Great Tragedy, Great Need, Great God | The Reach October 2023

Dear friends,

It was 6 a.m., and I rolled over to check my alarm before it went off. When I saw 2 missed calls at 5 a.m. from my good friend in the Southeast of Turkey, I knew something wasn’t right.

And that was how it began, our gradual understanding of the devastation caused by the pair of 7.8/7.7 magnitude earthquakes that rocked our country and left over 50,000 people dead and 2.5 million temporarily homeless.

One night a few months later, I was helping move supplies to build temporary homes in the devastated earthquake zone. It was late, and I was tired when my truck and cell phone died within moments of each other. After getting some help from those living in a nearby tent to recharge my phone, which only got to 4%, I finally reached someone who could help. Unfortunately, help was 1.5 hours away, at least, and they couldn’t give me an ETA of when or who exactly would help. I turned my phone off to save the battery, and I began my long wait in the truck.

In that moment, I found myself grumpy and discontent with God’s timetable and His ways. But I think there was a seed of God’s desire in my doubts. I really wanted (and still want) God to be closer to me, my family, and this injured world. I was and am wanting heaven.

That night, I didn’t find a lot of answers, but I was comforted there in the truck, sensing that God was with me. In fact, at one point during that long night Psalm 139 came to mind, “If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”

I eventually was picked up around midnight, about 3.5 hours after breaking down. We transferred the materials to another truck, and after some sleep, and by God’s grace, we were able to build a home the next day from those materials for a needy family who had been living in a tent since the earthquake. 

This is one of dozens of homes built by believers in that region. Multiple Fellowships outside of Turkey including the EPC contributed to financing these homes. In fact, the EPC International Disaster Relief Fund and the direct contributions from another EPC church financed a total 10 of these homes.

Fast-forward another 4 months, and I received an invitation to a re-opening of a small Fellowship in the earthquake region. This Fellowship had been very small and meeting in an apartment for some time before the earthquake. But now 7 or 8 families have been asking to come, and they have found a home to meet in!

 This is a drop-in-the-bucket compared to the 80 million lost in this country, but even human life starts small, very small, smaller than a mustard seed. So, while we may not understand our personal hardships or the world’s, we can celebrate when God makes his presence known to us in stressful moments—or grows a small Fellowship after a terrible tragedy. And we can hope for God’s Kingdom to fully come! So, let’s trust, hope, and love together.

– R*, World Outreach Worker

*Names removed or changed for security purposes.

Directors note . . .

Thank you for reading the Reach.

If you’ve been a longtime follower, you’ve likely noticed a break in the circulation of our monthly publication this year. We’ve gone through some significant changes in our office operations that led to the hiatus. In this current issue and the coming months we look forward to inspiring you and helping you engage in new and deeper ways with God’s work in and through EPC World Outreach as we seek to help fulfill the Great Commission.

Jesus said to His disciples that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 

God’s mission – that every tribe, tongue, people, and language fill His throne room in worship for eternity – is the ultimate culmination of the Great Commission. 

In our formation and discipleship as Christ followers, being attentive to the kingdom of God aligns our hearts, minds, and work to what matters most. Being attentive to His kingdom requires intentional efforts to observe, listen, seek, learn, pray, and join in where God is working. We pray that the Reach will play a part in your own formation as you draw closer to the heart of God for the nations and those who have least access to the gospel. 

Partnering with you to fulfill the Great Commission,

Gabriel de Guia

Executive Director 

EPC World Outreach

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

If R’s story resonated with you, we encourage you to prayerfully consider supporting them financially in this kingdom work. To receive their prayer updates, please email the WO Office.

