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


**Associates In Missions (AIM) - Dedicated to work of AIMers around the World

News from the Mencia family - AIMers to Puerto Rico

Greetings from Ponce! November has been our busiest month to date in Puerto Rico...The first Saturday in November, the Mencia family had the privilege of ministering to the church of Aguadilla during a missions service. It was a time filled with song and worship; in the end, one young man was filled with the Holy Ghost and a young lady was restored. There's one more candidate for water baptism in Jesus' name!

Earlier that day, I met a few neighborhood kids and I kindly invited them to church; I still remember their faces and names. I was reminded of Bro. Howell's recent article (08/11), 'He Sees The Faces;' one-half of the present world population is under age 25. There has never been a time like the present to impact, influence, and reach our young people...Within and without.

The next day, Bro. Jesus Davila and his family were celebrating thirty years of pastorate in Ponce. Several members and the Davila daughters organized a 'surprise party' for the Davilas. As one can imagine, the service was filled with emotion, memories, and words of appreciation. The following Thursday, my wife had the privilege of ministering to the people of Ponce; her message was entitled, 'Dios Nos Eligio Para Brillar' (God Chose Us To Shine). Whatever we go through, we must be a beacon of hope to others and let His light shine through us...

On Sunday, November 13, Bro. JR Black, field superintendent, ministered to the church of Ponce...His message, 'Una Cosa' (One Thing), emphathized the need to seek the Lord and fulfill His purpose for our lives. There was a good move of the Holy Ghost during the altar call. The following Saturday, I was approved by the district board of Puerto Rico for local licensing; my wife and I were honored and humbled. In fact, Bro. Alfredo Lopez, district superintendent, remembered preaching in La Casa de Mi Padre (Pastor Larry Romero) in Vista, CA and he also remembered staying in my parents' home in the Dominican Republic when he was invited to minister there. It's a small world after all...

Later that evening,
Bro. Roberto Santana, a young minister from Carolina (PR), was the main speaker during an 'open air' street service on the corner of one of the toughest housing projects in Ponce. We literally took the Gospel 'to the streets'; some listened, some aked or called for prayer, and others just walked by as we handed out church tracts; yet, there was a calming and peaceful presence felt. To God is the glory!

Two days after Thanksgiving Day, Tabernaculo de Fe in Aguas Buenas (Pastor Gary Landaw) was celebrating 24 years of existence. Several pastors and ministers were present at this joyous occasion; the main speaker was Bro. Alfredo Lopez, district superintendent of Puerto Rico. His message, entitled 'Quieres Ser Sano?' (Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?), stressed the urgency to reach out to those in need of a savior and conversely those in need must desire to 'be made whole'.

On Monday, November 28, Pastor Jesus Davila (Ponce) and several of the brethren made the trip to Salinas (a neighboring city) to the home of a new convert to hold a home Bible study in an attempt to establish a preaching point in that city. Thank you Jesus! We hope all of you had a blessed and memorable Thanksgiving day together with family and friends. Thanks again for your prayers and support.

God bless you,
The Mencia Family

JULY 2011
News from Latvia

The McKinnies Family
Through much prayer
Christine and I are answering the call of God in our lives and we will be extending our missions journey into the country of Latvia.  Over the course of the next year we will continue teaching Home Bible StudiesDiscipleship Courses and Leadership Training within our House Churches in Riga.  We will also be beginning the recruitment process for future Associate Missionaries to arrive in June of next year when we open a new state in Latvia to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Looking ahead, in March or April of 2012 we will be starting Latvia's first National Bible College for the training of national leaders throughout the Baltics and CIS.

Preston and Alex on a prayer walk
with us...raining but still smiling

Please keep us in prayer that God will continue to order our steps and use us mightily in the months to come.  We are also praying that many of you will continue to partner with us in missions and that many of you will become lifetime partners with us.  We cannot do it on our own!  Please share our vision with others so that they may have an opportunity to share in the great revival that  God has in store for Latvia and the rest of the Baltics!

Praise God! We are officially residents of Latvia! Thank you to all who were praying for us during the difficulty of getting our residence permit. A great big thanks to those who helped with the "extra" expenses that came along with expediting the process. With that out of the way we will be able to concentrate fully on ministering to the people and their needs.

