Wednesday, April 5, 2017

                 International Christian Hospice   Newsletter    Spring 2017
Cuba Trip

We are so thankful for this newly opened door for ministry.  Thank you to Pastor Rob and Sandy White for your invitation for us to join you in ministry.  The Rob White Ministry organization has been going to Cuba for 17 years.  Rob is now a retired Pastor who serves with the S.C. Baptist Mission Board.   Through their faithful work and support of the Pastors and churches of Cuba in difficult times it was God’s perfect timing for ICH to bring our training program.  We felt as though we were stepping through a time portal into the past.  Socialism and communism have been a normal way of life in Cuba for 60+ years.    One new believer put it this way, “As I grew up and went to school everyone was taught that you do good things for the government.  There is no God.  We have been taught to live to serve the government.”   

The Church is beginning to grow in new ways.  Up until a few years ago, the government limited all gatherings to 25 people. Church groups were not allowed to own or build. However the body of Christ, His church, is alive and well!  God used these restrictions which caused amazing multiplication of hundreds of house churches.  We had the opportunity to visit with many of those “house churches”.  Whether they meet in an apartment, under a covered porch, or in a small wood and thatch building we experienced many warm embraces and heard testimonies of God’s presence and faithfulness.   

Our time in Cuba was divided between a rural, coastal region about 4 hours west of Havana and the city itself.  The people in this region are supported by agriculture and a fishing industry.  But unlike our free enterprise the crops are grown and sold to the government, and the fish and seafood as well.  In fact it is illegal to keep any food, or to sell it yourself.  It is harvested and trucked to Havana then products are redistributed to small government shops where individuals purchase their food.  Each family is given vouchers for a quantity for each month even down to the number of eggs.  Socialism and communism are a normal way of life.  But praise God the window of change is beginning to crack open.  Today, as in  the past 60+ years, people still only receive news via radio or TV that is government controlled.  Cell phones have arrived but there are no international calling options.  The internet has arrived but is very expensive and only available at “Hot Spots” in major cities.













We learned and interest
ing story about out accommodations in the “campo”.  An 80 year old Pastor Humberto applied to the government and was allowed to build a small conference center with guest rooms and meeting areas.  Over his 40 years as a Pastor life was very hard and he had to remain very quiet in his ministry.   Other Pastors were being imprisoned for preaching a philosophy different from the government.  But God allowed him to established 11 house churches in his region.  The conference center has been used by government groups or civic organizations for meetings and retreats.  Our mission team was the first Christian group to come to the area and use the buildings.  In thanks we were able to bless the kitchen workers and translators with small gift bags with a few simple items.  They were in tears with gratitude telling us that none of the groups had ever given them anything personal.  

Please enjoy the following pictures.    



The goal of our trip was to learn about Cuba and how we can be a part of bringing the Gospel of hope and peace in Christ to the Cuban people.  Regardless of the geographic location or the organized government under which these people live (both things we cannot change) Christ offers the gift of forgiveness, peace and His presence amid the stresses of life.  And He promises an eternal home with Him for those who trust Him in this life! 

Highlights of our trip

  • Presenting ICH workshops in 3 locations, with Pastors and leaders from 9 different churches.   
  • ICH home visits resulting in 3 new believers 
(A mother and her adult son received Christ after the recent death of her husband.  A mother with advanced liver cancer received Christ in her home.  Praise God!)

  • 80+ new believers through the team sharing the Gospel home to home and street evangelism
(No groups are allowed to gather in parks or public areas but we were free to stroll around Havana and share Gospel tracts and talk with individuals on the street or in parks.) 
  • Worshipping and studying God’s Word together with other believers  
  • Enjoying the beauty of this Caribbean Island, and historic city of Havana.  
  • Seeing the statue of Jesus standing over the city of Havana restored. During the Castro years the statue was broken with the head removed and one arm taken off. Now its very beautiful and stands as a figure of hope in a new era in Cuba.

