The Western District Welcomes You!

Thank you for visiting the Western District Foreign Mission's Department blog. Our intent is to provide you, the pastors, ministers, and saints of the Western District and the United Pentecostal Church International as well as our friends who would like to visit a place to be informed of events happening in our district and to share their thoughts concerning missions with us. We appreciate you taking the time to look over our site, to read the different posts, and last but not least to share your thoughts.


Missionaries traveling in our district:

May 2012

~Dwane Abernathy - Belize, Central America
~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine

June 2012

~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine, Middle East
~Jason Long - Nicaragua, Central America

July 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~John Hemus - United Kingdom, Europe

August 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~Cynthia White - Jordan, Middle East


Sunday, October 31, 2010

~Some Thoughts to Meditate on Today!

I do not know the extent of the following people's relationship or experience with God, however I do believe they had a calling of God upon their life. One day I hope to publish a post of profound and powerful statements that have come from UPCI missionaries. If you have heard or read things that would qualify please e-mail them to me. E-mail address is

"Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist." -- Oswald J. Smith

"Missions is not the 'ministry of choice' for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church." -- Unknown

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose" -- Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950's trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador

"If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king" -- Jordan Groom (variations of this also credited to G. K. Chesterson, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here."

"Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ." -- Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan

"The true greatness of any church is not how many it seats but how many it sends!" – Unknown

"The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed" -- Hudson Taylor

"If I had 1,000 lives, I'd give them all for China" -- Hudson Taylor

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" -- David Livingstone

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." -- C.T. Studd

"The mission of the church is missions" -- Oswald J. Smith

"The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity." -- Mike Stachura

"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is -- where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge." -- Robert C. Shannon

"If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small." -- Pat Morley

Please continue to pray for and support our missionaries through your PIM giving, sacrifical offerings and financial support for projects on the Mission field. They are counting on YOU today!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

~Report from Portugal - 3rd Quarter


William and Bonnie Markham

Pastor's wives

Here are some of our pastor’s wives and ladies leaders in Portugal. We appreciate their faithfulness and their hard work for the Lord and also for helping their husbands fulfill the call of God in their lives.

We would like to thank Pastor Larry Sims of Florida for coming to Portugal. His leadership training studies motivated, challenged and blessed each one in attendance. It was a powerful three days.


Pastor Mauricio baptizing a new convert.       

Interpreting for Pastor Larry Sims of Florida

Dear Partners,

Once again Bonnie and I would like to thank you for your faithfulness in supporting us with your finance and prayers. Without you none of this would have been possible. We are blessed to have you as our partners. You are the best!

Please continue to pray for and support our missionaries with your finance as they take the 'whole gospel to the whole world.'

Thursday, October 28, 2010

~News Reports and Highlights from the Mission Field

TANZANIA: The E. L. Freeman Bible Institute in Moshi, Tanzania, was built in the mid-1980’s by former missionaries Brother and Sister Tim Simoneaux. The first class graduated in 1987. Since then, the school has been a vital part of the United Pentecostal Church of Tanzania, training ministers and leaders. To make Bible training more accessible to ministers, saints and ministerial candidates, a plan was developed to build satellite Bible schools in the cities of Mwanza for the western regions and Iringa for the south/central regions. The Bible school in Moshi will continue operation, giving us three Bible school locations.—Richard and Pamela Smoak, Tanzania/Burundi

COSTA RICA: We had a Holy Ghost rally on Pentecost Sunday at one of the churches close to our area. In that service, twenty people were filled with the Holy Ghost! We are so thankful for the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Costa Rica!—Paul and Stephanie Rivero, Costa Rica

GUATEMALA: It began as a series of small earthquakes, but then the Pacaya Volcano erupted spewing volcanic rock and lava over 4,000 feet into the air. Guatemala City was covered in 3 inches of ash. Hundreds of our church families lost their homes and seventeen churches were damaged or destroyed.—Brad and Regina Thompson, Guatemala

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

~Report from Estonia - Nate and Ingunn Turner family


Nate and Ingunn Turner family
 On Site! We arrived in Estonia in June. The first weekend after our move, a ministry team stayed in our home and baptized six people in Jesus’ name! Over the summer, the Lord helped us to establish a weekly schedule with a Sunday service in our home, a home group meeting, a prayer meeting, a Bible study, an English club to generate new contacts and, last but not least, Estonian language classes!

