Have you ever wanted to pray for an overseas worker but didn’t know what to say? General prayers are wonderful (please don’t stop!). However, God seems to especially delight in answering specific prayers. Why? My theory is that when He does, we are more likely to recognize His work and have the added joy of praising Him for what He has done. Here are some specific ways the Bible guides us to pray for our overseas workers.
Don’t pray that we’ll do great exploits for God—instead, ask Him to bless us with confidence and character so He can work through us to make the most of the opportunities He provides. (See Acts 4:29–31.)
Our primary strategy in The Alliance is not to accomplish extraordinary things ourselves (although we love when that happens); rather, it is to focus on planting healthy, multiplying church networks led by local leaders who go on to accomplish far more than we ever will— even generations after we have left. This can happen only as God
raises up national workers in Alliance fields where the harvest is plentiful. (See Luke 10:2.)
Entering the Doors God Opens
Pray that God will bring to us those in whom He is already at work—who need and want what He has given us— and that He will bless them through us. (See Colossians 4:2–4.)
We have an enemy who doesn’t want people to have access to the good news of God’s love and who actively opposes His work through us. Ask God to protect us when we have drawn the enemy’s attention. (See 2 Thessalonians 2–3.)
“Success” in ministry is nuanced— and is so much more than numbers on a spreadsheet. God is glorified and heaven rejoices over each new believer who trusts in Jesus. We have no power to save a single soul, but God does— and He answers prayer. Pray for Alliance workers by name (if possible) and that His Word will increasingly be honored through their ministries. (See 2 Thessalonians 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:1–4.)
One of our six core values at Wellspring is Missions, believing we are all sent on God’s mission to redeem all things. We are concerned about reaching across the street and around the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. Thus, we see ourselves as a basecamp for global outreach, a place of preparation, provision and peace, where we raise up, train, equip, send out and provide for God’s people to engage in the work he is doing in the world. So, let’s pray for us! The following thoughts can help center your prayers around how we as a community, and as individuals, can live out this value for the glory of God.
- A clear vision of God and his work of restoring his glory over all his creation. What is God about in his creation?
- A clear understanding of our call – why we exist as the people of God. Who have we been created to be? And how is that state of being expressed in living?
- A clear understanding of where and how God is calling us to participate in his work.
- Changed hearts that beat in time with God’s heart. What he loves we must love; what he is concerned about must concern us; what breaks his heart must break ours.
We pray for:
- Protection against and freedom from all things that hinder us from seeing and understanding – the world, the flesh and the devil!
- United hearts and clear vision
- A passion for God and the expansion of his Kingdom.
- The raising up in each Wellspring member a joyful, expectant sense of calling and a burning passion to serve.
- Clear direction for our next step.
- The seizing of each opportunity that God puts before us to be engaged in his work.
- The expectation of joy and fulfillment as we live out our calling.
We are Robert, Roberta, Joseph, Benjamin, and Anderson, and we currently serve in northern Japan with Asian Access/SIM. We are in Japan to come alongside Japanese Christians and help them reach their friends, family, and neighbors for Christ.
From 2012 to 2016, we partnered with Shiogama Bible Baptist Church (located in Tagajo). Our primary focus was on learning from and coming alongside them as they responded the relief and development needs in our region following the 3/11 disaster. We also helped with English teaching, occasional preaching, children’s ministry, small groups, and outreach.
Our second term continues to be in partnership with this church, and we are focused on church planting in the adjacent city of Shiogama. We continue to be involved in networking with and developing young leaders, relational evangelism, English, and kids ministry, and more. Additionally, Robert has recently become the field director of Asian Access.
This year has been one of moving forward in leadership training and organization, to see the Mérignac, France church established and poised for an expanded influence in the Bordeaux area. The church is functioning under its own lay leadership, future elders and their wives are preparing for that spiritual role and leading home groups. A big step has been finding a building for the church. God marvelously provided a former restaurant in a very visible and strategic location — and funds have come in a miraculous way to be able to go ahead with the purchase. The notaries have drawn up the purchase agreement. In addition to providing desperately needed space, it allows us to reach out to the community in new ways, and moves them toward the long-term goal of being a hub to a multiplying network of communities of faith.
