Monday, April 30, 2007

Darwin Jacksons on Furlough

"God hold us to that which drew us first, when the Cross was the attraction, and we wanted nothing else."
Amy Carmichael

Amy prayed that prayer when she overheard some first-class passengers on a ship comment that a missionary has "a very good time," in other words, they've got it easy.

We had great fellowship with our new friends at Grace Free Lutheran in Vally City North Dakota. We left that afternoon to make our way to Washington. We made it as far as Dickinson Montana. There we learned that Mary Ann's mom had fallen and sprained her foot so that she couldn't walk, on top of the news that she has cancer. So I put the girls on a plane the next afternoon (which was no small miracle) from Dickinson to San Diego so that they could take care of her, and I kept driving to WA. Pray that Mary Ann and Gracie will have God's peace, wisdom and grace to minister and be ministered to as they help there in San Diego.

I have spent the week so far getting reacquainted with lots of dear brethren that we've known since we came to Christ in 1989. They have treated me like a king, with food, lodging, even the keys to their car if I so need. Washington is all a-bloom with leaves and flowers, sooooo soft on the eyes. A super contrast to that of Mexico's dusty brown trash infested cement covered environment we become accustomed to. It would be easy to seek "the good life" of all this beauty and friendship. So, I can relate to Amy's prayer, "God hold us to that which drew us first."

I'll be at Atonement Free Lutheran Church in Arlington tomorrow for their annual mission fair. Do pray God has His way amongst us, and that many would be "attracted to the Cross, and want nothing else."

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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Prayer Requests from Todd Schierkolk

Dear praying friends,

Would you please pray for Yovana again. She is the six-year-old girl who has a bad heart. She already had surgery once but it apparently did not accomplish what it was supposed to. She is currently back in Mexico City for more tests to see if she’ll need to undergo another surgery. Yovana comes to our Tuesday Kid’s Club. Her cousins bring her in a stroller.

Would you also pray for Karla (5th grade) and her brother, Brian (1st grade). They also come to the Tuesday club. Their father was killed when something spooked the horse he was on and fell on top of him. In the attached picture, Karla is in the pink, blue and white striped sweater and her little brother is standing right in front of her in the two-toned blue hooded sweatshirt.

Please pray for my family, too. We’ve had an inordinate number of illnesses in these past 4 months among the 5 of us Schierkolks. And also for Dan and Debbie as they travel back to Jerez after their 8-month deputation in the United States.

Thanks so much,

Todd Schierkolk

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Chmiels in Czeck Republic

In our last email update we wrote to you about our time in Ukraine. But the pictureis not from Ukraine. As some of you know we had to come to the Czech Republic (where our citizenship is) to take care of some paperwork – Miriam’s name was still Miriam Novotna on all her Czech documents, Tomasz needed a new passport, our Czech driver’s licenses are expiring soon etc. But we are also using this as an opportunity to spend a little bit of time with our families, visit the churches where we grew up, and reconnect with some of our friends.

But even though we are enjoying our time in Prague (Prague is beautiful! Come visit!!) and other parts of the Czech Republic, we are eager to be in Ukraine soon. We study Ukrainian every day and we hope to permanently move to L’viv at the end of next month. Please pray that God would clearly guide us in this move. We would, for example, like to buy some furniture for our new apartment in IKEA in Poland and we even have a guy who is willing to bring it for us to L’viv but we are still trying to figure out what exactly is the correct and legal way to do this. From what we know we should somehow be able to get the Polish taxes back in order to be able to pay the tax in Ukraine. But so far all we hear is that most people just pay something to the customs officers at the border and they let them go without doing it the “official way.” But we really want to do it the right way. We know there is a lot of corruption in Ukraine and we do not want to add to it in any way.

Another thing that you can pray for is our visa interview at the US embassy here in Prague on May 10 (Tomasz’s birthday ☺ ). As you probably remember we applied for our new US visa when we were still in the States but the case was pending and pending so this March we left for Europe without it. We need our US visa to be able to be employed by our American mission organization and also to be able to come back to the States on furloughs. So please pray that if it be God’s will that we would get this visa without any problems.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and your friendship!

Tomasz and Miriam

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pastor Prabhudas Has Surgery

Pastor Prabhudas, from India was finally able to have open heart surgery. From all reports the surgery was a success and he is doing well. You may remember that Pastor Prabhudas has needed this surgery for some time and had even gone in to the hospital to have it only to be sent back home. Praise God that he has been able to have the surgery.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Passion Play at the ARCA

The church in Bateias presented the Passion Play at the ARCA on three consecutive nights. The Lord answered our prayers and disregarded the weather report for rain, blessing us with clear skies each night.

