AIM Newsletter | Immanuel on the Mission Field

AIM Newsletter | Immanuel on the Mission Field

  • From
    Our Director
  • Upcoming
  • Featured
  • Stories
    from the Field
  • Video
From Our Director
Confronting a Warlock
in Caracas
| Seth Barnes

Lately, South America has become a riskier place to do
missions primarily due to violence related to drug-trafficking. Seth, however, recently shared a story from a
short-term trip to Venezuela he went on 17 years ago:

Arriving in Caracas…our team
immediately saw its cauldron of contradictions. Skyscrapers and slums coexist
uneasily. Its six million inhabitants
seemed to be just one coup d’etat away from chaos. Violence and murder were rampant in the
slums. Less than one percent of the
population were evangelical Christians. Kiosks sold satanic literature and articles of witchcraft dotted the

As our team walked through the
city, we came upon an unusual sight. A
crowd of onlookers surrounded a man wearing a black velvet mask. While he stood at a distance, members of the
crowd picked cards from a card deck. Curious, one of our team members asked one of the people standing there
what was going on. 

“That man claims to have
supernatural powers. I think he is a
warlock,” was the reply. Sure enough, though blindfolded and
too far away to see in any case, each time a card was picked, the hooded man
correctly guessed what it was.

Suddenly, one of our team members
held a Bible aloft. Members of the crowd
jeered at this unexpected challenge to the man behind the hood. He paused momentarily, trying to divine what
the article in question was. “I
can’t tell; it seems to be some kind of book written in English,” he said
in Spanish.   

Fortunately, a team member had a
Spanish Bible and held it up in the air. The warlock immediately responded with revulsion and rage.

Read more on how God showed up in this situation..

Upcoming Trips

  • Real Life offers college-age young adults the chance to get exposed to one month of life on the World Race, our 11 month missions trip to 11 countries for young adults ages 21-35, in either Africa or Asia.
  • For those looking for a longer experience, our Real Life: Immersion sends participants out for 8 months (an academic year) in 3 continents.
Can’t send your whole youth group? Is everyone on a different timetable?  Send a few of them out on our Ambassadors program. This experience for high-school age (14-18 years) students takes 8-12 teens on 1-5 week long mission trips throughout the world. 
Take your students on an adventure of faith. We offer opportunities for your students to serve within the U.S. – rural or urban – as well as internationally.
  •  Short-term missions doesn’t have to be synonymous with youth!  Whether it’s for 4 days or 2 weeks, God can and wants to use you to bring hope to the nations.
  • Can’t choose who among your family to send out to the mission field?  Don’t — go together!  This would be an amazing way to bring your family closer together as you extend God’s kingdom.

Feature Story

The Great “Because”
and the Ultimate Challenge to Re-Entry
| Benjamin Veale

Next month will mark the two year anniversary since Benny V
first went on the World Race. He’s
reflected on the past years of his life and the challenges he continues to face
while re-entering (still); the following is an excerpt:

I’ve been in about 30 countries and
40 states in the past five years doing all sorts of things. My heart has ached and changed and stretched
in more ways than I can express…and yet there is still an awkward yearning
inside of me that knows He’s not even close to done with me…

…Today, I look at a world map and
my eyes don’t see countries – they see faces.  They see stories.  My heart aches for those I know and also for
those I’ve seen and don’t know…and those I imagine.  My heart breaks for situations people are
in…cultures…countries…and I’m moved, yet I stand still and let it wash
over me…

Continue reading more of his thoughts and what’s next for

Stories from the Field

Last Day of Kenya |
Nick Hindes

Nick Hindes recently led a Real Life team in Kenya. He shares how they were able to meet felt
needs in the IDP (internally displaced persons) camp they ministered to; this all
took place on their last day in Kenya.

Cross Current Ministries gave me
some money to help the IDP camp.  This
money allowed us to help an elder in the church cultivate and plant on his
farm.  We also bought some chickens…

We also found two families that had
need.  Neal had developed a friendship
with Francis and his three siblings, so they were an obvious choice.  His family had been needing a table…

Read more about the needs they met during their final day

Roses for My Love |
Stephanie Tyrna

One night while Steph and her teammates were working with
the MST Project but she was feeling burdened and detached from the moment. Her attention was drawn instead to some
children carrying flowers as they strolled along the street.