Note: Todd and Terri lost their daughter Sarah to leukemia just after Christmas. Pray for comfort in their sorrow and that the presence of God will bring healing to their broken hearts.
S and L’s ministry goal is to help reach the least evangelized people groups in the world. They are doing this by helping to plant culturally-sensitive house church moments among Iranian expats living in the United Kingdom and among other people groups following Hinduism in Asia.
This style of ministry is known as Disciple-Making-Movements, as the goal is to use simple and easily reproducible methods that will empower new believers to begin house fellowships among their family, friends and neighbors.
S and L also serve part time as international training consultants helping teams from several agencies to be more effective in this style of ministry.
Joel and Kristen Cagwin serve with the Alliance at Black Forest Academy in Germany and as Member Care Professionals for Alliance workers. BFA is a middle school and high school that serves Third Culture Kids (TCKs) from around the world by providing a quality Christian education. Joel is a professional counselor and heads the Counseling Department at BFA caring for the holistic wellness of students. As Member Care Professionals, they care for the wellness of other international workers so they can thrive in their callings and continue to proclaim the name of Jesus wherever they are planted.
We serve in a teaching hospital where the gospel presentation is strictly forbidden. Although the government does not allow me to talk about Jesus, I pray that my stethoscope and endoscope would do so. Please also ask the Lord that we might be able to contact the orphans we have prayed for. Last but not least, since we are prayer facilitators, leading a prayer path that enables like-minded to walk together, would you visit us to bless our people?
Jeff, as a Regional Director for OneMission Society, is responsible for the overall vision, oversight and ministry in Latin America and the Caribbean. This involves regular contact with Field Directors with support, encouragement and guidance. It also involves troubleshooting in various manners in the region. The overall goal in the region is to help our partner churches develop a mission-sending ethos and then walk alongside them to help send out missionaries.
Ginny Feldmann serves in the Chicago Metro Area in Friendship evangelism with South Asians and mentors Christians in outreach to the same. She is tutoring Pakistani children, doing medical interpretation jobs, teaching perspectives classes and other trainings in local churches.
The past four years, I have been serving with the Alliance in Mongolia as the Darhan International Worker Kid school teacher — for a variety of students that have ranged in grade from 1st through 9th, teaching language arts, math, history, science, and Bible. The past 2 years, I have been a teacher part-time so I could also study the Mongolian language part-time. I also currently serve as my team’s cashier and the region’s education consultant. And, this coming fall I will switch gears to teach English to Mongolians. I plan to work with teenagers who are family and friends of students at the Kingdom Leadership Training Center and adults who sign up for English lessons at the language school where I study Mongolian.
I am on staff at FamilyLife and host/producer for the nationally syndicated weekend radio program, FamilyLife This Week. At FamilyLife our goal is to encourage people in their most important relationships — God, marriage and family. One of those ways is through our radio programs. Some weekends we will be talking about grief and suffering, the complexities of a blended family, other days we might discuss the Bible definition of courage in culture and in parenting. It’s my goal to show how God affects every aspect of our lives. Please take a listen if you get a chance and let me know what you think — familylifethisweek.com.
Dan Kronstad and his family (Tanya, Erik, Caleb & James) thoroughly enjoy being able to love, befriend and share “LIFE” with students from all over the world in the name of Jesus. Dan has been working with international students for 20 years (full time with ISI for 15 years), currently serving as ISI campus staff at Duke University, Durham, NC since 2010. What started as an adventure in teaching English in China in 1999 has turned into a life long journey of discovery and joy as Dan and family meet students from new countries/cultures and have opportunity to care for and share the love of Christ with international students and scholars.
