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A Time For Joy

A Time For Joy

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. (Psalm 126:3 NIV)

God has truly done great things through WGM, showcased in the amazing milestones highlighted here. Join us on a trip down memory lane as we celebrate WGM Uganda’s 25th birthday, 65 years of ministry on the American Indian Field, Taylor Christian School’s 70th year, and South India Biblical Seminary’s 80th anniversary. We give God the glory for His faithfulness and the lives that have been—and will continue to be—transformed in His name in these places and around the world!

Uganda: 25 Years

August 27, 1992: Larry and Joy McPherson arrive from Kenya  as WGM’s first missionaries to Uganda. Ministries focus on church planting, discipleship training, and community-based healthcare.

January 10, 1993: The first worship service is held at Africa Gospel Church Kisugu in Kampala. AGC Uganda is now comprised of more than 150 congregations across the country.

September 9, 1994: Heritage International School opens its doors to prepare students to achieve lives of faith and service. Today, roughly 300 students from more than 20 countries attend HIS.

1999: The Pastoral Training program is created in partnership with AGC Uganda to provide national pastors and church leaders with the practical ministry skills and Bible knowledge they need to minister effectively. Now, more than 300 pastors and church leaders attend 13 training centers throughout Uganda.

2001: Ministry begins on the Buvuma Islands in Lake Victoria. Outreach includes church planting, pastoral training, community health and development, and orphan assistance and education. Since then, 14 AGC Uganda churches have been planted on Buvuma Island.

2002: The University Discipleship Movement begins with three students at Kampala International University meeting for Bible study, fellowship, and prayer. Currently, discipleship ministries are held on 22 university campuses in East Africa with the potential of more universities being reached as financial and personnel needs are met.

2003: Kikongo Primary School starts on Buvuma Island. Today, nearly 300 children—including around 170 orphans—attend the school.

2007: Kenneth Hopson opens The Print Shop, which gives many tribes the opportunity to read the Bible, discipleship materials, Bible studies, and other books in their heart languages for the first time.

2009: Community Health Empowerment trainings are taken to the villages with the goal of transforming churches, homes, and communities. Ministries that have grown out of CHE include Women’s Cycle of Life, Farming God’s Way, and Children’s CHE.

December 8–9, 2017: AGC Uganda celebrates with the missionaries on the field the 25th anniversary of WGM in Uganda!

GO: Are you ready to join the exciting things God is doing in Uganda! We’d love to help you find your place on this dynamic mission field. 

American Indian Field: 65 Years

1952: Ministry among American Indians starts in Arizona as an educational outreach through Southwest Indian School.

1960: SIS records its then-largest enrollment of 76 students.

Early 1970s: Ministries focusing on church planting, jail outreach, and Bible studies begin on the reservations.

1975: A total of 180 students enroll at SIS.

1984: Carol Conway opens Living Word Academy on the Tohono O’odham Nation. WGM accepts responsibility of the school in 1999, making it part of the field’s overall strategy to increase missionary presence on the reservations.

1998: SIS closes its doors as a boarding school after providing education to over 300 Native American students throughout the years. The campus becomes Southwest Indian Ministries Center, hosting Summer Bible Camps, retreats, and other events.

Summer 2017: A total of 129 campers attend Summer Bible Camps with 16 kids making new commitments for Christ and 68 new Bibles being distributed!

November 10–12, 2017: The American Indian Field celebrates 65 years of ministry.

Dec. 12, 2017: The Gathering, a weekly small group Bible study that meets at SIMC, multiplies into other communities when a church in Hickiwan requests a Sunday evening Bible study.

January 26, 2018: The Bible-based group SOAR (Servant-Overcomer Addiction Recovery) starts meeting to give people with all types of addictions the tools they need to support a healthy lifestyle.

GIVE: For $200, you can help give a Native American kid a great week at Summer Bible Camp.

Taylor Christian School: 70 Years

1948: Taylor Institute begins as a kindergarten in McAllen, Texas, for the children of migrant workers. The school is named in honor of pioneer WGM missionaries Rev. and Mrs. Woodford Taylor. It starts with 21 students but reaches 75 in its first year.

January 1949: The ministry expands into an elementary school.

1950: A family living in another town in the Rio Grande Valley hears about TCS from WGM missionaries. They want to enroll their children, so they buy land near the school and build a home. Today, their granddaughter attends TCS. That’s three generations of one family that have been impacted by TCS!

1960: Taylor reaches its highest enrollment of 130 students.

1970: WGM missionaries are reassigned to Mexico. A local woman—who doesn’t want to see TCS close—quits her job and begins teaching English classes, keeping the kindergarten open.

1981: WGM missionaries return to the border and reopen grades one through eight at TCS.

March 30, 2001: A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the Community-Based Outreach Center (now known as Taylor Community Center), which will be built adjacent to the school and will provide space for classrooms, a gymnasium for classes and community outreach, a kitchen and cafeteria, and an art and music room.

February 24, 2018: TCS celebrates its 70th birthday!

South India Biblical Seminary: 80 Years

November 16, 1937: South India Bible Institute opens in Madras with the motto “Saved to Serve.” The school is founded by Dr. James Bishop with the help of Dr. Anna McGhie and Annie Laurie Greiner. The first class had 12 boarding students and seven non-resident students.

1942: SIBI opens its doors to women students. Currently, around 80 students attend SIBS. Graduates have become missionaries, pastors, bishops, teachers, evangelists, and Bible translators who have established missions organizations, churches, schools, hospitals, orphanages, and Bible translations.

1952: SIBI moves to its current location outside Bangarapet on Anandagiri (the Hill of Joy).

1952: The Vacation Bible School movement in India is started as an outreach of the seminary. The first VBS is conducted in the village of Kovilpatti in one language and serves 75 children.

1960: The VBS program reaches 25,000 children. That number explodes to 40,000 in 1964 and 50,000 in 1970.

1971: South India Bible Institute changes its name to South India Biblical Seminary.

1973: A total of 70,000 children are reached through VBS.

1976: Frank and Christine Dewey become the first WGM family to receive visas to enter India since 1960.

1990: A total of 300,000 children are reached through VBS. Today, VBS materials are published in 13 languages, and over 2 million children and young people have been reached through the movement.

November 2017: SIBS marks its 80th anniversary!

PRAY: Lift up the many SIBS graduates who are reaching into their communities with the message of Jesus Christ. Pray that the millions of children and youth attending VBS programs will hear the gospel message clearly and make commitments to follow Jesus.

Tracy Dubois, copyeditor
The Call (June 2018)

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