WE WISH YOU A WONDERFUL YEAR 2023!
In February, Pr. Jonathan had a mission trip to Dar es Salaam. He inspected the school facilities to be used for the June 2022 mission course. During that week, the local GNN team leaders also interviewed pastors applying for the course, over 30 of them registered.
Pr. Jonathan visited nearby towns. In one Zaramo village, he dedicated a well we had built. During dry seasons it gives access to water also for other villagers nearby. With the Tanzanian GNN team, Pr. Jonathan also visited the Maasai people in Morogoro for a couple of days.
He coordinated a follow-up seminar held regularly for the active pastors (25) who were part of the previous GNN mission course. Zoom enabled the rest of the teaching team to be present on live video streaming from their home countries. This way we can keep the UPG vision alive and strengthen our calling.
The Tanzanian GNN team arranged 2-day children’s ministry seminars throughout the country in order to equip workers to reach children that are often omitted. Since 2021, there are already 21 seminars held, with a total of 1,390 participants.
In June 2022, in Dar es Salaam, a 3-week mission course was held for 44 pastors, evangelists and bishops throughout Tanzania. The course focused on the unreached people groups, of course.
After completion of the course, participants inspired by the vision began to put words into action. In a new Maasai tribe inhabited area, 70 young warriors, women and children decided to follow Jesus. The local pastor there rejoiced because he had been praying for years for an evangelistic team to visit his area.
In 2023, we plan to arrange discipleship teaching for those new believers.
For nearly a decade now, we have been supporting evangelistic radio broadcasts from Mubende reaching even to neighbouring countries in East Africa. With the outbreak of the pandemic, we increased our support and there was a surprise in the number of calls that came into the studio, around 20 listeners are saved weekly.
At the end of May 2022, we arranged a Vision and Leadership seminar. 50 church leaders from various denominations in western Uganda and Bryan, a Christian police captain and intendant for the Kampala district, also attended.
He later sent an invitation letter signed by the Major General to Pr. Aki Miettinen, GNN’s representative, who went in November to teach Christian officers in the army, police and prison staff about spiritual leadership.
I travelled with Pr. Aki firstly to Singapore. We had arranged a meeting with GNN Missions Advisor, Dr. Paul Ng. He extended an invitation to Vietnam. Its realisation in Autumn 2023 is an important prayer topic!
There are still 68 unreached people groups living in that country of almost 100 million people. The church movement we cooperate with has a vision for the unreached peoples even to neighboring countries.
After the weekend meetings, we had our annual teaching week at the Bible school in Sumatra. Despite some blackouts, we completed 18 teaching hours. In March 2023, this course will send out tens of pioneers again. Last year, 22 pioneers were supported to new areas and 16 were among the unreached tribes.
The last pioneer alumni seminar was a 4-hour drive away from the school (inland Sumatra). They were the first students ever sent from the Bible school. They had already established their pioneer ministries.
Throughout 2022, Vantaa International Christian Fellowship (VICF) church has partially supported our missions and sending support for Jewish kids for their return migration (Aliyah) to Jerusalem from Ukraine.
The church also sent support to JCBT (Jerusalem Centre for Bible Translators). Students from around the world are initiated to original Biblical Hebrew and geography enabling them to make more accurate translations for languages amongst unreached peoples.
In October, we had visitors from HeliMission. Its international leader, Simon Tanner along with his wife Prikena, came from Switzerland. During the visit, I suddenly recalled having seen their helicopter standing next to the MAF hall in Wamena, Papua, in the late 80’s.
We learned about the importance of the helicopter ministry in the impenetrable areas of Indonesia and Madagascar. VICF sent a love offering to support their ministry. During our October mission in Jakarta, we also met the Indonesian leader, Pak Carter, from this organization.
During 2022, we held vision casting events in northeast and east of Finland. Our ongoing topic has been the urgency of reaching the unreached peoples.