Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lviv in October

Dear friends,T&M1 

Thank you for yet another month of your upholding us in your prayers. We are enjoying a beautiful fall here in Lviv. Here are couple of pictures for you to also enjoy some fall colors :-) You can find more fall pictures and also ministry pictures in our gallery by clicking here.


We are also thankful for another month of ministry with the youth. We are encouraged by most of the students faithfully coming to our meetings. We are praying that God would speak into their hearts as we talk about our sin and God’s plan of redemption, going through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Most of the students seem to know some of the basic Bible stories and even some Bible verses and other things from the Bible but none of them seems to understand the concept of us being absolutely lost in sin and in a need of a Savior. Please pray for wisdom for us and for open hearts for these students! Pray that the students come to understand in a personal way that we come to Jesus not to “enhance our lives” but because we desperately need Him as our Savior.

T&M2Here you see the youth working with their memory verses (Psalm 119:9-11). As the Bible verse says (…Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You…), we are trying to have our students in the Word as much as possible. That is why we always give them Bible reading assignments to do on their own during the week. And we have to say we are pleasantly surprised to see that most of them really do them.


This is a picture from our meeting this past Sunday. The power went off and we meet in a pretty dark room, so we had to make do with candles. It was a challenge to keep the students focused when they could hardly see their worksheets and the Bible text we were working with, but we all survived :-)

T&M4 We also have one “non-teenager” in our group. A young woman named Lyuda. You probably already know Lyuda from our newsletters. Her mom, Tanya, comes to our church but Lyuda was not coming. When we started working with the youth, she asked if she could come and be with our group, because she was interested in what we were teaching the students. So she has been coming and this past Sunday she said that she had many questions about things she did not understand from the Bible. She and her mom are coming to our house tomorrow night to talk about these questions. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to guide that conversation. We treasure your prayers!!!

Have a wonderful blessed week!

Tomasz and Miriam

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Miriam Infant Home - Jonathan Abel

This ministry in Campo Mourão has changed much over the last few years. Mostly because of new laws imposed by our government which is more socialistic. This has caused the ministry to become extremely bureaucratic and we thank God for Soraia, a lady that Pr. Oséias brought to our ministry from the AMECAM ministry of trouble teens. She really knows her way through government paper work, as each child that comes to us, comes with a file of rules, regulations and requirement of almost an inch thick. Fortunally, the government still gives us free rule of what to put in the minds and hearts of the kids. To do this part of the ministry we have Christians house mothers, and a Seminarian student who has devotions with the kids every day, and others who take them to church. The Miriam Infant home works in the following manner. The government requires that Orphanages be not big institutions, but more like homes. Therefore we must have one social mom for every 10 children. We also need to have social moms for the weekend and holidays so that the regular social mom can take a break. Most of the kids are only in the home for a period of time till the courts can decide what to do with them. They come from single parents or from parents that have some very serious problems like drugs, alcohol, mental problems or disease and have no relative to stay with. Last year 29 kids went through the home. This year we had 27 by June. In June we had 19 children living in the home, in July 21 and in August 22, being that many had come and gone. This year we think that the number of kids coming to the home will double. We also now have teenagers in the home. These are a brother or a sister of a younger child, and the government will not allow siblings to be separated. We also have some very young single moms, with little babies who are at risk (like being beaten of assassinated by there abuser or getting into a life of prostitution for survival). At present we have 7 children that have been extremely abused sexually, physically and mentally, they were taken away from their families for the safety of their lives. All the kids that come to us come only with the clothes on their backs. So part of our ministry is to provide them with clothes, shoes, school material, and everything else they need. If they stay for only a week, a month, six months or a year, when they leave they take everything they were given with them. That’s why we are always in need of buying tennis shoes, T-shirts, shorts, uniforms etc. Soraia works hard to get every grant the government allows us to get, but these funds are only for special projects or paying staff. They do not cover things like food for the kids, or school material, uniforms and shoes. These the government wants civilian social ministries to take care of. We try to get as many things from businesses as we can, but never the less, we see that this ministry is having a short fall of about $1000.00 dollars a month. Soraia also has told me that she was in great need of tennis shoes for school for the kids. Pr. Silvio is working hard with his board to both think of ways that they can raise money for the Home, as well as cut the budget to meet expenses. But with the increase of kids, and the government demands, that is going to be a real challenge. Jonathan’s concern is that if the home starts owing people around town it will ruin the reputation of the mission, the Association and our churches in the Community. At present we also have 3 teenagers who are up for adoption. Pray for the kids, the staff and the mission as they minister to this very needy segment of society.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ben Jore - October Update

