Is it time?

You’ve read the stories.  Your friends have told you more.  Is it time to make your own story?  An Intercultural Discipleship Team may be a new venture for you, or it may be something that simply reflects who you are or have been becoming.  Look at the opportunities for 2018. Ask the Lord if there is a place, a people, a task where He would like you to serve.   You might need a physical visa, but the real permission and invitation to enter the place comes from God Himself.  Pick up a flyer in the back of the worship center, or download this one.   Contact the respective leader if you are open to talking more.  Start your application process here with the Short Term Trip Questionnaire..

Protecting the Vulnerable in Malawi

The Mpemba Family: Ken, Avisha, Ezra (8), Isaac (9), and Eliana (2)

Avisha’s first time to Africa was in 2005, before she was married to Ken Mpemba.  Growing up in Hong Kong and then moving to the United States when she was seventeen, Avisha met Ken at PCC, when she was working at the Swim and Gym program and he was a summer intern.  In order to decide if it was in God’s plan that they should commit their lives to each other, Avisha traveled to Malawi to visit the country for the first time in 2005.  Her first impression of Malawi was that it was “beautiful and rural! The people were warm and inviting. I could immediately see myself building a life there.”

Since that fateful trip in 2005, Ken and Avisha have built their lives around serving and helping the most vulnerable children in Malawi.  For the past ten years, they have worked tirelessly co-founding a project called the Malawi Children’s Mission (MCM).  According to Avisha, “We serve 150 orphans in three surrounding villages. We have built a center, a medical clinic and a primary school to help educate and provide proper nutrition for these children. We serve children through young adults from the ages of 4 to 22. My specific role consists of administrative responsibilities such as accounts, staffing, professional development, fundraising and updating the board of directors on our growth. I also coordinate all teams and volunteers that come out and serve – which I love!”

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa, where 74% of their population live below the poverty line of US $1.25 a day.  Approximately 130,000 children are living with HIV in Malawi, and 70% of child deaths in the country are from preventable causes.  Malawi Children’s Mission works to help orphans who face poverty, malnutrition, medical issues, and lack of healthcare.  They provide nutrition education and healthy meals, academic education, and medical and counseling services for the children.

When asked what it was like to raise her own three children in Malawi, Avisha said that it has been an amazing experience.  They have a wonderful English international school that their children attend, they have a great community and church, and they are able to see Ken’s family frequently, who live in Malawi.  That isn’t to say that they don’t have challenges in their life in Malawi.  Avisha says that they struggle with economic challenges. “We (also) don’t always have water and electricity which makes it difficult to work at times.”  But the hope and joy that they bring to the children at MCM seems to be more than enough incentive for Avisha and Ken to stay in Malawi with their family.

Here are just a few of the examples of how Ken and Avisha have impacted the lives of orphans in Malawi, which can be found on their MCM Facebook Page.  

“A year ago the Chagaka children were living in a dilapidated single room house on their own, a “child-headed household”. Today Doreen (15), Alana (12) and Victor (8) stand proudly in front of their newly constructed solid brick home with an enclosed outdoor kitchen (middle) and bathroom (bottom), the help of a “house mother” and their expenses covered for 2 years; food, clothing, household items and school fees. The oldest sister Zione (18) is now a mother herself living with the father’s family in a nearby village.”

 

“Today at MCM there were smiling faces and covered feet! Thanks goes to 3 high school students from Massachusetts who raised money to purchase 200 pairs of shoes. These were not just any shoes but “The Shoes That Grow” specifically designed to expand 5 sizes and last for years so kids stay healthy through sustainable and solid footwear. The 4 large duffel bags of product were transported and delivered by the team of visiting Binghamton University students.”

Showing off New Shoes and Socks!

 

So how can those at PCC support Malawi Children’s Mission?  One of the many ways is by praying for them.  When asked about prayer requests, Avisha said that they need prayer for “growth, fundraising and continued thriving for the children.”  Please also pray for their family; for health and God’s grace and joy to go with them as they minister to the people of Malawi.

