April 27, 2020

Volunteers Needed!


Donations are flowing back in to our warehouse in Casper! We thank everyone who is seeking to bless refugees with their donations. Now we just need to line up volunteers to help process it all so we do not get too backlogged!


The sorting and packing process is very simple and can be explained in ~15 minutes, so this is a good opportunity for new volunteers as well as our experienced helpers. We ask that anyone interested please call us at 307-333-6545 or email info@visionbeyondborders.org with a date and time they have in mind to volunteer. That way we can have one family or individual volunteer at a time and help keep everyone safe.  Thanks again for your support!

March 20, 2020

The House Church Comes to America

The idea of worshiping in a dedicated “church” building  is something most of us take for granted. But for centuries early Christians had no notion of gathering to worship in a church building, and persecuted Christians around the world today also have little or no experience with such a concept.

With the coronavirus pandemic resulting in new restrictions daily, authorities are advising, urging, and even mandating that groups not gather together in numbers larger than 50, or even 10. And in response churches and ministries are complying; services are being canceled across the nation.

While the purpose for this is understandable, Christians are right to feel misgivings about canceling worship services:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25)

How can we motivate one another in Christian love and service if we can’t “go to church”? How can we comply with mandates to avoid large gatherings and yet remain true to God’s call to “not forsake our own assembling together” for worship?

Part of the answer may be technological, as churches move to provide sermons online and via video streaming. But watching something on a television or computer screen is not worship, and lacks in fellowship.  And there is a limit to how much love and good deeds can be performed over the internet – particularly at a time when people need help, reassurance, and the Gospel of salvation more than ever.

So why not learn from the rest of the body of Christ? Large churches have long tried to subdivide themselves into cells for more effective action. It is time to amplify that strategy (or initiate it). Small units can continue to meet, to worship, encourage one another, and take action in their community. (While practicing good hygiene!)

Families that have let pastors do the preaching and know nothing of family worship can begin devotions, praying together and singing to the Lord. If inviting friends, relatives and neighbors to a church they are unfamiliar with always seemed too difficult, what about inviting them over for a less formal and intimidating home Bible study and time of prayer?

Home worship and house churches do not require much, biblically speaking. Where there is personal faith in Christ, “two or three” gathered together constitute an assembly of the church. House churches can easily pursue the five-fold mission
1 of the church:

1.      Evangelism. As noted above, people will be seeking answers, encouragement and spiritual counsel now more than ever; the Body of Christ should strive to meet that need in just this moment regardless of the inconvenience of a closed church building.
2.      Discipleship. House churches provide a means for ongoing discipleship training that will be needed to best pursue the other missions of the church.
3.      Ministry. Through a house church organization individuals and church bodies can continue to organize and minister throughout their community, and in a more personalized manner.
4.      Fellowship. It will be a tragedy if Christians across America miss out on fellowship and the strength it provides in this hour of trial. Small gatherings in house churches provide continued fellowship at a time when people are needing support and encouragement within the church as well as outside it.
5.      Worship. The greatest tragedy will be if Christians lapse in their worship of their savior because they are not in a certain building. Through a house church model we can continue to come together to worship, praise God and entreat Him with our prayers.

The corona virus epidemic is a challenge, but also a tremendous opportunity for the Body of Christ. Will we seize the day, or let Satan have his way? Will we complain about the closed doors at church, or open the doors of our homes to more effectively minister to the body of Christ and the world?
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7)
 
As outlined in Chapter 4 of Standing Strong Through the Storm, Paul Estabrook, Open Doors International, 2003.

March 19, 2020

Vision Beyond Borders and the Coronavirus Pandemic


Many people have been asking how VBB has been impacted by the pandemic. Here is the latest status on our activities and the impact to date.


1.      Trips to Central America and India in March were canceled. We anticipate that April and probably May trips will also be canceled or deferred. At this point we are continuing with planning for trips later in the year; obviously this is a fluid situation so we are continuing to monitor the situation while praying and consulting with our overseas contacts. Praise God, two trips to Central America did take place in March!

