2021 February Newsletter
Greetings from The Keystone Project and All Our Disciples in the Nations!
We are so blessed to see the continuing work of God in our trained leaders and disciples around the world. I am personally amazed at their faithfulness, determination, and passion to bear fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor and power forever.
The work in India continues to expand and grow through our Southeast Asia Director, Shanmugam Veeran. He has many movements of multiplying disciples in South India. Shanmugam reports, “This year, on January 1st, we baptized 4 disciples at Masigam Village near Pernampet in Vellore District, and on January 27th, we baptized 6 disciples at Enathur Village in Kanchipuram District. Total Baptized Disciples – 11.” This is during a time of strict government restrictions because of the pandemic, as well as much opposition to the preaching of the gospel.
We are earnestly praying for our disciples in Myanmar. The military takeover there has resulted in civil protests and government restrictions on communication and travel. Please join us in prayer for the work in Bhutan, Northeast India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the many nations of Africa and Latin America as well. Especially pray for the disciples we have in Nigeria, who face violent persecution from rebel and Islamic groups.
On Saturday, February 6, we conducted a four-hour international vision-casting webinar, which was translated into Spanish and French. Over 400 people registered from 44 different countries. From 2017 through 2020, we had over 9,000 applications for our in-person training programs, yet on average, only about 10% of them are able to secure their visa and airfare to come here. For this reason, it is clear that we must make our training available to those who cannot travel to the US. Conducting webinars like this one is an important step in doing that. Our prayer is to see many leaders join The Keystone Project Online Academy as well, so that they can receive the training and coaching we offer.
I have been praying for new mature, capable, and committed staff who have the desire and experience to enable us to move forward, both globally and locally. Globally, our greatest challenge is to make our training more available in various digital formats and social platforms. We have also struggled to adequately coach our trained leaders and develop a better structured network of global disciple-makers. Clearly, this requires a higher level of engagement with them and the staffing to do that. Locally, we need to strengthen our team by providing pastoral care and targeting staff recruitment and development. The Lord put that burden on my heart and answered my prayers. David Saldivar will move from his current position as Director of Operations to become our new Director of Global Ministries, setting up a new training base for us in Houston, Texas, and taking on our international outreach. Shawn Walker and his wife, Carol, will be joining us as the new Director of Operations here in Keystone. In addition, Mario and Alejandra Carranza will be coming on staff and joining our local team. We are very excited about these staff changes and thank the Lord for answering our prayers.
Once again, I thank you for your prayers and support. Many of you have continued to sacrificially give to The Keystone Project even in these difficult times. Your generous support and prayers are bearing much fruit in the nations. The scope of what the Lord has allowed us to do is beyond description and comprehension. Literally millions of new disciples and churches have been established in many nations of the world. It is truly an uncountable harvest of souls, even as God promised Abraham a multitude of descendants that cannot be counted. Thank you, and God bless you!
Richard W. Greene
President, The Keystone Project, Inc.
By James Greene
Dear friends, family, brothers, and sisters in the Lord,
In the midst of all this craziness swirling around us, consuming our lives, and inciting fear, God is still at work furthering His great cause and establishing His Kingdom in the nations of the world. The question I have for you is, are you doing what God is doing, or are you just getting caught up in the tangled mess of the world and in the mundane of your every-day life?
I want to remind us that we still have work to do in our Lord’s great harvest field. Oswald J. Smith once said, “We talk of the second coming while half of the world has yet to even hear of the first.”
I know it looks like the end of the world on the horizon, but we cannot forsake the mission of the Great Commission. Let us enter fully into what God is doing here and now and invest everything we have into fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the nations.
We are entering into another busy season here in Keystone, SD, and are still looking for more interns to come and join us on the mission. There is much to be done, and we need all the help that we can get. Please pray for us as we prepare for this summer and engage the lost with the Gospel of the Kingdom. Our internship program is still accepting applicants who are here in the United States; so please spread the word and let everyone know. Click here to submit an application!
Thank you all for your continued prayer and support. God bless you!
Loving Our Neighbors in a Pandemic
By Dustin Stuckey
As we train pastors and leaders from around the world and teach them how to launch disciple-making movements, one of the most important lessons we teach them is that they must find and make disciples on the mission – lifting the curse of sin and death from those they are seeking to reach by meeting their practical needs. Jesus taught His disciples that to serve those in need was to serve Him directly: “‘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; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me’” (Matthew 25:35-36, NASB). This winter, our team has had an exciting opportunity to engage in this mission by volunteering with a local organization called Feeding South Dakota.
Feeding South Dakota functions as our state’s only Food Bank, funneling millions of pounds of food from donors and retailers to over 250 charities across the entire state; those charities then distribute that food to communities and families in need. In addition, their various programs provide much-needed food for students, senior citizens, and others who need it most, and their Mobile Food Pantries deliver to over 100 additional locations. One of those locations is right here in the town of Keystone, South Dakota. Our team was connected with this opportunity through one of our local volunteers, Mike Proios, who has faithfully served with our team in a variety of capacities. To help Feeding South Dakota maintain consistent food deliveries in our area during the pandemic, Mike sacrificially purchased his own food truck and began making weekly trips to pick up donations of food for distribution. Over the last several weeks, we have had the opportunity to partner with Mike and Feeding South Dakota by assisting them with the distribution of food in our community.
This distribution of food takes place once a week in a neighborhood parking lot. Once the food truck is unloaded, all of the boxes and crates of food are divided into different categories. The contents of those boxes vary from week to week, based on what is donated, but they often include a variety of vegetables, fruit, meat, bread, dairy products, cereal, juice, snacks, canned goods, and other non-perishable items. These groceries help individuals and families get through their week, especially for those who are struggling with the economic impact of the pandemic. Those who are receiving the food are able to do so safely and comfortably without even leaving the warmth of their vehicles. They simply drive through the parking lot and stop at each checkpoint, while a team of friendly volunteers place the boxes and bags of groceries directly in their vehicles. With a good crew of volunteers, the whole process of unloading the food, distributing it into vehicles, and packing up afterward is able to go smoothly and efficiently.
Obviously, this is an incredible opportunity to love our neighbors as ourselves – to serve those around us by meeting a practical need at a critical time. As Mike expressed, “We all know how hunger affects individuals and families, especially when employment is curtailed by COVID-19. It’s a blessing to be able to provide comfort to the people in the community by delivering food on a weekly basis.” Clearly, Mike is demonstrating what it means for a disciple of Jesus to live a kingdom life in his community, as he loves his neighbors through sacrificial service. It has been a blessing for our team as well to join him in this mission, to engage with our community in this way, and to get to know more of the people around us – both the recipients of the food and the other volunteers serving with us side-by-side. We are very grateful to be able to serve our community in this capacity, and we look forward to continuing to do so in the weeks to come.
ABOUT THE KEYSTONE PROJECT
The Keystone Project is a global missions network of churches and leaders committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.