Unreached people group in Dagestan, Russia

About Us

The Akkin (ah-KEEN) live in western Dagestan, in the Caucasus Mountain Region of Russia. They are one of 45 distinct people groups (ethnos) first identified by outsiders in 1997. There are about 100,000 Akkin scattered in the city of Khasavyurt and smaller towns. Some Akkin have left their homeland and are living as refugees in Austria and Germany. There are no known Christians among the Akkin in Dagestan or among Akkin refugees in Europe.

About Our Ministry

In 2013, Riverwood committed to praying for the Akkin until there is a Christ-following community among them.

They practice Sufi Islam, but zealous Wahhabi Muslim radicals are attempting to stamp out Sufi Islam. Young Akkin men are being recruited to participate with militants.

Cultural strengths: highly value hospitality, friendship, clans, ethnic arts and music.

Cultural barriers to the gospel: highly resistant to hange/closed to outsiders, intense Muslim traditions,inaccessible geography, pride/defensiveness, political bureaucracy/bribes.

The most significant barrier to the gospel: unseen, powerful spiritual strongholds. There have been many centuries of spiritual oppression by “spiritual forces of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12). Since the Akkin have only been identified as a distinct people group for such a short time compared to most unreached cultures, very little prayer has been lifted up for them.

Partner with us in prayer

  • That God would send laborers to the Akkin and that they would find loving ways to be present among them.

  • That the Lord would prepare and show the laborer a “Person of Peace” in the Akkin culture.

  • That the Holy Spirit would break through to openhearted people in the culture.

  • For known and unknown Akkin people in other countries to have open hearts and seek truth.

Serve with us

Invite us to share about the North Caucasus peoples in your Life Group. Contact maggie.kirbabas@riverwoodchapel.org to set up a time.

Agustine Theological Institute

Serving in the Muslim world in Northern Africa

About Us

Arab World Evangelical Ministers Association (AWEMA) seeks to mobilize church planters and evangelists in 20 Arab countries in North Africa. Our goal is to see a unified Church in the Arab world – one that reflects Kingdom values and serves the communities in which we live. What began as a small prayer movement, has become one of the world’s broadest evangelical movements among Muslims. AWEMA fosters and serves dozens of active discipleship groups as well as providing discipleship and church-planting training throughout Northern Africa.

About Our Ministry

Agustine Theological Institute is a theological education and ministry training program, held every other year over the course of six months. Graduates are issued a Diploma in Theology.

In addition to the formal theological education they receive, students grow and develop through the experience of living in a multicultural and diverse student body and being mentored by the program leaders. These factors contribute greatly to their personal and spiritual growth.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For AWEMA leadership that God would raise up a new generation of men and women who are fully committed to advancing the Gospel in North Africa.

  • For the theological and ministry training AWEMA is offering in 2022 for at least 15 believers, most of whom belong to underground churches. Pray for the Holy Spirit to use the training mightily in each participant’s life, and to protect the instructors and attendees and their families.

Brad & Sara

Serving in a security sensitive area in the Muslim world

About Us

In 1995, we joined our love for one another and our calling to serve the North Caucasus Peoples of Russia. We ache for every one of the 45 Caucasus language groups and 1000 villages to have 1) at least a first chance to respond to Christ’s message of victory over death, 2) victory over Satan’s reign of terror and 3) forgiving grace to those who surrender to Jesus.

About Our Ministry

We facilitate the body of Christ working together in partnership for Christ’s messengers and living Word among the Muslim people groups of the North Caucasus.

Since Feb 22, 2022, our local ministry partners are scrambling to reset life under the unprecedented economic collapse, due to the Kremlin’s unilateral war on Ukraine. In the last 18 months, many of the expat workers were already deported from the Caucasus region. The church in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova are showing their mettle and faithfulness to refugees from Ukraine!

We continue to partner with Muslim background believers, house groups, house churches, and historic churches inside Russia while communication is still possible.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For whole families and clans to seek the reality, truth and power of Jesus.

  • For the friends we mentor (now remotely) who suffer persecution, abuse and pain in many forms. We need Christ’s strength, not our own.

  • For Jesus’ intercession over the powers influencing Russia and Ukraine.

  • For strength and faith of the children to grow each day “as they conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:27).

  • For the Akkin-Chechens in Dagestan to respond to the good news of Jesus.

