Missions News

Report from Uganda Mission Trip 2012

H-a-l-l-e-l-u-i-a-h!

This was the first words we were greeted with, as our Church of the Rock Ugandan Missions Teams arrived in Kilagi, Uganda, as Pastor Samuel’s wife, “Mama” shouted from the back of the church.

Our arrival in Kilagi was truly a miracle and an answer to prayer, a prayer that has taken seven years to answer, as Pastor Samuel had put it.  People in the community had begun to doubt their God.

Each offering that was collected was saved until they had enough to make a few more bricks, bringing them a little closer to finish the church.  With our arrival and the gift of money that was sent ahead, the congregation now had a new testimony to share of God’s faithfulness and blessing!

Distribution of Mosquito Nets Overwhelming

Malaria is a preventable and curable disease, yet it infects more than 500 million people per year and kills more than one million. Sadly, in Africa, it is children under the age of five, living in high-risk countries, who are most likely to contract malaria. Only 10 per cent of children under the age of five in Uganda sleep under treated mosquito nets.
What an amazing opportunity we had to share about the love of Jesus as we distributed the mosquito nets in a community of approximately 50% Muslim.

 

 

 

 

750 mosquito nets were distributed during our visit.  The whole community took notice of their God’s provision and his faithfulness.

About a dozen people professed faith in Jesus for the first time.

Children’s Ministry – Great Success

Throughout the week our team had ample opportunity to minister to the children in the community.  On our first day of ministry approximately 250 children joined us.  There were four stations which included Parachute Games with a lesson from God’s Word, Creation Station, Clown Lessons and a popular game of soccer, freeze tag and line tag.

A youth program was well received on day 4 as Al & Preston ministered to 15 young men while Coralee, Tymin & Brenda shared their testimonies with 11 young women.

Medical Clinics Well Received

Joined by three nurses and a doctor from Wentz Medical Clinic in Kampala our team was able to assist in providing medical services to the local Ugandan people. What an incredible opportunity to introduce the people to Christ our Vision Church.

386 children were cared for over 2 days.
Toni did an incredible job brushing everyone’s teeth.

A BIG thanks to Dr. Rogers and Coralee who assisted him.

Thank you for supporting us!

On behalf of the Uganda 2012 Missions team and most importantly, the people whom we assist, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to you for your belief in our cause and your support in making this trip a success.

We could not have done it without you!


Our next Africa Missions trip is being planned for May 2013 – more details will be available at our information meeting on Sunday, JANUARY 13, at the church.  Application forms can be obtained in the meantime from the World Cafe or downloaded from this link.

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Report from Haiti Mission Trip – April 2012

On Friday April 13, 2012,  a team of 11 people representing Church of the Rock arrived at the border of The Dominican Republic and Haiti. It was 7:50 a.m. and the border was about to open.  Already there were thousands of people lined up waiting to cross from Haiti into The Dominican Republic as it was “market day” in the border city, and crossing to purchase or sell was essential for the daily living of these local people.  Fortunately the team was going into Haiti when all the traffic was going the other direction so our border crossing went smoothly.  Our luggage was carried across the border on the back of a truck while we as a team crossed by foot into Haiti.

The Community of Ranquitte is a 2 1/2 hour drive up into the hill country of Haiti.  When we arrived at Ranquitte the church people had already excavated a 2 – 3 foot deep trench where we would be helping to lay the foundation for a 34’ X 54’ church building.  Our job was to help the masons and stone layers by carrying pails of cement, moving wheelbarrows of sand, and hauling tons of rock, all to be used for laying the foundation of the building with rocks and cement.  By the time we arrived it was already mid-afternoon, so we settled into our place of lodging, had supper, and started ministry.  Ministry for that night meant that we went into the community and invited the people to an outdoor service that we would be having next to the construction site. The team sang a song in French and two members shared their testimonies.  The gospel was preached and around 70 people of the 200 people responded to good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Saturday morning would be like the start of every morning when we were at Ranquitte.  Breakfast would be at 6:30 a.m., followed by team devotions, and then by around 8:00 we would be starting the projects for the day.  Today we would be moving large boulders from the roadway up the hill 100 meters to where the church foundation was being built.  By 4:30 we had moved three truckloads of rock, helped mix and carry cement, and helped set in all of the steel reinforced corner and middle columns and poured/rocked in 1/3 of the foundation.

