Armonía - Mexico

Armonía is a service-based, Mexican non-governmental organization (NGO) working with some of the country's poorest urban and rural communities. Founded on Christian principles by the late Saul Cruz and his wife Pilar, its purpose is to transform poverty into an abundant, complete, and dignified life. Armonía has now become an international movement of Christian commitment to the poor.

In Oaxaca and Mexico City, the Armonía Indigenous Mexican Scholars (AIMS) program offers scholarships to indigenous students so that they can complete their secondary school and pursue a university education.

Armonía also has three Christian transformation centers-Santa Cruz, Presidentes, and Jalalpa-in some of the poorest areas of Mexico City. In these centers, Armonía is involved with children's clubs, health clinics, biblical training, nutrition programs, worship meetings, and more.

Alex and Suzanne Sarran - Lyon, France

Alex and Suzanne have been involved in full-time ministry in Lyon since 2001, the year they were married. With less than one percent of the population being Bible-believing Christians, the needs are great. According to recent surveys, France has the largest proportion of atheists in Western Europe, but also the largest proportion of Muslims.

Alex leads a budding church-plant near the center of the city, and together as a family they seek to glorify God through communicating the gospel message to as many people as possible. They pray that many would come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and as a result, the church would grow and in time other churches would be established. They long to see the gospel have a positive, visible impact on this urban area which is the second largest in France.

Joel and Stephanie - Toulouse, France

For over a decade, Stephanie helped French nationals in church planting through youth and children's ministry, English outreaches, music, drama, and one-on-one discipleship. For over a decade, Joel prayed fervently for Europe and served his local church through music and missions before leaving his engineering job to use his gifts in apologetics serving for two years on an MTW church-planting team in Ukraine.

Married in 2014, Joel and Stephanie now serve together in France, a country where Protestant Christianity was nearly exterminated by centuries of persecution. The Swansons serve with a team that planted three churches in Marseille and recently moved to Toulouse, one of France's fastest growing cities (population over a million). They are pioneering a church plant in concert with French partners, as well has helping revitalize an existing French church.

Pray that Stephanie and Joel's passion to show the gospel's relevance to every area of life would help them enable the church to seek the welfare of the city. In post-Christian France, they desire to embody the restored humanity and renewed community that is the Church-just as God calls his people to live while in exile in Jeremiah 29:4-7.

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Curtis and Lisa McGown - Columbia, SC

Curtis serves as the executive director of Godspeed Resources Connection (GRC). He is involved in vision, administration, implementation, management, counseling, debriefing, consulting, and developing partnerships with churches and sending organizations.

GRC is a group of faith-based caregivers serving those sent cross-culturally by providing preventative and restorative care to strengthen their well-being in life and work. Services include counseling, psychiatry, debriefing, spiritual direction, and consulting.

GRC offers these services in three settings: in person in Columbia, SC; in person in Indonesia; and Online Care using a video/tele-conferencing platform for anyone located around the world outside the US.

Learn more about GRC

Partner in Ministry: Third Millenium Ministries - Casselberry, FL

Third Millennium Ministries believes every Christian in the world has a right to a well-trained pastor. By creating a free multimedia seminary curriculum in multiple languages, Third Mill equips church leaders in their own land, in their own language, and at no cost to them so they can lead their congregations in accordance with the Word of God.

Third Mill produces award-winning curriculum in 5 core languages-English, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic-and partners with others to translate their curriculum into 13 other languages. They deliver their curriculum to users at every level of technology: print, DVD, web, mobile apps, micro SD cards, and satellite. With users in every country of the world, Third Mill is saturating the globe with masters-level Christian education and changing the lives of pastors, lay leaders, and their congregations everywhere.

Seima and Naoka Aoyagi - Tokyo, Japan

Seima and Naoka are involved in a church planting ministry in downtown Tokyo, Japan, that is affiliated with Redeemer City to City, Mission to the World (MTW), and Presbyterian Mission International (PMI). This is not just a single church plant-their desire is to see a city-center church-planting movement take root throughout Tokyo. Through this they hope to see Tokyo, the biggest city and the most lost city in the world with only 0.23% of the population professing Christ, transformed by the gospel. Grace Harbor Church in Toyosu (an area with 150,000 people without any church) was planted two years ago. They intentionally target non-Christians, building relationships and sharing the gospel with people who have never heard the gospel before. They have about sixty adults and thirty chldren gathering each Sunday.

Matt and Caroline Newkirk - Nagoya, Japan

The Newkirks serve with Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan, where Matt is president and professor of Old Testament. The Japanese are the second largest unreached people group in the world and are therefore in desperate need of well-trained gospel ministers, so CBS's mission is simple: to equip Christians in Japan for the work of gospel ministry.

CBS operates within a larger organization called Christ Bible Institute, which also includes an outreach ministry (Heart & Soul Café), a church-planting center (Joy for Japan Center), and a publishing arm (CBI Press). In addition to teaching courses in Old Testament and missions, Matt leads the faculty and staff in executing the seminary's mission and caring for the students and their families.

The entire Newkirk family enjoys participating in the life of their Japanese church and building relationships with people in their community.

