ABWE International - Melissa Baccarella
Melissa Baccarella is a native to Southern California. She is with ABWE International and has been serving in Italy since February 2003. The first couple of years were near entirely dedicated to learning the language. Through lots of time, effort and dedication, Melissa is now fluent in Italian. Melissa is a teacher at heart and runs evangelistic Bible studies, creates discipleship materials in Italian, and ministers among the local poor and unemployed. Over the years and currently she has the joy of helping Italians to know Christ and obey Him in believer's baptism. In October 2017, her team planted the first ever Evangelical church where she lives in Caselle, an Italian town with near 2000 years of history, and from this modest beginning, their prayer is to see the launch of a regional church planting movement. Melissa completed her Masters Degree in Applied Theology in 2014 and is now pursuing her PhD in mission studies and cultural anthropology. Her team also welcomes interns that desire to be mentored in grassroots church planting.
The Rattins are in Uganda! In October 2011, Josh and Abby, with their five children—Gracie, Moses, Ana, Noah and Micah—moved from the United States to Gulu, Uganda. Gulu is a community broken by civil war, ex-child soldiers and sex slaves, fatherless families, prevalent HIV, and a lack of theological understanding. The Rattins will be working with existing ministries established and run by Action International Ministries. These ministries include an orphan ministry, caring for those affected by the rebel army, pastoral training, and more. Josh is directing Pastoral Leadership Development and serving as field director for the ministries, heading up a team of Ugandans and missionaries to minister to the community. Abby is the Medical Coordinator and Communications Coordinator and will be involved in the care of children with special needs as well as teaching others to give special medical care.
The Antioch Initiative (Ai)—Mike and Donna Gunn
Ai is a training/coaching ministry that equips church planters to help extend the kingdom of God to the nations, while planting healthy, gospel-centered churches in their own communities. They exist to create a network of these churches by making disciples and by multiplying coaches to encourage and mentor church planters. Their desire is to plant and to help others plant churches throughout the unreached world, especially amongst the 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world who do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God and savior of their souls. The Gunns have been called to serve in a country in Central Asia where less than .05% of the 75 Million people are Christians.
Operation Serve International (OSI) is a non-denominational ministry established in 1983 with a passion to extend the Kingdom of God on earth. OSI deploys hundreds of Great Commission minded Christians to serve the poor and needy as well as train national leaders. As a Kingdom minded ministry, their teams come from a wide range of Christian denominations and affiliations. Their motto is “Sharing the Love of Christ in Word & Deed!”
Ripe for Harvest—Brian and Pam Eichelberger
At one time the Czech Republic had a rich Christian heritage. Today however, most Czech people deny that God even exists. With less than 1% of the population professed evangelical believers, the Eichelberger family is committed to returning to this highly secularized nation to share Christ’s love. Through friendship evangelism, teaching ESL, sports outreach, wilderness training, hospitality, providing a safe haven for those experiencing the hardships of life (divorce, alcoholism, and human trafficking), and many people praying, they are confident that God will rebuild broken lives and establish new churches.
Perry and Brenda Jansen have been missionaries with SIM in Malawi, Africa since 2000. After beginning work in Malawi, it was clear that God had given them a heart for the many people living with HIV/AIDS. Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world with the 9th highest rate of HIV/AIDS. Nearly 1 million of its 13 million population are infected with HIV and 80,000 die each year. The Jansens serve by giving medical care to over 5,000 people each month. Caring for people during times of critical illness creates tremendous opportunities to share the love that Jesus has for each of these patients. Their ministry is based on James 2 - demonstrating Christ's love through caring for people's 'felt needs' which gives the Jansens an opportunity to share the Gospel in words and through service.
Vision Nationals—Arjuna Chiguluri
Vision Nationals purpose is to plant churches and to train people for ministry, along with transforming the lives of people by helping orphans and widows. Vision Nationals has planted over 400 churches in India. They also train 1000 planters and pastors each year, run a fully accredited seminary, serve 140 orphans, care for widows and provide medical care.