We then broke up into small groups and went home by home through the community to invite people to come in the evening to watch part of the “Jesus Video”, mentioning that we would be praying for healing at the end of part of the video.  During the evening service, there was some praise and worship and then the watching of the first hour of the “Jesus Video”.   After the first hour we stopped the video (after Jesus healed the Blind man, Luke 18) to pray for people needing physical healing. The needs were great—there were around 250 people present and asked almost all of them asked for healing.

There were too many for us to break up into groups for prayer so we did group prayers, getting the people to lay hands on themselves and anticipating that the same power of Jesus which touched people as they had seen in the video would also touch them.  After the prayers we would get the people to move, wiggle, touch their sore areas, checking to see if God had actually ministered to them.  Many people were physically healed. About 1/3 of the 250 people felt that God had touched them.  It was hard to believe that so many were physically touched by God.  One of our team members said, “Maybe they are just being polite to us by saying that God healed them when He actually had not.”  But when we looked at the expressions of joy on their faces, and when we saw how excitedly they moved their arms, legs, necks, and backs which were in pain before it was obvious that God had touched them and that they were not just being kind to us.
Sunday we were up as usual for breakfast at 6:30. Then we were off to the adult Sunday school lesson; while this was taking place our team led, through translators, a children’s lesson at the same time.  During the main service several other team members shared their testimonies and the team sang a different song in French.  During the message the team again took the children aside and ministered to them, sharing the gospel with them and leading most of the children, around 60 in number, in a prayer of salvation.  In the adults service God provided Words of Knowledge on areas where He was bringing healing and around 10 responded in a prayer for salvation.

After the morning service we were blessed to be able to participate in an open air baptismal service.  Starting at the location of the church, the congregation walked through the community singing songs of praise as we marched to a small creek and a pool of water where the baptism was done. What a bold declaration for the church and people as they walked and sang through the streets! The local pastor played an accordion and led the people in song. Four were baptised.

After the baptism the team again broke up into smaller groups and, going with a translator, walked into the country area to further regions, where we went from house to house praying for families and needs and inviting people to the evening meeting. Some people from the community saw what the teams were doing and followed us, waiting and begging for the team to come to their homes and pray. Other people invited us to come and pray for neighbours in their situations of need.  Of course children followed us everywhere as we went from house to house.

In the evening we had another open air service. One of the team members shared their testimony and one of the local pastors preached about God’s abundant gifts which Jesus freely gives to us. At the end of the message a little boy fell into the nine foot latrine hole. (Praise God that the latrine was still being dug and so had not been used yet). This caused for some disruption to the service, but we used the situation and the commotion to tell of how many around us are in holes of sin, depression, sickness, emotional and relational stress.  We encouraged the people to go and rescue the people all around them by praying for them, encouraging them to walk with the Lord, helping them in times need.  We then divided the team into three groups and took time to pray for people’s needs.

Through the remainder of the week, we continued to move truckload after truckload of rocks and sand up to the construction site.  We also dug deeper the pit latrine and worked to level the dirt within the framework of the foundation.  This dirt will become the floor of the new church.

During two noon times we ministered to around 275 children from the area, sharing skits, songs and testimonies.  We presented the gospel to these children, and most of them responded by putting up their hands and praying the prayer of salvation.  There was some uncertainty if the younger children were just praying and responding because they thought that we wanted them they should or because they clearly understood the gospel, yet we rejoiced for the opportunity to share and minister.

