Good Friday Gift

Pastoral & Ministry Care for our Global Partners

Our vision for global outreach:

to send sons and daughters of Rez where the Church is not publicly visible or viable.

More than 70 percent of our global partners serve where there is little to no access to the good news of Jesus, and places where Christians are often persecuted. They live in spiritually dry contexts and face multiple challenges to daily life. These conditions can easily lead to burnout, loneliness, family stress, and an unplanned exit from the mission field. 

With this Good Friday Gift, we aim to invest in the health of our global partners, both relationally and spiritually. We desire to help them thrive as they share the gospel in hard places, build the Church, and equip local believers.

This year’s Good Friday Gift is two-fold:
to offer both pastoral care and ministry care.

Pastoral Care

Each global partner overseas will receive a pastoral care visit from a small team who offers prayer, presence, and encouragement on our behalf. 

The early Church frequently sent people to visit and encourage those sharing the good news of Jesus in faraway places. For instance, Paul sent Timothy and Epaphroditus to bless the believers in Philippi by praying and meeting with them in person (Php 2:19-30). 

We seek to ensure that these pastoral teams bless and meet real needs of our global partners, rather than burden them. These visits will also enable us to observe ministry first-hand, and report back to Rez how we can continue to engage with and encourage our global partners.

Here’s how a few of our global partners said they’d value pastoral care visits: 

“There has been a lot of spiritual isolation for me here…I would especially love to talk and think through this challenge and opportunity for growth.”  -partner in the Middle East

We would love to spend time praying together, receiving a devotional/message…specifically, encouragement when the future is uncertain. -Family in West Asia 

“Teaching for local Khmer pastors on Anglican-specific topics, listening prayer, and prayer ministry training for our English congregation” -Whittaker family in Cambodia

Pastoral Care visits may entail six total trips of roughly five nights each, and include a clergy or pastoral staff member. Several locations will be combined into one trip where feasible. These visits will take place through 2025. 

Rough cost estimate of flights and accommodations per trip: $4,000 for two people from Rez. 

Ministry Care

We invited our global partners to share a need of $3-5,000 that would benefit their current ministry and/or daily life. Here’s a quick summary of how they responded:

  • A Safehouse for women escaping domestic/sexual violence
  • Family travel expenses to visit an elderly mother recovering from heart surgery
  • A larger car for a growing, young family
  • University courses in Islamic Studies to sharpen evangelistic witness
  • A final push for first New Testament publication in an African language this year
  • Scholarships and medical care for impoverished Cambodians, and a first sabbatical
  • Annual missions conference and retreat attendance, home furnishings to facilitate hospitality, Kurdish language lessons
  • A two-week program at a Christian counseling center for international workers this summer
  • Local language lessons
  • Furniture or appliances for newly arrived teammates, team-building outings/retreat, church facility expenses

Scroll down to learn more details about each ministry care need below. 

Ways to Get involved

Pray for our global partners


for the Lord to strengthen the local Church, equip local believers, and bless teammates. 


for their spiritual and physical health and protection. 


for the planning and logistics of each pastoral visit, that they would all be timely, effective, encouraging, Spirit-led, and entail minimal travel complications. 


for the Lord’s guidance of each project, that our global partners can smoothly carry out plans in his perfect timing.

Pick up a copy of our global partners’ current prayer requests in the narthex.

You may also give by check made out to Church of the Resurrection. Include “Good Friday Gift” in the memo line. 

Place your check in the Sunday offering, drop off during office hours (Mon-Thurs 8:30-4:30pm, Fri 8:30-10pm), 

or mail to: Church of the Resurrection, 935 W. Union Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187.

Questions about the Good Friday Gift? Contact Missions Manager Emily Talbott at

Ministry Care Needs

Ministry Care Need: Safehouse for women escaping domestic/sexual violence

Family D - Central Asia

Our work in Central Asia currently is focused on language learning and relationship building. We are gaining trust among our community and enjoy welcoming people to our home. Our vision is to bring quality gospel-centered media to Central Asia and to provide care for women who are suffering.

Ministry Care Need: Family travel to visit elderly mother recovering from surgery

Dr. Greg & Lidija Thelman - Croatia

Greg and Lidija serve in Croatia with their 5 children. They equip Christian leaders at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek through teaching, scholarship, and discipleship. They also help Christians integrate faith and work through the Institute for the Study of Christian Discipleship and Worldview. Lidija blesses the church and seminary through her creative design.

Ministry Care Need: Larger vehicle for growing family with young kids

Family F - North Africa

Family F has “a heart to share the good news and build up the local Body through sharing vocation and family-life with friends. We live in a part of the Middle East/North Africa region with no historical Christian presence and no visible local Body.” He is an English teacher and she is a Deaf Educator/”at home” mom.

Ministry Care Need: Courses in Islamic Studies

Global Partner T - Middle East

This global partner works in a city where a majority of the population has never heard the gospel. Currently, he seeks to establish relationships with neighbors and friends and generate conversations about faith in the local language. He also serves at a local organization focused on registering and resettling refugees. 

Ministry Care Need: Home furnishings, language lessons, and retreat participation

Global Partner G - Middle East

This global partner works as an English teacher at a local university in her city, where she is building relationships with students, staff, and neighbors and learning the local language.

Ministry Care Need: Retreat at Christian counseling center for international workers

Global Partner E - West Asia

This global partner’s work focuses on studying the local language, building connections with her friends and neighbors for conversations about faith, and teaching English to second graders at a prestigious public school.

Ministry Care Need: Final push for New Testament publication this year

Brad & Maria Festen - Central African Republic

Brad and Maria work with Wycliffe Bible Translators and TeachBeyond from their base in Wheaton. Brad is helping to complete a translation of the New Testament in the Mpyemo language of the Central African Republic. Maria’s work in personnel is helping TeachBeyond promote transformational education in 60 different countries.

Ministry Care Need: Scholarships and medical care for impoverished Cambodians

Fr. Gregory & Dr. Heidi Whitaker - Cambodia

Fr. Gregory is rector of the English-speaking congregation at Church of Christ our Peace in the Anglican Diocese of Singapore. Dr. Heidi is a pediatrician and assists Cambodian physicians. She also helps train future Cambodian medical doctors. They oversee a variety of outreach ministries to care for the most vulnerable in their community. The Whitakers have five children.

Ministry Care Need: Team-building retreat and housing needs for new teammates

Team of Five - Middle East

We are living and preaching the gospel through planting churches committed to the word and sacraments. We believe the Holy Spirit is moving in our region–drawing unbelievers to himself and into the arms of the Church. Currently, the team focuses on discipling and raising up local church leaders and establishing an NGO.

Ministry Care Need: Language lessons

Family T - West Asia

We are doing evangelism and church planting work to unreached people in West Asia. Since we are new to the field, we are currently focusing on language learning as few people here speak English.