Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Left My Heart In Jinja (Uganda)

We are back home in Wisconsin safe. However, we are both sad that the trip is over. We really did not want to leave. We did not miss home at all during our trip. In fact, we both desire to return to Uganda soon. We would by lying if we told you God wasn't a part of that process. He showed us things that only He can, and things that have encouraged us in many ways. I don't even know where to start. We loved our time there! We loved our time with the Jores!

The Jores were a great blessing to us, and they told us that we were a blessing to them. It was wonderful to visit with them throughout our time. We spent many days walking around Jinja together, playing with Elijah and Judah, and playing Settlers of Catan. Kelly walked with Rhoda almost every morning around the town. Kelly really appreciated that time with just Rhoda. Daniel spent a lot of time walking with Nate around Jinja. Nate & Daniel spent a good amount of time keeping each other sharp. We both enjoyed Elijah and Judah very much. Kelly really loved that part of our time with the Jores.

Our time at Kiboyo with Pastor Martin and his family was incredible. It may have been the highlight of our trip. We rode a taxi out to Iganga, and then motorcylces to Kiboyo. We were deep into Africa now. We went to visit each member's house of the church in Kiboyo. Pastor Martin told us that our visit to Kiboyo was a great blessing and a gift from God. There are no words that can describe what we experienced there. It was all God. Daniel preached the next morning at church. That was very challenging, trying to preach to a different culture. We were told that we were the first Americans and mzungus (white people) that a lot of these people had ever met. It was a great honor for them to have God send us to them. Not us necessarily, but God's people sent by Him. Again, there are no words that can describe that. I will just end it there, and keep you hungry for more.

This report does not serve justice to our trip. I hesitated in writing it, for that reason. It hasn't even started to scratch the surface. Our desire is to tell you more in person. We hope to have those opportunities in the future.

Thanks for your prayers! We appreciate them much! Thanks for your support. It was a great trip, and we know God has done great things, and has great things still in store for us. It was awesome!

Blessings,

Daniel & Kelly Keinanen

There is Something I Can Do


“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly.”
Romans 12:4-6

Clara was an elderly widow of a deceased Lutheran evangelist. Schooled for many years under the teaching of her faithful husband, Clara had lived a life of sacrifice and Christian outreach, using her gifts of hospitality to show the love of Jesus. She prayed faithfully for the work of missions around the world and wrote letters to encourage the missionaries in their work. Her letters reflected a deep concern for the work going on across the seas. And Clara prayed. Upon hearing the need of funds for land and a church building in the church-planting efforts of Paul and Becky Abel, she had a burden to pray. She wrote a letter to the Abels expressing her great desire to help with this project – “I would so love to help you build a church but I am a poor widow. I am praying that God will touch the heart of some person who can donate the money for this project.” Clara’s heartfelt prayer was answered when God touched the hearts of Susan and Mike and Karen.

Susan was a pastor’s wife in northern Minnesota. She had heard a missionary share about the need for money to purchase land for a new church plant in Curitiba. Susan wanted to be a part of starting a church in Brazil. However, living on a meager lay pastor’s salary she had to be creative in thinking of ways to raise money. Susan decided to do a personal Bike-a-thon. She went around town finding sponsors from friends, church members and businesses in town. Susan was a large middle-aged woman who had committed herself to riding several miles alone and raising money for each mile she rode. The day arrived for the big event. The wind was blowing, skies overcast, but Susan’s desire to fulfill her commitment did not wane. She started out on the deserted roads around rural Roseau and rode that bicycle. As she rode she thought and prayed about the project that was on her heart. Mid-morning her husband drove to meet her in the car and offered her some coffee and a snack. He wondered if she wanted to give up and come home with him. Susan forged on. She was not even dissuaded when she eyed a black bear crossing the road ahead of her. Many people were astonished by Susan’s accomplishments and gladly fulfilled their vows to help buy land for a church in Brazil. The faith of this one daring woman resulted in a gift of $7000 to purchase land for the first church-planting project in Curitiba. One should never say, “There is nothing I can do.” A quote from D.L. Moody might be a good one for all of us to remember – “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.”

During the same time, Mike and Karen went to a special church meeting about missions. They heard that some places in the world a church building could be built for $5000. They thought that was fantastic! The only missionaries they knew personally were Paul and Becky Abel. When Mike and Karen found out about their plans to build a church they happily donated $5000 for the project. They have been faithful supporters of the Brazil work ever since.

Each one of these people had a special part in fulfilling God’s will. The prayers of one godly woman resulted in the creativity and hard work of a mission-minded pastor’s wife and the generosity of a couple who wanted to make a difference in another part of the world.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Serpent and the Savior -Num. 21:4-9

Among the many monuments and shrines we saw as we traveled in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, I recall a statue of a hooded cobra. We were told that the people who live near that particular place worship the snake. Can you imagine worshiping a snake? I read in one place that in India cobras are regarded as reincarnations of important people called “nagras.”

But Indians are not the first to worship the snake. Questalcoatl, the mythical " Plumb Serpent" was worshipped as the "master of life" by ancient Aztecs of Central America. Some African cultures worshipped the rock python and consider the killing of one to be serious crime. In Australia, the Aborigines associated a giant rainbow serpent with the creation of life. There is a consistency among all of these false ideas about serpents that suggests they come from a common lying source. Prime suspect is him who first appeared as a serpent in the garden of Eden. From as far back as we know from the Scriptures, the serpent has always been a symbol of all that is evil, and of the devil himself.

