Dear Mission Supporters and Friends:
It’s hard to believe that 2017 has gone by so fast and now we are going into 2018. We trust you had a very Merry Christmas. We are writing you this newsletter right before we leave for our mission trip to Nicaragua. When we return, we will share all the wonderful stories and events of Christmas. We have some amazing things that has happened over the last month we want to tell you about now.
Ambassadors to the Nations–Celebrated 25 Years of Missions:
On December 2, we had a very special celebration. This year, it has been 25 years since Ambassadors to the Nations was established by Darey and myself. We had a gathering the night of December 2nd with our Freedom Christian Center churches, local partners and friends to celebrate 25 years of ministry. It was an amazing night. Todd, our Director of Operations, made a special video from pictures of mission trips of the past 25 years. It was so much fun seeing all of us 25 years younger, plus all the people that have traveled with us that many years. Everyone laughed and loved it. Our family, Bj, Lisa, Ava and Judah lead the worship. That was so special for us. Alexandria, one of our staff/missionaries danced to “We speak to Nations”. That was beautiful. We blessed all our staff and FCC pastors with Christmas gifts to thank them for their faithfulness. Thank God for 25 years!!
Promotions and Graduation Programs in Nicaragua:
The end of November, our schools in Nicaragua had their promotional programs for our preschoolers and 6th graders. Every year these children have special ceremonies to promote them into elementary from preschool and then the 6th graders to secondary school or what we call middle school. The programs are always so beautiful and a big thing in the lives of these children. A few days afterwards, our Senior Class Graduations were held at our schools. Many of these young people have been with us since they were in preschool. It is a super special day to see them graduate and now many will go on to the Universities or find a job. We are so proud of them. Thanks partners for giving to make it possible for these children to go to our schools and be educated and trained in the ways of the Lord. We will have more pictures in next month’s newsletter of us giving the Seniors their trophies, Class of 2017 T-shirts, an offering in a keepsake card and a book by Andrew Wommack.
Christmas at our After schools in Acuna, Mexico:
Our after schools take a few weeks off, when the schools end for the Christmas break in Acuna, Mexico. The after schools always do their Christmas parties around the second week of December before they leave for break. Now in Acuna, Mexico, we have 3 after schools with around 200 children. So, every after school has their own special parties. Our first after school we started 4 years ago, did something special with the children since this is our longest running after school program. There is a movie theater now in Acuna, so they took the children to a kid’s movie and everyone had popcorn and a soda. For most of these children, they have never been to a movie theater. This was a really BIG DEAL for them. We were so excited to see their faces so full of joy to do something they had never done before. They also had a party and received all their Christmas gifts we shipped to them. Then our after school number 2 and 3, had big parties with food, cupcakes and toy gift bags. We are so grateful that with your love and help the lives of these children in our after schools are being taught to worship and are learning the Word of God. We appreciate all the hard work of our staff and pastors in Mexico. We are leaving for Mexico the end of January with a team of over 30 people. This year the Charis Bible College of Charlotte, NC is going with us. We have already shipped all the toys, nursing home products, school supplies, etc. for our trip. It’s going to be powerful!!
Motorcycle Toy Run in Gastonia, NC:
For the past 3 years, we have been helping a local Motorcycle Toy Run for needy children near our Mission’s Headquarters. My brother, Mike is a motorcyclist, that has helped with this toy run for many years. The children that they help are ones that live in the poorest areas of Gaston County. For years, we have helped by giving them shoes, jackets, winter clothes and toys. My brother has asked us for years to please come and help give the items out to the children that come. Normally they have around 1000-1500 children that come out to receive help. Plus, there are around 1000-1200 bikers that come and bring things and help bless the kids. So, this year, we were in town and was able to go to one of the stops. They have 5 different stops that the bikers ride to, to help do the run. The event was beyond words. When all those bikers started pulling in with U-Haul trucks full of all the items, it was AMAZING!! The roar of so many bikes was something else to hear and see. The powerful thing was to see all the bikers from so many different groups that came together and worked for one common cause and that being those precious children. We were blessed to help in our local area for Christmas. My spiritual side kicked in while we were there helping the bikers. Most of them are there to meet the physical needs but we saw it as a chance to share God’s love. One lady was in line with her child and we could tell by her face having sores all over it, plus other things, that she was a meth user. I began to talk to her and told her, God loves you and she started to cry like a baby. We were able to pray and love on her. We knew God had us there to do more than just pass out shoes and coats. It was truly a great time. We look forward to doing more next year with them.
Helping Other Missionaries:
The Lord put on our hearts several years ago to start helping other missionaries in different countries. Many of these missionaries we have met through Charis Bible College with Andrew Wommack. We met a CBC graduate named Julie Mapatano from the Congo about 7 years ago, because during her second year in school, she went to Nicaragua with us. We fell in love with her as soon as we all met. She was so excited to see all that was being done in Nicaragua because she had the same desire to sponsor children and start schools in the Congo. After she got home, it was not long after that, she started helping children to go to school in her formal home in the Congo. Andrew Wommack has shared many stories about Julie and not too long ago, they did an Inside story on her. It was on his TV program only a few weeks ago. It is a tremendous story. Well for the last few years, the Lord put on our heart to bless Julie with shoes, toys, clothes, etc. for her children she helps in the Congo. However, about a month ago, she called and said Karen, “I need your help”. This time, she was talking about setting her missions up like we have ours set up with all the data systems, brochures, child sponsorship, table displays, etc. So, Julie and one of her staff, Linda Washington, who is one of our partners and a dear friend came with her to Charlotte, NC to our Mission’s Headquarters to receive more training by Darey, Todd and myself. Plus, she shared at our home church, about her missions on Sunday. It was a wonderful 5 days. We were just as excited about seeing her missions set up right and being successful as we are our own. We want to thank Joe for making her new brochures and Joey for doing her data base. Also to Todd for days of training and ordering banners, brochures and sharing his heart with them. We are happy to say that Julie’s mission’s outreach, Redeeming Love Ministries is so awesome. We know that God is blessing her to touch the lives of the precious children in the Congo. Please check her ministry out on her website rlmcongo.net. We love you Julie and Linda. The BEST IS YET TO COME!!
Update on School Text books and Reregistering our Schools in Nicaragua for 2018:
We are so grateful for all the offerings that have come in to help us with this BIG expense for our schools in Nicaragua every new school year. The cost has gone up so much over the years, that it takes a lot more to buy the books and reregister our schools with the feeding programs. Right now, we have taken in a little over $10,000 of the needed $20,000 for it all to be covered. We are so thankful for many of you going the extra mile to help us reach this goal by the end of January. We have this project listed on the enclosed slip again, in case you would like to be a part of meeting this need with us. We can never say thank you enough for your continual support and love.
2017 The Best Year in Missions:
It has been an amazing year for Ambassadors to the Nations. We could not have done all that has been done for God in the Nations without your generous love, prayers and giving. We look forward to all the things the Lord has for us to see the Nations turn to Him. We know the next 25 years we will see even more lives changed by the good news of the GOSPEL!!
2017 Tax Records:
We will be logging in all donations that come in with 2017 on them until around January 10th. Then after that, we will be sending out all the tax records to everyone before or by January 30th. Your tax record will be enclosed in your next month’s newsletter. We are so grateful for God and you for making this the biggest and most amazing year for missions we have ever had. We love you all from the bottom of our hearts!!
Reaching the Nations,
Darey and Karen Jolley