A Heritage of Missions
LifePoint has over 100 years of history in various types of missionary work around the world - an endeavor which we continue to support. We have an active missions committee which meets monthly to manage communications, pray and disperse funds. LifePoint maintains a missions fund separate from the general church budget. All money contributed to this fund goes straight to missions outreach.
Though we support missionaries who work through a variety of missions agencies, our primary avenue of involvement is through the Baptist General Conference/Converge Worldwide whose vision is expressed here.
World missions is alive and it is exciting to see God working! You don't have to be a missionary to get involved in world missions - just call the LifePoint church office (651-774-8609) for our missions committee contact information and see how you might get involved.
If you have any questions about missions at LifePoint email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan and Sandy Varberg
Converge - Philippines
Dan and Sandy serve at Faith Academy. Faith Academy is an international Christian school offering preK - 12 education for the children of Christian workers as well as other national and international students. By educating these students, the school plays an important part in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout SouthEast Asia. Dan serves in the Facilities Department by supervising the custodial, transportation and grounds departments. Sandy serves as the Head Nurse of the Health Services.
Dan and Sandy Varberg
c/o Faith Academy MCPO Box 2016, 0706 Makati, PHILIPPINES
See Dan' and Sandy's mission page on Converge.org
Steve and Rhonda Schwarze
FEBC - Philippines
Steve and Rhonda Schwarze have served in a variety of roles with FEBC at Faith Academy since 1984. Faith's mission continues to be to educate the children of families involved in full time Christian service in Asia.
Steve and Rhonda will be in the U.S. on furlough from July 2016-June 2017. They would appreciate prayer for meaningful times with family, friends, supporters and churches. They also need to raise additional support so would appreciate prayer for that. This furlough will involve a lot of traveling so please pray for safety
Mailing Address: Steve and Rhonda Schwarze
MCPO Box 2016, 0706 Makati City, Philippines
Also, see Steve's and Rhonda's page at febc.org.
Chad and Britt Peterson
USA - Teens for Christ
Twin Cities, MN & Western Wisconsin
Teens For Christ is dedicated to reaching teens with the gospel of Jesus Christ, helping them grow in the lord, and guiding them as disciples for Jesus. We want to reach teens with the Gospel and see them grow in faith. Many youth ministries have these goals. One thing that makes TFC unique is that we also strive to put teens in positions where God is working through their lives, thus giving them a ministry of their own. Each TFC program provides teens with opportunities for leadership and evangelism.
Chad first came to Christ as a young child. At home one night with parents I understood my own sin, God’s judgment on it, and because of his taking my punishment on the cross, I trusted Jesus as my Savior. I grew in knowledge of God through Church, AWANA, parents, and reading the Bible. At the age of 13, God birthed in me a passion for the lost through a week of Summer Bible camp. After college graduation, and a year of teaching 3rd grade, in 1998 the spirit led me to begin working with Teens For Christ. I married my best friend in 2000, and we have been striving to serve God together ever since.
Pray for TFC staff: that God would give them wisdom and creativity in their youth ministry, that they would be challenged and renewed in their daily walks with Christ, and that God would bless and provide for their families.
Pray for the youth involved in our ministries, that they would encounter Jesus and would grow in their faith through the relationships they form and the activities they engage in at TFC.
Pray for the faculty of ITE (the Institute for Teen Evangelism), that they would encounter and communicate clearly the glory of the Gospel through the classes that they teach.
Pray that the ITE students would be well equipped through ITE for whatever step or ministry the Lord calls them to next.
Pray that God would bless our efforts over the coming 5 years to start a national Bible quizzing program in Belize.
Learn much more at Teens for Christ Website.
Brynne is serving with Network of International Christian Schools in Nairobi, Kenya. She is teaching high school English and Literature to 9th and 10th graders at West Nairobi School. Her students represent many countries from around the world and come from families in mission/ministry work, diplomatic service, businesses and non-government organizations.
Todd and Karen Indehar
Converge - Thailand
Ministry: We are working among the urban poor in Bangkok, Thailand, seeking to start a church planting movement. Our goal is to ignite in them a passion for the supremacy of Jesus Christ as their only true Lord and Savior. One avenue for this is through our evangelistic English school which provides fantastic opportunities for short term missions. We also work in a slum community doing a variety of outreaches including English teaching and Bible study.
