Several years ago, God led River Bend to partner with a retired electrical engineer, Sam Nicholson, and his wife Marcie. God led Sam and Marcie to start a ministry in Nuevo do Octubre along the Amazon River, south of Iquitos Peru. Sam and Marcie reach the people along a 100-mile section of the Amazon River through medical clinics. River Bend conducts a Pastor Training class every February. In addition, River Bend adopted a village called Buenos Aires, Peru. It is on an island in the middle of the Amazon River with approximately 400 residents. The living conditions on the island are deplorable. There is no electricity, and safe drinking water is scarce. Most of the villagers suffer with the effects of intestinal parasites and other waterborne illnesses. River Bend is helping the people of Buenos Aires by digging fresh water wells and delivering much-needed medical supplies. So far, we have completed one well, conducted one children’s evangelistic event, and delivered medical supplies. We have also helped Pastor Ramon with a much needed cataract surgery. He lives on the island. Our future plans include digging more wells, delivering more medical supplies, and bringing in more teams to reach the people for Jesus Christ.
Several years ago Steve and Mercy Bolting joined River Bend and not only have they blessed us by their membership and helping us to reach this area for Jesus but they introduced us to Mercy’s father who leads a ministry in India. Dr. Joseph Samuel is a medical doctor who at the prompting of the Holy Spirit left his practice to continuing the ministry establish by his father. The ministry is called the Perambur Christian Church and God has called them to the following:
Church Planting, Pastor Training, Bible Seminars, Orphan and Widow Care Ministry, Evangelism, Medical Clinics, Bible Schools, Christian Mission Hospital, Christian school, A future orphanage
Dr. Samuel has visited us several times over the years, and he always brings an exciting word about the ministry. In June of 2008 we were able to raise enough funds to buy 78 bicycles for new pastors, what a blessing it was to know the gospel was going to spread into new areas. We continue to support the ministries of Dr. Samuel.
In 2005 the Lord led our church to form a relationship with Andrew Mukasa in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania. At the time Andrew was attempting to raise funds to buy the building his church, Victory Centre, was meeting in. We were blessed to help him reach his goal and assist the church in securing a permanent home. In the four years since then, Andrew has started 3 more churches and two pre-schools. Every week he conducts four radio broadcasts which reach up to 4 million people.
Bob and Rhonda Farley and their two girls Meredith and Hannah are members of River Bend Baptist Church serving in Southern Belize at missionaries. The Farley have been serving there for eight years and God has used them in mighty ways through the relationships they create. Some of the things the Lord has led them to do are:
Pastor Training, Primary School, Assist churches from the US on mission trips, Dig water wells, Establish a Radio ministry, Help start new churches, Build a medical clinic, Children’s education and rehabilitation center, Trail guide for visiting pastors who don’t know where they’re going.
Bob and Rhonda have a tremendous faith and follow God in a difficult place in the world. In 2008, after much prayer and seeking the Lord, River Bend partnered with Bob and Rhonda to establish a new church in Barranco Village. This village is inhabited by an unreached people group called the Garifuna. For years Bob and Rhonda have been creating relationships in the village and bringing groups from the US to lead VBS or do special outreaches. The work was growing and the next step was to create a new church, it was exactly what we were seeking.
Pastor Rosalio who was living and ministering in Honduras was called to come start the new work. Although it has only been a short while the ministry is going well. We are excited that this marks the first time an ongoing indigenous evangelical work exists in Barranco.