In Numbers 21 the fiery serpents symbolize sin. Sin is that which poisons our lives. Sin, like the fiery serpents, enflames us with lust and passion, greed and anger. Sin brings great pain into our lives when its venom has had time to work its work of ruin. And sin, in the end, brings death.

It is a curious thing that God should use the symbol of a snake, the means of affliction, lifted up as a means of cure, and that Jesus should make Himself the New Testament counterpart of it with the words, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15) Why should the holy and righteous Son of God be symbolized by His arch-enemy? If the snake is a type or a symbol for sin, how is that a counterpart of Jesus, when Jesus is the sinless one?

2 Corinthians 5:21 answers the question, and communicates life and hope to our hearts when it says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

We wonder how a symbol for sin could be a symbol for Christ, until we realize that when Jesus was lifted up on the cross, He was lifted up as the sin-bearer. Isaiah said of Him, “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Everything about us that is sinful, evil, of such horrible character as could be represented by such a symbol as a serpent – that is what was laid upon the Son of God, and was borne by him as He was lifted up on the cross. Though He was the innocent One, the perfect Lamb of God, who knew no sin, He, Paul says, “became sin” for us, and when He was lifted up on the cross, it was our sin that was lifted there.

Like the Israelites who were to look up at the snake, we, too, need to look and see this awesome truth: Indeed, this blessed truth. And when we look, what do we see?

We see our sin, nailed to the cross. We see our sin, receiving its just due. We see our sin being stamped “Paid in Full”, and so we see the obligation to suffer the penalty for it being lifted from us, because it was placed upon Christ instead.

When we look and see that this is the way it really is, we live. We live, because it sets us free. It tells us that the curse was taken from us. That the punishment has already been suffered. That the debt has already been paid. It is DONE. FINISHED. Can’t add to it, can’t subtract from it. Can’t improve upon it, can’t undo it.

The devil can come and rag on us in all kinds of ways, and everything he says about us might be true. When we look at ourselves, we will see all kinds of imperfections, all kinds of weaknesses, all kinds of reasons why we are disqualified, guilty, unworthy, hopeless. What can we do but agree that this is true?

But if the devil also wants us to agree that for all this we might as well give up hope, we must say, “NO! That’s where you are wrong! Even though all this is true about me, it is all of this that was laid upon Christ, and it is all of this that was taken to the cross.”

Yes, the devil can find fault with us, but he can’t touch Christ. He can’t do a thing about what has already been done. So it is upon Christ that we need to look. And when we look away to Christ, and see that the issue has been settled forever, that our sin has been punished, and all of Christ’s perfections are made ours, then we are free. Then we can rejoice, and then we can turn our attention away from, “What am I going to do about me?” to “How can I serve Christ in gratitude for what He has done for me.?”

We need to look to Jesus every day. It is easy to get our eyes off from Him and begin to look again to ourselves, as if something relating to our salvation depends upon us.

But every time we begin to think there is something we need to correct or fix before we can rejoice in Christ, we lose our peace, and become crippled in our service to Him.

Once in a while God might want us to look at ourselves, so that we see how hopeless and helpless we are, but His purpose is to renew our motivation to look to Jesus instead of ourselves.

The devil wants us to look at ourselves in order to depress us, but God wants to draw us to Jesus.

When we look at ourselves and see our deficiency, then let’s remember to look up. Let’s look to the crucified and risen Christ, and know that it is our sin that was atoned for there, and we are free – free to live and to get up out of the dust and go forward.

Written by World Missions Committee Member Jim Fugleberg who recently returned from India.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tanzania - Prayer Requests from Jesse

Ben and I are doing well and looking forward to actually being able to rest for a couple of the days of our Easter break. Requests for village visits with students are never ending. In fact, we have no more weekends available until September or October. This is partly due to the fact that we are going to Uganda in June/July and then I am making that trip to the States, but the fact remains.

This coming weekend, following finals this week, we will go with several of the students for an extended weekend of village ministry during which we will visit three different villages. We plan to be back home on Monday but will then leave again on Thursday to participate in a large, district youth conference. We have been asked to bring our video equipment and also teach on the book of Romans. They are expecting 1000 youth. Unfortunately, we will need to return home already on Friday afternoon as we will be leaving Mbulu early Saturday morning to go to Arusha. This will be the official beginning of Easter break for Ben and I.

Christy Harris from Atonement (yes, my Atonement in Arlington) has been studying Swahili in southern Tanzania and will be passing through Arusha on her way to Kenya/Uganda at that same time. So, the plan is to meet up with her in Arusha for Easter. It will be fun to see someone from home during those days. The following week we have nothing scheduled except taking it easy!! We are very excited about that! We will return to Mbulu on the 14th or 15th (one week after Easter) and the third term will start on the 16th. From that point, every weekend of April, May, and June have been booked except two – one half-way through just so we can have a break, and one right before graduation.

