All Church Renewal Conference
Up next: June 5, 2021 – Dana & Brandi Bates from Romania
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- Inspiring speakers from our “2019 Church Renewal Conference”: mission partners from Lifewater, Ukraine, Romania, Honduras, southern Asia, and now also from Turkey.
- Challenging presentations about serving in God’s name. Find out how you can serve and reach out alongside our local or global partners!
- Understanding how the mindset of “Whatever you do…” will help you thrive spiritually.
- March 6, 2021 – Sean Martin from Lifewater
- April 3, 2021 – Ramazan Arkan from the Antalya Evangelical Church in Turkey
- May 1, 2021 – Nita Hanson from God’s Hidden Treasures in Ukraine
- June 5, 2021 – Dana and Brandi Bates from New Horizon in Romania
- July 3, 2021 – Orlando and Silvia Japas from Union Biblica in Honduras
- August 7, 2021 – J & N DV. working in South East Asia
Testimonials from the 2019 Renewal Conference:
“It was amazing knowing and seeing missionaries from all over the world and be able to hear their stories of how they are inspired and touched by God! No lengthy training, just ordinary people saying yes and allowing God to use them right where they are!”
“One doesn’t have to travel thousands of miles to share the gospel. It can be shared right next door or within our own families. The opportunities are endless if we just avail ourselves.”
Sean Martin from Lifewater
On March 6 we had a zoom call with Sean Martin from Lifewater International. About 20 people from Orchard and various churches participated. Sean discussed community development principles which include the foundational belief that every community has God-given assets. We then come alongside to help them develop those assets with meaningful participation. He both encouraged and challenged us.
Ramazan Arkan from the Antalya Evangelical Church in Turkey
On April 3 we had a zoom call with Ramazan Arkan in Antalya, Turkey who pastors the Antalya Evangelical Churches. About 40 people participated: 15 from Orchard and 25 from various churches, primarily Community Presbyterian. Ramazan discussed the negative stereotypes the Turkish people have of Christians and the difficulty changing those perceptions in order to share the gospel. The social and economic persecution of Christians also hinders evangelism. Commitment to Jesus comes at the cost of being rejected by family, friends, and employers. With limited staff and committed volunteers, Ramazan is intentionally training leaders and reaching out to the community. He asked us to pray for the church’s effectiveness in evangelizing and for the welfare of his people who have been devastated economically from the pandemic. The Global Missions Committee is considering how the Lord would have us partner with him.
Nita Hanson from God’s Hidden Treasures
Nita Hanson of God’s Hidden Treasures (GHT) in Ukraine led the May 1st, 2021 Virtual Renewal Conference session. Nita started by reminding us that “With God, all is possible, but we need to give God permission to use us (Matt 19:26, Is 6:8).” Tonya then shared a beautiful song she’d written with lyrics about God healing like a river and filling us like a waterfall. Nita and part of her team (Valery, Tonya, and Luba) shared that people are meeting Christ because HGT goes into isolated people’s homes to bring relief and a spiritual presence. HGT seeks out people medically isolated by mobility issues, bringing them mobility aids, training, food packets, medical help, and prayer, and then follows up with continued visits and help. Miracles happen as “dead” tissue regains circulation and amputations are avoided. GHT also collects and distributes gleanings from local farmers (fresh produce), feeding 80 people. Once depressed by isolation and hopelessness, many people meet Christ as a result of seeing His love in the GHT volunteers.
Major events include the annual picnic and camp, where hundreds of handicapped are transported to a park and given a hot meal (prepared off-site). The picnic and camp include not just the handicapped, but their families as well. Valery, Tonya, and Luba are planning the picnic. Tonya will be the worship leader, while Luba has tea time and Bible study. Vadim, their driver, is the main source of transportation, but they also have to hire outside vans. Pray for the planning of these events as GHT will be lacking the American volunteers that often help.
