Are You in a Missionary Sleeper Cell? – Guest Post by Jerolyn Kelley

During the conflict in Ireland, the Irish Republican Army would plant sleeper cells in the west of Scotland.  These people were part of the I.R.A., but were instructed to live in Scotland, hold jobs and integrate into the community.  They were to appear as normal citizens.

However, when the big moment would come for those in these sleeper cells, they would receive the instruction to become part of a terrorist act . . . usually in England.  They would be sent to the front lines of conflict to plant bombs and cause terrific havoc.

Perhaps you feel that you’ve been called to missions but God hasn’t opened the door for you.  Perhaps your life circumstances or finance or your family responsibilities just don’t seem to come together to work for you.  Your consecration is deep and your desire is strong but you just haven’t received the go-ahead to enter the front lines of missionary service.


Let me encourage you not to despair.  Apply the scriptural principle that says, “occupy until I come”.   Keep busy and dedicated in the work of the Lord where you are.  Don’t ever be caught up in the desire to win the world and forget your neighbour.  Bloom where you are planted.  If you remain faithful and keep your heart in the work of God, your time will come and you will find yourself in the frontlines of missions work.

Psalms 25.21 says, “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.”  Often these times of waiting are times of testing your burden and testing your call.  If you can be dissuaded or talked out of your desire, you may not be truly called.  That does not mean you don’t have a burden, nor does it mean you can’t be used in missions.

Some give, some pray and some go.  Without the pray-ers and the givers, no one would be able to go.  All aspects are vital and all are extremely effective.

Timing was all important during the I.R.A. operations.  Without proper timing, they could never have been as effective as they were in striking fear in the hearts of their enemy.  So, it is spiritually.  The right person at the right time doing the right thing in the right place will definitely strike fear in the enemy of our souls.  To be even slightly off in timing could have been disastrous for the I.R.A. and so it is in frontline spiritual battle.

Please don’t misinterpret this article   In no way am I condoning or admiring the actions of terrorists.  I just felt quickened in my spirit to encourage those who may struggle waiting for their visions of missions involvement to come to pass.

God knows your heart and your desire.  While you wait in your “missions sleeper cell”, be assured that you will be placed strategically in the right place at the right time.  Until then, keep yourself focused on ministry right where you are.  Allow the Lord to develop and prepare you as you wait on Him.

“It’s not the will to win that matters . . . everyone has that.  It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

Guest Post: Zach and Jenn Sportsman


It is said that the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. Our journey of 1000 miles is actually 6000 miles to be exact: the distance from Kansas City Missouri to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (West Africa). That journey began in 2008 in a missionary deputation service of Bro. Steve Willoughby. I walked into that service a sin-sick drug addict and walked out forever altered by the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. With every chain broken and with a fresh fire in my soul I began to take my first step by seeking God. In prayer God began to plant seeds of Africa in my spirit. I met my wife not long after this experience in prayer, and she too had a burden for Africa. We were married in 2010, went on AIM to Burkina Faso in 2012 and were appointed as Intermediate Missionaries in 2015. Everything that has happened in my life from 2008-Present has served as preparation and training.”

I want to share with you a quote that paints the picture of my point: ‘To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.’ (Winston Churchill) God tapped me on the shoulder in 2008. What is He tapping on your shoulder about today? We encourage you to attend Global ConNextions and every training that is within your grasp. The season of your finest hour is approaching. Will you be prepared?

Isaiah 6:8: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”

Zach and Jenn Sportsman

Guest Post: #IAmGlobal

For today’s post I’m reaching back to the Global Missions Service at this year’s UPCI General Conference… thinking not only about the incredible things that God did that night, but the “trickle-down” effects of that service as well.


$4.3 Million Dollars

That’s what was raised in the span of roughly 2 hours, by 6-7,000 people in one room and more that were watching via streaming video. It didn’t happen by itself however…

The service began as many do: Anointed singing, some preliminaries and Liz & I were invited to participate in the parade of nations. What an honour! Then someone introduced the #IamGlobal offering that was about to be taken. Missionary kids began heaving inflatable globes through the audience and Liz caught a couple, with the help of missionary to Ireland, Cindy McFarland (pictured above). People or churches offering $5,000 or more would receive a small “I am Global” crystal globe. Some went up to do that but more went once the number dropped below $1,000.

