“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst…for they shall be filled”
“Look at all those people camped out on the lawn in front of the bus station,” I exclaimed as we drove through the small city of Boa Vista in northwest Brazil.
“Those are all Venezuelans who have fled their home country,” said Daniel, one of our Venezuelan pilots. “They left with nothing and with no money to travel. They can’t get further than the bus station.”
Daniel asking the people to form a line to prepare for the distribution of the food and other essential items
Daniel preparing the carts he bought
at the store
Boxes of food and other essentials
I determined right then that when we had a chance to come back, we would buy food for those needy people. Then last week, I sent two of our Bolivian engineers to Venezuela from Guyana in order to configure our TV station there. Daniel accompanied both of them on their travels through Boa Vista to the border of Venezuela. I took advantage of sending some money with him and asked him to buy food and take it to the people. It wasn’t much, just a few hundred dollars, but it was what I had on me at the time. When the people saw him handing out food many of them cried.
People waiting anxiously for the food distribution
A woman receiving a bag prepared by Daniel & his team
I don’t think the stream of refugees will slow down any time in the near future. It is up to us to do what we can while the doors are open and while we have the resources with which to work.
Most of them have nothing to live on in a foreign country
People gather around Daniel’s car to get bags of food
Daniel doing the distribution of food
Thousands flee their country to get some food
I am going to start working on the acquisition of a van or trailer from where people can be served hot meals. Someday when we are hungry, God will provide for us in the same way we treat others today. It brings great joy to our hearts when we sacrifice to help others. May God bless and use you to help those around you who are hurting.
From high over the Caribbean, carrying missionary supplies to our missionaries on the Frontlines, this is…
Frontlines Mission News
A New Japanese Baby is Born
Mt. Akagi entrance at Bethanie House (One of the 5 homes)
Japan Family Media (JFM) is one of the newest media babies to be born as a result of the goals of Gospel Ministries International to reach the world with the good news of salvation and God’s love. Japan is one of the last frontiers for the gospel. It has a population of 126,590,000, but only 2% is Christian.
As one of the most secular nations of the world, the average Japanese feels no need of a personal God. With a materialistic value placed on technology and all the social media of today, it is not surprising to see almost everyone involved in the information saturated medium of the Internet.
Gospel Ministries is a perfect fit for addressing the very real vacuum of spiritual and family values in the Television and Internet markets of Japan. We plan programming that focuses on the natural calming beauty of nature combined with inspiring music, family and lifestyle values, and the message of a soon coming Savior. Jesus loves His children in Japan and will delay His coming until they also had the opportunity to know Him. Therefore, we are moving forward to reach the people of this beautiful land.
A view of kantoplane from the mountains of Akagi
A perfect site for developing a media centered ministry is Mt. Akagi, a beautiful mountainside campus located in the heart of Japan. Mt. Akagi overlooks the Kanto plains reaching some 60 miles to Tokyo whose skyscrapers can be seen from the campus on a clear day. The snow caped peak of Mt. Fuji can sometimes be seen as one looks out over the vast plains where with Tokyo and other cities some 40 million people make their homes.
(From Left to Right) Becky & David Gates, Rumiko & Don Johnson, Frank Fournier.
Following a very well received supporting ministries convention last July, David Gates, Frank Fournier, Don & Rumiko Johnson, along with another interested family visited Mt. Akagi. It seemed evident to all that God has preserved this spot for just such a time as this. There are five homes, a bakery, a chapel/auditorium, and a warehouse/shop – plenty of room for the initial needs of a strong team. The bakery has been in operation for many years, and supplies basic support for the current level of workers.
Jerico (one of the 5 houses) recently was remodeled with rooms for a lifestyle retreat.
Two of the homes are in immediate need of major repairs to prevent significant loss. The first stage involves repair and re-shingling of the roof, remodeling the kitchen, and converting one of the larger rooms into a video studio. We are praying for funds to at least get started on this right away as two families have to live together in one home because of the dangerous condition of the roof. As you may be aware, Japan is one of the most expensive places to live, so costs are high but we hope to do as much as possible with volunteers.
… and After significant repair in progress
A corporation named: Japan Family Media with the board of directors has been incorporated in Japan. The long term lease of the property has been officially signed. A young couple with training from Wildwood and experience in media have been there since September of last year. A second family from Japan and fluent in Japanese, English, Spanish, and Portuguese with experience and a strong burden for media production have moved on campus as of the 1’st of January. Another American couple, a single girl from
the States, and 3 more Japanese are working hard to keep the bakery working while at the same time planning and working toward the development of a ministry to reach Japan through media.