I am currently the Associate Director of InterVarsity’s national Multiethnic Initiatives Department. Our department equips students and staff to live out a vision for multiethnic community on campus through innovative resources and coaching staff and students. We have created evangelistic resources that have allowed students to engage in spiritual conversations around race and ethnicity. Through our discipleship resources, students and staff are trained to personally encounter the power of the gospel in their own stories, giving them hope and confidence to move forward in reconciliation and healing.
Even in an organization like InterVarisity, where “multiethnicity” has been a value for decades, this cultural movement has made the need for grace, humility, and deeper engagement necessary. To that end, I’ve helped develop and lead spiritual formation and practical skills training for senior leaders to help them lead their staff teams through racial tension and pain.
Since Bora came back to Korea in December 2017 from woking in several Asian countries, she has been working on a translation project of discipleship training materials at a small Korean mission agency. With the two books published last year, she has been teaching Discipleship Training course at a seminary for foreigners who are from many different countries and have a heart for ministry back in their own countries. In 2018, Bora went to mission fields (Russia, the Philippines, and Japan) and supported a pastor who held discipleship training conferences for missionaries and local leaders. She gave lectures on the Gospel and discipleship training, and she also lectured and shared her testimony. She has led discipleship training groups for moms, college students, and office workers every week, nurturing them by the Word of God.
Bora travels extensively in Asia, and she is looking to pursue a doctorate in South Africa soon.
T and H serve among the Kurdish people in the Middle East. They live in the city of “Lorry”, a city of about 750,000 people, predominately Kurdish and Muslim. There are an estimated 100 followers of Jesus in “Lorry”, or less than 1% of 1% of the population. There are no other churches within a four hour radius of “Lorry”.
They are serving a church of about 40 people, helping it to grow and develop, and to cast a vision among these believers of planting more churches in this needy area. The need is huge and the opposition is overwhelming. But Jesus has promised that his Church will be built and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!
Our days are filled with programmatic activities and good old-fashioned life on life living where we see the Gospel message proclaimed verbally and lived out in dynamic fashion. We have an after school program with more than 35 children registered, offer ESL classes 2 nights a week, a weekly Men’s and Women’s Bible study, a worship service on Sunday mornings, a total of 10 weeks of children’s outreach and development and soul care in the summer months. This is in addition to hosting Envision teams, having more than 30 Moody Bible Institute Students volunteer weekly, interns, residents, and work study students from Loyola University that we influence. We also find ourselves serving the homeless in various ways, offering some light social work activities, and feeding the hungry as we provide snacks and lunches to the children in our programs but also distribute thousands of pounds of chicken and groceries throughout the year to families of need. How do we do all this you might ask? By simply trying to fulfill the 2 greatest commandments of Loving God and Loving our Neighbors.
E and K serve with the Alliance in Asia. As the field director couple, they lead an Alliance field composed of 30+ international workers serving on 9 teams. Besides the normal duties of vision casting, administration, partnership development, mentoring and member care, they each carry a number of local responsibilities.
E works with a national Alliance church to develop its missions program, including a church planting initiative to place 16 new workers in one strategic area by 2021. His work with a peace and tolerance education program among the majority population continues to open doors for witness and dialogue.
K leads a program to put the Bible in the hands of the majority religious group in a language they understand. She also is assisting in the development of a child safety program for the Alliance Church.
E and K have three adult children, two of whom are married, and one grandson.
Y has been working in the Arab world for almost 20 years, planting churches through friendship evangelism and educational development projects. It has been a great privilege to work with local as well as international workers to build his Kingdom in this part of the world. God has given Y a burden to share his love and to live sacrificially for the lost.
Since 2011, Y has worked with refugees fleeing from conflict and persecution. Y provides training for women and children, as well as sharing the Bible and discipling believers with the end of creating vibrant communities of Jesus followers in the region. Y also provides support and training for workers with Y’s sending organization so that they may thrive in life and ministry.