Serve with us

Invite us to share about the North Caucasus peoples in your Life Group. Contact maggie.kirbabas@riverwoodchapel.org to set up a time.

Riley & Alissa Brookings

Serving with World Team in Paris, France

About Us

We met through Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) at Ohio University where we both did short term trips to France. God clearly called us to France as we began our relationship together. Our student loan debt kept us in the US for the next eight years where the Lord grew us in many ways and taught us about church planting. In 2015, God opened all the doors for us to arrive in France eager for the journey ahead and to experience the call he had on our lives to serve him there. Our son Aiden joined us on this journey a few years later.

About Our Ministry

We serve on a local church plant on the east side of Paris with the vision to reach our neighborhood. We started with five people and have seen the church grow each year. Our job is to serve the French pastor we work with and to love and serve the community that God has given us here. Many of our French friends have never met a believer before meeting us. France’s population has less than 1% Evangelical believers – this means there is a huge need for the gospel here.

We are a part of the global mission agency World Team. Their vision is: Innovative teams multiplying disciples and communities of believers, bringing the Gospel within reach of lost people everywhere we go. World Team has Church Planters in 29 countries across the globe.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For our church plant, Eglise de la Plaine, as we search for a location to rent. There are many obstacles including the fact that most landlords don’t want a church renting their space. Please pray that God would lead us to the right place in our neighborhood. That we could continue to engage our neighborhood with the love of Christ and share the good news.

  • For our little boy, Aiden, who is starting French school. That the transition would go well for him and he would start to learn French and enjoy his time at school.

  • For the French believers to have a heart for discipleship. We want to see this small community learn how to make disciples that in turn make disciples.

  • For our relationship with our Savior, that we would constantly be growing more in with Jesus. We cannot do this job without having a never-ending joy in the Lord.

  • For spiritual protection for our family. France is a dark place spiritually and many times we feel the battle around us. Please pray protection for us on the difficult days.

Ming-Chi (Mickey) Chaung

Serving with China Outreach Ministries at Kent State

About Us

I joined China Outreach Ministries in 2011 and serve with other COM staff at Kent State University. God has used our different spiritual gifts and talents to make a greater impact for His kingdom here in Kent, Ohio.

China Outreach Ministries seeks to give Christ to China’s future leaders (current university students, research scholars, and professionals) while they are attending universities and research centers in North America.

About Our Ministry

Our purpose is to extend God’s love and proclaim the gospel of Christ to Chinese students, scholars and their families at Kent State University.

Offering hospitality, social activities, conversational English, and a variety of practical services to help Chinese students and scholars succeed.

Building friendships to create opportunities to share Christ and offer Bible studies.

Mentoring and discipling those who come to Christ and, working with local churches and ministries as much as possible, help believers who return to China become Christ-like leaders for their families, communities, and professions.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For our team and volunteers to develop caring relationships that open doors to the gospel with Chinese students and scholars and their families.

  • For the new believers to grow deep roots in God’s word through the Bible studies and mentorship programs.

  • For Got to prepare and position those returning to China to be multiplying Christian leaders in China.

  • For open doors and wisdom on how to nurture relationships with Chinese returnees who currently face increasingly religious hostility in China.

Serve with us

Our team would love to meet and partner with more Christ followers who are willing to invest their time, spiritual gifts, and talents into building relationships with Chinese students, visiting scholars and their families so that they can see the love of God through Christ followers.

Andrea & Blerta Clemente

Serving with CRU/Agape Italia in Rome

About Us

Andrea (Andrew) is from southern Italy. I had the privelage to study in seminary (very uncommon for Itailians). Blerta is originally from Albania. I met Christ in the 90’s after communism fell and missionaries planted a church in my hometown. I moved to Rome to attend college – and met Andrea.

Together we serve with CRU/Agape Italia full time to evangelize and disciple students. In April, we had our baby girl Gioia Grace.

About Our Ministry

When we think about Italy it would be natural to assume that everyone knows the Gospel. In reality it is merely a cultural identity. We long for the day when people no longer wear religion as a cultural identity, but rather enter into a life-changing personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

There are more than 300,000 university students in Rome but less than 2% declare to be a follower of Christ. The need to bring to them the gospel is enormous!

Initiate conversations about becoming followers of Christ and develop Christ-centered relationships.

Partner with local leaders and churches to see Christ lifted up in Rome.

