August Stories of Changed Lives

ServeNow exists to holistically serve people in need in a way that produces life-transformation. Every project and effort is accomplished in, with and through local churches and national leaders/staff in each country of operation. We seek to come alongside those with the passion, compassion, vision and burden to see believers strengthened in their faith and communities reached out to in practical ways that communicates the reality of God’s love in Jesus Christ and breaks down barriers. We (staff, partners, donors) are a movement of people who want to see God not merely answer “our” prayers, but use us as the means through which other’s prayers and God-given dreams become a reality! Below are some highlight stories of lives impacted during the month of August 2017.

The Basic Things You Need to Know

A member of a church in Uganda who received The Basic Things you Need to Know About Jesus booklet from ServeNow: “There’s an intimacy with Jesus that has developed in me as I read this booklet. I feel loved, cared for and known by God. I had never received this confidence in salvation before, I thank God for this transformation in my life!”

During a follow up for Basic Series program, a new believer in a partnering church in Asia shared the following: “My family is Muslim, but I came to know about Jesus when one of my neighbors shared with me about Jesus Christ during my severe sickness. I prayed and was healed and started believing in Jesus. Now I am coming to church regularly. I received the Basic Things You Need to Know About Salvation booklet a couple of months ago but couldn’t read it since I am illiterate. I requested my family to help me by reading the booklet to me. After knowing about salvation in the booklet, I accepted Christ as my Savior! When my family read the booklet to me, they too started to have positive opinions about Christianity. I hope they will also learn a lot from the God booklet I received today.”

During summer camps in Ukraine, Ukrainian New Testaments (printed and sent to Ukraine by MediaServe) were given to 145 teenagers and 96 kids received this New Testament as a gift. For some of them it was their first Christian book in their life. Being in the camp, teens can hear the Gospel and communicate with other Christians for the first time. But leaving the camp, the New Testament in their hands is the only tool that helps them learn more about God.

 

 

 

Pastor in Asia: I am very happy for being able to partner with ServeNow. The latest books we have received  for our church are the The Basic Things you Need to Know About Salvation. After reading the book many of our church youth accepted Jesus as their Savior! They shared with me that they had many questions in mind about Jesus and salvation. But after reading it cleared up their doubts and they accepted Jesus. Now they are regularly participating in the life of the church.

For example, one of the young women shared the following “I am new to church. I came with my friend and last time I received the Salvation booklet and learned that Jesus loves me and died for me. I thought I needed to pay a certain amount in church and do Puja (religious rituals) to wash my sins away, but Jesus has forgiven me freely! I prayed a simple prayer by confessing my sins and accepting Jesus forgiveness. I am thankful to Jesus. Thank you for the salvation booklet.”

Pastor in Asia: “The Basic Series materials have helped my church to grow spiritually. The believers are motivated by reading these booklets to share their faith with their neighbors and friends. Because of this we have a few new people coming to our church to know Jesus more and to worship Him. We are grateful to ServeNow for faithfully providing us these materials.”

Children’s Lighthouse Centers in Slum Communities

Asia: “My father died very early when I was a kid. My mother somehow managed to send me to school till class 10. I got married when I was 18 but soon got divorced. My husband cheated on me; he was already married before. I was really very devastated after knowing the truth. I had to return to my mother and I chose to live only for my daughter. My mother is now in a critical health condition and I don’t have any clue of what needs to be done. My daughter’s future seemed to be uncertain. But I was very relieved to get my daughter in this ServeNow Lighthouse Center school! She is learning very well. I am very thankful to the school since they not only allowed my daughter to study but have also given her books, papers and uniforms. The doctors who visit here are also very helpful and I have also received many medicine from here. My only wish is to educate my daughter and see her grow up into a better human being. I don’t want her to suffer like me. Please pray for my family so that Lord Jesus helps us to survive from all these harsh conditions.”

Nepal Slum Center: The children are always excited to be in the center where they benefit from receiving tutoring for their education, a child friendly environment, snacks and fellowship. They are improving in their studies which makes their parents/guardians happy. Some of them were counting their children, especially daughters, as a burden. However, once the parents/guardians of these children started to see the improvement in their studies and changes in their behavior, their minds are changing and they are counting them as a blessing! One of the boys, is one of the regular children in the center, he is studying in 8th grade. After attending the center, he has improved a lot in his studies. As we are working for the holistic development of these children, we encourage all the children, along with this boy, to take part in the soccer team and his team got first place! He is very thankful towards the ServeNow family for giving him encouragement, guiding him in better education and life transformation.

Anti-Trafficking/Skill Training

It is such a joy to see and know how the graduated tailoring participants are generating income for their survival. One of the participants, Mariyam shared, “I had a great desire to get the job skill training but because of the poverty, it didn’t happen until ServeNow Nepal show up in our community to provide the tailoring training. I feel fortunate while I was selected to get the training. Now I have skills and a sewing machine through which I am saving my expenses and also helping others to provide the needed counselling against human trafficking.”

 

Ukraine: This month, because of the “I CAN” initiative, we had a chance to spend time with our Ukraine bakery students from the previous year and this year. Some volunteers from Crimea set up a training session for these girls. We talked about our dreams, how to set the goals and successfully reach them; how to manage our time and funds in order to make our dreams a reality. Also volunteers from “A-21” had a session about human trafficking and how to protect yourself from being caught. The last day, the board members and Ben Foley (International President of ServeNow) were able to take part in the graduation ceremony of the third group of bakery students and pray over them!