Robert and Lisa Stewart - Shin-Urayasu, Japan

Best known as the home of Tokyo Disneyland, and sister city to Orlando, Urayasu was once a small fishing village on Tokyo Bay. A coastal land-reclamation project expanded its area fourfold, bringing rapid growth and an influx of young people and families. When an MTW team moved into the Shin Urayasu area, there was no church in this new community of 40,000-not surprising in a country with only 0.3% of the population identify as Christians.

With God's help, things are beginning to change. Through the MTW Tokyo Bay team's church-planting efforts, Shin-Urayasu Grace Church had its first worship service in 2012. The church is establishing itself in the community as they seek to love God, each other, and the community.

Robert and Lisa Stewart, with their children William and Isabel, are part of this MTW work in Japan. Robert is building relationships through a men's group in the community, church outreach, and a men's Bible study. He teaches two days a week at Covenant Community School International to give educational support to their children, as well as the children of other MTW families. Lisa is focused on building relationships with other moms through play groups, cooking classes, and Bible study.

Ryan and Heidi Fraser - Brazil

Ryan and Heidi are members of Wycliffe Bible Translators. They live with their son Ezra in Brazil and are currently undergoing language and culture orientation. They look forward to serving the Trawler* people of Brazil, who speak a language unrelated to Brazil's national language, Portuguese. There are already Christians within the group who desire to have the Scripture in their own language, both for themselves and for the rest of their people who do not yet know the Lord. Ryan will serve as a Bible translator and Heidi will serve through building relationships and hospitality. (*Pseudonym)

Fred and Arlene Jonkman - Quito, Ecuador

Fred and Arlene have been bringing the light of the gospel to Ecuador since 1998. The Iglesia Reformada de la Gracia in Quito was planted in 2000 and has strong national leaders who understand and teach the Reformed faith. Fred is an elder and Arlene works with the women of the church. In January 2016, they began to help the church plant a daughter church in Ibarra, a town two hours north of Quito. Fred and the leaders travel to Ibarra biweekly to disciple this new group.

In 2006 a Reformed Bible Institute was started in Quito, and there are now seven study centers throughout Ecuador with about eighty students. Fred regularly teaches Bible and theological courses and Arlene is now teaching biblical counseling courses. They also teach family workshops and counseling seminars to help the Ecuadorians understand biblical principles for living out their faith in Christ.

Fred and Arlene also have an outreach ministry in Quinindé where, together with members of their church, they are taking the gospel and bringing humanitarian aid to eight marginal communities. Believers in several communities gather together to worship on the Lord's Day, and two new churches are being formed.

Jimmy and Erin - South Asia

Jimmy and Erin serve on a church-planting team in a restricted-access South Asian nation. Their purpose is to help nurture an emerging church-planting movement that has begun among the “Shepherd” Muslim people group and to help initiate and nurture other such movements among neighboring people groups. They help shepherd and mentor the leaders of the movement, as well as partner with them to help create and distribute indigenous print, audio, and video resources for evangelism, discipleship, and leader training, in order to equip them to reach their own people with the good news of Christ (Jimmy's official job is directing a small Christian film studio). In addition, they provide logistical and administrative support to a local Bible translation project that is translating the Bible into the Shepherd language. They also engage in personal evangelism with people from various unreached ethnic groups, seeking to disciple them to a mature faith in Christ and helping them to form locally-lead house churches. In their role as team leaders they serve the other family on their team by encouraging them, coming alongside and praying with and for them, debriefing them in their ministry experiences, and providing strategic guidance.

Eric and Sara-Beth - South Asia

Eric and Sara-Beth's two-family team in South Asia is training and teaching a Presbyterian denomination that is located in the nearby hill tracts. It is a small people group that is not only one of the few Christian groups in the area, but also one of only a few Presbyterian groups in the whole area. Due to living restrictions in the hill tract area, they are living in a large city (5-7 million) a couple of hours away. It is a mostly Muslim city.

They are the first MTW team in their country and are seeking to lay the ground work for others to join them in taking the gospel to the largest unreached people group in the world. Eric and Sara-Beth continue to learn the language and culture, and strive to be a Christian presence to the people who live in their city.

Dan and Tawnny - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Dan and Tawnny were members of St. Paul's for many years. They serve with The JESUS Film Project (a ministry of Cru) and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand, in the summer of 2017. The JESUS film is used by more than 1500 missions organizations and denominations around the world to communicate the gospel to people in their own language, disciple new believers, help plant churches, and train and equip pastors.

Dan provides technical support for the regional JESUS Film office located in Chiang Mai and travels to surrounding countries to train other missionaries and local believers to record the JESUS film in the many local languages that do not yet have gospel materials available.

Asia Minor Partners: Pastors Yavuz and Turgay - Turkey

Asia Minor Partners (AMP) is a transcultural network of churches and individuals dedicated to helping reformation Christianity prosper and grow throughout Asia Minor. Its vision is to see the gospel of Jesus Christ flourish through a locally-led movement of believers, pastors, and teachers who demonstrate the love of Christ based on a deep understanding of Middle Eastern culture.

AMP currently supports two national pastors: Pastor Turgay Ucal in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, and Pastor Yavuz in Ankara, the country's capital. Pastor Turgay is among the most prominent figures in Middle Eastern evangelical Christianity, with an established church community on the eastern side of the Bosphorus River (near ancient Chalcedon). Pastor Yavuz has a vision for planting over eighty churches in the Ankara region, and has pioneered a model and approach for building churches with a complex legal system and secular Muslim culture.