Posts tagged with ‘Missions’

  • Overwhelmed With Gratitude

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    As I look back on our trip to Guatemala, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and hope. I went into this trip thinking I was going to be God’s hands and spread His love to the Guatemalan people, but I never expected what I would get in return. Every person I met poured into me even more than I did them. They all truly have my heart. These people are filled with infectious joy, and I admire their positive perspective on life.

    We were able to serve these people by building houses, bathrooms, stoves, and washing their feet. Each family welcomed us with open arms. The gratitude they showed us was like no other. They would offer us soda or make us bread, even when this generosity would take away a majority of their money for the week. Even with a language barrier, I was amazed to realize I was still able to connect with each of these families and learn their story.

    The most impacting relationships were ones that we didn’t even speak, but we were able to just be together. Through this, they were able to feel the love God has for them. I am so thankful God hand picked each person on this team to bring us together. Each of us were vulnerable and stepped out of our comfort zone, but in this it showed me that God works in the most unexpected ways.

    In Guatemala, once an orphan turns eighteen, he or she is kicked out of the orphanage into the streets. While this is difficult for many orphans, it’s especially challenging for those with special needs. On the Pray America campus, there is a house, Casa De Sarita, for aged-out orphans with special needs. Hugo and his wife, Gilma, have a heart for taking in aged-out orphans, and together they are the house parents for several aged-out orphans in Monte Flor, the Pray America campus.

    Our team had the honor of being the first to include the Casa De Sarita kids on our team for our projects throughout the week. We were able to bond with them both on and off the projects, and this allowed us to get to know their hearts. They each had a heart longing and willing to serve, and our team wouldn’t have been complete without them!

    Returning home, we want to continue the mission in our daily lives. Our goal is to be the 20% of people who go on mission trips and actually change the way they live afterwards. The Guatemalan people put such value in every relationship they have, and this is something we admire about the people we met. We want to invest in everyone around us in our daily lives and spread the love of Jesus in our community.

    As a group, we have grown so close and made connections that will last a lifetime. Together, we want to spread the love and joy of knowing who Christ is throughout our community. This trip has been an eye-opening and life-changing experience that has made us value the importance of our relationships with each other. And none of us were made to face this life alone.

    Story written by Zen Rosen and Kaitlyn Snyder

  • Full Circle

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    “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

    God is sovereign. God is gracious. His mercies endure forever. He is faithful.

    These are all beautiful truths about God, and if we are Christ followers, we have all heard and experienced these truths in life.

    Even still, I don’t know that I have ever gone through so many emotions and experienced all of those truths in one week. I’m talking about motion sickness from a five-hour bus ride through mountains to exhaustion from traveling 11 hours in one day….to crying then laughing then laughing while I’m crying….to feeling stripped of all the familiar to being so happy and feeling so blessed to being nervous for the first day of projects….to being homesick then head-cold-sick then feeling at home….to being humbled to being in love with the city of Chichi to feeling heartbroken to leave it.

    The October Guatemala team served the people of Chichicastenango as the “Manos de Jesus” for one week. (Manos de Jesus is the name used in Guatemala for Pray America, the organization Port City Community Church partners within Guatemala.) For one week, my team experienced God’s sovereignty, His grace, His enduring mercies, His faithfulness. This is our story.

    Going into this mission, our team met monthly for several months to get to know one another better and to prep for the mission as a whole. It was crushing to see how the enemy was trying to weasel his way into each of our lives and make us doubt the great plans God had for us. From terminal sickness in families to financial troubles to personal health concerns, the devil truly was trying his best to attack and stop any one of us he could. But praise God — He is stronger and more capable than the enemy!

    A few of us had concerns about being able to raise enough money to be fully funded. I remember sitting in my coworker’s office, telling her I need to raise all my money in three months and even she was nervous for me. I started posting to social media and little by little, money started coming in, but nowhere near what I needed to feel comfortable. Still, He is sovereign. I prayed through it. Fast forward to two days before we left and I got an email with my up-to-date funding statement: I was fully funded! In fact, I was $200 over what I needed. I remembered someone else on the team was having a hard time raising money, and I wanted the $200 to go to her. He is faithful. She needed exactly $200 at that time to be fully funded! And I could not stop thanking Jesus.