We continue to need and appreciate your prayers. Please pray especially for these days leading up to Easter. They promise to be challenging in many ways and we really want to finish strong. Praise God for Ben who turned 24 yesterday (March 25th)!! I continue to feel so blessed to be here with him (his email address is ben_jore@kastanet.org if you want to send him a note).

Thank you for your prayers for my sister’s fiancé. By way of correction, Dary was actually shot in Iraq, not Afghanistan. As far as I know, he continues to improve but there is still need for prayer. To be honest, staying updated is a little bit of a challenge for me due to my limited internet access and poor cell phone reception. If you want to get more info on how he and Anna are doing, you can email my parents at ricknbarb@thelonghome.com.

God bless you all!!

In Christ,

Jesse

PS – Check out www.benandjesse.blogspot.com for most recent pictures.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Jacksons Leaving On Furlough


"Continue in prayer, and though the blessing tarry, it must come; in God's own time it must appear to you."
C. H. Spurgeon

In the midst of packing etc. we're busy saying all of our good-bys. Our bedroom echo's as I type. The house is just about empty. As I write people are picking up stuff, and buying what's left. We'll spend our last couple of nights in Mazatlan in a hotel before we go.

We had a wonderful time in el Rosario last weekend. I feared that because were not able to continue there that the brethren would cool down and the work would stall... oh ye of little faith. Spurgeon's right, "in God's own time it must appear to you," the work continues on and the brethren are exited at what God is doing. Brother Jose Ignacio is doing a great job at preaching, our sister Favian is teaching the children and even Pancho and Manuel are continuing to follow Jesus with joy.

Pray for pastor Guadalupe and his wife Emilia, they leave for Mexico city tonight, then fly to Canada on Wednesday for a couple of weeks of meetings. They said that this is a dream come true for them.

I spent the day with brother Ismael who's pastoring the church in Ceuta yesterday. He's doing a great job. We leave with great joy and a sense of accomplishment seeing him busy and work for Jesus. Pray for Gabriel who heard the Gospel while sitting on the church steps.

Lord willing we'll pull out of here Wednesday morning early. Thank you all for "continuing in prayer," the blessings have come, and we're sure they will come. Your fellow workers,

Darwin, Mary Ann and Gracie Jackson

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Visit our web site at www.geocities.com/darwinwj
Our Calender http://calendar.yahoo.com/darwinwj
Skype Name: darwinmaryannjackson

Friday, March 23, 2007

Chmiel's First Weeks in Ukraine

THANK YOU so much to all of you who prayed for us, emailed us, sent us text messages to our cell phone and encouraged us in many different ways during our time in Ukraine!! Thank you!!

We spent our first Ukraine days in Odesa. Odesa in Ukrainian (or Odessa in Russian) is a major seaport on the Black Sea but it is also where the German Lutheran Church headquarters is. Pastor Bill Moberly, director of East European Missions Network, traveled with us and one of the main purposes of his visit was to sign an agreement between EEMN and the German Lutheran Church. You can see more pictures from Odesa and read more about our days there if you click here: http://www.chmiels.com/gallery/firstdaysukraine

When we were in L’viv, it was great that we were able to connect with many people from the local congregation there. We were able to meet with the church council, be part of their Friday night Bible Study, see their confirmation class, be at the Sunday Worship service etc. Tomasz even got a chance to help Pastor serve Communion on Sunday which was an interesting experience as it was all done in Russian plus a lot of the customs were quite different from what we are used to from the AFLC. But we enjoyed the congregation and we are eager to start our ministry alongside these brothers and sisters. If you would like to see and read more about our days in L‘viv (including how we found a “pepperoni” pizza :) ) go to: http://www.chmiels.com/gallery/lviv


If you would like to know more, please ASK! You can email us at chmiel@eemn.org or send a short email to chmiel@vodafonemail.cz and we will get that as a text message on our cell phone. As we have already said many times we LOVE it when we hear from you! And we will try to write back too. We did not have good internet access when we were in Ukraine but now we are in Prague (Czech Republic) again for a while so we should be able to write back when you write to us.

God bless you! Keep in touch!
Tomasz and Miriam


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Prayer Requests from the Hinrichs

Lenten and Evangelistic Services
Please pray for us in the last couple weeks before Easter as our students are involved in Lenten children and youth evangelistic programs. This year there are nearly 100 two hour programs planned during the last three weeks of Lent (March 19 – April 4) and so along with our students (and us), there will be many other graduates and volunteers to help in this enormous job. Pray for strength and of course the coordination of all those involved. At one point during Holy Week there will be about nine programs for children and youth at one time!

Speaking Engagements
Another prayer request is for the meetings Tim will be speaking at just before Easter in Jawornik and Malinka. These are places we’ve been in the past (neighboring villages) and so they may sound familiar. This time the theme will be on Genesis 1-3: “in the beginning.”

Pastor Don Richman
We can already start praying for the ministry of Pastor Don Richman who will be here at the end of (April 21-28). He will be leading an evening counseling course and working again with our students. We pray this would be fruitful and that key people can attend.

