Saturday, June 23, 2007

Uganda Team Arrives

Five of the team members arrived this morning, along with all of their luggage. Thank you for praying!

It's sure been a fun 1st day with them. We made them stay awake all day, tired as they were, so that they could beat the jet lag & get on a good sleeping schedule. They did great.

Two of the guys, Joe and Sam, have learned already what it means to be a flexible missionary as they've been asked to preach tomorrow morning. The 1st Jesus Film showing won't be until Wednesday evening, so we have a few days for them to ease into life here and get caught up on rest. On Monday we're planning a "Village Survival Day" to orient them a bit on what it'll be like staying in the village. A few things on the agenda for them will be:

  • Taking bucket showers
  • Taking a break from electricity
  • Sampling local food
  • Handwashing clothes
  • Using the squat pot... We can't wait.
On Tuesday the remaining 2 team members will be arriving from Tanzania, and we'll also be joined that day by the 7 ELCU pastors for a final prayer and planning meeting before the Campaign begins.

We'd appreciate prayer as the Campaign draws nearer. This past week Nate & I have experienced a lot of what we believe is spiritual opposition.

  • Nate, Elijah & Judah all have been sick
  • Our car wouldn't start yesterday - the vehicle to be used transporting the team and the equipment to each Jesus Film showing (a fellow missionary thankfully came over this morning & fixed it!)
  • A divisive issue with one of the pastors we work with has come to light that Nate will have to deal with in the next few days
  • And honestly, just overall irritability around our house.
We know the Evil One wants to have his way in stopping this Campaign or making it ineffective, but we also know our God is greater and stronger and wants more to come to know Him so we do not have to be fearful or intimidated. We do, however, need to be aware of what's going on in the spiritual realm, and we need to be wise about how we pray. We need to keep close to Jesus, remaining dependent on Him & not giving the Devil any room to work.

We are grateful for all of you. You have been wonderful about encouraging us through your emails and letters. Thank you.

We'll try to keep you updated as the Campaign gets going.


Rhoda (for Nate too)

Jacksons Continue on Furlough

"There is nothing to be valued more highly than to have people praying for us; God links up his power in answer to their prayers." Oswald Chambers

It's hard to believe our time in the Lake Stevens area is done, and we are slowly making our way south. Visited our brethren in Ferndale WA. then preached the end of a four part series on missions at Elim Free Lutheran Church in Lake Stevens (our home congregation).

We are visiting family all this week (we are presently in Spanaway WA.), and this weekend we'll be speaking at Bethany Lutheran in Astoria Oregon.

Mary Ann and her mom are doing quite well together. Her mom is doing better (even though she will not survive the cancer unless the Lord decides otherwise), her spirits, thinking and all around joy are back, and they are spending time together in prayer and the Word.

We thank you for God's power given via your prayers, 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

World Mission Director Visits Ukraine

Tomasz and Miriam Chmiel are AFLC World Missions missionaries on load to Eastern Europe Missions Network. They have recently moved to Lviv Ukraine. They are now studying the language and culture so that they can effectively minister in Ukraine.

World Missions Director Del Palmer visited with the Chmiels Wednesday and Thursday (June 20, 21). The Chmiels recently received news that they need to be out of their current apartment in 10 days. Please pray that the Lord would lead them to the apartment of his choosing.

Steve & Glenda Kvale Prayer Notes

Some children eager to learn to read and write are doing so in a language that is not their own. When they long to read and write in their own language their thoughts drive them to believe that God did not create their language so that it could be written down.

Bringing the written Word of God to many children like these ROCKS THEIR WORLD! Let’s do it together!

