Tag Archives: missionary partners

Spotlight on Missionary Alfred Murillo – Dreaming Big

Those who attended our Missions Focus Speed-Date-a-Missionary night met Alfred Murillo. He shared about being raised in a gang-filled environment in San Jose and later drawing on those experiences as he and his wife targeted the “West Side Strip” of Salt Lake City through the ministry of the Utah Dream Center.

What is your dream? Are you living the dream or have you forgotten that you once had one? Having a dream is daring, especially when you start to expect joy and good things in your life. But what if God was at the center of your dream? And what if your dream and God’s plan worked together to further the Kingdom of God?

There is a such a place where God and dreams come together to change lives forever. The idea of a dream center started with a pastor by the name of Matthew Barnett who established the Dream Center in Los Angeles, California. From this model, Alfred and Anna Murillo founded the Utah Dream Center in 2000 in Salt Lake City. Their initial sidewalk children’s ministry began using a renovated truck and fold-down platform that Timberline Church helped to buy. They have since grown this ministry into something extraordinary.

The Utah Dream Center is fueled by Jesus’ words taken from the gospel of Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

As a result, the Utah Dream Center provides food pantries, clothing closets, a drop in center, and after school programs. The mission has also helped in setting up language churches since there are a staggering 117 languages spoken in the area by refugees from around the world. They recently added a mobile medical unit to service health needs and are active in the local schools providing anti-drug and anti-gang information to prevent today’s children from ending up in jail.

We asked Alfred if he could share with us an example of a dream that came alive with God’s power working at the Utah Dream Center. He spoke of a man, Fabian, and his wife and their three children who were living in a storage container. They had very little hope. Through the services they were provided at the Utah Dream Center, they got saved and healed of addiction. Now, Fabian is in Bible college and doing jail ministry while his wife works as a secretary for the Dream Center.

Alfred said, “Our dream is to live to see your dream.” That is the truly selfless and loving attitude displayed by all those involved in the Utah Dream Center. Please keep the Utah Dream Center and the Murillos in your prayers as they share God’s love while helping those in need in practical ways.

To find out more or get involved in the Utah Dream Center, contact the Timberline Missions department at 970-482-4387 extension 141 or email lovereaches@timberlinechurch.org.

Spotlight on a Family Serving in Central Asia

Due to the sensitive nature of their work and the region where they serve, we can’t share much in the way of details about one particular missionary family that we support but had the privilege to learn more about during Missions Focus. While the husband is away planting churches and doing ministry, the wife often stays behind to care for their home and children. As she shares in her own words, ministry happens there too.  Please pray for this missionary family and others like them serving in sensitive regions like Central Asia.

Friendship:

I prayed for her for weeks.

The day I met her, she took my daughter, Ruth, from my arms and carried her the rest of the way to my house. It was a long, dusty walk. I did my best to carry a conversation with her in my new language. She was patient. She smiled. I hired her that day.

And then I called my husband, Josh and told him I had just met my new best friend. He laughed.

She started by coming to my house 2 days a week – allowing me “more time to study.” Whether she would help with cleaning, laundry, cooking or child care was yet to be determined. I had planned to use the time she was there to study behind closed doors, but when she started working in my home I felt compelled to be with her all the time. Cleaning beside her, cooking with her, folding laundry together and talking about our lives.

After being in my home only a handful of days she asked softly, “Do you know Him?”

I hesitated, wanting to be careful that I wasn’t misunderstanding because of our language barrier. I wasn’t. She knows Him too.  But she explained the horrific scene that unfolds if she studies about Him or talks about Him at home.

After lunch one afternoon I asked if she wanted to study the Word together in her language.  Not having a plan of where we would begin, she took my copy of the Book and turned to Mark’s story of Jesus. Slowly she read out loud the story of the greatest sacrifice in the history of the world.

It wasn’t where I had thought to start, but it was as if she couldn’t wait to read again about what He had done for her.  The sacrifice that He made for her.   A Love so real.  That Love – something she doesn’t find outside of knowing Him.

She comes to my house 4 days a week now.  We study in my home together. We pray together. And she asks me to pray in her language so she can understand me. She is a gift to me, and I am to her.