This is the fourth year we have presented the reenactment of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. New scenes were added this year and Andrew re-recorded all the sound tracks. He is pictured above in his light and sound booth. Matthew did a fine job as the Apostle John and even led a real mule in the Triumphal Entry scene. The play was presented to about 1000 people this year and we pray that all who attended have been impacted by the message. MTI students Brent and Wade were with us to help out during the weekend as well.

Becky Abel

Monday, April 23, 2007

Update from Ben Jore

Life has continued to go very well here in Tanzania. The second term here at Waama finished a week before Easter. It was a very good, but long semester. Both Jesse and I were exhausted by the end. We had shown the Jesus Film at a different place almost every weekend. We took the first week of our Easter Break to do two Jesus Film showings. One was a regular multi-village trip. The other was at a region-wide Youth Rally. Jesse and I were also given the sermon slot in the opening session. We taught about 800 youth the Roman's Road. It was a nice way to finish out the term.

We then had about a week of Easter Break left. We decided that we should go to Zanzibar. It was a good choice. The warm, blue-green ocean, white-sand beaches, the palm trees, and a couple rented motorcycles proved to be therapeutic. It was a much needed chance to get away and recoup. We came back to Waama, ready to tackle our third and final term. Classes were supposed to start on April 17, but by the 20th, only 10 of the 45 students had returned from Easter Break. We still don't have all the students back as of the 23rd, but we have started classes none-the-less. We have a very busy schedule again this term. All of our weekends are booked, most with Jesus Film trips. We are also teaching full-time during the week. This term we are teaching I Timothy, Daniel, Computer, English, Guitar, and Keyboard.

Jesse and I are also looking forward to this summer. We have been invited to go to Uganda for 3.5 weeks for a Jesus Film showing campaign. We will be working with my brother, Nate, and his family and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Uganda. A team of 5 from the US will be coming over for that time and we are hoping to show the Jesus Film about 20 times during that trip! We are excited to see what the Lord will do through that ministry.

Thanks to all for your prayers! Just a couple of days ago we heard a story that again reminded us of God's hand of protection over us. One of our coworkers had traveled to Arusha (nearest big city which we visit frequently) to buy a solar panel. The morning after he arrived, he went to the store. On the way, he was robbed at gunpoint. When he reported it to the police, they said that he was lucky to come out alive as a couple of people were shot and killed during a robbery the day before. Who knows how many times your prayers have spared us from unknown dangers.

God bless you,


Friday, April 20, 2007

Update from the ARCA

In the beginning of March we held an 8-day tent Evangelism campaign in a village between Bateias and Campo Largo. Paul’s folks were the motivation behind this outreach and we are happy to report of several decisions for Christ and new people coming to church. The person that stands out in my mind is a man named Antonio who gave his heart to the Lord during the special meetings. Antonio had been an alcoholic for many years. He has not had a drop to drink since his decision during the campaign and is so thrilled to come to church and be a part of his new family!

Andrew was a great help during the week of meetings. He recorded an announcement and went around the neighborhood inviting people to come to the meetings using a loudspeaker mounted on the pickup. He made another recording to invite people to the Passion Play for Easter weekend. Presently Andrew is helping with another evangelism campaign in Londrina with his grandparents, John and Ruby Abel.

Check out Lumppio's Newsletter

Tom and Lidia Lumppio are graduates of AFLBS and the Ministry Training Institute oof AFLBS. They are missionaries with World Mission Prayer League stationed in Mexico.

You can find read their newsletter by clicking on the link below. To view it just click on the link and then click on April 07.

Do you know of other AFLC members who are missionaries? We would love to tell their story on our News and Prayer Page. Just send us the news and a picture or two.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Judah's Turn

We appreciate all your prayers for Elijah last week! His fever broke on Thursday night & he's been regaining his strength ever since. Today he was back to his usual energetic self which was wonderful. He didn't break out in a rash after his fever broke, so we've ruled out Roseola as the virus he had. We're sure it was a virus, but not sure which virus it was. We are thankful it wasn't malaria.

Elijah has been learning to share, but we were hoping he wouldn't share his sick germs with his little brother. Unfortunately, Judah came down with it yesterday. His fevers haven't been as high yet as Elijah's were, and we're praying that he won't be hit as hard as Elijah was. We gave him a malaria test this morning to rule that out & thankfully it was negative. We'd appreciate your prayers as he battles whatever this is.