Our ministry is both local and global. Locally, Sam serves as the president of south Asian Friendship Center in Chicago serving among Muslims and Hindus since 1997 through, evangelism, ESL, Women ministry, Street Evangelism, Ministry among Sex Trafficked women, training and discipling Moody and other college students. Refugee and Immigrant ministry. We are also blessed now to become CMA Chicago “Envision” ministry site. Sam also teaches in the Intercultural Ministry dept. at Moody Bible Institute.
Globally Sam travels extensively ministering with the Call of Hope; a German mis-sion serving among Muslims for over 100 years only through the nationals. The ministry includes training national pastors in evangelism, discipleship, church planting.
In partnership with key Christian leaders in their area, W and C are involved in church planting efforts in a hostile environment. They encourage and equip local leaders to initiate and sustain church planting movements among the people groups found there.
Raised in France as a Missionaries’ Kid, Michèle is a mentor, writer and speaker with a heart for MKs. She taught for twenty years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching a global ministry consulting and teaching on topics related to this unique people group. Her goal is to help missions, churches and missionary parents to develop a deeper understanding of MKs in order to address preventable challenges and equip them to thrive.
I joined OM (Operation Mobilisation) in 2010. I worked in Turkey for 2 years and then I joined the team in Belgium in 2012. I currently serve as one of the directors of OM Belgium. This means that I oversee a team of 7 people involved in evangelism around the country, I contribute in the decisions being made for our whole team and I help pioneer work on the French-speaking side of the country. I also get to use my music as a big part of my ministry. I help lead worship in different contexts: I play in a local band, I use music to help reach people who have never heard the Gospel, and I help train and mentor musicians who write music for the local Belgian church. My husband, Sam, and I are also helping with a new church plant in the south of Belgium, an area where there is little to no Christian witness at the moment. Our hope is to see a vibrant community of Jesus followers established in this unreached area.
Carissa is working in Berlin with the Arab/German team, focusing on ministering to Arabic-speaking refugees who have relocated to Germany. She grew up in SE Asia as an MK, and has spent her life navigating a blend of cultural dynamics. She is a CWM (Consecrated Woman in Ministry) with the Alliance, as well as a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Illinois. As she begins her work in Berlin with people who have lost everything and are working to rebuild their lives, she looks forward to seeing how the Lord works through the various components of her life and how he continues to also grow her own faith and understanding of him.
Our current ministry focus is in the area of Soul Care for church leaders and pastors. The increasingly restrictive context in country presents unique challenges for local leaders and believers and requires from us ongoing flexibility, creativity and dependency on His leading — to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” We are thankful for the doors of opportunity the Father has given us so far.
In one city/province we are partnering with one of our Canadian IWs in ministering to the deeper needs of hurting hearts through prayer ministry, deliverance and training. We praise the Father for full and fruitful trips with one on one prayer ministry and small group mentoring and training. Their transformed lives have started to draw others.
My wife and I have 6 kids ages 11 to 8 months. Our family served in Uganda from 2007-2016. We LOVED Uganda and could have served there forever, but God had different plans for our family. We are now serving in Chad seeking to see churches planted in Jesus name and for his glory. This country has the third highest amount of unreached people groups in Africa. It is a dry place in multiple ways. We hope to serve both the existing Christians in the capital city, while seeking in-roads to show the love of Jesus to all. We are currently learning French and Chadian Arabic. Please pray Isaiah 35:1 over this dry land “The wilderness and dry land SHALL be GLAD.”
Brian and Valerie Weidemann serve at Dalat International School in Malaysia as residence supervisors and dorm parents. The focus of their work is student ministry, staff development, and program leadership and administration. Their boarding program supports international workers in the region as well as local families, so their students come from a wide variety of cultural and faith backgrounds. Pray for God to give them wisdom to love and support their students and staff well, and to equip them honor Him in the way they lead their ministry.
Since 2011 the Wendels have served as the Latin America Regional Director Couple for the Alliance, where they serve and give leadership to International Workers living in Mexico, DR, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay as well as maintaining and strengthening regional partnership relationships with the 20 C&MA National Church Leaders in Latin America.
