Archive for the Prayer Request Category

Urgency Over Complacency

Posted in Prayer Request on July 11, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners
Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetIt is impossible to read the gospels without catching the sense urgency that Jesus challenged His followers to live under. He constantly stressed the importance of watching with expectancy, being dressed ready, and even looking to the heavens for His return. And the last recorded words of our Lord in Scripture are “I am coming soon!”

Is it just me, or has the Church lost its sense of expectancy of the Lord’s soon return? Could it be that the Enemy has lulled followers of Jesus into a complacency regarding His return? Could it be that he has that he is very satisfied that we spend most or our time and effort trying to grow our churches rather than focusing on saving lost people from an eternity without Jesus?

Perhaps it is time that we go to our knees to repent of our complacency and pray that God’s Spirit would raise up a massive spirit of urgency for evangelism among our churches and a burning desire to do whatever it takes to see as many lost people saved as possible before Jesus’ soon return!

neil wheeler - circleNeil Wheeler
Director of Leader Care
neil@vef.cc

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Are You Praying For Your Church Elders? 4 Prayers that will Bless Them (and Benefit You)!

Posted in Outside Article Reference, Prayer Request on June 22, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Pray for us . . .”
      — Hebrews 13:2, NIV

iStock_000019212646SmallWhen is the last time you stopped to pray earnestly for the elders of your church? According to the Hebrew writer, they will one day have to “give an account” of how they led the Lord’s church under their care. It’s a sobering thought to have to stand before Christ and justify your actions.

Elders are just men, often from different walks of life, different generations, and at different stages of maturity in their faith. They’re human, prone to sin and imperfection. They don’t always make the right decisions.  They make mistakes. But most have the best interest of the flock in their hearts and minds.

When is the last time you intentionally, earnestly prayed for the elders of your church? They need it! Here are four specific areas you can pray for concerning the elders of your church:

Wisdom: Discerning the needs of the people, settling disputes among the church family, and overseeing the proper stewardship of giving all require much wisdom.  Elders often feel, as even Solomon did, under-qualified to lead the people of God.
Pray that God would grant the elders of your church the spiritual insight they need to fulfill their duties.

Vision: A good shepherd knows where to lead his flock and is always on the lookout for danger.  The elders of your church have been commissioned not to maintain the church but to grow it. They are looking for new ways to invest in the spiritual well-being of its people and to impact the community at large.
Pray that your elders will be given a vision for the future of the church that is in line with God’s vision and that they will hear the voice of the Great Shepherd leading them as they lead others.

Stamina: The elders of your church were selected because they manage their own households well. Elders are usually men with time and experience in leadership or management roles.
Leadership takes a toll. An elder gets tired in his body and in his spirit. He desperately needs the strength that God provides to adequately fulfill his ministry. Pray for health, endurance, vigor and grit for your elders. They need it!

Unity: One committee meeting can demonstrate how easily Christians disagree and get sideways with each other.  Satan loves disunity and disharmony in the church. Just look how many different churches there are!
Elders must strive to maintain unity within their own group and in the church to be effective shepherds. It is important for you to pray that the elders have unity among them and an ability to foster unity in the church.

So please… pray for your elders. It will bless you as much as them.

*Adapted from an article by Todd Brown on Bridge Christian Church’s Blog at bridgechristian.wordpress.com
Todd is the Senior Minister of Bridge Christian Church in Fishersville, VA.

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Prayer is on the Rise!

Posted in General Advice, Prayer Request on July 28, 2015 by Waypoint Church Partners

prayer wallIn Mark 13:18 Jesus offers a concise description of the Temple, His place of worship. He says, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” But the question churches must wrestle with is this: If Jesus were to visit your church this Sunday, would prayer be immediately visible to Him?