Thank you for your words of encouragement, support, and prayers!
Tim, Renata and Peter Hinrichs

Tim and Renata are AFLC Missionaries on loan to EEMN. They are stationed in Poland.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Youth from Mazatlan - by Lidia Lumppio

The youth from Mazatlan came to this area to do some outreach in the camps. They put together a pretty nice program and showed a movie called “Mi Esperanza” (my hope) and testimonies from Mexican and Latinamerican celebrities, created by the Billy Graham Association. They had music, dramas and an altar call. There were several who came forward. We are waiting on Ismael to give us the information to go visit them and see the possibilities of discipleship.

On Sunday, the youth shared part of their program in the church in La Cruz. Tom and I were called to share our testimony of our call to missions. Some of the worship leaders were interested in coming again and meeting with Santos to encourage him and guide him as he is interested and preparing himself to lead worship at our church in Ceuta. Pray for the right timing for that meeting to happen.

I couldn’t assist the program in camp Ceuta because of lack of strength. I was still recovering from the bronquitis. But God allowed me to serve by opening my home and allowing them to come and eat and share a time of singing and debriefing of their experience.

We also experienced God’s intervention during the morning before their presentation. Tom was in charge of bringing the sound system (given to us by Minnesota Valley Church). The truck would not start. We called around for other possibilities and knew something would work out. But we asked for back up prayer and Tom went to look for a mechanic. The mechanic was able to come, figure out what was wrong with the truck and fix it by 2:00 p.m. Just in time for Tom to grab a bite to eat, take a break and get ready to go. God is good!

The girl in the black shirt is Pastor Lupe’s daughter, Anahansi. She feels a strong call into missions and is currently looking into the Mexican YWAM (JUCUM). She would like to reach to other youth. Pray for her, would you?


Tom and Lidia Lumppio are AFLC members serving in Mexico with World Mission Prayer League.

Brazil Youth Camp Held At The ARCA

Much planning went into getting ready for the ARCA Youth Camp during Carnaval. Our 120-person facility was transformed into a place for 180! Paul and the boys made extra tables, extra dorm rooms were improvised, we borrowed mattresses and chairs and rented a big tent to hold the whole group for the praise and teaching times. Between downpours of rain we had a great camp with the theme TRANSFORMATION based on Rom. 12:2. Our Free Lutheran youth joined with Joanna and Silvio’s Presbyterian church for this big 5-day event.

Andrew and Matthew dedicated many long hours to preparing a special video presentation for the opening of camp. They also were busy during camp (Matthew with the activities committee and Andrew with the multimedia group). It was fun to have Joanna as the praise leader and her husband Silvio as camp dean. Christina and Daniel were a part of the camp, too, each with special ministries. What a thrill it is for us to work with our kids in exalting Jesus and leading others into a personal relationship with Him!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

AFLC Member from Cokato Ministering in Sudan




Pastor Lyndon Korhonen had a chance to meet with Jenny Ahlbrecht while she was home from
Sudan over Christmas. Here are some of her thoughts about serving Christ and living in a totally different culture.



  • What do yon do for exercise in Sudan? Since there is no weight problem in Sudan, people think it is very strange to see you running. She would run in an area where there were not many people, otherwise she would have all kinds of children following her.
  • What about snacks in Sudan? Plan a week ahead since there is no refrigeration in Sudan.
  • Have you seen any snakes? One green snake and a small cobra, along with some other little ones. None have ever been a threat.
  • Any interesting animal sightings in Sudan? A monitor lizard about three feet long.
  • Name a challenge for you living in Sudan. So much need, children's health and lack of progress and the "where do you begin trying to help?" feeling.
  • The most amazing thing you have witnessed? To know Christ and to see what the Lord can do.
  • What are some specific answers to prayer that you have seen? Everything we have asked people to pray for occurs. Such as she and Liz learning the language without any formalized training. Safety when there was some fighting in the area. No animal bites, and resolution to misunderstandings with local police issues.
  • How has your health been? Not much of an issue for Jenny. She and Liz have never been sick at the same time, so one has been able to continue teaching. The only time Jenny was really sick was when her mom was there to care for her.
  • How have you and Liz been able to work together? Jenny is more outgoing and Liz is very willing to follow. When Liz wanted to do something on her own, however, she was not afraid to do it. Liz is bolder to get things if she really feels they need it. Jenny saw herself as needing to talk more and Liz is not as high strung as Jenny. Liz would not get upset over petty things. It seems that God must really have put this team together and to think that it happened in a coffee shop. What an amazing God!
  • What are some humorous moments from Sudan? Having a bat in their hut, termites eating through books, her lack of rhythm, and a chicken in church.

Jenny returned to Sudan on January 17th. Please pray for God's continued protection over her and His direction for the future of teachers for the school.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Brazil Bible Camp Reaches Many

Our Brazil AFLC Bible Camp (Feb. 16-21) was a great blessing – we had over 120 people show up, most staying over as campers (the camp is in Campo Mourao).

Pastor Iran Goes was the main speaker and preached very good messages on, “A Person that God Can Use.” Missionary Jonathan Abel was in charge and worked like crazy, but it was worth it as God answered prayers and touched many lives.



Bible Camp is usually focused on youth, but we had several families participate and that was very beneficial for all! It rained every day, but again, the fellowship was good! The camp included people come from Foz, Londrina, Campo Grande, Curitiba, Joinville (almost 2 hrs south of Curitiba), Campo Mourao, and Maringá.

