Prayer Needs for Mission Partners

6/12/2022: Please pray for Lonnie & Debbie Smith. The Smiths serve with EFCA Reach Global in Marseille, France and are involved in church planting and relational evangelism. Here is their latest news: "We’re so thankful to God that the four of us that live in Marseille were able to take a personal vacation to the U.S. to spend the month of May with our children and grandchildren, most of whom we hadn’t seen in three years, including two new grandsons we hadn’t met, as well as spend a week with Deb’s Mom who lives in a retirement community at age 91. This was a huge blessing and encouragement for us - however not without its challenges due to COVID! We are overflowing with thanks to the Lord for his provision - in both allowing us to go, and to return together to Marseille! A week after returning to Marseille, Deb and I, along with another young couple involved in a ministry to immigrants, were asked to represent the Merlan Church at our French denomination's Annual Conference. As about 300 gathered from all around France and beyond, we were reminded and encouraged that although we may consider ourselves "ordinary", we each have our place and our role to fill, and were strengthened in our devotion, love and commitment to Jesus Christ in response to all he has done for us. The Sunday we were at the conference, two of our young men from the Merlan Church were baptized at the shore back in Marseille. We praise the Lord for their commitment to be truly devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Our family continues to host Ingsel, a student of Tibetan/Indian origin, and this summer she will be living with us permanently while she completes her degree in hotel management. After being exposed to the Bible for years in her hometown, it has been a joy to disciple her "life-on-life". We've done several discovery Bible studies with her - please pray with us that she would grow in her confidence in Jesus Christ as she depends on him more and more in her personal life. The Merlan Church is excited to be planning the first annual retreat since 2019 that will take place June 24-26. Thank you for praying with us for this weekend together. Marseille will progressively empty out during July and August as everyone leaves on vacation. Pray we will have renewed opportunities to connect with friends and neighbors during these months when life is more relaxed. We thank you all for your prayers and for your participation in our ministry in Marseille - all to the glory of God alone."

6/5/2022: Please pray for Tim and Nancy Navratil. Tim serves as the ReachGlobal Latin America/Caribbean Division Area Leader. Tim's years of experience in corporate management at 3M provide the skills needed to be part of the senior leadership team of ReachGlobal in the region. Tim is involved with divisional goal setting and decision making, as well as coaching/supervising all the team leaders in Latin America. Tim also represents the region on the PrayGlobal team. The needs are large and Nancy's nursing experience, as well as Tim's experience and background, are highly valued. Tim has been traveling quite a bit this Spring to Latin American and Caribbean Countries. Most recently, he was in the Dominican Republic helping launch a new leadership team in Santo Domingo. Tim and Nancy will retire from regular service with ReachGlobal at the end of August and they are currently working on a move to Appleton, WI. As they head into retirement, they have a great burden that God would raise up more workers for the mission field as there are not enough people to do the work needed. Here are some other specific ways you can pray this week for the Navratils:

  • Pray God would be glorified in the midst of the hardships from the pandemic and His purposes are accomplished.
  • For the ReachGlobal staff throughout LAC as they reshape their ministry during this time of waning pandemic impact.
  • For the new ministry team in the Dominican Republic that God would continue to raise up staff for the new Santo Domingo team.
  • For their time of transition, moving to Wisconsin and becoming "post-retirement staff" with ReachGlobal.    

5/29/2022: Please pray for Francesco and Manuela Grassi are missionaries with the United World Mission and are serving at the Italian Evangelical Bible Institute in Rome. As a missional scholar for the Theological Education Initiative (a branch of the UWM), Francesco is involved in the ministry of theological education, both residentially as well as in the various decentralized schools around Italy. Together with Manuela, they also serve as mentors, providing counseling and hospitality to students living away from home. Their passion and prayer are for Italian believers to recover the importance of a sound and holistic biblical formation for the life and witness of the church in Italy. IBEI (Rome) is intentionally and concretely invested in this regard. With its focus on two critical needs of the Italian churches – the theological/spiritual/practical formation of believers and the education of the many bi-vocational church leaders around Italy – the school maintains the clear and ultimate goal of helping the whole church grow to maturity in Christ. In addition to remembering the Grassi family before the Lord, here are some specific prayer requests related to their ministry life:

  • Please pray for the Grassi children as they continue to settle into their new home and get used to the culture, new schedules, and new friends.  
  • Pray for the Library project at IBEI where Francesco is overseeing new construction and expansion.
  • Pray for the new ministry Francesco and Manuela are participating in to help lead young women out of sex trafficking in the area.  
  • Pray for the students at IBEI that Francesco and Manuela have the opportunity to teach formally in class as well as disciple through hospitality and shared ministry.  

5/22/2022: Please pray for European Leadership Forum (ELF) in Wisla, Poland. Greg and Doreen Herman will be serving as members of the Forum Volunteer Team to help facilitate the logistics of the Forum’s annual meeting-creating a warm and welcoming environment in which the participants can receive teaching and encouragement. The mission of ELF is to unite, equip, and resource evangelical leaders to renew the biblical church and evangelize Europe, with an emphasis on Eastern Europe.  As a coalition of evangelical Christian groups, it seeks to do what no single organization could do alone: provide a bridge between God’s global resources and local leaders from all over Europe.  At this annual meeting, leaders teach, train, and encourage participants as everyone seeks to identify common needs and find resources to meet them. Attendees find mentors and build friendships that allow collaboration and new partnerships. Each year, an estimated 860 events, strategies, and partnerships are organized by Forum attendees in their home countries because of the annual meeting.  

  • Please pray the Forum will have a powerful impact on the European Church and the volunteers and speakers will have many opportunities to provide support.
  • Pray for all the speakers and volunteers to travel safely and maintain health and energy to serve the attendees.
  • Most attendees are from Eastern Europe. There has been a large group from Ukraine in the past. Pray for the opportunity for them to attend and for the doors that are opening to share the gospel in this time of crisis.
  • For more information about ELF click here

5/15/2022: Please pray for Youssouf and Awa Dembele. The Dembeles are contributing to the work of the church in Mali, Africa and throughout the world through leadership in the local church, seminary, evangelical associations, and bible translation projects. Youssouf shares the following:

Praises and thanksgiving:

  • We praise and thank the Lord for his faithfulness and care. Covid19 is almost forgotten here. Despite the embargo on our country, life continues, and our ministry has experienced no hindrance. The Church is going fine by his grace. Our Monday theological studies are going on. We continue sharing the Gospel through FM Radios and the National TV station. Bible translation is mostly online because of travel constraints in the United Bible Societies. I can have face to face meetings with the translation teams in Mali and Burkina Faso. We thank God for Awaʼs health though she is not still able to work as she used to. 

Prayer requests:

  • His assistant, Pastor Etienne Diarra, is still unable to walk after surgery in October, 2018. Please pray for healing.
  • Pray for his second Assistant, Pastor Rubain Kone and his family.
  • Pray for Youssouf as he lost his younger brother in October 2021 and his elder brother in March 2022. He is comforted to know both are with the Lord, but it is still a difficult situation since he had only these two brothers. Please pray for their wives and children.
  • Please pray for the Church as some neighbors are trying hard (even with violence) to take possession of a piece of land that belongs to the Church. It may be difficult to understand how this can happen since the US is under the rule of law, but in Mali it is different. They have a document attesting the land was duly acquired, but those who have no document at all have occupied the land. Only the Lord can help his Church.
  • Continue to pray for our kids to walk with the Lord and be His witnesses.

