Thursday, December 20, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Pray for those in China!

We dropped off Kris, Jon, Brandon, and Jessica at the JFK airport last Friday for their flight to Beijing. They'll be in China for two weeks and get back Dec 15. I've posted the poster I made for our church missions board so that you can have some information on what they'll be doing there. They have already arrived safely and look forward to some new adventures with a remote people group that has had very limited access to the gospel. Please keep them in your prayers during this time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

International Day of Prayer

November 11, 2007 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Here's a poster I just finished working on. (for some reason the whole title didn't show up)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Teachers needed in Mexico

My biggest project continues to be recruiting teachers for our new School of Missions Mobilization in Matachi, Chihuahua. And I would like to extend my invitation to any readers who have decided to follow my adventures at this site and would like to join me.
Our school offers an extensive curriculum in a two-year program for each student. It is designed to equip Latin American Christians for missions work in currently unreached areas, where there are people have never been given the opportunity to hear of the love and power of Jesus. Classes have less than ten students and courses vary from basic Auto Mechanics and First Aid to Apologetics and Hermeneutics. Translators are available for those who don't speak Spanish. We are flexible with your schedules as much as possible so that you may donate as little as a week to this project and room and board is provided for the duration of your stay. This is an amazing opportunity that may not be equaled in your lifetime, simply because this is the first missions school opened in the province of Chihuahua, and one of very few in Mexico. I strongly encourage you to pray about your place in this discipleship program. For more details on the school, you can check it out at
Thanks so much.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kids' Korner

One weekend a month, Jessica, Brandon, and I lead the children's program, Kids' Korner, during our church's worship services for Missions Week. Our outline tends to include a story about a specific people group or country, snacks that those people would eat, a Bible lesson, and a few games. We try to center the entire time around a missions-related theme. For example, September's theme was "Love your neighbor as yourself". We asked for volunteers to act out The Good Samaritan, which went over really well. We also talked about the San people in the Kalahari desert, mostly in Botswana. The San are known for their diligence in caring for strangers who find themselves stranded in the desert with little knowledge of survival. One of the San's artistic outlets has been found in rocks that they have painted, so we let the kids get creative with their own rocks and acrylic paint. They had a lot of fun with it.

This month we're highlighting Psalm 23 and the farming people of Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia) to illustrate Jesus as the Good Shepherd. One of their simpler dishes that we plan on sharing is Chak-Chak. It's essentially fried dough with honey.
Our lessons in Kids' Korner have been great opportunities for us to learn more about different people groups. I think we as missions interns and leaders have received as much blessing and learning from it as the kids.

Monday, October 8, 2007


A recent project has been to inform our church about the ongoing suffering and persecution of the minorities in Myanmar (Burma) and to encourage prayer for this nation. Here is a copy of the poster Susie and I created for this purpose.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Newswire from Washington

This newswire was sent from Washington. I posted it because it is a direct answer to our prayers.

Prayer Positively Impacts and Helps Reduce the Death Toll and Violence in the Iraqi War

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- Recent numbers shows US casualties at their lowest level in over a year and civilian deaths drop nearly 50% after Christian leaders held prayer vigils in Baghdad this summer.

In July of 2007, the Christian Defense Coalition led a historic prayer delegation to Baghdad to meet with Prime Minister al-Maliki and pray for the war in Iraq. (See enclosed photos.)

This marked the first time an Islamic nation invited a Christian prayer delegation to come and openly pray for their country.

The delegation told Prime Minister al-Maliki and Cabinet members that they believed prayer could reduce violence and help bring peace and stability to Iraq.

The Christian Defense Coalition is encouraging Christians across the nation to continue to pray for Iraq and is asking President Bush and Congress to call A National Day of Prayer for the war. ( See proposed proclamation.)

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, comments, "These dramatic new numbers, showing the reduction of violence in Iraq, clearly demonstrate that prayer can impact events on the world stage. Our delegation made it clear when we met Prime Minister al-Maliki that we believed God could intervene and help bring peace, stability and security to Iraq. We are starting to see an answer to that prayer.

"Our hope is that Christians all across America would continue to fervently pray for the situation in Iraq and that President Bush and Congress would call for a National Day of Prayer concerning the war."