    I’ll be the first to admit, I was terrified to fly. I prayed leading up to the day that God would just take the fear because I knew how irrational I was being. And I thank God that He came through with mercy in placing me next to the best plane buddy, Alex, who is also on our team. She is the sweetest person and I’m so grateful for her hand because I was holding it during every takeoff and landing.

    But being in the clouds, as the sun was rising that Saturday morning, I felt compelled to take out my journal and write what I was feeling:

    “I’m sitting by the window and looking out just made me feel a wave of wonder. Like, how can one not be in awe of God? Seriously. Especially being up in the clouds like this…God is just so freakin’ AMAZING! And how could we not feel like we owe it all to Him to go out and spread His love when he has equipped us with the means to do so?! I mean, a plane — a big machine that man engineered — to take us across oceans and lands. And a healthy body that is perfectly able to do a mission. When God asks us to do, the only option I truly believe we, as Christians, have is to DO. He will provide all the rest because His faithfulness is true! His love is all-consuming. His grace is so sufficient. His promises are real.”

    Two flights, a bus ride, and 11 hours later, we arrived at Pray America’s campus tired, emotional, and excited for the week ahead. Our team quickly turned into a family unit. We were there to support each other. We were there to take care of each other. We were there to work and serve together. We had our first of six family dinners and our first of seven debriefs. Family dinners were a great way to end the day. We all came back together and were able to talk and laugh about the day we had over a meal prepared by a team of wonderful Guatemalan women employed by Pray America. Debriefs were so essential to processing everything we saw God doing throughout the day. But that first night truly was an emotional evening. God was making His presence known and by Monday — our first day of building projects — just about everyone had acclimated to the altitude change and we were SO ready to get out and start loving on the people of Chichi.

    On Monday, we split into two groups of seven and each group built four stoves for four different families. That’s a total of eight stoves for eight families! Tuesday we divided up again and each group helped build two bathrooms for a total of four different families! Wednesday we split again, and this day was without a doubt the most special day for me. Wednesday was the build day for houses. Each team built one house for a widow. My team had the honor of building Maria’s home. Maria reminded me so much of my grandma. My grandma passed away on August 24 of this year and it was a very difficult time for me, especially with this mission trip coming up.

    During my prayers for this mission trip, God clearly spoke to me and reassured me that my Maw (what we called her) would be with me on this mission trip. But I was so not expecting to see her in a little 74-year old Guatemalan lady who lived with her family on the actual side of a mountain. We learned that Maria has pain in her feet, so with her permission, we laid hands on them and prayed for healing. I cried on that Wednesday. I laughed. I joked. I remembered. On Thursday, I had the honor of returning to the home we built for Maria and washing her feet by Jesus’ example in John 13:1-17. It was one of the most humbling moments of my life, next to putting lotion on my Maw’s feet during her stays in the hospital.

    All in all, this mission trip came full circle. Initial fears we had were blown away by the breath of God, and, through the end of the week, God’s sovereignty prevailed. We are all so grateful for having experienced this adventure with Jesus. It was truly so much more than I can put into words for others to read. But I pray this summary provides its readers enough insight to feel even a touch of what the team and I felt during our week in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. The grace of God is real. His sovereignty is unmatchable. His mercy is forever enduring, and He is the most faithful being I have ever encountered, never leaving nor forsaking.

    Story Written By Sarah Leitner

    Learn more about PC3’s short-term mission opportunities, as well as places to serve locally, by visiting

  • A Bright Light

    By in Stories on

    What I remember most upon first meeting Julia Linton was her smile. This young woman radiates with joy and can light up the room with a simple hello. I’m not the only one who believes this to be true. Julia’s senior class voted her as “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day.” I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Julia over the past few years and admire her in every way.

    Julia was born in Kazakhstan and spent the first six and half years of her life in an orphanage. In 2004 she was adopted by a wonderful, loving family whom Julia says, “…taught me about God’s love for me.” Julia and her family moved here from Michigan in 2010 and joined Port City Community Church, where Julia became active in the student ministry. Later that same year, she attended Fuse, a camp for our student ministry, and decided to give her life to Christ. Julia states, “The experience changed my life.” A couple of weeks later, she was baptized.

    There is more to Julia than her beautiful smile. She has a huge heart and a desire to serve others. Before her big move to start college, Julia volunteered as a Small Group Leader in Treasure Island. When I ask her what she loved most about serving in Treasure Island, she responds, “I loved working with the kids and teaching them about Jesus.”

