Thursday, January 31, 2008

Urgent Prayer Need

Submitted by Kelsie Steele, friend of Tomasz and Miriam.

As many of you are aware, our missionary friend Miriam Chmiel was hospitalized last week due to severe abdominal pain caused by ovarian cysts. One ovary and two cysts were surgically removed, and Miriam has since been released from the hospital to recover at home.


Tomasz and Miriam Chmiel

Today, however, we found out that Miriam has been experiencing pain in her left calf, which began bothering her shortly after surgery. Medical advisers have said that this is a frightening red flag, most likely an indication of a blood clot in her leg. An ultrasound on her leg today showed that one of the three veins in her leg is indeed blocked, and Miriam is beginning a series of shots tonight to address the problem. Should this clot dislodge, however, it could travel straight to her heart. Please pray fervently that God would protect Miriam and that the clot would dissolve very quickly.

The Chmiels plan to return to Czech as soon as possible to meet with Miriam's regular doctors and try to bring closure to this problem. They need to wait about a week though as Miriam is not yet strong enough to travel. Getting stronger involves walking and moving, but because of the blood clot Miriam has been confined to bed rest. So far, with each step the Chmiels have taken forward in the healing process, they have had to take two backwards. Even more frustrating is the fact that this clot probably would not have developed had proper measures been taken by Ukrainian professionals before and during her surgery.

Our hearts ache for these friends who are having such difficulties. Please pray with us that the Lord would comfort and strengthen them, that Miriam's life would be protected, that no further health problems would arise, and that they would be able to return to Czech very soon.

"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear." Isaiah 59:1

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Miriam Chmiel - Hospitalized Again

clip_image002Many of you will remember our friends Tomasz and Miriam Chmiel who are also serving as missionaries here in L'viv. About a month or so ago, Miriam had to be rushed to L'viv's state hospital with severe abdominal pain. (Even though it is a very poor facility, all foreigners have to go to this hospital. The Chmiel's are Czech.) It was soon learned that she had two ovarian cysts - one on each ovary. After some ultrasounds and a rather unpleasant stay in the hospital, the prescribed treatment was prolonged bed rest. She was told to come back in a month to see if there was any improvement. (!!!) Oooookay. So she started resting, and even had some checkups, but no improvement.
Then, without warning, the abdominal pain hit again - this time even worse. We tried calling an ambulance, but were told they were all busy and we could not expect any help for at least forty minutes. (!!! again) To make a long story short, God opened the door for Miriam to be admitted to a much nicer hospital located right next door to their apartment. Tomasz and I literally carried her down the stairs from their third floor apartment, down the street, and into the check-in area of the hospital. After trying several different treatments, the doctors were unsuccessful in even reducing the pain - let alone determining a course for long-term treatment. Miriam was exhausted and close to being in shock from the excruciating, relentless pain. Finally, that evening, they decided to do surgery and remove the cysts. She lost one ovary, but they were able to save the other one.
At this point, Miriam is still in the hospital, but seems to be doing very well. In spite of some quirks that they have had to endure from some less-than-professional nurses, the conditions are not too bad. Tomasz is able to be with her around the clock. No that's not normal - not usually even allowed here. Why would you want your husband to be with you right after you've had major abdominal surgery in a developing country?! (!!! yet again)


Miriam gets some rest soon after surgery.

Kels and I have visited the Chmiel's several times, and have had fun playing our latest favorite game - Settlers of Catan - in the room together. Tomasz and Miriam have become very dear friends, and we are grateful to the Lord for His protection throughout this ordeal. Please pray with us for Miriam's full recovery and for wisdom as they seek further medical assistance in the Czech Republic.


This article was sent to us from Josh Steeles blog by Tomasz Chmiel.  Please remember Miriam and Tomasz in prayer/ 


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What Drives You? - Jesse Long

Jesse Long Some of you may have already seen the picture on our blog ( of Ben and me with “Evangelist Musa”.  In any case, I wanted to tell you a little bit about him.  Musa is over 80 years old yet still travels frequently to conduct special spiritual meetings and evangelistic crusades.  In fact, we met him when he was invited to speak at a weekend of spiritual meetings here at Waama during this school year’s first semester.  It is important to realize that Musa is a businessman by profession and not a preacher.  He was first exposed to the Gospel when Billy Graham held an evangelistic crusade here in Tanzania in the early 1960s and it is obvious he has not been the same since.  God truly got a hold of him way back then and still today he will tell you “I have never looked back.”  Others talk about how even now, as a very old man, he will sometimes ride his bicycle or walk to his engagements.  From the very beginning, at his own expense, he has often accepted opportunities or even initiated special events.  When meeting a person like Musa, one can hardly help but ask, “What drives him?”

