary prayed with the family and promised to return.

Diego kept his word, and on his second visit he brought food and clothes for the widow and children of Rigoberto. The provisions had been given by the congregation at the church he planted in another community.

Felix was touched, as were other members of his family. The missionary told Felix of the freedom he could have through forgiveness. He shared Romans 12:19, “Do not avenge yourselves … ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,´ says the Lord.” Although Felix was not a murderer, he too had committed sins and deserved judgment from God. But Christ had come to redeem him and forgive him for his sins. With fresh understanding, Felix gave his heart to the Savior and asked for God´s help to let go of the terrible rage that consumed him.

He started going to the missionary´s church on Sundays, a four-hour round trip. Over time an unexpected peace came into his heart, and the desire for revenge left him. His change in demeanor grabbed the attention of other family members and his neighbors.

Witnessing the remarkable change in their brother, Felix´s two older sisters, Cildana and Armira, also received Christ and began attending the church. They shared with others what God had done for them.

The missionary reported that Felix has become a “very committed believer” and now serves as a deacon in his church. In addition, Felix has opened up his home for a Bible study that is led by the missionary. Four families in the village are coming.

“I have seen the change in Felix´s heart. Now he has joy and peace,” the missionary said. “Because of his testimony, now there is more harmony in the community, too.”

A fruitful harvest

The story of God´s transforming grace does not end here. The man who killed Felix´s brother fled the area. He and his family moved to a village several hours away, where another missionary with the Lord´s Vineyard of Colombia visited them.

Months later that missionary continues to see the family regularly. The wife of the man received Christ and now attends a church near their community. God is opening the man´s heart, too, as he occasionally goes to worship services with his wife.

“There is no established justice system in these areas, so it is common for people to want to take matters into their own hands,” said a spokesperson for VOC. “When missionaries start new congregations, they often have to deal with fighting between neighbors and have to become mediators. They need a lot of wisdom as they seek to teach peace and forgiveness.”

VOC is making an impact for God´s kingdom in remote villages across Colombia, as more lives are transformed and souls are saved. Supporters of Christian Aid have made it possible for VOC to construct meeting halls, hold evangelistic events, and supply Bibles and children´s Sunday school materials. The ministry also hosts a Bible training conference twice a year that draws 600 to 800 lay leaders and Sunday school teachers.

The Lord´s Vineyard of Colombia is currently looking for funds to help two congregations build a stable bridge so they have safe access to their meeting halls. They also need ongoing support for their workers. Sponsorship of a missionary costs $50 a month.

Prayer requests:

  • Felix has not had any interaction with the man who took his brother´s life and left the village. Because there is no official legal system in the area, the man was never charged. Please pray the Lord will continue to do a work of healing in both families, and that the man who committed the crime will surrender his heart to Christ.
  • For protection of the missionaries as they travel from place to place in rural areas controlled by drug lords and guerrilla forces
  • For the evangelism and discipleship programs of the Lord´s Vineyard of Colombia, that there will be a great spiritual harvest
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