2013 in Review
As we start this New Year of 2014, we wish God’s peace, blessing and provision for you and your family. May you know his presence and guidance on a daily basis and may you accomplish all He has in store for you in this exciting new year of your life. Let us share with you some of the experiences from IMS over the past year.
The Midwifery Training Centre graduated another group of qualified girls and the three schools continue to grow. The knowledge of Scripture these children have is remarkable and we continue to see converts from the Midwifery school. This work is in Lahore, near the Afghanistan border, right in the heart of Taliban country. The centre is overseen by Magdalene William who was born in the area.
Challenges are ongoing in this part of the world. Unfortunately the bombs and other attacks continue in Lahore weekly. A little more than a year ago our administrator was executed on the street. Josephs Colony, a Christian community, was burnt, and 250 homes were destroyed while police stood by and watched. The Anglican Church was having a meal after service; it was bombed, leaving 100 people dead many injured. There was a murder attempt on Pastor Shekel’s life (the leader of the large church where we have a school & The Midwifery College) and his family was attacked. They have had to flee for their lives, escaping to Thailand. Pastor Shekel’s brother now leads the Church.
We are pleased to update you with the news of a new school which opened in March 2013 just outside of Lahore, so desperately needed, but also with challenges. Our hearts ache at the reports received of a nine year old girl from the area who was on her way to school. She was gang-raped then strangled. Another girl twelve years old was also gang-raped three days later and buried alive. She managed to get out of her grave. The areas are lawless and the authorities, police, and judges, doing nothing to maintain justice. When the information went worldwide, the president finally ordered action. This shocks us in the West but the sad reality is that this is almost a daily occurrence in Pakistan, to girls even as young as four years old.
This event certainly affected the new school in a village 2 hours from Lahore. The school opened with 147 students in March. The school reached capacity and immediately needed an addition. Work commenced in October. After attacks on the young girls, parents understandably kept their children at home. There was an urgent need for transport to deliver the children safely to and from school.
Praise God, two churches of about 80 people immediately, on hearing the news and the need, took collections and met the cost for transporting children. The extended school is now virtually completed; extra children are enrolled and we are now able to transport them to and from school. Please pray for their continued safety.
In Spring of 2013, Mike took a team of twelve people from Canada, USA, and African members to Mbeya in the south of Tanzania for a crusade / conference / and church planting project. It is good to report, three churches were planted as a result of the Mission, with land being acquired and church buildings eventually completed. The church planting was an experience for some members of the team, as well as preaching in market places in the pouring rain. Rain never disperses a crowd in Africa; so one can be preaching and testifying for two hours in these conditions, nobody goes home.
This was also a Pastors Conference with attendees from Tanzania, and other surrounding countries like Malawi, Uganda, and South Africa. We benefited greatly from their response to God’s Word and encouragement as they attended the Crusade and the daily Pastor’s Conference. All of the team experienced the joy of seeing souls saved in the markets and crusade grounds. It was a very profitable time for all of the team, as good relationships where established between brothers and sisters from different countries.
Arusha – (Tanzania)
The building of the new church / community centre commenced in late November with completion anticipated for Easter, 2014. This will be a home for the church and a base for a large widows’ group, as well as providing space for the expanding school. This is a growing work under Pastor Moses, a converted Masi – Warrior, who has been affiliated with IMS for some 10 years.
Sri Lanka Refuge Camp
The work of feeding, promoting the Kingdom and providing education continues in very poor conditions. The Kingdom continues to grow with many converts to the faith coming from both children and adults. A church is now established for the camp.
The renovation and extension work on the orphanage is now complete, for which we give thanks to God. We can provide for more orphans and continue to see a foundation of faith growing in the orphan’s lives.
IMS has been involved in various business projects which support the local church and pastors over many years, it has been very much a central part of our vision. We started with a coconut crushing machine in Ghana, over 25 years ago, which still runs. We are often asked how these businesses are today, or how effective they have been in building self-sufficiency. This is a list of IMS projects which have been established and are currently running:
- Coconut crushing machines (producing coconut oil) – Ghana
- Pig units have been established and in some cases farms now exist. Several places have reproduced other units and there are now close to 200 operating
- Brick making business established, using machines provided by IMS.
- Peanut roaster and crushing machines for peanut butter production
- Small loan schemes operating in 114 locations to assist in starting local small businesses
Transport is a constant challenge in many of the areas we work around the world. As already reported a truck was purchased for Lahore, along with several new bikes for the night watch men and motor bikes are often supplied to African pastors so they can travel more easily. IMS has been able to supply on average five motor bikes each year. We would love to increase this number as funds permit, there is always a need.
Many of the senior Pastors we have worked with over the years, who have faithfully served the Kingdom now face some challenges in their declining years as they don’t have the pensions or medical support we enjoy in the West. IMS Continues in its support for these faithful servants.
The Home Front
Deeper Life Church, Pastored by our son Darren and his wife Claire, remains our home base. We have the opportunity of local practical ministry, from occasionally preaching at Deeper, working on the local Salvation Army truck feeding the street people, to leading a small disciple group over an 18 month period. We have taken teams from the preaching course Mike ran over the past two years (some 20 plus graduates) to other fellowships allowing the students practice in delivering God’s Word… Mike still travels, preaching in Canada and USA, visiting the UK and still further. Mike is beginning to see others who have been linked with IMS take up the responsibility of going and leading teams in various locations.
IMS work continues, as Mike and his colleagues preach the Good News of the Gospel in mission settings on different continents, participating in conferences, teaching pastors and leaders and distributing teaching materials. We continue to support orphanages, schools, plant churches, provide transportation, and establish small loan schemes and small businesses, to support pastors and churches. IMS is involved in a wide variety of ministry, and will continue to be an agency supporting, and distributing finance to needy ministry areas, as long as it is available.
We look forward to an exciting 2014, and wish you the same!
Mike & Janet Jones