While one recent study found that less than 5% of churches have a significant mobilized prayer ministry, that trend is changing in churches across Virginia:

  • One church recently added a Prayer Wall to their worship room where people can leave the names of lost friends on note cards so others can intercede.
  • Others have strategically placed Prayer Rooms where people can go to pray during worship services.
  • Some are Prayer Walking neighborhoods, schools, or high-crime areas.
  • Sill others are re-visiting mid-week Prayer Services, where the only agenda is intercession.
  • Some have scheduled the Great Wall of Prayer from Team Expansion to offer a weekend prayer focus on unreached people groups.
  • Others are finding ways to pray for the ICOM 15 Church Plants.
  • Some are increasing the face-time of prayer during Sunday worship by finding creative ways to have people pray for key weekly themes (children, missionaries, etc.).
  • And many churches are offering intercessory prayer as one of the options during the end of the service response time.

How is the Prayer Ministry of your church growing? Please let us know and we would love to encourage other churches to pray through your story.

Don’t know where to start? Drop me a line; I would love to help you take your prayer ministry to a new level.

neil wheeler - circleNeil Wheeler
Director of Leader Care
neil@vef.cc

This article was originally published in the VEF Quarterly: Spring 2015 edition. If you would like to receive future printed editions of the VEF Quarterly, please send your name and mailing address to rachel@vef.cc

Roy B. Miller: Servant of Christ

Posted in Prayer Request on February 20, 2014 by Waypoint Church Partners
Roy Miller passed recently. Roy served as the Director of Evangelism for the VEF in the late 70’s and early 80’s. He helped organize and start several churches and construction of the buildings in which many of them met. Service for Roy and his wife, Viola, will be Saturday morning at Salem Church of Christ where they served for nearly 25 years.
Here is his obituary from the Roanoke Times:
 
MILLER, Roy B.
Roy B. Miller, 93, of Salem, died on Thursday, February 13, 2014, at Richfield Recovery and Care Center. A native of Winder, Ga., Mr. Miller had lived in Salem since 1953. After attending North Georgia College and the University of Georgia, both he and his wife, Viola, graduated from Atlanta Christian College (ACC) in 1943, the second graduating class of that institution.

He was a professor at ACC for four years and also served on its board of trustees for 50 years. He was Alumni Association President in 1960, received an honorary doctorate from ACC in 1964, and twice received Alumnus of The Year award.

Ministerial students will continue to receive scholarships through The Roy and Viola Miller Scholarship Fund.

Mr. Miller served congregations in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. His longest ministry of 24 years was with the Salem of Christ on West Main Street, Salem, Va. Numerous new congregations started with his assistance and guidance. Four of these were in the Roanoke Valley area. Many young men and women were influenced to enter full time ministry by Roy and Viola.

Roy entered Rotary International on March 19, 1958, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow and a Paul Harris Sustaining Fellow. He became a Skelton Fellow in 2005. As a Rotarian of 50+ years he was well known as the club’s song leader. Roy traveled the state of Virginia for nine years as the Director of Evangelism with the Virginia Evangelizing Fellowship.

Roy was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Viola. Survivors include his daughter, Beverly K. Ball, of Lake Spivey, Ga.; his son, Byron Miller, of Leesburg, Ga.; a sister, Ruth Groover, of Fayetteville, Ga.; six grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Service for Roy and Viola will be held at the Salem Church of Christ at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2014. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. There will be no graveside service. Those desiring may make donations, please consider Jesus Place Inter City Mission, P.O. Box 90368, Atlanta, GA 30364. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.lotzfuneralhomes.com

Dave Hileman headshot - circle smDave Hileman
Executive Director

Transformation in Sad Village

Posted in Church Planting, Prayer Request on February 20, 2014 by Waypoint Church Partners

You may remember our recent article on how the VEF is partnering with Togo Christian Mission to plant a church in 2015 alongside the International Conference on Missions (ICOM), but they aren’t waiting to start working until then! Togo Christian Mission is hard at work, bringing the gospel into new places every day. Here is their latest update about their work in ‘Sad Village.’