Keinanen's Mission Trip to Uganda

Today is Saturday, March 17th. It is day 8 on our mission trip. After tonight, we will be half way through. There is a lot to report on, however, I will report more in detail once we are home.

I do want to tell you that the people here are amazing. We have had many encounters with people here. People that we have gotten to know, as well as meeting people on the street. They are used to seeing 'white' people all the time. They are not used of hearing a mzungu (white person who is rich) speak their native tongue. When I greet them in their language, a HUGE smile comes across their face, and they are quite delighted. To know that the mzungu took time to learn their language is considered a big treat and an honorable thing. After I greet them, we talk english. I can understand them for the most part, but there are moments where that is difficult.

Every Saturday, Nate has a meeting with the other 7 Lutheran pastors here. We will meet this morning. They do a Bible study together, fellowship, and have lunch. I have met 3 of the pastors, and they are very kind. One of them, named Martin is especially a man after God's heart. His heart is to 'make disciples' and see the Kingdom of God grow that way. Kelly and I will be traveling back with him to his village of Kiboyo. We will stay there tonight. He is very excited to have us come and meet his people. He wants to take us from house to house, or hut to hut to greet the people. Having a mzungu come and visit is a big deal. Pray for us as we travel to the village this afternoon. By the time you may be reading this email. we will probably already be there, or have been there already.

Again, there is so much to say already in the short time we have been here. The people of Uganda have made this trip what it is. Interacting with them is such a joy! I have found the only difference between us and them is culture. They have the same issues we do. They deal with the same spiritual battles we do. Their heart for ministry is the same as ours. God's work is the same here. It has been a joy to see that and be a part of that.

Spending time with the Jores has also been a REAL joy. We have discipled them into the "Settlers of Catan" family. they are hooked! The weather has been great, about 80-90 during the day, and as low as 65-72 in the night time, almost perfect conditions.

I will be honest, I do not miss home. however, I do not want to move here. When the time comes to go home, we will be ready. I really love it here, and could see how I could get used to this part of the world.

Thanks for your prayers. We appreciate them much!

In Jinja, Uganda - Africa,

Daniel & Kelly

Note: Dan is the Youth Pastor at Christ is Lord Free Lutheran Church in La Crosse, WI.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Update on Pastor Prabhudas

Note: If you haven't read, "National Pastor in India having Heart Surgery" you may want to, it will give you the background for this story.

He and his party have returned,…… no surgery having been performed.

The hospital (private) is located in the city of Tirupatti and it has received grants from a group by the same name. “Tirupatti” (TTD) is a core Hindu association which has provided funding for heart surgery for the poor.

Upon his arrival at the hospital Pastor Prabhudas was informed that they are not doing heart surgery because of the dangers involved and that there have been those who have died as a result. He was told that he should check back in a month as things might change by then.

In pursuing what happened, and what brought about the change, the “Tirupatti” connection came to light. Tirupatti has provided funds to the hospital for free heart surgery to Hindus.

Further inquiry about the issue brought out the fact that recent visitors (2) from New Zealand stopped at the hospital and inquired about the cost of Pastor Prabhudas’ surgery.

Two weeks ago Dr. Anand (our AFLC-India doctor) came here with the two (2) visitors from New Zealand. One had been here last year to visit Dr. Kumars ministry and to learn more about his foundation. They wished to learn how they could support his work and possibly arrange to send medical supplies from New Zealand. Their total time in India was about 10 days as visitors of Dr. Anand Kumars medical ministry. After being in this area for a couple of days and travelling with Dr. Kumar, including a trip to the fishing village where they learned of the pending surgery of Pastor Prabhudas. They then travelled with Anand to his work in East Central India. It was while there that they visited the hospital in Tirupatti and inquired of the cost for Pastor Prabhudas’ surgery.

Officials at the hospital told Pastor Prabhudas that he had no need as there were foreigners who where providing him funds.

Needless to say Pastor Prabhudas was very disappointed. Their current plans are now to pursue the needed surgery at the government hospital in Hydrabad. This was were some of the preliminary examinations and test were done.

Pray for clear leading for this brother and that the doors for the needed surgery will be opened in Hydrabad .

God’s Blessing on you all,

Gene Enderlein
Could we ask our friends all over the world to pray for Pastor Prabhudas?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Two Men from the AFLC Church in Pipestone, MN Minister in Ethiopia

Pat Haag and Lyle Dubbledee, from Christ The King Church in Pipestone, left Saturday, March 10th for Ethiopia,Africa. Lyle is on the left and Pat on the right with some of the kids seeing them off.