If you want to help pray for and support Nita and our other global mission partners, contact Rich Smith (email@example.com)
Sean Martin, MDiv, CFRE is Lifewater’s Regional Director of Donor Relations for the western USA. Lifewater is a Christian clean water nonprofit. For 44 years they have been bringing clean water, improved health, and gospel hope to rural villages and they are currently serving Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. Sean previously served as the lead pastor of a Presbyterian church on California’s Central Coast. It was during these years that he became aware of the scale of the water crisis and an advocate for Lifewater’s mission. Sean spent two decades in church ministry before beginning work with Lifewater in 2017. Today, Sean lives in the mountains of Idaho with his wife, Hollyn, and their three kids. He enjoys mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and playing the guitar.
A former Muslim, Ramazan is now pastor of Antalya Evangelical Churches in Turkey. After growing up as a devout Muslim, he became disillusioned and turned to atheism and communism. Ramazan accepted a Christian co-worker and friend’s invitation to church, hoping to marry and be able to leave Turkey. God had other ideas and later spoke to Ramazan in the midst of compulsory military service, calling him first to Bible School and then ministry with Antalya Evangelical Churches. Find out more about this remarkable man, how God has used him, and how God can use you.
Nita Hanson – In 1996 Nita Hanson left her job as Marketing Manager for a computer software firm and answered God’s call to serve in Ukraine. She subsequently founded and is president of God’s Hidden Treasures (GHT), ministering to forgotten and ignored people with disabilities. She has a daughter and 5 grandchildren. She is accompanied by three GHT staff:
Antonina (Tonya) Ivanova has worked for God’s Hidden Treasures for 6 years. She does weekly home visits to shut-ins and people with disabilities. She leads a prayer and healing ministry. Tonya is a worship leader at her church, writing her own Christian worship songs, and has recorded a worship album named “Daddy.” She and her husband also do outreach evangelism to local villages.
Pastor Scott Yount has been serving with God’s Hidden Treasures in Ukraine for five years. He leads summer camps for youth with special needs, visits local orphanages, and is heavily involved with youth ministry. He preaches at the Church of Hope, a congregation founded by God’s Hidden Treasures worshiping at the Cerebral Palsy Center in Bila Tserkva. Scott married a Ukrainian, Lena Yount in 2017. He is a California native, a graduate from Azusa Pacific University and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Kostya Kysilenko has been a full-time minister of Bila Tserkva Church of Christ since 2002. He has a degree in business administration and is currently getting a graduate degree in theology at Bear Valley Bible Institute. Kostya and his congregation have been involved in various programs and activities of God’s Hidden Treasures for more than 10 years. He is married and has a 14-year-old son.
Dana graduated in philosophy from Gordon College, and in 2005 earned an M-Div from Gordon Conwell Seminary. He recently completed his Ph.D. in the United Kingdom. Dana and his wife, Brandi, founded the first adventure education camp in Romania – VIATA. In 2000, he joined the staff of Young Life and also founded the New Horizons Foundation, launching an experimental educational model for young people. Most recently Dana has been working to diversify local ecotourism to replace the former coal-mining economy through mountain biking. Their newly developed mountain bike course has been chosen for the MTB National Championship in 2019.
Brandi was raised in Santa Ynez, CA, and attended Gordon College (Wenham, MA). With interests in education, sociology, and psychology, she majored in literature. She has been reading aloud to children, lots of children, for 13 years. She currently leads a private children’s library for Jiu Valley families, and one of the country’s leading early literacy movements: Reading Together Romania/ Citim Împreună România.
Dana and Brandi have two wonderful kids, Gabriel and Briana.
Orlando and Silvia Japás, Argentinian missionaries to Honduras for 28 years (since 1992). Orlando is the Scripture Union, Honduras, Executive Director while his wife Silvia is the Scripture Union Honduras, National Child, and Youth Development Coordinator. As coordinator, Silvia is involved with many programs focused on youth and family development and the prevention of child abuse. Scripture Union, Honduras, reaches 19 cities, teaching Biblical truths and hope to over 32,000 children per year.
J & N. DV.
J and N were called by God overseas from Orchard Community Church over 25 years ago. They are disciples in South East Asia working through a business they founded, planting churches, teaching adult literacy, and supporting home groups.