We are always praising God for the growth He is bringing daily into this new Church plant in Sad Village.

Along with our pre-evangelism we have started to spend more time discipling our 7 new Christians who have been baptized in the sad village:  Julie, Pascal and his wife Yawavi, Noah, Koffi, Rosa, and Bruce. We believe with time these individuals will pass on the teachings we are giving them currently to others in the Church and throughout the village as well.

Julie is the young woman sitting in the middle of the bench with the white dress.

Julie is one of the first adults from sad village to contribute to the growth of this new Church plant along with our Church Planters Felix, Tadeo, Amouzou, and Elom.  She is a widow who has grown up in Sad Village.  Julie has been volunteering to clean the area, bringing people together for services, and share about God to friends in the village.
Julie said that Satan did not change her life but wasted her time and money.  She sees the good deeds that God started doing through TCM’s staff coming to the village.  She watched them caring for them, showing God’s love to them by cleaning their wounds, helping to treat their sicknesses, and showing love to their children in the village.  Julie said she began to realize that the real life is in Christ.  She said,

“Jesus does not lie, He does not waste your time or your money, but rather there is love, life, and there is power of light in Him.”

She also relates that when you go to the witch doctor they will lie to you and steal the little money you have and tell you that your sickness will go away but it does not go away.  She tells us a story of when she was a new follower of Christ and her daughter Emefa was ill.  Her daughter had a high fever, and Julie prayed and God listened to her prayer and healed her daughter.  This has taught her that God is more powerful than Satan and given her yet another powerful testimony to share in her home village!

Vo Asso Church Plant


These men are from the Church plant in Vo Asso, which is about 17 Miles away from Vogan, where our ministry is based out of.  They are receiving Leadership training and Discipleship in order to start new Church Plants.  Their names are (from right to left):  Mathias, Isaac, Philip, and  Soletey.  Please keep these men in your prayers!

Vo Asso is also one of the villages full of Voodoo practices sorcery and polygamy.  The first time we began the Vo Asso Church Plant, we encounter a lot of persecutions. When the Church was first started someone set fire to the building.  God acted in a mighty and powerful way by sending us people from the community to help put the fire out by fetching water from their well.  God worked through I.D.E.S (International Disaster Emergency Service) to help reconstruct another building for the Church to meet in.  Currently the Vo Asso Church Plant is growing well, and we pray that these 4 Timothys ( Mathias, Isaac, Philip and Soletey) in Vo asso Church will be faithful throughout the training so that they will be equipped and ready to start new Church Plants.

A new additional school building!  Kristina and Michael partnered with us to help us raise the funds needed to construct another classroom for our school building so that we will be able to expand our primary school through the 6th grade!  They invested a lot of hard work into this building and we were blessed to have them work alongside our local workers on this project!  What a blessing they were!

Prayer Points:

  • Thanksgiving: We thank God for watching over Kristina and Michael during their time in Togo. Praise the Lord they helped with the construction of the additional school building. It looks great!
  • Summer Internships:  Marissa is studying English at ECU and Avery is majoring in Biology. Pray that God brings these two young women from different professional fields to Vogan,Togo safe. Let us pray that we can learn from them and they can also learn from us in all aspects of our mission such as:  Church Planting, Medical Outreach, Christian School and Community Development.
  • Sara, Dovene & Nathan: Pray that God gives them strength and continues to provide for the ministry as they are raising financial partners for the whole ministry. They are also getting prepared to move back to Togo full-time in August to work with the team.
  • Our Partners:  God bless and watch over all of you who are reading this news right now, you all who pray and contribute in any way for the growth of this mission.
  • Next School Project:  We are praying and planning towards building a simple building that will serve as a computer lab.  We hope to install Bilingual Literacy programs on the computers.  This facility will serve both the children in the school to help polish their English and French but will also be open for literacy courses for those in the community to help foster literacy.  This could be a big outreach to our local community in Vogan for Christ!

