They thought loss, but God gave gain!

The hallways were empty and silent on the campus of Continental Theological Seminary (CTS). The Coronavirus had invaded Belgium like the rest of Europe. Suddenly in one day everything had changed. 

It had been such a fantastic school year for the CTS students. Now the future was bleak and full of uncertainty. It was heart wrenching as the staff watched the students pack their bags and prepare to return to their homes and families.

At the peak of Covid-19, it was estimated up to 600 people a day were dying in Belgium. Like every other school and business in Belgium…and across the globe, CTS would have to close their doors too.

The CTS President, Dr. Joseph Dimitrov, explained how in moments of a trial like COVID-19, your dreams are tested and it is easy to question the plans God has given you. Discouragement can take over as the trial seems to dictate the circumstances. 

Dr. Dimitrov continued by saying, “I have never doubted about the faithfulness of God to CTS as we went through this coronavirus period.

James 1:2-3 says, ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.’ 

The Coronavirus was one of those trials. We learned new virtues of endurance and patience.”

What was Loss, Now was Gain.

Education in Europe is taught in a more traditional way in classrooms. During the time of the pandemic, the staff was given new tools and developed skills for teaching online. Three months later, every student passed their final exam after participating in these online courses! The graduating class of 2020 will have its commencement service on October 3! The new school year will begin in October, as well, with two first-time students from Greece and Honduras.

The school faculty and student body stayed connected, sharing testimonies of the goodness of God in challenging situations. Now, at Continental Theological Seminary they are redreaming the dream.

What was considered as a loss in the beginning, now is considered gain

The Construction Phase Is Happening.

The architectural and engineering plans are completed on the Continental Theological Seminary expansion for the Pentecostal Center. Now begins the Construction Phase for the new dormitory, cafeteria, and administration offices. The Pentecostal Center will prepare students to reach the post-Christian culture with the good news of Jesus!

I’ll leave you with a powerful thought Dr. Dimitrov shared: 

“Tell me what your God is like and I will tell you what your trust should be!”

Together We Build Hope,

Deborah Sims

My Heart 4 CUBA!

Of all of the countries in Latin America that I’ve had the privilege to work in, Cuba has in my heart a special and unique draw. In this world there are many challenges that can stretch us to our limits. In Cuba, though, I’ve experienced a perseverant and giving people who are genuine in their passion for God. It’s absolutely amazing and refreshing to your spirit to be around these wonderful people.

Panoramic view of Havana, the capital of Cuba

The Team . . .

This last team I had the privilege of hosting from JRC were both veterans and a few newbies, who all did an awesome job. Our team slogan for the whole trip was, “We move as one!” We also suffered as one, due to a virus of some sort that infected us. The local tonic of the day was “Onion Oil” and I’m not sure it made it worse or became the remedy. In spite of the circumstances, everyday the team was prepared to work and serve. A hundred pairs of new shoes were carried and given, tools for the job delivered, worship instrumentals were played, and testimonies shared. Everyone gave 100% and in return were blessed immensely by the loving Cuban people.


The Church . . .

The construction project at the church in Manzanillo is strategic to the area. The Pastor and congregation take seriously the responsibility God has given them to encourage and build up other surrounding churches. The special women’s ministry is another key part of growth in this area.

In a women’s meeting and several other services, we were given ample opportunity to encourage, pray, share, and minister. The team and I were excited to be a part of what God was doing. Some were saved and others experienced healing in their bodies.


The Project . . .

Altogether, in my estimation, the work in the church is half finished. To complete the building there is a need for several more teams willing to go and at least $80,000 in project funds to be donated. I join with the church in their excitement and hope in seeing the completion of this building.


DIOS BENDIGA a CUBA!

Together we build HOPE! John Sims

HOPE FOR URUGUAY

Uruguay is one of the most stable countries economically and politically in Latin America, yet one of the hardest to reach with the gospel. It is the only atheistic country in the Americas and the only country in the world to have legalized abortion, same sex marriage, prostitution and marijuana. It has been called the most unevangelized nation in the Americas and the “Graveyard of Latin American Missions.” – Steve and Jill McCarthy, Missionaries to Uruguay

Continue reading “HOPE FOR URUGUAY”

Time Spent With Builders International

John and I joined Builders International in 2009, after serving with MAPS Constuction. I never thought our missions work would involve construction as a ministry. Up until then our work had primarily consisted of pastoring and evangelizing as missionaries in the country of Guatemala. Today I can say without hesitation, how amazing it has been to be a part of Builders and grow with the development of this ministry.

If you would like to join us in praying for projects around the world that we have currently partnered with, click on the DOWNLOAD button above for a free listing.

1 Corinthians 2:9 

However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
    the things God has prepared for those who love him.

HOPE Along The Amazon!

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THE LOWER AMAZON RIVER . . . When I hear the stories told by teams returning from the Amazon, I am amazed at what is being accomplished along the banks of this enormous river. Many of you may have heard of the movie that captures the majesty of the Montana wilderness called, A River Runs Through It. While the lower Amazon River does not display such beauty, it has an amazing uniqueness of its own. Outside of Manaus, the Rio Negro  and Rio Solimoes converge forming the lower Amazon. Along its banks are villages full of families, linked to 300 unreached ethnic tribes nestled deep in the dense jungles. The river people make their home on the riverbanks like in the photo above.

The teams going join missionary Mark Lemos and board the blue vessel (river boat) in route to the villages along the riverbanks. They’re ready to work and build churches that will help village pastors reach further into the jungle. The teams are equipped with water filters, building supplies, medical, and most of all ready to share the love of Christ.

“The spiritual rivers run dark among people unaware of God’s grace. But as the stream of God’s workers flows into the region, there will be a meeting of the waters.” – Andy Raatz

Check out this video of the journey into the Amazon! https://vimeo.com/313546141

At Builders International we believe everyone deserves a place to find HOPE. The Amazon river is a place where we are striving to bring that HOPE, where there is sickness, violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, murder and suicide.

There are more projects bringing HOPE through the construction ministry with the help of  many appreciated volunteers and donors. It is our joy and privileged to be a part of this work and effort.

And you can be too!

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