Alexander has been serving as pastor of the New Life Church in Donetsk since 2004. The church has a tremendous outreach into the community through youth conference, English classes, marriage seminars and discipleship groups. He also ministers at the local state schools in Makeyevka, teaching Christian Ethics classes, speaking to parents at school meetings and visiting families. They also have an outreach with the Blind Society, sharing the Gospel with them and providing meals. Other ministries include hospice visits, operating an orphanage, and working with teenagers and their parents.
The Good Shepherd Shelter in Makeyevka serves as the only Christian orphanage in Ukraine. Neglected and abandoned children are housed in the shelter, where basic needs for life and development—food, clothing, education, healthcare, and spiritual and mental support—are provided. The team of teachers works to make the children feel like they are home and are loved. Prayers, Bible readings and church attendance are part of the program.
About 120 – 150 babies are delivered each month by the Shalom Birthing Home’s team of nurses and midwives headed by Mavis Orton, a nurse/midwife from England. The team continues to reach out to the community physically by holding pre-natal clinics several times each week. The facility also provides spiritual care as the Gospel is shared through Bible Studies while the women are on-site for their pre- and post-natal checkups. A building project is underway to provide Shalom with a much-needed larger facility. This will be a tremendous blessing to them as the property that they currently use is extremely small.
Running our Guidelines Philippine office, the hub for our Asian ministry, are Amor and Maricar Alvarez, a wonderful husband-and-wife team. Amor oversees the daily operation of the ministry and coordinates all the local activities, including the speaking engagements of Harold and Darlene at various churches and organizations. He also designs the book covers of the Salas as well as the PowerPoint presentations. Maricar, on the other hand, ably supports the work by responding to the numerous requests received and helps prepare the reports for the US head office. Together, they provide counsel and prayers to letter writers and callers.
As one of the well-respected Christian leaders and statesmen in the Philippines today, Bishop Fred Magbanua has the heart for reaching out to those who are in need. After his retirement from the Far East Broadcasting Company Philippines as its first Filipino Managing Director, he and his wife, Aliw, started Christ Jesus Our Life Church with the sole vision of planting churches in areas where there are none. From a small Bible Study group in 1992, CJOL has planted over 120 churches and opened numerous outreaches all over the Philippines. Bishop Fred continues to minister to a multitude of churches, religious organizations as well as secular and political institutions and personalities.
Herman and Flor, along with their sons, are joyfully serving the Barangay Valencia community, where about 120 families live in poverty. They hold regular Bible studies and provide counseling. The Manalos’ sons are all actively involved and head the youth program and church band. Joshua is currently attending Bible school to pursue pastoral ministry. The family takes turns coming to the Guidelines Philippine office to help with mailings, deliveries and general office maintenance every week.
The Nikonenkos are two of God’s choicest servants, laboring in Yakutsk, Siberia. Their ministry includes pastoring, directing a Bible school, training pastors in rural areas, and counseling and encouraging people. Valentin, a dentist by trade, is a respected Christian leader and a real man of God who often traverses hundreds of miles by snowmobile in the winter to reach outlying areas.
Slava and Valeria Grin minister above the Arctic Circle, a land of extreme weather conditions and great poverty. Because of these physical conditions many people are depressed and turn to alcohol. Pastor Slava is responsible for several local churches and visits reindeer teams who live in surrounding areas. Valeria organizes children’s camps and teaches Sunday School. Slava and Valeria faithfully serve the Lord and lovingly care for their 3 children through the hardships.
While serving as a missionary in a major city is difficult, Ben and Sveta have felt God’s call to work among Gypsies in the mountains of Bulgaria. Reaching the village where they labor requires a two hour drive over mountain roads. Undaunted, however, by the challenge Ben and Sveta take their children and drive to the village each week end for ministry. Prior to their marriage, Ben served with Guidelines in both Russia and in the Philippines. Both are graduates of Donetsk Christian University, where they met each other.
Sister Freda and Richard were so touched by the poverty-stricken people of Kitale, Kenya that it prompted them to build a hospital/medical clinic for those who could not afford care. They then noticed that many children were not given the medicines prescribed that had instructions, “Take with food,” because they had no food to eat. Therefore, Sister Freda began a feeding program and school for the children of the area. They currently feed around 100 kids every week. In addition to the feeding program and medical clinics that are held in surrounding villages, Sister Freda is busy running a college of nursing that trains bright young men and women to earn a living in the nursing profession. Her biography is the subject of Darlene Sala’s book, Heart of Compassion, Hands of Care, available at www.guidelines.org.
Oasis of Hope is a ministry center that provides a refuge for the children of Kitale, Kenya. Some of these children are orphaned by the terrible HIV-AIDS plague as well as being victims of extreme poverty. Oasis operates a “drop-in” center for children who have nowhere else to go, but wander the streets. They provide nourishing meals, basic education and are shown the love of Christ through those who work there. The stability and care that they receive here at Oasis is so incredibly needed in their lives, giving them the understanding that they are important and that there is a God who loves them. They also operate group homes where they live with a house “parent” and are each responsible for household chores as they live together as a family.
The Canaan Celebration Ministry headed by Pastor John Esto in Kipsongo is a ministry that provides the community with Christian leadership, evangelism to preach peace and reconciliation among neighbors, and teaches salvation and co-existence between people from different walks of life. Peace and reconciliation are greatly needed, following the brutal uprisings during the 2008 elections. They also operate programs for widows (a high number of husbands succumbed to AIDS), youth, outreach ministries and door-to-door evangelism in an area of extreme poverty.
“I first met Gama,” says Harold Sala, “when we were ministering in Cuba. Then I got to know him two years ago when we were ministering in Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula.” While their major support comes from ACTION International Ministries (founded by Doug Nichols), with three children the Canul family needs additional help. The target of their ministry is churches in the Mayan villages where they work with pastors, preach and teach, traveling many miles through on roads leading through the jungle to do their work.