Karen's Missions Testimony:
Nearly 20 yrs ago a missionary from the BGC (Baptist General Conference) brought a video from Africa to our home church on our missions Sunday. As I watched it seemed so clear: God had been preparing me for this work all my life.
Not many years later we went on our first short term trip which God had clearly led us to Thailand. In the short time we had we made close relationships and even saw people come to Christ! We came full time in 2005, and one person we met on our first trip in 2000 is now the director of our English center.
It's been a time of growth and we thank God for the support and encouragement from Trinity.
Organization website: https://www.converge.org/give/149040
1) Pray for God to continue moving in powerful ways in the hearts of English school students.
2) Pray for more short term (1 month or longer) teachers to join hands with us in evangelizing, discipling and planting churches among the unreached people of Thailand.
3) Pray for the many exciting things God is doing in our slum community ministry including the weekly children's and teen programs as well as the adult Bible study.
Biography – I was adopted into a nominal Lutheran family and grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis. As a teen I stopped going to church and led a life that put myself as captain of my ship, until I was 35 years old. At that time, though fairly successful by worldly standards the feeling that true happiness was missing in my life intensified. Through my involvement in the political process I came to realize the futility of politics as being a way to help others and myself find happiness. I had come face to face with not just the futility and pointlessness of my life, but with my own weakness and sinfulness. Thankfully God had provided a brother in a local Baptist church who had befriended, encouraged and witnessed to me during many dark days. One day, after a particularly harrowing event the night before, I decided I needed to do something. So I went to his church, snuck in the back with my family so no one would see me, opened the pew Bible and began reading. For the first time in my life it meant something to me - it was like the truth of everything I read was jumping right off the pages into my heart. I didn't know much then about Jesus, grace, sin, etc., but at that moment I had an unshakable sense that every word in that book was true. As time went on I had that confirmed and received baptism. I haven't looked back in 20 years of being the beneficiary of the most amazing grace a person could ever ask for, in spite of enduring many trials along the way including being a missionary for 11 years in Thailand.
Tim and Mary A.
West Africa - Converge
Ministry description: Tim is a teacher at a boarding school for missionary and local children. In addition to teaching, Tim and Mary Sue serve in various other ministry roles associated with the school. MK (Missionary Kids) schools are a vital component of the global missions effort, enabling missionary families to live and serve in places where local educational options are limited or non-existent.
Tim's and Mary's Converge.org page
Eric and Janet Johnson
Converge - Mexico
Janet started and co-leads the national “Red De Amor” (LoveNet) ministry with Baptist pastors’ wives. Pastors’ wives are such a strategic group. But few in Mexico have a safe place to be listened to, share their hurts and struggles, be prayed for and recharge their batteries, or to receive new resources to enrich their ministries. “Red De Amor” helps fill this gap and has been gratefully received by Mexican Baptist pastors’ wives on thirteen teams throughout the country. She also started and co-leads a ministry of the women in our church.
That we might develop a network of healthy, supportive, mutually-edifying relationships with and among the pastoral couples and church leaders we work with.
That we might fan the vision of our pastoral couples to lead their churches to healthy growth and reproduction and assist them to rewire the DNA of their congregations by launching specific new ministries or restructuring existing ones.
That LoveNet (ministry to pastors’ wives) will continue expanding throughout Mexico as the women grow in their love for God, for others, and as they bear much healthy fruit in transformed lives.
That LoveNet will continue expanding throughout Mexico as the women grow in their love for God, for others, and as they bear much healthy fruit in transformed lives.
Eric was born in Kansas City, MO, and grew up in Houston, Boston, and Atlanta. Janet was born in Hannibal, MO, and grew up there and in Des Moines, IA. Both attended church from childhood and gave their lives to Christ as teenagers. They met while serving as summer missionaries in Florida in 1971 and married in 1972.
• Eric earned a B.A. in History from West Georgia College in Carrollton, GA (1973) and a Master of Divinity degree from Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN (1978).
• Janet earned a B.S. in Music Ed. from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK (1972) and a Masters in Music degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL (1994).