On the Monday evening service we started with some singing. The team sang a song in French and did two skits.  We continued showing the “Jesus Video” up to the part of Jesus’ arrest in the garden. We then had an altar call and invited people to come forward for prayer for families and relationships. There were only around 5 or 6 people who came forward at this time for prayer.

At Tuesday evening service the team again sang songs which the people knew enough to join in with us, did some skits and mimes, shared testimonies, and then completed watching the “Jesus Video”. There was a great level of excitement as God spoke prophetically to the pastor and leadership of the church.

On Wednesday morning after breakfast and devotions, we loaded up and went to the community of Milot.  There we helped to distribute food supplies (beans, rice, and oil) to destitute seniors and then ministered in the evening through skits, songs, and the Word of God to a community in the church.  The evening service was unique as the team ministered within a church illuminated only by a couple of flashlights shining on those that were ministering and three coal oil lamps.  Yet despite the darkness of the room, the light of God shone into the hearts of the people.  All was received well.  The people begged us to return again.

On Thursday we packed up crossed the border back into the Dominican Republic and then headed back to Canada on Friday.

Would we do it again?  Each team member boldly said that if they had the opportunity they would gladly return to minister again with the Haitian people.  God touched each person on the team and He clearly touched the people in Haiti as well.

~Pastor Keith Eberhard

Testimonies from the Team Members:

The Haiti mission trip was an eye opening experience for me. Coming from a third world country, I thought that Haiti would be quite similar to Kenya. However, arriving and witnessing the differences in this country was really interesting. Learning to interact with the people, spending a lot of time getting to know them and the kids was something that I really enjoyed. Also the hard labour was a great experience because our team worked together so well and we all worked with the mindset that we were doing the work to both glorify God and to help the people of Ranquitte. This is an experience that I would recommend to anyone for sure!
~ Sheila Gwendo

 

I had an amazing time. What I found the most touching was how welcoming and happy the Haitians were even though they had so little. Also a event that sticks out for me was we were going around the town praying for people and this middle aged lady who had severe mobile issues expended all her energy for that day by walking to seek us out so we can pray for her cause she had so many health issues it really brought tears to my eyes. Another thing that I enjoyed the most was playing with the kids weather it be soccer or even bubbles it was still a lot of fun

~Alex

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February 18th – 26th 2012 Mexico Missions Trip!

On February 18th – 26th, 2012; 10 people from Church of the Rock journeyed out in a 15 passenger van for 40 hours straight to Ensenada, Mexico.  We reached our destination during the dark hours of the night after driving through unfamiliar roads. The accommodations for our group was a YWAM base located in Ensenada, which happened to be a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Pacific Ocean! I know, i know, hard life huh?

On Monday morning we drove approximately 30 minutes south of Ensenada to where the Women’s rehabilitation Center is located. We met with Rebecca Ortiz who is the founder of the Women’s rehabilitation Center. Across the road was a  separate building which houses the children whose mothers are in the rehabilitation center.

During the Afternoons there our team was split into two groups. The majority of the women in our group went to minister to the women, while the rest of the team went across the road to do children’s ministry. Each day was a different Bible story that was shared through skits and plays…

Crafts…

and Snacks!

On Wednesday our team went with one of the YWAM translators who had an after school ministry with children from Ensenada. We did some puppet shows for them..

and played soccer with the older kids and did some coloring and games with the younger ones.

On Friday we were able to enjoy the afternoon where the mothers and children were able to spend time together. We had a blast! Playing silly parachute games…

and having some good laughs.

A side from all the ministry and fun we were sharing with the mothers and children, our team used the money the Church sent with us to purchase materials for tilling…

building bunk beds…

kitchen cabinet doors…

and of course, cement work!

Our team really enjoyed ministering to the children and the women in Ensenada. It feels good to put your hands to work to provide some of the necessities of life like bunk beds to children who lack some of the things that we take for granted every day. Many thanks to the women who provided blankets for the children of the women staying at the rehabilitation center.Our last afternoon at the rehabilitation center was a blast! We had such a great time laughing and joking around. After we had left the blankets, toiletries, candy, school supplies, and other things with them. The women surprised our team and really blessed us. They had made these amazing scarves in different colors for each of the women on our team and had given all the guys a pen with our names knitted on them.