2.      We are beginning to see delays in the shipment of Bibles in large quantities, due to the cancellation of many cargo freighter sailings. This is not a major impact for us yet, but could become more of an issue later in the year so it is a matter of prayer. We want to get Bibles into the hands of those who need them!

3.      Our ice skate event to raise support for the children’s home in Pakistan has been canceled or postponed. If you would like to support this home you don’t need to strap on skates – just donate using the Donate button below and designate the funds for the Pakistan children’s home! Your support now is appreciated more than ever.

4.      We are continuing to receive donated clothing and supplies for refugee camps. That means we also have a continuing need for volunteers to sort and process the donations. Please keep in mind:

a.      Limit the size of any groups. If you wish to bring a group to volunteer at our Billings or Casper warehouse please keep the group size to 10 or less. Casper volunteers may want to consider volunteering at a time other than the normal Thursday morning session to keep the numbers down that day.

b.      We will have hand sanitizer available in the work areas and encourage volunteers to practice good hygiene and social distancing while sorting, insofar as possible.

c.       Please pray that we would be able to arrange the shipping of our next containers without undue delays and that they will be a blessing to those receiving them.

5.      Please remember to pray for the children and women cared for by the children’s homes and safe houses in Asia. Pray that they would be spared any infection from the coronavirus and that they would be able to continue ministering to others, and that people’s hearts would be open to God’s Word in this troubling time.


We thank you all for your support and encourage you to consider how you can be a blessing to your neighbors as the coronavirus threat continues to develop. God be with you!

March 9, 2020

Here is a touching tribute to believers in the old U.S.S.R.  While Christians in Russia no longer face such persecution, their brothers and sisters in China, Vietnam, North Korea and elsewhere still live under the threat of persecution for their faith.


When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:9-10)

And a praise report: A VBB supporter generously provided the funds to complete the worship hall pictured below in our Feb. 14 update! Pastor Tak and his congregation is thankful for your prayers and support. 

February 14, 2020

Pastors in Nepal have requested our help in completing a worship hall. As our contact there explains:


"There are many challenges we face in Nepal especially in church ministries. Some of them are directly facing opposition from outsiders, and some of them are facing [opposition] from their house owners.  The major prayer request from all of them is to have their own place (land) for their church service. Currently almost all of them are in a rented place where they have to face warnings from the house owner often. At least for one of them if we could contribute some amount to purchase either their own land or to extend the expiry dates of the contract this will be very much helpful for their ministry (This is just my request and prayer request on behalf of the sponsored pastors of Nepal)."


He gave the example of Pastor Tak, who has been worshipping outdoors with his congregation. They have asked for $600 to complete construction on their modest worship hall, shown in the accompanying photos. If you would like to give for his congregation to have a place of worship to call their own, please use the Donate button above and put "Pastor Tak" in the memo line.

February 10, 2020

And another container is off to Jordan! Many thanks to all who have helped in any way with this effort - bringing in donations, sorting clothes, providing financial support for the shipments and more. 

 

Speaking of donations, things are coming in faster than ever. As a result we are investigating an expansion of the ministry into Kurdistan in northern Iraq. This would involve not only humanitarian relief but Bible distribution and evangelism teams, with the possibility of Vision for Children and Vision for Women projects as well!

 

Initial conversations with ministry partners already operating in the target area have been very fruitful, so watch this space and VBB publications for news of this exciting new outreach! 

Vision Beyond Borders has worked for many years in Myanmar (Burma), where aggression by the military against outlying tribes has killed thousands and put hundreds of thousands of people to flight. VBB works with partners inside and on the Burmese border to provide Bibles, medical relief, and support for many children's homes as we share the love of Christ. It is our pleasure to share with you this movie trailer below featuring Dave Eubank and his family, founders of the Free Burma Rangers, as allies and friends in Gospel ministry to the Burmese people:

As we prayerfully consider our expansion into northern Iraq, a key part of the plan is leveraging resources and finding synergies with like-minded ministries already operating in Kurdistan. The video below is an introduction to Greater Change. Greater Change is a ministry to the tragically persecuted Yazidi people who were targeted for enslavement and genocide by ISIS. It was founded by a former Afghan refugee who came to Christ and now seeks to share the Gospel with other refugees.