Their daughter, Angela, graduated from college in Mexico City and married Roberto. They live with their 3 children in Mexico City. Bobby works for a large publishing company and they pastor a church part-time. Jeff, their son, graduated from Northern Ill. Univ., married Sarah, and they have a daughter, Shannon. Jeff graduated from Moody Seminary and serves at a Bible Church.
Following graduation from Bethel Seminary, Eric served as the assistant pastor and interim pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church in Roseland on the south side of Chicago from 1978-1982.
The Johnsons began their service as Baptist General Conference missionaries in Mexico City in 1983. Eric worked in church planting and church mobilization, helped churches start ministries in evangelism, small groups, and disciple-making, and did church health profiles with Natural Church Development. He taught occasionally at the Mexican Baptist Seminary and served on national committees of the Mexican Baptist Convention. Janet taught piano and music-related courses at the Mexican Baptist Seminary in Mexico City for seventeen years, assisted churches in organizing and leading children’s choirs, and worked in local church women’s ministry.
Eric and Janet are both only children and, with their parents advancing in years, the couple returned to live in the U.S. in 2002 after nearly twenty years in Mexico.
Eric served as Director of Church Mobilization and Latino ministry in the Midwest (Converge Mid-America) Baptist Conference from November, 2002 through April, 2007. He worked with LEAD teams, Natural Church Development, the Retool Kit, taught at the Hispanic Bible School in Chicago, and led five Latino churches through a pilot version of the Spanish Retool Kit. Janet worked with the district in Hispanic women’s ministry and LEADNet, served on the national CWW LeadNet team, and taught at the Hispanic Bible School. In May, 2007, the Johnsons returned to work with Converge Worldwide in U.S. Latino ministry as Inter-cultural missionaries.
The Johnsons were reassigned to Mexico in 2009 by Converge International Ministries and moved to Monterrey in 2010. Eric led five Baptist churches through the Retool Kit process, does NCD profiles, and gives conferences on cell groups and disciple-making. Janet starts, develops, and promotes LEADNet teams for pastors’ wives and has adapted the LEADNet materials for use in women’s ministry. They are now into their last term of ministry in Monterrey before retirement (at a yet-to-be-determined date and country).
Also, see Eric's and Janet's Converge.org web page.
Chris and Faith Creech
In our retirement years (which are really not retirement at all), we emphasize teaching our course on ministry conflict prevention which we used for many years at several seminaries in Asia. The course we teach is based on the Biblical principles which we placed in our book, Toxic Church. We found these courses very instrumental in preventing many missionaries and pastors from leaving their respective ministries due to conflict within their own team or church. Currently, we teach these courses in 4 primary Asian countries as adjuncts of 3 different seminaries and in the US and Canada. We spend approximately half of our time in Asia and half of our time in the US and Canada. We have been used quite a bit in the Minnesota-Iowa district of Converge. We spend approximately half of our ministry time in the US within these two states, working for Dan Carlson and the churches of this district. Our course consists of lecture and small group sessions, which help those in ministry understand why ministries function and why they sometimes fail to function. During small group sessions, students learn why their own behavior patterns may harm ministry and how to change these behavior patterns from those which might harm ministry into those which heal ministry and cause it to blossom.
Please pray for our stamina. The schedule we are keeping is grueling, particularly for two people who are supposed to be retired. Please also pray for effectiveness within many different cultural situations. Pray for our time during September-early December in Thailand and the Chinese Missionary Training Center and in Singapore and Myanmar as we teach courses for two different Singaporean seminaries. We also ask for prayers that I can finish a sequel to my book, which places into print many of the principles that we now teach in our seminars.
Chris has served in ministry for over 44 years including almost 30 years as a pastor and/or church planter in the United States and in Canada. During the last eight years, he has served as a missionary of the Baptist General Conference in Singapore and Malaysia as a seminary lecturer and chaplain. Chris has a B. S. from the University of Colorado in Boulder and an M. Div. and a Ph. D. from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth. He has also done adjunct teaching in Russia, Estonia, Israel, Jordan, Brazil, Canada, China, Thailand, Myanmar and the United States. Due to the experience of seeing many pastors, church leaders, and missionaries suffer as the result of conflict in ministry, Chris designed several seminary level classes which are designed to teach how to Biblically treat and prevent conflict within the local church or within any ministry team. As a result of the experience of teaching these courses, Chris has written the book, Toxic Church. This book outlines the causes and cures of conflict within Christian ministries and teaches how to Biblically address and prevent these problems.
