Join a Mission Cohort! | the Reach April 2024

Dear Friends,

Have you ever been curious if global, long-term missions is something God is calling you to but don’t know where to start? Every fall the EPC launches a Mission Cohort, a year-long program where college-age young adults meet over Zoom for interaction with like-minded peers, missionaries on the field, and EPC World Outreach mobilizers. This cohort has been valuable for many students, but not everyone has a linear journey to missions. Whether you have felt the call to missions your entire life, you find the idea new and intriguing, or you simply want the opportunity to explore, the Mission Cohort is a great place to start.

I first discovered the EPC World Outreach Mission Cohort for college students on a dreary day in December of my freshman year. This was a space for college students seeking guidance and community as they explored a calling or interest in missions. Missions wasn’t a new idea for me. I’d felt a soft tug towards missions on my heart all throughout my childhood. But as I left for college, it was all but a backup plan in case the rest of my life didn’t work out. By the time I was chowing down on my lunch as my friend rattled on about this “special club” she was in, missions wasn’t even a speck on the horizon of my great plan for myself.

I’d had a wonderful semester that year—I had all A’s, was climbing the departmental ladder for my major in archaeology, and could see myself becoming a renowned author, a savvy businesswoman, a daring archaeologist, or an adventuring world traveler. I could see myself doing anything and everything— everything except missions.

Even as I sat at a cafe table and listened to my now best friend tell me about the Mission Cohort she had joined, my mind fixed, not on the purpose of the cohort, but on the opportunity to travel and check another box off my list of successful life necessities. She was getting to travel to the Middle East that year, a dream of mine. I immediately told her to hook me up with “this cohort thing.” I wanted to get off this darn continent!

Thankfully she did, because though my heart was anywhere but the right place, God has changed and saved my life and faith through this beautiful group of people. The following semester, after seeing the many pictures she and her cohort returned with, I belatedly joined Mission Cohort 3 (MC3). We met monthly over Zoom with kids my age from all over the country. We prayed together, studied a book together, and met and interviewed EPC missionaries with all sorts of backstories and advice.

If you asked the other members of MC3, they would tell you that I was quiet, disinterested, and never caught up on our book readings. That spring semester of my freshman year, I returned to school ready to thrive as I had that past fall. Over that semester, however, I began to slow down, mentally, physically, and even academically. Sleep became sparse, my mind felt scrambled and blurry, and my motivation to do anything plummeted. I stopped going to church, I couldn’t feel God, and I didn’t want him. I began to hate myself. To hate my existence, my personality, and my body. I wanted to die, to be released to the heaven that I knew was better than this.

Throughout it all, we had our cohort meetings. Month after month. Zoom after Zoom. The cohort had no idea of the darkness clouding my mind, but they gathered around me anyway and prayed with me. Together we walked through God’s word and heard story after story about his steadfast faithfulness. When I was too broken and weak to make it to church or to look to God, this beautiful community brought the Church to me. They showed me the mercy and love of God each month through a screen full of prayer, laughter, and hope.

That summer, I was diagnosed with Severe Clinical Depression, a disease of the mind in which your own thoughts lie and hiss in your ear, wreaking havoc and destruction on your life and soul. Yet the beautiful thing is that winter, as I stood with my cohort in person at the Urbana conference in Indianapolis, I looked around at the faces I’d once only known in 2D that past year and saw that in that dark valley of death and hopelessness, where I’d refused to look for God and cursed his absence, he’d never let go of me. He’d surrounded me with his image, his people to hold my hand and bring me home to him. In my pride and surety of my life plans, he’d reminded me that my life is not my own, that I am not alone, and that he’d never been that far away. When I’d thought I’d had my life all figured out, he gently reminded me what life is like without him and broke through my stubborn heart to open my eyes to his wondrous glory, his redeeming grace, and abounding mercy.

I’ve since not only started attending church again but also entered part-time ministry while I finish school and pursue long-term missions. I have had the blessing and pleasure to watch as four of my fellow cohort members prepare to be commissioned as long-term missionaries. I did get to travel with the cohort at last, though not to the Middle East, and with a much more humble and grateful heart and all the greater experience for it.

