Dear friends & great supporters,
Last Saturday, we had a huge feeding program. It was an all-day affair in which more than 2,000 people here were fed.
We began in the morning with the typhoon survivor's camp near our school campus, where nearly 200 families live. These folks were left homeless by the typhoon. Most of them lost everything. Now, nearly a year later, they are still homeless, with no jobs and no prospects. Sadly, most of the international aid groups are now pulling out of Tacloban, so help for these folks is drying up.
Later, in the afternoon, we took our big jeepney to the local barangay, the neighborhood government council of the village of Tagpuro. We fed everyone in the village. There are about 400 families there. It was a lot of work but our students & staff were real troopers. More than 20 of them participated in this work, and they were great.
So many smiles and tears of joy among the people who received these precious gifts of food. Each person received a bag containing almost 9 pounds of rice, 2 cans of meat or sardines, 2 pkg. of noodles, pasta, and 2 cans of various other ready-to-eat meals. Also included was a sack of powdered milk, and 2 pkg. of iron-fortified cookies for the children.
I am attaching a Power Point slide show of the activities of the day. I hope you have Power Point on your device, or some app which can open it. There are about 4 dozen pictures to see.
Thanks for your support. You are all a blessing for us and for so many here.
Johnny Eastep - for the Project Philippines team
A Newsletter from Mirek and Marilu Bartczak Wroclaw, Poland
Newsletter from the Bartczaks
Dear friends and family,
We send you warmest greetings in the Lord from an unusually warm (at this time of year), Poland trusting that this newsletter finds you doing well. It has been a very busy, and intense summer with many activities, as well as an active Fall. Following is a summary of our activities in the last three months.
The annual nationwide retreat of the Polish churches of Christ (August 14-17). 21 people gathered for the 9th annual retreat which this year was hosted by our congregation in a small mountain town of Sokolowsko about one and a half hours away from Wroclaw. Our theme was “A Christian with a godly character” based on 1 Peter 1:1-11. The lessons were shared by four brothers representing three Polish congregations. The lesson topics were: (1) “Why is there a need to work on a Christian’s character”, (2) “Christ supplies all of the resources to renovate character”, (3) “We need to work diligently with Christ in the renovation project”, (4) “The rewards of character renovation are well worth the effort”. (You will find a detailed program of the retreat in an attachment). This year we were privileged to have in our group a couple of friends from the Valley Creek congregation of Mesquite, TX - David and Marion Tyree. They came to Poland to conduct one-on-one and small group Bible studies in English to make new contacts for the congregation that meets in Gdansk, in northern Poland. On their way to Gdansk they attended our retreat and David conducted a harmony singing workshop for us. It was a joy to have them with us at this year’s retreat, as well as at our house.
Continued contact with prison inmate. We have continued our contact with a prison inmate that we wrote about in our previous newsletter. His name is Piotr, in his 30s and a father of three children. He was transferred to a prison in our area from the opposite part of the country as he was seeking in-prison schooling opportunities that were not offered in his area. We first sent him a copy of the New Testament together with a short 6-lesson Bible correspondence course, which he studied and answered. He also requested the whole Bible which we have promptly sent to him along with a number of care packages He has been very thankful for these. Mirek is hoping to get a permission to visit him at the prison.
Teaching classes at a Catholic elementary school in our area. At the beginning of September we were asked to consider teaching classes in English at a non-public elementary school located in our area. We were approached by the principal of the school. She had heard about our tutoring classes and wanted to have us at her school. At first we were not sure, but after praying about it we accepted the challenge. The main reason we decided to help was that we felt that we could be a help and blessing to these children who otherwise would not have this opportunity. More importantly though, we felt that it was an opportunity to provide a concrete service to the community that we try to reach for Christ. We have been able to donate Children’s Bibles to this school, that we received recently from EEM. As we talked with the Principle, we were open with her about us not being Catholics and being from the Church of Christ, to which she said that it was not a problem as she would rather work with people who believe in God and practice their faith than with others who claim to be of her religious persuasion, but are not practicing.