Already many hours of programming in Japanese have been produced, translated, or subtitled. We need more helpers for this editorial type work which can be done anywhere by someone who knows Japanese and English. At present there are 5 volunteers translating the It Is Written Bible Study series, subtitling sermon sets, and editing Japanese programs. We have technicians working on our Web page, video streaming domain, and social media outlets. As you can tell, there is a lot of technical work taking place and a lot more that still needs to be done, but we are pressing forward as fast as we can.
Kenji and his family joined the project last December and he will focus on media work. He’s been working on the repairs of one of the houses
You can help!!! If you know Japanese and can use a computer for translating, or see yourself fitting into one of the categories mentioned above, or the Lord impresses you to help financially we need you. Above all we need your prayers. This is truly a work of EXTREME FAITH!
“From Japan …. comes the cry of sin-stricken hearts for a knowledge of the God of love. Millions upon millions have never so much as heard of God or of His love revealed in Christ. It is their right to receive this knowledge. …. Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Ed.262
English – Japanese Translators
English – Japanese Subtitles
English – Japanese Editorial Writers
Building Remodel & Repairs
Cameras, Lighting, Audio and Video Equipment
Don & Rumiko Johnson
with Japan Union Conference
President Pastor Shimada
“And we know that to those who love God, all things work together for good, that is, to those who according to their purpose are called” Romans 8:28
Locals next to the Zulads missionaries deployed with the helicopter in Kiblawan
south of Mindanao, Philippines
…And come; follow me.
I’ve been a Missionary Pilot in the Philippines for 9 months now and I decided to publish my testimony to glorify our good God. May this be an inspiration to those who are about to go into the mission field, to put everything on the altar and depend fully on God.
I am Panamanian. I was raised in a Christian home and baptized at the age of 8. Since I was little I liked airports and airplanes. When I left high school I went to the city and enrolled in the helicopter pilot course. I had to work and study at the same time. When I moved to the city, I stopped attending church and little by little I drifted away from everything related to God. My efforts were focused on working and making money. I managed to finish the private and commercial helicopter pilot courses and then I obtained an instructor’s license. After five years, the company I was working for sent me to become an agricultural pilot (aerial fumigation). My work environment changed and the city life of temptations, pleasures and vanity was replaced by a calmer environment. Being at my new place of work, I had more free time and I decided to go to church some Saturday’s, but I didn’t feel worthy to be there because of the remorse of having distanced myself from God. Despite that, I was able to meet people who helped me feel welcome, so I continued to attend when I didn’t have to work on Saturdays.
Back to the First Love!
“However, I have against you that you have left your first love. Remember, therefore, where you have fallen from. Repent! And do the first works. Otherwise, I will come to you soon and remove your candlestick from its place, if you do not repent.” Revelation 2: 4, 5
In January 2016 I accepted to return to the faith in which I was instructed since childhood. I decided not to work on Saturday, even if it cost me my well-paid salary. In those moments before and after my re-baptism I was watching sermons by Pastor David Gates which inspired me to make a total dedication to the service of God. Seeing those videos led me to find by chance a video of the PAMAS aviation project in the Philippines. Going as a missionary to fly for free, without any remuneration was something I thought a lot about, but at the same time I felt that I needed to experience what it really was to depend on God. After a long mental struggle, God spoke to me through the parable of the rich young man, recorded in Matthew 19:16-30, and like the rich young man, I wanted to be saved. Jesus’ instruction was clear: “Jesus said to him: If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” For me, that meant I had to sell what I could sell, quit my job and travel to the Philippines to work without pay, without social security, etc. It was something that I was willing to do, but I was not really certain. One Friday afternoon I decided to test God. I said in prayer, if by next Wednesday I could rent or sell my apartment in the city that would be a sign confirming that this was His will. I would then give up my job and prepare myself to travel to the Philippines.
I had already advertised renting it, but without any results. Then on Monday, I received a call from some people wanting to see the apartment. That same day they agreed to rent it for three months. I thanked God for answering my prayer in just three days. Now it was my part, I resigned and prepared everything to travel to the Philippines. After that confirmation from God, I felt safe, confident, and certain I was not committing madness like some friends and even brothers in the church told me. I spoke with my family, who supported me immediately, my boss sadly accepted my resignation, and I was happy for the noble and humanitarian character of the work I was going to do.
Preparing for the trip wasn’t easy. Training the pilot who would replace me, buying airline tickets, selling everything I could, and sending what I couldn’t sell to my parents’ house. It was an exhausting job. March 12 was the day of my departure and seeing my strong mother cry to say goodbye broke my heart. Despite the pain of having to leave my family, I still clung to the promise “And anyone who leaves houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or woman, or children, or lands, for my name, will receive a hundred so many times, and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29.