If you would like a more tangible way to help their ministry, consider providing funds to help them get desks for the students!  They say, “MCM Academy is growing.  This year we’ve added our 3rd school block with classrooms for PreK – Standard 6.   Now we need your help to fill it.  A donation of $150 enables us to purchase a solid desk for 2 students.   $3000 fills a classroom with 20 desks!  Quality education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty for the 150 vulnerable children we serve.”

Donate to provide desks for the students at MCM!

Be part of building a future for the children at MCM Academy by providing a foundation for learning.  The link is below if you would like to donate for a desk and change the life of a child today:
http://desks-for-success-mcm.causevox.com/

If you would like to donate funds on a regular basis or see where the funds go, please visit
Thank you for supporting and praying for the Mpemba Family!
By Rachel Parker

God Called a Little Girl to Love Africa

By Rachel Parker

 

Railey Ciraulo was only three years old when she sat in church with her parents, listening to a presentation by people from the Congo.  Even at such a young age, Railey’s heart was touched as the team from Africa told about the orphanage in the Congo and the little children without parents that lived there.  That day in church, Railey began to feel an inspiration to serve the people and children of Africa.  She didn’t know what that meant or how she would do it, but she knew that she wanted to go to Africa and help those little children.  As the years went by and she learned more about the people of Africa, her passion to go and serve them only grew.  Her parents helped encourage this passion by teaching her how to support people from Africa from afar.  Her pastor even introduced her to some children via letter-writing and she was able to have a pen pal from the Congo.  But for Railey, that wasn’t enough.  Her heart longed to go to Africa and meet those children face to face.

She finally got her chance to go to Africa in April of 2017, when she was thirteen years old.  Due to military action in the Congo, Railey and her family of five instead planned a trip to Malawi, to visit the Mbwana Children’s Mission.  Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa, where 74% of their population live below the poverty line of US $1.25 a day.  Approximately 130,000 children are living with HIV in Malawi, and 70% of child deaths in the country are from preventable causes.  Malawi Children’s Mission (MCM) works to help orphans who face poverty, malnutrition, medical issues, and lack of healthcare.  They provide nutrition education and healthy meals, academic education, and medical and counseling services for the children.

Railey and her family were excited to go to Malawi and participate in the work that MCM does on a daily basis.  They were able to play with the children (including lots of piggy-back rides), as well as visit the children in their homes and encourage the families who raised the orphans, who were mostly grandparents, aunts and uncles.    They also helped tutor the children by teaching them to read.

One of Railey’s favorite experiences about working with MCM was when she was able to visit a nearby hospital and talk to the sick children.  Seeing their upbeat attitudes and their generous natures, in spite of debilitating diseases such as malaria and AIDS, made Railey realize that many of her troubles were small in comparison.  She was able to pray for the children, and encourage them, and this made her heart happy.  She was even able to pray for a young girl that was only 6 years old, named Mervis.  Mervis was so sick that she couldn’t even open her eyes.  After leaving the hospital, Railey’s heart was heavy for the children that had so little and yet were so thankful for the small things they had.  It wasn’t until a month later when Railey and her family were back home, that they received the joyful news that Mervis was released from the hospital and doing well.  Railey knew that it was a miracle from God.

Railey has big dreams for her future and knows that God has called her to love and serve the people of Africa.  She longs to return to Malawi and work with MCM again, hopefully next summer.  She has aspirations of possibly moving to Malawi to work there full-time when she is older, and even incorporating her love of computer-science into her service at MCM.

Anatole France once said, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”  Railey knows what it is to have a dream and make it become reality, and she believes what it says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Railey’s future will be bright and inspiring and it will be a joy to watch her bring hope to the children of Africa.    

 

For more information about the Malawi Children’s Mission or to make donations, please visit www.malawichildrensmission.org .

Reaching Refugees and Migrants – PCC Trip to Spain

The problem: African refugee diaspora

Understanding their motivation is often complex, however we understand that most of the people arriving in Europe were refugees, fleeing war, persecution, indefinite military occupation, and forced labor. Economic migrants flee poverty and the lack of jobs, many of them hoping for a better lifestyle and job offers, without valid claims to refugee status. Many simply feel discriminated against in their countries of origin.

