2020 from around the World

“How has 2020 treated you?” We’ve asked Horizons staff from around the world to share what 2020 has looked like for them, and how ministry will look differently in the coming months.

“In 2020, I’ve been looking back:

Fifty years ago I settled in Turkey to serve my Lord Jesus.

Thirty years ago I returned to the U.S. after ministry in Turkey and in Germany to Turkish-speaking immigrants there.

Twenty years ago I added teaching ESL to sharing the gospel with international students.

Ten years ago I survived heart failure.

In 2020, I’ve been looking to Jesus:

This year Jesus has been calling me shift focus from “REACH OUT” to REACH UP” to Him.

This year Jesus has been taking possession of more of my thought life.

This year Jesus has been asking me to rely less on physical and mental abilities and activities.

This year Jesus has been reminding me that I am His precious child.

This year I have been taking more pictures of God’s handiwork and fewer of my own!”

– Susan Meyer, International Student Ministry, Denver, CO

“Gleanings from the “new reality” of ministry after Covid: Engaging Islam Institute was held in Dearborn early September. Insights were gained for the future. Teaming up with trusted colleagues made for a truly Spirit empowered week. Our long time ministry partners in Dearborn partners kicked in to implement new technologies to zoom globally our week long local training. Having over half the attendees in person insured interaction, laughter, feedback and questions which energized the speakers and  students zooming as well as those in person. I believe the panel discussions also added energy to those watching on computer screens. The most prayed for component was having a skilled person focusing on the zoom attendees. They were part of most sessions with their faces and questions. Many times we prayed for them and their ministry. The week built our faith not to walk by sight but to step out risk taking and exploring new approaches. It also served as a dress rehearsal to set up future events that include zoom participants. The Horizon team and local ministry leaders in Dearborn depended on each other and trusted the Lord and each other to accomplish a most faithful and fruitful week of training and outreach.” – Barbara Yandell, Mobilization

Barbara Yandell

“2020 has been a year of expanding my horizons as I’ve grown in having God’s heart for the world and lost souls — across the world and in my neighborhood. God knew I needed a pandemic lockdown to spend time with Him, reevaluate where I was headed, and come out treasuring the gospel more than ever. By His grace, it’s been my most fruitful year of ministry sharing the gospel and discipling girls, though the year looked nothing like I imagined.”

– Julianna Dotten, Communications Assistant
Julianna Dotten

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been raising many questions: Why? Whose fault is it? If God exists, does he really care? Is he still in control? What is he trying to say through this pandemic? Is it a sign that Armageddon is about to happen? Will the second coming occur soon? However, most of our attempts to understand or interpret current events are mere speculations or arguments which reduce the infinite and glorious Yahweh to a small, practical, manageable and convenient God.

What Nicole and I are absolutely certain about is that we are called, as God’s children in Jesus-Christ, to reflect his purposes in the world. Therefore, we have been praying to be used, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to fearlessly and cheerfully transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. God answered our prayers in a variety of situations and opportunities. During the strict lockdown period, some Muslims driven by hunger or the cold rung our gate bell, asking for help. They were given both physical and spiritual nourishment. Even during the Ramadan, when Muslims were supposed to fast during the day, some of them came to our gate and begged for food. I made a point of sharing something to eat with them and telling them about the God who displayed his love on the cross. We also gave out Bibles and New Testaments. One young man, Sher., started reading the Bible from Genesis. He has been fascinated by the story of creation and the dark power which, from the very beginning, has tried to destroy God’s good handiwork. Please pray for Sher. to understand and accept Jesus-Christ’s redeeming work!

Providence is indeed Jesus-shaped!”

-Allain and Nicole Ravelo-Hoërson

Allain and Nicole Ravelo-Hoërson

“2020 could have been a difficult year, but I’ve seen God show up in so many ways. He has faithfully guided my personal ministry to grow and become more fruitful than ever before, by opening my eyes to how many people around me need help. In difficult times, we all need a faith in God tangibly and practically refreshes and replenishes us.”

– Noah Karp, Marketing and Development Manager

Over the past year, Rich has been prayerfully considering how we can reach more internationals in Denver-metro area. Over the years we have been blessed by God in bearing fruit for His kingdom as we have seen many people from multiple nations put their trust in Christ for their salvation. We have been able to encourage and strengthen believers from different countries whom God has brought across our path. Yet, we know there is so much more for us to do. So many more people to be reached with the gospel and discipled. We know there are unreached people groups represented right here in our city.”

– Rich and Merja Duke, International Crossroads, Denver
Rich and Merja Duke