    Over the summer, Julia worked as a camp leader at Wilmington Christian Academy where, as a parent of a child attending, I got to witness her interaction with the children. She’d often peek into classrooms just to say hello, and as she made her way through the halls, little children would come running, arms open wide, waiting for a warm hug. Julia clearly loved her job, but even more, she loved those children.

    In sharing the love of Christ, Julia’s devotion goes beyond her own community. In August of this year, her faith took her all the way to Guatemala working with Manos de Jesus/Pray America. Upon her return, she shares, “I’m so thankful that I went to Guatemala […] to serve widows and their children.”

    Julia and the Port City Community Church Missions team visited different families each day to help make home improvements like building bathrooms or installing stoves. As they built homes, they were also building relationships. Julia found herself relating to those who shared stories of being orphaned and then finding a home through adoption. As she shared her own story, an unbreakable bond had formed.

    Julia closes sharing about her time in Guatemala with a verse from James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” She says the verse has impacted her life in a major way. “This verse stuck with me during this trip because it says that God looks after orphans and widows. It reminds me that God was looking after me when I was an orphan, and now He has a different plan for me.”

    Julia not only inspires me, but challenges the way I want to live my life. She chooses not to view her past as an obstacle to overcome, but rather a significant part of her story that God is using for His grander purposes. Thank you, Julia, for being a bright light in our community and to the world.

    Story Written By: Mandy Hughes

  • Beyond Ourselves

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    13707522_10153696478996932_3892562783188445218_nHaving traveled internationally before for short-term missions work, Chris and Misty Britt had a desire to share God’s love abroad. However, traveling outside of the area was not realistic at this time, due to having two young daughters. When they watched a video about Port City’s work in Belarus back in 2014, they felt a nudge to get involved. Opening their home to a child from Belarus seemed like the perfect fit – enabling them to serve abroad without going abroad.

    While waiting for the bus to pull into the church parking lot with their host child Dasha on board, nervousness and the unknown was mixed with anticipation and faith. They didn’t know what to expect and wrestled with some tough questions. Would this child blend with their family? How would they deal with the language barrier? How would their daughters deal with someone else needing their parents’ attention? Did they make the right decision? Over time those questions faded away, and now having Dasha in their home has become normal. She’s considered part of the family.

    “We treat Dash just like we treat our own girls. We have fun. We have disappointments. She gets in trouble. There are hurt feelings and make up conversations.  There are fun family nights with just us and fun family nights with lots of others.  Our extended family as well as our friends have all embraced Dasha and love her as we do,” Chris said. “We have gained another daughter while our girls have a new sister. Ultimately, we have someone else to consider beyond ourselves – another heart to consider and parent as we would our own. We have to spread our love a little farther and that shows our own girls how it can be done. It’s a give and take for everyone. This experience is one which has taught us all to give.  Give of our time.  Give of our things.  Give of our love.  All to someone that we did not know and did not speak our language from the beginning.”

    In the midst of the laughter, tears, family bonding and making memories, a level of trust has been built between Dasha and the Britts. Those teachable moments have provided opportunities to provide wisdom for questions that come up about life, faith and God. Knowing she is loved by her family here in the States, Dasha has let her guard down and been receptive towards hearing about the love of Christ.

    13482891_10206457463255718_8588949427181185428_o“One of the best parts about this experience is watching Dasha’s relationship grow with our family and the trust which is extended by her family. This trust has even lead to questions about God.  Ultimately, our purpose is to share the love of Christ with Dasha.  Late last summer during her visit she began asking questions about God, which is affirmation that a seed is being planted,” Chris said. “When I think about ‘reaching’ people, I think about extending my arms and heading out beyond my home, beyond my region, beyond my world. The Belarus mission provides a chance for us to open our arms and welcome someone in from afar into our region and our world. What better way to share God’s love than right where we are.”

    Not only has participating in the Belarus hosting program brought their family closer together and allowed Chris and Misty to serve and make an impact, this experience has strengthened their faith. It’s helped them gain a better appreciation for their own relationships with God. By opening their home to a stranger from half way across the world, their eyes have been opened to the love Christ offers to each one of us.

    I think we have learned that relationships are not built overnight. It is a reminder of God’s relationship with us.  It takes time.  It takes work.  It takes giving and trusting.  Ultimately, our love for a child that we did not know, comes from a loving God that we are continuing to get to know,” Chris said.

