Local and Global Mission Work at Koinonia
Koinonia supports a number of local and international mission efforts through donations, financial gifts and direct mission work, including:
The Chandler Christian Community Center
345 S. California St.
This group has been serving the community since 1976. Their long-term goal is to reduce hunger among residents of the greater Chandler area through a Food Bank supplied with food from community donations, local grocers, restaurants, and purchases from the United Food Bank. They hope to cultivate and support goodwill among all people, regardless of race or religion. They strive to meet emergency needs, empower those they serve with skills and resources to become self-sufficient, and to strengthen community relations that will benefit those they serve. They have a "Back to School" program to help children, and they have English language classes for non-native speakers, as well as hosting Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
For more information: www.chandlerfoodbank.org
ROMANIA - Daniel and Ramona Pincu
Daniel (son of the late Pastor Peter and Ileana Pincu) and his wife, Ramona, are serving in Romania this summer, assisting with the evangelical and church planting ministry started by Pastor Peter and Ileana in 1995. Ten church congregations, in ten villages, have been established and nine buildings constructed or renovated. Renovation has started on the tenth building. Pastor Peter and Ileana also helped oversee and run a much needed orphanage, ministered regularly and gave financial support to over 50 destitute widows, and planned and directed a Youth Camp each summer through which many came to know the Lord. Daniel and Ramona have dedicated themselves to continue these ministries. One Saturday in June, Daniel spoke at a Youth Conference in Oravita, where 100 youth came to hear the message, "Money-slave or king".
For more information: An article about Ileana's work in Romania
GOLDENSUN PEACE MINISTRIES
Executive Director: Jean June
This ministry is God's answer to many years of prayer, faith, research and development. Goldensun Peace Ministries now consists of four homes for the developmentally disabled - 3 houses for men and one for ladies. Each home has room for three residents, along with one professional and one volunteer staff person. A fifth house is used for housing for the winter volunteers SOOP (Service Opportunities for Older Persons) program. Just across the street is the new Habilitation Center, called "The Bridge," which is the sixth house. All houses are near Trinity Mennonite Church. The homes for the disabled provide safe, supervised independence, giving self worth and opportunities for personal growth, in a loving and accepting community. Each person has their assigned tasks to do each day. Some learn to use the public transportation system and go to their work. Goldensun also provides and manages a Day Program for the disabled, which takes place at the Habilitation Center. The program is carried out with the help of professional and volunteer staff.
For more information: www.goldensunonline.org
CHURCHES SUPPORTING CHURCHES
New Orleans Bible Fellowship - A Baptist Church; Rev. Leonard Parker, Pastor
New Orleans, Louisiana
Motto: "Presenting Biblical Truths with Simplicity"
Churches Supporting Churches (CSC) was formed after Hurricane Katrina with the purpose of rebuilding churches in the devastated areas of New Orleans, recognizing that churches were the centers of community life and a place to which people looked for services and healing. Now that four years have passed since Hurricane Katrina struck, and New Orleans is no longer grabbing headlines, the work continues in the parts of the city that still look like a war zone. CSC helps find churches willing to partner with a congregation in New Orleans, giving financial and prayer support, encouragement as Brothers and Sisters in Christ and visiting if possible with "hands on" help. Koinonia, along with several other churches, is a partner with New Orleans Bible Fellowship and is helping to restart, repair, reopen, and rebuild. The church reopened in October 2006 with 15 members and continues to grow, with weekly Bible Study attendance significantly increased. We send regular offerings to assist with the many outreach ministries, including a big push to reach youth, homeless and senior citizens. Negotiations are ongoing regarding the purchase of land to build a new church building. Koinonia is hoping to send a group to New Orleans for a mission project in June of 2010.
For more information: Churches Supporting Churches website
KENYA - Bishop Domonic Opondo
Bishop Opondo oversees more than ten Mennonite churches in the Kisumu East Diocese, in east Kenya. Over the past two years Koinonia has given funds to help build a much needed Women's Center, especially for young girls and women, providing training in education, health, parenting, jobs and the Bible. It is now open to men also. The purpose of the center is to help bring dignity and self worth to the girls and women and provide the means to better their lives. This past year the churches were very instrumental in providing and giving relief aid to over 1000 refugees fleeing from the political upheaval and violence in the cities. Bishop Opondo is a representative of Kenya Mennonite Church to Mennonite World Conference.
