Tuesday, January 18, 2022

God's Faithfulness & Growth in Burenza

 An amazing aspect of being part of the body of Christ is that we get to be part of the Church. Not just a church constrained by walls and a roof in one location, but a community of believers that spans the globe. Through our global partnerships here at JFM, we get to participate in kingdom work being done by our brothers and sisters around the world. 

Because of our church's partnership with the Free Methodist Church of Burundi, we've been able to see firsthand the impact that the development of the Burenza Health Center has had!  As the health center continues to grow in it's capacity to serve the local community, it gives the FMC of Burundi a platform for reaching people with physical as well as spiritual healing. 


The health center chaplain shares the word of God and prays with the patients. A recent update shared that because of this, the patients are also able to recover emotionally. Alittle over 2400 people visited the center last month.


Before receiving busoma, the chaplain talks to the mothers who bring their children to the feeding program. 


125 children continue to receive life-saving food at the Busoma Feeding Program twice a week.  The mothers thank the program because it is helpful to their children for truly sustaining life!

In the most updated reports 122 of the 125 children are making HEALTHY PROGRESS! PRAISE JESUS!

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It's the rainy season in Burundi, and that means it's time for farming. Burenza church members planted corn on land around the church.

Praise God for the ways He is working at Burenza! 

As the health center expands, our church will have more opportunities to support and encourage this ministry. Also, as the health center expands and operates, upkeep and physical maintenance sometimes will need to be completed. 

An immediate need involves the health center's incinerator, which is a vital part of their operations. It needs some updates in order to stay up to government standards.

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Helping replace the old incinerator and protective fence is just one small way we can contribute to this ministry as it grows.

Join us as we pray for the plans God has for Burenza moving forward!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

GO Mission December Update: J-Town Gets A Visit From Bulgaria Missionaries David and Jill Sweet


As you may recall, the GO Team spent some time in J-Town last month sharing the global mission work being done in Bulgaria. During this time, we made Christmas cards for children in Bulgaria and also learned about our missionaries to Bulgaria from JFM, David and Jill Sweet.

On Sunday, December 5, we were so excited to follow this up with a special visit from David and Jill who are in Michigan over the next couple months. It was really neat to have this time for the kids to connect names with faces and hear firsthand a little more about Bulgaria.

We began by learning a few Bulgarian words: 
Slava Naboga (Praise the Lord)
Zdraviete (hi) 
Obechan (I Love You), 
Dovezdana (Goodbye - also can be said more informally as “Ciao”, like in Italian)
Kakse (How Are You?) and
Gubi ("Mushrooms”). 

The kids also learned that when you shake your head side to side in Bulgaria (which would mean “no” in the U.S.), it means “yes” - when you shake your head up and down in Bulgaria (which would mean “yes” in the U.S.), it means “no”. We all thought that would be quite confusing if we had to do it regularly! David then presented a short slideshow to the kids so they could see some of the churches and children in Bulgaria.

After the slideshow, the kids played a game similar to “The Price Is Right” so they could see the difference between the U.S. and Bulgaria when comparing income and costs. Jill explained that in the U.S., the average per capita household income is $33,741; in Bulgaria it is $4,080. She then went on to show 4 different items: a large pizza, a pound of apples, a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas. Each item had the U.S. cost listed below it. The group was then split into two teams - one choosing what they thought the cost in Bulgaria would be for the pizza and apples, the other choosing what they thought the cost in Bulgaria would be for milk and gas. 

There was discussion amongst the kids - some thought that if you made less money, the products would cost less; some thought if you made less, the products wouldn’t necessarily cost less because of that. We learned that a large pizza costs close to the same in both countries, a pound of apples costs significantly less in Bulgaria (due to the fact that David and Jill live in what’s referred to as the “fruit basket of Bulgaria” so produce like this is locally grown), a gallon of milk costs more in Bulgaria, as does a gallon of gas. It was a very fun game, as well as educational for all.

After the game, David and Jill taught the kids a simple song to the tune of “Praise Ye The Lord" and the kids had fun singing a few rounds of “Slava Naboga”/Hallelujah. 