The fact of the matter is we are all driven by something.  What drives you?  Even as Ben and I traveled during the recent holiday season, we met people serving in various places and in a variety of different capacities.  From the Engineers Without Borders volunteers working in Zambia to the Peace Corps volunteers working in Zimbabwe or the U.N. employees serving in Kenya and the Bible translators working in southwest Tanzania – everyone is driven by something.  Again, what drives you?  Clearly, God doesn’t call all of His people to do the same thing.  That is the beauty of being a part of the Body of Christ.  At the same time, as Christians, regardless of our specific role, it is important that we keep our eyes on our common, final goal: reaching people with the good news of the Gospel.

I thank God for the opportunity I have to be here in Tanzania because, as I have told many of you, being in a foreign culture like this somehow seems to make it so much easier for me to keep an eternal focus…it also certainly helps to not have the many distractions of life in the U.S. all around me.  Perhaps it is also that people here see their spiritual need more than the average person in the States…or maybe it is simply that my eyes are more opened to the opportunities when I am in this environment.  In any case, it is exciting to see God at work in everyday life.  For example, in Arusha, we have become fairly good friends with a young man who owns a couple computer shops.  For the most part, our interactions with him have been on a strictly social level.  When we are in town, it is common for us to get together for dinner or some other activity.  Well, one night a couple weeks ago we were out having dinner and he started asking some very insightful, rather ‘deep’, spiritual questions. Apparently, he used to be quite involved in a church but now has simply gotten “too busy” to give God much attention.  It was interesting to see, however, that spiritual things have, without a doubt, still been on his mind.  In fact, it was amazing to see how hungry he was!  In the end, God was able to use a simple dinner appointment to accomplish His good purposes in this man’s life.

Maybe you, too, have people like him in your circle of contacts?  Do they have anyone to discuss their questions with?  What about you?  You know, you don’t have to be a “missionary” or pastor to make an eternal difference in people’s lives.  What’s more, it is quite likely there are a significant number of people within your circle of regular contacts who, other than you, may never have another opportunity to hear of the hope that can only be found in Jesus.  If you have discovered for yourself the unfathomable truth of the Gospel, have you made yourself available to those around you who are still seeking?  God help us all.  1 Peter 2:9 says, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

I promise, I will try to make my next email more of an update.  For now, however, I thought I would give us all a bit of a belated challenge for the New Year.  Again, your thoughts and prayers mean so much. You have mine as well. God bless you tons.

In Christ,

Jesse Long

Mbulu, Tanzania

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tom Lumppios on Furlough

2008 LumppiosThe Lumppios have just begun their first furlough and are hoping to travel back to Mexico at the end of June of this year. They have started to schedule speaking engagements so if you would like them to come to your church, you may contact them at Please pray for a new vehicle for them since theirs broke soon after they arrived to MN. Also keep their health in prayer since they have continue to face challenges in that area.  Ask the Lord for His provision and for His blessing on them during this furlough.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Graduation from Pastoral Training - India

Graduation 3AFLC World Missions started a pastoral training class for the pastors of the AFLC-India in 2005.  Originally the course was to consist of two weeks of classes over six years, but the pastors of India desired receive the training quicker.  To accomplish this a number of training sessions have been held over the last year.  Over the years thirteen teachers have traveled to India to teach classes.  Some of the teachers taught more than once.

Graduation was held on January 17, 2008.  Twenty pastors and two Bible women graduated from the Pastoral Training Classes.  It was a day of great joy for the AFLC-I as these pastors and Bible women have received training to be effective in their congregations.

Graduation 1Luther Dasari, President of the AFLC-I preached the graduation message.  Dr. Francis Monseth who was instrumental in the planning of the classes handed out the certificate of graduation.

Pray for these workers as they are on the front lines reaching the lost for Christ. 

Pray for Richard - Uganda

Jores Nate Hello Friends,

I wanted to write you a quick note to share with you about a situation yesterday morning.  Around 10:00 my neighbor Christopher came over with someone I did not recognize.  Christopher is a college student on break and is a devoted Christian. 