Our story starts, perhaps last year, when Pat and I adopted two baby boys through a Christian Adoption and Relief organization called All God's Children, International. We flew to Guatemala on March 15th to meet these two precious little boys who had just been born. Our hearts were forever changed at that meeting! We waited through the summer for paperwork to be completed, and in September we flew back to Guatemala City to bring them home. We named them Christopher Luis and Cameron Jonathan Haag. Even before this adoption was completed, the Lord was working on Pat's heart. He felt such a burden for the people of Africa and that we would maybe adopt from that country some day. We started praying for Africa and the orphans who are living there, forgotten by the world. Shortly after, we received a newsletter from All God's Children (AGCI) stating that they were answering God's Call to open a Children's home, Hannah's Hope, in Ethiopia. We were very excited to hear this! We found out about this trip to Ethiopia last fall. It was with another Christian organization called the Global Orphan Project. They take people to various places in the world in connection with AGCI. Pat really wanted to go on this trip but we missed the deadline to sign up last fall. All winter he regretted that he didn't go on that trip. Well, we received an email the end of February saying that they needed people to go to Ethiopia to help set up the new Hannah's Hope and also to visit orphanages in the area to bring relief items and establish relationships with them, and would Pat be willing to go? It didn't take much convincing and he said YES! He then started to pray for God to send someone else to go along and immediately we both thought of Lyle, and when we asked him he said "Yep!" So, after a bunch of shots, 200 lbs. of donations from friends and a 20 hr flight, they are now in Ethiopia and will return Saturday March 17th.

The AIDS epidemic has wiped out almost a whole generation of people in Ethiopia and other African countries, leaving behind millions of orphaned children. We feel that God's Heart is breaking for these children and that even though they have been forgotten by the world, God has not forgotten them. He knows them by name. He is calling people to come and help and give them hope.

Thou art the helper of the orphan. Psalm 10:14b

Blessings,

Jodi Haag

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

News from Darwin Jackson

"You can do more than pray after you've prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed."
John Bunyan

Slowly but surely we're getting ready to leave Mazatlan the first of April. We feared having to sell of everything (furniture, appliances etc.), but it went fast. Now we're living out of boxes, praise the Lord!

Edgar, the young man Genaro and I won to the Lord a couple of weeks ago came to our "prayer week for the nations" last week. He has come to one of the youth events as well. Thanks for your prayers. We spent several hours on Friday with an ex-politician, he came up with a lot of questions to keep us from pinning him down to his own need of the Savior. But he couldn't get away. Pray for Jose Luis.

The men in church met Sunday after service to talk about how to take steps toward starting a nursing home here in Mazatlan. Do pray as our brethren are moving toward making this happen.

We have a workers meeting at 5:00 pm on Saturday. Pray for the encouragement and equipping of the saints in their ministries. This congregation is on fire, we kind of hate to leave now. But God's got it under control, we cannot do anymore now than to pray. Your fellow workers,

P.S. The photo is of one of our evenings of prayer.

Darwin, Mary Ann and Gracie Jackson

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gene Enderlein Reports From India

Many of you are aware that for the past four years in the fall of the year I have spent 7-10 days at Gettysburg Seminary in Pennsylvania. Gettysburg is the first Lutheran Seminary in the USA. I have gained permission to use materials in their Historical Archives about the beginnings of Lutheran Missions. One missionary of great interest to me has been John Frederick Heyer also referred to by many as Christian Frederick Heyer. Heyer was the first foreign Missionary, of any denomination to go to a foreign field from the United States. He came to this part of India when in his 50’s and he retired in his early 80’s. So much of the protestant work in this area of India is a result of his prayers, devotion, and ministry. He is still referred to reverently by many here in India as ”FATHER HEYER”. (He is what I would call a decent German – Pastor Robert Lee at AFLC will explain) It has been my joy to sit in the Gettysburg Library and read Father Heyers letters and reports back from the field.

Pastor Luther Sastry, the director of the work of the AFLC-India has established a friendship with the pastor of the large Lutheran Church here in Chirala. Last week he, Pastor Stalin came to visit us and we had a good time of fellowship. He extend to me the offer to come and preach in his church, St Marks Lutheran Church, Chirala, also know as Heyers Church. Father Heyer began the Christian out reach in this area and was responsible for the beginnings of the congregation known as St. Marks.

The service was a spiritual high for me as I made the connection with the historic church in that place. The first service began at 7:15 am. and was followed by a communion service. The church was filled with some 700 worshipers. As the first service concluded and people left, others were coming in for the start of the second service which was worship followed by communion. The second service had about 400 worshipers. When the second service ended it was 1:10 pm. I must admit I was a little tired. For both services I preached on their Gospel text from the day in John 8:21 -30. I focused on the 24th verse where Jesus says: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”. It was a tremendous privilege for me to share Gods Word in that place and setting. Please pray with me that God will bless the sharing of HIS Word, to HIS Honor and HIS Glory.

Thank you for all who have prayed with me and for me.

GOD BLESS YOU,

Gene Enderlein

Monday, March 12, 2007

Blessings in Tanzania


I hope I am not the only one getting blessed these days! Clearly, life is not without its challenges but God’s faithfulness and continual blessings always seem to out-shine any frustrations.

First, I want to thank each of you for your thoughts and prayers as I went to Dubai. The trip was not only a success but an enjoyable experience as well. I ended up needing to extend my stay by one day simply due to the amount of work that needed to be done but God worked out all the details of my return flight to Nairobi, return ground transportation from Nairobi to Tanzania, and even the class schedule at Waama (which also needed to be delayed one day).

We are again in awe at how fast the time goes. Following this week, we will only have two more before the end of this second term. Actually, the students who are taking the “Christian Education” track are leaving tomorrow morning to spend these final weeks of the term doing the ‘hands-on’ portion of their course at various elementary and high schools throughout the region. As a result, Ben and I had a party for these students on Saturday night. We will have another one toward the end of the month for all the rest.