5/8/2022: Please pray for Gerry Buchholz, who has been serving with Cru for over 30 years. She is currently the Coordinator for Ministry Partner Development with The Jesus Film Project (JFP) as well as coaching senior or transfer staff in their personal funding efforts. Gerry has recently moved to Austin, Texas to be closer to family. Gerry has shared these prayer requests:

  • "Several months ago, the Lord gave me a vision of immigrants being reached with the JESUS film in Mexico as they wait in groups to be processed. I asked the Lord to lead me to churches and ministries that are working on the border so we can supply them with the JF and our follow up films. He eventually led me to a ministry called E-3 Partners. Now our man is set up to conduct a training on how to use the wi-fi New Life Boxes. We load a SIM card with the languages and films in the languages needed and supply as many as needed to bring the gospel to the crowds (as many as 400-4,000 at any given time) and discipleship. They sit there 2 weeks or longer with nothing to do. The people are very open to the gospel. In fact, some in the cartel are coming to Christ. Open borders may be crazy, but God loves these people and wants us to love them and take the gospel. Now is our opportunity."
  • Please pray for a couple Gerri is coaching who are transferring to JF. Pray God will give them favor as they challenge others to partner with them and pray God will give Gerri wisdom and insight to be His coach in all they need.  
  • Please pray God will clearly lead Gerri in reaching immigrants for Christ in Austin by using the ESL (English as a Second Language) curriculum that goes with the JF. She has been invited to join the ESL team at a large Baptist church in the fall, but wants to be sure this is where God is leading.   

5/1/2022: Please pray for Cheque and Hope Garcia, who serve in the Santiago area of the Dominican Republic for Back2Back ministries. In addition to traveling all over the country to teach on "Trauma Competent Care", Cheque and Hope both serve throughout the week at two places that focus on teaching children the skills they need to grow. Primarily Haitian refugees, these children need to learn the same things all kids need to learn (language, math, etc.), but they also need to learn some of the basic coping skills of life since many of them will not hear it anywhere else. They recently began a series on "being the boss of your body" because these young kids may likely be victims of sexual abuse (if not already) since it is a very prevalent problem in these communities. Both ministry sites are located in some of the poorest areas of the D.R. Please pray:

  • God would continue to give them the strength (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) to minister to these children in such difficult circumstances.  
  • God would give them a growing vision for how Back2Back can create a long-term ministry in the D.R.
  • Cheque and Hope would continue to build strong relationships with the people they serve with.  
  • God would give them strength and wisdom as they raise their two boys Mateo (5) and Marco (2).  

4/24/2022: Please pray for Wayne and Barbara Brink. Wayne and Barbara serve with CRU and supervise a team of staff working on the JESUS Film Project (JFP).Wayne's team is spread out around the country - from Seattle to Orlando, Philly to L.A. - and they each represent the Jesus Film Project in their region. Their job as reps is to strategically connect believers and their finances to the critical needs the Jesus Film hasaround the world. Wayne's team spends quite a bit of time interacting with these ministry partners to make sure they feel connected and are engaged directly with what God is doing around the world. With more people alive on earth today than ever before, more people than ever are open to the things of God because of fear and uncertainty. And with more people using the internet than ever before, the means now exist to touch the lives of the vast majority of people on earth. There are many exciting opportunities happening around the world through JFP. Their current prayer requests include:

  • Praise for the 20 new staff members joining the Jesus Film Team.
  • Pray for Wayne and Barb this week in Baltimore as they get to know, train, and equip these new staff members.
  • Praise for Barb's recovery from a long and painful battle with shingles.
  • Pray for continued health and energy to work with Jesus Film staff.

4/10/2022: Please pray for Ben and Jeanne Beckner, serve with International Messengers in the city of Perpignan, France. The Beckners conduct French language camps in Europe through the ministry Français Sans Frontières (FSF - translated French Without Borders). Ben also serves as Professor of Missions and Missiology at the Geneva Bible Institute (IBG) in Geneva, Switzerland. Over the years, the Beckners have run many French camps in Russia and Ukraine, and they have developed strong relationships with believers in those countries. Their current requests are for the people and church in Ukraine:

