"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth"

The words of Jesus as recorded in Acts 1:8b
Jesus tells us that we will be his witnesses in our hometown (our "Jerusalem"), our neighboring communities (our "Judea"), places that cross cultural boundaries (our "Samaria"), and to the ends of the earth.

Refuge Church Missional Partners

Refuge Church supports many Missional Partners who are living out the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) vocationally. These are individuals, families, and partner organizations working both locally and throughout the world to further His Kingdom.  Some have a large capacity to connect us with their work, others a small one, and some are engaged in sensitive work that can not be represented here.  All are part of the missions panorama of Refuge Church!

meet our partners,
pray for their work

Each partner below has been assigned to a day of the month with a description of their work and links to their presence on the web. Please consider lifting them up in prayer on that day using the information connected to their Prayer Link button. Several have interviews with a Refuge Church Missions Board member - more interviews will be posted in the coming weeks.
Click on the Day of the Month
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10     11     12     13     14     15     16     17
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26     27     28     29     30     31

The Timothy Initiative

1st Day of the Month
The Timothy Initiative exists to advance Christ’s Kingdom by multiplying disciples and disciple making churches around the world. In obedience to Jesus and through Kingdom partnerships, The Timothy Initiative’s vision is to see multiplying, disciple making churches in every place and people group. Our regular updates come from Jerry Schommer who is Converge’s liaison to TTI. The latest one is linked.
Learn More about TTI
Download the TTI Overview

Jeff Lowery (Converge)

2nd Day of the Month
Jeff is serving in the Ministry Development & Assessment (MDA) with Converge in Orlando, Florida. Jeff helps assess potential missionary candidates and works to counsel couples and individuals as they prepare to enter the mission field. He is also a former youth pastor of Refuge Church. Jeff’s updates are sporadic, but they will be posted as we receive them.
Learn More about Jeff

Hope Pregnancy Center

3rd Day of the Month
Hope Pregnancy Center of Willmar educates, supports and empowers women & men facing pregnancy decisions. They are supported by individuals, churches, and the local community, so they are able to provide their services free of charge.
Regular updates from Denise Wittman, Executive Director of HPC and one of Refuge Church's own, come as emails that are archived online.  The prayer link will connect you to the “Email Campaign Archive” which has links for each email starting with the most recent.
Learn More about HPC

Jane Fischer (Converge - Japan)

4th Day of the Month
What began as a seven-week summer short-term experience in Japan in 1991, has become 25+ years of teaching eighth-grade international students at Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ). Her main responsibility is to teach Bible 8, English 8 and social studies 8. She also guides students in service projects, both at school and within the community. However, teenagers are often filled with uncertainty and questions, especially spiritual questions. Interwoven with teaching are daily opportunities/privileges to encourage her students to become Christians and to disciple those who are. Jane’s updates are very sporadic, but the latest will be posted as it is received.
Learn More about Jane

Trout Lake Camps

5th Day of the Month
"It is our values that guide and direct our decision making at Trout.   Therefore, as a Christian camping organization, we look to what we value as a road map of how to do ministry because our values were shaped from Biblical principles.      Out of our love for Jesus we passionately desire, as observed through decades of faithful ministry, to accomplish our mission by living out these values day in and day out."
While we support Trout Lake Camps regularly, we do not receive direct prayer requests from them. The prayer link will take you to their extensive website where you can pray for their current and upcoming ministry programs.

The Salvation Army

6th Day of the Month
The Willmar Salvation Army believes in faith put into action and making life better for others. Our services meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs to rebuild lives and create lasting change. Help is given freely and without discrimination, while preserving the individual's dignity. We're here to change lives, one at a time.

The Salvation Army is led by officers — ordained ministers — who supervise the many programs and services provided in your area. They also serve as administrators, counselors and youth leaders. At the Willmar Salvation Army, Auxiliary Captain Ron Felt is your primary point of contact for questions, comments or requests for assistance.
While we support our local Salvation Army regularly, we do not receive direct prayer requests from them. The prayer link will take you to their website where you can pray for their current and upcoming ministry programs.