Then something changed. Pastor @AnthonyMangun (Alexandria, LA) got up to preach. #WowQuote of the evening was this:

“We’re very quick to use the term apostolic on our facebook & twitter profiles, but before we use that term next, we need to also look at our bank accounts.”

… his implication: does our giving reflect the same pattern of sacrificial giving as seen in the life of the apostles?

IamGlobalSomething happened. Conviction swept in and many people gave offerings larger than $5,000…without the promise of a trinket. One person was selling a business for $150,000.00 and that money has already been received by Global Missions.

Therein we see the power of the word of God: to convict the hearts of Christians and bring about sacrificial giving for the purpose of global missions. What caused that miracle offering:  the teaching of God’s word received by soft hearts.

More than an offering

I love the name of the offering… “I am Global”,  because every time we say it we:

  1. Reaffirm our connection to that miracle offering and
  2. we reiterate the need to look for a harvest beyond ourselves.

Our Kids are Global

Kids_IamGlobal_1Liz brought back a globe for each of the Kids. They weren’t in that service, but we want them to be connected to that same spirit… to see themselves as Global.

Of course, they’ll see themselves asGlobal by virtue of the fact that they’ll be living in France for a time, but more than that, we remind them that they’re not just going to France to “watch mom & dad do their missionary thing,” rather, God wants to use them as well: whether through helping with music in the church or showing the love of God to new friends outside the church.


  • Pray that God prepares our kids; that they truly grow to see themselves as Global. That he use them to Advance His Kingdom.
  • Later this evening we’ll be ministering in the first French service being organized byPastor Mike Noel of Life Church, in Campbellton, NB. Pray for revival among the French community of northern New Brunswick.

Thank you for your prayers… they make you part of #Revival_inFrance!

Got a call? Feed it!


We have just come through the annual World Missions Conference at our home church, Mission Point, in Saint John, NB (Canada). From the time I was a young person growing up in the Baptist church, missions conferences have had a special place in my heart and this year was no different. Being involved in the planning, in my role as full-time Assistant to the Pastor, is a real treat for me, as it gives the opportunity to get “up close & personal” with some incredible people!!

Sis. Else Lund… “Mother Ghana”

photoSis. Else Lund was appointed as a missionary to Liberia, Africa in 1962 and spent three weeks sailing to the land of her calling on a ship named the African Glen. She fulfilled a number of roles in multiple west-African nations until retiring from Global Missions in 2004… some 42 years after her initial appointment. A great deal of those 42 years was spent in Ghana and at one point, every ordained minister in the UPC of Ghana, had been taught by Sis. Lund… hence the nickname “Mother Ghana.” What a heritage.

Let’s Talk Missions!

Saturday morning, as we did during last year’s conference, we organized a brunch for anyone who either (a) felt a call towards or (b) was curious about, short term missions. It was a chance to glean from the experience of our guest missionaries who discussed a particular part of their journey toward missionsfollowed by discussion afterwards.

Our panel: (beginning top left & clockwise):

  1. photoRev. Jim Poitras,
    (Director of Education & AIM, UPCI)
  2. Sis. Colleen Carter, (Missionary to Ghana, West Africa)
  3. Sis. Else Lund
  4. Lauren Summers, (Her parents, Rev. Stephan & Debra Summers are UPCI Missionaries to Cyprus)

Here are a few highlights from that panel discussion:

Colleen Carter: (Colleen spent eight years in Ghana, West Africa, under AIM appointment before receiving missionary appointment in 2007.)

“My call to missions goes all the way back to and began in childhood. As a girl in Sunday school we all had to pick a missionary to whom we’d write to and for whom we’d pray. I chose the Everett & Lois Corcoran family, at the time missionaries to Pakistan. Sis. Corcoran always wrote back and God used that connection to draw me, over time, into missions.”

Lauren Summers: Lauren was the youngest voice on the panel but a valuable one. As an MK (missionary kid) she was in Cyprus because of her parents’ call, not her own. Quiet by nature, Lauren said a LOT in a few short words: She reminded us of the need to uphold missionary kids in prayer and to encourage them whenever possible.

“Initially, I wondered how I’d fit in, what I’d do, but I loved kids and loved doing puppets and the like so I sort of found my place. Sometimes, though, it got lonely and the only thing that kept me was the fact that I’d get messages on my (Facebook) wall from friends back home.”

