Dead Ends – St. Kitts Day 4

Today was one of our most favorite days yet as a team. This morning Will had the amazing honor of playing worship on the radio while the rest of the team had the privilege of walking the streets in the local community inviting individuals to come to Celebrate Recovery. Before we started our walk, we gave our day to the Lord in prayer. Along the way, we asked for God’s guidance and asked that He would direct our path.

There are many cool stories that came as a result of our walk but below are a few highlights:

  • At one point in our journey after praying for God’s guidance we were led down a dead end street. While this might sound like a negative, God turned it into a positive and we met two men who made our day. The first man we met was not able to speak English very well but asked for extra fliers and left the job that he was doing to excitedly and hurriedly rush off to share with his friends. The second man was a bit skeptical but he asked the most honest questions and it was refreshing to get to hear his opinions. He suggested that we advertise on the radio and Wes proudly proclaimed with a grin…”We just did that yesterday and Will is on right now worshiping!”
  • We stumbled across a shed with the words Small Group spray painted on it. Since Wes is the Groups and Missions Pastor at North Knox we had to stop and take his picture. We like to look at this as a sign of affirmation.

After walking the streets and inviting people to come to Celebrate Recovery we met up with some Faith Promise friends, Gina and Penny, here on the island for vacation for lunch and then headed to the market’s square for worship and more time for invitation. While there a reporter showed up and interviewed Aaron on the spot. The interview aired tonight and will air again tomorrow morning. The interview will be heard not just here in St. Kitts but in other countries in Europe as well!

This evening we went to Celebrate Recovery. Gina and Penny provided a meal which was a huge blessing and the taste was AMAZING! Will led worship and you could feel the Lord’s presence in the room. After worship, Amanda and I were blessed with the opportunity to read the 8 beatitudes. Then each individual on our team got to share their testimony and did some question and answers panel style. It was so nice to get to share and to see how receptive people were. They asked some great questions and many shared that different parts of the team’s testimonies resonated with their own stories.

Please pray for our day tomorrow as we head to the prisons to do ministry.

Prayer Walking – St. Kitts Day 3

This morning the guys on our team had the privilege of speaking on air at a local radio station. They helped to promote the Celebrate Recovery Ministry that the Comer family is doing and Will got the honor of sharing his testimony. While the guys were at the radio station, the ladies spent time in quiet reflection with God. After the guys were done at the radio station the team convened together and enjoyed lunch at the Comer’s home.In the afternoon the team went on a tour of the island and stopped at several locations along the way to pray with intent. The first stop on our tour was to a basketball court that has significant meaning for the Comer family. They visited the basketball court the first time they came to the island at the Festival of Lights. At the time it was worn down and they spent time fixing it up for the local community. It was the trip that they felt God calling them to serve full time in ministry as missionaries here in St. Kitts.

Other places we stopped to pray along the way include a visit to a local park to pray for the leadership of St. Kitts, to the juvenile detention center Aaron serves at one day a week to pray for the youth in the community, to the Amazing Grace Experience praising God for providing a building for the Celebrate Recovery Ministry that Aaron and Katelyn are leading, the Sugar Mills to pray for those battling addiction, and to the airport round about to pray for all of those who come to St. Kitts, whether as missionaries, for vacation, or school, etc. It was a blessing to spend the day in prayer growing closer to our precious Father and sharing in community. Following our prayer walk Katelyn made the team some BBQ pork and green beans and we enjoyed learning to play a new game at their home.

Our team feels so very grateful for the opportunity to be here this week and we do not take this experience lightly. It’s been so amazing to watch God’s hand at work in each person’s life and to see team members step up and step out as God continues to stretch and grow them. 

Sunday Fun-day St. Kitts Day 2

Today was such an amazing God filled day! This morning we had the honor and privilege of attending church with the Comer family. Will, one of our team members, led worship this morning and let me just say… God bumps all the way! He has such an amazing gift. His voice is so soulful and God’s presence was evident from the moment Will began singing. He also got to share a little of his testimony which resonated with many in attendance this morning.

It’s amazing to see all of the many, many ways that God works. The message this morning was from Corinthians 11 and afterwards myself and another teammate looked at each other with a grin….God brought us all the way from the United States to have the preacher preach a message that was just what we needed to hear this morning.  

After church this morning we headed back to the hotel where we were joined by the Comer family and the Pastor’s family and enjoyed a nice pizza lunch. It was nice way to relax and to spend time goofing around with the kiddos.

This evening Amanda made the BEST white chicken chili I have ever eaten and we loaded up to head to church for a chili cook-off. Amanda represented our team well. Everyone gave her a lot of compliments on her chili. It was neat to see the many ways that people made chili. We had a wide range from chili made with sweet potatoes, to chicken and chili, to super spicy chili. While eating chili, we had the privilege of sitting with different members of the church and got to know their story while also sharing our story.  There are so many warm, open people here who are on fire for God.

