The Lord gave fruitful ministry in a remote village where J.S. and his family have been ministering for several years. J.S. is a graduate of STN and presently teaching in several areas of India. Our hearts are touched by the sacrifices of His people.
Archives for December 2017
Making a Difference a Little at a Time
One of the biggest life lessons that I’ve learned from my ten years of participation with Shepherding the Nations is how one person can make a difference. God has been faithful over the years to take the little that I have to offer and make it count for eternity. I am so thankful for those of you who have been faithfully giving – it has really made a difference! God has used the resources you have given to further His kingdom. Many have been trained, many have heard the gospel and many have been saved. I can’t personally go to India every year (though I would love to!) but here are some things I can do:
I don’t know about you, but I love the convenience of shopping at Amazon for all kinds of stuff. When I use smile.amazon.com, a small percentage of everything I buy goes to STN. It doesn’t cost me anything additional, and every little bit helps. If you haven’t signed up for this yet, it’s so easy. Just go to https://smile.amazon.com, sign into your account and then select Shepherding the Nations as your charity. Then, everytime you shop, go to smile.amazon.com and a donation will automatically go to STN. (More about the program here.)
Sponsorship of Materials
Part of our family Christmas giving this year was to give donations for STN books and Bibles in honor of our family members. It was such a blessing to give a gift that was meaningful, sacrificial, and would bear fruit that would last for eternity! When we accept a pastor or church planter into our training program, they will receive a set of learning curriculum including 10 books in the BTCP series. (Biblical Training Centre for Pastors) They also receive a study Bible, and a concordance. These materials are available in the local languages of the pastors that we train in Latin America and India. The cost of one set of materials is about $100. These materials are so appreciated, used and treasured by our trainees!
Would you consider making a year-end gift to STN to sponsor materials for one of the pastors that will be trained in 2018? You can sign up online.
The Privilege of Sharing
Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. (2 Corinthians 8:1–5 – NLT)
As I read that passage in 2 Corinthians 8, I am amazed by two things:
- the sacrificial giving of the churches in Macedonia;
- the sacrificial giving by all of you.
God has been using your generosity to enable STN to train more pastors and church planters. Existing church leaders and churches are being strengthened to impact their own villages more effectively, and church planters are going out to new villages with the good news of Jesus. Right now, we are training over 500 people with the BTCP materials (322 men in India and Nepal plus 180 people in Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala and Southern Mexico). I just received a report yesterday that there are 125+ more men in India & Nepal who are waiting to be trained. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We are getting requests from other countries in Central & South America and now some requests from countries in Africa.
Year End Giving
As we approach the end of 2017, I know a lot of people are thinking about end-of-the-year giving. If you aren’t familiar, at the STN International office we are all volunteers; none of us are paid. We LOVE serving through STN and we are thrilled with the privilege of participating in what God is doing, but we don’t have paid people heading up fund-raising efforts. And to be quite honest, it’s not something that we currently are very good at doing. That is why we pray. Would you join me in praying for God to abundantly provide for this ministry? Here are some specific needs we are praying for God to provide:
- Training materials. What does it cost to train one new person? At current prices, we spend about $100 for the materials that each person needs (10 BTCP books, a study Bible, and a concordance). That means each time we add a new student we need to raise an additional $100. Please pray for at least 125 people to give $100 each so we can provide training materials for the men we want to start training in 2018? Or pray for one person to give $12,500 to cover all of them.
- International Director. Ryder Kumar has been in India now for a little over 2 years. He is the catalyst & overseer of the ministry in India and Nepal. He is currently about $1500 per month short of being fully supported. Please pray for 15 donors to give $100 per month to bring Ryder up to full support.
- Latin America Trainers. We currently have six men who serve as STN Trainers in Latin America. They are teaching the BTCP materials to over 180 students. Most of these students will finish their training by the end of 2018 and then we hope to start training new people. STN supports each of these trainers at $375 per month and we currently have $25 per month coming in for one of them. We are able to pay them because of a large gift we received to start the ministry in Latin America. For the training to continue past 2018, please pray for new donors to sponsor these men. To cover the additional $2225 per month we would need 22 donors to give $100 per month.
- Church Planters. At this time, we have over 100 graduates of our STN training, most of whom are actively involved in pastoring an existing church, planting new churches, and/or training more pastors and church planters. In the next 18 months that number will grow to over 600. For these men to go to unreached areas and plant churches they need financial support. Currently we are supporting 33 of these dedicated men. Please pray for the Lord to raise up an army of donors willing to give $100 per month to support more of these church planters.
Options for end-of-year giving? Here are a few suggestions:
- Cash donations. This can be done by check through the mail (postmarked no later than 12/31/17) or online at the STN website.
- Stock donations.
- House or property donation.
- Contact a Foundation on behalf of STN. Ask them to make a one-time donation to support this ministry.
Thank you for supporting STN so faithfully with your prayers and gifts. Jesus is building His church all over the world and you are a vital part of it. May God bless you richly as you give yourself to making disciples of all the nations. Until the whole world hears!