Testimonies


Pastor Antonio shares that he has many people in his church who are sick.  “I have never had this information so that I can understand what they are going through.  I will teach this to my church leaders and we will be able to help people all around us in our town. Many are dying and they do not know Jesus!”

40 year old Carlos shares with us about his father’s death.  “My father had a heart condition and he was getting weaker.  In his final days he told my mother and me that he had become a believer in Jesus.  He died about one month ago.  Yes, today I will believe in Jesus too because you came to my house and because my father did!” 

Pastora Rebecca says, “This information is so important!  It is very difficult to talk to people who are sick and dying.  Thank you for coming to teach us and give us these booklets.  I feel like now we can understand and talk to people who are dying.  Now we can help them before it is too late.”   

We noticed that everywhere we went the people were like “sponges” and so hungry for information.  They were asking us when we can return and bring more literature to help them.  Time and again we saw how the decades of closed society has created a hunger for education, particularly among the believers who desire to learn how to reach others for Christ. 

Please continue to pray for the people of Cuba, and especially the new believers.  Please pray that the ICH training and materials we left with the people there will be used by God to bring hope and comfort to many more!   Pray with us about future opportunities to work in Cuba!

We pray that the power of the Cross and the Resurrection will be our message at Easter and every day until He returns! 

Serving Him together,
Ron and Susan                   


Tax deductible Donations received at:    ICH  c/o Banis    303 Madison Hts. Dr.  Marshall, NC 28753 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

      International Christian Hospice      News Letter     February 2017


Greetings to all of our family and friends!  We can hardly believe 2017 is already well underway!  

This month we traveled to Guatemala and Honduras.  Thank you for your prayers for us and for the ICH ministry as we visited sites in Central America to planned for ministry opportunities this year.   

Guatemala
  
God is leading us forward in partnership with ministry in Guatemala City.   Seteca Seminary is developing a plan with ICH for adding the grief training we offer to their Pastoral counseling program.   Potters House ministry, which is an outreach into the city dump village, is requesting ICH training for their staff.  Over 3,000 people live in the dump area.  A few months ago after heavy rains there was a devastating loss of over 70 lives.  As in any close knit community these families and friends are dealing with complicated grief over this sudden loss.  Every day they struggle with survival against extreme poverty and disease.  Potters House reaches out with feeding programs, medical clinics, Bible classes, education for children and job opportunities for youth.  ICH is partnering with them to prepare staff for dealing with the current tragedy and those these people cope with every day.   

How exciting to witness God advancing His work among the Mayan peopleHospital Santa Fe in the jungle highlands, Dr. Sergio and his wife Veronica, stand on the front lines.  A surgical team had recently helped perform 35 surgeries.  Ron, Susan and Chuck McCurry were able to help with post op procedures, counseling and prayer.   In addition to the hospital in the jungle highlands Dr. Sergio rents space for a clinic in a nearby market town, San Antonio.  Taking a step of faith Dr. Sergio is purchasing a small strip of land in this town to build his own clinic.  San Antonio is a “cross road” in the Mayan world where people come out of distant villages for market and work.  The clinic is easily accessible and serves people from 4 different Mayan groups.  Dr. Sergio not only has a desire to bring physical healing but also to shine the light of Jesus’ love into very dark and fearful lives.  He has shared many stories with us of the powerful influence of the witch doctors, superstition and their fear of “curses”.  Dr. Sergio plans for the new clinic in San Antonio to be the site of literacy classes using God’s Word and Bible stories.  

Pray with us:   
  • ICH training in Seteca Seminary Guatemala City 
  • ICH training for staff of Potter’s House ministry in Guatemala City
  • Teams in the future to bring the Gospel through medical, educational and Bible training to reach the Mayans. 

