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MISSION EXPLOSION INTERNATIONAL
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus”
Celebrating 25 Years of Ministry
Rusty Swafford, Executive Director
PO Box 1331, Athens, TN 37371-1331 Office: (865) 292-4411
January - February 2014 Newsletter
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is my prayer that each of you has a healthy, safe, blessed, and prosperous 2014. My son-in-law,
Joey, and I closed out 2013 with a trip back to India. As you may know, several of the preachers faced
persecution, sickness, and tragedy last year. It was so great to be able to see them and hug their necks.
We had a good time of fellowship and a renewed commitment for the ministry in India. The preachers
asked me to continue coming for encouragement, teaching, and new Church evangelism. After seeing
the need for opportunity to plant new churches, I gladly accepted their invitation and look forward to
traveling back to south India. Joey and I were blessed to be able to share in the Christmas celebration
with the brethern, and I was honored to be able to preach in most of the churches. We are going to
continue limited financial support to a few churches and preachers who are struggling but are showing
signs of progress. We will also be helping to defray the cost of our Freedom House Children’s Home.
We will not be sponsoring the children on an individual basis; however, we will be sending monthly
support to help meet their needs. The children are all doing well and were so excited to receive their
new clothes, Christmas gifts and enjoy their Christmas dinner and celebration. All in all, we had a very
MEI Goals for 2014
Our goals for 2014 are very simple. I plan to make at least three trips to India this year in March, July,
and December. I will be staying approximately 3-4 weeks each trip teaching, preaching, and
encouraging the preachers, elders, and churches. I will be traveling down to Mexico during the times
when I am not in India. We will continue to work with the Playa Del Carmen Church of Christ through
leadership training along with youth and community outreach programs. We will be hosting short-term
mission trips during the summer months to conduct Vacation Bible School, complete construction
projects on the church building and refurbish the community park in the area. In between my travels, I
will be writing, translating and printing Christian literature, Bible lessons, and sermons to be used by
the churches in India and Mexico. As you can see, we have a full schedule planned for this year. We
need your faithful financial support and we value your prayers - in fact, we depend on them. As the
Scripture says in James 5:16, “The affective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” Your
words of encouragement this past year meant a great deal to us. We were often faced with trials as we
launched the new ministry in Mexico. Many times your cards, emails, and phone calls came at just the
right time when we were experiencing fear, danger and disappointment. We frequently reminded each
other of the Scripture in James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various
trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect
result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Our desire has always been and
will continue to be ”keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith.”
Announcements! Announcements! Announcements!
We are making some changes on how to better communicate with you this year. We will be publishing
our MEI newsletter every two months. We are encouraging those of you who are still receiving our
newsletter via the US Postal Service to please, if possible, send us your email address so we can begin
sending our newsletter to you electronically. If you do not have an email address, or would like to
receive the newsletter via the US Postal Service, we will be happy to continue mailing it to you. Email
capability allows us to cut down on mailing costs and to communicate with you for prayer requests,
urgent needs and important announcements in real time. It also allows you to communicate with us and
to be better informed about the ministry throughout the year.
Mission Trips! Mission Trips! Mission Trips!
MEI is not only about church planting and Children’s Homes. We are also about mission trips. We
believe that people’s lives are changed by reaching out and serving those less fortunate. I have received
countless letters over the past 25 years from people who have been on mission trips with MEI. In every
situation, their lives have been changed for the better. Many return back to their home congregations
ready to serve like never before. Others have gone into full-time ministry because of their mission trip
experience. We have had people come from all ages, professions and skill levels. This year, MEI is
offering you the opportunity to visit either India or Mexico to help share the Gospel. We encourage you
to prayerfully consider taking a short-term mission trip with MEI.
2014 India Mission Trips
We will be offering two trips to India this year – July 8-22 and December 1-15. The approximate cost
for these trips will be $2,500. If you are planning to go to India with us this year, we will need your
$100 deposit no later than May 1st. You will need an up-to-date passport and a Visa to travel to India.
For more details and information, please contact Rusty.
2014 Mexico Mission Trips
MEI would like to invite you to come down to beautiful Playa Del Carmen, Mexico – where you’re
only minutes from the sparkling, turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. Playa Del Carmen is in the
state of Quintana Roo, which extends from Merida all the way across the Yucatan Peninsula to the
border of Belize. We are working with the Playa Del Carmen Church of Christ in a very poor area. The
housing is sub-standard and the majority of the people are very poor. This is a new church work, and
we have a lot of ministry opportunities to offer you on this trip. We are planning 7 to 10 day mission
trips this summer in the months of June and July. If you would like to come to Mexico this year, we
will need your $50 deposit by April 1st. Details of your Mexico trip are listed below.
What Will I Be Doing On My Trip? Vacation Bible School, distributing Christian tracts and
literature, teaching and preaching, prayer walks, and participating in community outreach construction
projects. This is a great opportunity for a Family Mission Trip (all ages are welcome), Youth Groups,
SS classes, College Students and Seniors. The Bottom Line Is – If You Are Breathing, God Can Use You!
Activities available for your free time can be a visit to the Mayan ruins, swim with dolphins, spend
time at the beach, take a boat ride, swim, snorkel, or go fishing. Oh…and then there’s shopping.
How Much Will My Trip Cost? Your mission trip will cost approximately $1,000 to $1,200 for a 7 to
10 day trip.
*This price includes: round trip airfare, hotel (based on 3-4 persons per room), and 3 meals a day.
(The cost of the trip includes $100 per person gift to MEI.)
*Trip costs may fluctuate based on airport departure location and dates of travel.
*The cost of free-time activities is not included.
(There are several low cost or free activity options available to fit your group's budget.)
So, what are you waiting for? Start Praying, Planning, and Packing for an exciting trip to Mexico.
You will have the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of people who have never heard the
Gospel and partner with MEI in launching our new ministry!
Can You Send A Donation To Help With These Construction Projects?
Bible Study Material
and Spanish Bibles
We need to purchase
Spanish Bibles and
Christian literature that
we can distribute out among our neighbors who
live around the church. We need to also
purchase children’s VBS materials as well as
other children’s curriculum.
Cost for this project - $400.
Windows and Doors For Our
During the monsoon rains, our
building is flooded because we
only have bars on the window
and door areas. We need to
purchase glass windows and
metal doors for security purposes
and inclement weather.
Cost for this project - $500.
Repair And Extend The Old
The church only has one
bathroom. It is in very bad
shape. We need to repair the
walls, the flooring, replace the
toilet and sink, and install a
shower. We will need to
purchase concrete, paint and
Cost for this project - $650.
Repair And Install Fire
Escape Ladder To The Side
Of The Church Building
The fire escape stairs need to be
welded and anchored to the
side of the building. The stairs
will serve a purpose to give us
access to the roof which, in the
future, can be used for building
classrooms, for a Preacher
Training Center or a Children’s Home.
Cost for this project - $425.
Repair And Finish
Out Sunday School
We need to pour a
concrete floor, repair
and paint the walls,
and install electrical
Cost for this project - $750.
Build an Awning Over
the Side Porch which
Leads to the Bathroom
During the rainy season,
church members and
children cannot get to the
bathroom without getting
soaked. We need to build
Cost for this project -$300.
Christmas – Faces and Places – 2013
Timothy& His New
Kanathur Church Enjoys Christmas Dinner
Christmas Eve Baptisms
William With Young Men He Is Training
Distributing Christmas Gifts
To Widows and Children
Preforming A Christmas Drama
With FH Children
FH Children With New Clothes And
Stainless Steel Lunch Boxes