Lifeword Newsletter

Welcome To The Team!

Telling stories is what Yalanda Merrell is all about, and professionally she has done that, first as a reporter and anchor for KAIT in Jonesboro, Arkansas, then as a recruiter for University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Turns out that Yalanda is not only a talented broadcast journalist but a writer as well, and she loves to tell her own story. 

Although she had walked the aisle at the age of seven, she wasn’t saved until her freshman year of college. But another eight years passed until she fully surrendered her life to Jesus, then three more until she obeyed God’s call to disciple others. It’s a familiar story for many, and one that Yalanda doesn’t mind telling and writing about, especially if it will point someone to Jesus. 

The Lifeword team met Yalanda in 2018 after Director of Operations Luis Ortega visited the church she and her husband Shaun attended in northeast Arkansas. The Lifeword Cloud had just been implemented and Yalanda was asked to join a team of writers. Her daily devotionals and blogs have been published on ever since. 

After enthusiastically offering to do more, anything that was needed, BMA Missions took her up on the offer. She hosts a monthly show,, that features BMA missionaries and what they’re doing around the world. An extension of mission:world magazine, it comes out on BMA Missions’ Facebook page. 

Beginning in the fall, Yalanda will also begin serving Lifeword as Director of Audience Engagement. Her years of experience and talent will help take Lifeword to new levels of effectiveness and professionalism. 

Yalanda says, “Salvation in Jesus Christ is the single most important decision in one’s life. However, it’s only the beginning. For many people across the globe, they don’t know the next steps. 

“We live in an age where people aren’t being shown the examples to follow in how Christ wants us to live and obey Him. So how do we do discipleship in the digital age? 

“Our hope is to move Lifeword from a proclamation ministry to one that engages its audience to tell their own story of salvation and learn how to become a disciple maker. It’s an exciting time at Lifeword and I’m humbled and thrilled the Lord is allowing me to use my background in media and communications to help others learn how to tell their redemption story.”

Welcome to the Lifeword team, Yalanda!
Please Pray…
– From Deus Kanunu in Tanzania – Please pray for Mikubi Andrea, one of our presenters at Radio Uhai. While running the afternoon show he abruptly lost his ability to speak and has not regained it. Please pray for recovery as he is hospitalized and getting treatment.
– From Charlie Costa in Lebanon – Pray for relief from the chaotic economic and political crisis in Lebanon. Basic needs such as medicine, gasoline, electricity, and medical care are greatly reduced or unavailable, which affects all areas of all areas of life. COVID has subsided so travel is possible but gasoline and diesel shortages affect the church, its diesel-powered electricity and church attendance. These factors affect both food quality and price and 75% of Lebanese families do not have sufficient funds to put food on the table this month.
Praise God…
– for new media partners who are speaking the heart languages of various culture groups and for the dialogue happening with other potential partners
– for Brother Rama’s devotion to reach the lost with the hope of the gospel