Honduras

We were blessed to continue our travels this month into Honduras.  Pastor Francisco accompanied us on a return trip to Cacao, on the northern coast.  Here we witnessed how God is growing the new church plant from Vision Cristiano Ministerio, a nondenominational evangelical organization in Central America.  Pastor Jeronimo Garcia and his wife Suwani have served in Cacao for two years.  He is a Godly man of vision and hard work.  Over the past year Pastor Jeronimo and his church members have completed the main “open-air” worship building and constructed a small tin children’s building.  It has already become too small and inadequate for the 70 children who attend Bible classes on Wednesdays and Sundays.  Pastor Jeronimo also provides a lunch feeding program three days a week in this tin building for 50 of the poorest children in the village.  He and some of the young men have started a shoe factory to provide jobs right there in Cacao.    We are praying that God will open doors for us to return with additional help for Pastor Jeronimo.  This village is an excellent site for teams to help with church construction, children’s ministry, youth outreach, medical ministry and community development.  

Please pray with us:
  • ICH outreach to the believers training them in outreach for Christ  
  • Teams to work with Pastor Jeronimo in Cacao

Our dear friend Dionisio is walking well with his leg prosthesis and we were able to visit with him before we left the north coast.  He is struggling with his two arm prosthesis but Ron was able to make a few adjustments that will help.  

A special thanks to Pastor Francisco who not only has served as ICH Central American Director but leads a thriving, missions-minded church in Choloma, Honduras.  We were honored to celebrate the 15th anniversary of his church while we were there.  He and Blanca moved to Choloma to start this Vision Cristiano church as newlyweds.  God has blessed them and their 3 children as the church has grown to over 200 members and they are greatly respected and loved in their community.  

Our translator, Lourdes Argueta, and dear friend of 14 years also joined us on this trip. On our final day in Honduras we were able to arrange an appointment for her at the Christian Eye Clinic in El Progreso.  Maxine Perry and Pastor Daniel Castro founded this clinic in the 1980’s.  Today the clinic is staffed by trained doctors and nurses as well as regular rotation of surgical doctors from the US.     

One final prayer request is our upcoming ministry travel to Cuba in March.   This is the first time we have had this opportunity and are looking forward to seeing God touch lives through the ICH message of hope and comfort in Christ.   
   
Thank you, each one, for your interest, prayers and support for ICH!  Please pray with us as we move forward with God’s plans for ICH in the coming months.  

Serving Him together,

Ron and Susan 

Tax deductible Donations received at:    ICH  c/o Banis     303 Madison Heights Dr.   Marshall, N.C.  28753



      












Wednesday, October 19, 2016





                     International Christian Hospice News Letter        Fall 2016

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God…For you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ…and I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work…” Philippians 1: 3-6 

We are humbly reminded by this scripture that there is nothing greater than bringing the message of hope and peace, God’s “Good News” found only through our Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul writes, we echo his thanks to God for all of you who have served with us through ICH.  How honored we are to confidently claim His promise that He will continue His work within all of us and ICH around the world!   

Guatemala


 We had a great time of ministry in the coffee highlands of Guatemala in August.  Our base location was Hospital Cristiano Santa Fe working with Dr. Sergio Castillo.   Our team was made up of 9 members of Lexington Baptist Church and our ICH Director from Honduras Pastor Francisco Ilias and his wife Blanca. 
Pastor Francisco and wife Blanca
 
Praying for healing
 
 


Our team tackled several much needed practical projects.  The entry steps to the hospital grounds from the road have been a safety concern every time we have visited.  This is the access and exit for everyone who enters for care (usually weak and sick) and leaves after treatment or surgery.  In the past we have assisted post op patients down these steps to waiting vehicles for their ride home.  Some of the men on our team rebuilt the stairs and paid for a local welder to add the handrail.  Dr. Sergio’s wife Veronica gave us a very tearful “thank you, and my mother thanks you”.  Now her elderly mother can once again visit the hospital and help.  

Dr. Sergio and his family moved into their newly renovated house across the road from the hospital in June thanks to efforts of many teams over 4 years.  ( Please check older blogs )The old hospital building where they lived for 19 years is now getting remodeled into team accommodations.  Our team provided paint and supplies to begin this project.  After patching and repairing damaged plaster walls we were able to give 14 rooms fresh coats of primer and paint. 