This weekend also included a visit to the village of Tsaayo on Sunday to preach and show the Jesus film. It was another memorable experience. We left home shortly after 7:30am assuming it would give us plenty of time to make the 10:00am service. Well, after digging the car out about six times, we arrived at our destination around 12:30pm. The whole congregation was still there, though, so Ben was able to preach his sermon and then we showed the Jesus Film as planned. The way home was much less eventful and only took 1 ½ as the roads had dried out significantly. Despite the difficulties, these trips continue to be some of our favorite times. Showing the Jesus film is a wonderful way of presenting the Gospel and we have also (as we are able) begun taking Bibles and tracts as well. We have been very surprised to find that many people in the villages do not have Bibles, despite availability, simply because of price. Pray for us as we consider invitations, plan these trips, and interact with the people in various places. We see plenty of needs and need wisdom in where we should put our priority as even the simple expense of a trip and the cost of Bibles can be a significant expenditure. We are now trying, whenever possible, to schedule more than one place per weekend simply to try to be as efficient as possible with our time and money.

As for the near future, each of the weekends leading up to Easter are booked. We will go home with one of the students on the 30th to participate at his church and then have been asked to participate in a large youth convention during the following week (the first week of our 2-week Easter break). So far, we have managed to keep the following week free, however, so that we will have a little time to recharge before diving into the third and final term for the year.

Thank you again for your thoughts, prayers, and support for the work here. We continue to learn lots and enjoy the privilege of being with these people. Please continue to pray for our vehicle needs, the planning of our June/July Jesus film showing campaign in Uganda, and our day-to-day and week-to-week work here in the Mbulu region. I would also like to ask your prayers for my sister Anna and her fiancé who was severely injured this past week while serving with the Army in Afghanistan. His condition has improved slightly from critical and he is now at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. The last I heard, he was finally able to move both feet but feeling had not completely returned. Please pray for his complete recovery and wisdom and comfort for all involved.

Thank you so much. May God richly bless each one of you and – in case our schedule prevents another update before Easter – have a blessed Easter!! ☺

In His service,

Jesse Long

Saturday, March 10, 2007

National Pastor in India Having Heart Surgery

Please be in prayer for one of our national pastors in India who will be having open heart surgery on March 16th. Pastor Prabhudas pastors the island church in the fisherman's village of Elachetladibba.

The village was involved in the Tsunami. A new church was built on high ground with a flat roof for people to find refuge in times of flooding. This church was dedicated in January when the Pastoral Teaching Team visited India.

Pray not only for a successful surgery, but also that he will have the funds to pay for the surgery and for his congregation during this time.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pray for Evangelistic Meetings in Brazil

Saturday night we will start a series of evangelistic meetings in the tent for 9 days, sponsored by Paul’s dad, John Abel.

We had some difficulties in securing a place for the tent, but the Lord answered our prayers and now all systems are “GO.” The first place we cleared and prepared for setting up the tent caused a stir in the very traditionally Catholic neighborhood. We were asked, under no uncertain terms, to get off the land.

The whole stir caused people to talk quite a bit, so we believe the whole area is well-informed about the week of meetings. Of course, we will send groups out door-to-door to make personal contacts and invite each family to the nightly event in the tent. Please pray for God’s mercy and love to be poured out upon the lives of the people in this area. Several families from this neighborhood already participate in our church in Campo Largo. We stop and pick them up in the ARCA bus to go to church. Now it is time for these faithful ones to reach out to their neighbors. I’ll send a picture of the tent and update sometime next week, Lord willing.

You might also remember me as I leave with a group of 25 ladies tomorrow night for a quick trip to Campo Mourão to participate in a Women’s Conference hosted by the Lar Paraná church. We will travel for 8 hours on a mini-bus, get there in time for the day-long conference, sleep overnight at the Bible Camp there, and then return on Sunday in time for the evening church services. We hope it will be a great time of fellowship!

The weather here is gorgeous! Hope our northern friends are enjoying the snow!

Thanks for your prayers,
Becky and Paul

We are in Europe!

Greetings from Europe to all of you.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to you who emailed us, encouraged us and prayed for us during these last couple of days! We definitely felt God’s presence and help during our last days and hours in Minneapolis. It was not easy to go through our house one last time, to hug our closest friends not knowing when the next hug will be, to leave and know that for the next couple of months we will be “homeless” (before we find our own apartment in L’viv)… But at the same time we were and are really eager for what is next in our lives. Right now we are in Prague, Czech Republic (with Miriam’s sister) but tomorrow we will already be in Odessa, Ukraine. We should be in Prague again on the 18th. We will get to see our parents then!

We got a Czech cell phone. Our number is +420-774-239-667. It is a little more expensive to call European cell phones, compared to European landlines. But you can send us short emails (up to 140 characters) to this address chmiel@vodafonemail.cz and we will get them as text messages on our phone. And that is free for both you and us! We will be able to read your messages even when we are in Ukraine. If we are not online we will not be able to respond right away but it would still be great to hear from you this way!

Keep in touch, Tomasz and Miriam

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gene Enderlein Ministers in India

Thank you to all who have been praying for me. There is a real sense of Gods power and peace upon me and I praise God for that.