ATLAS of West Central MN

7th Day of the Month
We walk alongside individuals who are seeking to move beyond life controlling issues such as emotional hurts, marriage problems, family problems, addictions, financial problems, depression, and loneliness. Located in Willmar, MN, ATLAS of West Central Minnesota is a Christ-centered, non-denominational mentoring ministry committed to helping individuals find healing and support.
We help people Attain Truth, Love, And Self-control in their relationships with God and with other people. ATLAS strives to make a person who cares available to anyone in need. We connect caring, Christ-following mentors into one-on-one mentoring relationships with anyone who is hurting, lonely, depressed or just seeking someone to walk alongside them on the road of life.
ATLAS of West Central MN is directed by Refuge Church member and current elder, Jason Haug, whose prayer updates are frequent and very informative. A recent one will be posted here.
Learn more about ATLAS

Converge (Refuge Church's Denomination)

8th Day of the Month
Our churches come together around something greater than a compelling mission. What brings us together is Christ’s completed work on the cross. Because of the cross, we have forgiveness from our past, power for our present and hope for our future. As a result, we converge around the cross to take what Christ has done for us and make it known to others. Our goal is to give every person the opportunity to hear the gospel, say “yes” to Jesus, grow in faith, be equipped to serve and be sent out. We want every person to experience a life-changing, personal relationship with Jesus.

Refuge Church is a Converge church, and we are part of the Converge North Central division of the denomination. We also support our conference's main center of learning in Minnesota - Bethel University & Bethel Seminary. Pray for students to have spiritually formative experiences in very impressionable years of their lives, along with the staff that teach them every day. The prayer link will take you their latest issue of Newsline and other great updates to inform you in your prayer.
Learn more about Converge

Family Promise of Kandiyohi County

9th Day of the Month
At Family Promise of Kandiyohi County our mission is to help homeless families. We unite the faith communities of the area to help families find new homes and maintain their dignity.
Though we support Family Promise regularly, they do not send out prayer requests. If you are a FaceBook subscriber, you can use this link to see dynamic content about our chapter and other chapters of Family Promise. The prayer link will take you to their local website.
(Use Google Chrome to translate site to English)

Drabiv, Ukraine Sister Church (Fedoryuks)

10th Day of the Month
Since 1999, Refuge Church has partnered with the Evangelical Baptist Church of Ukraine.  The EBC Union is Ukraine's largest protestant denomination in Ukraine, and Converge churches in American began sister partnerships with Ukrainian fellowships soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's.  Initially paired with Calvary Baptist partnering with the church in Zolotonosha, Ukraine, Refuge Church took on the vision of helping plant a church in the neighboring town of Drabiv.  In 2004, the church was officially planted with Leonid (and Svetlana) Fedoryuk and his family leaving the Zolotonosha church to start and pastor a congregation.  The congregation struggles with the dynamics of a difficult Ukrainian economy and a diminishing town population (as economic opportunity becomes more scarce in small villages). Refuge Church continues to partner with the Drabiv church leadership with annual youth and children's camps, and financial and spiritual support and encouragement. We are working on the best way to communicate ongoing prayer needs.
Learn more about the EBC Union  (site is in Ukrainian use Google Chrome to translate)

Dan Sered (Jews for Jesus)

11th Day of the Month
Jews for Jesus is a global nonprofit that raises awareness of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and faith in Jesus as a viable and thriving expression of Jewish life.   In 2018, Dan was appointed as Chief Operating Officer for the organization and specifically supervises the day-to-day efforts of the branches in Europe, South Africa, Israel, and Australia. Dan received his M.A. in Ministry and Leadership from Western Seminary and is currently a doctoral student and working on his D. Min. through Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also an adjunct professor at Israel College of the Bible in Netanya and helps to pastor All Nations Church; a vibrant and growing congregation in the Tel Aviv area. Dan & Dinah have 3 children; Yael, Eithan, and Yoav.
Learn more about Jews for Jesus