Some members of our team assisted Dr. Sergio in his clinic in San Antonio.  They were able to triage 60 patients for medical care and provided 30 patients with eye screening and reading glasses.  Another blood pressure clinic and eye screening was held at the hospital. 

medical team helping Dr. Sergio
blood pressure and general health screening
One of the highlights of ministry is when we are invited into the highlands above the hospital.  Dr. Sergio lovingly serves the poor indigenous people throughout this region of Guatemala.  Many colleagues ask him “Why?  You could be a rich surgeon in Guatemala City!”  The Mayan people are considered the lowest class and medical care is inaccessible.  They travel by bus or on foot from their villages in the mountains often many hours to receive his care.  Payment may be a few coins, fresh eggs or produce.  God has opened this region to ICH.  We have been honored to visit in homes of the dying and grieving families, offered our training to local believers and delivered Bibles where there are none.  God has allowed us to build ongoing relationships with Pastor Eligio of Canaan Church.   The roads are rugged and only accessible by 4 wheel drive.  Part of the trip is walking on well-worn trails.  On Sunday our team members were ministering guests in the village of Xujija (shu-he-ha) at Canaan Church among the Quiche’ people.   We began our day by providing blood pressure screening, eye screening and VBS for the community.  Special prayer was offered for a young woman with serious medical problems.  For the evening service Pastor Francisco and Chuck McCurry brought messages with Gospel presentation.   Thank you once again to Lexington Baptist for all the hard work, compassionate outreach and giving in Jesus’ name that blessed so many lives!   

transportation
walking to church in the mountians
VBS
 
Special Projects

Please pray with us about Dr. Sergio’s daughter Melisa.  She was enrolled in Medical College in Guatemala City in January.  God has given her a desire to be a surgeon like her father and a love for the Mayan people.  She plans to join him in his work among the poor.  As a family they have stepped out in faith and sacrifice once again.  They are trusting God to provide for her education from month to month. We are joining with them in faith by asking for financial donations.  Any donations will be tax deductible if made to ICH and the entire amount will go to her education.  Please accompany it with a note to designate for Melisa. 

Please pray with us for Genesis Moran.  She is a 5 month old baby in Honduras.  Pastor Francisco has emailed us of her special need.  She was born with a hole in her heart.  She needs heart surgery which can be performed there in Honduras.  The cost of the surgery is $2,500.  (Can you imagine paying only this amount for pediatric heart surgery here in the US?)  Please consider helping and make donations to ICH for tax deductible receipt.  Please accompany it with a note to designate for the baby’s surgery. 

Pakistan Project Outreach to Muslims

Please pray for ICH work in Pakistan.  This is the first opportunity for ICH to reach into the Muslim world.  God has answered our prayers and sent the Din family who are organizing and preparing for ICH ministry in their city.  They are currently visiting hospitals and homes and are enlisting other believers to assist in hospice training and evangelism.  We are asking for donations to help with their costs for printing materials, travel, and ministry expenses.  Please make donations to ICH and accompany with a note to designate for Pakistan. 

 

What is coming for ICH?

·        Plans are being made for ministry travel for 2017.   Two trips are ahead in the spring of 2017 to Honduras and Guatemala.  Please contact us if you are interested in making mission trips with us. 

·        Dr. Sergio is coming to the U.S. to share about his work and medical missions.  Speaking engagements can be scheduled through ICH.  Please contact us for details of schedule. 

 

Thank you all for your interest and continued prayers for ICH!  May God bless you as you serve Him wherever you are!

Serving Him together,

Ron and Susan Naish

803-781-0656


 

Donations received at :   ICH    c/o Rich Banis     303 Madison Heights Dr.  Marshall, N.C. 28753

 

 

 

Monday, May 30, 2016




               International Christian Hospice    Newsletter
April – May 2016

We wish you could have been with us on this trip to Honduras and Guatemala!  Once again we saw the finger print of our faithful God each day, showing His awesome work and gracious love for us and for the folks we were able to serve.

 

Honduras


·        Arrive in Honduras and travel to La Ceiba on North coast with Pastor Francisco, our ICH representative.

·        Follow up visit with Dionisio and his family, who is still using the prosthetic arms, leg and foot.  Thank you again to Kent Turnbow who provided and fitted Dionisio in 2013.  Worn foot and other parts will need updating!







Dionisio with 3 of their 6 children

reviewing problems with arms and leg


looking a replacing foot
·        Ministry in village of Cacoa.  New Christian Vision Church plant is getting established.  ICH training workshop under the mango tree, reading glasses provided for the needy, Ron shared a message and we had a sweet worship with the other believers.


New church plant building

Pastor Jeronimo and family

evening church

Susan speaking
Director Melvin Tejada of Clinica de Ojos and doctor with Ron who have worked together for 12 years helping patients from ICH   

future children's area
Pastor Juan Carlos who lost his eye due to welding
accident. We are trying to help get a prostetic eye

Ron checking eyes after ICH training
·        HIGHLIGHT….Open opportunity for future ministry and Teams.  Needs in the area are:  Evangelism, Construction of new church plant, Orphanage, Medical Clinic, development of microenterprises for believers.   Please pray with us for provision for ICH work in Cacoa!

·        We left North coast and travel to central area in the mountains, Pina Blanca.  ICH training at Calvary Chapel Church to a group of about 50 church leaders and Pastors.  We heard amazing testimonies of their desire to serve the aging, dying and grieving.  Pastor Oscar “We did not know how we could help people who are facing life’s crisis.  Thank you for coming all this way to us!”

Pastors and Ron and Susan
 
ICH training at Calvary church
 

Susan teaching church leaders

Preparing for a reading glass clinic


Guatemala


·       Flight to Guatemala and rented car.  Time with friends at SETECA, Evangelical Seminary, and planning future ministry teams.

·       Driving to Pacific Coast and into the highlands.  Clinic work with Dr. Sergio in small town San Antonio. 
Short hop from Honduras to Guatemala
 
Rental car
 
 
Susan working in clinic
 
Susan helping in clinic in San Antonio
 
 
Hospital at Cocola
 
Normal hazards of driving in Central America


·       Travel to village of Chocola.  Planning meetings with Dr. Sergio and wife Veronica for future teams.    Needs:    Clinic San Antonio: painting of old clinic areas, remodeling.  Hospital in Chocola:  demolition and wall removal for expansion. Evangelism, Bible distribution, Medical Clinic work, VBS. 

·       Guatemala City.  Revisited missionary friends, attended Union Church and encouraged believers. More preparation for future teams.

·         HIGHLIGHT…Praise and prayer for Dr. Sergio who ministers to poor indigenous Mayan people.  Mission team plans to work in San Antonio and Chocola taking shape for August 2016.  Please pray for provision for ICH to work in Guatemala!

 

 

May in U.S. 

·        Project Pakistan.  Praise for eager Pakistani Believers who are organizing and preparing to launch ICH in their country.  Completion of additional Urdu translation of ICH materials. 

·            Promotional meeting to present ICH opportunity in the “10/40 window” to Muslims.

·            Team planning meeting for Guatemala mission team trip in August.  

·            ICH Pastor Francisco ministering in New York, and N.C. to Hispanic believers. 

 

 

Special Needs for ICH

 

We write to you, our brothers and sisters in Christ, to let you know that there is a great need for financial support and ongoing prayer for International Christian Hospice.  Mission work around the world is greatly impacted by the financial support of His family.  God has blessed beyond any of our highest dreams since we established ICH thirteen years ago.   God and taken ICH into places where no other ministry could reach and lives have been changed for eternity.   Financial support is needed for us to continue.  One hundred percent of donated funds go to ICH.  No funds are taken out for our personal support. We would be honored to share with your church or organization.  Please feel free to email us or contact us by phone.  Please share with others you know who might be interested in this unique vehicle of ministry.  

 


 

803-781-0656    

 

Thank you for your prayerful interest!  May God continue to give you His peace and abundant blessings!

 

Serving Him together,

 

Ron and Susan