We sat on our porch and Christopher's friend introduced himself as Richard.  He rides boda-boda (bicycle taxi) for a living and is a friend to Christopher.  He is probably in his late thirties, missing some teeth, and frail.  He began to tell me of his struggle with alcohol and smoking that consumed 75% of his income.  His wife had left him five years ago because of his addiction, leaving him with his two sons who are now 12 and 17 years old.  He told of how he had tried to break the habit many times but failed. 

I shared with him about the power of the sinful nature and how it can bring a man into slavery.  I told him that there is only one power that is superior to the power of the sinful nature and that is the power of the Holy Spirit.  He was very eager to confess his sins to God and repent of his sinful lifestyle.  I have never seen a man so ready to be saved!  He was completely broken and weary of the consequences of sin in his life.  He came to Bible study in the evening and said he had declared his new faith to his fellow boda-boda men and had declined their invitations to drink and smoke with them.  I asked him how he was feeling after not smoking for most of that day and he said that he was feeling fine (a miracle, I think!).  Please pray for Richard as he will likely be facing some real temptations in these early hours of his conversion.  He told me that his two sons had gotten saved some time back and that they will be very excited to hear about the change in their father. 

Also pray for the other boda-bodas on our corner.  Those men tend not to have the best reputations and they would sure benefit from a moving of conviction from the Holy Spirit.  We are also praying that this might serve as a breath of spiritual life in our congregation here in Jinja as new believers tend to have such excitement.  May God bless you all and thanks for praying for the lost in Uganda!

P.S. Please remember Del Palmer and Kevin Olson as they arrive here on Sunday.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What's New in Uganda

Jores Happy 2008 and greetings from Uganda!  We hope that you are all well and that you had a blessed Christmas and New Year.  We are doing quite well despite some minor sicknesses during the month of December.  We thankfully were well over Christmas and had a wonderful celebration as a family (see photos on our blog: We also enjoyed a special service at the church we attend in Jinja, as well as a few gatherings with the missionary community here in Jinja.  The boys are growing fast and keeping busy around the place, greeting visitors and bringing them water or "assisting" our workers (Chris - our yard worker, Tracy and Irene - our house helpers, and Bosco - our night guard). Rhoda is also growing with our new baby due the end of April.  She's feeling well other than being a bit uncomfortable in the intense heat we've been having. We look forward to the cool, rainy season coming soon!
The work is also going well and we have had some great opportunities to minister.  On New Year's Day I had the opportunity of attending the burial of the sister of our grounds keeper, Chris.  Chris is a devoted Christian and had asked me to preach to the crowd of over 300 that had come.  It was a blessing to support Chris and his family with the love of Christ during that time and also to preach the Gospel to hundreds from that community who are not believers. 
We continue to have various people come to us to ask for money or some other kind of assistance. Most of them are individuals that we know, but we also often get requests from people we have never met but who just come to us because we are muzungu's (white people). We usually do not give money to people that we have never met, regardless of the stated need. We often give food and clothing and blankets. Recently a woman came to our door asking us to give her money so she and her 4 children could go back to the village where they came from. Her husband had died and she could not find a job here in town where they'd been living for some years to support her family, so she was living off help from others. We didn't give her money the first time she came, but told her we'd give her a bag of food each week for her family. She continued coming for a few weeks while we prayed about whether or not God wanted us to do more. We used to be much more quick to give money, but after having been "scammed" several times in our first months here or seeing that our giving was promoting laziness, we decided we needed to pray more for discernment and wisdom so that we would be using our resources to help true needs. Eventually we both felt the Lord's leading to send this family back to their village where they'd be able to grow their own food and not be completely dependent on others. They were sure a happy family when they boarded the bus to take them home! It gave us great joy to help them. We share this story to give you a picture of what kind of decisions we face on an ongoing basis here. We need prayer for discernment as we desire to truly help those that the Lord sends to us. Please pray too that our hearts would be open to those in need spiritually and physically, and that we would not grow cynical about and hardened to the pressing needs around us. It's easy for us to get weary of the constant requests and to just want to lock our gate and ignore those that come knocking. But we desire to treat each person as Christ would, and to not let our emotions dictate how we respond.
The work with the pastors is going well and we continue to meet every Saturday for Bible study, planning, and prayer.  They continue to follow-up the Jesus Film showings with new Bible studies and Bible distribution.  Thank you to the many churches and individuals who sent money for Bibles.  They are so gratefully received.  Pastor Ludigo has been going to the village of Bulumba where we had shown the Jesus Film to over 1,500 people in July.  He has started a Bible study there that began with students at a Secondary School but has spread to the community.  He has been invited to various churches in the surrounding villages to preach the Gospel.  I am very excited about the work that Ludigo and the other pastors are doing.  They are beginning to catch a vision of being missionary senders rather than just missionary receivers.  We recently received a guitar from a church back home, and we had great joy in giving it at Christmas to one of the pastors who has a great love for music and has expressed a desire to learn how to play various instruments. He received it on a Saturday and the next day he accompanied all of the music during the service in his congregation. He had never played before that day. God has blessed him with a wonderful talent, and he is excited to use it for His glory. Please continue to pray for the pastors, their work, and that God would supply their every need.
On the 20th of this month we look forward to welcoming Rev. Del Palmer, Director of AFLC World Missions, and Rev. Kevin Olson, Director of Distance Education for AFLC World Missions.  Del will be here for one week to see the work, and Kevin will be here for two weeks to assist us in planning to train the next generation of church leaders.
We are so thankful to have such a supportive group of people praying for us! Thank you for the many ways you encourage us - through your prayers, letters, emails and packages. You bless us tremendously.
With love,
Nate, Rhoda, Elijah, Judah & Baby