Disciple student leaders who will train and teach other students to walk with Christ and share their faith.

Organize events that connect with students (sports, music and art).

Partner with us in prayer

  • For Tor Vergata University, for the new doors that have been opened for the Gospel and for the students who were at our recent events (and whom we will meet in the coming months) – especially those with a Muslim background.

  • That God will always bring new students who are seeking Jesus.

  • For our family as well, as there are three of us now. May God continue to provide for us and the ministry He has entrusted to us. May we always see His grace, love and providence among the various challenges of ministry in Italy.

Del Rey Ministries

Serving in the sugar cane villages in the Dominican Republic

About Us

Del Rey Ministries exists to build vibrant, self-sustaining, Christ-centered communities in the sugar cane villages of the Dominican Republic.

We are a team of local Dominican and Hatian pastors partnered with American pastors.

About Our Ministry

Del Rey Ministries has developed a three-part strategy to fulfill our mission. The inspiration for this strategy comes from the models which are taught in the New Testament.

Identifying and providing for local Christians that God is calling into spiritual leadership (The Bible calls these Elders/Pastors).

Equipping those leaders through sound Biblical instruction.

Helping short-term mission to connect with local leadership for a long-term impact.

Partner with us in prayer

  • That the construction of our two new church plants would go quickly and smoothly.

  • For Del Rey Medico – that they would be granted their foundation status so we can get them the vehicle. Also that American doctors would get connected to the ministry.

  • For our young candidates – especially Danielito who is working in Village 50 – that they would sense a clear call to the work of missionary pastor.

Serve with us

Travel to the DR for a week with a Riverwood team and partner with the local pastors to meet a current need – medical clinics, vacation Bible school, construction projects, prayer walks, etc. Stay tuned for details on upcoming trips.

John & Jane Doe

Serving in a security sensitive area in North Africa

About Us

John transplanted to Northeast Ohio and took the perspectives class with Pastor Lon at Riverwood as a Stow student. Jane, a Toledo native, met John at the University of Akron.

After getting married and living abroad for two years, we returned to Northeast Ohio in 2011 for training and worked with international students.

In 2018, we moved to North Africa where we currently live. We now have 3 sons: 9 years old, 7 years old, and 18 months.

About Our Ministry

We live among an unreached people group. We are here to assist and support people as they hear about the hope of Jesus, create groups, and lead those groups. The bride is young, yet in the past few years has grown. The different hats we wear at different times include: fishing, coaching, peacemaking, vision casting, mentoring, praying, hosting, media work, and cheerleading. One of the most important things we do is enter our community with eyes and ears to see where the Lord may be at work and join him.

As we create relationships with our business, the hobbies we do, and the markets we shop from, we are always looking for people with open minds and hearts to sow seed. Our hope is that one day the bride will be self supporting and reproducing, but we are honored to serve in these young years.

Partner with us in prayer

  • That God would grow leaders who will mature and care for an ever growing flock – men and women who live out the norms of the kingdom and endure to the end.

  • That there would be 5 new groups of our friends or neighbors reading the word, getting their first exposure to Jesus, obeying, and sharing with others.

  • That the long awaited translation of the Old Testament would be completed and available this year in the heart language of our neighbors.

  • That the bride would choose unity – practicing forgiveness and repentance.

Jenny Haver

Missionary Maintenance Service Aviation (MMS) in Ohio

About Us

I grew up in Stow and was a member of Riverwood before moving away. I went through the MMS apprenticeship program, completed my aircraft mechanic’s certifications in 2017, and joined the long-term staff. Currently I’m serving as a project leader/supervisor.

About Our Ministry

Aviation plays a vital role in missions throughout the world. Driving may mean days of travel through unsafe roads or conflict zones. In some cases driving is not even possible and aviation is the only means of accessing villages. MMS is Christian organization that exists to prepare people and planes for worldwide missionary service.

Maintaining, repairing, and modifying aircraft free of labor charge for many missionary aviation organizations operating around the world.

Offering a hands-on apprenticeship program to train future mechanics and pilot/mechanics for the mission field, during which apprentices are learning on the job, repairing missionary planes while under the supervision of certified mechanics.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For wisdom and direction as I pursue an MA program at Moody Bible Institute part time while repairing airplanes full time.

  • For God to lead more people to the apprenticeship program so that more workers can be prepared for the field.

