Steve & Nopaluck Cable
Steve and Nopaluck Cable are missionaries with Converge Worldwide (BGC) who have served in Thailand since 1990. They are focused on church planting and evangelism with Peace Fellowship Church, Bankok. The Cables' are also focused on reaching the students of Rankamhang University. They also provide English classes and computer training at Santisuk English School. Students are also invited to various camps during the year, such as sports camps & friendship camps (to practice English and to discuss various topics). The Cables and their colleagues also work with several churches that have been planted, mainly through the multiplication of small cell groups for Bible Study. Nopaluck has a special role within the ministry, as she spends much of her time translating materials for use in English classes and Bible studies. Her translations are being used by many other groups ministering in Thailand as well.
Jeff & Barb Chapman
Jeff and Barb Chapman are planting Christ Community Church in Ikoma, Japan. Ikoma is near Osaka, Japan's second largest city (7 million people).
The BGC has been planting churches in Japan since 1948. We work cooperatively with the Rengo (Japan Baptist Church Association). Church planting in Japan has been a very slow process, as Japanese people face many time pressures and strong family cultural and religious traditions. However, there has been a new openness to the gospel since the tsunami of March 2011. Many Japanese people live in fear of another earthquake or tsunami and they are more interested in hearing about the peace to be found in Jesus Christ.
Christ Community Church rents a house to use for a Sunday afternoon Celebration Service and a once-a-month Kids Church. The Chapmans also hold English classes and a monthly English worship service.
Jerry & Dorphia David
Jerry and Dorphia David founded Gentle Shepherd Ministries, an InFaith ministry that reaches out to seniors in care facilities and inmates in county jails throughout southern Minnesota. GSM provides one-on-one visits, church services, and Bible studies to residents of local senior care facilities. The jail ministry through GSM, called Broken Chains Fellowship, provides Bible studies for inmates in county jails. They have also started a re-entry ministry, which provides inmates with a greater chance for success outside of the prison system by teaching them to live as strong Christians and law-abiding citizens.
Gregg & Myriam Grano
Gregg and Myriam Grano were a very active part of Bethel from 1987 to 1999. While they were here in Mankato, their sons Peter, David and Joseph were born. Now they are at Black Forest Academy (BFA) in southwestern Germany. BFA is an international school (grades 1-12) for kids whose parents are missionaries. Many of those in grades 7-12 live at the school.
Gregg is teaching high school math and Myriam works part-time as an administrative assistant in the business office. Her language skills (French, German and English) are much in demand, and she often translates for official events. The Granos are also involved in the BFA church, which numbers about 600 people.
After an extensive career in maximum security settings Matt answered God’s call to become a minister. Receiving his Masters of Theological Studies from Bethel University – St. Paul, Matt has since been ordained as a minister through Converge Worldwide and endorsed as a chaplain through InFaith. Matt serves as a chaplain across a variety of hospital, correctional, and public safety settings while also serving as the field director for the Broken Chains Fellowship; the correctional care mission of Gentle Shepherd Ministries. Whether reaching out in correctional settings, or ministering to people in hospitals, or providing pastoral support to Mankato area churches, Matt’s ministerial heart strives to blend the good news of Jesus with a willingness to wade into the sometimes messy human experience.
Cita Maignes started a one room English Learning School in Cadunan in 2003. In 2010, it was decided to use the building to open a church because the closest other Evangelical church was ten miles away. This church was named Bethel Christian Fellowship, after our (Bethel Baptist, Mankato) congregation, where Cita was a member prior to her volunteer mission to the Philippines. Pastor Arestio Limbaro, a senior pastor at a nearby evangelical church, volunteered to fill in as a part time pastor until Pastor Ikeen Bastes was invited to be pastor there in January 2013. Bethel Christian Fellowship has grown to ten times its original number in five years and has baptized more than 80 people. The current pastor now is Pastor Rogelio (Nono) Canto. These two congregations hold Bible studies focusing on discipleship, teaches Sunday school for various ages, hosts communal meals, cleans town roadside, has an impactful prison ministry, and is attempting a boat ministry to visit and evangelize nearby islands. This church now has a sister church named Bethel Christian Fellowship -Sigaboy (a fishing village), located about one and a half hours away. Both churches are growing in their spiritual knowledge. Pastor Rey is the current pastor. The church’s mission: Bethel Christian Fellowship, Philippines, exists to obey God’s command and to see lives transformed by the love of Jesus Christ. Ecc. 12:13
Jami Strandberg is originally from Bloomington, Minnesota, but she has a strong Mankato connection. Jami attended Bethel Baptist for several years in the late 1980's while she was a grad student at MSU. She was appointed in 2001 as a missionary to Mexico with Converge Worldwide (BGC), and we have had the privilege to support her since then.
Jami has recently begun work in Guadalajara, after several years in another city, Guanajuato. Both of these cities are in central Mexico. Jami's new assignment is teaching at a seminary. She teaches a variety of subjects like: Old Testament, Theology of Adoration, Intro to Christian Education, Church Growth, and Teaching Methods. Jami is also very involved with Getsemani Baptist Church, where she sometimes teaches Sunday School, counsels women and coordinates missions trips of U.S. churches coming to do Vacation Bible Schools.
Jami has a real passion for seeing people come to Jesus, and she is constantly cultivating relationships with her neighbors and others she meets as she goes about her daily routines. She gives away many Bibles, and is always looking for ways to share the truth of God's word in a culture where many different religions tend to become mixed together in people's minds.
PROTECTED STATUS - OJ
I'm a former Muslim born in Somalia. Due to a friendship with a young Christian friend, I met Jesus and came to know the Lord in 2007. This event marked a change in me so noticeable that my family disowned me for my new found love for Jesus. During my time in college I felt the calling to reach international students. I was a part of a ministry focused on reaching every college student with the Gospel from 2012 to 2015. I soon became the face for international outreach where I led events and studies with students from around the world. During my time in college, I had the honor of leading 9 students to Christ. I organized events such as a Thanksgiving Dinner, where 300 international students heard the Gospel for the first time. My ministry exists to encourage and equip individuals and churches to engage and welcome the spiritual and ethnic stranger and refugee. I am profoundly convinced of the need for Muslims to know the Gospel and who Jesus Christ truly is. I have a unique opportunity to enter into young Muslim’s lives at a very formative time and introduce them to the one true God.
PROTECTED STATUS - M & S
Originally from the Middle East, we have lived and served in the U.S. since 1999. We founded a ministry in 2001 and joined Converge Worldwide as missionaries to Muslims in 2005. Our passion is to reach the 459 unreached people groups of Muslim Arabs of the world through TV, social media, and one-on-one chatting. We also teach and equip the church in West with practical tools on how to witness to Muslims in our backyard.