Else Lund: Sis. Lund spoke longer than the first two ladies, but her tale was riveting! Just two short quotes from her… one, a testimony from her past, the second… a call to those present.

“It was polio that brought our family into truth, so I’ve never regretted having polio.”

“If you have the smallest feeling or hint of a call on your life… FEED IT… PRAY!”

Rev. James Poitras: Bro. Poitras was the last member of the panel to speak, but did a superb job of tying together all that the others had shared. He began by stating that “Whom God calls, he equips.” From there I’ll pull out what is, in my estimation the…

TOP 5 List

…of things to know about the equipping process, as shared by Bro. Poitras in that brunch meeting:

  1. It involves work… preparation.
  2. It involves partnering with, or at the very least paying heed to, the apostles,prophets, pastors, evangelists & teachers that God has placed in your life. He put them there for the purpose of equipping you.
  3. It (the equipping & preparing process) never stops!
  4. It involves academic preparation, spiritual preparation andministerial preparation* (meaning: the basic needs of humanity are the same everywhere. If you learn how to minister right where you are, you’ll learn how to do it in the land of your calling).
  5. It is like finding the will of God for your life: …you must find the next right step and just do it. All those steps together, lead you into the will of God or, in this case, into that state of prepared-ness.

In short…

What a great time of inspiration and formation all rolled up into one!  If you’ve got a call… Feed it!  That’s what we’ve been doing and what we continue to do as we prepare ourselves for our departure in January.

Come back Saturday morning when I’ll have an update on our financial preparations… Exciting news that you won’t want to miss. We’re praising God for great things!  We capped off the weekend by having the Poitras’ in our home for supper the night before their departure back to St. Louis. We’re thankful for their enthusiastic encouragement and their friendship and for believing in us!

See you Saturday!


I Can Still Hear

I can still hear her screaming.

It was my eighteenth summer and my youth group and I were on a mission’s trip to the village of Nkwanta in Ghana. Our activities had included teaching Sunday School, attending night services, painting buildings, evangelism, and, that day, visiting a hospital. We were supposed to walk around singing, praying, just letting people know that they weren’t alone. One of our first stops was the room of an eight year old boy, horribly emaciated by hunger. I stopped by his bed and whispered a few words of prayer. Empathetic tears rolled down my cheeks and I felt really good about myself. Here I was, a veritable mini Mother Theresa, visiting the sick and crying beautifully. We were just finishing our rounds when I heard it, the piercing, screaming, shriek of grief resounding from the inner corridors. The shrieking continued as the boy’s mother followed his lifeless corpse out of the hospital. He was dead. And I was right there. I had stood over his bed holding the keys to life eternal in my hands and I had wept tears of “compassion” and said prayers of “comfort” but not one time had I ever said words that could have saved his life. And before I so much as left the hospital, he ran out of time. I can go back to Africa a hundred times, and I can tell a thousand children, but I can never tell that one.

Why am I telling you this? Because in Africa, over fifty percent of the population is under eighteen. That means that in Ghana alone, there are roughly 12,482,908 children living, and left to reach. Someone has to go. I am more than willing. Because they live in my home. Because they step into my heartbeat. Because I can still hear her screaming.

I’ve been given the opportunity to return to Ghana (where I have already spent twelve years of my life) and work with the incredible Sisco family for six months. During this time I would help write a series of lessons for young adults, work with Children’s ministries, teach at the Bible School, and spend some time with my favorite children (Allanah and Stephen) as I help with their homeschooling.

If you are receiving this version of the letter, it’s because you know me. To some extent you know my hopes and dreams, you’ve seen the burden for my country that I hope is obvious, and you understand, to some level, my penchant for writing random poetry. And that’s where you come in.

The harvest is great

The laborers few

Ghana needs me

And I need you

Getting to and living in Ghana is no inexpensive matter and I desperately need your help and support in order to get there as quickly as possible and work effectively while there. Costs include: airfare, food, lodging, travel papers, insurance, transportation, and so forth. This six month endeavor will cost an all inclusive $350.00 per week. An offering of $25.00 will sponsor me for half a day; $50.00 for a day; $100.00 will fund two days.

To join Melinda financially in ministry please send your offering to Melinda Poitras c/o James Poitras, Global Missions, 8855 Dunn Road, Hazelwood, Missouri, 63042.

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