We have started one of six house churches in the region of Riga. Two Sundays ago we had our first new guest, Janis. Janis is a Latvian man who was touched by our singing and evangelism in the city center.  He eagerly accepted the invitation to house church. During the fellowship after house church he blessed us by playing the guitar and singing a couple of Latvian Christian songs. Beautiful!

This past Sunday saw a total of five first time visitors during our House Church services.  We are so excited about what God is doing and what is yet to come for the country of Latvia!

Michael and members of the AIM Team resting after a long day of Street Evangelism.  Also with us is a new contact, Egija.  She hitch hiked 2 hours to spend a couple of days in Riga.  What a privelege for us to have met and spent time with her.

Michael, Preston and Kaleb Roberts playing basketball with  a few young Latvian boys during Evangelism in the Park.

We all had a wonderful time singing for new friends in Balozi.  The young lady in the forefront owns this Kafejnica and invited the AIM Team to come.  She and her friends were very moved by what they felt and she wants to have us back and will invite "all" her friends.  It is so exciting what God is doing Latvia!

Why it Matters What You Believe  
Isaiah 55:10-11, "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Bad information is toxic. The wrong information will eventually poison the entire system. This principle of toxicity is behind how herbicides work. An herbicide kills because it is a hormone that gives the plant bad information. It tells the plant to grow faster than its capacity to absorb nutrients allows, and it literally grows itself to death because its information base is wrong. And yet, to the casual observer nothing looks amiss for some time - until death inevitably occurs.
One of the toxic ideas now in vogue in Christian circles runs like this: "It doesn't matter WHAT you believe, it only matters in WHO you believe." Its proponents would have us believe that the greatest accomplishment of Christianity in the last thirty years has been the demolition of doctrinal distinctiveness in favor of "unity." Could it be that someone has been fed some toxic information?
False doctrine is a spiritual herbicide. Individuals that ingest it think they are still growing spiritually, never realizing that they have been fed toxic information. But true doctrine liberates every soul that obeys it. It is a supernatural fertilizer that brings real growth and transformation through the power of God.
The word "doctrine" occurs in 50 verses of the King James Version of the Bible and always means, "the substance of something taught." The Gospel writers repeatedly record that the crowds were astonished at Jesus' doctrine - not because its style was exceptional but because its substance was supernatural. He taught with anointed authority! Bible doctrine is more than just a musty subject for stuffy theologians; it is the very substance of our faith.

Doctrine must always be distinguished from dogma. Dogma is MAN'S STATEMENT of truth, as set forth in a creed, but Biblical doctrine is GOD'S REVELATION of truth, as set forth in the Scriptures. That is why Bible doctrine has supernatural power when it is believed.
The greatest danger in handling doctrine is that it may become truth apart from experience. Truth that is not lived is powerless truth. Truth unlived is the greatest waste in the world!
I am convinced the kite-and-string principle still applies today. To the casual observer, it would appear that the kite in flight is being held down by the attached string in the hand of the youth. However, upon the release of the string the kite does not go up higher or remain the same, but it comes down. I am convinced that the adversary wishes to deceive us to believe that our convictions and beliefs are holding us down, when in reality, they are holding us up.
~ MM


She Didn’t Leave Like She Came
Jarvis Munn,
AIM, Ghana

Saturday, July 9th 2011 was a day that will not soon be erased from my memory. Sis Carter, Rev Albert Awuku, and I attended a joint service in Zua, in the Upper East Region of Northern Ghana

There were 188 in attendance. All were there to meet with the Lord, and receive the blessing that He had in store for them

When we first arrived there was an elderly lady sitting along the side of the church. This lady had a sizable lump on her neck, almost as if it was in her throat, and it was comparable in size to that of a softball. Service continued, and after the Word of God had been delivered, the offer was made for those to come forth in need of the Holy Ghost and of healing. Almost the entire congregation came forward, expecting great things from God.

Great things certainly came. There were thirty filled with the Holy Ghost, and thirty-four claimed their healing. For this one particular lady, healing was extremely evident. After prayer for healing, she reached out, and the lump began to shrink. It shrank and shrank for the remainder of the service until we were to leave and it was virtually unnoticeable. God had without a doubt touched this lady with His mighty healing virtue, and we praise Him for that.

This woman did not leave that service the same way she had arrived. 