Our team headed back home encouraged and blessed by the entire trip!

But don’t take my word for it, here are some quotes from individual team members themselves.

“It was exciting to return to Ensenada to work with the women and children of Genesis.  We were entirely focused on our task at hand, which allowed us to be extremely effective at delivering God’s love, message, and hope to His deserving children.  I want to thank Church of the Rock for providing me with this opportunity, as it allowed me to develop a deep passion for children who are in need.”- Blake

“Going on a mission trip to Mexico was an amazing experience and I recommend it to anyone debating on whether they should go” – Aimee

“It was an amazing experience as this was my first Missions Trip. To go and share the Love of Jesus with these women and children in Ensenada, Mexico. My favorite part of the trip was spending time with the children and sharing a connection with them, even in the midst of a language barrier. I can’t say enough about the team bonding either. I have been able to build some great friendships because of this trip. Thank you so much Church of the Rock for sending me!” – Graham

“My experience on the Mexico Missions trip was amazing! We met a group of people that had so few material things.  Yet they still had such an abundant faith in God. This impacted me more than I could have ever imagined, drawing me closer in my relationship to Jesus. I was also extremely blessed to serve with nine other amazing men and women, making many life long friends in the process.” – Colin

“It was a joy to work with the team and to see how God looked after the difficulties and circumstances we encountered. The ladies appreciated the repairs and construction projects we completed as well as the programs.  The kids loved the sports, skits, snacks and crafts. We pray God’s continued blessing on these people,and may they be drawn closer to Him.” – Ed

“One thing that really impressed me was during the worship time with the women. We were all singing in Spanish, and the women were lifting their voices and praising God with such enthusiasm! It was like a glimpse into heaven, with every nation and tongue praising God together.” – Irene

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November 2011 Haiti Mission Trip Report

(Please read below for more photos and testimonies from the team members…)

A team  of 11 people, led by Pastor Keith Eberhard, left for Haiti in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, Nov. 20th, arriving in Haiti on Monday, Nov 21, and staying until Saturday, Nov 26th, in the host missionary’s home.

While there, the team took 3 days for painting the complete inside and outside of the newly built Children’s Home (that Church of the Rock has been partnering with New Life Haiti to build over the past year).

Children's Home before painting began

Finished!

Other activities included ministering in songs, testimony, drama, and preaching in two evening church services.  They shared biblical thoughts, gave testimonies and clothing and school supplies in 5 schools and one hospital for handicapped victims of the Port-au-Prince earthquake.  They distributed food packages to 20 disabled seniors.  They counselled and encouraged the host missionaries that we worked with and helped organize and distribute medical supplies to nearby hospitals and medical clinics.  On two occasions they visited a hospital/orphanage for disabled children, praying for the staff and the children and giving clothing and medical supplies to the children and medical staff.  They visited two other church/school situations but did not have the time to minister in those locations.  Then on Sunday 27th, just before our flights out of Puerto Plata, DR, the team was able to minister in songs, testimony, drama, and preaching in a Haitian church in the city of Puerto Plata.

The support that came in from church members and the team members families and co-workers for this mission project and the people of Haiti was tremendous. In total, over 500 pounds of clothing and school supplies were distributed, and $800.00 of food was purchased in Haiti for distribution to the needy. Donations also provided for the paint and other supplies needed for finishing the Children’s Home.

Clothing Distribution

In the ministry times, many leaders and other individuals were ministered to prophetically. Through prayer and the Word of the Lord there were significant physical healings of chest pains, lumps in the throat, pains in the hips, knee problems, headaches, plus many other infirmities. Over 100 people were personally prayed for by the team.  The host missionaries said that of the 12-13 teams that they have a year, our team was one of the best teams that they ever have had.  They and the other pastors and leaders were greatly encouraged as they felt that God personally ministered to the spiritual needs of them and the people of Haiti.

