15 Minutes to Flee

Imagine sitting at home on a relaxing December evening before the warmth of your fireplace. It’s cold outside. You’re watching your favorite Christmas special. Your children are playing on the floor in the light of your Christmas tree. In the chaos of your life and the Christmas season, everything seems calm and right in the world, even if it’s just for that evening.

Suddenly the peace and quiet get interrupted with a phone call. It’s a warning that there is an army approaching your community and you have 15 minutes to flee. It’s a high likelihood that if you’re there when the army arrives, you and your sons will be tortured and killed, and your wife and daughters will be raped. What do you take with you? What gets left behind? 

While it’s hard for us to imagine a scenario this tragic and disturbing, this is the reality of many Syrian and Iraqi refugees who were forced to leave their war-torn countries finding refuge in Jordan from both Isis and other fighting armies.

The week after Thanksgiving I had the opportunity to visit Jordan and specifically the region bordering the Syrian and Iraqi borders, where refugee camps are sprinkled throughout the desert side. As we were invited into the makeshift homes; tents with siding and roofs constructed of plastic tarps and sheets, we heard story after story like the one above. While these people once lived very comfortably, the only thing that they now possess is what they were able to gather and carry from their home in that 15-minute window.

We cannot change the circumstances of their past, but we can offer the hope and healing of Jesus for their future. We can provide blankets and heaters for their cold winter, food and other humanitarian aid in their hunger, and informal education for their children. And in sharing the love of Jesus in practical ways, thousands of these refugees are turning to Jesus and becoming followers of Him.

This is God’s redemptive story that we have been invited to be a part of in Jordan, Syria and Iraq. We have that same invitation in other nations of the world as well, and while not every country and need look the same, sharing the love of Jesus in practical ways is always the answer.

Below are our partners and a brief picture of how we have been able to REACH these nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your generosity and your prayers which accelerate the vision God has given us. Please pray about going on one of our short-term mission trips and being the hands and feet of Jesus in the field.

REACH Cuba – Go and Tell Ministries
Go and Tell Ministries is focused on reaching the people of Cuba through outreach, evangelism, discipleship, and humanitarian aid. The Point has an historic partnership with Go and Tell to build a ministry center in the community of Los Pinos, a suburb of Havana.  
Over the past few years we have sent seven teams to assist in church and outreach ministry as they prepare to break ground on the ministry center in the near future.

REACH Guatemala – Hope of Life 
Hope of Life’s vision is to rescue the future generations of Guatemala and the world through the power of a practical gospel. Working with Hope of Life, The Point has completed the village transformation of Curva del Pino and has adopted the village of Timiluya, located in the mountains of Guatemala. Most people in Timiluya live in extreme poverty and make their living through agriculture. In 2018 we have completed much needed repairs on the school in this new village.

REACH Liberia – Petals of Hope 
Petals of Hope supports impoverished girls, families, and communities for Christ by creating opportunities for holistic education and establishing safe houses for victims of gender-based violence and trafficking. The Point partners with Petals of Hope through supporting and helping with the expansion of the girl’s academy. 

REACH Mexico – Seedtime and Harvest 
Seedtime and Harvest is based on evangelizing the “lower end” of society – those who live as outcasts due to their addictions, cartel work, or abandonment by absent parents. These people are won through rehab centers, soccer programs, education programs, and social assistance. The Point partners with Seedtime and Harvest to support pastors, ministry leaders, and church planters. 

In 2018 a team was able to take an exploration trip that helped with church expansion and we will be sending two teams in 2019. 

REACH Nicaragua – Feed My Lambs
Feed My Lambs seeks to meet the physical and spiritual needs of children in Nicaragua. They believe that the only way to break the cycle of poverty and bring change to the sense of hopelessness that exists amongst the poor is to start with the children and bring them into a relationship with Jesus—the one true hope for the world. The Point partners with Feed My Lambs to support children’s outreach and feeding programs. In 2018 a team was able to take an exploration trip and support children’s feeding and outreach. Our students at The Point will be focused on reaching this country and we will be sending a team of student in 2019.

REACH Philippines – Aeta Bible Study Center
ABSC is focused on reaching the Aeta people who are the outcast of Filipino society. Most Aeta’s are denied education and medical care. The ministry’s vision is to teach the future generations of the Aeta people through the power of the practical gospel. The Point partners with ABSC to support pastors and plant churches in remote Aeta Villages. In 2018 we completed one church building and paid for feedings. In 2019 our teams will complete two more church buildings. 

REACH Togo – African Kids Evangelism Ministries 
AKEM is focused on reaching the next generation of Togolese children with the transforming power of the gospel. The founding church is located outside of the capital city, Lome, and has established a school with over 1,000 children. They are also reaching out in northern Togo through church planting. The Point partners with AKEM through medical clinics and support for church planting. In 2018 an exploratory medical team visited Togo and in 2019 we will send a full medical team.

As we continue to pursue our vision of reaching 50 nations in our first 50 years as a church, we have chosen to partner with two US-based mission organizations: Advancing Native Missions and World Help. These amazing organizations help us in building all our international partnerships and in planning all of our trips. 

To see upcoming trip dates and information, or to apply for a trip, visit: thepointva.com/reachcountries