The History of Global Encouragers' Ministries
In 1996 while serving in Brazil as career missionaries God gave me a passion for the people in the Pantanal Region of the Center West of Brazil. In 2002, however, Wanda and I felt led to return to the United States where I would work as a mid-level medical provider. While I looked forward to some new challenges, in my heart I knew that the work in the Pantanal was not finished; and others agreed. Through the encouragement of people who had worked with us during our more than sixteen years in Brazil, Global Encouragers Ministries was incorporated in September of 2004 as a non-profit mission volunteer organization (501c3).
While in the USA, I accomplished some long term goals. For six years I pastored an inner city church, worked twelve years as a mid-level medical provider, and completed my doctor of medicine degree in 2012. Throughout these years, from 5000 miles away, I also tried to manage and develop the vision God laid out for GEM.
Each and every year mission teams, both on land and by way of the PantaVida riverboat, have ministered through medical/dental/eye clinics, children/youth ministries, evangelism, seminars, sports ministries, water filter placement and other humanitarian projects. Thousands have heard the Gospel. Many have found salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. GEM teams have impacted the implantation of more than six new churches and worked with at least eight established churches. Construction teams have built three large church buildings, a pastorium, education and recreational space as well as the Mission Volunteer/Ministry/Retreat Center and Jacob’s Well on the Farm of Encouragement.
GEM officially began as a non-profit volunteer mission organization on September 13th, 2004. Our purpose is to ensure that ALL believers, Great Commission Churches, and those interested in being a part of multi-ministry mission teams have the opportunity to follow their sense of call to become encouragers, building up and expanding the kingdom of GOD by sharing the love of JESUS CHRIST. Each one is encouraged to use individual gifts, talents, and resources to be personally involved in missions and in making a difference in the lives of others around the world.
Wanda and Carl will be returning to Brazil in 2014 and dedicating more time this year and beyond personally involved in leading the ministries and activities of GEM. The LORD has opened the doors for us to focus our attention and lives more full time to HIS mission call in us that began for this part of the world in 1985. We receive HIS word to us that our role is to be OBEDIENT; HIS role and promise is to PROVIDE ALL we need in the way of prayer, encouragement, financial support, and volunteers and other missionaries working with us so we can carry out the plans HE has for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
As we near our 10th anniversary, we are humbled when we look back and remember all those who have helped GEM reach this point. We have been a blessed partnership for the last ten years, and we thank the Lord for you. Without those of you who supported us during these years we would not have been able to be successful, so know you had a part in this work.