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

Courage in Christ | the Reach November 2021

Dear friends,

“Now that I know God, He makes me feel brave enough to share the gospel with my Muslim family members. I know now that I don’t have to worry about what other people think of me because I only care what God thinks of me.”
– Saimeera*

I first met Saimeera in June of 2020 when she was looking for someone to help her read the Bible. The only believer in her family, she was brand new to the faith and had never had any Christian friends or been to church before. During our first meeting, she asked me to teach her how to pray. As I talked her through what God teaches us about prayer, her eyes widened. “You mean we can just say anything that is in our heart to God and He will listen to us?” she said in amazement. In nearly every one of our meetings, she was so overwhelmed by the good news that she started to cry.
Saimeera takes the Word of God very seriously. Every time we met, she brought a list of questions that had come up during her reading the previous week. She reads the Bible every single day because she wants to know and understand all of God’s Word. Her questions revealed a sincere heart: she was doing everything she could to digest and comprehend everything she was reading. “Why was Jesus called the Son of Man if he wasn’t actually Joseph’s son?” she asked one week. “Are the people who rejected Jesus just like me before I understood the gospel?” she asked another week.
Often, new believers can gravitate toward one particular mentor and only feel comfortable learning and sharing with them. While this is completely normal for the beginning of someone’s faith journey, it is essential for newer believers to eventually gain confidence in talking to and sharing with a wider variety of people. In October of 2020, Saimeera was brave enough to start attending an online women’s Bible study. “If I have anything I want to say, I’ll send you a private message,” she told me. By February of 2021, not only was she regularly attending the Bible studies, she chose to share an insight with the group every single week. Just recently, I witnessed her encourage another girl from a similar religious background who is experiencing persecution from her family.
Saimeera’s faith journey has been a huge encouragement to me over the past year. From her careful attention to the details of the Bible to her incredulous wonderment at the fact that God would care to draw near to her, her life provides a sweet reminder for all of us who have perhaps grown numb to the good news of the gospel over time. As we rejoice to see how God is at work in the life of one woman in Indonesia, let us also rejoice that the same God is at work in our lives and in our communities every day!
*Name changed for security purposes

Written by WO Worker, JB, serving in Southeast Asia

Community Life

Loving Your Muslim Neighbor

Read this book written by EPC WO global workers on how to become compassionate and courageous witnesses to Muslims in your community.

Jesus Film

These videos from Jesus Film’s “Do You Ever Wonder?” series provide an excellent tool to share the gospel with others. They’re available in several languages, including Pashto

EPC Thanksgiving Offering

The EPC Thanksgiving Offering this year is designated for a World Outreach project to provide Christian literature and other resources to Afghan refugees in the U.S. and Europe. Stated Clerk Dean Weaver, WO Executive Director Gabriel de Guia, and WO Associate Director Jason Dunn describe how donations to the project here. To give, click here.

Prayers of the Saints | the Reach October 2021

“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God and they shall reign on the earth.”
-Revelation 5:8-9

Dear friends,

Twenty years ago, the EPC and EPC World Outreach declared the Malay people and Malaysia to be a “designated field” – meaning we, as a denomination, were going to work hard at seeing Jesus’ church established among the 20+ million unreached Malay peoples .

The first ten years were a struggle; a team was formed, laborers were raised up and sent, but struggle and suffering led to an exhaustion of commitment and resources to the Malay people. In our lowest point, there was just one family remaining in Malaysia, and they were thinking of giving up….

During this time, the Engage 2025 initiative was launched and by 2012, plans were made for the World Outreach team and the Malay people to become an Engage 2025 project; in God’s providence, the Engage 2025 focus through the presbytery provided a means for the EPC to shore up our commitment to the Malay people. God began to move among us. He called laborers and by 2014, the WO team became one of the largest planting teams in Southeast Asia.

When the WO team began processing how to move toward seeing the multiplication of disciples, an observation was made: “there has never been a movement to Christ without a preceding extraordinary prayer movement.” We asked ourselves, “has Malaysia and the Malay people ever had a prayer movement?” The answer? No.

Our course of action became apparent: create an extraordinary prayer movement. We increased our own personal prayer times, we prayed corporately as a team every month, and started a city-wide prayer meeting for all who shared our heart for the Malay people.

As God was moving among us, he was also moving hearts within World Outreach and the EPC. In 2016, WO declared a year of prayer for breakthrough among the Malay people. One hundred forty-nine people committed to pray for the Malay at least once a week for the whole year. Following that initial General Assembly, four additional years were designated by World Outreach at GA as years to pray for breakthrough among the Malay.