Ben and baby A lot has happened since I last wrote and I'll do my best to fill you in while keeping it short. When I last wrote I was still in Uganda. I made it back safely to Tanzania a day before Jesse arrived from Washington.
It has been great to be back together and catch up on each other's summers. We stayed in Arusha for a little over a week and then we came back to Waama a couple days before it opened. We got all our stuff moved back into our house and waited for opening day, Oct 16th. The big day came ... as well as about 6 students. We knew that many of the 70-or-so expected students wouldn't arrive that first day, but we didn't expect quite that few. We expected classes to start that following Monday, but the teachers made an ultimatum that they wouldn't start classes until the school board met and discussed the financial short-comings the school is experiencing. The board set the date for the meeting for that Friday, Oct 24. So for that week we waited as the students kept trickling in. Friday came, the board met, and the teachers still weren't happy. Now they are demanding 2 months salary from the church before they start. The Dean tried everything in his power for the sake of the students to get the teachers to start classes and work out the details with the board afterwards, but to no avail. So as of today, Oct. 27, classes still haven't started and we still haven't chosen who will teach what class. Despite all this, we are expecting classes to start tomorrow! Welcome to Africa. As of this morning there were 41 students on campus. We're still waiting for the other 30.

Jesse and I are doing very well. We are eager to know for sure what we are teaching and to actually start teaching, but still doing well. We do ask for your prayers for the present situation at Waama. We realize that there are some very big problems that need to get dealt with, but we also feel that neither the church nor the teachers at Waama are handling the situation very well. Here are some other news items you might be interested in...

    * Eivind (the Norwegian MAF pilot who crashed his motorcycle and was
      hospitalized last year) ended up having to go back to Norway to
      recover. It turns out that he fractured his neck in 2 places (his
      C1 and C5 vertebrae). Sounds pretty bleak huh? Well, in God's
      mercy he is back in Tanzania flying his normal rigorous schedule.
      The bad news... he promised his mom that he would never ride a
      motorcycle again and is selling his bike.
    * While we have been waiting for classes to start, another Norwegian
      missionary, Froydis (Bible translator for the Kiiraqw Bible, she
      has been here for over 50 years), asked for our help. Turns out
      she had been given 4 computers but she was having problems getting
      them all working properly. In the end, Jesse and I took her car
      and went to Arusha to clean the hard drives and install Windows XP
      and some other programs. We were then able to return to Mbulu and
      get them all set up for her.
    * Great news! The national power company is bringing electricity to
      Waama! This will be a huge help as diesel prices have made running
      the generator very expensive. Electricity would cut the power bill
      by more than 3/4 while giving us 24-hour power rather than 1.5
      hours per day. The only catch is that all the buildings on campus
      need to be rewired to meet government code. Please pray for this
    * Jesse and I will need to renew our residency permits soon. Our
      current permits expire in the middle of January. We have started
      gathering all the documents and forms we need, but the process is
      always lengthy (and tends to be rather frustrating as well).
      Please pray for this too.

Thanks for your prayers for us, for Waama, and for the Lutheran church.
We all need them very much.

May God bless you all,


Monday, October 27, 2008

Promoting Missions

IMG00050 World Missions Director Del Palmer and his wife Karen are in Washington state promoting world missions this week.  Saturday and Sunday Pastor Palmer spoke at a missions festival at Our Redeemer Free Lutheran Church in Kirkland, WA.  Ukrainian music was provided by a Slovak  church that meets at the church Sunday afternoons.  Each fall Our Redeemer host this IMG00052festival called "Festival of Flavors."


