Taking a Leap of Faith

We interviewed volunteer International Training Specialists, Bill and Nancy Paltzer, about their experiences serving with LIFE International for more than four years!

Why do you give your time to volunteering with LIFE International?

We volunteer with LIFE International because this ongoing ministry reaches out with life-affirming, Gospel-based help. It also gives us the opportunity to use the specific ministry experience God has given us here, close to home, to further His work throughout the world.

How does LIFE International prepare you for ministry?

Their International Training Specialist (ITS) training and our experiences on teams has been helpful. The cross-cultural training has taught us to be flexible and ready to encounter people who may be very different than what we are used to. This is valuable not only as we travel, but as we encounter those in our home town who come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs. Learning to evaluate our own attitudes towards others and replacing them with Christ’s love opens doors rather that building barriers.

Bill and Nancy with fellow volunteer ITS and ministry partner Carmen (center) in Bolivia, 2015

Bill and Nancy with fellow volunteer ITS and ministry partner Carmen (center) in Bolivia, 2015

What did you learn on your recent trip to Nepal with LIFE International?

Before the trip, we were concerned about communication and unity on the team since we were coming from four different countries, and three continents. But the Lord does great things in His people. We were inspired and humbled by our teammates and the participants in Nepal. They do truly amazing work in their home countries. We had diverse backgrounds, temperaments, and gifts which God wove together into a cohesive, productive team. It was a privilege to work with these Christian brothers and sisters from other parts of the world.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering?

If you are feeling God’s leading, please take the training. It will prepare you and give you a better idea of the needs and your role. When you volunteer, you will need to be praying and have others praying for you. This is vital.
But at some point you just have to take a leap of faith because you know this is what the Lord is asking of you.

Are you ready to take the leap? Check out our volunteer opportunities!

Healing Hearts at Pal's Junction

Contributed by Bramuel Musya, Founder & CEO of SPEAR Africa Foundation

Yesterday was a special day as SPEAR Africa Foundation was able to journey with 35 individuals from PAL'S JUNCTION Nairobi chapter as we took them through the healing retreat called “Restoring Wounded Hearts” with material developed by LIFE International.

We thank God for a successful and beautiful day. We give Him praise for these dear brothers and sisters who are now embarking on their journey of freedom.

Our ministry still believes that the message of the sanctity of human life cannot be separated from Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations.

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SPEAR Africa Foundation is a ministry partner of LIFE International, equipping and empowering pastors, evangelists, church planters and disciple-makers with training and resources. 

Click here to learn more about LIFE International's mission to partner with Gospel leaders. 

Redemptive & Healing Conversations

Toward the end of March 2017, a team of LIFE International ITS volunteers and staff from Africa, North America, and Southeast Asia trained 26 men and women in Kathmandu. One of the volunteers wrote the following journal entries about the Abortion Recovery and Redemptive Conversations trainings. 

Day 1: 

Sharing God's love and learning about abortion recovery through the love of Christ was on everyone's mind as we started our sessions with 12 men and 12 women from around Nepal. Many of them had traveled through the night to get to Kathmandu. Despite their fatigue they were spirited in conversation and in producing theoretical stories of abortions and their effects on women, men, and others around them. They continued to work with the team, through interpreters, to find the aspects of God's character and the roles He has given to men and women, especially related to parenthood and the sanctity of life.

Women gathering crops on the plateaus of the Himalayan mountain range.

Women gathering crops on the plateaus of the Himalayan mountain range.

Day 2: 

"God was working today," was the first thing our host said at the debriefing this afternoon. He felt that the men and women attending the abortion recovery meetings were very transparent and willing to share some serious life stories today. There were 13 men and 13 women today for the sessions on Sharing Your Story, Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Grieving and Restoration.

Buddhist monks receive gifts of food from followers.

Buddhist monks receive gifts of food from followers.