Note: The Kvales are AFLC members from Pipestone, MN. They are soon to move to start work with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Kvale personal prayer notes for June 2007

Praises: (thank you for your prayers)

  • The technical difficulties were resolved during our missions training course and it was a great experience to learn with other long-time and new missionaries regarding skills in ministry, relationships, and understanding a biblical partnership team especially when we have to step out of our comfort zone. Jesus was the perfect example! Following His steps cures uncertainty.
  • The moving sale was amazing! The Lord has also continued to provide buyers for our possessions almost daily since the sale.
  • Time spent with friends and family that recently came to visit is cherished even more since we are preparing to move.
  • We continue to see how the Lord has used all of you in various ways to minister, bless and encourage us. The slightest word, a gentle touch, a whispered prayer, those teachable moments, or a (spurring shove!) have all shaped, equipped, and influenced us to be used of the Lord in specific ways. Thank you, Lord, for how you minister through the body of Christ!

Keep sharing your prayer requests.

Prayer Requests:

  • Intentional action to put into practice what we have learned in our recent missionary training course.
  • That God would provide a truck, truck driver, trailer or bale racks needed to move almost 15 tons of castings off our place to the buyers north of us a ways.
  • Health for Lenaya and a readiness to grasp more concepts from God’s Word while she goes to Bible Camp.
  • Comfort as some of the good-bye’s to certain possessions cause us to experience some sadness.
  • Health for Jason and a teachable spirit as he attends a conference in Estes Park, CO. The theme is centered on Galatians 5:1.
  • Health for Neliana and a growing thirst for more of God’s Word while attending Bible Camp after Lenaya returns.
  • The work of the Holy Spirit in Jason’s heart as he prepares for a missions trip to Poland in July & God’s provision financially. Also please pray for other Poland Team members experiencing oppression, family stress, and health crisis. Our God Reigns!
  • God’s presence and His truth to be central as we are receiving counseling during this transition gaining skills to handle change as a family and be responsible to work out personal issues with good communication. God is so good. Isn’t He? HE IS!
  • Safety in these various road trips and flights.
  • Trust in the Lord for whatever His plan is for us this fall… Orlando…. or if we are to be in MN a little longer.

Thank YOU! Love, hugs, and prayers for you.

In Christ, Steve & Glenda Kvale and family

World Mission Director in Russia

World Missions Director Del Palmer met with the leaders of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia Monday and Tuesday (June 18, 19). AFLC Missionary Candidates Andy and Monica Coyle desire to be stationed in Russia. The trip and meetings were held to develop a relationship with the Ingrian Lutheran Church and determine the possibility of the Coyles ministering in Russia.

The contact with the Ingrian Lutheran Church originated with the Eastern Europe Missions Network. The Ingrian Lutheran Church and EEMN have had an ongoing relationship. The Coyles have been on numerous summer missions trips to Russia with EEMN.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Team Leaves for Uganda

I just wanted to send an email to all of you to let you know where you can keep up with what we are doing while we are in Uganda. We have a blog online and the plan is to update it with stories and pictures as often as we can, at least once a week. Please check it out, leave us notes if you want to and keep us in your prayers!

Thank you so much for praying for us and for Nate, Rhoda, Ben, Jesse and everyone that we are ministering to in Uganda. Please pass the name of the site on as well if you know anyone who is interested in reading about our adventures.

Have a wonderful day and may God bless you!
Rachel Menge (and the rest of the Uganda Team)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rev. Elden Nelson Elected AFLC President

The Rev. Elden Nelson was elected as president of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations on Wednesday, June 13. Other officers elected were, Rev. Michal Brandt as vice-president and Rev. Brian Davidson as secretary.

We Serve a Mighty God

We've been very much encouraged by the emails that so many of you have sent these past few weeks, assuring us of your prayers. That means a great deal to us. We've said it before, but we'll say it again. We need you! Your role is huge in this ministry. So, thank you.

So many of you have asked how the individuals are doing that we mentioned in a prayer update a few weeks ago. We apologize for leaving you hanging. We often forget to give follow up reports...