~AIM Report from Fabio Mencia - Madrid, Spain - April/May 2011

Dear Brethren,

Greetings from Madrid! It’s springtime in Spain and what better way to start the season than with wedding bells? The blessed couple, who were baptized last month, was wed on the first Saturday in April. It was the first of three ceremonies this month! Two days later, my family and I started our first home Bible Study in Madrid! The family, a husband, wife, and their young son, opened the door to their home; most importantly, they opened the door to their hearts. The wife’s brother also joined in on the study. Thank you Jesus!

On Friday, the 8th, my wife held a 'Pentecostal Fashions Display' with the young/single ladies of Tabernaculo de Vida. Basically, it was a workshop showcasing different hairdos, dress, and accessories. The message was clear and simple; our youth can dress modestly and nicely, uphold holiness standards, and be a beacon of hope and truth to the world’s fashions and styles. We held this activity twice at our home church (La Casa de Mi Padre/Pastor Larry Romero) and it proved successful.

That same evening, I had the privilege of accompanying one of our small group members to a clinic in Madrid; we were visiting his ailing uncle. After a short reading of the Scriptures, we laid hands on his uncle; we believe he was touched and he definitely appeared broken and contrite, as he was moved to tears. We will believe in God for complete healing and a visit to church and/or the start of a Bible study!

On Easter Sunday, the English-speaking service held their anniversary service; the main speaker was Bro. William Markham. Actually, Bro. Markham was with us the entire day, from leadership training early that morning and during two of the Spanish-speaking services held in the main sanctuary. He truly blessed us with anointed teaching and preaching; his messages were both inspirational and moving. Bro. Markham will be with us for the remainder of the week; it should be good!

On April 30th, my family and I will be joining a good sized group of ladies from TDV as we head to Zaragoza, for the first-ever national ladies conference. The main speaker will be Sis. Jessica Marquez, missionary to the Dominican Republic, my parents’ place of birth.

It’s been five weeks since work started at the site of the future national Bible institute of Spain. A lot of progress has taken place as it begins to take shape; total completion is scheduled for the month of September. A job of this magnitude will obviously take time and effort and is being done in phases. Spain will be joining Scotland as the only two countries in the region of Europe with a full-time national Bible institute; to God is the glory! Time has flown by as we enter our fifth month in Spain!

As always, we covet your prayers!

God bless you,
Fabio Mencia


~AIM Report from Fabio Mencia - Madrid, Spain - Mar./April 2011

Dear Brethren,

Greetings from Madrid! March was off to a running start for Tabernaculo de Vida! On that first Saturday, my oldest daughter and I joined a group of over twenty brethren from the evangelism department for an afternoon of distributing church tracts. We went to the “Sol” section of Madrid, the heart of the city. It brought back childhood memories of New York City’s Time Square; so many people, so many souls.

The next day was truly an exhibit of international cuisine as brethren from several nations displayed their native dishes in what is known as "Platos Tipicos". That same Sunday, a local Bible quizzing tournament was held throughout all three services at TDV.

On Wednesday the 9th, a team of seven pastors and six wives arrived from the Western District. The group was headed by Bro. Donald O'Keefe, the WD foreign missions director. Bro. Jerry Powell, promotion director, also made the trip.

The pastors and their wives were a blessing and inspiration to us; we hope their short stay in Spain was a blessing to them as well. If I’m not mistaken, seventeen (the number was actually 24 at last count before we left Spain) received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and two were baptized in Jesus’ name during their visit. On a personal note, it was to good see Bro. Joel Buxton and his wife, former youth leaders in section 1 (San Diego). They are now pastoring in Carson City, Nevada. Bro. and Sis. Gerald Buxton, Bro. Joel Buxton's grandparents, also made the trip to Spain.

On Saturday (the 12th), my wife and I led our first small group session in Madrid. TDV holds small group gatherings every Saturday of the month, except for the first; that's their day off. Small group ministry has vastly contributed to TDV's church growth; presently, there are more than fifty active small groups and counting. Fortunately for us, we're very familiar with this type of ministry because our home church (La Casa de Mi Padre) is a cellular church itself.

On March 21, demolition/remodel work officially began at the site of the future national Bible Institute, a long anticipated and desired vision. It will take several months to complete the remodeling of the current building. However, when it's all done, it will hold full-time students as well as the national church offices; thus expanding the vision of reaching the country of Spain and beyond.