Nate spent the night in a village a few hours away this past Saturday night and then preached the following morning at our church in Nairika. There were 120 people there & half of them were kids! (most of the churches average less than 20 per Sunday) There were also 11 baptisms that morning - 8 kids & 3 adults. It was exciting for Nate to see the spiritual hunger amongst the people there.

Thank you for your prayers!

Nate, Rhoda, Elijah & Judah

Waama Starts Third Term

Greetings from the beautiful campus of Waama Bible College! Easter break is over and it is time for the third and final term for this school year to begin. Since I last wrote, much has happened…

  • By way of progress on the campus, the well is not only completely dug but has even been constructed and is ready for the pump to be set!! Due to some recent special gifts, progress is also being made on the new library, bathrooms, etc.
  • The weekend before Easter we made our trip to the region of Katesh as planned to do a couple Jesus Film showings. That weekend, our total attendance was around 650 people. That Sunday (Palm Sunday) we attended the central church for that district as they were hosting a choir competition. Upon our arrival, we were made Judges rather than just attendees!! That was a little nerve-racking. See our blog for more pictures (
  • The youth Easter conference the following week was also a blessing. Despite the fact that our evening film showing was rained out, the opening service which was held inside was a blessing with over 800 youth. Ben and I were the main speakers. We presented the “Romans Road” method of evangelism.
  • That Saturday was a BIG DAY. My sister, Anna, and her fiancé, Dary Fink, were married in Washington D.C. at 11am!! Thank you so much for your prayers on their behalf. Great strides continue to be made in his health and they are both doing very well.
  • That was also the day that Ben and I began our Easter break. It was good to see Christy and spend Easter Sunday at an international church in Arusha…singing English hymns. On Monday, Ben and I continued on to Dar Es Salaam where we were able to secure our Tanzanian Tax Identification Numbers. On Tuesday, we took a 2 hour, express-ferry ride out to Zanzibar. It was a wonderful place to spend about 4 days of our Easter break. Mostly we just rested but we were also able to check out some dolphins, go snorkeling, run around the island on some rented motorcycles, etc. It is another one of God’s blessings for something like that to be in our backyard when people from all over the world pay thousands of dollars to have the same experience. Soon, there will be pictures of all this on the blog, too.
  • Now we are back at Waama. Students are arriving today and they hope to start classes up already tomorrow. We are excited about all that the next couple months will hold: Our Bible classes this term are Daniel and Galatians; weekends will be full of village ministry trips; and much planning is going into the Uganda Jesus Film trip which will follow graduation in late June and proceed travel to the States. Pray for Ben as he also considers going to the States during the same time to see his parents who will be on furlough from Brazil and his oldest brother who will also be on furlough from the mission field in Papua New Guinea.

There is always more that could be said but I am really trying to be more brief this time than the last couple emails. God bless you all for the blessing you are to my life through your prayers, letters, encouragement, and support in other ways.

In Christ,

Jesse Long

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You Must See Keinanen's Video Report on Uganda

For the last time concerning our time in Uganda, Greetings.

We would like to give you a quick update. We have been back home from Uganda for 17 days. In those 17 days we have often asked ourselves if we had even gone to Africa. It seemed like such a blur to us. We still find it very hard to express what we experienced. There are no words that will serve justice. Often we have found ourselves 'speechless.' People have come up to us and asked us how our trip was. We give them this blank smile, as if searching for a word, but can't find it. Pastor Jonathan has described it best in this way: It is like asking a married couple how 'married' life is, at the reception of their wedding. Our trip was great!, but I do not now why - it just was! To me that speaks great volume to God's greatness. He does things that we cannot describe. So we must go out and experience that ourselves. Kelly and I are glad we had that opporunity. For those that have been on short term missions, you know what I am talking about.

Again, thank you for your prayers. We are getting back up to 100% healthy again. I was sick with some digestive problems, flu-like symptoms, and head-aches. Kelly has been unable to sleep. We think that is due to her malaria medication. We only have one more week of that.

If you have 15 minutes in your day, and you would like to get somewhat of an idea of what we did over there, check out this video: I trust you will enjoy it! We look forward to sharing more personal stories as time goes on.

Thanks again for partnering with us!

Daniel & for Kelly too

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jonathan Abel's Coming Home on Furlough

“And I have declared unto them Thy name and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved me may be in them and I in them.”