(And if you watch closely, yes, that's a VBB staff member who pops up several times throughout the trailer!)

January 27, 2020

We were saddened with the news that Rev. Tsimuthong has passed away. (See prior update below) So no further funding is needed there. We are continuing to raise funds for Kiki however. 


Thanks to the donated clothing and other items continuing to flow in, we are shipping yet another container to Jordan this week! Anyone who wants to help load the container can come by at 8 AM Wednesday, Jan. 29.

December 3, 2019

Plans are firming up for Kiki, the young girl at Ms. Emerald's orphanage who needs extensive surgery to be able to walk normally (see video at right). She will begin the first of six surgeries in February 2020. The estimated cost is $30,000. This is a special need for which we are trusting in the Lord to provide the funds. Kiki will need extensive therapy and tutoring to help her catch up in school (her disability has hampered her ability to attend school until now).

 

Please note "Kiki" on any giving to ensure funds are earmarked for her. We thank those who have already given and look forward to others providing for this great need.

 

One other special need that has emerged is that of Rev. Tsimuthong, who sits on the board of Saramati Hall in Burma (Myanmar); he is battling late stage cancer and has exhausted his savings and is trying to sell his property for the medical bills, which ran $3700 last month. If anyone is moved to give for his needs please note "Rev. Tsimuthong" on the memo/comments of your check or donation form. Thank you for your support, and for your prayers, and God bless you.

September 30, 2019

Announcing the 2020 Vision Beyond Borders Prayer Calendar! We're excited to be sharing this beautiful calendar with supporters as a way to encourage prayer and support for Christians in closed countries and for the many VBB ministries! We will be mailing free copies to everyone when they are printed and available. If we don't have your mailing address, or if you would like to order additional copies at a discounted price, just click on the calendar.

Christianity is reported to be growing rapidly in Iran! Check out the moving video below for a report on the house church movement there.

September 22, 2019

Safe Haven Children's Home has taken in thirteen children off the streets of Pakistan! We're thrilled at what God has enabled us to accomplish and thankful for all the support that has made it possible! 

Wondering if you have what it takes? Check out our Do You Have What it Takes to be a Bible Smuggler page.


Another praise report: Both our Billings and Casper offices are ready to send a shipping container with supplies for refugees! Watch this space for the loading date as we'll be needing volunteers to help load the trucks! Also please pray that the shipping costs (over $6,000 per container) would be covered through donations.


Praise God for fruitful trips in September to India, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Cuba.

Children enjoying a meal beneath a banner welcoming them to their new home.

September 4, 2019

Thank you for your prayers for Nora! Please be praying that Katie, an intern flying to Romania now, will be a big help to her and the safe house/orphanage ministry as Nora recovers. I've added a trip report from July down below that gives insight into the ministry in Romania.

 

A praise for Azeem and Clara arriving back in Pakistan safely! They hit the ground running, taking delivery of 10,000 Urdu Bibles last Friday as part of VBB's Bible distribution ministry in Pakistan! And they've hired a cook and housekeeper and are interviewing for other positions as they prepare to receive children into Safe Haven Children's Home on September 10!

 

Please keep our other Children's Homes in your prayers and thoughts as well; many have funding needs that we are behind on sharing with all the other projects going on. You can email our Vision for Children coordinator (children@visionbeyondborders.org) for more information or make a donation to the VfC ministry via the Donate link above. Hope Development Center, Saramati Hall and Winner Educare are in particular need (running on credit or very low on funds) or you can designate "where needed most" within the VfC ministry.

August 26, 2019

Azeem and Clara are flying back to Pakistan in a few days to officially open Safe Haven Children's home! Please pray for safe travels for them and their children. 

