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Touching On Transformation

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on April 8, 2007

Lives are being transformed in India Lives are being transformed in India

The resurrection of Christ was the most powerful and amazing transformation the universe has ever witnessed. Soon after that unequaled day in all of history, Christ commissioned us to "go into all the world and make disciples." We have the honor of participating with Him in a transformational ministry. None of us can actually perform the transformations, but we can be involved as instruments in His hands. We would like to share what the Lord has done through you and us in this first quarter of 2007. HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

37 "WAVE" Churches in India Baptize 310 believers!

W.A.V.E. (Winning Asians with a Vision for Expansion) is the acronym that we assigned to the church planting movement that we were able to participate in while in India and, yes, you read the number of churches correctly. When Jo Ann and I left India four months ago we reported that 24 churches were in the infant stage of development. However, built right into the "DNA" of each church planter trained in the School of Missions (SOM) and each church started by these men was the impulse to begin a daughter church as soon as possible. In four months 13 new churches have begun the early stages of development which is a 65% rate of increase! This is a good place to PRAISE THE LORD!

5,000 Training Manuals Printed for the SOM

We are also rejoicing that $5,000 was provided for the printing of the training manuals that we had translated into Tamil and used in the School of Missions. There are 5 manuals and we are printing 1,000 of each book. This will greatly encourage the church planters to continue starting more Schools of Missions centers, training even more Indian believers to be church planters. This is what has already been happening in Southern India with the WAVE movement and the very reason for a 65% increase in new church starts.

It is costing $25 (US) a month to provide for the basic needs of new student church planters in the WAVE movement. We are seeking to help meet their living and transportation expenses while they train and start their first New Testament church in the WAVE movement. If you are interested, and the Lord would lead you in supporting an SOM WAVE church planter in India, please contact us and we will provide the information you need.

Rich and Jo Ann Return to India?


Another request that is coming from India is that Jo Ann and I return to do follow up training with the graduates and new church planters in the SOM. The ABWE administrator in Southern Asia recently wrote "I hope that the Lord would supply money for you and Jo Ann to come back and do some refresher courses." It is in our hearts to return to India if the Lord would provide the funds and show us the right timing for this ministry. We do have other ministries in the western hemisphere which make this opportunity a challenge to squeeze into both the schedule and budget. Please pray with us concerning these issues.

If you have not yet visited our Photo Gallery, please do so. You will find 21 different albums depicting our ministry and experiences in India last year. By clicking on this News link you will find all of our past news letters reporting on the India ministries.

Monterrico Christian School Transforming Lives

Ivan Ashby teaching fourth grade Ivan Ashby teaching fourth grade

The academic year for Peruvian schools begins in March as did the Monterrico Christian School (MCS). We have 97 students registered with the possibility of more students entering soon. To look out over the playground and see almost 100 children playing and laughing gives a sense of how the Lord is transforming MCS into a powerful witness for His sake.

New Teachers Arrive

We are more than pleased that Ivan and Kristie Ashby along with their girls have arrived in Lima. Ivan is teaching the fourth grade in our English immersion school for Peruvian children while also preparing to assume the role of Principle of the primary section of MCS. Soon after their arrival, Kristie gave birth to their first son which was a wonderful addition to their family of three girls.

Chad Beninati has also arrived to assume the Computers Skills class for all grade levels. He has already won the hearts of the students, teachers and staff alike. Chad, as well as the Ashby's are from our home church - Calvary Community Baptist Church in Northglenn, Colorado. Three families from Calvary are now represented at MCS, but there is another teacher on staff from Colorado. Katie Brinks teaches second grade and comes from Grand Junction, Colorado.

We thank the Lord for all of our teachers and ask that you remember each of them before Him. There is still an urgent need for more teachers and we would be grateful if you would also bring this need before the Lord. Please especially remember Jim and Barbra Seffinga from the Chicago area as they work on Pre-field ministries. Both Jim and Barbra are teachers whom the Lord has called as career ABWE missionaries. We wish they could be here yesterday!

"Spirit Week" at Monterrico

It is not unusual to see a High School celebrate "Spirit Week" as they seek to cultivate unity in the school and support for their athletic teams. However, just recently at MCS we experienced another type of "Spirit Week". This is a time when God's Spirit visits the classrooms in the hearts of the students and teachers.

We have a certain amount of reservation in reporting statistics on decisions in spiritual matters simply because only the Lord knows the work He has done in hearts. However, just recently several children responded to the opportunity to place their trust in Christ for salvation. Our joy is in the fact that the administration, teachers and staff are all committed and involved in fulfilling the purposes of the school by sharing the gospel among the students and their parents. Our souls also rejoice with the children who truly came to trust Christ and are now a part of God's family. Praise His Name!

School Board to be Formed

Jo Ann and I are here in Lima to add another basic element to the foundation of the Monterrico School. It is now time to put in place a godly school board that will have the commitment and skills to lead MCS in the years to come. We will need to train these Christian leaders in the philosophy of Christian Education and the purposes that the Lord has given us for the Monterrico School. We need wisdom from above in the selection of these leaders.

There are a couple of Quick Prayer and Praise page for all the recent prayer requests.