They were then challenged to go out and say “Slava Naboga” to someone that day. After a number of great questions from the kids (for example, where do you work, what is the grocery store like, do they have a president, do they have things like iPads?), we wrapped up our time in J-Town together. A special thank you to David and Jill for spending this time with our kids - it was a wonderful morning!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Spreading Christmas Hope and Cheer in J-Town

On Sunday, November 7, the Go Team had the privilege of spending some time with the kids in J-Town. Our focus during this time was to discuss our global mission work in Bulgaria. J-Town leaders started by reminding students of the difference between local and global missions and we showed them on the large wall map where Bulgaria is. It was a great opportunity to also explain that we have two missionaries living and working in Bulgaria who were called from our very own congregation - David and Jill Sweet. We’re looking forward to David and Jill popping in soon to say “hi” to the kids and introduce themselves while they spend some time stateside over the next few weeks.
When speaking with the kids, we focused on the work being done at the St. John’s home. We explained that this housing will be a safe place for vulnerable and at-risk Bulgarian girls; a place where they will learn skills, be treated as a family and know the love of Jesus. We talked about ways we can support this ministry, with the biggest being to pray for the St. John’s home, the girls who will live there, the house parents who will support those living there and the missionaries who are helping to keep it running.
We also introduced two hands-on ways to show support: the first being through J-Town “purchases” of items to support Bulgaria (notebooks which will be used at the home) and the second through the Christmas cards we were able to make together that Sunday morning. The kids decorated a Christmas tree on the front of the card with various craft items and signed their first name to the back. With help from David and Jill, we were able to print the verse from Isaiah 9:6 in both English and Bulgarian inside the card. In all, our kids will be sending about 30-40 Christmas cards to children in Bulgaria to spread Christmas hope and cheer! Praise God!
On the first Sunday in J-Town that notebooks were made available for “purchase”, two children used their J-Town money to support the Bulgarian mission. We have so much to be thankful for and look forward to seeing how God continues to use our ministries to do His work locally and globally.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021



Our partners in Hungary participated in the Freedom Walk on Oct 16th. The walk took place in Pecs, Hungary with 25 volunteers. The silent walk helped bring awareness to modern day slavery. Informal pamphlets were handed out during the sunny, autumn filled day. Knowledge is a powerful tool- the more people know, the more awareness and  prevention can take place.

Picture of the volunteers with the Set Free Movement Chapter on Freedom Walk in Pecs.

Gerry McNamara (L), Katie Winckles (C) and Larry Winckles (R) snap a quick selfie during the walk. Gerry is a Free Methodist Leader in Hungary and works along side the Winckles.

JFM had a team to travel to Hungary this October to participate in the walk, but COVID restrictions kept the two teams from physically uniting.  Praying for a 2022 collaboration!

Group photo of the Freedom Walk 2021

Walking downtown in the market area in Pecs

The walks were sponsored and organized by a larger organization A21 who collaborates with the Set Free Movement.

FREEDOM WALK FOR 2022 is tentatively scheduled for Oct 15, 2022

The country of Hungary has an estimated of 36,000 people in modern day slavery. The best tool in prevention is education! Engagement and activities in the foster care facilities across the country are the primary places that the Set Free Team visits. The Hungary team has ventured into a women's prison this year and hopes to do more activities as authorization allows.   The engagements are Gospel focused to bring hope, love and self worth to the children. 

Zsuzsa Mecseri McNamara is the Set Free Coordinator in Hungary and works along side Katie and Larry Winckles and Pastor Peter Toth. Please continue to pray as the Set Free Team continues to raise awareness, works on prevention and collaborates with like minded organizations and individuals in Budapest, Gyor and Pecs. 

Stay even more connected with the Set Free Movement in Hungary- ample ways to learn more!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

October Ministry Update - Bulgaria

 Hear from our ministry partners, the Sweets, as they talk about their journey and the creation of the St. John's home in Bulgaria. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

BURENZA PRAISE REPORT for Missions Mania 2021!

 Burenza Praise

Update on Ministry Trip 

Missions Mania 2021 in Burundi

Thank you Jackson Free Methodist for faithfully praying and supporting the Ministry Team's recent trip to Burenza, Burundi this August. A team of twelve from JFM came along side to support Vacation Bible School, Medical Clinic Support and the Busoma Feeding Program.