  • The young man who was told that he would be buried within 10 days after he refused to return to his home village to serve in the shrines... He is still alive! The power of God has broken the power of the curse that was put on him. He is doing well. He stops by our place just about every day so we have much contact with him. He and a few other young men in the church that we attend here in Jinja have been meeting with Nate on Wednesday evenings for almost a month now for Bible Study. He is a fervent seeker of God, but wrestles with many questions and has been a bit distracted lately by the "Prosperity Theology" group that is so prevelant here. Please pray that he will not be swayed from the Truth, and that he would be a bold witness for Christ.
  • The little neighbor girl that was raped... She has come by a few times since the incident. It's hard to say how she's doing. Outwardly she's her smiley, sweet self, but we know there is so much pain and confusion inside of her. The man who committed the crime is still not in prison. The punishment for rape here is a minimum of seven years, but it seems that he has worked some kind of an under-the-table deal to get out of the consequences. It's been extremely frustrating for us to be on the sidelines. We have informed our landlord who works in the government and is quite influential, and he has promised to look into it. Please continue to pray for this little girl. Last week as she was washing dishes for me she was singing loudly, "I love you, Jesus, deep down in my heart. I love you, Jesus, deep down in my heart." We are so happy that she knows Him and loves Him. He alone has the power and ability to give her lasting healing and comfort.
  • The neighbor woman who's husband beats her... No change as far as we know.
  • The lady that daily helped us with housework for many months and that left abruptly mid-May... Her husband does not know where she is, and he believes that she ran off with another man. It seems the husband has consulted a witch doctor to put a curse on her. We have no need to fear such a curse, for the power of God is infinitely greater and stronger. However, such curses can cause much pain and misery for the one who is not protected by the blood of Christ. Please pray for her protection and for her repentance.
  • Finally, for those of you who read the AFLC World Missions blog (, we posted recently that the wife of Pastor Martin, one of the pastors we work with here, fell ill and was in a coma. Pastor Martin informed us after he had been summoned home from school to be with her in the hospital that he found out she was ill as a result of witchcraft done against her. His response to that was almost of relief because he knew that God's power is greater and that therefore, the power of witchcraft could and would be broken. We started praying, he started praying, many of you started praying, and she quickly came around. She was discharged a few days later and is regaining strength at home. Praise God! We serve a powerful God.

I didn't mean for there to be a theme in this email, but the power of God quickly became the theme. Our God is a powerful God! What a privilege to serve a God like Him. His power can be fully manifested in our lives when we are fully surrendered to Him.

In Him,

Rhoda (for Nate too)

Life in Tanzania

Dear friends and family,

We just arrived home from our last weekend of Jesus Film showings here in Tanzania before going to Uganda for our 3-week evangelistic crusade and then make our trip to the U.S. I first want to thank you for your prayers and support over this past year as we can testify to God’s definite protection as we have covered many miles and His faithful blessing as we have ministered in various ways.

As I mentioned in my last update, the area we visited this past weekend is extremely needy. It is a part of the Rift Valley referred to as the Yaeda Chini. Please pray for the people in this area. Ben and I both sensed a very definite spiritual oppression that is affecting all aspects of life, both physical and spiritual. Pray especially for the evangelists who have agreed to work in this area as they have a very difficult job ahead of them. To give a small example, as we went hut to hut on Saturday afternoon inviting people to the Jesus Film showing later that evening, one older lady actually told the evangelist that if the white people had not brought any gifts for them (food, clothes, etc.), they weren’t interested in hearing what we had to say. This seems to be the general mindset of the people – very few do any sort of work and yet they feel that they are for some reason entitled to help from the outside. Many people have, in fact, done work in this region, from mission groups to humanitarian aid organizations and even the government of Tanzania. In fact, students from this region can receive full scholarships to primary and secondary schools in the city simply because the government wants to encourage progress among these people. We were told, however, that virtually any student who comes back from those years of free education (which is diligently sought after by other people in this country) promptly sold any clothes they had received and simply went back to their former way of life – a life of dependency and self-inflicted poverty. We were even told of missionaries who brought hoes and distributed one to each family to help encourage agriculture. Again, the hoes were sold or traded for a small amount of food or even a few bottles of liquor. Again, prayer is what is needed. Only God can reveal to people the true needs of their hearts and the value of what He has to offer.

Please continue to remember our upcoming trip to Uganda. Pray that all our equipment would continue to function well during this time of intense film showing. Pray that all the other details of this trip would come together and that our work would have an eternal impact for generations to come.