Pastor Briggs
 The last weekend in September a group from Ingunn’s home church in Norway led by Pastor and Sister Briggs joined us for evangelism in Tallinn. During this time, we had our first meeting in a rented hall with 20 Estonians attending! The Spirit moved in a great way, and people were speaking in tongues and some laid out on the floor praying. All had already received the Spirit, but were powerfully renewed and refilled. We rejoice over what God is doing!

While passing out invitations, we met people who expressed a need for God. One young lady said, “After the Soviet Union, for 20 years now, we’ve had access to religion. But I don’t know much. I need something to fill my life with meaning!”
First service in a rented hall


The church in Tallinn was without a pastor for over two years before our arrival, and our first task has been to reestablish this work in the capital city. Our first service (pictured below) was held in our home. As of this fall, we are renting a hall once a month in preparation for the official re-launch of the Tallinn church in September 2011.

Our first service was held in our home


Teaching from the Word of God

Pray for the Turner family and
the country of Estonia that God
will give them a great harvest in
a short time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

~The Paradoxical Commandments

by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
     -Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
     -Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
     -Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
     -Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
     -Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
     -Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
     -Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
     -Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
     -Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
     -Give the world the best you have anyway.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

~Fueling the 'Fire' in the Mission Field


Fueling the ‘Fire’ in the Mission Field

The fires of revival and evangelism are burning bright in many countries on every continent (except Antarctica) around the world. Committed missionary families - men, women, and children - are busy ministering to the needs of people everywhere and preaching this precious, powerful gospel to everyone who will hear.

To keep the fires burning bright and with greater intensity than at any time in recent history, we must continue adding fuel as never before. A fire will go out when all fuel feeding it has been consumed. When all resources are gone, the fire burns out. We must never allow the resources needed by missionaries to dry up and be depleted. Our missionaries depend on usthe church on the home front - to continue supplying the necessary resources which allow them to continue fueling the fires burning in the countries of the world.

The more intense the fire burns, the greater the light will shine to expose the darkness and evil of our day. That light will lead men and women everywhere to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and illuminate the truth that ‘…he whom the Son hath set free, is free indeed.’

As the fire's intensity increases, more work will be accomplished and more souls will be delivered from this world's bondage and sin’s grip. As a result, people come to know His great love, kindness, and mercy.

Our earnest prayers are desired by the missionary more than any other thing. We must pray for their safety, protection, strength as they ‘Speak to the Nations’ about being free. We must pray that God will empower and embolden them by the Holy Ghost as they labor together with God to fulfill their calling. Of course, without our monetary support they would not be able to remain and carry on the work of God.

Can we hear the voice of God speaking to us about sacrifice? Sacrifice is exactly what the word itself implies – sacrifice. It is not giving from our abundance but rather giving that which implies a real genuine sacrifice has been made. We must, and we shall, be diligent in continuing to pray and give sacrificially to supply the resources necessary for the missionary to keep fueling the fire.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

~Someone's Praying For You


Someone's Praying For You

Martyn Ballestero
There are times when you can’t even pray for yourself. Your pain is overwhelming, your faith is low, your friends and family mean well, but you still feel like you are dying on the inside.

It was at a time like that, over 50 years ago, that my parents, Carl and ‘Connie’ Ballestero were going through the darkest point of their life. They had accepted the pastorate of a church that had some serious spiritual issues.

Dad was coping with the problems the best he could. They were major. The attacks felt like they were orchestrated by hell itself. It was a spiritual warfare that had soon turned ugly. Dad spent three nights in a row praying into the wee hours of the morning. He kept praying late every night until he felt he eventually prayed the burden through and felt victory. He had desperately needed a miracle from God.