As a cohort alumna, I am forever grateful and indebted to my experience with this community. Mission Cohorts, whether you join to learn how to become a missionary, how to support missionaries, or even for the selfish purpose of getting a plane ticket, will always be a community of disciples walking alongside disciples, through the tough crossroads of college and on to eternity.

– E. A., MC3 Alumna

E’s experience with the cohort was unique and full of challenges, but God used it powerfully in her life, both for her own healing and for solidifying her call to missions. Sometimes our ministry results turn out differently than we expect. But in our obedience to what God calls us to, he uses our ministry for his purposes. We are called to serve faithfully and entrust the long-term impact to him.

Want to see what it is all about?

EPC World Outreach will kick off Mission Cohort Six (MC6) on August 19, 2024! Now is the time for college-age to sign up and start getting connected with our cohort leadership team. Whether you hope to be a missionary going to the field one day or simply want to be engaged in missions from the U.S., the invitation is open! Students will go through discipleship materials and have in-person experiences including attending a missions conference over the winter and a mission trip during the following summer. Anyone that’s interested can go to and fill out the cohort form, or contact Saul Huber at or 217-851-4670.

Upcoming Opportunities for You and Your Congregation

Pray for WO Workers

Join the EPC World Outreach Prayer Network to care for our workers through intercession. To join the network, click here.

Support WO Workers

Click the SUPPORT button for the WO worker support landing page.

Partner with a Mission Cohort

Learn more, apply, and get connected with Saul Huber here.

The Power of Experience | the Reach March 2024

Dear Friends,

Since January 2023, Brad Buescher has filled the role of WO Director of Strategic Trips. Two of World Outreach’s strategic priorities are Partnership & Sending and Church Engagement. The first refers to cultivating partnerships with national churches and other agencies for the purpose of reaching those with the least access to the gospel. Church Engagement is our goal of bringing 100% of EPC churches into the work of reaching the least-reached. Brad’s role plays beautifully into these two priorities.

So, what are strategic trips and how did Brad find himself in this role?

Where to begin?

Kansas City? Pasadena, California? Frankfort, Indiana?

Mexico? Haiti? North Macedonia? Uzbekistan? Saudi Arabia? Bangladesh?

How about Paola, Kansas – a town of about 6,000 people– a half hour south of Kansas City, where I was working as an associate pastor with an emphasis on missions, taking several groups of men from our church to fix wells in Haiti, and most of all, serving on the EPC World Outreach Committee, which oversees our denomination’s mission work across this massive planet.

I think this was the place of convergence for God’s clarion call on my life: to accompany leaders to see and experience least access people groups in hard places. Then, to share our experiences for the purpose of bringing the church to these peoples. That is the aim of strategic trips.

A few terms to clarify:

  • Leaders: This doesn’t refer only to pastors or elders. If you have any sphere of influence and want to share with others what you’ve learned on a trip, this is for you.
  • People group: Any group of people who call us, us, and them, them; technical definition
  • Hard places: Well, you can probably imagine, but if not, join me on a trip to see for yourself.
  • Least access: You can imagine this: think about every social network you belong to, your family network – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.— neighborhood network, vocational network, various friend groups, past and present, and so on. Now, what if, out of every single one of those social networks, there was not one single person who had any knowledge of this Jesus we talk about? Not only had they not believed in his message, they had no idea that Jesus and his message even existed. That is least access.

As I prayed about God’s next call on my life after serving as a pastor, he gave me the idea of exposing our church leaders to cross-cultural workers who were serving Jesus in the 10/40 Window. My reasoning was that although some people might want to go see this kind of work, not many of us are going to simply decide one day to just do it, but they might if a leader invited them. That’s where I come in. So far, 19 people have now come with me to seven different countries in my first 15 months on the job.

I get excited as these leaders experience light-bulb moments; we talk about who and what we are seeing, and then how to pass along what we have seen and heard in a way that people back home can understand both what God is doing among these people groups, and the overwhelming reality of what still needs to be done.

Example of Good Results: Each of my teammates on our 2023 trip to Saudi Arabia have spoken to various groups and churches. The results have been encouraging—new prayer and financial support for Egyptian workers on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, a business connection to enable cross-cultural workers to gain long-term visas in this isolated country, and growing support for several ministries which train cross-cultural workers to live, work, and share Christ in this MENA region (Middle East North Africa).