Your prayers and financial partnership enabled the following:

The team of twelve with the ministry partners in Burenza
L to R 1st: Abram, Pastor Jason, Rick, Pat, Augustin, Jonathan
L to R 2nd: Lauren, Diana, Gerard, Vital
L to R 3rd row: John, Mandy, David, Anna, Jeanne, Kyle

Rick (Center) helped along side two other doctors from Kibuye Hospital to provide medical help to patients for three days. All bills and medication were paid by JFM, making it free and available to all in Burenza who needed it. From treating infected mice bites to high blood pressure to malaria, Rick saw all kinds of medical needs in the three days serving. 

Mandy (L) and Mary (R) who work in the medical field back home helped on the clinic side with labs in between helping with Busoma Feeding.

Lauren and Abram leading one of the three VBS groups in Burenza. VBS was taught for 3 days with an estimated class size each of around 500 children. The first day 1500 kids were engaged, by the third day over 2400! WOW!


Matthew 5: 14-15 was the memory verse during VBS with the theme of " I want to be a light whenever I go"

During VBS singing "This Little Light of Mine" in English, then in Kurundi 

Warm Busoma fills the tummies after VBS fills the souls of the children of Burenza. On the last day of the VBS/feedings, the children go to take home each a cup and spoon.


 Feeding an average of 2,000 kids a day required grace, patience, prayers and planning.

Serving & Clean up took many hands...

..and so did the cooking!! Over a dozen fires going at once to feed all the children. INCREDIBLE community time to come together for the feedings.

Pastor Jason lead the sermon during church service in Burenza on Sunday

Children singing during the worship service!


 JFM and the Burundi Free Methodist Church celebrated the official Grand Opening of the Maternity Ward (picture on the right, cheering after ribbon cutting). A little baby girl was born that morning of the grand opening ceremony (picture left).The Burundians cheered and loving said "Her name is Diana, after Diana Nally"
 God's timing is always the perfect timing!

In between VBS classes, Busoma feedings and the medical clinic hours, connections and fellowship filled the atmosphere in Burenza...

Intentional time for fellowship was spent with young girls in school with providing Days for Girls Kits. At the same time, the men gathered and were able to connect sharing testimonies.

The 12 year partnership is strengthened with the completion of Phase 3 
(Maternity Ward Opening).
JFM and the Burundi Free Methodist Church are hopeful and committed in seeing even more possibilities on growing God's Kingdom in the mountains of Burenza. 
More to come!

Thank you again, JFM for FAITHFULLY helping and being a vital part of the mission! 
What is our mission?

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


The sad news: The October, JFM Ministry Team trip to Hungary has been postponed. The sad reality is that our world is still wrestling with the "how to navigate" COVID regulations, hence the postponement determined by the EU. 

THE GOOD NEWS: "Postponement" means a RESCHEDULED trip to Hungary for Spring 2022! Giving time for additional Team members to join the Ministry team trip and more time to plan how JFM can serve in the many great ministry opportunities that are NOT postponed in the Set Free Movement in Hungary currently:

1. Ministry in both a permanent home and temporary home for children in Győr. This ministry was started by Kathy McNamara (Zsuzsa’s mother) many years ago and now is run by Pastor Sylvia. We have an annual VBS for the kids every June or July.

2. Ministry in the House of Light near Budapest. This was started by Zsuzsa and Pastor Péter runs it while she is on maternity leave.

3. Sociopoly, a game to help people learn budgeting and life skills. This was also led by Zsuzsa.

4. Ministry in the largest prison for women in Hungary. Again, Zsuzsa started this ministry and we hope to continue once COVID restrictions lift.

5. New ministry doors in Pécs (prayer appreciated as we try to get into new homes there!!!) serving to plant new Free Methodist Church.

6. The Walk for Freedom will be October 16th in Pécs. Our SFM leader Szandra and Zsuzsa’s parents will organize. This event has NOT BEEN POSTPONED!

7. A monthly prayer meeting for those involved in combating trafficking. This was led by Zsuzsa and now Katie Winckles leads it while Zsuzsa is on maternity.

8.  Temporary postponement – Zsuzsa’s baby has not yet been delivered….DUE SOON! 

God's Faithfulness & Growth in Burenza

  An amazing aspect of being part of the body of Christ is that we get to be part of the Church. Not just a church constrained by walls and ...