For more information: An article on "The Mennonite" website about Bishop Opondo's work in Kenya
CHINA - James and Michelle Stabler-Havener
Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
James and Michelle serve with the Mennonite Partners in China by assisting in administration and teacher training, teaching English and studying Chinese. They give witness to Christ's love through relationships with friends, students, colleagues and the Chinese church. This past year they have been helping the church develop and print a Sunday School curriculum and help train Sunday School teachers. Following the earthquake in May, the church helped provide food, shelter, medicine, comfort and prayer for communities hardest hit. In one small community, over 1000 people have begun attending church as a result of seeing the love of Christ in action.
For more information: James and Michelle on www.mennonitemission.net
BACAVI COMMUNITY CHURCH - Russ and Cyndi Toews
Bacavi, AZ, Hopi Reservation
Russ and Cyndi Toews are serving at the Bacavi Community Church at Bacavi, AZ on the Hopi Reservation. Their desire and goal has been to gain the confidence and trust of the people and to be a living example of the love of Christ. The community soon learned if they had a need, day or night, Pastor Russ and Cyndi would do all they could to help. They daily witness the tragedies of drugs, alcohol, and domestic abuse. There is high unemployment and poverty. When a person wants to leave their bad habits and follow Christ, the pressures and temptations to return to their old ways make following Christ very difficult. Against this darkness, small electric candles in the church windows and a cross outlined with miniature lights are lit each night as a symbol and reminder that Jesus is the true "light of the world". Here there is refuge, safety and hope. Russ and Cyndi and their fellow missionaries work hard with the children, including Sunday School, after-school programs during the school year, and summer day programs, where they teach and show them the "Jesus Way" through Bible lessons, Bible memory, singing, crafts, supervised recreation, refreshments and special cookout events. The church is presently working with Faith Comes by Hearing, an organization that makes audio recordings of the Bible into other languages. They are currently working on the Gospel of Mark with Hopi readers. This is a very tedious and time-consuming project, but very valuable. Hearing the Good News of Jesus in their native language will help the people understand more clearly who Jesus is and how much He loves them.
VENEZUELA - Robert (Bob) and Patty Nosker
La Paragua, Venezuela - Pemon Indian Mission Base
In 1974 Bob and Patty were called by the Lord to go to the Pemon Indian tribe in the jungle of southeast Venezuela with the Gospel. Through many miraculous events they lived with the Indians in the little village of San Miguel for ten years and later set up their home and headquarters at La Paragua ("near the water"). By daily living the message they taught, some of the Pemons, one by one, came to know and accept the Lord as their Savior. There are now 23 congregations with their own people as pastors, evangelist and teachers. Bob and Patty's heart desire was to put the Pemon language into writing and then translate the New Testament into the language. What began as one Bible verse, John 14:6, is now a nearly two-thirds translation of the new Testament. Due to grave political problems in Venezuela, the Noskers are living in the U.S. (Michigan). They continue the translation work via internet, making occasional trips to Venezuela to do "check" work with the Pemon leaders. Bob also prepares and teaches the Pemon Pastors via the internet, through an in-depth Bible survey course and is working on a commentary for each New Testament book that has been translated.
THE ALPHA AND OMEGA CHURCH - Danny and Lillian Begaye
Cottonwood, AZ Navajo Reservation
While serving in ministry at Hard Rock, AZ, Danny and Lillian felt called to minister to their own families and neighbors at Cottonwood. After meeting in homes and outgrowing their "house church" they were able, with volunteer help, to build a church building. The dedication was July 7, 2007, dedicating the building as "a House of Prayer". Along with overseeing the church ministry, Danny is involved in community affairs. Danny is chairman for the Cornerstone Ministries, Inc. composed of inter-denominational Navajo Christian Church leaders. This fall and winter Danny and Lillian and their small congregationwill be involved in several ministries. In October, they host a Pastors and wives 'appreciation' service and banquet dinner withthe youth serving. In November and December, they will sponsor a Feed the Hungry outreach, sharing the message of God's love as they serve a meal of hot turkey soup and traditional fry bread in front of a Bashas store in downtown Pinon. This year, Danny will be a trainer for the Family Wellness Program, a government-funded program to help end the growing violence and crimes of drug, alcohol, and domestic abuse. Lillian will work with Danny as a facilitator and later as a trainer also. Their mission statement is: Strong families, strong future! The church is in need of a heating system, as their only source of heat is a wood-burning stove which cannot produce enough heat for the building. In the winter months, the elderly cannot come to services because of the cold. Please pray for this need."