RCBC Missionary Update : The Heizers
Dear Friends, It’s stunning to see how rapidly all of our lives have changed! In fact, just two weeks ago, my wife Mindi and I were still in Barcelona, Spain wrapping up a three week visit to seven missionary families across England, France and Spain. I can recall being in Fréjus, along the southern coast of France, only a few hours away from the epicenter of one of the most infected areas in northern Italy, and feeling little to no concern or impact. The people there carried on normally, as did we, unalarmed by what was taking place just across the border. Only days after our return home, Spain and France were themselves thrown into panic as this tiny enemy continued its onslaught. For most of us, I think we felt insulated from the “world’s” problems. Things here had been going so well. We had been experiencing record prosperity. “There’s no way all of that is coming here!” we thought. Well, it has. And we have all been thrust into a valley experience together. These next weeks, if not months, are going to force us all to recalibrate our perspective of who God is and how we can still find victory in the valley. PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE! — As we consider God’s timing, we are so grateful that the Lord allowed us to complete our visits as Area Director for Europe just before the COVID-19 tsunami swept over the European and American landscape! We are also grateful that having traveled in Europe, it does not appear that we were infected having presented no symptoms for the past fourteen days. PRAISE! — For very encouraging visits. We sensed a special unity in the Spirit with each family and believe that God brought a special renewal. Many important items were discussed with each missionary. We believe in the crucial nature of our role in encouraging and equipping these gospel laborers. Below are a some comments we received for your encouragement: “We are grateful for Ken and Mindi’s visit to us. We believe it is invaluable to missionaries to meet with them…We enjoyed sharing with them our ministry and asking advice as needed from them. We talked over our goals for the next year. It makes a big difference when our Area Director has experienced missionary life. He brings insight into working together as teams and talking through our goals.” — missionary in the UK “I wanted to say again how much of an encouragement your visit was. Spending time with us, seeing the ministries, listening to our heart, sharing encouragement or just helping carry the burden - it was all a gift from God. We're so thankful that you invest in trips to visit all of us here in Europe, and so thankful that you have supporters who make this possible. I hope they realize the value of supporting you so that you can dedicate time to us. It's a real part of the work God is doing in Europe. God has prepared you for this through your years "here" in Italy, and we appreciate greatly the way you understand ministry over here and how you are able to articulate that to others back in the U.S. I wish I could say all of that to your supporters! :)” — missionary in Spain PRAISE! — Two families have been diligently raising support and preparing to deploy over the past couple of years. We have had the privilege of coaching them and supporting them through the rigors of support raising and decision making. As of today, both families, one heading to England and the other heading to France, have raised 100% of their monthly support and have approved entry visas in hand! We had encouraged both of them that the Lord would make His timing known. Well, over the past several weeks, He sure has! It’s been amazing to see all of the pieces come together! PRAISE! — In January, we pleaded with you to ask the Lord to raise up a team of willing volunteers to run or children and teens ministries during our annual conference in Germany. Well, you must have prayed because just a few days after our update went out, we were put in contact with a group who was excited to encourage our missionaries through this ministry this summer! Jehova Jireh! PRAY WITH US! PRAY! — With visas in hand and support raised, the above-mentioned missionaries are ready to go — selling possessions, storing other items and preparing for “see ya laters!” These are exciting and surreal times for them, we know from experience! However, with the world in chaos we are diligently working together with their sending churches, BMW personnel “on the ground” in their receiving fields, and our BMW Crisis Management Team to assess the risk and feasibility of deploying in the current global environment. What’s more, entry visas are not easy to come by and carry deadlines for arrival in country. We need much wisdom! Please pray that God will make things unambiguous to us all and that we will have a clear consensus regarding their departure timelines. PRAY! — We have been working closely with BMW’s Crisis Management Team to assist our missionaries overseas in assessing their risk and formulating contingency plans for emergencies. Our Crisis Management Team has put in countless hours since forming in January. We are so grateful to be a part of a mission agency who stands so ready and willing to serve its members. I, Ken, just returned last week from Cleveland, Ohio where I received crisis management training as a part of BMW’s efforts to equip every area director to interact with and support our members during just such times as these. Please continue to pray, as I know you are, for God’s people to shine during these days of panic, fear and uncertainty! PRAY! — Travel plans all across our mission family have been severely disrupted, as you can imagine. We are in a “wait and see” mode regarding our summer plans which include three weeks in Atlanta for new missionary candidates and three weeks in Europe for our annual BMW European Leadership Conference in Germany and other planned field visits. With tightening travel restrictions across Europe, we may have to rethink many plans. I know that many of you are in the same boat! May the Lord grant us the vision to see the right decisions and the faith to trust Him for the outcome! PRAY! — One of our missionary families in Barcelona has been on the forefront of the Christian education movement in Spain. There are few to no options available to families. Homeschooling is not a legal option across Spain and the presence of a Christ-centered Christian school would not only carry enormous gospel impact in terms of evangelistic contacts but would also support and encourage other gospel workers in Barcelona who are desperate for good educational options for their children. Synergy International Christian School is a project that has been in the works for years and has seen many ups and downs. The vast majority of the needed funding to finally be a fully accredited and legally recognized foreign American private school have already been provided. The school was open and growing until legal complications due to ambiguity in the law forced them to make several major changes, including meeting specific requirements for the facility. Please pray that an undeveloped land purchase made for a previous site plan will sell before the end of March! The school needs Euro 90,000 by month’s end to meet the September opening goal! PRAY! — Finally, please pray for additional opportunities in personal evangelism. Just before leaving to Europe in February, Ken had several opportunities to share the gospel clearly and completely with a man named, Jesse. We are praying for Jesse to surrender to God’s love and thinking about how we can be useful to the Lord in evangelism during this “shut down.” SUMMARY PRAISE — God’s protection and safety during our travels in Europe! PRAISE — Spirit-filled and led visits with our missionaries! PRAISE — Two missionary families ready to deploy to the UK and France! PRAISE — God provided a children/youth ministry team for our conference in August. PRAY — Wisdom for departure timelines for these two missionary families in this covid-19 environment. PRAY — For BMW’s Crisis Management Team and area directors to lead well during this global pandemic. PRAY — Wisdom for planned travel and conference this summer. PRAY — Provision for Synergy International Christian School in Barcelona. PRAY — Opportunities for personal evangelism Each of you are part of our essential supply chain providing direct prayer support for our work and the work of over 30 other missionary families directly blessed and strengthened through the ministry God has given to us! Together, we are working to see a church for every community in the spiritually barren landscape of Europe and the United Kingdom. THANK YOU! You are loved! Ken and Mindi If you would like to donate to the ministry of Ken and Mindi Heizer, please click here to find out how! Heizer ministry account number is “004224”.