This week has been a rich week of sharing the Good News of Jesus with many people. I am again thankful for the opportunity of being here and being able to share Jesus. During the years that I served as AFLC World Missions director, I developed a love for these people. Especially have I been blessed by the Christians and the genuine faith in Christ.

This past week there has been a preaching service most nights. On Tuesday evening we had an Evangelistic Service in a poorer village called “Gandhinagar”. This was held in the open with the people seated on mats on the ground and the porch of a small civic building used as a platform. There were between 300 and 400 people in attendance.

Afterwards there were many people who came forward, many asking for various things. Many young people asking for prayers as they sit this week and next for their government exams. Their future opportunities are dependent upon how they do in these exams.

The following night, Wednesday we were in the village of “Paathur” which is near to the city of “Magalagiri” (They are all pronounced like they are written, pronounce every letter). There were some 600 people there under three pavilions (open sided tents)end to end. For a time I preached to the many who were outside the tents and outside the lights, standing in the shadows. Pray for the many who do come to these meetings who do not have faith but they still come to listen. It is such a challenge to see God at work in the hearts and lives of these people. Again many people came for prayer at the end of the service. I remember a young girl who had as her request that God would give her the ability to memorize all of His Scripture…..Awesome!…..Amen.

Thank you for all who have prayed with me and for me. GOD BLESS YOU.

You can use this email address while I am in India if you would send me a note. I would greatly appreciate it. indiawithlove@comcast.net


Sincerely in Christ’s Service

GENE Enderlein

“Let us finish our course with joy, and complete the ministry the Lord Jesus has given us, ‘to testify the Gospel of the Grace of God.’” Acts 20:24

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Work in Brazil

Saturday, March 3 a new Free Lutheran work was dedicated for God’s glory! The rented quarters are located in Borda do Campo, a suburb of Curitiba.

The Free Lutheran church in Vila Camargo is heading up the new work. For several months a group from the Vila Camargo church, established in 1991, has faithfully been teaching the Word of God on Sunday mornings.

Dona Gessy, now 75 years old, who was very instrumental in the establishment of the Vila Camargo church, is now actively involved in this new church plant. Starting in March the new church will have regular Sunday morning and Sunday evening services.

Please pray for this new ministry and for the growth of the kingdom of God through the efforts of the Free Lutheran church.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Horeb Children’s Home – India

After traveling for three days to our mission field in India this past January we were warmly welcomed by many of our Indian pastor’s, their families and the children from the Hoben Children’s Home. They presented us with flower lei’s and showered us with flower petals. The children were brightly dressed in their Sunday clothes and it was a delight to see them after traveling so far to be there.

I would like to tell you about one of the children living at the Hoben Children’s Home.

Sudhakar, one of the boys at the Horeb home has lost his father to the deadly disease of AIDS. He has one brother Sreekanth who also lives at the home with him. Their mother is still living and helps take care of the children in the orphanage. Both Sudhakar’s mother and brother have the AIDS disease.

The children in the orphanage attend the St. Paul’s Lutheran School located right there on the AFLC India compound grounds. They are able to get a good education and are involved with the local church.

Sudhakar loves to sing songs both in his native Telugu language and English songs that they have learned in school and church. He loves Jesus and wants to serve Him. His favorite subject in school is learning English. He likes to play an Indian game called Kabadi.

There are 10 children currently in the Horeb Children’s Home. There are still many like Sudhakar who need someone to sponsor them on a monthly basis. The cost to support a child is $20.00. If you are interested in supporting a child please call the World Missions Department.

Karen Palmer

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Chmiel's Leaving for Ukraine

Dear friends,

YES! We are leaving for Ukraine in just three days. We spent the last three weeks packing and getting ready to leave and finally our departure day is almost here. If you would like to see some of our “preparation” pictures, click HERE. Of course we are leaving with mixed feelings of both sadness and joy but we trust God to guide us in this new step in our lives.

Please pray for safety for all our travels (see our calendar HERE) and for wisdom and strength for our first days in Ukraine. Pray for our meetings with the leadership of the German Lutheran Church in Ukraine and for our getting to know Pastor Bendus in L’viv.

And also… please keep in touch!!! We treasure your friendships and it means a lot to us to be able to communicate with all of you.

Tomasz and Miriam

Website: http://www.chmiels.com Pictures: http://www.chmiels.com/gallery
Skype: mrtom15 (Tomasz), miriam.chmiel (Miriam)
_________________________________________


Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Friday, March 02, 2007

News from Nate and Rhoda

Many of you have asked about the lady that helps to clean our home, since we had asked you to pray for her salvation a few months ago. We have wonderful news! She accepted the Lord as her Savior about a month ago. Thank you for your prayers! Please pray that she will grow strong in her faith and that she will grow in her love for the Lord. Her family does not yet know that she is saved because they are Muslims and she knows they will turn their back on her if they find out. Please pray for wisdom for Rhoda as she interacts with Sarah daily and answers her many questions.

Thanks again for your prayers for our family and for the work here. Please remember our friends Daniel and Kelly Keinanen as they will be traveling to visit us from March 12-23.

We are also beginning to plan for a Jesus Film campaign that will take place late June to July, Lord willing.

We thank the Lord for good health in the midst of much malaria around us.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,

Nate, Rhoda, Elijah, and Judah