    Each summer PC3 families host some very special children from Belarus for six weeks. This happens through our partnership with the American Belarussian Relief Organization. If you are interested in learning more about why and how you can open your home and become a host family, visit and click Belarus to download our host family packet! We will also have an interest meeting on January 22nd at 1:00pm in the Living Rooms at our Wilmington campus.

  • In All That I Do

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    Alyssa Caccavaro is a junior in high school and serves as a volunteer in Grow Zone at our New Bern campus. Several weeks ago Alyssa had the opportunity to serve with a team from PC3 New Bern that traveled to Pinetops, NC, partnering with Samaritan’s Purse to help those whose homes were devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Here is Alyssa’s story about taking a bold stand for Christ at her school:

    “As I was writing my persuasive speech for English class about how people should go out in the community and serve, I used my service with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization, as my background and examples. While planning my paper out in my head, I decided that for the conclusion I would quote one of the homeownealyssacaccavarors when she told us that she’s using this devastating event to show her 6-year-old daughter that all of their stuff is just that – “stuff.” She said that even though they have to almost completely start over, and that at times it seems like their lives are awful, God was, and always is, with them. I was then going to wrap it up and talk about how God calls us to live like Jesus: to serve and help others just as he did.

    Then I began to think that maybe I shouldn’t do that; maybe I shouldn’t talk about God. I wondered how my teacher and peers would react to this. I thought maybe my teacher would take off points because of it or because it wasn’t what she asked for. Or maybe, even though they know I’m a Christian, my peers would think I’m “that Christian” – the one who always talks about God, as if that’s a bad thing. As all these thoughts went through my head, I thought about the song “Guilty” by the Newsboys, specifically these lyrics:

    “Guilty of being a voice proclaiming

    Your ways, Your truth, Your life

    I’ll pay the price, to be your light”

    I decided to include God in my speech… and in all that I do. While I’m not the Christian I want to be, and while I make many, many mistakes, I hope that I can be the light for someone. Personally, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the amazing people in my life. My church isn’t just my church; it’s my second home and my family. While I’ve had many people come and go in my life, each one of them has played a special part in my life. I’m beyond thankful for my Church family. You guys will never know just how much you mean to me.”

    Story written by Jennifer Alcock.

  • Fresh Eyes

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    Ed Rexrode, PC3 New Bern Host Team volunteer, felt a strong leading by the Holy Spirit several years ago to get more involved in his community. He had heard about the Religious Community Services (RSC) soup kitchen that feeds hundreds of hungry people on a daily basis in downtown New Bern. Ed loved the challenge of cooking for a large crowd, so volunteering in a soup kitchen was something that really intrigued him.

    rcssoupkitchenOn a Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving, Ed served for the first time at RCS, a day that began to change Ed’s perspective of those in need. Before “leaning in” and serving in this capacity, Ed was like many of us who stereotype individuals who are down and out. We craft a tale about how this person came to be without actually hearing their story. In some regards, our reaction is a defense mechanism. It allows us to disengage from the issues facing our communities, which only perpetuates the problem.

    Yet, as Ed began to do life with those who didn’t know where their next meal was coming from, he soon realized there wasn’t much difference between him and them. They had merely experienced some life events that made things pretty difficult – health challenges, a loss of a loved one, a company downsizing and cutting staff.

    Through his time chatting with the folks who came to eat, he recognized how grateful they were to RCS for standing in the gap with them in a rough season. Ed soon fell in love with the RCS volunteers and daily meal guests. He began to really lean in to those who needed help in his community, and they in turn gave him a new outlook on what an honor it is to help others.

    It wasn’t long before RCS recognized Ed’s gift of leadership, and they soon asked him to lead a cook team on the 4th Wednesday of every month. “Volunteering at RCS has been pure joy for me as I’ve been able to serve Jesus by serving others,” Ed said. As a result of making room in his life for others, the Lord gave Ed fresh eyes to see others in a new light. True life was found in Ed giving his life away in service to others.

    Story Written By: Jennifer Alcock

  • A Legacy of Love

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    For Rebecca Flores, the most important thing about her relationship with her daughter is the legacy of love that she hopes to pass on to her. Rebecca and her 15 year old daughter Maggie have built their relationship through serving at PC3 together over the years. They started out as greeters with the Host Team and once Maggie was old enough, they began serving together on Sunday mornings in Grow Zone at the Wilmington campus. Every week, with very rare exception, Rebecca has brought Maggie to service and then made their way down the GZ hall together to show God’s love to some of the sweetest two year olds around (if you’re a parent of young kids at PC3, at some point you’ve probably heard your child ask to go see Miss Maggie at church).