  • Please pray for those who are ready to be evacuated from Kiev, as they decide where to go after crossing the border in Poland. Most want to stay in Poland, near the border, hoping they will be able to go home within weeks. This is very unlikely at this stage, even if there is a negotiated peace (also unlikely in the short term). Poland and Germany are saturated, while France, Spain, and Portugal are almost begging for refugees!
  • Please pray for the drivers who are offering their bus and time free of charge, and will also be ferrying medicines, chlorine, and food to the Filadelfia minibuses to be taken to Kiev. They hope to make the trip this weekend.
  • Please pray for the Filadelfia Church pastor, Valera, who is headquartered in a town in Western Ukraine, where he is coordinating all the humanitarian work of his church, in partnership with many other churches in Kiev. Vlad, a deacon, and Valérey are a team that are crucial to the survival of the perhaps 2 million Ukrainians who have chosen or who are unable to leave Kiev.
  • Please pray for the a new project we are sponsoring, which is to send, in the next week or so, a Swiss missionary couple (Gilles and Myriam B.), former missionaries to Africa, to a Ukrainian town on the Slovakian border, to deliver a well-used (but in good shape) 7-seater Kia (a gift from a French family), where Vlad R., our liaison to Kiev and to the Philadelphia Church and its multiple ministries, will be waiting. The owner, who is gifting the vehicle, is currently doing a big maintenance on it and preparing to load it with specific medical items for a hospital in Kiev, a water filtering system, and other needed items. Please pray for Vlad as he is very busy rescuing handicapped children in the Kiev area, providing food and shelter for the elderly and vulnerable, and managing their fleet of buses, minibuses, and trucks which are making the arduous round trips to the Polish border. Gilles and Myriam will be investigating further ministry opportunities while there.
  • Please pray for Vlad’s wife Natalia and their two youngest children (of 5), Sofia and Lyubov. Natalia and Lyubov are in a village in central France but will be moving here to Perpignan in the next 2 weeks, in the hopes of getting a job as a teacher of French as a foreign language at the local University. We are looking for an apartment for them in the center of town near the University. Sofia, 18 years old, has begun her study of French at a French language school for foreign missionaries in Albertville in Eastern France, while at the same time continuing her Ukrainian university program in marketing online. Lyubov, 9, has just started French public school and must learn French. Natalia will be a big help here in Perpignan as our city has taken the initiative to welcome almost 200 Ukrainian refugees from the city of Odessa.
  • Praise the Lord that He has spared Kiev from a Russian take-over! Russia seems to have abandoned this military objective, in answer to the prayers of Ukrainian believers as well as believers around the globe.
  • But we must not neglect to pray for the South: the Donbas region; (devastated) Mariupol on the Sea of Above; and the coastal cities on the Black Sea, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Odessa, where many Ukrainian citizens are trapped and beginning the feel the pangs of hunger.

4/3/2022: Please pray for FIT Moms in Waukegan, IL. Established in 1987, they are a faith-based organization designed to provide loving instruction to single moms and their children in the Waukegan area. The ministry exists to serve as a bridge to self-sufficiency and life transformation through a program of education, support, referral, advocacy, mentoring and spiritual guidance. To learn more, click here, follow them (FIT Moms Illinois) on Facebook, or email them at   to receive our quarterly newsletter. Current praises and prayer requests include:

  • Praise God for the recent addition of Erin Downey to our staff, working on a limited basis to handle administrative tasks. Her organizational skills and heart for these families have already helped fill a great need due to a considerable time without staff for teaching, mentoring, or administration.
  • Praise for a recent fun family bowling outing which included 17 children. Praise God for providing help for that day from among the CrossLife family.
  • Praise God for providing meals, help with children, board members, and financial support 
  • Pray for the moms as they continue their study on Anger Management, using Gary Chapman’s book, “Anger – Taming a Powerful Emotion”. Pray that it will give them practical Biblical help in this regard.
  • Pray for the older girls who are reading a devotional book for tween girls, along with talking about their goals. Two of these girls recently received leather Bibles after expressing a desire to grow in their faith.
  • Pray for the younger children as they spend time doing puzzles, playing games, hearing stories, and having free play time with intentional adult interaction.
  • Pray that each mother and child will learn more of the love of Jesus and understand their need for a Savior. Pray that their time with us will help not only to bring calm to their homes, but a trust in Christ.