When they are not traveling, the Wendels make their home in Montevideo, Uruguay, the least evangelized nation in Latin America with the most spiritual need and a place where they can be Salt and Light as a family. Prior to living in Latin America, the Wendels church planted in Madrid, Spain. They did their missionary internship at Wellspring before going overseas and Wellspring is where they call home when they are in the United States.
Steve and Mary Westergren are in their 33rd year serving with the C&MA as International Workers. Currently Steve is the Member Care Coordinator for the International Ministries of the Alliance. As a couple, they serve as Member Care professionals at large, and Mary lends some of her time as a Licensed Counselor to Cornerstone Counseling Foundation in Thailand.
What does all that look like? Lots of travel, lots of connection with International Workers either face-to-face on visits to their fields or over Skype, lots of training and equipping so that we have a strong support network for our IWs, and lots of administrative detail. They spend a significant portion of their time counseling, offering mediation and teaming services, teaching on the care of our souls, and generally helping connect IWs to the resources that enable them to thrive in ministry and life overseas!
Tim & Marilyn Westergren have been serving Spain through the Alliance since 1994. Tim now serves as the Spain field director for 40 international workers in Spain with the Alliance from the US, Canada, the Netherlands. Tim will continue as an adjunct professor of hermeneutics at both the Alliance institute (INFORMA) and the Baptist seminary in the metro Madrid area.
Marilyn builds bridges of trust that can stand the weight of Truth through English-based outreach: women’s book club and craft group, Lifetree Café conversation and GEMS girls club. Marilyn on the board of the LIFE International School in Tres Cantos, seeking to implement pastoral counseling at every level of this new bilingual Christian school. She is also serves on the board of Christian Schools in Spain Foundation, which is seeking to establish a network of 20 Christian schools during the next 30 years throughout Spain.
Steve and Jen, along with their five children, live in Kijabe, Kenya (1.25 hrs north-west of the capital city Nairobi) where Steve is involved in theological education/ ministry training for pastors, chaplains, counselors, missionaries, and other Christian workers at Moffat Bible College. He teaches classes in biblical/theological studies, biblical languages, leadership, and mentors and supervises students as they serve in various ministry contexts. He also currently serves as the Spiritual Life Director at the college. Students come to train at Moffat from all over Kenya as well as other African countries. Their focus is on the discipleship and spiritual formation of men and women equipping them to serve in the rapidly expanding African Church. Their desire is to see them bring the life-transforming message of the gospel to bear upon the present day realities in Africa as they take the gospel to the least-reached communities.
Ben and Kristy’s first exposure to missions was as the age of sixteen with Blanchard to serve in Europe. That exposure to peer evangelism ignited a passion for missions. After getting married and serving multiple summers in Europe they felt God calling them into full-time missions. Ben and Kristy have lived in Ukraine since 2007 and now lead the Josiah Venture Ukraine team. Their ministry is focused on training and equipping young leaders to fulfill the great commission. Their team partners with more than fifty churches across Ukraine to build healthy disciple-making ministries.
Tam and Dan have committed to another year helping their daughter and son-in-law in San Leandro CA and making trips to care for aging parents in Tucson, AZ and near Wheaton area.
They are still with Alliance (Marketplace Ministries) but are working with DAI (Development Associates International) facilitating MA courses for Christian leaders in Africa and Asia. Dan does trips for intensive weeks of teaching and then interacts with students via internet and grades papers for six months to a year. He went to Uganda, is off to Sri Lanka soon and is scheduled for Nepal and Myanmar.
They continue to encourage and support some Papuan friends in ministry. They are plugging in to a large Alliance affiliated church nearby called 3 Crosses. A small group meets in their home, Dan is involved in some men’s groups and Tam is serving with the women’s ministry and women’s missionary society at the church. They are excited about some wonderful relationship developments with their neighbors.