    14067625_913650848746974_7933989420857590120_nThrough her example, Rebecca has used this serving opportunity to show Maggie how to love others through the lens of Jesus’s love. But, after a few years, Rebecca decided it was time to step out in faith and invite Maggie to serve with her on a mission trip. Their family had been sponsoring a child in Kenya for some time, and Rebecca and her older daughter, Hannah, had gone on a mission trip through PC3 to Kenya in 2010. After hearing about the amazing time her sister and mom had on their trip together, Maggie began sponsoring a child at Mama Hellen’s with the money she earned babysitting. She began praying that she would get to go meet everyone at Mama Hellen’s one day too. The stories that Rebecca shared with Maggie about her trip to Kenya sparked a passion in Maggie’s heart to one day go with her. Finally, in August of 2016, the mother and daughter pair travelled to Kenya with the hope of reaching people for God and loving on them.

    To say this trip and the people they met there had an impact on Maggie would be a dramatic understatement. A few days after they returned, I spent the day with Maggie and listened to her talk about the pure joy and love that she experienced at Mama Hellen’s. She shared this wisdom with me as she reflected on the growth in her relationship with her mom after Kenya:

    “We had the chance to feel the same things, meet the same challenges, and grow in different, but very same ways. When I look back at moments from some of the best times of my life, I got to share them with her because she was not only there but she experienced them, too. We get to have inside jokes and we get to miss the same people and laugh about the same things. It really has grown our relationship a lot.”

    This is a huge testament to the importance of intentionality and investment in your kids lives and walks with God. At the end of each day during their trip to Kenya, Maggie would go into Rebecca’s room to debrief the day together, “I wanted to share my joys and sorrows with her and listen to hers. I came to her for advice and just to share something funny with her.”

    floresgzIn September of 2016, shortly after they returned from Kenya, the Flores girls jumped at the opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip through Samaritan’s Purse to help with Flood Relief in Louisiana. Once again, Maggie returned with countless stories about the people she met and what they taught her. Her worldview changed dramatically after seeing the people who lost all of their possessions and their homes in the floods. She came back wanting to change her lifestyle and do more for people who have less. It all started with an invitation from Rebecca to lean in to what God was calling them to do.

    Traveling around the country and the world has shown Maggie that not everyone is like her or was born with the same privileges as her. Going on these trips with her mother has allowed Rebecca to have important conversations about the world and about being the hands and feet of Jesus to everyone, especially the people that it might not be convenient or easy to interact with. On the verge of tears, Rebecca described these moments as opportunities to show Maggie the importance of loving without judgement, “When I’m gone, she is going to be my legacy. I want to leave behind a legacy of love through her!”

    The most beautiful thing about this story to me is the intentionality behind what Rebecca is teaching her daughter about following Christ. She has invited her into the PC3 family and encouraged her to step out in faith. She has fostered a relationship with her that creates a safe place to ask questions and make her faith her own. That is what their relationship is based on; growing in authentic faith, love and compassion. Maggie has a lot to say about serving with her mother:

    “Serving has changed my walk with God so much it feels like. Serving pushes you to grow with the circumstances. It makes you cling to God more through the challenges. When we went to Kenya I was constantly met with new things that I knew nothing of how to navigate. It made me pray constantly and really need and rely on God to get me through the day. When I serve in GZ, I am met with patience, testing things a lot and it makes me check myself and helps evaluate why I am serving and what He is doing through me. Serving has stretched me to my limits and has taken me way out of my comfort zone and helped me to accomplish things that I never would have dreamed of. Serving for a purpose, for God, gives my heart such a reward and even though it’s sometimes chaotic and there are times I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into, I always find myself going back for more. Meeting the people, serving them, showing God in a tangible way, there is nothing that compares to it. To be able to empower someone, well it’s just amazing.”

    Both Maggie and Rebecca separately shared that the biggest take-away from serving together has been their interactions with the people that they encountered and what that taught them about God. What a blessing it is to go into a situation, whether it be a weekly serving opportunity at PC3 or a mission trip halfway around the world, and learn to look deeper into the mission and purpose of why you go to serve and what God is doing through you. What an even bigger blessing it is to experience it side by side with your parent or child and deepen your relationship as you work to build up God’s kingdom at the same time.