As far as life here at Waama, all of us, teachers and students alike, are amazed at how fast this last term has gone. Thank you for your prayers as the school year comes to an end – finishing up coursework, final exams this week, work with the harvest, graduation details, etc. God has blessed in many ways and we look forward to being here again for the next school year if God allows.

I pray all is well with each of you and I look forward to seeing many of you during my time in the States, July 19-September 11th.

In Christian love,


PS – I have attached a picture of Ben with bundles of Bibles prepared for village distribution – special thanks to those who made this picture possible. For additional recent pictures, see our blog at

Monday, June 11, 2007

Chmiels in Ukraine

Dear friends,

Привіт! Як справи? Or should we say “Greetings from Ukraine”? We made it -- we are living in Ukraine! We left the Czech Republic on June 1 and arrived here in L’viv the next day. We took the train this time and we were quite happy with how smoothly everything went. The only downside was that we went overnight and had to switch trains couple of times so we did not get any sleep.

Right now we are living in a temporary apartment where we will be until we find a more permanent place to rent. So far we have seen seven different apartments. There is something good and something not so good about each. So please pray for wisdom for us to know which one will best serve our family and our ministry. To get a better idea of what our life is like these days, make sure you visit our gallery and look at our new pictures and new videos --

We also started our Ukrainian lessons last week so now we spend a lot of time practicing writing that Cyrillic alphabet. We can read print fairly well but cursive is a whole different story.

Thanks for Praying
We wanted to thank all of you so much for your prayers and your encouragement during this time of many new beginnings. Please pray for wisdom for us in all we do and say. We have always been told that even though Russians and Ukrainians make you feel welcome, they are slow to open up and a new person always needs time to earn their trust before that barrier of being an outsider is torn down. But it is very different to learn about this in theory and experience it firsthand. So please pray that God would guide us through this time of “being new” and would give us patience and love for the people we hope to minister to.

Let us know how you are doing! Your emails are a big source of encouragement for us. The only thing is that when you write back, please do not include our email in your reply. We pay for our internet by the downloaded megabytes so it would be better if we did not have to download our email again with every reply we get. Thanks!

Have a blessed week,

Tomasz and Miriam

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pray for the Darwin Jacksons

"As is the business of tailors to make clothes and cobblers to make shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray."
Martin Luther

I apologize for not keeping you all up-to-date on all of our happenings over the last few weeks, but we thank you for your faithfulness at this "business" of prayer.

Our dear brethren at Atonement Free Lutheran in Arlington, WA. had it in their hearts to either have MaryAnn and Gracie fly up here for a few days to be with me, or have me flown down their for a few days. I resisted mainly because of the extravagance of the expense (MaryAnn knows I'm cheep), not realizing that it was providential. When I called MaryAnn to let her know what our brethren had done, she was about to call me to ask if there was any way that I could come down to take Gracie back with me to WA. so she wouldn't be around as Grandma dies. So I now have Gracie with me, and she'll travel with me as we continue to make our rounds through the summer.

This Sunday I'll be preaching at Triumph Free Lutheran Church in Ferndale WA.

Not all is work though, on Wednesday we were invited to a Mariners baseball game. It was a lot of fun (even though we lost). Grace is spending the weekend with my Dad. I'll pick her up Monday or Tuesday.

Thank you all again for your prayers,

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

Jonathan Abels Arrive on Short Furlough

The Jonathan Abels arrived Friday night for a short furlough. They will be attending the AFLC Annual Conference and then visit congregations and individuals before returning to the field. They are planning to return at the end of September.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Rev. Luther Dasari and Wife in US

Rev. Luther Dasari and his wife Vardhini from India are traveling in the United States. Pastor Dasari is the president of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations in India. He is here to attend the AFLC Annual Conference. Luther and Vardhini are pictured as they met with representatives of Faith Search International in Chaska, Minnesota.

