John and Deborah serve as Regional Project Managers for Latin America/Caribbean with Builders International/MAPS Construction. Every 45 minutes a new Assemblies of God church is planted around the world, that is over 11,000 churches per year! As Project Managers, they assist in the building of Bible schools, churches and training facilities that help meet the needs of this rapid church growth. They serve in the areas of project management, team leading, and development of training facilities that will carry the Gospel to the nations. The Sims have served over 19 years as missionaries to Latin America in church planting, evangelism and building, giving them a wealth of knowledge and experience to help facilitate reaching the lost.
It is not everyday that one gets the opportunity to see the impact a building can have in a community.
Just recently, we had the privilege and honor of representing Builders International at the ribbon-cutting for the new Christian Ministry for the Deaf facility. It was amazing to witness the effects this school is having on families in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Not only are children having an opportunity for education, but families are being restored.
Along with Mayor Roberto Contreras, Pastor and Director Marcos David Jordon, Missionary Zach Rix, board members, and many others who have helped make this possible, we cut that ribbon!
Abuse is prevalent among children with disabilities in Honduras. This will be the only school for the deaf in San Pedro Sula, giving deaf students in this area a rare opportunity for an education, a successful future, and to hear the gospel.
In a city with more than 956,000 people, this ministry center has dual purpose. It is the only school teaching and ministering to children with hearing impairments. This new facility is also being used as a church on Sundays to reach hearing impaired adults and children! The school has a weekly feeding program which reaches many children needing help and opens the door to a future with hope.
One day, an 18 year old boy came to the feeding program at the school. Hungry and rejected, he was misunderstood by many who believed he had a mental disorder. At the school they tested him and discovered he did not have a disorder, but was instead deaf. In one year he learned to read and write, and was introduced to the love Christ has for him.
The Christian Ministry for the Deaf is a 8,600 square foot, two-story facility. It will include 8 classrooms, a prayer room, a conference room, an office, a kitchen, and an open-air courtyard that will serve as a school gym and meeting space for the local AG Church for the Deaf. The school currently serves 100 students. Many of these students come from vulnerable neighborhoods throughout San Pedro Sula.
Thank you to everyone who has given and prayed to make this happen!
Looking back over this last year, we are amazed at how God has blessed our work at Builders International. Thanks to your faithful giving, you have made it possible for us to assist our missionaries and national churches in completing the following shovel-ready projects:
Five churches finished in Uruguay!
Six churches finished in Panama!
Seven churches finished in Honduras!
Ukraine Refugee Center in Katowice, Poland – Now open and serving up to 60 refugees per night!
Honduras Transformation Project – Dedicated and now training pastors who are taking the gospel to unreached indigenous communities.
Home of Hope Orphanage Medical & Dental Clinic, Philippines – Dedicated and now serving the children of the home with much needed services.
Camp Abaco – Opened back up, reaching children and youth in the Bahamas, after being heavily damaged by Hurricane Dorian.
In October, we launched SheBuilds, a community of ladies of means and influence, standing together with trusted community leaders around the world who are passionately meeting the needs of women and children. To learn more visit: https://buildersintl.org/shebuilds/
It is a team effort at Builders International working together with missionaries, national churches, team members, and donors, that we are grateful to be a part of. We believe in people over projects and people are being reached for Christ through the ministry of Builders International. #TogetherWeBuildHOPE
Please keep us in your prayers this next year, as we continue working with Builders International, assisting in the building of the following shovel-ready projects:
Kosovo – The Hope Center – Reaching this Muslim city of 90,000 with a children’s outreach and feeding center for the poor.
Sri Lanka – Navinna Church – Standing with this congregation to help finish their sanctuary as they face a nationwide economic collapse and severe persecution by radical Buddhist monks.
Nicaragua – Casa de Mi Gloria (House of My Glory) – Partnering with this powerful church-planting congregation reaching the lost in the second poorest country in the western hemisphere to get them out of a tent!
Spain – Missionary Respite House – Providing a place for missionaries serving in difficult areas to find refreshment and restoration so they can continue successfully serving in the face of often desperate challenges.
Albania – Durres Church – In a nation where 99% of the population has never heard the gospel, this church reaches their community with an after-school program and feeding and medical programs.
Honduras – Honduras School For The Deaf – This will be the only school for the deaf in San Pedro Sula, giving deaf students in this area a rare opportunity for an education and a successful future.
