Want to help spread the gospel not only in Memphis but around the world? Great Oaks is blessed to support efforts around the globe that are changing lives through Jesus Christ. Those we support are listed below.
How can you help? Here’s 5 ways to get started…
- Pray! Ask God to keep blessing and opening doors for the works listed below. As the apostle Paul wrote to one church, pray “that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3).
- Send a note of encouragement! You can send an email to let them know you are praying for them and you appreciate their work for God’s kingdom (emails are listed with each group). If you’d like to send a card, check our weekly prayer sheet for mailing addresses. An email or card of encouragement means more than you think.
- Go on a mission trip! There are regular opportunities each year to go on short term mission trips to help these works. We also have occasional mission trips to help churches in America with their outreach efforts. Whatever your talents, if you are willing to go, we can find a way for you to serve, and we can almost guarantee that the good experiences will change you forever.
- Give! Each week a portion of our Sunday giving goes to support these families and churches. And occasionally people give money marked especially for missions, which helps when unforeseen needs and opportunities arise in these locations. “Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.” (3 John 8) You can give to our mission efforts or any other part of our work HERE
- Consider yourself a missionary! Let’s follow the spirit of these families in our own life, and try to be a “missionary,” bringing the light of Christ to our own corner of the world. Every church family is a local outpost for the kingdom of God. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19) is for all of us!
Listed below are some families and churches we partner with, to support them in sharing the gospel in different locations around the world…
The Rojas Family in Barva, Costa Rica
Great Oaks is the overseeing congregation for Joaquin and Juanita Rojas (right), and their son Diego and his wife Katherine (left). In August 2005, Joaquin and Juanita moved from Memphis back to Costa Rica to plant a church in Barva. Diego moved back in 2008 and began full-time ministry alongside his father in 2010. The church has grown to over 80 members.
Each year, Kenny Harris, one of our elders, leads a mission trip down to Costa Rica to work alongside the Barva congregation in their outreach efforts.
Keeping Up With Costa Rica…
Great Oaks is the overseeing congregation for Gary and Jennifer Reaves, who helped plant a church in Cusco, Peru, from October of 2009 through December 2018. At the time of their leaving, the church in Cusco had grown to over 125 in weekly attendance.
Gary, Jen, and their boys, Logan, Brody, and Judah, spent the first half of 2019 with us at Great Oaks, a time of rest following their Cusco work and also a time of preparation for their new work. They moved to Charlotte, NC, in July 2019. This time their team will plant a bilingual church in Charlotte – a fast-growing city with increasing populations of both English-speakers and Spanish-speakers. Pray with us that God will lead the way and bless their work!
Keeping Up with Cusco and with the Reaves…
The Cusco church is having a campaign to purchase property for a permanent building! They are looking for individuals to partner with them for a portion of the cost in the “One Brick at a Time” campaign. Can you help? Their crowdfunding link is here: https://www.crowdrise.com/cusco
Update: 2/11/2020 Gary wants everyone to know things are going good in North Carolina. He says,”He loves planting seeds and seeing how people respond”. Let’s all remember to drop the Reaves a message of encouragement and pray for Iglesia de Cristo Charlotte.
Update 8-5-2020 August update
To see other updates (and archived newsletters), here’s their website: Cusco Team
Send the Reaves an email of encouragement! garyreaves@Hotmail.com
Great Oaks helps support the work of Randy and Kathy Short in Recife, Brazil.
Randy and Kathy currently focus their mission efforts to the EBNESR Ministry Training School. They are working on school accreditation by the Brazilian government. They are active members of the church in Boa Viagem, Recife, and also work with a number of church plantings in northeast Brazil. Randy and Kathy have a goal of seeing a church planted in each of the 1,795 municipalities in the northeast region of Brazil. They believe this will only be possible through the training and joint efforts of national brethren who are willing and able to move and work as “tent makers” into these un-evangelized areas. They see the training school as a tool for equipping men and women to do this.
Randy and Kathy are invited to speak at couples events and do marriage counseling in their ministry as well. Randy is from Winchester, TN and Kathy grew up at the Macon Rd. church of Christ in Memphis. They met at Freed-Hardeman College.
The first time Randy and Kathy moved to Brazil they went with a team of 6 families. They went for a 5 year commitment and stayed 10 years. On their return for the second time they also went with a 5 year commitment and have been back for 18 years, making their commitment to the work in Brazil a life long one.
Keeping Up with Brazil…
The Work in Ukraine: Mezhevaya and Krasnormisk
Great Oaks has supported works in Ukraine for many years. Larry Jackson, one of our elders, regularly makes visits to encourage and keep strong relationships with the Christians in Ukraine.
Keeping Up With Ukraine…
Sasha Rodnaev – Sasha preaches for the congregation that meets in Krasnormisk. rodnaev_Sasha@mail.ru
Victor Kovalenko – Victor preaches for the congregation that meets in Mezhevaya. email@example.com
Tatiana Zozulina – Tanya is a great encouragement to the churches in Ukraine, serving as a translator and helping coordinate contact with churches in the United States. firstname.lastname@example.org
Inna Kuzmenko – Inna is one of the translators for our mission trips, and she also greatly encourages the churches in Ukraine. email@example.com
Great Oaks helps support Noah and Margaret Gonzo, who have been working in Zimbabwe for many years. They are also friends of our own Rhinard and Betty Troup, who spent several years as missionaries in Africa. Noah also worked with the Preacher Training School in Mutare for a number of years, and now preaches and does a lot of work through local Bible correspondence courses by mail.
Keeping up with Zimbabwe…
Great Oaks helps support Pedro Gomez, who preaches for the church in San Luis, Mexico.
Keeping up with Mexico…
Send an email of encouragement! pedrogom_12@Hotmail.com
Recent Updates: 2016 January-March (in Spanish)
2015 October-December (in Spanish)
Operation Ukraine is a non-profit organization that provides help to people all over the world, working through churches of Christ. They are based in Columbus, MS, and they have sent aid to Ukraine, Haiti, Georgia, and many other places across the globe, including many locations in the United States. Kathy Cadden helps connect needs and providers, and Joe Thompson works to organize their warehouse. They have helped local families, people recovering from natural disasters, the impoverished, recovering addicts, local prisons, schools, and organizations, helping with everything from food to medical supplies to school supplies to survival kits. Great Oaks helps support their work, occasionally having special giving drives for their needs and helping store items until they can be shipped.