The people who have come with range in age from 22 to 70; entrepreneurs, truck drivers, pastors, etc.; mostly well-traveled, but a few greenhorns; introverts and extroverts and in-between-troverts (a fairly accurate description of me); Type A’s and Type B’s. I suppose you could say they’re all over the map.

Bottom Line: If you are seeking God, have a heart for the nations, and are willing to share what you experience, let’s talk. The Lord may want you to come and see.

Places we are considering in 2024 & 2025:

  • Kyrgyzstan: Special Needs Camp: Summer 2024
  • Indonesia: Sea Cucumber Farm: Fall 2024
  • India / Turkmenistan: 2025
  • Pakistan: 2025
  • Tunisia: 2025

Yep. Hard places. God may want you there too.
Come and See. Then Go and Tell.

Interested? Contact Brad Buescher for more information.
Phone: 913.271.2140

Upcoming Opportunities for You and Your Congregation

Pray for WO Workers

Join the EPC World Outreach Prayer Network to care for our workers through intercession. To join the network, click here.

Support WO Workers

Click the SUPPORT button for the WO worker support landing page.

Partner with WO

There are many ways you can partner with World Outreach! Learn more by clicking here.

World Outreach Annual Report | The Reach August 2022

Dear friends,

Catching divine glimpses into the work God is doing in and through EPC World Outreach has been an incredible privilege.

A significant focus this year since stepping into my role has been the development of the new World Outreach master plan and mission statement. The process used in drafting this version was unique in its history with extensive research and engagement utilized in order to involve WO global workers, key stakeholders, mission leaders, the World Outreach Committee (WOC) and the National Leadership Team (NLT). It was a seven-month, prayer-filled process, discerning the Lord’s continued call for us.

In the Annual Report, you’ll learn more about EPC World Outreach through numerical snapshots of what God is doing through our global work. You’ll also find three stories that capture the heart of our 5 strategic priorities of Prayer, Least Access Peoples, Partnership and Sending, Word and Deed, and Church Engagement. They are but a sampling of the faithfulness of our God, our global workers in their call and our EPC church partners.

May this booklet honor the Lord as we “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised.” – Psalm 96:3,4.

We at EPC World Outreach are honored to serve the Church and are grateful for the opportunity to link arms together with you in helping fulfill the Great Commission, looking toward the day where we see representatives of every tongue, tribe, and nation following Jesus and worshipping before God’s throne.

Grace and peace, 
Gabriel de Guia, EPC WO Executive Director

Engage In Missions And Outreach With WO | The Reach Summer 2022

Dear friends,

As Lisa and I returned home from the recent gathering of General Assembly, we had a grateful heart of celebration. So much has grown since we became EPC World Outreach missionaries in 2012. Our role has been in the area of mobilization and the EPC has seen a steady, consistent number of new missionaries being mobilized through these years. And this is true again this year as we saw at this General Assembly at Ward Church in June! We were able to introduce and commission the newest EPC World Outreach global workers.

This General Assembly also gave its approval of World Outreach’s newest master plan. This new document will guide us these next few years in growing more depth, width and purpose in our efforts of the EPC global movement of missions.

We are also celebrating how the mobilization team has grown from more than just Lisa and I, to a competent team of US based global workers. Along with mobilizing new long-term field workers, our team has been able to develop practical, concrete ways to assist Presbyteries and local EPC Churches in engaging locally with those unreached people groups that are moving into communities all around the US. During this General Assembly, we introduced 10 unique ways World Outreach can come along side local EPC church members to help them get more engaged with missions and outreach. Four of these opportunities are coming soon, and we need your help!

Could you forward and share the following with your church members, your college students, any folks who are connecting in anyway with refugees, and with people who sense a call to missions but don’t know where to begin?

Grace and peace, 

Shawn Stewart, EPC WO Mobilization Coordinator

Upcoming Opportunities for You and Your Congregation

Afghan Refugee Cohort

The Afghan Refugee Cohort is a monthly online gathering of EPC members who have been called to welcome Afghan refugees who are resettling in their own neighborhoods. The cohort offers an opportunity to pray together, share, and collaborate. The cohort will have the change to hear and learn from global workers who have served in Afghanistan and/or have experience in refugee ministry. 


