Faith That Faces Fierce Natives and Stares Down a Firing Squad

Faith That Faces Fierce Natives and Stares Down a Firing Squad

Bruce Olson is a missionary who has focused his work on the country of Columbia since 1961. When he was only 19-years-old, he committed to moving to South America. He purchased a one-way ticket to the region to spread the gospel.

After his arrival, he ventured into the unchartered territory of the northeast Columbia jungles. Once there, he met face-to-face with the Indian tribe called the Motilones.

They are also called the Bari people or Motilon-Bari and are fierce and primitive.

Who are the Motilones?

When you understand the history of the Motilones, their fierceness makes sense. During the 16th century, Spaniards arrived on Columbian soil looking for gold. They believed it was forming from frequent lightning strikes hitting stones. 

The Motilones were able to fend off the Spaniards and defend their territory. The Spaniards gave this group their name Bari “Motilones.” It means “people of the short hair,” according to Wikipedia.

The Bari men even stopped major looting of gold in the region by Ambriosius Ehinger in 1530. In the 1900s, oil companies made their way in after oil was located on the Motilones territory. 

Researcher Roberto Lizarralde made the first peaceful contact with the region in 1960. He studied the Bari’s ethnobotany. After that, Bruce Olson started living with the Motilones as part of his Christian ministry in 1962.

Motilones Accept Bruce

 At some point, the Motilones began to call Bruce “Bruchko,” as that is how they pronounced his name. 

Bruce worked without affiliation to any specific missions board or organization. Even without this support, he was able to start medical clinics and establish schools for the Motilones. He translated the bible into their language and led many tribe members to accept Christ. 

No matter what positive work Bruce brought to the Motilone region of Columbia, it remained volatile. It had been “plagued with escalating problems, including revolutionary uprisings and plundering by drug barons” for a long time, according to Christian Life Missions. 

During this chaos, Bruce remained an effective influence through his humble demeanor. He won over the love and respect of the Motilones tribe and taught them many things. His book called “Bruchko” accounts for the positive relationship he had with the tribe and the country of Columbia.

Charisma Magazine quoted Bruce, “Can you imagine coming from the jungles? They had never seen cars before. They didn’t know what glass was…So several students from the tribe went to school for the first time. They had to learn to count beyond three; they had to learn Spanish.”

Even with all his positive input, Bruce’s time with the Motilones tribe was not without incident. His ministry took a scary turn when he was captured by the National Liberation Army (ELN) in 1988. 

The ELN was determined to control the Motilone territory “as part of their strategy for revolution,” as described by Christian Life Missions. They used their judicial system to find Bruce guilty of exploiting the Motiline tribe and sentenced him to death. 

A journalist named Maria Cristina Caballero wrote a series of articles about Bruce’s captivity. They garnered a lot of attention and eventually led to his release. One of the guerrilla leaders said that his capture was a mistake and an embarrassment to the ELN. 

However, his release did not come before he was tortured and threatened with death. He even faced a firing squad with guns loaded with blanks. It goes without saying that Bruce has nerves of steel.

True to his service, Bruce took advantage of his time with the ELN and led many of the guerillas he had contact with to the Lord. He was so grateful his life and time could be used to work out God’s sovereign will for everyone he touched in Columbia.

Bruce’s Ministry Today

Now in his 80s, Bruce is still active in his ministry to the Motilones and other Columbian tribes. He has spoken before the United Nations. His bestselling book is required reading for many missionary organizations and Christian schools. He also had a movie made about his life in 2017 called ‘Bruchko.’

The work Bruce started in Columbia is still alive today. His influence has led to numerous Columbians graduating from local universities. They are now practicing doctors, accountants, forest rangers, etc.

These graduates take their knowledge back to their communities and share what they’ve learned by going to schools. Many more in the region will benefit from what Bruce was able to do for the Motilones and other Columbians for years to come. 

If you would like to donate to Bruce’s ministry, be assured that 100% of the proceeds will go directly to him when you donate through Christian Life Missions.

Steven Halford Has a Passion For Evangelism

Steven Halford Has a Passion For Evangelism

Serving as a church leader in many capacities since 1996, he has a strong belief in the power of the local church.

He describes the local church as “a type of aircraft carrier which sends out its soldiers into the mission field and then receives them again in order to be refueled whilst hearing the stories of their adventures.”

Steven has spent his fair share of time in the mission field himself. He has preached the gospel on five continents. He expresses how he is always amazed by God’s willingness to do what seems impossible.

How Steven Came to Know Christ

Steven did not grow up in a Christian home. He was raised on England’s south coast, born to his mother, who was a bar-maid, and his father, a Royal Navy sailor.

He said that “a chain of events caused me to seek answers to this life and the life to come, and I was introduced to Jesus.”

His salvation came at age 17. He felt different when he woke up the next day after accepting Christ.

He started to feel the healing of a difficult childhood. At first, he dabbled between the two worlds of partying and reading his bible.

Then one night at 19, he heard God’s voice for the first time. He was outside a nightclub where he was hanging out with his friends. The voice said, “Son, leave this place and don’t ever come back.”

