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Seasons of Change for Wakiso, Uganda

It’s strange to even discuss seasons when referencing a tropical area, for other than rainy and dry seasons, there are no significant changes.  The trees keep their leaves and they stay green.  The days are all about 12 hours long.  But when talking about spiritual seasons, there definitely was a change of seasons in October — especially for the Wakiso area, a suburb of the capital city of Kampala.

That evangelism is widespread throughout Uganda is well known.  However, there is great need for continued evangelism and discipleship, as evidenced by this last church planting team made up individuals Dean and Carol Niforatos are discipling in Colorado and joined by a team from West Virginia led by Shannon and Joseph Coenen.  Over the course of 10 days, more than 400 came to Christ, about 750 were filled with the Holy Spirit as began praying in tongues, almost 200 experienced physical healing, and nearly 30 were delivered of demons!

Clearly evangelism is not finished in that area!! As can be expected, neither is discipleship.  One young man was set free from demons after having attended a local cult church.  He thought he was being faithful to Jesus, yet was being led astray by a worker of the devil.  Pastors who attended the daily trainings responded that their faith was encouraged and their skills refined.

Yes, there has been a change of spiritual seasons for Wakiso, Uganda!  We are still getting reports of new people coming to Christ through the efforts of this newly planted church.  Muslims are being saved, more are being delivered of demons, the numbers attending daily prayer meetings are increasing.  Wakiso will not be the same in Jesus’ name!

Please continue to pray for Wakiso and the incredible growth numerically and spiritually taking place in the church.  The church is already outgrowing their currently rented space, and we are praying for enough funds to purchase land for this infant church.

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Blankets and Bibles Outreach

We might be feeling the heat of summer coming, but south of the Equator they are feeling winter approaching.  For many families in South Africa, they can’t afford a quality blanket to stave off winter’s chill.

Enter Shannon and Corné Stone.  On June 13th, they will be hosting an outreach in their nearby village and distributing blankets to those in need.  It’s not enough to provide physical warmth and comfort.  The Gospel will be preached and native language Bibles will be distributed as well.

IMG_4461WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Unfortunately, the local businessman who normally donated 100 blankets is not able to do so this year.  This means we’re starting from scratch….with only a few weeks to meet the need.  Blankets and Bibles will be given to orphans, single-moms with kids, elderly, and families in need.

One blanket and Bible combo is only $30.  The return on investment?  Priceless!

Help us wrap them with warmth and set their hearts on fire for the Lord.

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South Africa Update

By Shannon & Corné Stone

“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness.  We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.  That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power within us.  As it is, there’s not much chance of that.”
— 2 Corinthians 4:7 (The Message)

image1This week we fed 180 children.  We keep on being amazed that our peanut butter stretches as far as it does…glory be to God.  We’ve seen a greater unity in the groups of children who come to our house.  The children form groups within their community and the groups often fight amongst each other.  These children grow up with very few positive role models in their environment, very little love, and VERY little discipline.  Growth in this is wonderful to see.

One boy who received a new pair of shoes on Christmas has already worn out the soles.  He must have walked many miles in them, as they were one of the best pairs we had!  He is an orphan, age 14, and living on his own.  Another young girl, about 8 years old, lost her grandmother last week.  Her grandmother was the closest relative she had and was her caretaker, but  now she has to go stay with her uncle in an already crowded living environment.

image2Many of the children came to us recently with minor wounds that had gotten infected.  This yet again stresses the fact that simple health education is so important here.  We hope to get permission soon to build a building in the local township from where we can serve the children’s nutritional, social, and spiritual needs in addition to providing health education.

Some days when we come home from building our house, we feel so drained.  One day of exhaustion left us saying, “We don’t have enough love to give today.”  The Lord answered, “You don’t….but I have more than enough.  Don’t try to love out of yourself, but draw from Me.”  Loving others comes in a variety of ways, even when receiving an unpleasant visit from a man who said that he and several others do not approve of what we do and that we should stop at once.  His complaint was that the children who come to our house walk by his house and tease his dogs.  He said he didn’t like black children going down his street and that if we want to feed these kids, we should go to the area where they live.  Hatred was pouring out of him and we were just speechless.  Yet we know Christ loves that man too and we pray that his heart will change — toward the children and for the Lord.

On a more positive note:  Our house will have a roof by the end of this week.  Praise God!!

Thank you to all who are supporting us through prayer and finances.  We appreciate you and your partnering with us to reach South African souls and change lives!

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Christmas Shoes

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the tear-jerker song, “The Christmas Shoes” (if not you can hear it here).  But in South Africa there are many children who desperately need a pair of shoes this Christmas.  GOF Missionaries Shannon & Corné Stone are doing all they can to answer that call for 100 children this Christmas.

We’re only 25% of our goal of giving 100 children a new pair of shoes for Christmas.  We need your help!  For $15 you can put a pair of shoes on a South African child and bring them the Gospel message this Christmas.

The Stones are hosting the big Christmas party on December 23rd, so there’s still time to take part.

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Haven of Hope And So Much More

Dean Niforatos and Shannon Coenen just recently returned from time spent in Malawi, located in the southern part of the African continent.  Usually Africa involves heat and sweat, but Malawi was in its cool winter season — no snow, but plenty of cool breezes that required layering up for the outdoor meetings each night!  But the fire of God fell upon the people in mighty ways and great things took place!

The short version of the story is that the widow home, Haven for Hope, was completed and dedicated, area churches received ministry where about 250 accepted Christ as their personal Savior, more than 1,000 were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and the Lord did miracles.  But there is so much more to the story.  Read more

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Needed: Congo Approval In One Month

In America, nonprofit organizations must undergo state and national approvals in order to become full-fledged nonprofit organizations.  GOF went through this process 10 years ago and now we find ourselves in position of expanding into the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a similar local/national registration process.

Why establish GOF Congo as a national nonprofit?  The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) laws require local and national registrations in order to provide services, obtain missionary visas, qualify for international funding, etc.  For us to continue doing the work that we are doing in the DRC, we need the full national registration status.

GOF Congo has already received its local registration and has been in the process for the national registration.  We’ve had a plan of action to gain the national registration, but as is common in developing nations, regulations change frequently and usually involve increased costs.  Such is the case for GOF Congo right now.

We’re at a VERY important crossroads here.  The rules are about to change for the national registration process, and if we don’t complete this registration in the next month, it will literally cost us thousands of dollars and lost time.  We all work hard to keep costs down and stretch the missions dollars we receive from you, so to miss this window of opportunity would greatly disappoint us.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!   We need to raise $3,500 in the next 30 days to meet the national requirement under current law.  If we miss this deadline, the cost goes up to $9,500.  Do you see our urgency?

First of all, we need your prayers!  We need the Lord God Almighty to provide favor for GOF Congo’s application.  The Lord has already given us open doors we didn’t expect, but we need His hand to move in this registration process.  We need His Spirit to move upon hearts and encourage people to give toward this important purpose.

Secondly, we need to raise $3,500 in 30 days.  Please give generously to this one-time need.  Once we have the national registration, GOF Congo can continue what it’s been doing — child soldier rehabilitation, evangelism, discipleship, refugee camp ministry — without further government approvals as an organization.  The Roths, our missionaries there, can apply for international aid which will help further the funding of the programs listed above.  Entry visas for the Roths can be processed quicker and at less cost.

Thank you for helping meet this need.  We look forward to what the Lord will do!

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