Dave Brecheisen (One Collective)

12th Day of the Month
Dave and Joscey live and work in Chicago, IL.  With his years of experience working with urban youth through youth centers and church planting, Dave is now working with One Collective to help mobilize resources for churches, schools, and non-profits, and provide mentorship and mentor coaching to help grow opportunities and hope for urban young people. Dave grew up attending Refuge Church.  His parents are George and Betty Brecheisen, and his brother Paul and wife Natasha are Refuge Church Missional Partners working with The Navigators.
Learn more about One Collective

Mallory Loge (Cru - Mexico)

13th Day of the Month
Mallory has recently completed two years with Cru helping to establish an indigenous student movement in Peru universities. She is currently training and raising support to begin an open-ended commitment with Cru in the Mexican interior.  Mallory was raised in Willmar, and the Lord used her college years to forge a spiritual transformation in her life.  She is an infectious evangelist, and the Refuge Church Missions Board has been delighted to bring her on as a Missional Partner. Her latest newsletter will be posted to the prayer link.
Learn more about Mallory and Cru

Doug & Mona Wedel (Avant - Quebec)

14th Day of the Month
Doug and Mona are Refuge Church members and our longest standing Missional Partners! They work through Avant Ministries as an agency in Quebec, Canada where they work in grass-roots ministry and evangelism among the French-speaking population of the area.  Working among the rural farm population, they attend many fairs where they do one-on-one evangelism. Doug also ministers to ex-convicts at two half-way houses that he visits regularly. Wedel updates are sporadic, and the latest one will be uploaded to the prayer link.
Learn more about Avant Ministries

Luke & Kristina Schmoll (Cru)

15th Day of the Month
Ever heard of Schmoll Corn here locally? Luke was the driving force behind this very successful enterprise during his high school years and beyond.  He and his wife Kristina have now given their time, talents and entrepreneurial energy to Cru at the national level.  Luke coordinates many of the operations details for some of Cru's biggest events and outreaches in the USA. Through all of the details, processes and minutia he deals with, however, Luke and Kristina maintain an amazing focus on ministry and God's heart for people.  
Learn more about Cru

Sam Pirrotta (Ambassadors for Christ International)

16th Day of the Month
Sam Pirrotta is a dynamic young man with his grandpa's (the late Dave Peterman) fervor and love for people.  Formerly on staff with Cru at NDSU, Sam now works in discipleship and evangelism through Ambassadors For Christ International (AFCI) where he is based in Fargo, ND.  He has been featured as a speaker and discipleship trainer at multiple conferences in Ethiopia and he is currently staffing a weekly apologetics booth at NDSU where he engages students' tough questions about faith and the Gospel. Sam's grandmother Judy Peterman is a long-time member of our fellowship.

Sam is affiliated with AFCI but has his own ministry website linked below.
Learn more about AFCI
Visit Sam's Website
Please click here to request password if you don't already have it

Paul & Natasha (Navigators)

17th Day of the Month
Paul and Natasha spent many years working with the Navigators fellowship in Omsk, Siberia helping to further the Gospel.  Due to outside circumstances, they have relocated to Apple Valley, MN where they continue to resource and encourage their national partners in the Navigators on the other side of the world by video conference and periodic visits.  Paul grew up in the fellowship of Refuge Church and is the son of former long-time Refuge Church members George & Betty.  Paul's younger brother David and David's wife Joscey are also Missional Partners of Refuge Church working in post-trauma resourcing of under-served people in urban Chicago.
Learn more about the Navigators

Reuben & Susan Mains (Berean Christian Academy - Grenada)

18th Day of the Month
Reuben and Susan run the Berean Christian Academy (BCA) on the island of Grenada with an enrollment of 130 students.  They work diligently to teach and disciple children for a Christ-centered present and future. Launched in 1981, they are some of our longest standing Missional Partners at Refuge Church!  Susan's parents were members at Refuge Church decades ago before leaving for the missions field themselves to work in Grenada and subsequently Dominica. Updates are sent regularly over email.  The most recent one will be posted to the prayer link.

