Dear Harvest friends, thank you for helping us transform
ordinary opportunities of service into significant blessings for many people!
“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God,
and it is one that the poorest of us can make
and be not poorer but richer for having made it.” A. W. Tozer
SAMARITAN STRATEGY PROJECT IN PHOENIX, AZ II
Establishing self-sustaining Samaritan Strategy teams in new areas
Elly Oliveira, Global Field Coordinator
A significant challenge for our communities is to transform isolation into connectedness and caring for others. When we facilitate social connections and reduce fragmentgation, particularly where there is cultural diversity, new areas of ministry are defined, opportunities to show hospitality and generosity increase, and God’s healing takes place. Each Harvest training in Phoenix has served these purposes, Cleiton and I coordinated some of them and below is our story. Our prayer is that as you read it, “many expressions of thanks to God will overflow” (2 Corinthians 9.12).
The “Samaritan Strategy” (SamS) program helps churches demonstrate God’s intentions in every area of life. It uses step-by-step applications called “disciplines of love” and “seed projects” to disciple people in practical ways, following the biblical model of Jesus’ growth. A SamS project has four phases: (1) network, (2) training, (3) coaching, and (4) commissioning.
We thank the Harvest team and the participants in the SamS Project in Phoenix. Their vision and work transformed ordinary opportunities of service into significant blessings for many people. We thank the donors who so generously contributed to this project. We would not be able to do it without their help. We praise the Lord for His provision, guidance, and protection, and pray that SamS projects may be multiplied around the world for His glory.
INVITATION TO COLLABORATE
Harvest Staff and Associates are volunteers who sacrificially give of themselves to this ministry. We welcome your participation to help them financially. You can write a check to «Harvest» and mail it to P. O. Box 2670 – Phoenix, AZ – 85002, or click on the «Donate» button on this page for a credit card donation. To designate the gift, please write the name of the recipient on a separate note added to the check or on the suggestion box online. To learn more about Harvest, please visit our website www.harvestfoundation.org.
Contacts and meeting (September 2013)
On the day that we celebrated Harvest’s 32nd anniversary, September 21, 2013, Linda Morris and the Harvest team from First Pentecostal Church did a vision casting conference in Phoenix where members of different ministries participated. Bob Moffitt, Harvest President and founder, facilitated a session about the role of the church in society, and following his presentation we had a time of fellowship celebrating Harvest’s anniversary. The event was called “Rekindle the Fire” and on that day the Lord lit a fire in our hearts to coordinate what would be the second SamS project in Phoenix. The narrative of the first SamS project, coordinated by Linda Morris is available online, click here.
Basic training (2014-2015)
Debby Lefebvre was part of our Harvest team in the US office and introduced us to her pastor, Father John Dyson, from Desert Mission Anglican Church (DMAC). Father John and DMAC leaders welcomed a Harvest training where Bob Moffitt, Debby Lefebvre, Steve Johnson, Kathy Lane, and Linda Morris facilitated. While studying Harvest core lessons, we explored ways to contextualize disciplines of love and seed projects to communities in Phoenix.
Advanced training (October-December 2016)
DMAC had a leadership transition and Father Nathan Hale became the Rector of the church. He welcomed a Harvest training, seeing it in line with DMAC’s mission “to connect relationally with others on mission to learn, to pray, to fellowship, which is a key way to be encouraged and offer encouragement, to be equipped and to equip others, to be cared for and to provide care” DMAC.
Harvest lessons were taught in a context where people from different ministries and different cultures enjoyed their unity in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit inspired applications of Bible teachings in all areas of life. We are thankful for the presence, encouragement, and collaboration of each participant. They contributed in such a way that the goal of the training was achieved, and below are four examples of their applications.