After the chili cook-off we spent time debriefing our day and it was so nice to hear everyone’s version of their day as they unpacked their highs from the trip. It’s amazing how four individuals can experience the same things yet all walk away touched and changed uniquely. Please pray for the guys as they head out to the radio station in the morning.

Kelsey

St. Kitts – We Have Arrived!

This morning our St. Kitts Mission Trip Team met at the airport in Knoxville at 5:00 AM. As a general rule our team members don’t love doing mornings quite so early, but we do love Jesus and we are so excited and blessed to be spending the next week as Jesus’ hands, feet, and voice here on the gorgeous island of St. Kitts, pouring into and investing in the lives of the Comer family from our North Knox Campus as they lead and grow their Celebrate Recovery Ministry.

The team arrived in St. Kitts around 3:00 PM and were promptly greeted by the super fabulous Comer family. Their kids even made a special welcome sign and drew pictures of each team member…what an amazing surprise/greeting!

Once on the island the guys headed to the juvenile detention center to share their testimonies and to spend time playing a riveting game of cricket while the women took care of logistics with the hotel and then went to the grocery store to purchase supplies for meals the team will be eating this week.

For dinner, our team convened together at the Comer’s home and shared a wonderfully delicious homemade meal (thanks to Katelyn and Amanda) of tacos. A member from our North Knox Campus flew in this week for vacation, gotta love God’s perfect timing, and was able to join the team. This member met the Comer family for the first time in person and got to hear their testimony and catch up on the incredible work God is doing through their ministry here.

It was a great day full of travel, prayer, fellowship, and fun. After dinner the team prayed together and then headed to their rooms to recharge for church in the morning. We hope that you are as excited as we are and will keep up with our journey throughout the week. Thanks for reading!

– Kelsey

TPI reaches an unreached people group!

In October, I participated in a TPI graduation in Curuguaty-Chupapou, Paraguay. It was INCREDIBLE! It is the first TPI graduation in our 15 years among the Aché people group in the interior of Paraguay. One of the graduates pictured below is named Cipriano Ayala. He gave his testimony at the first Bible Institute graduation ever among his ethnic people group. There are 113 communities of Aché people in Paraguay that have no gospel witness at all, of any kind. Let that sink in for a moment.

Cipriano has been training missions and missionaries for years about the Aché culture. During his graduation, he spoke with great excitement and emotion saying, “Now after being trained by TPI, I can go as a missionary and plant churches in these 113 communities where there are no churches.”

Usually when I attend TPI ceremonies in Central & South America, I understand what is happening. That was not the case at this graduation. I could not understand anything that was going on, because it wasn’t in Spanish; it was in Guarani and Aché. Our teachers in Paraguay were trained in Spanish and because they speak Guarani also, they are able to teach the classes in Guarani to the indigenous peoples of Paraguay. It was so humbling to witness God’s Kingdom expanding to a new people group through TPI and realize our ministry has grown beyond what I can personally understand. Glory to God that He is not limited by our limitations!

The pictures below are a testament to the plentiful harvest all across Latin America as national pastors receive sound biblical instruction that equips them to accomplish the Great Commission in their communities.

Pastor Cipriano sends his thanks to TPI and all of those who make our ministry possible. He praises God for the spiritual discipleship that can now take place in those 113 communities among the Aché people group in the interior of Paraguay. I join him in thanking you because none of this would be possible without your ongoing generous financial support. Thank you for responding as God prompts you to give! It is making a powerful difference! 

  • Submitted By: Greg Kappas with Training Pastors International (TPI), a Faith Promise missions partner

The Center for English – North Knox Small Group Serving Project

The Center for English is an independent endeavor with a two fold purpose. To teach English skills and to promote effective integration (life skills) of refugees into their prospective communities. The program has over 20 countries represented and currently over a 140 students taking ESL classes. There are 7 levels of English taught from beginner to advanced. This is the only free ESL class offered in Knoxville.

My small group had the opportunity today to serve in the classroom assisting the teachers and presenting them with 9 language books provided by Faith Promise Church! We met  men, women, and children from Haiti, Congo, Iran, Burundi, China and the Ukraine. The volunteers and students were extremely thankful for the books and actually used them in the level 5 classroom today.

This was truly an eye opening experience, as someone who has desired to go on a mission trip. I’ve realized that Jesus is bringing the mission field to us, it’s literally right in our own backyard.

So thankful to be part of a church that encourages and supports Real Love for Real people!

Tracy Bussell

P4:8 Group Leader