The prayer support of family, friends, and the church prayer teams was so important, for these days of ministry in Haiti were not done in a situation of ease and luxury.

The team would rise before 6:00 a.m. to get ready for breakfast at 6:30 and then keep going, often till 10 or 11:00 p.m.  On one day, because of the remoteness of where we were, the team was not able to have a lunch break.  The next day we had a piece of bread with ground peanuts for lunch to tide us over till supper.  Three team members picked up some type of stomach disorder from the food, water, or exhaustion.  Many of the team had large itchy welt-like bumps covering their bodies caused by bites from mosquito, spiders, or some other insect.  (Most of the swelling and itchiness did not disappear till well after returning home.)  One team member developed a chest infection and laryngitis by the end of the trip and another had strep throat the day after we returned to Canada.  For many team members, sleep at night was difficult because of the heat, the mosquitoes (even though there were screens on the windows of the home in which we stayed), or other physical things as listed above.  Yet in spite of these negative things, each of the team members  adamantly declares that because of what they saw God do in their midst they are eagerly wanting to go again.  They have adventures and stories to tell of God working through and in them.  They declare that this trip has changed their lives.

THANK YOU FOR PRAYING! THANK YOU FOR GIVING!

From the team members:

CALEB: “The mission trip to Haiti was better than I expected.  I enjoyed visiting and performing skits/songs at the schools and churches.  Seeing the smiles of the Haitians made me happy.  I especially enjoyed the church service we participated in on the Wednesday.  I enjoyed how excited they were during the service.  There was a joy that I had not experienced before.  I had never seen the Holy Spirit move like that before in my life (all 12 years of it;).  I learned that God can move in ways that I don’t expect.

Overall, I’m so glad I got a chance to go with this mission team.  It was an honour to serve with them in Haiti.”

JERRY: “I really appreciated the chance to serve in Haiti with the mission team.  I appreciated the preparations that were made by the team in learning the songs and skits before we left.  It was also an honour to represent Church of the Rock and all of those people who donated money and supplies to bless Haiti.  The trip was exhausting but I feel a sense of accomplishment.  We were able to finish painting the new children’s home on the inside and outside.  I also enjoyed giving out supplies and performing at the various schools and churches that we visited.

“I was humbled by the sincerity and warmth of the Haitian people.  They may not have much in the way of material wealth by North American standards but the joy and passion that many of them have because of Christ reminded me that Jesus is all that you need.  I have come back with a renewed desire to seek after the Lord daily.  My life is nothing without Jesus.  Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose sight of that sometimes with the speed of our life here in Canada.  My experience in Haiti was a reminder to cut through the busyness of life and to focus on the important things of life beginning with my relationship with Jesus.”

NICOLE: “When you know that you are going on a mission trip you have certain things you expect such as the work, what the conditions may be like, what you may be doing but you can never prepare for the amazing things that God will do to you and through you and others while on the trip. Haiti is a magnificent place. Away from the majority of modern day technology and the modern day expectations is a country needing help. Many believe that it is a hopeless country but once you see the hope in the faces of everyone who has Jesus in their heart you would believe that it is a country filled with hope and love.

” Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 NIV.

“That is Haiti. We are the ones who have been blessed in many ways through out our lives and it was an amazing feeling seeing how truly grateful others are to something as simple as a pair of shoes or a toothbrush and toothpaste or…. even a pencil. Haiti and the awesome missionaries who are there will always be in my thoughts and prayers.”

GREG: “Haiti was an amazing journey of growth and wonder with hardships and joy. My heart goes to all the people there. You could feel the presence of God everywhere – although many were poor, you just knew God was overseeing their lives and bringing joy to their hearts.”