Faith has been a pastor’s wife for almost 30 years. During those years, she had an active ministry within the local church which has included ministry to children and women as a mentor and teacher. She has also taught for 18 years in Christian and public schools. Faith has a B. S. in elementary education from Baylor University. As a missionary, she has been mentoring large numbers of female students and the wives of male students. She has also team taught several counseling courses with Chris as they have developed classes which address the causes of conflict and the biblical solutions. Faith has also been focusing on helping pastor’s wives assist their husbands in dealing with the day to day struggles of local church ministry.
Craig and Becky Nordgren
Send - Minnesota
MDE is a service organization dedicated to partnering with mature believers who desire to utilize their vocational or business skills and experience in unreached communities for the purpose of disciple-making and church planting. Our goal is to help connect those believers with opportunities and resources that encourage and enable them to use those skills and passions while teaming with others in planting healthy, reproducing churches through the natural relationships that flow from working and living in authentic ways in those communities. We connect our members with:
Job or business opportunities in unreached communities;
Ministry development, cultural adaptation and accountability training and resources;
Personal support services; and
Disciple-making/church planting teammates
We believe God has called us to make disciples of all nations. However, we can’t do that in many nations through a “traditional” missions’ approach. But God is allowing “regular” Christians, who have skills to offer an unreached community, to go live and work in those nations. Through that pathway, even in “closed” countries, Christians have incredible opportunities to bring the presence and message of Jesus to the people they live among. We also believe that disciple-making is often best done through personal relationships and that those relationships are best built through the natural relationships that start in the workplace and grow through the flow of real-life in the community.
MDE members go to the unreached as:
Tentmakers – who have full-time jobs with international or local companies.
Business as Mission entrepreneurs – who establish and run for-profit businesses.
Community & economic developers – who participate in efforts to meet the economic and social systems of their new community.
See website: www.buildmde.com
One Challenge - Bulgaria
Sara facilitates projects, research, and training related to church planting. She is involved in two significant partnerships. One is with the Navigators' Discipling for Development ministry. This holistic training and mentoring program is being used with Roma and Turkish-speaking pastors and leaders. Sara also works with the Minnesota Coalition for Eastern Europe. In this role she assists Bulgarian Christians develop projects and ministries that will contribute the outreach, discipleship, and starting new churches. Over the years she has been asked to consult with a number of mission organizations working in Bulgaria and Macedonia. Sara was the theological editor for the Bulgarian translation of the Kairos Course (comparable to the Perspectivesmissions course used in US churches).
Biography – . Sara's involvement with the Navigators at Iowa State University when she was still a young Christian deeply influenced her thinking about the world and missions. Not long after moving to the Twin Cities in the early 1980s, she joined a Converge/BGC church and made a commitment to personally pursue cross-cultural missions. After graduating from Bethel Seminary and working in the Philippines for several years, through a variety of circumstances God led her to Eastern Europe. Since 1994 she has lived and worked in Bulgaria. She has had a number of involvements over the years in training and mentoring church planters. Sara is a missions researcher, and her doctoral research focused on young, urban Bulgarians.
Prayer requests:Pray for the development of Roma pastors, teachers, and leaders and that they would influence their communities spiritually and in every area of life. -
Pray for young Bulgarians--Christians and others--who are disillusioned and frustrated by the corruption in government and business. Many think of emigration as the only way out. Please pray that instead they would find meaning and forgiveness in Christ.
Sara's website is http://eepurl.com/VoXYD.
Find Sara on Twitter @1000wordsBG
Also, see Sara's additional links: Organization: One Challenge International
Working with linguistics and translations in distant lands.
Paul and Margie Varberg
Converge - Philippines
Paul and Margie have been starting and leading ministries among the 2.6 million Waray people of the Philippines for the past 28 years. They have successfully started the Tacloban Bible Community Church, the InGen Campus ministry and Bethel International School. Paul is currently leading a team that is translating the Bible into Waray. Paul also continues to serve as the superintendent of Bethel International School and is starting a church planting institute within the Tacloban Bible Community church.
Click here for Paul's and Margie's Converge web page.