John & Karen Ames
As single adults in our mid-twenties, God called both John and I independently to missions. Full-time ministry and missions were on both our hearts as we began to date and get married. John and I spent 16 years, from 1985-2001, in cross-cultural ministry, first in France for language school and then onto Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) West Africa. Our three children lived with us in the urban area of Abidjan.
God was leading us home to the USA for family reasons in 2001. John worked in Regional and Pastoral ministry until 2017. God was stirring our hearts once again to jump back into cross-cultural missions. We were re-appointed by Converge in September 2017. John is the Converge Africa Impact Team Leader for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Converge Africa Impact Team (CAIT) exists to come alongside African Christian leadership to serve, enable, empower and enhance gospel movement ministry among least reached peoples.
John leads a team of 4 other couples, and we are ministering currently in 7 African Countries, with more looking for our help. God is raising up African men and women who have a passion to reach those in their country who have never heard the Gospel. It’s exciting to be a part of what God is doing – He’s on the move!
John travels to various countries 3-4 times/year to teach and train men and women. The rest of the time, he works from our home in PA. Zoom and WhatsApp makes it possible to mentor men even though he is not on the ground.
Biggest support needs:
We currently have 3 projects that we’re promoting- DDL project, Zinindo Church Plant in Northern Ghana, and Vision Into Africa: Ames Ministry travel. All three of these projects are important.
The increased costs to travel are straining our budget
Shirley and Terry Snyder
Terry retired after serving 40 years as a United Methodist pastor. He has a doctorate in Marriage and Family Ministry and has done extensive counseling. He serves as Personnel Consultant conducting assessments of staff and new ministry candidates, advises on hiring decisions and coordinates with the Mobilization Team identifying new staff and developing leadership utilizing the Grlp-Birkman assessment process of team building.
Shirley retired as a pastor’s wife and is now a consultant to the Consultant and travel coordinator. She keeps in touch with the staff families as they experience birthdays, births, sickness, death, and life events.
China Outreach Ministries (COM) places staff in university communities in the United States to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of Chinese students and scholars with the love of Christ. We presently have staff on 59 universities
For the last 18 years Terry and Shirley have done staff care for the staff of COM. They have traveled all over the US visiting and caring for staff.
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and graduated from Gannon University with a master’s in occupational therapy in 2010. I fell in love with missions when I went on my first international mission trip to Mexico when I was 12. My passion for Haiti and children with special needs happened on my first mission trip to Haiti in 2007. During that trip my heart hurt when I discovered how children and adults with any type of disability were seen as worthless, cursed, possessed, and therefore were often abandoned, left to die, or ostracized from their communities. The children whose families chose to keep them were looked down upon and their children never got the opportunity to go to school, rarely had friends and many times were malnourished, and rarely got outside their homes. I have been serving in Haiti since 2009. My mission and vision have always been to make the invisible visible by giving a Voice to the voiceless through Christ, Church and Community. To fight for and advocate for the needs and rights of special needs children in Haiti and to empower nationals and families to care for these children as God would. Since 2009 I have served and partnered with over 10 mission organizations across Haiti as well as helped to get the first bachelor level OT program in Haiti accredited by founding the National OT association for Haiti and serving as Haiti’s Alternate Delegate for the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT).
In 2019 I started my own non-profit 5 STAR Global Ministry. My ministry’s focus is the For Jonathan Sake Outreach Program that I started back in 2009. Since 2009 we have grown from serving 10-20 families to over 1,200. We now have 15 different programs that run under the outreach program. The 5 key elements in all our programs are making everything Christ-centered, empowering families, providing disability advocacy, training and educating nationals, and using a holistic therapeutic medical care model.
My dream is that every child with special needs in Haiti would receive the therapy and support that they need and deserve because they are VISIBLE and VALUED as members of their society; that nationals would be trained and equipped to be therapists; and that therapy would be recognized as a medical necessity and thus be integrated into Haiti’s medical systems.
Biggest Support Needs:
With the growth of the outreach program, I am in need of hiring more therapy and nursing staff but need to raise the funds to pay their monthly salaries first.
We are in the process of buying land and working with an architect to build a permanent outreach center in the northwest zone of Haiti. This is a large project that we are hoping to complete within the next 3 years. We need to raise fund or find grants to help cover this 1.5 Million dollar project.
Haiti is a very challenging country to live in. The darkness and spiritual warfare are very real and present. Haiti needs a revival and needs Jesus. In the last 3 years there has been a steady decrease in security, increased violence and kidnappings, and a gang war has broken out with over 200 gangs cutting off all routes into and out of the capital. Top that off with Haiti having its share of natural disasters.
For me personally staying spiritually filled and taking care of myself emotionally and physically is a major challenge. I have recently been able to get a better internet source which allows me to watch Grace online on Sundays and that has been a huge blessing the past year.
Phil & Linda Gottschalk
Phil & Linda Gottschalk have been supported by Grace Church since 1987! We went out originally to Yugoslavia (Serbia) in 1986. We learned Serbian and taught in the Eastern European Bible Institute, a training school for Yugoslavs. In 1992-94 we lived in Novi Sad, Serbia during the Bosnian War and worked with young Serbian refugees from Bosnia. We discipled and trained many people from the former Yugoslavia during that period.
In 1995-2000 we lived in Belgium where Phil did further studies. We also worked with international students as a part of ICEL, the International Church of Evangelicals in Leuven.
From 2000-2021 we taught as a part of Tyndale Theological Seminary near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Phil was a Professor of Apologetics and Linda was Librarian and later taught Church History and Research Methods (Assistant Professor). Again, we discipled and trained dozens of young men and women from many countries: Albania, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Slovenia, S. Korea, Ukraine, the UK and the US. From 2011-2021 Phil was also coordinator for the Zaporizhzhya Bible Seminary’s Master of Theology program (Ukraine).
In August 2022 Phil & Linda moved to Romania to work with Ukrainian refugees. They live now in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Romania borders Ukraine. There are some 90,000 Ukrainian refugees in Bucharest. Phil & Linda will work alongside a group of churches and organizations, UBC22 (Ukraine Bucharest Churches 22).
I grew up in a Christian household where I knew what it meant to be a Christ follower but it was not until I went on a mission trip to inner city Philadelphia when I realized the need for people to hear the gospel. When I was in college I got involved in Cru, where I learned what it actually meant to have a personal relationship with Christ. This led me on a summer mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where God showed me that there are people all over the world who have never heard the gospel. While on that trip, God gave me the opportunity to go to a conference where he called me to serve him for a year overseas after college in the Dominican Republic. There God revealed to me the spiritual needs in Europe and ultimately in Sweden. My heart is ever growing towards Swedes and the need for the gospel in Sweden.
Our ministry is aimed towards university students and the church. Our goal is to be a bridge between Uppsala University and the local church. We believe that the church in Uppsala is the best place to get students interested in faith, grow in their faith and share their faith. We are a resource to help the local church reach out to the campus and for students to find their place in the church.
Our vision: To help people find and follow Jesus and strengthen the church.
Our Distinctives: Evangelism, Discipleship and Bible Study.
Relational evangelism: We train students and young adults on how to talk to classmates, co-workers, friends and family about their faith and about Jesus.
Discipleship: Spiritual Discipleship, where we help christians walk deeper and more closely with God
Bible Study: We study/teach how to study the bible together in small groups or individually.
Biggest support needs:
Sweden is a pretty expensive place to live and my support goal is always growing. I am always in need of people who are excited about my ministry in Sweden to join my team financially. Also our team in Sweden has no budget for outreaches or other ministry costs so that comes out of the finances I raise personally, so I am also looking for one time gifts to bless the ministry here with!
We would love for more staff/volunteers to join us in Uppsala, so that we can reach more people. Also, navigating culture and the postmodern/secular/individualistic mindset.
Steve and Nopaluck Cable
Steve was called to missions from the time he was a little boy, and God brought Nopaluck and Steve together while studying at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN where both were working on seminary degrees. Nopaluck desired to return to her home country (Thailand) and Steve was in seminary to prepare for a missionary career.
Church planting and evangelism in Bangkok, Thailand.
Biggest support needs:
We need short-term missionaries from 1 month to 2 years, people like YOU reading this coming to help us teach evangelistic English classes. They are easy to teach and effective in winning Thai people to Christ. Need to be committed to long-term ministry, there are no short-term “fixes” or short-cuts to winning Thai people to Christ
United States–Chi Alpha
Gavin grew up in Erie, but in 2016 made the decision to move to Charlottesville to attend the University of Virginia to study Chemical Engineering. However, throughout his time at UVA, he had a sense that though engineering is what brought him to UVA, it was not what the Lord had called him to do. During his time in college, Gavin served as a Core Group leader in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and spent one of his summers serving as a Fellow for the ministry. It was through serving that Gavin fell in love with the discipleship process and sensed God growing a passion in him for serving in full-time ministry in his life. After a long discernment process, Gavin felt the call to go into vocational ministry after graduation. So in 2020, Gavin began a 10-month training program with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship serving in the ministry he was a part of as a student. Following the completion of this program, he made the commitment to stay on full-time staff with Chi Alpha. Gavin is passionate about seeing students reconciled to Christ through small group discipleship, and loves getting to serve with the ministry that blessed him so richly as a student.
The University of Virginia is home to over 20,000 students, with over 100 different countries represented. By reaching students with the gospel while they are in college, we have the potential to partner with the Lord in building lifelong followers of Jesus who will go and be a light in so many different spheres of influence. Serving on the college campus is truly one of the most strategic mission fields in our world today.
If you would like to give a financial gift to Gavin, click here.
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Mike and Sus Schmitt
"Have you made the wonderful discovery of knowing Christ personally?"
A question like this started Mike's journey with the Lord and with Grace Church over fifty years ago. Two students from Grace Church presented the gospel to Mike when he was a sophomore at McDowell high school.
Mike attended Penn State and was involved with Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as Cru in the U.S.). Sus, raised in Lakewood, Ohio, went to Arizona State where she accepted Jesus into her life through Cru.
After graduation, we both dedicated our lives to serving as full-time missionaries with Cru.
Mike and Sus Schmitt serve at the international headquarters of Cru in Orlando, Florida. We met in the computer department of Cru’s headquarters in California. Mike joined the staff in 1979 and Sus in 1975. Cru moved our headquarters to Orlando in 1991.
Mike helps to design and put in place complex software systems. These provide vital information to our worldwide ministry. Currently, he is helping provide tools for Cru ministries to host ministry events and mission trips.
Sus helps our staff with technical skills and with sharing the gospel through the Internet. She also maintains our personal site, MikeandSus.org. She has an active Internet presence, posting on social media and on her blogs. She looks for opportunities for evangelism and discipleship.
We have a growing family with three married children, Ben, Josh, and Jenn. (Sus, by the way, is pronounced “Sooz”, but to our seven grandchildren she is “Nana“.) We’re also blessed to watch God ministering to His people in a small group we lead at church.
Technology touches almost everyone around the world, including our missionary staff, and their disciples, and the people they're reaching for Christ. We’re privileged to share our skills with Cru staff to equip them so they can reach more people with the gospel.
Did you know?
2 million people search each day for God on the Internet. Despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in many countries, Cru continues to share the gospel with individuals. Cru staff and volunteers see a consistent response rate of 11% to the gospel throughout the world. The JESUS film has been shown in every country in the world and translated into more than 1,900 languages. Since 1979, the Jesus Film Project has seen more than 600 million estimated decisions for Christ. 750 campus ministries engage more than 53,600 students and faculty in ministry on U.S. college campuses. In an average year, Cru holds over 700 events ministering to over 65,000 believers.
Our missions programs help send staff and students on mission trips. Over 1200 are sent every summer across the country and around the world.
Give To Mike & Sus’ ministry with Cru
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Kevin McGhee, Director of U.S. Engagement, Converge
We planted a church outside Washington D.C. in 1986 and led it for 32 years. Our church was known for several good things such as our 1 to 1 discipleship process and our community engagement - but what we are most known for is that 1/5 of our congregation was Deaf. We had many faculty and staff members from Gallaudet University attend. Deaf people are the most unreached people in the U.S. and in every location on the globe. Roughly 98% of Deaf people globally have zero access to the gospel. So, I share this background because our work among Deaf peoples led my friend Ivan Veldhuizen (who leads Converge International Ministries) to invite me to join his team. Initially, our conversations were about reaching Deaf people everywhere. This aligns powerfully with the Converge vision: We are asking God for a gospel movement among every least-reached people group in our generation.
Prior to my joining Converge, Ivan and my conversations evolved because so many churches do not fully engage in the whole of the Great Commission. Often, missions is more of an afterthought than a main focus. So, together, we developed a plan to birth what we now call the U.S. Engagement Team.
I serve on the Executive Team of Converge International Missions. My boss who leads the mission has 3 direct reports: one directs overseas operations, one oversees our mobilization department, and me. I lead church and donor relations along with our Deaf work. The teams/ leaders that I oversee have 5 core functions:
Coaching - we have 4 staff coaches and nearly 20 volunteer coaches who help churches move effectively towards the nations.
Connecting - we have 2 staff members who work full-time connecting our churches to our global workers and to each other. They also have primary responsibility for working with our 10 Converge district staffs, putting on regional and national events, and most importantly, overseeing the networks of churches that have now birthed 21 different prayer networks for all of our initiatives.
Communicating - We work closely with the marketing and communications leaders in the national office and in our district offices to invite churches and individuals into meaningful relationships with our missionary teams.
Capital - Converge International Ministries has run for years on a shoe-string budget other than the funds raised for individual missionaries. We now have a professional development person on our staff, as well as a former Naval officer working with me to build a development team. We seek to help our financial partners discover the great opportunities there are to invest in fulfilling the Great Commission in our lifetime.
Deaf - We now have 9 people on our Deaf ministry team (not counting me) - 3 are Deaf, one is hearing but grew up with Deaf parents and grandparents, and the others are certified interpreters on top of being great leaders. Our team is at the forefront of global Deaf ministry and have played prominent roles in equipping other mission agencies in Deaf ministry vision and practices.
As you can see, there is a lot going on - and that this was all birthed in just four years is evidence that our Heavenly Father's heart is for those who have never once heard the name of Jesus. We experience his favor every day. To be fully transparent, after a long run as a lead pastor, I never expected that the most fruitful season of my life would be now ... but it is by far.
Biggest support needs:
My biggest support needs are for work funds that allow me to travel. It is essential that I have a great working relationship with those on the field (whom we gather for regional meetings) so that our team can clearly articulate what God is doing through them to potential partners.
One big challenge in addition to the above is finding financial support for our Deaf workers. They don't have the financial resources that hearing folks do (among their contacts) because most deaf people in the US - even with degrees - are under-employed or are living on disability income.
United States—Crescent Project
Bart & Rachel Karaisz
We have been called to equip the church and lead the way in reaching Muslim people groups with the gospel of Jesus Christ, locally. While global missions remain an absolute necessity, it has become apparent that through immigration, education and refugee crises, the United States is becoming increasingly populated with international peoples, many of whom are Muslim. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and many within the church have no idea how to interact with Muslims, let alone witness to them.
Our mission is to see that every Muslim has an opportunity to respond to the gospel and be connected to a true Christian. We are currently living in western Pennsylvania where Bart:
- Teaches and preaches the word of God
- Equips local churches for cross-cultural service
- Creates and coordinates ministries to connect with Muslims
- Mobilizes churches to engage the lost with the gospel and love
- Strategically gathers, trains, connects, and sends outreach teams [through local churches]
And collectively, we:
- Serve in the local church
- Develop networks and collaborations
- Love, enculturate, and evangelize the lost
- Disciple MBBs and global missionaries
- Seek to glorify God and enjoying Him forever through our witness and worship
All of us play a role in the Great Commission and we serve as a bridge between local and global missions. Global missions meet local outreaches as God sends the world to us to make disciples of all nations (cf. Matt 28:18-20; Acts 17:26-27).
Biggest Support Needs:
Our biggest support needs are prayer and financial support. The continued inflation coupled with the rapid expansion and continued growth of our ministry has left us in a humbling need of new monthly supporters. Please pray about partnering with us as we serve to the glory of God.
To support our ministry, click here.
The special challenge in our ministry is not getting Muslims to talk about Christ and read the Bible. These things happen regularly. The challenge is mobilizing Christians to set aside their fears and presuppositions in order to be a light for Christ among them.
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Todd & Gail
Todd grew up at Grace Church and met Gail after graduating from Bethel University in Minnesota. When they married, they joined Wycliffe and worked at the headquarters as computer programmers. They went on to study linguistics and then served Bible translation efforts in the West African countries of Togo and Benin for 15 years. Their four children grew up there.
No one should have to learn another language to understand God’s Word. Yet millions of people are still waiting for a single word of the Bible in a language they clearly understand. Todd and Gail serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators and the global body of Christ to advance Scripture translation so people can encounter God through his Word.
When a professor from Cape Verde read the Bible in his own language, he said: “Jesus became real to me for the first time in my life!”
Why Bible Translation?
At least 7,000 languages are spoken or signed around the world. And more than 1,800 of them still need a Bible translation started. Wycliffe is committed to ensuring that every person has access to Scripture in a language and format that speaks to their heart.
A Quechua Bible translator in Peru put it this way: "Getting our spiritual food from the Spanish Bible is like trying to eat soup with a fork. We can get a little taste, but cannot get nourished. Using the Quechua Scriptures is like eating soup with a spoon — we can really get well-nourished."
Todd and Gail are now serving at Wycliffe’s headquarters in Florida. Todd helps partners develop Bible translation projects in Asia. These are projects in which Wycliffe is assisting local churches lead and sustain community translation programs that bring positive life transformation. Gail is a strategist on the project marketing team, helping to connect donors with translation projects around the world.
Join them in working toward the day when God’s Word is accessible to all people in a language that speaks to their hearts!
Christopher & Jane, West Asia
There are dozens of languages spoken in this sensitive country in West Asia, and for each of them, Scripture is widely unavailable. Some language groups do have any translated Scriptures. For those that do have some translation, the average person in the country cannot obtain a copy. Local believers are extremely few. In West Asia, there is so much misinformation about what the Scriptures actually say, and what Christians believe. How will they access the Scripture & hear the good news about Jesus?
Christopher & Jane* work with a team of Bible translators & linguists. This team serves the language communities of West Asia through Bible translation & language-based community development. Christopher & Jane serve the team in the areas of administration, staff care, & finance to ensure that they can continue toward the goal of making the Scriptures and the Good News accessible in West Asia.
Biggest Support Needs
- Prayer for balancing several challenging work, life, & family responsibilities.
- Financial partnership to meet a newly increased ministry budget.
Working in the context of a different majority religion presents unique ministry & security challenges. For more information, contact Grace Missions Lead Brittney Wolf.