ARNOLD: “Haiti: a country with great beauty and in great need. The beautiful, green, tree-covered mountains overlook a poverty-ravaged country. The people try to make whatever living they can. They dig the riverbeds for sand to make cinderblocks. They sell whatever they can get for enough profit to get by another day. But many are learning about the true Saviour and his love from people like Debbie and her son Rick, who hosted us. It was our privilege to go with them to many church/schools and show God’s love to these beautiful people.

“I saw God move and touch the people from the littlest child to a very conservative pastor who allowed us to minister in his church and was greatly ministered to by God. We danced withthem, prayed for and with them, sang for and with them and enjoyed God’s Word.

“It was also a privilege to watch a group of very different people become a team which built each other up, covered each otehr’s weaknesses, learned from each other and reached beyond ourselves to minister to those we came in contact with.”

We are currently accepting applications for two more upcoming missions trips. The first is for the team that will be ministering in Ensenada, MEXICO from Feb. 18-26, 2012, and the second is for the team going to UGANDA for 2-3 weeks in July/August, 2012.  Application forms can be picked up at the World Cafe in the church foyer, or by sending a request to: larissa [@] churchoftherock.ca.

Also, THIS SUNDAY MORNING (Dec. 18, 11:00 AM) there will be an information meeting in room A1 for anyone interested in the February MEXICO trip. Come on out!

~Larissa

The team was in Haiti from Monday Nov 21 – Saturday Nov 26th, staying in the host missionary’s home.  They took 3 days for painting the complete inside and outside of newly built Children’s home (two coats of paint on the outside and 2-3 coasts on the inside, depending on the coverage).  They ministered in songs, testimony, drama, and preaching in two evening church services.  They shared biblical thoughts, gave testimonies and clothing and school supplies in 5 schools and one hospital for handicapped victims of the Port-au-Prince earthquake.  They distributed food packages to 20 disabled seniors.  They counselled and encouraged the host missionaries that we worked with and helped organize and distribute medical supplies to nearby hospitals and medical clinics.  On two occasions they visited a hospital/orphanage for disabled children, praying for the staff and the children and giving clothing and medical supplies to the children and medical staff.  They visited two other church/school situations but did not have the time to minister in those locations.  Then on Sunday 27th just before our flights out of Puerto Plata the team was able to minister in songs, testimony, drama, and preaching in a Haitian church in the city of Puerto Plata.
In total, over 500 pounds of clothing and school supplies were distributed, and $800.00 of food was purchased in Haiti for distribution to the needy.  In the ministry times many leaders and other individuals were ministered to prophetically. Through prayer and the Word of the Lord there were significant physical healings of chest pains, lumps in the throat, pains in the hips, knee problems, headaches, plus many other infirmities. Over 100 people were personally prayed for by the team.  The host missionaries said that of the 12-13 teams that they have a year our team was one of the best teams that they ever have had.  They and the other pastors and leaders were greatly encouraged as they felt that God personally ministered to the spiritual needs of them and the people of Haiti.
These days of ministry in Haiti were not done is a situation of ease and luxury.  The team would rise before 6:00 a.m. to get ready for breakfast at 6:30 and then keep going, often till 10 or 11:00 p.m.  On one day, because of the remoteness of where we were, the team was not able to have a lunch break.  The next day we had a piece of bread with ground peanuts for lunch to tide us over till supper.  Three team members picked up some type of stomach disorder from the food, water or exhaustion.  Many of the team had large itchy welt like bumps covering their bodies caused by bites from mosquito, spiders or some other insect.  (Most of the swelling and itchiness did not disappear till well after returning home.)  One team member developed a chest infection and laryngitis by the end of the trip and another had strep throat the day after we returned to Canada.  For many team members, sleep at night was difficult because of the heat, the mosquitoes (even though there were screens on the windows of the home in which we stayed), or other physical things as listed above.  Yet in spite of these negatives things, each of the team members  adamantly declares that because of what they saw God do in their midst they are eagerly wanting to go again.  They have adventures and stories to tell of God working through and in them.  They declare that this trip has changed their lives.

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