One student, Svetlana, is 22 years old. Her parents left her in the maternity hospital. Then she was moved from one orphanage to another and then to the next one. She had a hard time being able to find a job as a cleaner. But in order to have a better job in the future she always dreamed of learning how to bake buns or bread. “Thanks to God and to ServeNow, I have this opportunity now!” she said.

Recently, the kids at a ServeNow HIV home had a fun time with a visitor from the US. Here is one testimony from that time from together: “Staying with the kids at the HIV Kids home / Lighthouse center this week has been very impactful not only for the kids but also for me. We have had so much fun playing cricket, reading Bible stories, having dance parties-the kids have even taught me some songs in their language! These children have been through so much in their lives and still have a smile on their face. One of the girls said to me, “Nobody has ever come to see me before besides you, so that’s why I am happy and I can share things with you because you’re my friend.” It has truly been a privilege to be able to show these kids the love of their true Heavenly Father. This is a quote from a 10 year old girl with HIV, who lost her parents when she was a baby and is unwanted by the rest of her family, “I have two promises from God: First promise is that I do not have to fear and the second is that He chose me.”

Medical Clinics

The people in this very village pictured below do not have a hospital in their village. Even just for simple medication they have to travel several hours, if they can even afford it. Therefore, when ServeNow recently came to serve this community via a medical clinic, it was a tremendous blessing. Most of the patients were elderly people suffering from body aches, malnutrition, cough, cold, low blood pressure and other problems. It was also fun for them to meet a “westerner” for the first time!

Marsaiah, a 75 year old man shared with us that, “When I heard of the free medical clinic, immediately I rushed to the camp and got treatment and free medicine for my cough and cold. As I was suffering from for a few days. I do not have enough money to go and get treatment in another village. I personally thank you for conducting the free medical clinic and helping many people like me.”

In another village, where 250 people were treated, the newly elected woman leader came forward to talk to us and shared, “I am very happy for conducting free medical clinic in our village. We know that only Christians have the heart to serve the people freely. Most of the villagers are suffering with body pains and digestive problems. The hospital is 20 kilometers away from our Thanda. It is difficult to travel and get treatment as most of the villagers are daily wage laborers. Today’s free medical clinic is very helpful for us. I myself got treatment and medicine.”

Pastor Benjamin, who is also a partnering pastor in our Scripture Program said, “This medical clinic is a great help to the tribal communities in these three villages where there are no doctors or medical facilities. Along with the medicines we could also make them aware of various health hazards. This camp has also opened a way for us to visit these villages and reach the Gospel of Salvation to these unreached communities. Materials like the Secret of True Life would have a great impact on the lives of these people who have never heard about Jesus.”

 Bicycles for Pastors

Pastor Moses from Uganda recently held a seminar for over 70 pastors. ServeNow had also been able to donate 24 bicycles to pastors in this district. Pastors were grateful for the means of transport as they all didn’t have any means of transport. The majority used to walk 14 miles to and from their ministries. This used to consume a lot of time as they would literally spend over 6 hours on the road. Up until now, many pastors were hindered to effectively conduct ministry due to no means of transportation. 

Among the pastors was one man who irrespective of his health condition, had been very committed to ministry, yet would struggle with transportation. In 1988, his leg got a swelling. The swelling intensified and burst leading to bleeding and wounds. He went to a district heath facility and was operated on. However, the condition resumed in 1991 and he was referred to another hospital where he was operated on. Since then, he has been operated on four times. However, he still feels pain but has great zeal for the ministry and won’t allow anything to hinder him! He appreciated the bicycle as it would help him in transportation to relieve him of the pain and therefore serve God more efficiently.

One of the most beautiful parts of this particular bicycle distribution was the fact that none of the 24 pastors who received these were connected to pastor Moses’ church network. Together with the zone leader of Moses’ network, it was decided that these bicycles would be given to other pastors in worse situations than their own. ServeNow is touching the entire body of Christ in Uganda irrespective of being part of the same denomination.   

Final Testimony

Back in January a ServeNow missions trip team gave out lots of Christmas gifts to those affected by the ongoing crisis in Eastern Ukraine. Some of those gifts included stuffed animals with audio players inside. Here is the testimony of two girls since receiving that gift:

Violetta is seven years old and her sister Lilies is six. They have been growing up without a mother because of the war. After this past Christmas holiday, the children began to come to the weekly SuperBook Club and to the Sunday school and became part of the local church. At the beginning of our meetings, the girls hardly smiled at all, but now they are very joyful. The daddy of the girls is afraid to leave girls alone even for short time (due to still being in the war zone) and always waits for them during Bible lessons or SuperBook meetings. Because of this he is present at each lesson and heard the Gospel himself. He has become so exited that he has started to bring treats to all the children! We are so grateful for your prayer, help and donations, it helps to change the destinies of children and adults.

We are so grateful for your support and prayers! Nothing we do is possible without you! You can change the world! To donate towards seeing more lives transformed click here: Transform Lives by Serving Now.

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