Interaction with children living in areas of violence. The Damion Gosa Memorial Foundation is a ministry of parents of murdered children who, after having lost their dear ones in violent ways, dedicate themselves to mentor needed kids. Knoye Jackson was our point of contact with them. As part of one class, the children sang for us and Knoye shared her testimony about a discipline of love, when she forgave the young man who murdered her son a few years ago. We called that a “hands-on seed project class”, where participants were deeply touched by Knoye’s testimony, had fellowship in a multi-cultural context, and grew one step further to become more like Jesus.
Meal for the homeless in Sunnyslope, collaborating with Sunnyslope Ministries of Hope. The participants represented six local churches and helped to set up and clean up, fill out reception forms, serve meals, collect and distribute clothes, and talk to the guests around tables. As an unplanned outcome of this seed project, the Lord brought us in contact with Pastor José Castañeda and his wife, Gabriela, who at that time served in the Hispanic church at DMAC. Through many changes, they started to operate Genesis AZ Radio on Facebook, and invited Cleiton to present one of their programs, “Efesios 3:20”. Through this program, Cleiton has shared messages of biblical wholism on a global scale to thousands of people every week. We praise the Lord for the Castañeda family and the ministry that God entrusted to them.
Prayer walk at Canaan in the Desert. This is a prayer garden established by the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, a German ministry with an American branch in north Phoenix. The participants represented four local churches and enjoyed an afternoon contemplating God’s creation, having fellowship, meditating in the Scriptures, and praying together.
Volunteer service at the “Love Your School Day”. This is a day set aside by an organization called School Connect, where community members and school leaders build friendship and trust as they work toward common goals. The activity was done on a Saturday morning, when the participants painted hopscotch courts at the Madison High School and made new friends. We met for the first time with Pastor Chris Roussin, from Lincoln Heights Christian Church, and enjoyed hearing his experience about a short-term mission trip to Brazil. Again, as an unplanned outcome of this activity and through many changes, the Lord led Cleiton to become the pastor of Agua Viva, the Hispanic ministry of Living Streams Church.
Training of Trainers (TOT) and mentorship (March-April 2017)
We had one-to-one TOT and mentorship sessions when applications of Bible teachings were reported. They showed that discipleship was taking place according to the Scripture, “for those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8.29). The participants were increasingly enjoying the process of finding practical ways to show God’s love through ordinary acts of service.
Harvest global advisers, Kristina Avanesyan (Armenia), Ramiro Carbajal (Honduras), Linda Morris (USA), Jacob Ndabaramiye (Rwanda), Prakash Nemade (India), and Harvest president, Bob Moffitt, facilitated a coaching session for a group of fourteen people. On the following day, the participants did a seed project where the choir of the Damion Gosa Memorial Foundation made a presentation. Andrew Miller, Linda Morris, and Bob Moffitt shared messages of hope addressing the children. After the gathering at Iglesia Agua Viva, the Miller family took the children to eat ice-cream at Creamistry. Through dance, music, conversations, and games the participants of different cultures celebrated the God of all nations and enjoyed their time together in a friendly environment. When we started this SamS project, the participants asked if disciplines of love and seed projects would be applicable in communities in Phoenix. We thank the Lord for coming to the end of the project with this and other tangible examples of their applicability in our community.
Observation (July-October 2018)
Harvest core lessons were taught in two modules and a sermon series done by five church leaders of Agua Viva, and later, a different group of leaders met to revise the lessons. We observed that the teaching was always done with anointing and proficiency.
Commissioning (November 2018)
We had a prayer meeting to commission the workers, when we read the narrative of our SamS project until this point and saw the pictures of previous gatherings. During the meeting, Linda Morris, Cleiton Oliveira, and Elly Oliveira prayed commissioning the new Harvest trainers and helpers: Nathan Hale, Sandi Miller, Anthony Minter, Shirley Minter, Johanny Peña, and Carrie Underwood. Our request to the Lord was that the sent ones would know God’s mercy each day and increase their capacity to show mercy to those around them. Our hearts overflow with praises to the Lord and gratitude to each person who collaborated in this project.
“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4.15