Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Evangelistic Meetings in the New Campo Largo Church

Our most recent Premavera Church plant has come a long way since it was began.

The Campo Largo Church was designated as the 2005 Premavera Church plant. Since that time a building has been built and a congregation has sprouted.

Two weeks ago the church held prayer meetings every night in preperation for evangelistic meetings. Last week the evangelistic meetings were held in the new church.

Becky Abel remarks, "Just a year ago we had our first tent campaign right on the same lot where the church has been constructed. So much has happend in a year! Thank you for praying with us as we see God at work in this new area."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Pray for Courtney Jacobi in Jerez, Mexico

Courtney Jacobi has been doing her MTI internship in Jerez, Mexico. She is there serving along side of the Schirkolks and Giles.

Last night she was hospitalized with intense pain. After prayer and a night in the hospital she is doing much better. Please remember to bring her before the Lord in prayer.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

AFLBS Brings the Gospel to Europe

AFLBS Choir Director - Mr. Jerry Nelson asks for prayer as the 50 voice Concert Choir from AFLBS brings the message of Jesus Christ in music, along with preaching and testimony at churches in southern Poland, Bratislava, and the Czech Republic. Accompanying the choir will be Pastor Don Richman, founding director of EEMN - East European Missions Network, and AFLBS Dean, James L. Johnson. The schedule will run through March 29-April 14, 2006.

Each student/choir member is asked to raise support in the amount of $2100 to cover the cost of the trip. If you would like to help cover costs for this AFLBS choir tour - e-mail aflbs@aflc.org for more information, or send your gifts of support to AFLBS designated "Choir Tour - 2006" .

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

AFLC India President - Travels to Canada

Luther Dasari, the President of the AFLC of India is planning on attending the AFLC of Canada's Annual Conference.

He was to leave India yesterday, but was unable to travel due to illness. Please pray that he will be feeling better and will be able to change his ticket for a flight out of India today.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Becky Abel Recuperating

Dear Friends,
Thanks to those of you who have been praying for me. My hysterectomy and bladder repair surgery went smoothly last Friday. I'm home recuperating and trying to be a "good girl."

Granddaughter Deborah made my hospital visit complete as the only times I've ever been hospitalized have been to welcome my four children into the world. It was a special prize to receive a baby in my arms after the surgical procedure! Thanks to those of you who sent special notes of encouragement to me during these days.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

“In his time, in his time, He makes all things beautiful in his time…”

Maybe you know this old Christian chorus which encourages usto wait upon the Lord in submission until His Time. Usually it is easy to give that advice to somebody but to stand still when we feel pressed on every side to make a quick decision is not that easy. We can relate to that feeling concerning the Bible school.

You have heard from our newsletter that we have asked for prayer concerning the need for Bible school accommodations. The situation is becoming more serious since our students have now actually moved.

Right now all nine of our daily Bible school students live in three rooms squeezed between our office, the classroom and storage rooms. The building is used periodically for other purposes like VBS classes during winter break so the students will have to move out from their rooms. Downstairs we used to have a lounge which now we will be sharing with the after-school club for the kids from the community. Just yesterday we had to give up one of our two classrooms for the sake of having a guest room available. We simply see that it is impossible to have Bible School in a place where there is constantly something else (not related to the school) going on.

The Lord has been speaking to us lately a lot through the Book of Isaiah giving his promises about his faithfulness, his provision. He encouraged us especially during a recent retreat to the “Bible House” Betania (retreat center in Bielsko-Biala). Also, as we gathered at the New Year banquet at CME precious promises were read from Isaiah 43:10-13, 19 :

“’You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will
there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed-- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?…

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

In hearing these promises from the Lord, we have no doubt that He will find a solution to our problem with accommodations and the future of the ministry here in the Bible school. Please stand with us in prayer as we seek God’s direction and provision. “He will make a way, when there seems to be no way!”

Some of you may have read the above in an email in early January. As we write this newsletter, we still are waiting upon the Lord’s leading as there has been no change or open door yet. Right now it looks like our students next year may have to squeeze into the present building we are using or maybe we will find homes in which they can stay in the village.

Despite that, it’s a blessing that our students are adapting and patient with the tight living conditions they have now. There has been little complaining and in fact, the students have had more time together
for prayer and fellowship.