 

A big THANK YOU to the Walmart in Gilette that donated a load of summer clearance clothing! And to Shirley and her friend for bringing it down to Casper! Do you know of local stores who might be willing to donate clothing or other items on clearance? It can be a great way to gather supplies for refugees. 

 

And a positive report on Nora, our contact in Romania who manages the Vision for Women safe house there. She has been released from the hospital! She is still in a neck brace, so thank God for the healing He has given her and keep praying for a full recovery.

 

Thank you to all our supporters! Your prayers and donations of time, effort, funding and materials is what makes this ministry possible! 

August 15, 2019

OPEN HOUSE! We will be hosting a luncheon at noon on Tuesday, August 20 at our headquarters for Sonny (Dr. U Tha Nyan) that is open to the public! (The address is 3355 Plateau St., Casper, WY 82601). Sonny is the head of the YMCA in Burma (Myanmar) and a vital link in helping us support a half dozen children's homes in Burma including Ms. Emerald's home. A great friend to Vision Beyond Borders and Patrick Klein over the years, Sonny has also been an influential voice for Christ's love and peace in war-torn Burma, serving in the United Nations investigation into the Rohingya genocide. Please join us if you can to meet this wonderful brother in Christ!

 

Please be in prayer for the woman who manages our Women's Safe House in Romania. She was hit head-on while traveling on ministry business on August 13 and remains in a lot of back and neck pain with several fissured (cracked) ribs.

 

According to (https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-94.6/centery:29.3/zoom:10) the MSC Bilbao, the freighter carrying our shipping container of relief supplies, has just transited the Suez Canal and should be arriving in port in Jordan tomorrow! Pray that the supplies would be a blessing, and open hearts to the spiritual blessing of salvation in Christ!

 

Our partner in Pakistan, Azeem, is back in the US preparing to move his family to Safe Haven Children's Home. Last week he met with a number of children who he will be taking into the home when the doors officially open upon their return.

 

Finally, Vision Beyond Borders will be the featured Non-Profit at the 2019 Cowboy State Expo! We'll be at the East Ridge Mall in Casper, WY on Dec. 6-7 for this expo. We will need a number of volunteers to help with this fun event; if you can serve please contact us! 

Patrick Klein and Sonny at the building site for Ms. Emerald's new home for children.

August 6, 2019

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the Vision for Women ministry at the 2nd Annual Run Against Human Trafficking! We had around sixty runners and walkers (and one tyke on a scooter who went the distance!) who participated in the 5K and the silent auction afterward. All proceeds received are going to a Safe House in a red light district in India ministering to women who have been entrapped in sex trafficking.

 

And in Pakistan, progress continues with Safe Haven Children's Home! Beds are being built by a Christian contractor, appliances purchased and installed, and meetings held to arrange for the children to stay in the home upon opening. Tickets have been purchased for Azeem's family to join him in Pakistan later this month to open the home!

 

To support either of these ministries just visit our Give page

July 19 , 2019

Here are a few photos of the new Safe Haven Children's Home property in Pakistan! Work has begun to furnish it and get bunk beds built for children. Soon some of Pakistan's 1.5 million street children will have a safe home and hear of God's love for them. Sobering news reports of what these children face (WARNING: graphic content) remind us just why this home is needed so badly.


Please remember to pray for Safe Haven, for Azeem and Clara, and for the children Pakistan. It is our hope that many more people will get behind this effort so that more homes may be opened and many more children saved in the years ahead. Thank you for your support!


If you want to donate to help with the cost of furnishing and opening this home, please visit the Vision for Children page.

July 9 , 2019

Safe Haven Children's Home is the name of our first children's home in Pakistan! A property across the street from a park has been rented by our partner Azeem. As soon as it is adequately furnished and his family arrives we look forward to it being filled with street children Azeem has met on his exploratory trips in the area. We are now seeking child and home sponsors for Safe Haven as well as one-time gifts to help fund the first year of operation. Please visit Safe Haven's page to support this wonderful new program.

 

Praise God and thank you to all who have supported this project! 