For more information or interviews call:
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 202.547.1735 Cell: 540.538.4741

Christian Newswire

To: National Desk

Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Christian Defense Coalition, 202-547-1735, 540-538-4741 cell

Thursday, September 27, 2007

September Newsletter

September 20, 2007
Dear Friends and Family
With cooler winds blowing through our windows, it’s hard to believe that summer is already giving way to autumn here in Bristol, Connecticut. My first month with Hillside Missions has been very eventful with the arrival of two new interns, Jessica and Jon, and the departure of a previous intern, Brittney, to China for her three-month externship. It has been so encouraging to be around and feed off of others who have the same passion for missions. Already I have witnessed a change within me in response to this opportunity to work in such a loving and dedicated community. God is so good!
Classroom work this month has largely been centered on understanding Muslim culture and current events in Iraq. Our focal point has remained that we are commanded in the scriptures to love our neighbor, which includes the people in Iraq. Our team supported Director of the Christian Defense Coalition Patrick Mahoney in Washington DC about a week ago. We stood with him in praying for and supporting our brothers and sisters in Iraq who are currently undergoing much persecution, but to that point had very little voice in the United States. As a direct answer to prayer, the newspapers this week have been filled with articles quoting different government officials concerning the topic of religious minorities in Iraq. It has been very rewarding to see this important element of the war brought to press and given proper consideration.
In the way of prayer requests, I am currently looking for part-time work in order to cover living expenses. I am also beginning to raise $2000 for a short-term trip to China, which has been scheduled for the first two weeks of December. And finally, one of my main projects is to continue recruiting teachers and interpreters for our missions school in Matachi, Chihuahua, Mexico. Please pray that we might be connected with willing teachers and interpreters for our students. Thank you so much for your prayer and support for me.

Love and Blessings,

Kati Willems
Hillside Missions Staff Member

Monday, September 17, 2007

Prayer Vigil

On Monday, 9/10, our team supported Pat Mahoney's church in hosting a worship and prayer night in remembrance of 9/11. We set up in the park that is located in front of the White House and spent the evening praying the God would move through our leaders in government. And that the people of Iraq would know Christ. We also prayed for the Christians in Iraq, that God would strengthen them and provide protection for those who haven't fled under the religious persecution. Most of all, we prayed that one day Iraq would stand as its own people, without the necessary assistance of our U.S. troops. It was an awesome time of seeking God's will.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Demonstration at the Capital

For the last six days, our team has been in Washington DC helping Rev Pat Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition. Yesterday we had the exciting opportunity to participate in a demonstration on the back terrace of the capitol. It was in support of the Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq. Sadly enough, we were the only voiced Christian presence on Capital Hill all week, through the Senate Committee discussions surrounding the reports of General Patraeus and Ambassador Crocker. Our stand was this: Regardless of whether we were right to enter Iraq, the fact is we are there now. What is important to remember is that the security of millions of people will be at stake if our troops pull out prematurely. When speaking with Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki and cabinet members at the prayer delegation in Baghdad, Iraq some six weeks ago (see previous blog), our representatives (including both Mahoney and our director Kris Keating) were told that Christians in Iraq would be completely eliminated if the US presence was to be removed too soon. Therefore, the blood of all Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities will be on American hands if we allow the security provided by our US troops to be taken out before the Iraqi army is capable of defending it's own nation. As Christians, we are commanded to love our neighbors. This includes the Christian people of Iraq, who have very little voice in America.
What an experience! Rev Mahoney also held a press conference during this demonstration and it was really awesome to get to be a part of it. For clarification, what you're seeing here is sixty latex gloves spray-painted red on the back terrace of the Capital building.(top and left: with Susie Boyed: another a Hillside Staff Member, right: with Jessica Ross, Hillside intern)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Mosque

Last week our interns began studying introductory Islam and read through the entire Koran. As a way of concluding the week, our team visited a local mosque for their holy day (Friday) sermon. It was my third time visiting a mosque, but I still enjoyed being in the foreign atmosphere. Out of respect for their holy place, shoes are removed outside the front door and women cover their heads. There are two separate doors of entrance, one for the men and older boys, and one for the women and children. Once entering, the women and men are entirely segregated by a large curtain. Attending mosque is mandatory for the Muslim men and optional for women. When I attended two years previously, the women were able to view the service on a tv monitor from their assigned room. I was disappointed to find that the monitor has since been removed for unknown reasons. The sound was rather muffled through the curtain and we only saw the four women who came to worship, but the experience ended well with the wonderful hospitality of an Islamic woman, originally from England, and her two little girls. She allowed us to ask her questions about her life and experiences as a Muslim. I found it fascinating to have a glimpse inside her life and I was very grateful for this added interaction. The imam (pastor) of the mosque spoke to our group for awhile, but it was very difficult for me to understand him through the heavy material between us. I fought feelings of frustration for that curtain and must admit I was happy to return to the sunlight out of doors.
Overall, I suppose I was most reminded of my strong sense of female independence as an American Christian woman, and how I might always feel rebellion toward forced submission, whether right or wrong. Never am I so aware of my freedom until I find myself in situations such as these where I am required to relinquish some of it. Yet I have also been given the freedom to experience these places with great hospitality from my hosts and for that I am most grateful.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Making History in Iraq