Kairos is a course that helps transform worldviews so that the believer understands God’s purpose for every cultural group in the world, including those that still have few or no churches. The course clearly demonstrates God’s love for the peoples of the world and our call to be a blessing to them. KAIROS is a nine-session course that utilizes a variety of learning methods and covers the biblical, historical, strategic, and cultural areas of mission concern. We invite you to join a KAIROS Course and encounter God’s heart for His world.

Mission Cohort

Missions Cohort is a group of like-minded college and young adults, meeting together virtually every month to connect and discern their path forward in missions. We get to know each other, pray for each other, discussion missions around the world and in our very own communities/campuses, watch some videos, connect with global workers, and visit ministry in the field.

Connecting with Your Muslim Neighbors

Connecting with Your Muslim Neighbors is a six-week online workshop. Each week, you’ll spend two hours with like-minded individuals, learning how to foster and create meaningful, ongoing relationships with Muslims in your communities. This time includes training, intentional discussion, and application. And is led by experience WO global workers.

An Agent of Unity | the Reach April 2022

Dear friends,

I am thrilled to announce that after meeting with the World Outreach Committee and the National Leadership Team last week, both have officially recommended that the newest version of the World Outreach Master Plan be brought to the 2022 General Assembly for approval.

What is the World Outreach Master Plan you ask?

If you didn’t know, this is a governing document revised and brought before the GA every 3-5 years. We’re approaching 6 years since the last one. After hundreds of prayer-filled man hours over the last seven months, gathering input from key stakeholders, global workers, missions leaders, the World Outreach Committee, and the National Leadership Team, the Proposed Master Plan defines our mission and how we will serve the denomination in her calling to help fulfill the Great Commission. While simple, this document bears the weight of everyone who worked on it, prayed for it, and represents it in real-life ministry in the field. It also bears the weight of everyone who has gone before and built the history and foundation on which we stand.

As you familiarize yourself with it (link below), I invite you to pray that God would graciously use this as an agent of unity at General Assembly and the EPC for years to come.

While this document may be a fresh version, it’s composed of values and priorities that have been true and are being lived out. One recent example I’d like to highlight is related to “Church Engagement,” found in the Strategic Priorities section. In August, as Afghanistan was falling and a surge of refugees fled, God was preparing generous hearts within our EPC family. In November, World Outreach workers who had spent nearly two decades ministering in Afghanistan (and continue that work among Afghans in the US), alerted us to an opportunity – the need for Christian materials.

The Scriptures in Dari and Afghan Pashtun, a translation which they had worked on and recently completed, were desperately needed. Once out of reach because the translation didn’t exist; out of reach because of physical distance; now in the blink of an eye, both barriers removed for millions of Afghans. Eleven EPC churches and two families gave toward this effort to birth the first 10,000 print copies into existence. “Physical needs, food, water, clothing, are critical, but being able to give the word of God in their heart language is a gift that can last forever. And now we can,” said our WO workers.

There are many other stories of EPC churches currently engaged in ministry with Afghans. May we continue to lean into the opportunities God provides in faith as we live out the strategic priorities the Lord has given us.
Grateful to serve with you to help fulfill the Great Commission,
Gabriel de Guia
Executive Director, EPC World Outreach

Community Life

Muslim Ministry Network

Are you connecting with your Muslim neighbor through friendship, community assistance, or by teaching English? Do you want to meet others who are doing the same things? If so, we are looking for you! Click here for more information.

Spread the Good News

If you feel called to support WO workers and ministry partners here and abroad, consider giving to the U.S. Muslim Ministries Project and the International Disaster Relief Fund. These funds are used to reach and support those in need, sharing the love of Christ.

Divine Opportunity | the Reach March 2022

Over four million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country in the last four weeks. World Outreach has been working with ministry partners on the ground in the surrounding countries to care for those who are impacted and displaced by the events of the last month. Similarly, there are over 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan having fled war in their country. World Outreach’s Mission Cohort took a trip in December 2021 to ministry partners in the area, to offer encouragement and support in their work and to share the love of Christ with Syrian refugees in the area. Two team members, Danny and David, share with you their experience; they were blessed to see eight people put their faith in Jesus during this College Missions Cohort trip: 2 from Syria, 2 from Yemen, and 2 from Iraq.