June 27, 2019

Hope Development Center in Yangon, Burma recently lost a couple sponsorships, while at the same time eight new children have come to the children's home. Please prayerfully consider if you could help sponsor HDC to help ensure the children can be well cared for.  "[W]hoever is kind to the needy honors God." (Prov. 14:31b) 

June 27, 2019

Thank you to all the countless volunteers who stopped by bringing donations of supplies for this ministry, and for the countless hours of labor spent sorting and packing it all!

 

ANOTHER CONTAINER OF RELIEF SUPPLIES HAS BEEN COMPLETED!

 

It was a lot of work, but a team of VBB workers and volunteers loaded a 40' shipping container with ten tons of clothing, blankets, medicine, food, hygiene packs and other supplies on June 25. We did our best to fill in every cubic inch! The container is now its way to Amman, Jordan where our partner ministry Manara International will use it to bring hope and comfort to Syrian refugees as they share God's Word with them. 

 

Check out the Serve page for more information on how you can play a role in this ministry to refugees overseas who need to hear the Gospel. 

June 17, 2019

In honor of World Refugee Day on June 20, all donations to support Vision Beyond Borders refugee relief operations, and the Pakistan children's home for street children, will be matched up to $15,000! Just note "world refugee day" on the memo line as you give at https://visionbeyondborders.org/give/

 

June 14, 2019

In our previous blog post below we spoke of David, the little boy without a wheelchair. A VBB missions team delivered a wheelchair to him on June 9 at his apartment. Here is a photo of him in his new ride. The team prayed for him and his starting school soon, and also gave him the handbag in his lap. 

 

The team also delivered hundreds of Bibles and hundreds of pounds of clothing, communion cups, medicine, school supplies, hygiene items and more to pastors at house churches and at a pastors conference meeting deep in the hill country. Please pray the Bibles would be well used and treasured, and that a wave of repentance and revival of biblical faith would sweep the country in this closed central American nation. 

 

May 16, 2019

David, the son of a pastor, is a four year old boy in a closed country who cannot walk. He needs a child-sized wheelchair. If anyone can provide one to our Casper office for an upcoming trip to his country it would be a real blessing!


Do you have time this summer to bless Christians in need of God's Word and encouragement in other countries? We still have openings for several trips this summer, as well as the rest of the year. The need is particularly urgent for one country where the door may be closing. Contact Brent at 307-333-6545 or travel@visionbeyondborders.org for more information!


Please pray for China, Cuba and Venezuela. In China the government continues to crack down on Christians, closing and demolishing churches, breaking up worship services and intimidating and arresting believers. Pray that they would stand strong in the faith, continue meeting together to encourage and disciple one another, and keep sharing the Gospel to their countrymen.


In Cuba, pray that Christians would support one another and reach out in love to their neighbors as food shortages intensify. Pray that the door would remain open to Christian ministries supplying the underground church there amid the threat of a renewed embargo against Cuba.


In Venezuela, pray that Bibles would continue to arrive safely in the country and be gladly received by those struggling with the collapse of their economy. Pray that a peaceful and law-abiding government would be established so that the suffering of the people would end. May Venezuelans turn to God and place their trust in Him in their time of trouble and find faith and comfort in His Word. 


Views

September 24, 2019

Vision Beyond Borders supplies thousands of Bibles in Ethiopia. Here is an account of our ministry partner supplying God's Word to the Oromo people.

September 4, 2019

Trip report on the safe house and orphanage ministry in Romania.

May 17, 2019

The story behind our ministry partner who is founding a home for street children in Pakistan. 

May 16, 2019

In April 2019 a Vision Beyond Borders volunteer ministered to women in the brothels of India with the courageous lady who operates a women's Safe House in the midst of darkness. This is her account.

May 16, 2019

In April 2019, Vision Beyond Borders volunteers Wayne, Autumn and Joseph were detained for ten days in Laos while distributing Gospel tracts. This is their report.

May 16, 2019

In May 2019, a Vision Beyond Borders volunteer and her four children smuggled Bibles into a closed country. This is her account.