Yoder Update - April 2023

Recently I sat in an elder meeting listening to some of the elders share stories of individuals whose lives were being changed. Each one of the stories seemed to be about people who took time to invest in someone’s life. I could not help but think of the phase we use at Christian World Outreach (CWO), Making a Difference One Life at a Time. 

If you go to the CWO website, see printed materials or come to a CWO event you will see this phrase or at least a variation of it. What does that mean and how does this happen? It happens by meeting people right where they are in their need. Their need may be physical, social, educational or spiritual and we come alongside them as Jesus often did.

Alassane and Dina know the story of each of the young ladies that come to the Village of Opportunity (VOO) in Burkina Faso. Each of the young ladies have a unique story as they come to the VOO for vocational training. Alassane and Dina treat the young ladies as family working to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of each one. Recently, they shared the story of Tinwende with us.

Tinwende was an orphan who lost both of her parents and endured a very difficult family situation. Her father passed away from Hepatitis B. Tinwende's father's family believed that Tinwende's father died because her mother was involved in witchcraft. Tinwende and her mother had a hard life before her mother passed away because no one wanted to help them because of what her father's family believed about her mother. Unfortunately, her mom passed away, likely from breast cancer. Tinwende was then forced to find work. She was able to find employment as a domestic worker for two years. A pastor from the area knew of Tinwende's situation and recommended that she apply to attend the VOO where she could learn viable job skills. Tinwende is now a VOO student where she is working hard and doing well.

Alassane and Dina are making a difference in each of the young ladies’ lives at the Village of Opportunity.

If you ever visit Joel, you will often find him on the phone counseling one of the leaders of the CWO Haiti churches. The pastors and lay-leaders deal with many needs of those attending their churches and welcome the counsel of Joel who has years of education and experience to offer them. They are able to grow in their own faith and knowledge because of Joel’s counsel which allows them to invest in the lives of those they minister to. Joel is making a difference in the individual lives of those leading the churches in Haiti.

Thembi, the co-founder of Single Moms Raising Sons, has shared numerous stories of ladies attending a Bible study who receive emotional and spiritual healing as they share their story and learning about a God who loves them. Thembi herself has been able to use her story as a single mom with ladies in Bible studies she has led. These times have helped Thembi to grow in her faith as well as giving her the opportunity to speak into the lives of other single moms. Thembi is making a difference by sharing her story.

It is no wonder that the widows in the village of Anaivilunthan, Sri Lanka call Bavan their son. He goes to their homes to visit with them when he visits the village and when he cannot travel there, he calls them to find out how they are doing. The widows are grateful for the food that he gives them but even more grateful for the time he spends with them listening to their stories. Bavan is making a difference by giving his time to the widows in Sri Lanka.

Hannah Tapera had plans to work in the hotel industry after going to school learning about the hospitality and all that goes along with it. She shared with me how she now sees God using her training to work with teenage girls through the Our Kids Program in Zimbabwe. She is able to spend some time with the girls one-on-one and in small groups talking through issues they are facing. She referred to them as sisters. Hannah is making a difference one life at a time in Zimbabwe.


Serving Together,

Greg and Laura

  • Pray for Bavan as he recovers from being hit by a car.
  • Pray for Onias and Winnie as they travel to the US for their daughter and son’s graduations.
  • Pray for Thembi as she graduates from Denver Seminary in May.
  • Pray for Joel and Marie’s safety as they visit the Feminine Training Center in Haiti.
  • Praise God for the CWO leaders and staff who are making a difference in the lives of people.
  • Praise God for keeping those serving in Burkina, Haiti, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe safe.
  • Praise God for the opportunity to make a difference in many lives by sharing the Gospel.
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