These last few years have been a challenge for everyone and more than ever we are grateful for your continued support of our missions work. As this year comes to a close we want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Let’s Build Hope,
John And Deborah Sims – IM Missionaries, Builders International
P.S. We have some exciting family news to share with you! IT’S A BOY! We are going to be first-time grandparents! Our oldest son, Nathaniel, and his wife Stephanie are having their first baby!
In the midst of war, sickness, and the many troubles that exist in our world today, HOPE is not lost!
It’s been amazing to work with God’s people and projects moving forward. Yes, we are on track!!
Funds have been raised and teams are going to help complete the Marriage and Family Counseling Center in El Salvador! Watch the rafters go up >>> https://vimeo.com/705440977
The purchase of property for the new Antigua Youth Ministry Center, on the island of Antigua, is on the verge of completion!! Building will begin this year, with the goal of reaching the island’s large population of young adults.
Teams are headed to the Bahamas, Panama, Honduras, as countries are opening up.
One project that is especially exciting to me, and an honor to be a part of, is Hope for Uruguay 100. In November of 2020, Builders International partnered with the missionary and national church with a goal to build 100 churches. Pastors, congregations, and dedicated construction workers have steadily continued to build during the last two years. This week church #16 in Nuevo Paysandu, Uruguay is being dedicated!!
New Projects Coming!!
Costs Rica – Excitement is growing for the future project in Costa Rica. The site visit team made another stop today to look at an additional residential training campus. It’s been a great trip with this team that loves Jesus, loves missionaries, and coffee too.
Poland Refugee Housing – This is the building located in Katowice, Poland that will serve 200 Ukrainian refugees. It will be a place where many will find safety, security, and their most basic needs met.
Our AGWM missionary partners are working with Polish nationals to turn an empty office building into short-term housing for Ukrainian refugees to provide a warm and safe environment to live in as they escape war, then prepare to depart to other countries throughout Europe.
While at the refugee center, Ukrainians will be loved and ministered to by missionaries and other Christians. This center will also help reduce the amount of human trafficking that is sadly happening during this crisis.
At Builders International, we are beginning to schedule teams now. Teams will fly into Krakow, Poland, and spend 8 or 9 days working at the refugee center.
Since January 2022, we have launched several new projects in the countries of: Egypt, Sri Lanka, Albania, and Bihar India. Please pray with us for these people, places, and projects around the World. Despite persecution and resistance, the gospel is still reaching the world and bringing HOPE!
As we say goodbye to 2021 and look forward to 2022, we once again are amazed at this year’s progress in our mission projects despite the present day challenges. Even with all the building that has taken place, we believe it is people over projects that matter most and remains at the heart of what we do.
One year after the dedication of the first church built in Flor de Maroñas, Uruguay with missionaries Steve and Jill McCarthy, the best news of all came!!
“In one year, the church saw 124 salvations, multiple baptism services, and a vision to continue reaching their community!” – Steve McCarthy
We rejoice with our friends and Pastor Marcelo and Virginia over the lives changed in the past year since Church #1 of the Hope for Uruguay 100 project was finished.
In just over a year, 12 churches have been built throughout the atheistic country of Uruguay! That is 12 communities where God’s word is moving forward, and the kingdom is being advanced…12 communities with a place to find hope!!
This next year Deborah and I ask you to continue to pray for us as we finish raising our missionary support to fund our work with Builders International. We will be working in the countries of Peru, Ecuador, Antigua, Uruguay, Cuba, as well as numerous others around the world, partnering with our missionaries to assist them in sharing Christ.
Peru: In a remote region accessible only by boat, new churches are being built for communities with trained pastors who are reaching the Iquitos people. Two have been completed in the villages of Pijuayal and Nuevo Progreso.
Ecuador: The Jungle Bible School will train indigenous church planters to reach 400 unreached villages of the head-shrinking Shuar tribe.
Antigua: The Youth Ministry Center will provide a safe place for neglected, abused, and broken youth exposed to the dangers of drugs, prostitution, witchcraft, and poverty, to find hope and grow in Jesus.
Uruguay: Hope for Uruguay 100 is an initiative to build 100 churches in 10 years throughout Uruguay, which is known as one of the most unevangelized nations in the Americas.
Cuba: The church in Manzanillo will bring encouragement, relief, and advancement of the gospel with the expansion of their facility.
Our challenge…to finish raising our missions funds in 2022 and return promptly to our work.
Our missionary budget is set at the cash goal of $14,700, along with increased monthly support. Would you consider helping us with our missions budget, as we continue our work with Builders International, building HOPE?
