Neelsville supports a host of missionaries and mission ministries around the world. We are active partners with our missionaries, communicating regularly and hosting them when they are home on furlough. The church also encourages adults and youths to participate in short term mission work and to consider a vocation in missions.
Laszlo Mission League continues the outreach that Marilyn Laszlo started not only in Hauna Village but also in many villages up and down the Sepik River through education and spreading God’s Word. Shirley Killosky, Marilyn’s sister, who joined her in Hauna while the Bible translation was still in progress, has continued the schools and teaching the teachers who in turn train students not only in Hauna but in nine surrounding villages up and down the river. Under Shirley’s leadership and credentials, teachers are being trained in Hauna to be sent out to surrounding village to open a primary school where there is none. Currently, Shirley is at home in Boise, ID with her family. She still keeps in touch with the village occasionally. Topher Philgreen, lives in Kansas City, communicates with the village almost every day and make trips there every year.
There are four pillars of ministry in Hauna Village. #1. Educating young students. Currently there are around 80 students in our program just in Hauna. #2. Training teachers. These teachers are sent out to even more remote villages to begin a primary school where none exists. #3. Medical Center. Hundreds of people travel by water every day to get just basic medical care in Hauna at this medical outpost. #4. Bible School. Young church and school leaders need a firm educational foundation in God’s word. Villagers come to Hauna for six months at a time to get solid Biblical training. Currently there are 21 students in the Bible School. These four pillars of ministry are facilitated through Laszlo Mission League based in Kansas City.
Howard and Jo-Ann Brant have been involved in evangelism and church planting for over 50 years. Today they continue to preach, teach, and mentor rising leaders in churches and missions. Howard serves the 74 Ethiopian missionaries sent by their Ethiopian churches to 13 countries outside of their homeland by editing and circulating their ministry reports and prayer letters. The Brants are in mentoring contact and involved with fund-raising for church planting and the Gurage Theological and Pastoral Training College (formerly simply called Gurage Bible College).
P&J Bell are working in the Western Mediterranean to help engage, evangelize and empower local believers in the region to go and transform their communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. P&J, along with their regional teams, are praying for God to shift this geographically strategic region from “receiving” to “sending” laborers back into His harvest field of unreached people in North Africa and Europe.
Fraser serves in two of Wycliffe's partner organizations. As Associate Director of SIL LEAD, Fraser provides expertise about minority languages to internationally-funded development projects. SIL LEAD-supported projects are currently helping over two million kids learn to read in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Better education means more people who can read the translated Scriptures, and a better economic and social situation for the whole community. Fraser also works in SIL International, where he coordinates user training for Bloom, SIL’s award-winning software for creating books for new readers.
Liz supervises the education of our two youngest two daughters, and volunteers at our church and at the Pregnancy Help Center of Fort Worth.
Sons of Thunder is an interdenominational Christian mission organization, God-initiated and God-directed, with the mission statement “to feed Africa physically and spiritually through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.” There are multiple facets to this ministry.
First, there is the spiritual aspect with multiple churches and church plants as well as a Sons of Thunder men’s ministry and women’s ministry respectively, all with the focus to share the good news of salvation as well as the love of Jesus in compassionate service to those in need.
Next, there is an agricultural aspect with a conservational type of farming based on biblical principles called Farming God’s Way that includes maize production as well as fruits and vegetables. Other areas of the agriculture side include fish farming and village chickens. A maize mill was purchased and production and distribution of Sons of Thunder mealie meal has begun.
The third facet of Sons of Thunder is a medical ministry which now includes an entire medical complex of an outpatient clinic, freestanding lab, maternity center, a newly constructed 12-bed inpatient facility, and medical staff housing for professional staff, including 5 individual houses plus a female hostel. Three Land Cruisers comprise the medical fleet of vehicles answering emergency calls and providing transport to the 10 plus outreaches every month.
The fourth area of ministry is education and includes 2 preschools and a primary school as well as a work/study program called the Blessed Fund for grades 8-12. There is also a student sponsorship program through secondary school and even college in some cases.
Continued entrepreneurship and skills training with mentorships have led to licenses and certifications. There is a conference center used mainly by the Ministry of Health for varied workshops as well as student nurse clinical rotations. SOT offers free childcare for working mothers and has a sewing center, convenience store, and entire business center with receiving, sales office and stores. Last, but not least, there is a “Nshima Kitchen” used to feed the hungry from the surrounding communities free of charge.
In all areas of ministry, Jesus is found in the midst and offered as our only source of hope!
Steve & Kim Blewett are linguists with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They have worked in Papua New Guinea since 1982. They were married at Neelsville in June 1980, and Neelsville has had a key role in sending and supporting them through their 40 years in Papua New Guinea. In 1987, the Blewetts went to Bougainville Island to live with the Rapoisi people. They developed the Rapoisi alphabet, helped start Rapoisi literacy classes, and helped two Rapoisi men begin translating the Bible into their Rapoisi language. They have also assisted Bougainvilleans from twelve other languages to translate the Bible into their own languages. Scripture books have been printed and audio-recorded in most of these languages, and translation continues.
Neelsville member Rev. William Okletey and his wife, Susuana, pastor Blessed Redemption Outreach Ministry (BROM) in Haatso-Narhman, Accra, Ghana. BROM was started in 1990 after much prayer and careful considerations of the despreate spiritual needs of the village dwellers around the country of Ghana. The church has active programs in evangelism, Bible School education, literacy and vocational training. Currently, the ministry is constructing a large worship center.
MBF is a Christ-centered organization dedicated to transforming lives by building sustainable medical ministries in developing countries. Through long-term partnerships, MBF equips indigenous churches with tools and resources that allow them to meet the health care needs of their community and share the Gospel. MBF’s vision translates into a set of medical ministries that serve the poorest of the poor in the developing world, providing critical care for women and children, hospital and clinic support and development, spiritual ministry, and nursing schools and scholarships. They work with roughly 16 hospitals/clinics and 5 nursing schools across Africa. They work with 2 major clinics and one nursing school in Haiti. Neelsville supports the nursing scholarship fund as the FSIL School of Nursing that works with Hôpital Ste. Croix (HSC), the primary hospital in the Léogâne region-a 60-bed facility with ER, Radiology, Pediatric, Maternity, Laboratory, and Pharmacy
Retired from active service with SIMUSA, the Sheppards now live in the SIM retirement village in Sebring, FL. Gary and Pat encourage neighbors in their Retirement Village, and local church by providing transportation, doing small maintenance projects, and opening their home for Bible Studies. Gary is also involved in a project that makes and distributes Bible Verse packets.