Learn more about BCA on Facebook

Sara Hewitt (One Challenge - Bulgaria)

19th Day of the Month
Sara Hewitt is one of Refuge Church's longest standing Missional Partners.  Originally a Converge missionary, Sara now does extensive ministry data research for One Challenge International in Sofia, Bulgaria.  She conducts interviews and focus groups with missionaries to analyze trends and effectiveness, does research for planning and strategy meetings, and helps plan for leadership meetings.  She is also involved in direct ministry to the Roma (gypsy) population in Bulgaria through agricultural projects like Abundant Fruit which offers much needed employment to Roma believers, helping them develop work skills and grow as disciples in Christ.
The latest edition (and archives) of Sara's ministry connection "1000 words" can be accessed via the prayer link.
Learn more about One Challenge

Bill Arvan (READ Ministries - Eastern Europe)

20th Day of the Month
Currently serving as READ's Foreign Projects Coordinator, Bill is a former Converge pastor who was in a ministerial association in central Minnesota with Phil Lutz "back in the day." Throughout the years, Bill has been instrumental in the Converge sister church relationships with Ukraine.  He worked with Converge North Central (then the Minnesota Baptist Conference) and later joined READ (Resourcing Evangelism And Discipleship). The seeds of READ started in 1999 through The Shepherd's Foundation who saw a huge need for Pastoral Leadership inside the emerging Ukrainian church. Since that time, READ has worked diligently to supply resources to help young leaders learn to lead, pastor and grow churches throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union. The best way to have informed prayer for READ is to access the news area of their website via our prayer link.
Learn more about READ Ministries

Nett Lake Church (Steve & Alice Yatckoske)

21st Day of the Month
Nett Lake Baptist Church is a Converge North Centeral supported missions church to Native Americans living on the Nett Lake Reservation. Steve and his wife Alice took up the mantle of leadership in 2020 and have brought new life and momentum to the church.
Steve & Alice send monthly prayer letters the latest of which will be posted via the prayer link.
Learn more about Nett Lake

Yura Fedoryuk (Open Heart Church - Ukraine)

22nd Day of the Month
Yura Fedoryuk, son of our sister church pastor Leonid in Drabiv, Ukraine, has planted his own church in Zolotosha with the vision of growing a body of worshipers, many of whom are new to the faith. As the recent Program Director of nearby Camp Maximum, Yura has a desire to help ground new believers from the camp in their faith. The prayer link is not active yet. We are currently working on the best way to communicate prayer needs.
Learn more about Open Heart

Kalley Fosso (AT3 - Converge)

23rd Day of the Month
Kalley grew up attending Refuge Church and is now a church Missional Partner, participating in Converge's AT3 (Alliance for Transatlantic Theological Training) 2-year program. Kalley is persuing a certificate in Biblical counseling while serving the local church both here and in London, England where she has spent part of her time with AT3.
Kalley's latest email update (and archives) can be accessed via the prayer link.
Learn more about AT3 with Converge

West Central YFC (& Joppa)

24th Day of the Month
West Central YFC is under the direction of Shawn Levesque.  Pray for their work among the young people of our area, particularly the Campus Life outreach that takes place with Middle Schoolers most Mondays after school here in the Refuge Church youth center (pictured).
Joppa, a young adult ministry under the wing of West Central YFC, and one of its leaders, Refuge Church's Caryn van Dijk, is supported through Missional Partnership with Refuge Church as well. Though we support these local ministries regularly, we do not receive regular prayer updates. The prayer link will take you to the West Central YFC online presence to help you stay better informed in your prayer for them.