On March 26, it was "Friend Day" at TDV; a special day dedicated to small groups and a great way to reach out to the masses. There was good food, fun, and fellowship! As I finish up this update, my wife is working with a young lady from TDV’s youth department to work on a youth activity scheduled for next month. Finally, we have a home Bible study planned in the very near future. The couple, like me, are native New Yorkers and are descendants of the Dominican Republic. We hope to keep you updated!

As always, we covet your prayers.

God bless you,
Fabio Mencia


~AIM Report from Fabio Mencia - Madrid, Spain - Feb./Mar. 2011

Greetings from Madrid! The first weekend in February was an exciting one! On Saturday, I joined a group of over twenty brethren from Tabernaculo de Vida's evangelism department for an afternoon of distributing church tracts. What I thought was an easy one thousand invitations, I would later be told that nearly three thousand were handed out. Thank you Jesus!

Sunday, however, wouldn't be outdone! It was "Missions Sunday"; Bro. Sones cast the vision of expanding and supporting the national work. Between all four services held that day, a great amount was pledged on a monthly basis. This, without a doubt, will help the mobilizing and planting of new works on a national level. To God is the glory!

The following Thursday (10th), Bro. Israel Ramos, a preacher visiting from Venezuela, blessed TDV with a message entitled, "Te tengo una respuesta Satanas!” which translated means, "I have an answer for you Satan!" It was a powerful message indeed. The next day, the youth department held the annual "Friendship Dinner"; a night of great food, fun, and fellowship!

On Sunday the 13th, we witnessed two baptisms, including an elderly man who requires walking assistance. I'm reminded of my maternal grandmother, who at the age of eighty, went down in the waters in the glorious name of Jesus over twenty years ago in the Dominican Republic. This month, I had the privilege of speaking to the people of God on three separate occasions. It's always an honor to stand before God's wonderful people and share the word of God.

On the last Thursday of the month, Bro. Sones began a series from the book of Esther. His first teaching was entitled, “Esther-The Invisible Providence of God”, a very encouraging and inspiring teaching. On the last Saturday of the month, it was cleanup day at TDV. I believe there will be nine pastors from the Western District visiting Spain in the month of March; I'm sure there will be times of great rejoicing and celebration during their visit!

As always, we covet your prayers!

God bless you,
Fabio Mencia


So We Continue...

Tervitused Jeesuse nimi! (Greetings in Jesus Name!)

With two months behind us and only one more ahead of us here in Tallinn, Nannette and I have taken a close look at what we have gained thus far from our experience. We want to share with you in this newsletter just a snippet of those experiences.

Most missionaries who are coming into a new country say that the first year must be dedicated to becoming familiar with the people, the culture and customs, the history and the language. We have condensed a lot of this into the past two months. The great thing for us is that much of what we have learned here will help us tremendously when we return next year to Latvia. The Baltic States have many threads of commonality that make this 'training' period even more productive to the future of 'Faith Journey'. Added on top of that are the experiences we are getting in facilitating Home Friendship groups, integrating prayer walks into our routine, and working through the challenges of living in an unfamiliar country. All of these combined have made this first leg of our journey invaluable.

We have found that regardless of the differences (whether real or perceived) in language, culture or even customs, there are still many people throughout the world that are looking for something to fill the emptiness that they find within themselves. Over the past few weeks God has opened doors for the Turner's to reconnect with many people who have been involved with the church here in Tallinn over the past few years. We are believing that God is going to draw many of these people back and that they will become an integral part of the foundational work being done here in Tallinn.

There have also been several new people that are becoming connected to the church as well. In our October Outreach Service, there was a new couple who were there that have expressed that they would like to know more about the church. Another couple, who we met the previous month, was in service as well, still showing great anticipation of becoming more involved. Gabe (our fellow AIMer from Missouri) is impacting many people as she reconnects with people that she knew from a previous term here four years ago, as well as making new contacts through her work in the school that the Turner's boys attend. Silje (a young lady from the church in Norway) is also experiencing many miraculous doors opening allowing her to meet new people. She also was blessed to be asked to be a part of a community service group that is preparing a home for unwed mothers. Another great way to connect with the people of Tallinn!