At the same time, God was moving in Malaysia and inspiring Pastor Raymond Koh and others to mobilize prayer and evangelism among the thousands of Malaysian minority Christians in the country. The vision was to believe God would launch disciple making movements in each of the fifty-two zones of Malaysia within the next five years: the 525 prayer initiative.

We have witnessed an incredible amount of prayer on behalf of the Malay people. Yet, for all of this extraordinary prayer, the breakthrough still tarries. We have seen green shoots – some Malays have begun to follow Christ, but nothing like we envision when we think about Revelation 5:9 and 7:9.  Did we fail? 

Or does God plan to do “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20)? Perhaps the bowls we see in Revelation 5 and 8 represent our prayers for the Malay and we are just now reaching our tipping point?  Stay tuned and keep praying for breakthrough among the Malay people.  Believe God’s promises and His word, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Gal 6:9).  The best is yet to come… 

The Malay people, like all people, are one of the tribes  / languages / peoples / nations bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and will join us in the great multitude standing before the throne of God.  How many will be there?  Only God knows, but with over 20 million Malay peoples presently scattered over, South Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia we have to believe it will be millions.
Written by “J” a team leader in Southeast Asia.

Community Life

Malay Prayer Card

If you feel called to pray for the Malay of Malaysia, or are interested in learning more, take a look at our prayer card. We would be happy to send these cards to you to pass out to friends and church members, as well. Simply email us here.

Foundations of Prayer

Listen to audio lectures by J. Edwin Orr which give us a key understanding to what precedes church planting movement activity.

PRK 555 Prayer App

Download (iOS Android) this daily prayer guide and pray along with thousands of others who are eager to see prayer, revival and the kingdom come and God’s will done among those in South Thailand, Malaysia (East and West), Singapore and Brunei. You may also request a free book copy of the prayer initiative by emailing us

EduNations | the Reach June 2021

Dear friends,

Some of you may be familiar with the work of EduNations – we ignite hope by providing free, quality education to children in remote communities of Sierra Leone. In addition to building schools, EduNations works to ignite lasting, eternal hope by partnering with the Sierra Leone EPC to reach and raise up believers in Christ.

Many first-generation believers have been born out of students attending our schools and being introduced to the gospel for the first time. This past year, EduNations took a big step forward in igniting hope for students physically, mentally and spiritually. In January 2021, we opened our first senior secondary boarding school in one of the remote communities. Roughly 130 students are receiving a free, quality high school education while living in dormitories on campus and receiving three meals each day. Prior to this, EduNations students who had passed the national Basic Certificate Exams after junior secondary school (middle school) simply had nowhere to go to further their education. Now, students from all villages will have the chance to complete an undergraduate education in a safe, Christian environment. We have an invaluable and timely opportunity to make an impact on students’ lives, as all of them are entering an age where they can really make their faith their own.

This fall, we will be adding another class to our high school, which will effectively double our number of boarding students. Many of these students are waiting with great anticipation to finally be able to attend the Senior Secondary Boarding School. The school’s reputation precedes it, as students have heard many good things about it from older siblings and friends. Over this past year, some of the most common things that our boarding students have been excited about include eating 3 meals each day and having a bed of their very own (two luxuries that most students did not have prior to attending the boarding school). One of our boarding students exclaimed, “This is my first time of sleeping on a bed alone! Oh, what a joy!” Another said, “This is the best food I have EVER eaten! I will not go for vacation again.”

We are so blessed with the opportunity to experience the joy of these students as they experience these “luxuries” for the first time. Even more so, we look forward to seeing how these students, who are for the first time in their lives distanced from the direct Islamic influence of their parents, will be impacted spiritually as they are introduced to the gospel and discipled in their young and growing faith.

As we prepare this summer for bringing on another 140 boarding students this fall, would you consider giving so that each of our new students will be supplied with a mattress to sleep on and three hot meals each day? To give, click here and select Donate to our most pressing need”. You can also consider sponsoring a student, which provides you with the opportunity to support and connect with a specific child.