John & Lori DeCleene (Converge MPD)

25th Day of the Month
John & Lori DeCleene have 20+ years of experience helping start a Christian radio station in the Philippines and engaging Filipinos in Bible study and fellowship.  Having successfully handed off leadership of the radio station to local indigenous leaders, they now use their life experience with Converge's MPD (Ministry Partner Development) to help train and matriculate missionaries into the field for our denomination. John & Lori's updates are sporadic and can be accessed (along with past editions) via the prayer link.
Learn more about MPD @ Converge

Camp Maximum (Ukraine)

26th Day of the Month
Started in 2017, Camp Maximum grew out of the vision of the Shepherd's Foundation who have been partners in the long history of sister churches between Minnesota and the Cherkasy region of Ukraine. Modeled after Trout Lake Camp in Minnesota, Camp Maximum is a full overnight camp with cafeteria, outdoor chapel, extreme sports, and solid Biblical teaching. Refuge Church has been one of the key USA partners, sending multiple teams and resources to help this burgeoning enterprise in central Ukraine.
The prayer link will take you to the best way to stay informed in your prayer for Camp Maximum, their Facebook page. Make sure you can read the posts in English translation (a Facebook setting). The link below is for the camp website which will also need to be translated.
Learn more about Camp Maximum

Jeff Schmitz (United Campus Ministry - Ridgewater College)

27th Day of the Month
Under the direction of Jeff Schmitz, United Campus Ministry exists to serve the staff and students of the Willmar Ridgewater College campus.   Students are invited to free meals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  they have a place to hang out, and they are connected with churches and young adult ministries in the area such as Joppa and Encounter events.
Jeff's regular updates will be posted to the prayer link.
Learn more about UCM
Please click here to request password if you don't already have it

Partner Working in Sensitive Area

28th Day of the Month
This Missional Partner is working in ministry to the Muslim population of immigrant America,  a ministry area too sensitive to publish on this page.  When you click the link, please use the password you have been provided for more information, or click below the button to request the password.
Please click here to request password if you don't already have it

Partner Working in Sensitive Area

29th Day of the Month
This Missional Partner is working in a ministry to the Native American community in an area too sensitive to publish on this page.  When you click the link, please use the password you have been provided for more information, or click below the button to request the password.

Refuge Church Missions Board

30th Day of the Month
Unable to fully meet in person, here's our only recent picture together - our Zoom Christmas Card to our Missional Partners! Please pray for us as we administer funding, cast vision, and care for our MP's. From left to right, then top to bottom is: Jeff Winter, David Lanning (Missions Pastor), Bernie Pelstring, Dennis Benson, Jan Green, Dan Fuglestad (Elder) and Kevin Hurley.

Perspectives Class

31st Day of the Month
On months with 31 days, we would ask you to pray for the participants in area and worldwide Perspectives on the World Christian Movement classes as well as those who take it online. Refuge Church hosted this life-changing 15-week class on-site in 2017 for the Willmar area. Pray for God to call other believers to learn more about missions and our call to fulfill the Great Commission.
Learn more about Perspectives
HOW TO USE THE PRAYER LINKS
Prayer links will be updated as best as we can. Some partners report prayer needs regularly, others only once a quarter or less frequently.  Some are agencies who are best prayed for by reading about their work. They all need prayer! Some have recent video interviews you can watch to learn more about their work up close and personal. Thanks for lifting a Refuge Church Missional Partner before the Lord each and every day.

There are four main types of prayer links
  • email campaigns that are updated by the MP (these appear as a list of links, the one on the top is most current)
  • emails we have converted to PDF's (because of this, any links on them will not work) - these are updated as we receive a new one
  • websites of the MP - we encourage you to read about their current work and pray for it
  • Facebook page links - you will need to be logged into Facebook to view these typically

A few of our Missional Partners are working in sensitive areas of ministry.  If you wish to access their prayer information, please email our Pastor of Worship & Missions to request the password for this subsite.

Make a Connection

David Lanning serves as our Pastor of Worship & Missions. He first experienced cross-cultural ministry in 1991 with CTI Music Ministries in Singapore.  He has since trained over a thousand musicians for cross-cultural ministry, has served as an assessor for Converge's Missionary Discovery & Assessment program, and has led multiple short-term teams to Ukraine.  David currently leads the worship ministry and the missions program at Refuge Church. He is also a graduate and huge proponent of the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class.