That was a turning point for Steven in his Christian life.

Pastoring Pastors

His life’s journey has led him to focus on pastoring pastors. He stumbled upon this ministry focus by accident through his own experiences as a pastor.

After a short time working in the ministry as a young man, he noticed that pastoring can be lonely. Sure, pastors are very busy on the weekends. But unless they are deliberate in what they do with their weekdays, he found it isolating.

Being surrounded by others yet feeling alone is a point of potential trouble.

When Steven felt this isolation, he looked for connections with others. What he found himself doing was hearing a lot of stories and issues. They either needed a listening ear or a solution.

He saw spiritual abuse and church politics. So he developed a level of compassion and understanding for pastors. This is the path that’s led to his ministry.

He has a passion for supporting local churches and leading pastors. He also mentors upcoming generations of church planters.

Steven’s Ministry Today

Steven is not a stranger to suffering himself. He has a daughter that lives with a life-threatening and incurable disease.

He knows firsthand the challenge of balancing the hard things and the good things. The tough things we experience in this life with God’s promises for us in the afterlife.

With this mindset, he spreads the message of the gospel to people around the world.

He is now working in partnership with the Orlando House of Prayer through his ministry. He is ordained by the Forerunner Messenger Alliance.

In spring 2021, he preached to a church in Pakistan and was a speaker at a conference in Nigeria.

He also had the opportunity to preach in the United Kingdom. He met with leaders about future evangelism plans and planting churches.

While there, he baptized new believers and shored up his relationships. This fueled his passion for planting churches and giving believers a home church as a base.

Steven recently addressed the war in Ukraine during his ministry. In a sermon to the home church at Anchor Community Church, he asked, “Whatever happened to the fear of the Lord?” We love the love that God shows, but what about the fear of the Lord?

According to Steven’s sermon, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” He questions if God is raising Putin to bring correction to the people who have lost the fear of the Lord.

Steven Halford Ministries isn’t about putting on showy events. Instead, he is going under the radar to reach people worldwide.

His passion is to bring great revival to places like Nigeria before they get radicalized. This is one example of Steven addressing the issues of our current times through the power of the gospel to local churches.

He has partnered with other ministries like Christian Life Missions to bring the name of Jesus to all nations. Contributions to Steven Halford Ministries will allow Steven to continue his journey of bringing the gospel to all who need to hear it.

Danita’s Children is Making an Impact on the Youth in Haiti

Danita’s Children is Making an Impact on the Youth in Haiti

Haiti has a history of coping with impoverished conditions. Like similar complex situations, poverty doesn’t result from one single factor. There is political oppression, illiteracy, and a large population in a small country. Also, physical characteristics like soil erosion have burdened the country’s financial state.

Natural disasters can devastate a country of any level of financial wealth. When the 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, the effect was catastrophic. Twelve years later, the country has still not recovered. President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in 2021. Throughout these events, gang activity is rampant, leading to many kidnappings and much violence. Haiti’s history is long and complicated. So several organizations and individuals have stepped in to help.

How Others Are Stepping Up To Help

Danita Estrella Watts is one person drawn to help this struggling community of people in Haiti. When she was 11, she visited the country on a mission trip with her father. Two and a half decades later, she moved to Haiti with only a $200 per month commitment from her church family. Something drew her to this country, and it became clear why one day. Sitting in a café, she watched street children line up to dig through the restaurant’s trash so they could have something to eat.

That day, she bought a young boy a meal. Moments later, she noticed a farmer beating that same boy for being in his way as he was herding his cattle. Normally quiet and shy, she confronted the man and demanded he free the boy. After the man threw the boy away from him, Danita picked him up and got him to safety. She knew that day what her call was—to help these children and show them God’s love.

Almost 20 years after that incident, her charity, Danita’s Children, is a home for over 80 orphaned Haitian children. She also runs a school for over 300 students and a church and pediatric medical center. The center provides medical care to Haiti’s northeast region and operates a feeding program providing more than 16,000 meals every month. Danita’s Children’s Mission Statement is, “We rescue, love, and care for orphans and impoverished children in Haiti, meeting their needs physically, emotionally, educationally, and spiritually so that they are empowered to become leaders in their communities and nation.”

Bringing Hope Through Needed Medical Care

The Children’s Medical Center, operated by Danita’s Children, sees over 8,000 patients in its 17,000 square foot facility every year. They are a full-service facility offering diagnosis through on-site lab and radiology equipment. They have an on-site pharmacy, and emergency medical care with an operating room opened in 2018. They also assist their communities through operating the Haiti Air Ambulance.

The stories of children assisted through the medical center are innumerable. Recently was the story of Baby Charles. He was born prematurely at 28 weeks and required specialized neonatal care to survive. He was only 1.8 pounds at birth. The center’s staff immediately started to provide him with top-of-the-line medical care to ensure he thrived after his arrival. After a month of care, he was discharged, almost doubling his body weight. He left the hospital with his mother, strong and a living miracle.