For real, we have not received any prayer requests yet!  If you have any prayer requests, please send them to us at:  togochristianmission@gmail.com  We would love to be in prayer with you as our partners in ministry!

Togo Christian Mission

Posted in Church Planting, Prayer Request on December 17, 2013 by Waypoint Church Partners

You may have heard: The International Conference on Missions (ICOM) is coming to Richmond, Virginia in 2015! To learn more about what this means for churches in Virginia and beyond, visit our previous post about it by clicking here.

This includes an initiative, started by the VEF, to plant seven churches worldwide in conjunction with 2015 year of ICOM. This includes a church in all six of the habitable continents: specifically the Brazilian Amazon (South America), Minsk, Belarus (Europe), Togo (West Africa), East India (Asia), Auckland, New Zealand (Pacific Islands), Northern Virginia AND Toronto, Canada (North America).

tcm-logo-1The African church plant to be funded at ICOM in 2015 is in Togo, West Africa. The mission is led by Hammer and Dela Afakule, full-time missionaries in Hammer’s homeland of Togo. Hammer trained in Ghana at Ghana Bible College. Their son, Dovene, has just graduated from Johnson University, Tennessee and he and his wife, Sara, a registered nurse, will join the team in Togo early in 2014. Their outreach includes a medical ministry, Christian school, and community development. All outreach areas assist in building relationships for Church Planting, which is at the core of Togo Christian Mission.

LeadersHammer disciples four men in Togo so that they will make disciples who in turn make more disciples; continuation of this process will result in new church plants across the country. Currently, they are working in a village called “Sad Village.” Dovene says, “It is a village full of Voodoo worship, and it is very difficult sharing the gospel, particularly to the adults in that village. But children are open to hearing the gospel. God is praised that through these children their parents’ hearts may be open to become followers of Christ.” Right now, Hammer is going with the four church planters to some of the houses in the Sad Village to build relationships with the people and share with them how to become a follower of Christ. The goal is to train those leaders to plant a new church plant in that village.

Baptism2Please pray for Togo Christian Mission as they continue to sow the seed of the gospel in “Sad Village,” and that by 2015 they will be ready to plant a strong and thriving church in that area of Togo.

Please add ICOM church planting to your prayers and read more about this wonderful mission at www.togochristianmission.org.

If you would like to support the effort to begin the church in Sad Village, contact: Dave Hileman, 757-897-0223 or dave@vef.cc

Dave Hileman headshot - circle smDave Hileman
Executive Director

Getting Punched in the Face

Posted in Church Planting, Prayer Request on June 27, 2013 by Waypoint Church Partners

Resiliency by Geoff Surratt
“Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face”  Mike Tyson

The one common factor in every church plant is getting punched in the face. It may be a best friend who decides to move back home, a key family who transfers to the local mega church so their kids can attend a better youth program, or discovering the worship leader is sleeping with a band member to whom they are not married. For me it was the three biggest tithing families representing over 25% of the annual budget quitting the church in a two-week period.

I’ve yet to meet a church planter who hasn’t experienced a gut-wrenching, circumstantial punch to the face, often repeatedly. Some leaders  get up from the canvas and stay in the match; many leaders count the cost and decide that it is just too difficult to continue to fight.Getting punched in the face again and again and again isn’t necessarily the right decision. Many times the pain is so great, the cost so enormous that the only reasonable choice is to throw in the towel. This doesn’t mean the leader is weak or wrong, it simply means the match is over and the church closes. The church plants that survive and thrive are led by leaders who are able take the punches and get up from the canvas again and again. In many cases the only reason a church plant is still alive is because the leader doesn’t have the sense to quit.

Thanks to Geoff Surratt for this church-planting dose of reality. Let’s all take a moment and pray for the church planters across Virginia and beyond who may feel like they just got punched in the face by bad news. May God give them the courage and fortitude to react with wisdom, and to continue to lead their people into hope.

We are so thankful for each of our church planters who go through difficult times and who do not give up!