3/27/2022: Please pray for Ben and Beth Barthelemy, our missionary partners serving in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. In addition to teaching at Union Bible Institute, discipling young women on campus, serving at a local children's home, leading in their church, which is newly planted, and learning the isiZulu language, Ben and Beth are also raising four beautiful girls (Norah, Stella, Tess, and Adele). This year has been filled with challenges above and beyond the pandemic! The following are their current requests:

  • This month, we'd specifically like to ask for prayers for our young TCKs (third culture kids). Last year was equally difficult for them. Our recent trip to the US over Christmas resulted in a challenging return as well, which was not unexpected. As our girls grow older, their awareness of the many and long goodbyes they must give is growing, or the fact they don't fit completely anywhere, of the piling up of griefs and traumas. As they grow into more complex little persons, the issues they are wrestling with become more complex. Will you pray for their hearts? That we would guide them through the specific challenges they face with wisdom, empathy, and grace? That they would learn to trust Jesus with their sadness and worries?
  • Please pray for the Ladies Students' group meeting at our home! This has been a vision for years, to create a safe space for the women who study at UBI, for encouragement, fellowship, and sharing. We're finally getting it going!
  • Please pray for the future of UBI. This past Friday, our TEAM leadership was able to have a good meeting with UBI management about TEAM's continuing role at the school. TEAM helped to start the school nearly 80 years ago and has been involved ever since. However, we are seeing the need to help prepare UBI for the day when TEAM is no longer able to provide funding and missionary staff.

3/20/2022: Please pray for Keith and Judy Anderson, who serve with EFCA ReachGlobal through ProMETA. Keith leads the ProMETA team, an online seminary that offers Master's level education for Spanish speaking leaders. Keith's responsibilities are in the personnel and organizational areas such as teaching in the OT and Leadership departments, mentoring staff (particularly the new rector, at least for a while), organizational partnerships, recruitment of new staff members and strategic planning/development. ProMETA is in the process of setting up virtual offices in other countries of Latin America. Keith is heading up the commission responsible for the process. The decentralization process will enable ProMETA to grow exponentially (e.g. ProMETA Venezuela, ProMETA Spain, ProMETA Chile, etc.). There are many moving parts as you can imagine! Their prayer requests include:

  • The ProMETA ministry is growing. There is a growth spurt in enrollments and we need God's wisdom to handle this unprecedented growth. How can we best serve these Latin American leaders who are enrolling in ProMETA's ministry training programs?
  • In April, Keith will travel to the Dominican Republic for a ReachGlobal event with Latin American leaders. In May, Judy and Keith will be visiting churches and supporters in Florida.
  • Keith had many opportunities to teach in Latin America via zoom these last few months. Please pray for opportunities that are coming up in April and May as God keeps opening doors.
  • Pray we keep up with our responsibilities in ProMETA and ReachGlobal. We are involved in mentoring, consulting, teaching, the decentralization process of the ministry, fund raising, and accreditation later this year. 

3/16/2022: Please pray for Mike and Ann Wheeler, who are with Serving in Mission (SIM) in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Mike is involved in training Seminary students in central South America and assists in accreditation of regional seminaries. Anne is involved in several ministries teaching and assisting administratively. 

  • Please pray for more students to register for classes at the Seminary. The school year started this week, but students have till the end of next week to register. Pray the Lord will send more students called by Him to prepare for ministry.
  • On the 18th of March Apoyo will be given an opportunity to present their work to 300 pastors in La Paz. Ann will give an overview of coaching and how it can be used in leadership. Isaac will present Apoyo's ministry, and they will jointly teach a session on time management. Please pray all the logistics will come together and that the Lord will open the door for this large denomination to participate in courses in the future.  
  • Also pray for a workshop Apoyo will hold on sustainable farming on March 27 to April 2. The presenters are coming from Zimbabwe. They are needing to get their visas for Bolivia, and the process is not as straightforward as we would like.
  • Finally, Ann will be teaching three sessions on mentoring at a retreat held by Trauma Healing, Bolivia on March 25-26. Please pray it will help them improve how they mentor those trained by those working with them.