Baby Gracia is another miracle story from Children’s Medical Center. She was referred by a local hospital when Baby Gracia’s father noticed she wasn’t breathing well. When she arrived at the center, she was in severe septic shock and went in and out of consciousness. It was touch and go for the 13 days of treatment she received from the center. But, this was another happy ending as she left the center in her father’s arms, safe and healthy.

When the staff at the center isn’t busy saving lives, they are educating fellow Haitian medical workers. In February of this year, the center’s nursing staff hosted a team of visiting Haitian nurses. They taught them about malnutrition and how to run an outpatient program. The center’s head malnutrition nurse headed up the training. She taught best practices and how to put the outpatient program in place. Each nurse then took that knowledge back to their towns to help their local children.

How to Empower the Orphaned Children of Haiti

There are many success stories from the efforts of Danita’s Children. But, the organization could not help anyone without the generous and faithful partnerships they share with their donors. Each donation helps fulfill the mission of caring for the orphaned and impoverished children in Haiti. Through these efforts, children are led to Christ, learn to excel in school, and attend college. Through ongoing help, Danita’s Children can continue to make a significant impact on the lives of Haitian children.

You can save a child’s life through child sponsorship. With your donation of $35 each month, you will feed, clothe, and provide life-saving medical care and shelter to a child in need. That’s little more than a dollar a day but enough to change a child’s life in Haiti.

You can be assured that 100% of donations go towards Danita’s Children when you donate through Christian Life Missions.

Danita’s Children’s programs educate and empower vulnerable children and families in Haiti.

Lives are restored through the provision of:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Education
  • Medical services
  • Discipleship

Our goal is to see transformation in Haiti by raising up the next generation of leaders in a Christ-centered environment.

Believers Facing Hardships in the Ukraine Crisis and How You Can Help

Believers Facing Hardships in the Ukraine Crisis and How You Can Help

Russia’s war on Ukraine has had an enormous humanitarian impact.

The estimated number of Ukrainians displaced from the ravages of war is 10 million. They lead to one of Europe’s most significant crises in decades. Residents are fleeing to neighboring countries like Poland, Hungary, and Moldova for relief. But that is also putting extra stress on those nations. The United Nations is gearing up for assisting around seven million refugees. A further seven million people are internally displaced.

The attacks from Russia have been in Ukraine’s most populated areas. Many civilians have to seek refuge from fallout in nearby subway stations. This has left those remaining without water, electricity, and access to basic supplies. In the middle of the war, COVID-19 remains a concern. “The country’s health services are already stretched thin. Accessing treatment will be increasingly difficult,” said the Council on Foreign Relations.

Christians Facing Religious Persecution

Christians are experiencing the added burden of religious persecution. There were sections of Ukraine already under the control of Russian separatists. Protestant churches dealt with restrictions like eliminating church services and banning books. Freedom of religion in Ukraine has been under attack for the past eight years of Russian control. Hymnals and books written by Billy Graham and Charles Spurgeon are forbidden in the Luhansk region.

Release International says the occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk “face limitations on their freedom of religion and belief.” Those communities known to be Christian have also been under surveillance. They have experienced electricity, water, and gas cut-offs to their places of worship.

Tatiana Gumenyuk is a Christian and known prayer warrior living near Kyiv, Ukraine. Bombs explode a few miles away from her home. But she refuses to give up “the peace that God instilled in her through her parents,” reports Charisma News. Even under the stress of war, “she knows that God is in control and that she is ready to meet Jesus at any time.” She believes the spiritual implications of Putin’s invasion are significant.

To Gumenyuk, the Protestant presence in Ukraine is likely the largest found in Europe. “People have kept the faith through communism. They have stayed here and evangelized, and the church has grown.” But Christians will be affected if Russia continues to take control over Ukraine. Author and theologian Bradley Nassif has concerns. What will happen if the Russian Orthodox Church has the power to rule over the fate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church? He believes the political war could become a massive religious conflict.

How You Can Partner With Christian Life Missions To Help Christians in Ukraine

Christian Life Missions is determined to assist Christians experiencing oppression during this conflict. They have been supporting ministries since 1956. They help the Christians in Ukraine through ministries they know and trust. They directly help believers in the region under persecution. And aid vetted smaller churches doing the same for Ukrainians.

One of these sister missions is CityServe. They serve Christians in Poland, where Ukrainians have relocated. CityServeis focused on providing meals for residents in need. Their goal is one million meals. They dispense medical supplies, find housing for refugees, and preach the Gospel. All to provide much-needed hope for those suffering.

Christian Life Missions is familiar with war conflicts. The missionary thrust of the organization began during the Korean War. One of the Christian Life magazine’s reporters released a story about the war that got much attention. This formed a non-profit to help Korean villagers with essential supplies and Bibles. Today this non-profit organization is called Christian Life Ministries. 100% of donator’s funds go to their designated cause. In almost 70 years, they have sent over 10 million dollars to Christian causes.

As the war in Ukraine continues to develop, the full extent of the unmet needs that will evolve is unknown. Persecution has been present in the area for many years and will only worsen with this conflict. The history of Christian Life Missions can give you confidence if you’re looking for a reputable organization where you can donate to help the Ukrainians.