Months later, at the General Conference, Brother Rasnacheck, a missionary from India, came up to my father, and said, Bro. Ballestero, I don’t know what you were going through several months ago, but on “such an such a date “ (He named the dates.) for 3 nights in a row, God gave me a vision of you on your knees, desperately praying. I could see you were in great trouble and in much pain. The Lord told me to pray for you, and I did. I prayed through the night, three different times, until I felt victory. (Those were the very nights my father had been in prayer.)

Dad had not prayed the problem through alone. Even though he thought he was fighting the battle by himself, God had reached down in India, and had given Brother Rasnacheck, the missionary, a vision. The missionary had responded, and the miracle through prayer, was accomplished.

Someone’s Praying For You.

We’re all a product of prayer. The devil seems to enjoy making God’s children feel alone, forsaken, and uncared for. But you are not. He has seen to it that key people are in place to pray for you.

Someone’s Praying For You.

Jesus said to Simon: “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. “ Luke 22:32

Someone’s Praying For You.

Paul the Apostle To The Church In Rome – “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;” Rom 1:9

Someone’s Praying For You.

The Church Prayed For Peter – “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. Acts 12:5

Someone’s Praying For You.

Parents Pray For Their Children, and Grandchildren.

Someone’s Praying For You.

Like Samuel, Your Pastor Prays For You: “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 1 Sam 12:23

Another place the Scripture mentions that Samuel prayed all night long for Saul.

Someone’s Praying For You.

Always remember that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

Someone’s Praying For You.

Be encouraged today. No matter how alone you feel, no matter how serious this battle is that you’re fighting, you are not fighting this battle alone.

Someone’s Praying For You.

~From 'The Ballestero Blog' by Martyn Ballestero
-Used with permission

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

~Report on Mission's Service GC2010 in Houston, TX

General Conference Foreign Missions Service
2010, Houston, Texas

As a former MK, my favorite time at General Conference has always been the Foreign Missionary service. This year was no exception. Our overseas heroes of the faith moved into the convention arena waving the colors of the nations of the world. The worship was exceptional. The presence of the Lord invaded the hall with such a precious, divine overshadowing.

Special honor was made to those who had sacrificially given throughout the year. An offering of over $500,000 was given to missions that night. Many of our missionary families received added financial partners, subtracting months of travel, allowing them to immediately be sent back to the land of their calling.

The highlight of the evening was the anointed preaching of Bro. Wayne Huntley of Raleigh, North Carolina. He passionately challenged the United Pentecostal Church International to lay aside our “lust for stuff” and “need for greed” and throw ourselves into complete surrender to the Kingdom. The next great revelation before the next great worldwide revival will be sacrificial giving. Giving of our talent, time and treasure. Giving without expecting anything in return. Giving just because it is the nature of God.

His message was interrupted by a spirit of sacrifice that swept over the audience as hundreds moved to the front to empty their wallets and purses and lay it before the Lord. Another $50,000 was given within a matter of moments to the cause of world missions. Before Bro. Huntley could finish preaching, a spirit of travail and intercession moved heavily over God’s people as they wept and committed themselves afresh to God’s purpose.

I returned to our local church with a renewed desire to realign our financial emphasis to God’s divine purpose. This is our finest hour, and one which we must make count for the Kingdom before it is eternally too late!

Pastor Clayton Brown
Napa, CA

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

~The Key To The Master’s Orders

I read this in my devotional today, and wanted to share this with you. May our burden for lost souls never diminish.

MJB (Martyn J. Ballestero)

October 19th, 2010


Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:38).

The key to the missionary problem is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer not work, that is, not work as the word is popularly understood today because that may mean the evasion of concentration on God.

The key to the missionary problem is not the key of common sense, nor the medical key, nor the key of civilization or education or even evangelization. The key is prayer. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest.” Naturally, prayer is not practical, it is absurd; we have to realize that prayer is stupid from the ordinary common-sense point of view.

There are no nations in Jesus Christ’s outlook, but the world. How many of us pray without respect of persons, and with respect to only one Person, Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced by distress and conviction of sin, and this is the harvest we have to pray that labourers may be thrust out to reap.