To learn more about our work in Sierra Leone, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. And most importantly, please commit to praying for each of our senior secondary school students, that they would feel the love of Christ and come to know him as their personal Lord and Savior.

Thank you!

Written by Samuel Sesay, President of EduNations

Community Life

Be a Healthy Missions Partner

This article by Andy Johnson will not only suggest six principles for you and your church to consider, as you partner with global workers, but give practical application to put these principles into action.

Support EduNations

EduNations creates self-supporting schools in Sierra Leone, caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional health of their students. If you feel led to aid them in this goal, please consider giving to their most pressing needs, or sponsoring a student

EduNations Annual Report

Read the EduNations 2020 Annual Report to learn more about EduNations, the fantastic work they do, and how they’ve persevered through COVID.

EPC WO Director’s Reflection on Ministry | the Reach May 2021

Dear friends,

In one month, I will step down after seven years as Director of World Outreach. I want to reflect here on four developments I’ve seen in our work during that time.
Internationalized Church-planting Teams. The EPC World Outreach global workers we send out from North America almost always end up teaming with spiritual brothers and sisters sent out from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. These relationships are rarely orchestrated from denominational or mission agency headquarters, but rather are organic partnerships that grow as disciple-makers from very different cultures discover each other working on the same task directed by the same Spirit.
Second Generation EPC WO Global Workers. By Presbyterian standards EPC World Outreach is relatively young, having sent out its first workers in 1985. But in recent years we have seen adult children (Jackie, Peter, and Josh) from three different EPC WO families return with the EPC into full-cycle church-planting among people with least access to the gospel. With these folks we build on the foundation of decades of the very best preparation for cross-cultural ministry.
Repatriated Immigrant Global Workers. The dream of escape to America, the Land of Opportunity, is still very much alive throughout much of the world. Few who have achieved that dream give it up and return to the lands of their birth, but we in EPC World Outreach have several families where at least one spouse fits that description. These families have unusual credibility with neighbors who recognize they are animated by a power greater than material success. Coupling that credibility with a deep understanding of local culture to share the gospel has had a major impact in many cases.
National Church Missional Leaders. As World Outreach Director, I receive several requests each week from Christians around the world, asking for “partnership”. Of course, partnership may have many different meanings, but usually these appeals are for funds to carry out ministry in their communities. As important as these ministries are, I routinely turn down such requests to focus our resources and energies on a different kind of partnership. World Outreach has developed close relationships with church leaders in Asia and Africa whose eyes are always on the frontiers of their communities. They look beyond where their churches are, to the neighborhoods, villages, and towns where no churches are. They pray for those places; they go to those places; they train and send people to those places; and EPC WO comes alongside to help them. Our efforts here become magnified and multiplied for a hundred-fold effect.
One final note – these developments in World Outreach have been gifts from God through the labors of people other than me. It has been the labors of loving missionary parents which have borne sweet fruit in the lives of our World Outreach MKsa. It has been the faithful service of elders in our presbyteries who nurtured relationships with national church missional leaders in places like Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Albania, and Russia. It has been EPC pastors who welcomed and befriended immigrant Christians in their congregations, and then encouraged and guided them to be sent back by EPC World Outreach. And it has been our WO global workers who have recognized “God’s team” in the faces of El Salvadoran, Brazilian, Singaporean, Indonesian, Albanian, etc. brothers and sisters and reached out hands to work together.  To all of you, I say thank you for your service to Christ, and for making my work as WO Director a joy.
Grace and peace,
Phil Linton, World Outreach Director

Community Life

Annual Report

Click here to read EPC WO’s Annual Report for 2020 for more information on what we were up to this past year: stories from the field, WO by the Numbers, and information on the communities we’re serving overseas. 

WO Workshop

If you’re interested in learning how to foster meaningful relationships with Muslims in your community, we encourage you to take part in EPC WO’s six-week Connecting with Your Muslim Neighbors workshop. Visit our website for more information!