Nannette & I were also blessed a few days ago as we walked into our building, and were quickly greeted by our security guard who rushed out of his office. He was smiling from ear-to-ear and speaking very quickly, although we could not understand a word he was saying! As we tried to explain to him that we couldn't understand, a young lady came in, and we asked her if she could interpret for us. She agreed, and we quickly found out that Nikolai (our guard) just wanted to let us know that he considered us to be good friends! He kept grasping our hands, hugging us, and even kissing us on both cheeks! We found out through this conversation, as well as a subsequent one with Esther translating for us, that almost everyone simply walked through the corridor and never acknowledged his presence. He was so excited that every time we walked through that we smiled, we waved, and even spoke. He just kept saying over and over..."good friends, good people". It served as a reminder that simply showing the 'Joy' of the Holy Ghost as we walk through this life can make a difference! Please pray for Nikolai that we will be able to connect him with Bro. Turner and perhaps even see him involved in Bible Study before long!

As we begin to wind down this portion of our Faith Journey travels, planning is already underway for our next project. As we have mentioned, we will be returning in 2011 to Latvia, Estonia's Baltic neighbor to the south. We are very excited about what will be taking place in this country. We will be sharing many of these plans with you in the next few months. In the meantime we ask that you keep the entire Eastern European region in your prayers. There is an awesome feeling of expectation here that God is getting ready to open the floodgates of revival in the immediate future.

Täname partneriks koos meiega! (Thank you for partnering with us!)

You Tube Channel

We have posted a few more videos recently, and there are several more just waiting to be edited and then added to our channel. Please bookmark our YouTube Channel and keep watching!


Bookmark our website, and keep up with our travels there. We will be continually updating our photos. We also are maintaining a blog that chronicles some of the highlights of our Tallinn journey. If you haven't checked out some of our recent entries we encourage you to do so as we feel that God has given us some good thoughts to share with you there as well. Please feel free to comment on our blog posts, and sign our guestbook!

Monthly Support

We ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us in this Faith Journey. Even though this portion of our journey is nearing completion, it is not too early to begin building the budget that we will need for our upcoming year-long assignment in Latvia and the surrounding countries. Please check out the support page on our website or e-mail us for further information on how you too can be involved! Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Prayer Needs

With the impending return to the States, we have several needs that we are asking you, our partners to pray with us about. The next few months will be filled with opportunity! There will be numerous open dates in our ministry calendar to fill. Please help us pray that God will open the doors and speak to pastors regarding this need.

Our journey to Latvia will encompass a year, and that means that a significant budget must be raised before we depart. Please pray that God will speak to pastors, friends, family and contacts regarding their part to help fulfill this pressing need.

Lastly, please pray for safety as we travel. Not only for the travels back home, but also once we are on the road again.


You can also keep up with our 'Faith Journey' on a 'real-time' basis by connecting with us on Facebook. We are listed under the name 'Faith Journey.' We look forward to seeing you there!

Our mailing address is:
     Faith Journey
     525 Presswick Lane
     Saint Charles, Missouri 63303

More information about Doug and Nannette Elkins:

Born and raised in Indiana, same city, same school, and soon-to-be the same church.

Accident? Coincidence? We don’t think so. Doug and Nannette celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 2009. It has been a wonderful journey and to say God has been good is an understatement at best.

Along the way we were blessed with three sons, Kyle, Kristopher and Korey, they made our life complete. Then in 2002 we were blessed again when Kyle married Rachel Mynheir and we found out what it was like to have a girl in the family!

The journey became even more interesting in December, 2009, when God opened a door with such certainty that we knew we were on the right path.

The wonderful thing about a Faith Journey is you don’t travel alone!

We are blessed with wonderful family, friends, pastors and churches who have encouraged us and supported us along the way. Today is no different, we will go with God’s blessing and a network of people who will pray for us and help make us strong.

Doug started his career with the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller and we were busy and involved in our home church in Bloomington. But the hunger never left to do more so in 2001 we sold our home and moved to Cincinnati to pastor. Doug took early retirement from the FAA and still the fire burned on.

The last five years we have been in NW Missouri pastoring while God was preparing us even when we didn’t know it.

**NOTE! None of the above information was posted at the request of Bro. and Sis. Elkins