John 17:26

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you from Maringá, City of Song (Cidade Canção)! It is with singing that we Praise our Father who has blessed us here. Since we came to Maringa in October of 2004, we met as a church in our home until last September. We were then offered the free use of an English school and have been enjoying meeting there. However, the school is already getting too small for us and we are seriously praying and looking for a property or place to buy for a permanent church. We have seen our people grow in the Lord and prosper in their lives.

Our church celebrated Good Friday (with Communion) and Easter with breakfast and a special service in our home. A Japanese couple, one of our city’s many Japanese decendents with Budhist’ beliefs and traditions came to church. We have been trying to reach them for Jesus. The message of hope through Jesus’ cross was clearly laid out. Please pray for Holy Spirit to work in this couple so they can be set free from their strong beliefs in reincarnation and be trully saved!

Another man, Paulo, came too. He recently had his leg amputated and needs the Lord! Pray for his salvation as well!

We will be taking a short furlough (June – Sept.). We plan to attend the Annual Conference, FLY, camps, and etc. We hope to see many of you. Our kids are very excited to be able to see their special friends back home. Our schedule is still being worked out, please check with World Missions for details.

If there is one message we always wish to convey to you all is: please remember us in your prayers! We treasure this and your friendship and your news!

With a song of thanksgiving in our hearts,

Jonathan, Tamba, April, Tommy & Michelle Abel

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Not Malaria - Continue to Pray

Thank you for praying & for sending us so many encouraging emails.

Turns out that Elijah does not have malaria! His fever has stayed consistently high these last few days, only going down when we've given him medicine. His temp got up to 104.8 under his arm last night which was concerning.

The missionary nurse, Evelyn, who has been helping us took Elijah and me to the clinic again this morning to run a few more tests. She thought it might be some kind of bacterial infection but wanted to make sure before putting him on antibiotics. Everything looked normal, so she concluded that it's simply a virus that needs to run its course. She suspects roseola, but we won't know for a few days since a rash typically breaks out after 4-5 days of high fever.

I don't think we'd be as concerned about a high fever in our boys if we were in the States, but being that we're in a country where there are myriads of serious illnesses and diseases floating around, we're a bit more alert to the potential dangers.

Please continue to pray! Please pray not only that Elijah would recover and heal soon, but that we wouldn't give in to fear. As we said before, it is a great comfort to know that God is in control.

In Him,

Rhoda & the boys

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pray for Elijah Jore - Malaria??

Happy Easter, dear friends & family,

Just wanted to ask you all to pray for Elijah. I (Rhoda) took him into the clinic this morning for a malaria test because he'd had a high fever since the night before. He tested positive so they prescribed some medication for him to take over the next 4 days. Nate called while I was there saying he thought Judah might also have it as he was running a fever.

He was scheduled to preach this morning, so I called a friend to come & stay with Elijah at the house while I took Judah in. I got tested as well just in case, but our tests both came back negative. Elijah's fever steadily got higher as the day progressed, despite our giving him his 1st dosage of medicine, as well as acetaminophen. When his temp got up to 104 under his arm, I called another missionary in town who's a nurse asking her advice. She came over promptly with a home malaria test kit, ibuprofen & juice. She tested Elijah again & it came out negative. She then checked his ears & throat & they were both a bit pink so she wondered if he simply had some kind of viral infection that needed to run its course. She recommended staying on the malaria medication just in case her test wasn't showing positive because he was in the early stages of it. She said to call her again if his fever continues to stay high or if he begins to complain of a sore throat.

Regardless of what he has, would you pray for him? He's had some pretty low moments today, but has been a trooper. We hate to see our little guy suffer, but we take comfort in the fact that God is in control. We'll keep you posted.

Thanks for standing with us.

In Him,

Rhoda & the boys

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Introducing New Missionary Candidate - Justo Pillman

The World Missions Committee has accepted Justo Pillman as a missionary candidate with AFLC World Missions. Justo is the son of Pastor Paul and Josie Pillman. The Pillmans were missionaries in Ecuador with World Mission Prayer League. Justo grew up in Ecuador and speaks Spanish as well as English.

Justo is currently employed as an electrical engineer and desires to be a lay missionary, possibly in a tentmaking role. He is open to the Lord's leading as to the field in which he would work.

Becoming missions candidate is one of the first steps in being accepted and called as a missionary. A number of things are yet to be determined before Justo would receive a call and be commissioned. Those would include the question of whether or not he will be in a tentmaking role and where he would serve. Be in prayer for Justo and the World Missions Committee that they will be sensitive to God's leading in these matters.