JIM AND KAY BAKER
The Bakers continue to serve through Navajo Ministries in Four Corners, New Mexico and see God bless dozens of children who are served through Four Corners Home for Children ministry. Their Christian Radio Station is in its 37th year of reaching the local community and beyond. The Navajo Nation Outreach helped reach over 300 families, and several VBS programs were conducted with Navajo churches. Jim and Kay will continue to work half-time in support of these ministries.
ROB AND VICKI CARTER
The Carters continue to serve through JARON Ministries and other activities from their home and headquarters in Fresno. Several new board members have joined JARON and are getting involved. As Director of Short-Term Missions, Rob oversees mission trips that include pastoral training in several countries, and training at the JARON Bible Institute. He is actively involved in the CODE 3 International Peace Officer Ministries, where his team shares the Gospel, hands out Police Bibles and C3 Gospel tracts at conferences around the world.
TROY AND REBEKAH SAMMONS
Together with their four children, the Sammons have moved from Nakuru, Kenya to serve under African Inland Mission in South Sudan. They are progressing well with learning the language and more about their community and its people daily. Troy is engaged in helping students with school and doing Bible studies; while continuing to make wider relationships in town. Bekah has been involved with women’s literacy and the women’s ministry on a church-wide scale, which is strengthening the women of the church to reach out with the town. They have learned that South Sudan is a mission field that really requires a team. They have reached their goal of engaging in a local church and have found a church which is vibrant, strong, and has initiative to send missionaries from their church into the surrounding areas. Their goal is to come alongside to help train and facilitate locals to go to their own people and share the Gospel.
Lito continues his work training pastors, church leaders, and church planters. Lito’s involvement with the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) expanded when he was asked to help the Global Filipino Movement (GFM), a ministry that focuses on helping the OFWs to be equipped for Kingdom use. He started helping them last year and is now their executive director. They were able to cast vision to 307 churches, trained 121 OFW ministers and have 108 churches sharing the OFW ministry. They are following up with evangelism and discipleship to 817 families. They also plan to enhance their partnership with seminaries and schools with other denominations.
JOHN AND BARBARA WHITEHOUSE
The Whitehouses have moved from Orlando, Florida to Seattle, Washington, where they continue to serve for CRU. The move was for the good of the family and provided new opportunities in how John and Barb can continue to serve. Their highlight for 2017 was observing the spread of the Gospel to new countries through an innovative witnessing strategy that John developed that exposes first-timers to the Gospel. In 2018, John will be helping churches with local and international outreach through the Jesus Film project. Barb is starting an international student ministry at a nearby campus.
STEVE AND CYNTHIA-LOUISE DEMETRIUS AND FAMILY
The Demetrius family live and serve in New Zealand. Steve’s chaplaincy role continues to impact students’ lives at the Elementary Schools, Taradale Intermediate School, and Taradale High School, and the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT). Recently, they have blessed these students by starting a Chess Club at EIT; bringing in and training new youth group helpers; seeing students responding to the Gospel and building a relationship with Christ. As Steve continues, he hopes to expand the role of Chaplaincy and bring in more local people, so the work can eventually be handed over to them; and expanding discipleship and outreach. Cynthia-Louise’s WOW Bible Study continues among local women (modeled after Liz Fosdahl’s Women of the Word program).
ALAN AND KAREN
While providing a home-base for their six growing, mostly adulting, children in the Bay Area, five still at home, Alan and Karen serve remotely as part-time Area Leaders for the Korean Peninsula region. They continue to oversee and support leaders and teams serving the Korean peoples. Alan and Karen lived and worked in this area for over 18 years providing valuable perspective, counsel, and logistical support to team leaders and member where access is limited. Recent travel bans for US citizens have changed access into these countries making these teams multi-cultural and multi-lingual.
ANONYMOUS FAMILY #2
The family returned to the mission field after a long furlough in the states, back to the Middle-Eastern country where they have served for more than twenty years. They plan to continue to work with students and young professionals in the area they live as one of several new strategies to increase outreach.
FRANK AND KARREN
After spending the first six months of 2017 ministering to international students in Little Rock, Arkansas, Frank and Karren left for a Middle-East country, where they began learning the Arabic language and ministering to local people and war refugees. For this year and beyond, their goals include further Arabic language study, continued work with refugees, and outreach into the local community.
JERE AND NOELLE LESTER
Along with their partners, the Lesters have launched Ebenezer Church in the community of Loma Vista in San Diego, which is a largely immigrant, under-resourced community. They’ve learned many lessons along the way, included following Jesus’ way of building His church: relationally, supernaturally, and with a lot of hard work from His people. They've had many highlights: people giving their lives to the Lord; being given a building to meet in for no charge; open doors at two local schools; serving community dinners and doing service projects; and the formation of a new faith community. They achieved their non-profit official status, put together their five-year plan, and formed their new leadership team of elders and deacons. They reminded themselves that it wasn't their church being built, but His.