It was a long trip, many hours and three stops. I was literally traveling to the other side of the world, to an unknown country. I was very nervous, and I prayed that everything would go well. I thank God that I arrived safe in Manila on March 14, 2017. I joined a group of missionaries from the USA who invited me to help conduct an evangelistic campaign and medical attention in a small town north of Manila. After two weeks, it was time to join PAMAS.
Going to the hospital from Kabulnukan (remote community on Palawan Island.)
I had to change my Panamanian pilot license into a Filipino pilot’s license. It was a long process, which involved filling out many forms, doing exams, etc. But thank God the whole process was fluid and there were no major setbacks. After having the Philippine license I traveled with Dwayne to the island of Palawan where the first air base of PAMAS is located. I would replace Daniel (a helicopter pilot) while he was traveling to the USA to obtain an excavator that had been donated. I was in Palawan for about two months and during that time I flew the helicopter for very sick patients needing to get to an emergency hospital. I also transferred missionaries to their mission field in the mountains, other times I was loaded with food and equipment to deliver to them. The time passed quickly and a few days after Daniel returned from the USA. We flew together with the helicopter to the Island of Mindanao approximately six hours away, with a stop on the island of Lloilo to refuel. God certainly protected us on that trip, since most of the time we flew over the sea.
This gentleman was stabbed in the neck and on the head
I visited the man who was stabbed and by the grace of God
In Mindanao, I transported the SULADS missionaries to their workplaces through the different fields in central and southern Mindanao. Daniel and I divided the flights and everything went well until we arrived at a town called Lake Cebu where we had trouble just minutes before landing. The helicopter’s engine started to fail. We were almost over our destination and Daniel, who was flying the helicopter at the time, was prepared for the emergency. I didn’t have the controls and I felt powerless. I knew something wasn’t right and I wanted to do something, so I prayed. I begged God for His protection. In my years of experience as a pilot, I had some problems in flight, but this time, I was not at the controls and I was scared.
Daniel focused on landing as soon as possible, which meant that the approach was steep. The landing was hard with some forward movement. This was actually perfect to dampen the energy of the fall. Everything happened in slow motion, but it was an emergency handled very well by Daniel. I don’t think it could have been better; angels were protecting us. We were alive, the helicopter was in one piece with two cylinders destroyed. God protected us from something much worse and we were grateful for His protection. We had to leave the helicopter and travel by land to our next destination.
Preparing the mixture to pour the floor at the future PAMAS air base in Mindanao, Philippines
I returned to Mindanao with Dwayne, Ray and Phoebe and we went to Lake Cebu looking for the helicopter to take it to MVC (Mountain View College). After the helicopter was in a safe place, I started working with Ray at the Mindanao Air Base. There we worked on constructing the cement floor for a hangar. That was new for me and not very easy because it was a labor intensive job, nothing like flying a helicopter. It’s a job that demands physical effort which is good for the body and next to a vegetarian diet, the benefits multiply.
Carlos mowing the lawn of the orchard in Banuar, north of Luzon, Philippines
Carlos helping to wash the plane at the base of PAMAS in Banuar, North of Luzon, Philipinas
Even though I was not flying, I knew that God’s will was being fulfilled and I was learning new skills. Two and a half months passed and once the floor of the hangar was finished, we had to go to Banuar, a town in the province of Quirino on the island of Luzon.
PAMAS has its second base in Banuar. The hangar is already built and it was just waiting for a plane and a helicopter to start the missionary aviation work there. I spent the last 4 and a half months in Banuar before returning to Panama. God provided an airplane in October which would be flown by Ray. We are still praying fervently for God to provide the necessary funds for the helicopter, which I would pilot.
Bible school with the children of the Hillside community in Mindanao
Living by Faith
People ask how I survived nine months without receiving a salary by giving up a good paying job in my country. How did I pay for the commitments I left in my country? The answer to that question is summarized by what our Lord Jesus said: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”Matthew 6:33. Before I traveled to the Philippines God was already working on how He would meet my needs. During these nine months I have received the money for renewal visas, transportation, food, etc. Every month through friends and even through people I don’t know, God supplied. Since September my apartment hasn’t been rented, and I’ve used up all the savings I had to pay the mortgage. It’s been two months since my accounts have been at zero. I trust that since God has helped me so far, He will also help me in the future according to His will. Thanks to all my family and friends who have been supporting me with their prayers and resources, God bless you!
I have decided to dedicate my life to the complete service of the Lord, to give everything to Him. The return of Jesus is imminent and we have to concentrate on finishing what was entrusted to us. If it is God’s will, He will provide the resources for me to return to the Philippines. God is faithful. I encourage you to test God and see that He keeps His promises according to His will. God bless you!