Monday, October 3, 2016

YOUTH MINISTRY SUMMIT IN THAILAND—NOVEMBER 2016

Every four years SEND missionaries who serve in youth ministry around the world come together to network, clarify direction and help one another. I (Matt) have been invited to represent Reign Ministries in our new partnership. Some areas that we will be discussing include: 

· How do we effectively reach out to this generation with the Gospel?
· What does discipleship “look like” in various cultural contexts?
· What are the questions of ministry that we struggle with in our context?
· What opportunities would Reign Ministries have to serve in your location?

We will also be sharing and learning from each other in the areas of discipleship, evangelism, God’s Word, local church, prayer, and missions. Please pray for a fruitful time networking and learning how to be more effective reaching youth!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

WHO IS SEND INTERNATIONAL?

SEND is an interdenominational, multinational Christian mission organization with over 500 missionaries in more that 20 areas of Asia, Europe, Eurasia and North America. Their mission is to mobilize God’s people and engage the unreached in order to establish reproducing churches. SEND focuses its ministries on the unreached—people who don’t have access to the gospel.

NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH “SEND INTERNATIONAL”

This past April, Tom Ives (President of Reign Ministries) and I (Matt) traveled to Detroit to meet with the leadership of SEND International. Over the last few years we’ve developed a working relationship with SEND and felt it was time to make it a bit more official by signing a “Memorandum of Understanding,” formalizing our desire to partner together. The first sentence of the MOU reads, “SEND and Reign share a common vision to see a movement of God among peoples of all ages and regions of the world that transforms them into passionate followers of Jesus Christ committed to sharing his love with the unreached.” Toward that end we desire to see an increasing number of young people discipled, trained, and ultimately mobilized in the ministry of making disciples.  As part of my role at Reign I will be coordinating the new partnership with SEND. I feel privileged to be a part of what God is doing!

Monday, August 1, 2016

MISSIONS CONFERENCE

At the end of July Jenni and I (Matt) represented Reign Ministries at the SEND missions conference in Detroit. We had the chance to meet many missionaries who are serving around the world. We enjoyed talking about possible future mission teams serving the field. We were also blessed to see nearly 60 full-time workers being commissioned to the mission field. God is an awesome God!

SYRIAN REFUGEES, Macedonia

“He [Paul] knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again.” Acts 20:36-38.
In July, I (Matt) had the privilege of taking another mission team back to Macedonia in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Half of Syria’s pre-war population have been killed or forced to flee their homes. There are now nearly 4 million Syrians scattered throughout the region, making them the world’s largest refugee population.

As with my previous trip, our team quickly fell in love with the refugees. Even just after our first full day serving in the refugee camp, Jack, a team member said, “It’s already hard to say goodbye to the friends I’ve made.” Another team member said, “I didn’t expect to find my family in Macedonia! I saw my little brother in the boy who asks for piggybacks, and my sisters in the giggling girls who kiss my cheek.”

Our friendships with the Syrian refugees continued to deepen as the days went by and the nights got later and later. We entered the refugee’s minimal living spaces, shared their food and laughs, we nearly sweat to death playing rousing games of ping pong, and some of us even started learning Arabic—all the while doing our best to communicate the love and message of Jesus Christ. 

On our last night together we gathered our Syrian friends to pray a blessing over them. Our hearts were all moved as many wept and embraced each other before we said our final goodbyes. In just two weeks we had grown very close. God truly blessed us as we shared our lives with the Syrian refugees. Please continue to lift them up in prayer. Pray for peace in Syria and for the Holy Spirit to soften hearts. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

BARNABAS TEAM

In June, I (Matt) led the Barnabas Team at our missions training camp. What is the Barnabas Team? It is a team of Royal Servants alumni who serve all of Training Camp. Barnabas team members take out the trash, clean bathrooms, dig, rake, mow, put up tents, blaze trails through the woods, and so much more! Students also get to know some extraordinary people who became like brothers and sisters, take part in the amazing worship and quiet times, and serve the mission teams behind the scenes! I was so blessed to be able to work with these remarkable  students! God is so good!  

Friday, April 15, 2016

MACEDONIA REFUGEE RELIEF!

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. – Psalm 9:9

Since my return home people ask me, “How was your trip Matt?” I typically respond with, “It was amazing!” or “It was awesome!” And while that description of our trip is true, it certainly doesn’t explain just everything that our team felt and experienced. As the trip leader, I can honestly say that EVERYONE on the team was blessed beyond anything they had hoped for or imagined. We ALL fell in love with the refugees we got to know and also with our ministry partners (SEND Int’l), who work tirelessly in Macedonia. Here are some highlights from our ministry at the refugee camp:

· Served food to 1300 hungry refugees for a week
· Provided 6500 additional meals through “Feed My Starving Children”
· Funded 3 additional days of food distribution for the refugees
· Interacted with refugees through conversations, sports, and visits to shelters
· Helped with individual needs – provided medicine, repaired broken glasses, etc.
· Humbled by the hospitality of the refugees who offered what little they had
· Shared countless cups of tea with the refugees and blessed by their friendship
· Listened to tragic, courageous stories fleeing war-torn countries pursuing freedom
· Loved children by playing games, and providing toys & school supplies
· Offered New Testaments and shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with open hearts

Wow! We were so blessed to experience God’s compassionate heart for the refugees. He LOVES the oppressed and He IS a strong shelter in times of trouble. Thank you for showing His love through your prayers and gifts to make it ALL happen!