Surveys of migrants arriving in Europe provide further evidence that the migration crisis is being used by human trafficking networks to target and exploit the most vulnerable. Many reported being held in a location against their will, often for ransom, without pay, with forced labor being the only way of being freed from captivity or securing a place on a boat to Europe. The surveys also show that the longer someone is in transit, the more vulnerable they are to being exploited or trafficked.

PCC is coming alongside our mission partners Vision 5:9 and Africa Inland Mission (AIM) to support African migrant outreach. Together, they are sending teams to be the first point of contact with refugees escaping to gateway cities in Europe. Their plan is to share Christ with these people in transit and to connect them with media and friendships to journey with them, as well as meet immediate physical needs.

Go. Serve on a 7-10 member team’s short-term mission to Europe this summer (July 22 – August 6). Teams will be trained together for three days in Jerez, Spain, then split up into three gateways cities: Barcelona, Ceuta and Valletta, Malta.

For more information write to: john.becker@aimint.org to register for a team go to this link: AIM EU2017 Application and fill out this PCC questionnaire.

Short Term Trips in 2017

Interested in going to partner with an overseas ministry? In 2017 we’ll be sending out teams to visit ministry partners in at least three different continents. Look below for more info on the trips we have scheduled so far and consider attending our info lunch on January 22!

 

Jan. 22, 2017 – 12:30, Info Lunch -Fellowship Center 

Discover the 2017 vision for short term teams around the world over lunch.  Determine where and how you might like to serve, send someone, or be a prayer partner.  For information on any trips (including others later in the year to China, Japan, Congo, Ghana, N. Africa, Mexico, and Europe as well as local opportunities with foster children and mainland Chinese youth) contact sharons@wearepcc.com

 

 

 

blog-thailandFebruary 9-16 – Thailand

Teach and play with children of missionary families while their parents attend their annual retreat.

 

 

 

 

blog-chileMarch (dates TBD) – Pichilemu, Chile

Swim, surf, share the work of your hands, or consult in business with the Youth with a Mission training base as they strategically reach into the local community of swimmers, surfers, and families.

 

 

 

blog-greeceApril 7-17 – Athens, Greece

Love and serve Syrian refugees who are struggling with what to do next with their lives.

 

 

 

 

blog-franceApril 15-23 – Marseille, France

Reach out to North African immigrants, especially from the Comorian islands, teaching English and grasping a vision for this community not dissimilar to immigrant communities we see right here at home.

Can’t see the whole path? Take the next step.

by Sharon Seeberger         standridge-family

Here I was, a 38 year old husband, father of 5, fitness enthusiast, swimmer, and they told me I had metastatic stage 4 colorectal cancer.  How does that happen?”   As Noah Standridge  introduced himself to me, I also wondered the same thing.  I never imagined, though, what a journey awaited me as I would watch God’s healing work and leading in his life in the next few months!  The recent updates of that journey are in a letter Noah and Brinly recently wrote sharing  the excitement of their family moving to Chile where they will work with Mitch and Julie Anderson for a year, serving and learning at YWAM Pura Vida.   Just 3 months ago Noah confessed he didn’t even know what the acronym YWAM meant, but he and Brinly moved into high speed mode the moment they recognized God had uniquely prepared them for this great opportunity.  Departing next Saturday (Dec. 3), they will be commissioned Sunday, Nov. 27, in the 9:05 service at PCC (gym).  Come, pray them off and continue with your prayers and support as they travel (remember 5 children!), settle, and begin making a new home in this new chapter in a very new place.

Follow them for updates to pray and praise together by subscribing at http://www.standridgefamily.org/

North Africa Team Update

Just last week a PCC team returned from four days in North Africa, where they partnered with a local ministry to build a playground.

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Tom Netane, our children’s ministry director, led the team along with his son, Joseph, and PCC members Octavio Lopez and Andy Chang.