    Story Written By: Kayla Hohos

  • Field Partner Forums: Serving The Least Reached

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    Many people have said the hardest part about serving cross-culturally is the loss of connection with their home church. We at PC3 are privileged to send out people all over the world to tell of the good news of Jesus and we see it as a privilege to also care for them while they are serving abroad.

    In order to help maintain connection with their home church, we recently sent a short form to each of our field partners, designed with specific questions to help inform the PC3 community how they are doing, how the church can be involved and how to learn more about their work. We are calling these features our Field Partner Forums.

    Today’s entry is from a couple serving aboard in a place that is hostile towards Christianity. Sometimes God’s call to ‘go and make disciples’ will lead you to a place that is openly hostile to the Gospel. Earlier this year we were honored to send out a very special couple to such a place. Even though we can’t share their location or even their name over the internet, we invite you to learn more about their work and join us in praying for this sweet couple as they serve in one of the least reached places with the Gospel on earth.

    What have you been up to lately?

    We have recently arrived in our current city within the past few months and have begun the process of learning the national language and culture. We have language class five days a week and try to practice what we have learned in the community and marketplace.

    What has been the most unexpected surprise in your experience over the past 6 months?

    The most unexpected surprise has been a deeper realization of the need for God’s grace, both in receiving His grace and giving grace to others. We can strive and try as much as we want, but we are nothing without His grace. A true measure of how well we understand and trust God’s grace is by the way we show or fail to show grace to others. Realizing how much we have to learn about God’s grace has been very humbling.

    What has been the biggest celebration in the past 6 months?

    Our biggest celebration over the past 6 months has been our arrival here to the country. After much anticipation and preparation, we are finally here! We are also celebrating the gift of technology which has allowed us to communicate with others back home. We are so grateful for the prayers and encouraging words of so many. We could not do this alone!

    lightstock_60161_full_media-2What has been the biggest struggle in the past 6 months?

    One of the biggest struggles we have faced in the past 6 months is being away from the familiar and comfortable. We both have cried as we miss family and friends who have been near and dear to us for so long. God is teaching us that He is the true and complete Comforter and that He desires that we comfort one another. Thank you so much to those who have comforted us with the comfort they have received from God.

    If you were standing before our group right now and could say one thing, what would it be?

    Our relationship with God and others is always more important than any task. The temptation has been to make language and culture learning the number one goal at the expense of relationships. The greatest gift we can give anyone is not the ability to speak a language, or complete any task, but to remain in Christ and His love, just as He remains in the Father’s love. From this and from this only, God gives us the ability to truly love.

    How can we best keep up with what you are doing? (Website, email, social media, mailing list)

    The best way to keep up with us is through e-mail. If someone would like to receive regular updates on our situation, please contact the PC3 missions director, Evans Baggs. Thanks so much!

  • The Lord Met Me in the Mountains

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    Life truly comes at us fast at times. But, what would happen if we found a way to slow things down and try to see the places where the Lord is trying to get our attention? For me, this didn’t become a possibility until I ventured far beyond all I’ve ever known to the beautiful country of Guatemala. More specifically, the city of Chichicastenango. (Try saying THAT five times fast!)

    If asked just a year ago about my stance on missions, I would’ve replied that they’re great but not for me. I felt my call was to focus on loving on those around me. This is why my prayer for the last two years has been that the Lord would help me to love His people well. I never thought that petition would lead me to another place. However, we all know that the Lord has a true sense of humor and has many ways to get His will done. My week living among the Guatemalan people is evidence of that truth.

    Liz blog photo 2I went into this experience with the desire to learn how to live a content life. Sure enough, I was able to get the basic blueprint for this lifestyle shift. Here at home, it’s not uncommon to battle bitterness, resentment, jealousy, and many other poisonous feelings. But, during this trip, I was finally able to shake those stifling thoughts and just be.

    All this time I was in search of contentment in places it does not live. It wasn’t until I found myself alongside others who truly breathed a gracious existence that I realized that contentment can’t be learned by looking internally, but rather, by observing others who are content and taking part in their walk.

    This means that we have to first be in a relationship with others who are living contently. If you cannot think of anyone in that category, it might be time to shake up your circle a little. Look to people who may not look like you or come from the same background. If the mere thought of this makes you want to skip to the end, the Lord is probably talking to you, my friend.