New Life Baptist Church Transforming South Lima

Pastor Salvador with Rich Pastor Salvador with Rich

It has been a joy to return to the church we helped to start 7 years ago this week and see every seat in the auditorium filled in the Sunday morning service. There are so many new families and young people that we are having a hard time remembering all the new people we have met.

Leading up to Resurrection Sunday, the church distrubuted over 2,000 flyers and posters inviting people to the drama called "Jesus Must Be Killed" written by an Argentine playwrite. Both nights of the presentation the building was full and many visitors indicated their desire to trust Christ as their personal Savior.

Sad to say that in our culture, the most important day of Holy Week is Good Friday. Resurrection Sunday is important to all true Christians in Peru, but not to the majority of the population. It seems that the importance of the resurrection is lost on these religious but blinded people.

Transforming the Landscape & "Spiritscape" in Nicaragua

AWANA club enjoying the pool at the ABWE Ministry Center in Nicaragua AWANA club enjoying the pool at the ABWE Ministry Center in Nicaragua

In February, Jo Ann and I traveled from Peru to the ABWE training center in Harrisburg, PA to participate in the new winter edition of Candidate Classes for incoming missionaries. Following that ministry we returned to Lima and then I traveled to Nicaragua to work with the ABWE team of missionaries there.

Ministry in Managua

I was able to see a wonderful new ABWE church plant among the professional class in Managua and also another exciting ministry developing 9 miles outside of the capitol city. The ABWE Ministry Center was born first in the hearts of Larry and Bev Smith, our predecessors as Executive Director of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Just over four years ago God began to move so that the Smiths were able to purchase 160 acres of land that had one tiny little shed covering an irrigation pump.

Today, four years later, the Ministry Center has a beautiful multipurpose building with a huge kitchen besides another large building for educational purposes. There are other smaller structures as well along with a beautiful swimming pool. But that is not the extent of the vision for this center. Much more needs to be done on this property.

The Lord Finishes What He Starts

Recently, Larry and Bev sent out a letter praising God for His fantastic provisions towards the completion of the plans for the Ministry Center in Nicaragua. Without sharing all the details, the Lord has provided sufficient funds for more buildings and equipment plus another good amount to help with ongoing monthly expenses for 6 months!

There is a new photo album in the Photo Gallery of my trip to Nicaragua. You might enjoy meeting some of our ABWE missionaries working there as well as seeing the Ministry Center.

If you would be interested in learning more about the Ministry Center in Nicaragua check out this link: http://www.larrysmith.abwe.org/ to the Smiths' web site.

The First ABWE School of Missions in Central America

During our February visit to Nicaragua, the Lord opened the door to a group of churches outside of Managua to send men to be trained for planting churches to a new School of Missions.

Mark Henzler is an experienced ABWE missionary in church planting and theological education. Mark challenged these Nicaraguan pastors to each consider who they might send to be trained in the School of Missions from their churches and 22 pastors responded! Can you imagine what an encouragement it would be to see multiple churches begun in Nicaragua in the next year or two? Is the Lord going to do something similar in Central America to what He is doing in India? A conservative estimate would show that somewhere between 10 - 12 churches might be started as a result of this first SOM in Nicaragua. Please pray as Mark and his wife Diane seek the Lord's will on when to begin this new SOM project.

Transforming the Empty Spots

Jo Ann Loves to Teach Jo Ann Loves to Teach

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Eph 5:15-16

Yes, along with the activities mentioned above, there is still time to participate in ministries here in Lima.

Women's Ministries

Jo Ann is teaching her course on "Women?s Ministries" in the ABWE Lima Baptist Theological Seminary. There are 10 women in her class that are enjoying soaking up her experience of over 30 plus years in ministry.

Along with teaching in the Seminary, Jo Ann is also filling different roles in the Monterrico Christian School - tutoring students? struggling in English, substitute teaching in second and fourth grade and counseling. The counseling ministry included students, teachers, administrators and parents.

Local Church Ministries

Besides spending literally hours each day communicating with our ABWE missionaries in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Rich has been privileged to teach a 5 week study on evangelism in the Chacarilla church. This was a church that we helped to start many years ago among the professional class in Lima.

During the Holy Week leading up to Resurrection Sunday, Rich was invited to preach at the Las Flores Baptist church here in Lima. The believers had done the hard work of praying and inviting their unsaved friends to come to the services and many responded to the invitation to receive Christ as Savior.

Transformational Ministries and You

Because of your part in our lives, many of you are helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Your prayers and financial support make it possible for us to have vital ministries in several different spots around the globe. We can only praise the Lord for your faithfulness.

Because the Lord has broadened our ministries our monthly financial need has increased. We are operating with a 20% deficit in our accounts at ABWE and are asking the Lord to build that back up to 100%. There would be much more freedom to carry out the Lord?s calling in our ministry if the basic financial need were met. Please pray with us about this particular challenge.

Future Plans in the Schedule

Three days after Resurrection Sunday, Jo Ann and I will be flying once again to Harrisburg to report to the ABWE Board on the Central American and Caribbean region and perhaps India too. Following those meetings there will be three days of meetings with other ABWE administrators from all over the world.

From Harrisburg we will both fly to the city of Managua, Nicaragua to meet again with the ABWE team to help the team move through a transition period. Please pray for these trips and that we would have wisdom as we serve the Lord in this role.