  • For patience, wisdom, and love as I opened my home to a teenager to live with me. May she know that God loves her no matter what.

Serve with us

Join Riverwood Kids Ministry as the kids raise money in their classroom offering to pay for tools and supplies to have on hand as the mechanics work on the planes.

Dan & Jen

Serving with Greater Europe Mission in Czech Republic

About Us

God began to move us towards cross cultural work in 2015 when we joined the staff of a ministry in Central Florida focusing on short-term training trips with churches in the majority world. Through more than five years on staff there, God began to soften our hearts towards full-time cross-cultural missions and opened a door to work in central Europe with GEM. We have three kids – Andrew (9), Caroline (7) and Joshua (4).

About Our Ministry

We serve on a team in the Czech Republic focusing on hospitality ministry, discipleship, and church planting. We have a passion for sustainable ministry and are excited to serve alongside, learn from, and support the locals in what God is doing in Brno.

The first half of this year, we will spend in language and culture immersion as we prepare to enter the mission field. In June, we will move to join the rest of our team in Bruno and begin a 12 month period of building relationships within our neighborhood and community.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For our family as we move to Bruno in June. God has already provided a home for us!

  • For wisdom, patience, and perseverance as we journey through culture shock and strive towards proficiency in Czech.

  • For open doors to build relationships within our neighborhood and community.

Dale & Jillian Liff

Serving with Missionary Maintenance Service Aviation

About Us

We came to know Jesus in our early 30’s and soon after began attending Riverwood. While there, we became involved in cross cultural ministry and short term missions which planted the seed to share the Gospel globally. MMS prepares people and planes for world-wide missionary service. God had been equipping Dale with years of experience in electronics which would be handy for troubleshooting and repairing airplane avionics systems!

About Our Ministry

Aviation plays a vital role in missions throughout the world. Driving may mean days of travel through unsafe roads or conflict zones. In some cases driving is not even possible and aviation is the only means of accessing villages. MMS is Christian organization that exists to prepare people and planes for worldwide missionary service.

Maintaining, repairing, and modifying aircraft free of labor charge for many missionary aviation organizations operating around the world.

Partner with us in prayer

  • That Dale will continue to work steadily through the 30 month training program to prepare for A&P FAA certification.

  • That the we will serve and love our new community in Coshocton to glorify God.

  • That God will use the MMS trained apprentices and the planes that MMS maintains to make the Lord known in the most remote places in the world.

PJ & Lizzy Neiger

Serving with Beyond in South Asia

About Us

We serve with Beyond in South Asia with our two children Naomi and Ezra. We ministered with Beyond for 17 years and serve a Tibetean people group called the Tazig people living in the Himalayan mountains. Lizzy worked as a teacher and principal at an international Christian school for the past eight years. Unfortunately we have used the maximum number of permits an expatriate can work in the country, and we are relocating in 2023 to a new country close to the Tazig people.

About Our Ministry

Our team of local partners have two main focuses – discipleship and church planting and Bible translation. Our team planted the first Tazig church a couple of years ago and are working towards seeing churches planted in every Tazig village. We have also been translating the New Testament into the Tazig language. In early 2022, we completed the final book, Revelation, and are working on final edits for printing. The New Testament is currently available in a smartphone Bible app, and the printed New Testament will be available in the summer of 2023!

Beginning in 2023, we will work with our local team from afar and make frequent trips into the country on tourist visas to meet in person. Additionally, we have begun working with an extensive network of multiplying churches in South Asia, helping them with Bible translation in five different languages.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For the final edits, typesetting, recording, and printing of the Tazig New Testament. Ask for God’s wisdom and discernment for the team every step of the way.

  • For our team who are adjusting to working with them remotely. Pray for clear communication, acceleration in the work, and even more local ownership of the Great Commission.

  • For us to find the right place to move to next year. Ask for the right school for Lizzy to work at and the kids to attend.

  • For the new translation work. Pray for all people in South Asia to have access to God’s Word in their language!

Glenn & Erin Niedergall

Serving with China Outreach Ministries at Kent State

About Us

God called us to China in 2013. We quit our jobs, sold our house and cars, and we moved to China to serve as missionaries. Glen taught Ph.D. students, and Erin taught undergrads at one of the top universities in Beijing, China. We were privileged to disciple first generation Christians weekly. We returned to America in 2015 when God transplanted us to North Carolina State University to reach out to the Chinese students and scholars there. In April 2018, God relocated us to Kent State.