People over projects are at the heart of what we do. As projects are moving forward around the world…Belgium, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Spain, Ukraine, and Uruguay…lives are being changed!!
Thank you for your continued support and friendship. We pray your family remains safe, under His care! Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Together, We Build Hope,
John Sims, Regional Project Manager – Builders InternationalMissionaries John and Deborah Sims | International Ministries
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The beginning of 2020 started off with a bang! January 9th, Deborah and I returned from the BGMC event in Mexico with good news!
We were excited! We had just raised the remaining funds needed to finish the construction of the Berea ChildHope School in Zacapa, Guatemala. It was only January and we were off to the start of a promising year.
Following our trip to Mexico, plans had been made for the upcoming Hope for Uruguay 100 project. This would be the newest initiative…to build 100 churches throughout Uruguay. We had an assessment team scheduled for March, a vision team scheduled for April, and churches ready to send funding and teams to build Church #1.
There had been years of preparation by Uruguayan leadership, with church planters trained and congregations meeting under tents and other inadequate facilities while waiting for a building. We were finally at the point where this project was about to launch.
These two projects were to be our biggest focus for 2020! We felt privileged and excited to join with our missionaries and Builders as a part of something we could see the Lord in so strongly.
Then the unexpected happened! We suddenly found ourselves facing a global pandemic. We watched in disbelief as the world shut down and our partnering missionaries returned home.
All AG World Missions team travel was canceled and our scheduled projects put on hold. But what disturbed us in a deeper way, was the thought of how people were going to suffer in these communities. What about the children cared for by Berea ChildHope School or the tribal people living along the Amazon River, who depend on connecting to the outside world by way of the river. Does HOPE prevail during a pandemic?
In Montevideo, Uruguay, where church #1 was scheduled to be built, the ladies had worked hard selling fruta pies to help raise enough money to purchase land. The banks in Uruguay are not legally allowed to provide a loan to a church, but with persistent work and God’s help, the land was purchased. Pastor Marcelo and Virginia and their congregation had met under a tent for the past three years. Shivering during the winter months, sweltering during the summer months, and enduring soaking wet feet during the rainy season.
Everything had led up to this moment. Now our hands were tied, unable to help.
No assessment trip to work with our missionaries, Steve and Jill McCarthy, for the technical planning for 100 churches, no vision team to raise the funds needed for church #2 and beyond, and no US construction teams for church #1 – La Iglesia Encuentro con la Vida, in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Disappointed and frustrated, once again we wondered…Does HOPE prevail during a pandemic?
“That’s when the Virtual Mission Trip happened. In September, Builders hosted our first-ever, truly interactive, live Virtual Mission Trip to Uruguay. A connection took place between Uruguayans, a missionary family, team members, and generous donors from all over the world during a historical event where thousands of people witnessed a life-changing project from “dirt to done” in just five days!
No more church under a tent. No more cold or wet feet during church. This grateful group of brothers and sisters were now in a brand new building!
Not only was the local community in Uruguay incredibly impacted, but unexplainable generosity has been pouring in from the virtual audience of donors who witnessed their sacrificial giving put to work. They were able to see the congregation, both young and old, work excitedly and tirelessly to construct the church in record time. What I believe made the biggest impact on our U.S. partners was their ability to lift up this group of strangers, with real-time emotional and heartfelt prayers, as they humbly approached the camera with hearts of cheerful gratitude.
This washuge for these communities in Uruguay! Church #2 had been meeting in a bus and in the town of Lorenzo Geyres, nothing had been built in over 30ty years. But this was not all.
Since then, miraculously, Church #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 and #9 have all been funded, completed, and dedicated!
In May of 2021, Berea ChildHope School, led by missionaries Daren and Hiedi Walker was completed!! The school will care for 500 students, providing an escape from poverty and hope for a better future.
Does HOPE prevail during a pandemic? Absolutely! 2020 and 2021 has been years when once again we’ve seen, though we are bound by the limitations and the troubles of this world, God is not.
These are only a couple of miraculous faith-building examples of how God has allowed Deborah and me to see what hope can look like during a pandemic.
While COVID-19 continues to bring instability to many countries, Project Shovel-Ready ensures that projects poised to advance the gospel move forward to completion. These projects have been thoroughly vetted and are viable with a well-thought out plan. They are ready to go … just waiting for help!
Deborah and I will be working with theBuilders International team, helping to bring these projects to completion!