Website inquires. Our website (The Lord’s Path, sciezkapanska.pl) continues to be read by new people. Recently we have received some new inquiries about the church of Christ in Poland, including questions about whether we are officially registered and where they could attend our services.
Developing relationships with our English students. Teaching classes puts us in more than 20 homes on a weekly basis. We continue to develop personal relationships with our students and their families which otherwise would not be possible (especially in Poland, a predominantly Catholic society) as people tend to be resistant to someone who is of a different religious persuasion. We realize that this is a long term work to reach out to these people with the gospel, but we see it as preparing the ground for sowing the seed of God’s Word and cultivating it in the hearts and lives of these people.
Getting ready for resuming mid-week Open Bible Discussion Group in English. Next week we will be resuming the mid-week Bible open discussion group in English that will meet downtown Wroclaw at the place that we are renting for our church services. The location is ideal and we are gathering more interest to attend these classes. One of our possible attendees may be Piotr, a university professor that used to attend our summer English Bible schools directed by David Tyree. This summer we had an opportunity to renew our contact with him and he showed interest in possibly joining our discussion group. We request your prayers on his behalf.
Chinedu’s visit. Two weeks ago we had a visitor at our services from Nigeria, who came to further her medical studies in Poland. Chinedu is a sister in the Lord. She and her family are part of a large congregation in Abuja, Nigeria. She came to study in the city of Katowice about two hours away from Wroclaw. She traveled by bus to worship with us and we had a great visit with her. We are looking forward to seeing her more often.
In closing we would like to ask your prayers for Timmy, our 9 year old son, who has been having strong headaches in the last three days. The doctor said that if they don’t go away by the end of the weekend he will need to see a neurologist. We are hoping it is related to sinuses, and not something more serious. Your prayers for him would be much appreciated.
We are thankful for each of you - for your prayers, love, care and concern for us. We couldn’t do this work without you.
In love and appreciation,
The Bartczak family
From Joe & Bonnie Ruiz (Greenwood, MS)
Greetings in the name of our Lord from the West President church of Christ in Greenwood, MS, overseers of Joe and Bonnie Ruiz Evangelistic/Mission Work. We recently received your request to bring you up to date as to the progress of our mission efforts.
We are happy to report that last year we made mission trips to Peru and Mexico resulting in numerous baptisms and restorations. We were able to assist the newly established congregation in Iquitos, Peru (located in the jungle/rainforest of Peru) to purchase a beautiful piece of property for the church to meet in to worship the God of heaven. The Building Project is progressing nicely. We are presently constructing three classrooms for the young people and children to have where to meet for Sunday morning Bible study and Wednesday evening Bible study.
We recently returned from our semi-annual mission trip to Peru. We spoke at five congregations,conducted three gospel meetings and two Vacation Bible Schools. Five precious souls were baptized and added to the church, as well as several Christians were restored. Our evangelistic circuit includes preaching in Lima (the capital), Iquitos and Requena (both located in the jungle). To reach Requena we have to take a 17-hour Riverboat down the Amazon River which departs Iquitos at 2:00 pm and arrives in Requena the next morning at 7:00 am. Both congregations are growing, however classes on leadership are needed in both places and hopefully we can find more workers here in the US to make trips with us and help us in developing these new congregations so that they can have their own elders and deacons in the future.
While we are state side we labor in the Hispanic Ministry in Greenwood, MS. Since we began working with the West President church of Christ close to 30 precious souls have been baptized in the Hispanic Ministry. Last Sunday, another precious souls was immersed into Christ and added to God's family.
We have another trip scheduled to Peru in the Fall (November). Once again, thank you for your continual support of our mission efforts. We kindly request your continual prayers on our behalf.
In the greatest service,
Joe and Bonnie Ruiz
PS If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write us at this e-mail address.