About Our Ministry

We use a “friendship funnel” ministry strategy that utilizes larger events at first, then drills down to one on one relationships. We help them experience American culture by taking them to Niagra Falls, camping, hiking, fishing, and shooting. We also come alongside them through everyday life – like shopping trips and preparing for an American driver’s license. We have them in our home for meals, English conversations, and weekly Bible studies. In short, we minister through intentional and authentic relationships with Chinese students, visiting scholars and their families. We focus on the mission of God by introducing them to Jesus and pray the Holy Spirit draws them to God. We build lasting discipleship relationships with them.

We focus on hospitality, host families, evangelism and discipleship. We want to be disciples that make disciples so that they will be prepared to return to China as warriors for the kingdom of God.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For open doors for the gospel. – “… that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ.” Colossians 4:3

  • For boldness. – “… and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:19

  • For effective ministry. – “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

  • For God to draw Chinese students at Kent State to Himself. – “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws Him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44

Serve with us

Become a one-on-one English partner with a Chinese student – one lesson a week for 10 weeks. Training and lessons provided.

Volunteer at our annual furniture fair as a furniture mover or delivery driver.

Volunteer to serve at our annual Thanksgiving Dinner and/or our Chinese New Year Party.

Rooted Ministries

Serving at 211 Cherry Street, Kent

About Us

We exist to inspire and empower our neighbors to achieve their maximum potential by affirming and cultivating their talents, abilities and resources.

About Our Ministry

We are committed to being a privately-funded organization that seeks the welfare of the current residents of the Historic South End of Kent. We will do this by providing programs and services in the areas of education, housing, job skills, finances, family stability, health, community organizing, economic development, and civic engagement.

Teaching local students through a tutoring partnership with Holden Elementary with plans to expand to older students and more subjects (including computer literacy and college applications).

Supporting our neighbors by affirming and cultivating our neighbors’ talents, abilities and resources and aim to do so through adult-specific programs.

Engaging our community through neighborhood service events, community gardens, community gatherings, and more.

Partner with us in prayer

  • For us as we renovate our building at 211 Cherry St in Kent so we can use this building to start serving the community.

  • For our team as we seek like minded community partners as we look for ways to engage with our community in order to seek and understand the community’s needs.

Serve with us

Follow us at www.rootedkent.com or on our facebook page (RootedKent) to keep up to date on events, programs, and volunteer opportunities.

Sarah Lingenhoel-Depew

Interaction Internationl

About Me

I grew up in Hungary, where my parents still serve as missionaries. After studying music education at Taylor University in Indiana, God opened the doors for me to move to SE Asia to teach music for 10 years at international schools in Cambodia, China and the Philippines. When God led me to move to Ohio, where my parents are from, I started volunteering with Interaction International in order to continue serving Missionary Kids, and joined their staff at the beginning of 2023.

About Our Ministry

A leading cause for missionaries leaving the field is issues related to raising their children overseas. Interaction International seeks to serve the children of missionaries around the world, and provide a quality flow of care for the growing MK (missionary kid) community. The unique needs of MKs are starting to be recognized, and we partner with organizations and families, and with the kids in this process.

Projects that I am currently working on:

  • TCK Connect - We serve isolated MKs by having online youth groups for them to build connections with other kids like them, and to be prayed for and encouraged.

  • Transit Lounge - A seminar/camp for teenage MKs who have lived most of their lives overseas to help them adapt to living in the United States - a place that others say is their home.

  • STAGE (Student Teaching and Global Experience) - A lack of quality education for their kids is a leading reason why missionaries stop serving. We excite Christian university students about teaching MKs by placing them at international schools around the world for a semester as part of their graduation requirement.

Partner with me in prayer

  • Pray that awareness about the needs of MKs would continue to grow in missions organizations, churches, schools, and families.

  • Pray that international schools around the world will be well-staffed in order to care for and provide excellent education for TCKs.

  • Pray for MKs who live in remote locations away from friends their age.

  • Pray for college aged MKs who are adjusting to living in the United States while their family is still living overseas.

Serve with me

Look for MKs you may know, and point them in the direction of Interaction International

Sponsor a transitioning MK’s Transit Lounge fee