We are taken up with active work while people all round are ripe to harvest, and we do not reap one of them, but waste our Lord’s time in over-energized activities. Suppose the crisis comes in your father’s life, in your brother’s life, are you there as a labourer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? “Oh, but I have a special work to do!”

No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ’s own, one who is not above his Master, one who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls to no special work: He calls to Himself. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer circumstances and thrust you out.

My Utmost for His Highest.

From 'The Ballestero Blog.' Permission to use granted by Martyn Ballestero.

Friday, October 8, 2010

~PENTECOST in Portugal - from the William Markham family


William and Bonnie Markham

Dear Friends,

In Southern Portugal in the city of Silves there is
Pastor Viorel from Romania married to Sister Tina form Portugal;  they were saved and trained in Italy and moved back to Portugal because of work. They became pastor of this small work and for some time they struggled to get the church into revival. Then one day he witnessed to a family from Bulgaria and 2 years later he has baptized 100 Bulgarians in the name of Jesus and they all have received the gift of the Holy Ghost. About 2 months ago while in a church service a 17 year old young lady came forward for the altar call. Soon she began to say Hallelujah, Hallelujah as God filled her with the Holy Ghost; that was something which caused everyone to rejoice because she is mute; unable to speak and after Hallelujah she continued to speak in tongues. To God be the Glory!

Thank you Western District for faithfully supporting Bonnie and I for over 30 years of mission work. Without you this would not have been possible.

In His Service,

William and Bonnie Markham

**Please continue to PRAY for all our missionary families around the world. Your prayer and support is much appreciated!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

~A Few More Missionary Photos - General Conference 2010 Houston, TX

                  Bro. Ron Mullings, Western District Superintendent
                  Bro. William Markham, Missionary to Portugal/Spain
              Bro. Jerry Powell, WD Foreign Mission's Promotion Director
Bro. Lloyd Shirley, AIM and Education Director UPCI
Bro. & Sis. Oscar Rodriques, Missionaries to Portugal
Bro. & Sis. Richard Denny, Regional Director
South Pacific
Bro. & Sis. Michael Tuttle, Regional Director
Europe/Middle East

Please continue to PRAY for all our missionary families around the world.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

~More Missionary Photos - GC2010 Houston, TX

Photos from the Missionary Display area

                                  Bro. & Sis. John Cogan, Philippines
Bro. & Sis. John Cogan with guests from the Philippines
                    Bro. & Sis. Steve Shirley, Dominican Republic
                                         Bro. & Sis. Ed Hosmer, Japan
                                      Bro. & Sis. Robert Frizzell, Asia
                               Please PRAY for all the countries of Asia
              Bro. Joseph Bir, Peru and Bro. Martyn Ballestero 
                                 Bro. & Sis. Robert Dame, Bolivia
         Bro. & Sis. Gary Landaw, Puerto Rico/Trinidad/Tobago
                         Bro. O' Keefe, Bro. & Sis. John Hopkins
Bro. John Leaman, Bro. Sam Latta

Please continue to PRAY for all our missionaries

Saturday, October 2, 2010

~Missionary Photos - GC2010 Houston, Texas

Pictorial from the Missionary Display Area

Natural Diasters increasing
Global Campus Ministry
Sis. Ikerd, Retired missionary
Bro. Lloyd Shirley, AIM and Education, UPCI
Bro. Jerry Richardson, Regional Director, Africa
Bro. and Sis. Stewart, Liberia, Africa
Bro. Samuel Balca, France
Bro. Robert Rodenbush, Regional Director, Europe
Bro. Paul Brochu, France
Bro. and Sis. Samuel Balca, France
Bro. and Sis. Oscar Rodriques, Portugal
Sis. Abigal O' Keefe
Bro. and Sis. Howard Smith, Spain
 Bro. Rick Keyes, Secretary, Western District UPCI
Executive Presybter, Southwestern Region
Bro. William Markham, Portugal
Bro. Abernathy, Promotions, FMD UPCI
Bro. Jerry Richardson, Regional Director, Africa
Bro. John Cogan, Philippines
Bro. and Sis. Kevin Blake, Faith Promise