From Tom: “We partnered with Kids Around the World members, our main partner organization on this outreach trip, as well as a few locals on the ground. Since 1994, KATW has been igniting hope in over 60 countries through means of providing playgrounds, restoring health with life-saving meals, and resourcing teachers to reach millions of children with the gospel. We installed a special playground designated for but not limited to a therapy center that treats children with disabilities.”

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Though there were some setbacks – they could not build on their originally intended site and local authorities delayed their dedication ceremony – the team remained encouraged.

Our cups were definitely shaken during this trip but what came out of us reflected God. The temptation of feeling overwhelmed and wallowing in frustration was trumped by supernatural joy, peace and strength!

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Welcome back the team when you see them!

 

 

If you are interested in a short term ministry trip, visit us on the patio after each service on November 6, 13, and 20 and mark your calendars for an Informational lunch on January 22nd

 

 

info-lunch

Update from Italy!

These past few days have been amazing, not only have we had fun with the kids doing arts and crafts, we also got to talk about God with them in the morning with a devotion. God is doing amazing things here in Europe and we are so happy to be apart of it. –Nay Nay and Shelby

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Nay Nay and Shelby’s departure to Italy last week represents a 10-year-old commitment of Peninsula Covenant Church (PCC) to provide children’s ministry at Covenant World Mission (CWM) family retreats. Starting as a dream within Marilyn Lynch’s heart to minister to the needs of missionary families, this partnership has grown to the capacity of PCC sending a team of children’s ministry volunteers to the annual EuroRetreat conference hosted by CWM.

Reaching out to families on mission in post-Christian places like Europe is essential to prevent ministry burnout. These families can face heightened feelings of isolation, stress, and disappointment when they face ministry challenges and set-backs. Being PCCers on mission, we have the opportunity to encourage and support our brothers and sisters on the “front lines” who deeply need our friendship and fellowship. Part of fulfilling Jesus’ command to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) includes caring for disciple-makers facing tough ministry obstacles.

So thank you Nay Nay and Shelby for faithfully meeting the needs of missionary families and therefore being part of the Great Commission!

Would you like to get involved in missionary care?

PCC Mission is creating teams of people who will champion the care of our Global Partners through encouragement and fellowship. Tell Sharon if you want to be part of a missionary care team.

Would you like to be part of the team that does children’s ministry at the next missionary retreat? Tell Sharon about your interest!

Update from the Athens Team!

Our team arrived safely home from Greece on July 27! They spent their week reaching out to Syrian refugees through a local organization called Bridges. The leaders, Dave and Shawn Shearin (of Street Life Ministries) described the team as “evangelistic” and “not afraid of sharing” about Jesus in their conversations with refugees.

The team of PCCers included three teenagers, an elementary aged child, a young adult, and a married couple. Igor, one of the team members, speaks Arabic and was a “key leader” for the trip. The team was able to build special relationships with refugees through this language bridge and the unique strengths they brought. The team was unified and willing to be flexible, responsible, on time and hard working. With bright eyes and a reminiscent smile, Shawn recalls, “There was an anointing over us”.

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“The team went to the port today and spent some time building relationships with the refuges, absolutely amazing conversations.” -Dave Shearin

 

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“I spent the most amazing time with this family today talking about Jesus and how we have to lean on Him for all things the Father Azat has an incredible story of how he protected his family from death. This family is trying so hard to stay positive please pray as they are working on papers.” -Dave Shearin

 

Keep in touch with PCC Mission by liking us on Facebook, following us on Instagram, or subscribing to our newsletter (use the option at the top of the page)

PCC Swim Team Headed to Chile

God can use any of his children’s strengths, passions, and natural talents for his Kingdom, as seen in PCC’s short term team of five that headed to Chile last week. Four high school swim team members and Emily M., who helps lead swim team at the Peninsula Community Center, traveled to Pichelimu to continue the partnership between PCC and the swim and fitness center in that community.

What strengths, passions, and natural talents has God given you? How can you use these to share God’s love and hope with people in your path?