Often I hear her thanking Him for a sister that she has found in me. I’m grateful for our deep friendship.

Cupped Hands:

A neighbor lady stopped over the other day.

She tells me almost every time she comes that there is no other table that she enjoys sitting at more than mine. And let me just say this – every time she has come, my table has had nothing on it.

Actually, one time, she even asked me if I owned a teapot. Oops! We chatted a bit that afternoon and then she said she had work to do at home. As I was walking her out to the gate, she said she was going home to do some baking, but wasn’t sure what to bake.

I told her I had some ideas. So, she brought ingredients over and I taught her how to make chocolate cake. She tried a bite of the cake and said it tasted like something you could only buy at a restaurant. She loved it.

Then she asked if I knew how to bake bread. I answered in the affirmative. With that she cupped her hands together and said, “Your husband needs to carry you around like this.”

I didn’t tell her that he already does. That he lifts me up, that he carries me, that he knows the days that my heart is more fragile, that he values my efforts in the home and that he loves me in a cupped hands kind of way.

I couldn’t tell her, because she has never seen a cupped hands kind of love. I am asking the Lord now to give me the courage to tell her to cup her own hands. To hold them out and up, and to experience what happens when her cupped hands get filled.

You can read more from others serving in the same region at  http://silkroad.livedead.org/ 

Meet The Missionaries: Jim and Ester Mazurek

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For the past 20 years, Timberline Church has partnered with missionaries Jim and Ester Mazurek as they reach at-risk children in Chile and raise up leaders throughout Latin America. In addition to financial support, a construction team went five years ago to build a church building. In the spring of 2016, the partnership will continue with another construction trip, this time to expand the Children’s Outreach Center. Jim and Ester visited Timberline Church this past weekend and provided an update on their ministry efforts.

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Ester Mazurek is the founder and director of the Santiago Children’s Ministry Outreach Center, a ministry that reaches out to at-risk children in Santiago, Chile (pop. 7 million) with evangelism, discipleship, hot meals, educational reinforcement, medical and foster care, shelter, and rescue from child prostitution.

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Jim shared that the largest unreached people group in the world today is children with the 4-14 window (age 4 to 14) representing the biggest challenge and opportunity in missions today. The Mazureks are currently building a facility that will house a church, school, athletic area, and overall ministry offices and are seeking funds and construction teams to complete the project soon.

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Meanwhile, Jim Mazurek is also the Adjunct Coordinator of the Christian Education Service of the Assemblies of God and gives oversight to a variety of ministries ranging from Sunday Schools to graduate school. Each year he travels extensively and teaches seminars throughout Latin America including Cuba.

Mazureks in Chile

Sixty miles south of Santiago sits the city of Rancagua (pop. 217,000), a “dormitory town” for the workers in the world’s largest copper mine. Despite the prosperity the mining industry brings to the city, the children are the ones to suffer most when criminality, alcoholism, and drug addiction persist. In 2012, the Mazureks began outreach ministry to the children of Rancagua and in 2014 were able to rent an events center building near downtown. These ideal facilities are now for sale for under $100,000 and the local church of new believers is stepping up with the down payment for a loan while praying for provision to reduce the balance due quickly.

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Both locations are already making plans to bless 200 children with a Christmas celebration and special gift for each. Many of the children come from environments marked by poverty, drug addiction, alcoholism, absent fathers, domestic violence, and neglect. For some, the present the Mazureks and their ministry provides is the only gift they will receive. A gift of just ten dollars would secure a gift and snacks for one child.

How can you help their ministry?

1) Pray for provision for their ministry and personal safety as they travel to dangerous areas in Santiago and the region.

2) Connect so you can stay aware of their ongoing needs and project reports. Visit their website at www.reachingandraising.com, Facebook page under Jim and Ester Mazurek Missions, or sign up for their e-newsletters.

3) Give towards the costs of a particular project through links on their website. Ministry costs money and Jim shared that they pay $6.50 for a gallon of gas!

4) Go with a construction team to help complete the Children’s Outreach Center. Stay tuned for more details as Timberline Church is sending a team in 2016.