Check Out the New Links

Have you ever wanted to go to a missionary's web site or news and prayer page? Now you can by clicking on the link called "Missionary Websites and News Blogs" in the right hand column. This will take you to a page with links to all our missionaries who have sites.

World Relief Working in Kenya


Thanks for your continued prayers for the people of Kenya.  As you may have been following via the news networks, the situation in Kenya continues to be improving—fighting is subsiding and talks between Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki are a possibility. 

Sadly, the pre-election normalcy of Kenya is still far away.  The death toll has doubled to 600 people killed and government officials expect it to continue to climb as more bodies are reported found. 

World Relief has activated a national alliance of churches that has brought together over 300 pastors in the city of Nairobi to respond to the current crisis which has left thousands homeless and without food and water.  World Relief is partnering with other Christian ministries in the country along with the Red Cross and other UN organizations to link churches to those in need. They are reaching out to the poorest of the poor, including those in Nairobi’s slums whose houses were burned and those who had to flee to save their lives.

Yet in the midst of this strife, the Church is shining a light of hope with the intent to care for those and to be the agent of healing and reconciliation.  The Nairobi Baptist Church and Nairobi Chapel welcomed those who had to flee the Kibera slum when their houses were burned.  Already, Nairobi Chapel has been caring for over 2000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) while Nairobi Baptist’s Clinic in Kibera has been overwhelmed by the needs of people coming to seek medical, psychosocial and physical assistance.

Here are ways you can get involved with the post-election crisis in Kenya: 

· Pray:  Please continue to lift up our staff and Kenyan churches that they would be a light of peace and of reconciliation.  Specifically, the Kenyan church network is made up of

o Nairobi Baptist Church

o Nairobi Chapel

o Nairobi Pentecostal Church-Valley Road

o Parklands Baptist Church

o Africa Inland Church-Milimani

o Nairobi West Presbyterian Church of East Africa

o All Saints Anglican Church.

· Give:  We need $327,213 to respond to this need.  Thank you in advance for giving to this need.  Please visit our secure webpage.

AFLC World Missions partners with World Relief to do relief work around the world.  Donations may be sent to AFLC World Missions or directly to World Relief.

Pastoral Training in India

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         A number of people are traveling to India for leadership and pastoral training.  World Missions Director, Dr. Lyle Mattson (World Missions Committee Member) and Dr. Francis Monseth departed January 11 from Minneapolis.  Rev. Craig Johnson and Rev. Al Pinno traveled separately.  Course work for the pastoral training sessions were developed by Dr. Monseth and the World Missions Department.  This session will last two weeks and will conclude with the first graduation from the course of study.  Please pray for the students and the team traveling to India.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Greetings from Ben Jore and Jesse Long

Zanzibar Happy New Year!!  As our Christian friends here in Tanzania say, “Praise the Lord!  We have been chosen to see another year…to do the work of the Lord.”  It truly is a blessing.  Furthermore, I can’t thank each of you enough for your continuing, faithful prayers and support on our behalf as we serve in this part of the world.  I pray God strengthen and encourage each of you in your work in 2008 as well.  I am increasingly aware that God doesn’t have “degrees of importance” within His work.  Your work, in obedience to Him and on His behalf (right where He has placed you), is just as important as any other work in His field.  We are all simply vessels…called to be faithful where He puts us.