At first they came up to me like
any other person on the street trying to sell something.  They put the flowers in front of my face and
rattled off numbers in Khmer.  I told
them, “Awt mean loy.” (I don’t have any money).
.. They kept saying “Awt chewl
ay.” (I don’t believe you). But I
kept telling them I didn’t have money and then proceeded on to more
conversation and playing with them.

They would leave for a little while
and then come back.  This went on for
awhile.  And then another young boy
(maybe twelve years old) came over carrying jasmine flowers (which are one of
my favorites!); this boy had a hunched back.  He was adorable though, so I started talking
to him.

But then his older brother pulled
up in a moto right in front of me (probably in his late teens). My new little friend hopped on the back of
his brother’s moto.  The other kids were
messing with him and goofing off and I said a few more things and yelled
“Lee-hi!” (Goodbye!) then, they took off.

I was left standing there on the
sidewalk of this busy street in which I was engulfed by darkness, loud music
from the bar behind me, foreign men walking arm in arm with local women. Feeling a heaviness, I cried out for the city,
for the people, for the hearts of the sinners, for light, for freedom.

And then out of nowhere a moto
pulls up and the little boy with the hunched back jumps off, runs up to me and
hands me five roses and tells me “These are for you.  You don’t have to give me money.  They are for you.” I didn’t know what to say.  I just stood there and melted inside.  As fast as he ran up to me and gave me the
flowers, he quickly ran off and left again.

Read more of this touching encounter of Steph’s

Cambodian Christmas |
Amarja Mitsutomi & Elise Paty

We’ve been imagining what next Christmas would be like on
the World Race in places like Cambodia – Amarja & Elise are spending this
Christmas in Cambodia! They’ve been
getting acclimated to the culture by learning the language while serving alongside
local ministries.

Learning Khmer hasn’t been easy and Amarja shared on her
blog about one of those days:

Just as quickly as I became
discouraged and began questioning why God decided to send me to a country where
I don’t speak the language, He reminded me EXACTLY why He’s brought me here.

Every Friday at the Daughters [of
Cambodia] day center where I work, they hold a worship service that the clients
attend. I usually don’t work Fridays but
today’s service was a Christmas celebration with singing, skits, bells and Ruth
(the founder of Daughters) sharing the story of Jesus’ birth. I was extremely blessed to see how much joy
the clients were filled with when as they listened and partook in worship of
our Lord.

As Ruth so beautifully shared,
Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords did not live an extravagant life. He was born in a manger, His family did not
posses earthly status or wealth nor was He accepted by most of society. As I sat and listened, I was looking directly
at the faces of those who have similarly come from “nothing” and have
experienced being shunned and outcast from society.

These are the people that Christ
came for. Today I witnessed a miracle.
Today I truly understood what it means to have the “Christmas

This Christmas is Elise’s first away from her family and
outside the U.S. Here were some of her
reflections of this season:

I’ve been thinking a lot about how
so much of the Christmas spirit I feel back in the States is because of
consumerism and how Christmas is all about presents…and that’s basically how
Christmas is portrayed in American culture.  Even if we believe in Jesus and know that his
birth is the true reason we celebrate, we still get stressed out and consumed
with Christmas being about good food and presents.  And because there isn’t that same Christmas
mentality here, the consumerism and stress, I’ve been asking, “where is
the Christmas spirit?”

Well I finally am starting to feel
the Christmas spirit here in Cambodia, and I’m so glad.  It’s not just because of the decorations on
every storefront, or the occasional American Christmas song playing in the
grocery store either…

Find out how Elise got in touch with the true spirit of
Christmas and how Amarja’s day ended.


O Come, O Come,
| Cara Parker

In less than two weeks, our Real Life teams are launching
their trips and we’re sending one of them to Nicaragua. Cara Parker, of the October 2010 World Race,
during Advent has been dwelling on the Christmas carol, “O Come, O Come
. She set photos of Guatemala and Nicaragua to
Sufjan Stevens’ cover of the song. Watch
and listen: