Since the beginning, Nazarenes have reached out to touch the world through our missionary program. Our missionaries and resources have been stretched and challenged to meet growing needs around the world. A new form of missionary has evolved – volunteer, short term missionaries. Volunteers have responded from every age group and career background with a variant of skills, gifts and talents to help meet those needs.
The Work and Witness program of the Nazarene Church began in 1974. Since then, over 150,000 people have become the hands and feet of Jesus. They have gone to every region of the world to partner with local churches in construction projects, technical needs, evangelism and compassionate ministries. This has resulted in the equivalent of over 5000 years of donated labor worldwide.
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries grew out of our concern for hurting people around the world as we viewed the world through Jesus eyes. Both of these programs provided exciting opportunities for ordinary people to take part in the GOING part of the Great Commission.
Redding First Church began to dream of sending a team on a Work and Witness project while Art Lance was Missionary President. That dream became a reality in 1982, when we sent a team to Honduras, where our own Phil and Marilyn Hopkins were missionaries.
Since that time we have sent a number of teams to a variety of places around the world. On the next few pages are reports on some of these.
“Let us not become weary with doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
HONDURAS – Dec. 1982 / Jan 83
The first Work and Witness trip for Redding First Church was to Honduras, where Phil and Marilyn Hopkins were missionaries. For several years we had been dreaming of sending a church-building team to the mission.
In 1982 we began plans for the Family Center here on our Redding Campus. During the fundraising campaign, the church board committed a tithe of the raised funds that would be used for a Work and Witness project.
More about the Honduras trip
Bill Hutcheson writes in 1988, twenty Redding Nazarenes went on a Work and Witness trip to Nirgua Venezuela. We were the first team to the Nirgua campsite, which was to be the summer camp for all Nazarene children and teens in Venezuela. We dug the footings and laid the blocks with reinforced steel, forming the foundations for all of the buildings in just two weeks.
More about the Venezuela trip
Nazarene Indian Bible College – Albuquerque, New Mexico 1980s
The first trip was during Easter week. Everyone pulled their own R. V. or trailer. The team was made up of fifteen or twenty people. They met on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and had sunrise service on Palm Sunday. The project was building a student residence. Everything was completed but the roof and interior. Another Work and Witness team would follow and complete the residence. Gordon Robins recalls about this trip “the project was behind schedule. Our team poured the concrete floor, put up exterior walls, put on the exterior and insulation, sheeted the roof and almost completed the roofing. The project was back on schedule when we finished.”
More about the Albuquerque trip
January 1997 on an airplane, returning from a Work and Witness trip to El Salvador.
I am looking out an airplane window at a stark, black volcano that looms threateningly over the smoke, shrouded city. As our plane descends through dirty haze into Guatemala City, I can see smoke and steam rising from a dark crater, which is one of may such black giants that stand guard around this Central American City like a fortress. This short flight From San Salvador to Guatemala City is one leg of our journey home from a Work and Witness trip to the country of El Salvador. We left Redding the day after Christmas and celebrated a memorable New Years Eve in the City of San Salvador.
More about the El Salvador trip
WORK & WITNESS TO BAJA, MEXICO – “Lily of The Valley” Orphanage – OCTOBER 1998
The plans for a Work & Witness trip to Rancho Christiano, Lirio de Los Valles were formatted early in the year by Dan Wilsey. Long before the trip we started having meetings and planning sessions to see who could go, what we needed for the children and the materials needed to do the job. We knew we would have to take everything with us and that it would have to be taken in without the knowledge of the authorities. A lot of money was needed to buy the building supplies and our food and water so no one would get sick. We were blessed to have gallons and gallons of water donated by Mount Shasta Spring Water. One of the things we did to raise money was to have a large garage sale which was held at Jim & Dolores Carters. This brought in over $1300.00. Several other functions were held to raise funds and some people contributed to the cause.
More about Baja #1
2nd WORK & WITNESS TO BAJA, MEXICO – OCTOBER 1999
We left our hearts in Mexico last year and we knew that the orphanage of “Lirio de Los Valles” needed water lines and storage tanks, so we went back to build that for them. We were so enthused that others came to help. This time Jim Perkins made the arrangements since he had some knowledge of water installation. He pulled a large trailer with a large van to get the building supplies there.
More about Baja #2
In January, 2002, Redding First sent a 17 person Work and Witness team to Ecuador for the purpose of building a church. The team flew to Quito, elevation 10,000 feet, which is the capitol. Our hosts were Bruce and Cinda McKellops, work and witness coordinators. On week number two missionaries Dwight and Carolyn Rich, North Andian field directors worked with the team.
More about the Ecuador trip
Papua New Guinea, Nazarene Hospital and Mission station Kudjp PNG – 2004
“His name is White, the exact opposite of his skin color. His beliefs and actions are Christian, a sharp contrast to the culture he was born into in the highlands of PNG. White is the head of the School of Nursing at our Nazarene Hospital at Kudjip. The building our team constructed is to be used for classrooms for that school.
More about the Papua New Guinea trip
Gulf Coast Mississippi after Katrina
After a nasty lady named Katrina wreaked havoc upon the Gulf Coast, Redding First sent a team of workers to help rebuild homes and churches. When we got there we found that churches from all over the nation as well as Canada and Mexico were there reaching out to hurting people.
We helped refurbish two Nazarene Churches, one at Pascagoula and one at Waveland and worked on many homes. You cannot believe the overwhelming devastation we saw. We stayed at a Nazarene church Family Center with many others from all over the states.
The Jesus Film Ministry
Thanks to Larry and Becky Haight who have been instrumental in this ministry.
Panama – July 21 – 30, 2007 – We decided to go on the Jesus Film trip to Panama instead of going on a four wheel drive trip. We wanted to do something for God, something that had eternal value instead of something that we would enjoy for a short while. What impressed me the most was the few worldly goods the people possessed but how accepting they were of the Gospel.
More about the Jesus Film Ministry
Mexico Outreach – Leaders: Jim & Sue Mehrwein – 1988,89 &90
The trips were affiliated with “Mexico Outreach”, sponsored by Azusa pacific University, and were during Easter Week. With this outreach about 3,000 teens were sent all over Northwestern Mexico to minister. For these three years Redding First teens were assigned to a little Nazarene Church in San Luis, Mexico, just south of the border from Yuma, Arizona.
More about the Mexico outreach trip
Project Yes – Mexico
By Stephen Campbell – I first became a youth pastor on the Sacramento District in 1999. It was at that time I learned about a very unique and amazing program called Project YES. This short-term mission opportunity was developed and run through Point Loma Nazarene University as a tool to help teenagers not just hear about missions, but to actually experience “foreign” mission.
More about Project Yes Mexico
Rachael’s Story – Experiences of a Lifetime
The first mission trip I ever went on was a weekend trip down to Stockton, CA. We went there to clean up a church and reach out to the youth of the community. I was 14 years old and I remember experiencing for the first time, a truly different culture. While working on the church was really fun, the best part of the whole trip was bonding with our own youth group and the youth of the community.
More about Rachael
Compassionate Ministries – Crisis Care Kits sent all over the world.
Dolores Carter, our Coordinator for Crisis Care Kits has packaged and mailed 330 kits since 2003. That is 55 boxes filled. This year, 2008, she has packaged 78 kits in 13 boxes. These numbers do not include the 50 to 75 kits that were personally delivered by a group from our church that went to help after Hurricane Katrina.
Living Hope Compassionate Ministries
The following is the last report by Pastor D who has since retired from his leadership role at Living Hope. The new executive director is Michael Mojarro. Mike has instituted a significant number of very innovative changes which he will be reporting on soon.
(from Pastor D) One outreach program Redding First Church of the Nazarene influenced is the ministry we call Living Hope Compassionate Ministries. This ministry was the result of a dream of a man named Lonnie Johnson. Lonnie accepted Jesus at Redding First Church of the Nazarene.He soon felt a call to the ministry. The people of the Church raised money for Lonnie to attend Bible School in Colorado Springs.While there, Lonnie got involved in a compassionate ministry program that interrupted his education by planting a vision in his heart.He returned to Redding with a burning desire to start a Compassionate ministry program in Redding.With the help of a group of people from our church along with Dan and Joy Thacker, who owned an empty warehouse, they started Living Hope at 1043 State Street. The ministry was incorporated in March of 1993.
More about Living Hope
Amy Brown – Eurasia Region – Communications & Teaching
For a longer description: I am 23 and graduated from Vanguard University with a degree in film. I am 5’6 and like long walks on the beach and a guy that can cook and enjoys making me happy. I stumbled on this mission from a friend (Jo Campbell) told me about a need for cinematographers in the Eurasia region.
I love photography, cinematography, and traveling and while on the field I get to do all three. Since I’ve been on the field I have had many great experiences, from being a part of a church plant, a Nazarene international youth conference, and helping homeless children. I work with amazing people with a tremendous desire and heart for communicating the needs of the world to others.
My job here consists of finding stories in the Eurasia region, documenting them then sending them to World Mission to turn into a quarterly DVD that is sent around the world. I am also in charge of photography and getting pictures archived or sent to those who want them. When I am at home in Switzerland, I am involved with the Eurasia Nazarene Bible College activities and individuals in media skills. So far the move here has been a challenge and tough at times. I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything.
Julene Tegerstrand – 2004-8 Korea Nazarene University
English chapel preaching and co-leading gave me space to talk freely about the gospel. I began to own my call to preach here. International church Bible studies and gatherings gave me a new worldview. I enjoyed getting to know Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese, New Zealanders, English, S. African, Canadians, and others.
My job was to teach English conversation to university students. Language learning is so difficult! Korean life is so competitive. There is nothing like on the job training. Since my training is in theology I learned how to teach ESL “on the job”.
Summer and Winter Vacations gave me opportunities to travel. The most significant of all were my visits to places of genocide— Auschwitz-Poland, Rwanda and Cambodia. These experiences are still transforming my life.
Betsy Lance – Teaching English in South Korea – Korea Nazarene University
12.09.06 – Arrived in Korea to teach elementary school English. The children, from Kindergarten on up, will come to the ‘Hogwan’ after school and the teachers will converse with them only in English.
12.14.06 – That very night, I spent $4.30 on a short (read: really really little) peppermint mocha from Starbucks. Yes, they’ve come to Cho’nan. And all I can say is, thank goodness! Because while I write this, I am drinking the “coffee” that is most common around here: a little packet of instant coffee crystals with powdered milk and sugar inside.
More about Betsy
The Mien Church – The Mission That Came to Redding
For many years Redding First Church of the Nazarene has been faithful in responding to God’s call to reach out to people around the world with the Gospel. We took to heart the words of Moses in which he exhorted the Israelites following their captivity in Egypt:
“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens…” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19).