Thanks to your support the AFLC of India has a number of ministries including:
  • Evangelism and Evangelistic Gospel Meetings
  • Pastoral Training
  • Church Planting
  • Church Building
  • Christian School
  • Orphanage
  • Medical Services
  • Food and Relief Service
The AFLC of India has thirty-five pastors, eleven Bible women and parish workers, forty-four churches as well as other preaching points.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

News from Paul and Becky Abel

The Cold Weather
Time is marching on….. Here we are in June already! Hope you are enjoying warmer temperatures than we are. We have had hard frosts several nights in a row. With no heating in the homes, the chill is hard to bear. We are thankful for nice sweaters and warm blankets and a well-built home. However, our hearts go out to the many poor families who live in clapboard homes where the wind whistles right through and the family members huddle together or all sleep in the same bed to keep warm at night. Count your blessings! Since I’ve never been a fan of cold weather I thought was so smart moving to South America where I would never see snow again. NOT! I’ve felt much colder here that I ever did in Minnesota. The bright side is that usually the sun shines during the day to warm us up and get us ready for the cold evenings. We were blessed by two boxes full of warm, soft scarves (100 of them) lovingly made by the Janesville church women which we happily distributed at church last week. No buildings have heat here so everyone tries to dress warmly when going to school or work or church. A couple of weeks ago we were able to put glass in the windows of a home of a family from our Campo Largo church. We plan to help them with a ceiling to make it a little warmer for their five young children.

Well, what’s happened in the last month?
  • Campo Largo Church - Lots, as usual. Paul has been busy with several construction projects, including finishing the wall behind the altar area and putting in a ceiling in the Campo Largo church, re-doing the kitchen roof at the ARCA, and putting a new roof on the Bateias church. He hasn’t actually done the work himself, but has contracted and overseen the various phases of the work.
  • Medical Needs - Paul has helped several people with medical needs - running to the doctor and hospital, buying medicines, and finding people to donate blood.
  • Funerals - We also had two funerals during these cold days with all night wakes. In Bateias the people are very supportive and funerals draw big crowds of people, so these are always great opportunities for sharing the message of hope and eternal life in Jesus.
  • Couples Retreat -We spent time planning and carrying out a retreat for couples at the ARCA this month which was a big blessing. We had lots of rain that weekend, but the couples were happy to be inside around the fireplace as they learned about God’s plan for their marriages.
  • Ladies' Tea -This past week I spoke for a Ladies’ Tea that we planned at the ARCA. We were happy to have about 70 ladies participate. It was a special afternoon of fellowship and encouragement as we considered the value of good friendships. This Saturday we will participate in another ladies’ gathering at our Vila Camargo church with the gals from all of our Free Lutheran churches in the Curitiba area.
  • Youth Groups -Paul and I have also taken on the challenge of directing the youth activities in Bateias and Campo Largo for the months of June and July in an attempt to attract more youth and teach the youth sponsors how to spruce up their outreach to the young people. Pray for us! One Saturday we took a busload of kids to the new church plant in Borda do Campo for their first reception of new members. It was a night of celebration of a new work being established.
  • Abused Mother -Another bit of news is that we welcomed Marcia and her two little girls, Amanda and Gleiciele, to move into the little cabin behind our house in the beginning of May. Marcia was being abused by her live-in (father of the two girls) and we felt it was time to help her get a new lease on life. She is a lovely Christian and willing worker. Marcia has had many health issues, including worms in her head, causing terrible headaches. Her daughter Amanda needs surgery to correct a hearing and sinus problem. During this time of medical issues we are supporting this family and hope that eventually Marcia can find a job and start a new chapter in her life. We appreciate your prayers for them as well.
Andrew and Matthew
This is just a glimpse, but I know I’ve probably already rattled on more that you would like so I’ll try to wrap it up for this time. We are loving every minute with the boys at home. They are 100% great – always ready and willing to help. Andrew has been giving guitar and drum lessons to many needy kids who are interested in learning. Matthew has been discipling a young man from Bateias weekly. Both boys help regularly with praise and worship at both churches. And they are a joy to have around! I can’t tell you how much they will be missed! Andrew finally finished his big project of making a movie of our Passion Play presentation. Maybe he will put subtitles on it when he gets back to the states so you English-speakers could enjoy it, too.