Please pray for the Palmers as they promote missions in West Coast churches this week.


  • Monday 10/27  Mt. Vernon, WA
  • Tuesday 10/28  Snohomish, WA
  • Wednesday10/29 Arlington, WA
  • Thursday 10/30 Ferndale, WA
  • Sunday 11/1
    • Morning - Lake Stevens, WA
    • Evening - Astoria, OR

Ministry in Campo Mourao - Jonathan Abel

106 year old lady's baptism-small The school year will soon come to a close. We only have about four weeks left and then we will have graduation on the 15th of November. This semester Jonathan has been teaching Pastoral Ethics and the Biblical books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. This year we will graduate 5 students in the program. Working with Pastor Nathanael who is the director of the Seminary and Bible School (SETELL)as well as the Pastor of Central church in Campo Mourão, has been a great experience. He is a great administrator, gifted agriculturalist, great hair stylist and very creative in ministry. Recently he baptized a lady who is 107 years old. She is the first to become a Christian in her home, and came under much opposition from her family. To get her ready for the baptism, he went to her house and did her hair. I think it probably was the first time she had had her hair done by a professional, and most unique was that this professional was her pastor who lead her to the Lord.

Last week Pastor Nathanael and Missionary Jonathan vaccinated 45 sheep at the Camp in Campo Mourão. In November we will do it again, and in December we will sheer them. Pastor Nathanael (Nata – as he is affectionately known here) has also started to raise some 300 chickens to help cut some costs in food for the seminary and orphanage. At the Seminary we are completing three rooms for guests and leadership who rent the campus for special events. Next school year we plan to make some important changes so that we can better serve our churches through the schools, and also increase our enrollment. Working with Pastor Silvio dos Santos has also been a good experience. He is the President of the Association in Brazil, The President of the Miriam Infant Home administrative board, a pastor in his local church and Treasurer of the Bible Camp Board, as well as General Manager of a Aluminum Forging company. He is a very capable and wise man, great teacher and leader. Pr. Silvio came to know Christ as a young boy at our Bible Camp. During all his growing up years, his father was in jail. His mother became a cook at our Seminary and has been with us for some 20 years. His sisters are also very active in our church. He is married to a wonderful wife and has two children, a daughter who is 15 and a son who is 13. Working with Pr. Nata and Pr. Silvio through these very hard times of transition in the church in Brazil, gives us the confidence that things are all going to work out and our church in Brazil is going to continue to grow.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ministry in Maringa - Jonathan Abel

This week we had a good week that was very encouraging for the congregation in Maringa. We saw answers to many prayers that we had been praying for, for some time. One answer was particularly interesting because it is a new person in the ongregation, who was engaged in some major legal battles to receive two trucks that he was being swindled out of. Those who know the legal system of Brazil, know that these things can take years to resolve, but to our encouragement and to his joy, this week both cases were resolved and he received his two trucks. Other important answers to prayer also happened, one being that one of the ladies who has been healed of cancer asked to be baptized and got baptized! Praise God for His answered prayers. We continue to pray for property to build our church here, and believe we are getting closer to seeing this prayer answered as well.

Jesse Long in Tanzania

jesse and paul sm Even though we have been back here in Tanzania for over three weeks now, it seems we are still confronted nearly every day with the drastic differences between life in the developed world and life in the undeveloped world.  While there are certainly enjoyable differences, there are plenty of differences that are less than enjoyable.  For example, as you know, the school was scheduled to open on the 16th of this month.  In preparation for that day the teachers finally had their planning meeting for the semester on the 15th.  Worse than the late scheduling of this meeting, however, is the fact that the only thing decided at the meeting was that no classes would begin until the school board has met with the regional church leaders to address the poor economic condition of the school and namely its inability for the past several months to pay not only the teachers but the other staff as well.  I clearly understand their concern and certainly agree that the churches this school is serving must take ownership of the school and contribute to the cost of its operation. 