(Rev Pat Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki)
Our missions director, Kris Keating, was granted the opportunity to travel to Baghdad a week ago with five other Americans to speak to the Iraqi prime minister and three cabinet members in an Iraqi Prayer Delegation. These are the photos used in the Iraqi news release. Kris is located third from the right in the second photo. For those wondering, the empty chair is where the translator sat. He removed himself from the room each time a photo was taken as he recognized that his life might be in jeopardy. This meeting is one more reason to praise God for his obvious and apparent hand that is still over the nation of Iraq. Please join me in praying for a peaceful nation as you remember them.


At 6:30 on Sunday morning, the day after I arrived in Bristol, CT, about 30 volunteers from the Hillside Community Church family drove for 3 hours into New Hampshire. Our mission was to staff a week-long summer camp for kids aged 8 through 17, which was divided by ages into two separate camps. As one of the senior camp counselors, I was assigned to six 13-15 year old girls. What a week! I was still exhausted from my long drive, but God provided me with the energy to love and encourage the girls in their all-too-familiar, roller coaster phase of life. Many of the girls attend Hillside Community and I look forward to building relationships with them this year.
A slight twist in the camp plans occurred when the lead keyboard player/singer for the junior camp had to rush home for a family emergency. My name entered the conversation between two of the musicians and I soon found myself on stage behind the keyboard with a microphone at my mouth. It wasn’t a perfect rendition by any means, but my passion for both music and the Lord quickly masked any nerves and I truly enjoyed being able to lead fifty 8-10 year olds in open worship.
Another high point of my week was in ministering to one of my girls who suffered from panic attacks and paranoia. She lived under the constant fear that anything she does may make her deathly ill. For example, we had a teenage boy attending the camp who drank too much water after a very aggressive sports competition, resulting in vomiting most of it onto the grass. After watching this, the girl became extremely concerned to the point of tears that she might get sick from watching this young man throw up. She also explained that she had been talking to him earlier, which caused her further worry. If this situation had not been so serious I might have laughed at the ridiculousness of it. To my credit, I only smiled a few times and never laughed at the constant flow of concerned questions she flooded me with that week, such as 'will an extra piece of cake make me sick' and 'this butter is a little melted, is it okay to eat'. After talking with her for a little while, I discovered that panic attacks are a generational curse in her family. This curse has affected not only her, but her mom, and her grandmother, and who knows how many generations before.
She came to me in tears on one of the last nights during our evening chapel worship time and asked me to pray over her.
"I'm sick of being afraid all the time," she said. "I know God doesn't want me to be afraid and I need to you pray over me."
I asked God for the strength to break this curse that had held her family captive for so many years. And I asked that the Lord would replace her fear with His love and peace and joy in this girl's young life. It was the most intense prayer I've ever prayed for someone and I could feel the Holy Spirit's presence like a thick fog, three or four feet deep in that chapel. What an awesome experience. This girl's attitude changed after that night into a completely different person. I can only describe it as a miracle. Full of energy and life, she couldn't stop laughing at her new found freedom. The next morning, the girl told me she didn't want to take her panic medication anymore because she believed God had healed her. Sadly, the nurse on duty was concerned that she would get in trouble for not fulfilling her duties in providing the medication, so the girl was forced to take it. I reminded the girl that she would be on her own once camp was over and she could stop her meds at that time if she still felt the same. That day we had a picnic lunch, which most often guarantees a less-than-sanitary atmosphere. Our drinks had tiny bits of dirt that had fallen into them-something harmless but still visible. My girl was sitting next to me eating when she noticed the little black dots in her lemonade. She looked at me and drank it silently. I was floored speechless. I'm so proud of her and I can't wait to see how the Lord moves in her life in the months to come. Her name is Joanie, please keep her and her family in your prayers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007