MISSIONS AND MISSIONARIES WE SUPPORT

 

The missions and missionaries St. Thomas currently act as our hearts and hands in many areas of the world, showing their faith by what they do. They witness to God's love and mercy.

 

Terry and Sue Hammack continue to serve with SIM but are currently                hammacks 2                                            on loan to one of SIM's partners, Global Frontier Missions (GFM), based in Richmond, VA.

More than 120 of the world's people groups are represente3d in the Richmond area, including many who have never herd of Jesus.  Tery and Sue and their GFM team have launched a three-pronged focus, targeting the unreached nations at our doorstep and around the world.

  1. City Oasis is GFM's international resource center, linking local volunteers with foreigh-born newcomers who need assistance to successfully transition to their new home.
  2. Terry and Sue oversee GFM's Missionary Training School (MTS), mentoring students through formal missions' training and the practical aspects of serving effectively in US city centers and overseas.
  3. Taking advantage of Richmond's diverse cultural mix, GFM' internship program provides hands-on training to MTS students and city volunteers to engage in cross-cultural friendships within local communities in order to introduce Jesus to our international neighbors.

Brian and Ruth Clark - SIM - USA, Serving the Lord through financial administration and missionary care.

SIM is an international mission organization with a staff of nearly 3,000 workers                        Clark                              from over 50 countries serving in more than 65 nations.  SIM members serve God among many diverse people groups on five continents.  Their purpose is to glorify God by plantin, strengthening, and partnering with churches around the world as we evangelize the unreached, minister to human need, disciple believers into churches and equip churches to fulfill Christ's Commission.

Brian is a certified public accountant and Ruth is a nurse with lay counseling training.

They served in Liberia for 13 years and in Ethiopia for almost six years until Ruth was in a car accident (20 years ago) there that left her with a spinal cord injury and paralysis from the chest down.  Her doctor recommends that she not live overseas again.  They feel it is a privelege now to use their field experience to support SIM missionaries around the world.

Brian serves in the SIM International office as Deputy Director of Finance.  Ruth serves as a Member Care Coordinator.  She is part of the Member Care Team responsible for the care of 800 long-term U.S. missionaries. 

 

Paul and Nancy Gieschen  - Their ministry focus has two primary components.  First, they continue to be U.S. field representatives for Okinawa Christian School International (OCSI) in Atlanta, primarily functioning as teacher recruiters by visiting universities and attending Christian school conferences.  An additional benefit from these visits is the interaction with education departments through occasional seminars taught by Paul, and facilitation of student teachers going to OCSI.  We also function as U.S. contacts for teachers who are applying for positions or are in the process of going to OCSI.gieschen

Nancy also gathers input from those on the OCSI campus and compiles them          into a monthly prayer calendar.  This calendar is sent out digitally to those who desire to pray for the ministry of OCSI.

Second, they have an extensive personal ministry with international post-doc researchers and visiting scholars who are primarily Chinese.  Some are Master's or PhD students.  They are mostly working at Emory University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, or the CDC, all of which are within 15 minutes of our location.  Many are in the U.S. for one year or less.  At any one time, they are now having 20 to 30 in our Sunday morning International Discovery class.

In addition, Nancy teaches an intensive Discipleship Training course once each year, for those who want to be specifically involved in one-to-one discipleship.

Finally, we have been serving as advisors to a group of Chinese leaders who have desired to begin a new Chinese church and fellowship using our church building (First Alliance Church).  They began their first services in January and are working in tangent with our Discovery International Sunday school class and the English speaking worship service.

 

 Kathie Virunurm 

Kathie grew up at St. Thomas UMC.  She got involved with Cru during her freshman year at Virginia Tech.  After graduating from Virginia Tech, Kathie went to Estonia where the Cru campus ministry was still in its pioneering stage.  She lived and worked with Cru in Estonia for almost seven years.  Since Fall 2003, Kathie has served as a director of Cru at George Mason University.  In this role, she leads and develops the Cru sVirunurmtaff team and student leaders.

At George Mason University, Cru is reaching out to students to share Christ's love. The student population is very diverse with many different ethnic and spiritual backgrounds.  The Cru staff team and students are organizing outreaches on campus so that students have opportunities to hear the gospel.  They are also building students in their faith through weekly meetings, small group Bible studies, and discipleship.  Through training seminars, conferences and mission trips, Cru offers a variety of ways for students to be equipped to engage in conversation about Jesus and invest in others.  Kathie loves working with students and seeing their lives transformed by the gospel.  Her desire is that students will graduate with a solid foundation in Christ and a life-long passion to share Christ's love.

 

The Vision of Pathways in Petersburg, is to "create authentic community through relationship building with all who live, work, and play within the neighborhood; to corporately envision a community which values, promotes, and enhances the quality of life through shared responsibility and participation of all." Pathways offers internships in the workforce, health, administration, community revitalization, education, and counseling programs. They partner with area colleges in developing the next generation of qualified employees.

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