Your prayers are needed for the school as well as for the church in this region.   A meeting with the school board and other leaders is set for tomorrow (October 23rd) and we covet your prayers…even if you are reading this after that date.

On a positive note, students continue to arrive and we have been using these days to have orientation sessions with the students as well as put them to work making sure all the outside work is in order before classes start.  For those of you who have been praying for increased enrollment at the school this year (since we have only been at about 60% of capacity for the past two years), I am happy to report that as many as 70 students are expected this year.  This number would fill the capacity of the school to nearly 100%!

As another item of praise, the reduced activity here at the school has provided Ben and me with other opportunities to serve.  Some of you will remember the ministry here in Mbulu that I have mentioned in the past known as the Iraqw Language and Culture Trust.  This is the group almost exclusively responsible for the translation of the Bible into the local tribal dialect of this region.  This ministry was started about 50 years ago and is still directed by the same person who started it – a Norwegian lady named Froydis, now in her 70s.  Over the past couple years it has been a blessing to fellowship with the people of ILCT and be able to help each other in various ways.

Most recently, shortly after our arrival back here in Tanzania, Froydis contacted us to request our assistance setting up some much needed computers which they had received from donors in Norway.  Again, due to our currently reduced responsibilities here at the school, we were happy to do what we could.  In short, we found the machines in various stages of disrepair, loaded with old and unnecessary documents and programs, and mostly using outdated operating systems.  As a result, Ben and I made a quick 1 ½ day trip with Froydis’ car to the city of Arusha (which was a unanticipated blessing to us) where a friend of ours who owns and operates a computer shop was able to help us install Windows XP on all the computers, upgrade the hardware as needed, and set us up with needed programs and drivers.  As the work of ILCT continues to expand and grow, it is fun to see them now equipped with an array of necessary and functioning computers and printers for each of their staff people.

Well, I could go on but I should let you go for now.  Thanks so much to each one of you who takes an interest in our work here, faithfully reads these updates, and most importantly continues to hold us up in prayer.  While the year seems to be getting off to somewhat of a slow start, good things are happening and I look forward to keeping you updated as God continues to work in this part of the world.  I want to close with some verses that Froydis shared with us when we had finished helping her with her computer situation.  She explained how these verses have been a continual source of encouragement to her and the work of ILCT over the past number of decades.  1 Chronicles 28:20-21 says, “…Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God – my God – will be with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD…and every willing craftsman will be with you for all manner of workmanship, for every kind of service; also the leaders and all the people will be completely at your command.”  For Froydis, Ben and I were some of those “willing craftsmen” that God had provided for her work.  For Ben and I those “willing craftsmen” are not only people like Froydis, but each one of you, too, who make our work here Tanzania possible.

God richly bless you all for your part in my life!

In His service,

Jesse Long

Mbulu, Tanzania

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prayer Notes from Kvales

IMG00002-smallIt is so humbling and we feel so small a piece of the puzzle (IT support) in this task for the bible-less.  God is calling many people to share their gifts and talents to complete the pieces of this picture.  God’s Word for all peoples.  We count it a privilege to offer our little piece for the message of wholeness in Christ we are burdened to bring forth through Bible translation work with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

We draw near to God (Psalm 103) in His peace (Philippians 4:4-9) and take joy (John 16:20-24) as we seek the face of the Lord (Psalm 27:7-8).  Look up these verses in YOUR Bible.  J  We hope you enjoy your time with the Lord in these Scripture references and know the reward of knowing Him more!

Thank you for your prayers that continue to encourage, strengthen in Christ, protect, push forward, pierce the darkness, and spread the light of truth!  We are praying for you and appreciating you as we lift you up to God, Provider, Healer, Comforter, and Strong Tower!   

Praise Him for:

The many details that God has worked out with divine handiwork in our schedule to share at churches, meet with people, ability to be with Glenda’s parents as needed and allow the kids to be a little bit in regular contact with friends this fall.  God has been putting people in specific places at specific times!  He is SO good!  