Day 3:

Participants taught us how to say “Praise the Lord” in Nepalese. We did a great deal of that today, before and after the Walking in Freedom, Closing Ceremony, and Next Steps sessions. There was laughter and singing to start the day, followed by a review of the week's teaching and the new sessions.

Nepalese women selling beaded jewelry.

Nepalese women selling beaded jewelry.

Day 4:

Today we began the Redemptive Conversations curriculum. 

We recommended that the participants call each other or email for support when struggling with personal issues, or if they are having a difficult time with counseling others.

The attendees were very responsive to the group sessions. They are dedicated to learning how to counsel and how to teach others what they are learning. Strong bonds are forming, and they are looking at working together and supporting each other.

Our host explained that most of the counseling will be done in homes or out-of-doors. The sessions tomorrow will be adapted to that model, especially for the practice sessions.

Kathmandu's colorful, vibrant streets.

Kathmandu's colorful, vibrant streets.

Day 5:

Today there was humor and a very serious conversation about body language, proper listening, supportive communication, and keeping calm and focused when things do not go as we hope.

The attendees absorbed a great deal of material today. Please pray for them to feel confident that they will be able to counsel and teach what they are learning. 

It will be hard to say goodbye to all our new brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for them as they return to their homes and churches. Please pray for the team to have safety and good health as we wrap things up and each head in different directions to our homes.

The week has been an experience that only God could make. Your prayers have been answered in many ways.

Each trip taken by LIFE International staff and volunteers is covered by the Global Prayer Shield. Click here to sign up for email updates!

How do we prepare volunteers? Orientation Retreat!

ITS Orientation is required of all LIFE International volunteers before traveling with us for the first time. If you are interested in learning more about LIFE International and our strategies, or are preparing to travel internationally with us then you should attend!

The two primary objectives of the LIFE International ITS Orientation are for all participants to:

  • Grow in understanding of LIFE International’s culture and spiritual foundations.
  • Improve their global cultural-intelligence quotient (CQ) in order to enhance their capacity for cross-cultural relationship-building.

“I think LIFE International does an amazing job in helping the ITS be prepared as much as possible. From the cultural intelligence training [Orientation], to the process of helping us gain experience in a careful and thought out way, there is so much done to help us be prepared. Reality is, though, that ANYTHING can happen—from small things to large things—and you can't predict everything that might come along. I have had the privilege of traveling with [LIFE International staff] twice now, though, and they do everything possible to guide and protect those that are with them. I really couldn't ask for more!”

–ITS volunteer returning from a trip in 2015


Key concepts:

IQ is the measurement of cognitive intelligence.
EQ is the measurement of emotional intelligence.
CQ is cultural intelligence, an individual capability that can be measured and enhanced, aiding in our ability to interact cross-culturally.

For more information, check out the The Cultural Intelligence Center website.  


Click HERE to learn more about LIFE International ITS Orientation!

Miriam

Diamond Pregnancy Support Center in Sydney, Australia, has become, like many of LIFE International's partners, a place of frontline support for refugees arriving from war-torn areas. We shared the story of a center in Eastern Ukraine in 2015, and they too continue to serve families by providing food, clothing, and pregnancy support. 

Diamond Center shared with LIFE International this amazing story of a woman who has experienced the hardship of war first hand. When Miriam escaped out of Mosul, Iraq—a city still under siege—she spent two years in a refugee camp. At that time, Miriam's sister was able to sponsor Miriam's emigration to Australia. 

“Arriving in Australia pregnant, and with little support, we are now able to prepare [Miriam] for her baby, and to support and cherish her life as well as her unborn. Thank you for all those who sponsor, partner with, and support our work. We are grateful and so is Miriam.”

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The Lord is refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
— Psalm 9:9

Life-giving ministry addresses many violations of the value of human life. The Bible says that the Lord has a purpose for each life, and that He loves His creation! Diamond Center staff will be sharing about Christ's love for Miriam as they provide physical care for her and her child.  

*Miriam's name has been changed to protect her privacy.