My much-beloved brothers and sisters,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you as a young man who is blessed to have been mentored by so many wonderful people in the EPC. For the past two years, I have participated in a World Outreach missions cohort of college-aged adults. This cohort was led by EPC World Outreach mobilizers: Mark and MJ, Saul and Jesse Huber, and Shawn and Lisa Stewart. The purpose of this cohort is to, as in all things, glorify God, as well as give young adults an opportunity to discern a possible calling to the cross-cultural missions field. The cohort does this by providing students with both hands-on experience and mentorship from global workers within the EPC.

The highlight of this cohort was a short-term mission trip to Jordan. During this trip, we partnered with a relief agency of Jordanian Christians who are dedicated to doing the work of evangelists among refugees. It was during this trip that I gained one of the most cherished experiences that I have ever had since my own conversion. You see, a primary way that this agency facilitates outreach is through visiting the apartments of refugees. During these visits, staff members and volunteers bring essential food and clothing, as well as take inventory of any specific needs that a family may have. While on these home visits, they also engage in religious dialogue with the intention of sharing the gospel.

The story that I would like to share is the apartment visit with an 80-year-old man and his wife, who are Muslim refugees from Syria. As we sat together, they told us about their needs, as well as their journey from Syria to Jordan. In the midst of the conversation, our interpreter stopped and told us that he wanted to share the gospel with this man, but was concerned about his wife. In the past, he had spoken with the man and shared some things about Christianity but had yet to speak of such things with his wife. It is important to note that in Jordan it is illegal to proselytize, meaning that it is illegal to try and convince someone to change their religion. So, when you do not know how one is going to react to the gospel, you must be very careful in sharing it.

After telling us his concern, the interpreter asked our team if we had any ideas on how to approach sharing the gospel with this couple. I took a moment to pray, and the story of a man by the name of Dennis was laid on my heart. Dennis was a man from my home church who was much loved by our congregation. Despite being sick with cancer, he had such amazing joy and was not afraid, even when he knew that his time on earth was coming to an end. I began to tell Dennis’s story to this couple, and as I said to them that Dennis was not afraid to die, the wife cried out with tears. She told us that both she and her husband were afraid of death. I asked her why she was afraid of death, and she said that it was because she was not sure whether they had been obedient enough for God to let them into heaven. I explained to them that Dennis was confident unto death not because of any kind of obedience or good work that he had done, but because he knew and trusted that God loved him. 

After I shared this story, a member of our team, David, told the couple the story of Jesus being crucified next to two criminals. He explained how one criminal, like this man and his wife, was terrified of death because he knew that he could not meet God’s standard of righteousness. But upon trusting in Jesus, who is the Son of God sent to take away the sins of the world, the criminal was saved. David then got on his knees and asked the man and his wife if they believe this truth and wish to accept Christ, and both of them cried out that they believe. At that very moment, we saw two elderly people, who had been Muslim their entire lives, profess faith in Jesus. Behold the power of Almighty God! 

I left Jordan with a burden on my heart.  The call for us as God’s workers to reap a ready harvest and to disciple new believers was evident.  It has been both wonderful and convicting to share my experiences in Jordan with brothers and sisters in Christ. If you sense in any way a call to pray, to give, or even to go share Jesus with Muslims, I urge you to contact a World Outreach mobilizer through If you know a college-aged young person who is considering a life of ministry or missions, please share this story and invite them to join us at Your life, their life, and countless others could be changed forever. 

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all,

Danny Cridelich
Highview EPC, Dousman
Christ Alone Church, Green Bay

Community Life

Support Syrian Refugees

If you feel called to support ministry partners as they share the love of Christ with Syrian Refugees, consider doing so through the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund. Donations to this fund will help with the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe. The EPC is joining with church partners in Lebanon, Turkey, and Germany to not only assist refugees with physical needs, but also to share the gospel to meet their spiritual needs.

GO with WO

If you’re interested in learning more about opportunities to serve with EPC World Outreach, visit us at