Tim and Renata Hinrichs are AFLC Missionaries on loan to Eastern European Missions Network.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We're Retreating in Mexico

Thirty Six Christian youth recently retreated in Mexico. This is the first retreat since the late 1980's and was called by Pastor's Milton Flores and Raul Hernadez. They pulled back from the battle in their normal surroundings and were recharged with God's Word and fellowship.

Missionary Todd Schierkolk remarks that six kids from the Jerez area were in attendance and that they were greatly encouraged.

Pray for these young people as they go forward to live for Jesus and for them as they plan the next retreat.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Pass it On

Dulce's family was evangelized by Pastor Victor and D. Nayr, teachers at the Bible school in the early years of our work in Brazil. Her mother was the first in their family to accept Christ as her Savior, eventually bringing the whole family (husband and nine children) to church at Lar Parana.

Dulce, along with brothers and sisters, were all able to attend children's camps and youth camps through the years, along with regular church activities. She studied at the Bible school for a year in the 1980's. Dulce now lives in Japan with her husband and two sons where they are active in a Japanese-Brazilian church. Dulce has a passion to teach children about the Lord, has opened her home to many children, and teaches them Bible stories and also takes them on outings. At the 40th celebration, Dulce was considered the Brazilian church's unofficial missionary to Japan.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Becky Abel Having Surgery

Please be in prayer for Becky Abel who is having surgery at the end of this week. It is a planned surgery, she has been waiting to have it done until after the summer vacation Bible schools and camp were over.

Pray that she will be able to relax and recuperate before they leave for this years furlough.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Prayer Requests from Jores

March Prayer Requests:

We have two programs lined up for this month - Dickinson, ND, on the 8th and Fergus Falls, MN, on the 26th. Pray for us as we prepare for them, for safety as we travel, and for wisdom and boldness from the Holy Spirit as we share in each church. Please pray too that our boys would be good travellers and that they would stay healthy (they just recovered from a week-long cough/cold).

Traveling to Brazil
We are in the process of deciding whether or not we should travel to Brazil once more before heading to Uganda so that we can see Nate's family once more. If we are going to go, the only time that'd work would be the end of May which is when Nate graduates from seminary, we move back to the cities and prepare to start full-time deputation (a busy time!). We know that God knows what we should do but aren't yet sure what that is, so pray that we can listen and wait for His leading!

World Mission Committee
On March 31st we meet with the AFLC World Mission Board in the cities. As far as we know, this is our final meeting with them before they decide whether or not they will officially call us as missionaries. In case some of you don't know, we are still AFLC missionary candidates and need to receive an official call before our status changes to AFLC missionaries. The World Mission Director, Del Palmer, has also asked if we could sit down sometime during that day and "vision" together about Uganda - talking through plans and goals and specifics. Please pray for good communication and for the Holy Spirit's guidance for that time together.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Lutheran Ambassador - India

The Lutheran Ambassador of India is published every other month and is used to bring the AFLC of India together. The magazine is composed of devotional items and news. Pray for editors, writers and readers of the Lutheran Ambassador of India.

Why Pray? - Jacksons

"Working without prayer is like trying to fly a kite when there is no wind. You can run hard with a short string and wear yourself out or you can await the wind and see your work soar!" Devries (Why Pray?)

We are at the point now of letting the some of the kite string out with some of our work here in Sinaloa, so we especially need prayer that the Spirit of God will blow.

In Tayoltita we are beginning to take our new missionaries out so that they can get to know some of the folks, and begin to hear and practice Spanish among them. I am also beginning to back off more allowing the new converts to take more of the work.

We have given the direction of the cell group in Huertos Familiares here in Mazatlan over to the Genaro and his wife, now we will begin studying together the text for the group beforehand. He was encouraged last Friday that we were able to share the Gospel with three men that live close by, as well as the participation from those who came to the meeting.

In el Castillo brother Juan is still preaching on Sundays, but asks for prayer that he might be free from his job every Sunday to be able to serve the Lord. We are praying that one of the youth (Jose Miguel) might help him on Sundays to go out on visitations.

We just received an e-mail from pastor Antonio in Nogales that he really need prayer for his job situation, a new boss is making changes that demand a lot more time. The church is experiencing problems as well, even job and time changes in Masarenas is causing him extra stress. Please keep this dear brother in your prayers.

We are also praying about a move ourselves to el Rosario. To make that work go, it needs more than once a week. Thank you all for praying, we don't want to wear ourselves out running.