Tomorrow is a holiday here and we are having a clothing sale at our Campo Largo church to distribute the lovely clothes that our friends in the U.S. have sent us in boxes. Thanks for your contributions to our ministry, whether it be boxes or financial gifts or prayer and friendship. Your participation with us is a blessing!

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!”

Rejoice with us!
Your missionary friends in Brazil,
Paul and Becky

Interesting tidbit: A winter treat here is eating pinecone nuts from our big Parana pine trees. They are best roasted on the woodstove.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Latest from Ben Jore

“He is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and earth.” Daniel 6:26-27

Dear friends,
Greetings from Waama Bible College!

Third Term at Waama
The third and final term of the school year started a week after Easter. Both Jesse and I continue to enjoy the challenge of teaching, especially the Bible courses. This term I am teaching Daniel, Jesse is teaching I Timothy, and we are both teaching English, computer, keyboard, and guitar. We are continually amazed at how quickly this school year has passed. Graduation is
scheduled for June 24!

Jesus Film Ministry
We continue to show the Jesus Film in local villages virtually every weekend. We find great joy in this ministry as it is an
encouragement to the local churches and a powerful opportunity to proclaim the Gospel to non-believers in their mother tongue.
Recently we have noticed a lot of opposition to these showings (cancellations, technical difficulties, and interference from other
church groups). Would you continue to intercede for this ministry?

Uganda, US, and beyond...
The day after graduation, Jesse and I will begin a journey to Uganda. By the time we arrive with our film projection equipment,
five others from the U.S. will already be there with my brother, Nate, and his family. Together, we anticipate showing the Jesus
Film 17 times during this three week campaign!

After Uganda, both Jesse and I will return to the U.S. for about 7 weeks (mid-July to early Sept). Along with visiting many friends and churches during this time, Jesse needs a check-up with his diabetes doctor and I will take advantage of the opportunity to visit the rest of my family who will all be on furlough. After our time in the U.S., Jesse and I plan on returning to Tanzania to teach at Waama for at least one more year.

Praise God for...
  • His protection and provision
  • the privilege of serving here
Pray for...
  • a strong finish to this school year
  • our Jesus Film ministry both in Tanzania and in Uganda
  • a successful trip to the US.
Thanks for praying. May God bless you,

Ben Jore

PS - A Waama Student's Testimony

Eight years ago, Sam* never would have attended church. He often drank and did not have time for God. One evening, he was thoroughly drunk and happened to stumble past the local Lutheran church where the Jesus Film was being shown outside. He stopped to watch. Despite his drunken state, God touched his heart and saved him that night. Now, he is studying at Waama and looking forward to returning to work as lay pastor of that church. Last month at Sam's invitation, we showed the Jesus Film again at this location, this time in the local dialect. What a moving experience to hear Sam close the evening by inviting the unbelievers among the 750 people who had gathered to accept Christ—just as he had accepted Christ at a similar event eight years before!

*not his real name

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Answered Prayer in Jerez, Mexico

We are rejoicing at the recent news we had from Yovana’s mom! They went back down to Mexico City for another open heart surgery after the first one a year ago didn’t accomplish what was needed. Before they operated they did one more test and found that the artery had grown in the month or two since they had the last test done! The next step is to have the artificial valve removed.

Praise God for His tender mercies toward this little six-year-old girl and thank all of you so much for praying for her! Yovanna is also excited because she won’t have to use a pace-maker and she just lost her first tooth.

In Christ,

Todd, Barb and girls

Monday, June 04, 2007

Ugandan Pastor's Wife Needs Prayer

Nate Jore sends the following message. Pictured is Pastor Martin Mukwaka.

Just got word from Martin that his wife, Scovia, is in a coma w/ malaria. They’ve just started her on the drip (quinine) which is very strong stuff. Please pray! When malaria progresses this far it can be pretty serious. What a comfort to know that she’s in God’s hands.