To give a brief update, Ben and I were blessed to have a relaxing time off over the holidays.  Despite some minor motorcycle issues (broken chains and dirty fuel filters), God kept us safe over many kilometers of travel.  We were able to have almost an entire week on the Island of Zanzibar just off the East coast of Africa.  While we didn’t “want” to be there that long, we were virtually “obligated” due to the fact that the embassy in Dar was closed for the holidays until January 2nd.  (You may have been able to detect a slight amount of sarcasm in that last part.)  Anyway, we were finally able to get more pages added to our passports as needed and then return to Arusha on the 3rd.  For pictures from the past couple weeks, check out

Now we are back to work.  Classes started up already today and even the students seem excited to be back for this second term.  The classes Ben and I are responsible to teach include: 1 John, 1 Thessalonians, Piano, Guitar, English, and Computer.  Please keep us in prayer as we seek to effectively and accurately communicate Biblical truth in each class period.  Pray also for the students who will go from this place after a few short months to be spiritual leaders in their various villages.

With regards to weekend ministry and Jesus film showings, we have our entire schedule set until the end of this term at Easter time.  While it is a relief to have our plans in order well in advance, it also means that a lot of village invitations will be turned down in the next couple months.  We appreciate your prayers as we coordinate and schedule this ministry, especially into the third term.

Thank you again for your part in this work.  As a closing request, I would ask again that you continue to pray for Ben and I as we seek God’s will with regards to our futures – both long-term and not-so-long-term.  We are both certainly willing to remain here for as long as He wants but are open to new direction, as well.  There are definitely opportunities but His will is what we are seeking.

Thank you again.  I will sign off for now.  God bless you all richly!

In His service,

Jesse Long

Mbulu, Tanzania

Friday, January 04, 2008

Check out Jonathan Abel's Current Newsletter

J-Abels NewsletterHave you ever noticed that God shows His mercy in such a way that we are baffled?  Such is the case with Tales, a truck driver from our church.  In 2007 he not only survived prostrate cancer through successful surgery but also 2 accidents which could have taken his life. On one occasion he had just finished calling his wife from a payphone in a restaurant and proceeded to call another trucker friend in our city when his friend heard a huge noise as the phone went dead.  What had happened was that a semi trailer had crashed through the wall and pinned him to the interior wall of the payphone. . . .


Click here to read the whole newsletter in PDF format.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

World Relief Involved in Kenya

World Relief January 3, 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Kenya 1 "It was one of the worst scenes in my life. Seeing women and children who have sought safety in the house of God getting killed is just as bad as it gets.” –A Red Cross official in Eldorat

In Kenya, hundreds have died and tens of thousands have been displaced by violence following the December 30 election results.  Mwai Kibaki, the current president, was declared to have won another term after a controversial three-day vote count.

After the opposition declared the voting rigged, violent gangs took to the streets in protest.  Burning churches, homes, businesses and cars, the raging mobs are leaving incredible destruction in their wake.  In the Rift Valley region alone, more than 70,000 have already fled their homes.  Hundreds have crossed into neighboring Uganda seeking safe haven.

Churches across the country have opened their doors to provide a safe haven to those fleeing violence.  One church in Eldoret, Western Kenya, was burned to the ground by rioters killing at least 35 of those seeking haven inside.

Kenya 2 Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, has called for a peaceful rally to take place on Thursday.  Many fear this will lead to violence and further destabilize the situation.

Pauline Nasenya, a young woman in Nairobi says, “We are living in fear. All we hope for, all we pray for is peace.

Please join with us and the people in Kenya as we pray for peace in Kenya.

Kenya 3 World Relief is working with local churches and volunteers across the country to respond to those in desperate need around them.  We will work to help evacuate those in great danger and ensure that their greatest needs—food, shelter and water—are met. 

Long-term, we will continue to work with pastors and Christian counseling centers to provide trauma counseling to those impacted by this conflict and the HIV/AIDS crisis that exists there. 

In Kenya, World Relief is equipping local church volunteers to help those affected by the violence. Local churches will play a crucial role ministering to the needs of the displaced, providing shelter, food, water and trauma counseling.

In Kenya, people are dying.  People are living in fear.  The situation threatens to spiral out of control, but in the midst of this chaos, you can help. 

Please pray, give and engage today; Kenyan lives are counting on you. 

For more information visit us online at or contact me at or by dialing 443.451.1936, or my cell: 443-570-0184

As always, thank you for changing a little bit of this world for Christ! 

Gary Fairchild

World Relief

International and Denomination Relations