Darwin Jacksons are missionaries on loan to World Mission Prayer League

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Schierkolk's Mark 10 Years in Mexico

This month my family is commemorating 10 years in Mexico and I want to take the opportunity to thank you all for your partnership in this outreach over these years, whether it has been on the committee or through your prayer and financial support personally or through your congregations. We appreciate each of you and continue to pray for each of you as you serve Christ on the World Missions Committee and in the office. God give you grace and wisdom to see His plan as you face the challenging decisions that come to you.

In Christ,

Todd Schierkolk

Erika's Story

This past January is the two-year anniversary of sorts for Erika. It will bring back painful memories for her but God brought about something wonderful through her near death, and through the real death of a beloved friend of many in our AFLC last May.

I met Erika the day I opened a checking account at the bank in which she worked. She had an extremely difficult time getting my name spelled correctly and I had to stop her several times to change the information she had put into her computer. A few weeks later I met her brother-in-law at a 10K race in which we were running. Erika, her Kindergarten-aged daughter, her brother-in-law and several sisters began coming to our English classes and God opened doors to get to know them much more over the next couple of years.

On a rainy January day two years ago, Erika was heading to work at the bank in a city about 45 minutes away where she had recently been transferred. The rain was heavy and the roads were slick as she made the commute down the curvy two-lane highway that would bring her to Fresnillo and her new job. As she zipped down the road the tires of her car suddenly began hydroplaning and she skidded off the road, flew over a steep embankment and down into a ravine, crashing into the foot of the bridge she was about to cross. No one saw it happen and no one passing by saw her from the road.

With massive injuries, she lay unseen on top of the steering wheel with the tail end of the car pointing in the air. After what seemed like an eternity, a highway patrol car finally spotted her vehicle down at the bottom of the embankment. Help arrived but everyone thought it was too late. She had lost a lot of blood, had significant trauma to the head and was paralyzed on one side of her body. No one expected her to live. But God had other plans . . . and she did.

When Erika finally got out of the hospital Dan Giles and I went to visit her at her mother’s home. Her speech was badly slurred, and she was still purple all over. Everyone tried to encourage her that God must have some special plan for her life because she should have died. It was to that end that Dan and I prayed with her. And we enlisted the help of other intercessors as well.

One of those from the United States who committed to pray for Erika shared that she felt compelled to intercede for the injured woman because she had a daughter named Erika and she also had a daughter who had nearly died from a horrible car accident of her own . . . her name was Jeannie Brandt.

I shared that information with Erika and it was a great encouragement to her and moved her deeply. I continued to remind her of the fact that Jeannie was praying for her and that everyone had said God must have a plan for her. Jeannie’s prayers meant a lot to Erika through the long recovery process. And so when I shared with Erika the news that Jeannie herself was having a difficult battle with cancer, Erika took it very personally and made sure that I passed on her concern and care as well. When, a few months later, I told Erika that Jeannie had died and was with the Lord, she was grieved. That this wonderful woman whom she had never met, whose prayers had meant so much to her, had herself passed-away had a deep impact on her. But I was also able to share much more. Thanks to Pastor Brandt’s very personal letters of his and Jeannie’s walk together with the Lord through those last months of her life, I was also able to share of the confidence and joy with which Jeannie faced her own imminent death because of her Savior who had already triumphed over death and the assurance that she had of Jesus’ love for her. And I reminded Erika that everyone had told her that God must have a special plan for her life.

In November, Dan and I went to visit Erika again. We gave her a copy of the book, “The Purpose Driven Life” in Spanish with a dedication to Jeannie Brandt on the inside cover and we talked about Jeannie’s faith with her. Erika was eager to listen.

As Dan shared passages from the Scriptures about the way of salvation, she would interrupt with, ‘Yes, but how can I know for sure that I’m going to heaven?’ I smiled as Dan patiently responded several times with ‘We’re getting there.’ So when he did get there, Erika eagerly prayed and received Jeannie’s Jesus as her own. I smiled again as she said, ‘You know this may sound strange but I really feel like something just happened inside me. It’s hard to explain but I feel different.’ We just smiled, knowingly.

Thank you for your prayers. They really do count for eternity.

Todd, Barb, Rachel, Megan and Kirstie Schierkolk

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

World Relief

AFLC World Missions partners with World Relief as our relief agency around the world. You can learn more about World Relief at their website wr.org .