    We, as Christians, are called to step out of our comfort zones to propel the Gospel. How are we going to do that if we’re too afraid to step out and pursue the Lord’s very best for us? When I took this step for myself the Lord revealed just how good He is. He revealed to me a sometimes forgotten truth. PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. I know this isn’t particularly profound, but it’s an easy thing to dismiss because of superficial differences.

    Liz blog photo 3In my own experience, I attempted to put my broken Spanish to use and talked to anyone in the hopes they would talk back. Their stories were awe-inspiring and worthy of an international stage, but they didn’t have that. However, they were more than okay just sharing with me because I had simply taken the time to ask. It’s absolutely amazing what people will share when another person takes the time to humble themselves and listen. I heard stories of people who had little to no food or money who were still willing to walk miles to buy bottles of soda to gift our team. This communally gracious mindset is a perspective I have never encountered. Instances like this do, however, cause me to question the true meaning of a third world country. Yes, they have little in the way of material possessions, but they are far richer in love, contentment, and grace than many in our country. To me, those qualities are what make a place developed.

    My prayer for our country is that we can get to a place where we value a person’s virtue more than their possessions. That we will begin to see other people in the same way our loving Father sees them. But, most importantly, that we will extend gracious compassion to all we come in contact with so that no widow, orphan, or any person in need will be able to say that they were overlooked.

    I’m eternally grateful for the presence that PC3 has in Guatemala because they not only provided me with the opportunity to be the hands and feet of my Father, but to also have a shift in my life perspective that demands true change. The Lord met me in the mountains of Guatemala and truly proved to me that He is willing to do whatever it takes to capture my heart and I can assure you He longs to do the same for you.

    Elizabeth Barfield wrote this piece about her experience on a PC3 short-term mission trip to Guatemala in July 2016.  

  • Field Partner Forums: Andrea & McKenzie Dorigo

    By in Stories on

    Many people have said the hardest part about serving cross-culturally is the loss of connection with their home church. We at PC3 are privileged to send out people all over the world to tell of the good news of Jesus and we see it as a privilege to also care for them while they are serving abroad.

    In order to help maintain connection with their home church, we recently sent a short form to each of our field partners, designed with specific questions to help inform the PC3 community how they are doing, how the church can be involved and how to learn more about their work. We are calling these features our Field Partner Forums.

    Today’s entry is from Andrea and McKenzie Dorigo who serve in Trieste, Italy.

    What have you been up to lately?

    Lately we have been spending a lot of time with unbelieving friends, old and new, and trying to connect them to our community group. Our conversations about God and life have been encouraging, and we constantly pray that God would give them a hunger and thirst for Jesus.

    IMG_5603What has been the most surprising experience over the past six months?

    We bumped into a longtime friend of Andrea’s whom we hadn’t seen in a really long time. Weve been praying for him for years. He’s been going through a very difficult time and wed never seen him look so down and upset. Andrea was able to share the Gospel with him. Since then they’ve been in contact each week, and his friend is always eager to chat and listen to Andrea talk about his faith.

    What has been the biggest celebration in the past six months?

    We have been celebrating the small things, like Andrea’s father coming to a John Piper conference with us and being touched by the messages; our notyetbelieving friends wanting to do a marriage study with us; and God opening more doors for us to continue bringing the light of Jesus to a local school after three years of serving there.

    What has been the biggest struggle in the past six months?

    The biggest struggle for us has been fighting spiritual battles in the home and in ministry. We have moments when the task feels too big, when it seems impossible to ever see people in Italy giving themselves to Christ. We feel discouraged sometimes.

    imageIf you were standing on stage right now and could say one thing to the PC3 congregation, what would it be?

    Pray, pray, pray for Italy! Despite its beauty, the dark truth is that so many people do not know Jesus. There is a misconception that the country is Christian. However, most people have never read the Bible. Italians are quite comfortable and have a very hard time letting go of worldly pursuits and taking steps toward Jesus. For a deeper look, heres an interesting blog from John Piper after his visit to Italy and other European countries. 

    How can we best keep up with what you are doing? (Website, email, social media, mailing list, etc.)

    Our website is and on it you can find all of our news in the prayer blog section or the newsletter section. You can email us at  Also, check out this prayercast about Italy.