Bringing us together with partners called of the Holy Spirit in this task and reaching 71% so far!

Health, safety on the road, and minimal mechanical difficulties.

The hospitality ministry of many as we travel.  We are so thankful for how God works this out.

Raising up three Kabwa men in Tanzania to help with the translation work for this people of about 8,500.  Translation work for Luke chapters 1 and 2 hopefully takes place over the next two weeks!  

Pray in His will:

That we would be well-rested and safe during the many miles we will especially be covering in the next two weeks. 

That God would reveal an appropriate plan as Wycliffe again evaluates our level of financial partners and how soon we may go to Orlando to build our team relationship we will be connected with as we work from MN serving the computer needs in various ways.

That we have wisdom in whether to choose the option to continue doing some consultant work for Steve’s current employer when we return from Orlando.  They are keeping an open door and it is so amazing how God has worked through his understanding bosses during all of our pre-field work.  If this is part of how God will temporarily provide some of the remaining 29%, we want to carefully & prayerfully consider being godly stewards in our focus in ministry, achievement, time management, and eternal investment.  It seems that this working relationship with Steve’s employer is something we should continue.  This would enable us to begin our assignment sooner as we trust God to complete our support to 100% through His call on  individuals, families, and churches.  It will be a joy to go and start the work assignment that many have prayed us to and many have partnered with us financially for.   This enables us to serve the Lord in this capacity with Wycliffe which helps bring the message of His Word to those without it.

That God guide us in the number of hours Glenda can devote to serving in a Wycliffe assignment currently being looked into and be able to manage home life.

That there be stability and peace of mind regarding the health of Glenda’s parents.  God has done a work bringing the family together and He will work out His plan for this winter.  Pray for wisdom in care for moms foot & dads bone cancer and joy in the Lord that He is our hope & strength!

That we’d have wisdom regarding Glenda’s anemia and God would place the right guidance in our path.

That our fellow training camp missionary friend (Johnny), now in Tanzania, will experience the blessing of God on his time and training there as a linguist.  And for Gods hand upon the translation work of Luke 1 & 2!

That pastors here in the states and abroad in each of our lives would know the sense of support and appreciation surrounding them as they commit to God’s call in their lives in our communities.  May God show us how to minister and encourage them more.  Together we praise and thank God!

That more would hear God’s call to serve in ways that deliver people from false teachings, the occult, and teach more pastors with the translated Word how to correctly handle the Word of truth.  God does a mighty work as hearts respond!

Again, we appreciate when you share your prayer requests with us as well to help us pray more specifically for you.  We may not always be able to respond to every note or email, but know that we get them, read them, and pray with you! 

Our love to you in Christ,

Steve & Glenda Kvale & family

Monday, October 20, 2008

Promoting Missions

IMG00045World Mission's Director Del Palmer and his wife Karen continue to promote AFLC World Missions in the western part of the United States.  Sunday the were at the Fall Missions Harvest Festival at the AFLC Church in Tioga, ND.  The Festival concluded with a sit down dinner.  Pictured are Karen Anderson (former World Missions employee) her cousin Lester and her father Kermit.  Karen Palmer is standing.

This week the Palmer's will be at the following places:

Sunday/10-19  Tioga, ND - Fall Missions Festival

Monday/10-20 Kalispell, MT

Thursday   10-23 Everett, WA

Saturday/10-25 Kirkland, WA - Festival of Flavors

Sunday/10-26 Kirkland, WA - Sunday Service

Pray for India

India streeThank you so much for your prayers for the Indian Church.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ in many parts of India have been threatened by Hindu radical groups.

Many of them are turning back to Hinduism in Kandamal district of Orrissa to save their lives.  We have heard that so far hundreds of Christians turning back to Hinduism.

Approximately 20,000 Christians are still in refugee camps.  They have not been taken proper care of by the organizers (government people).  The refugees have no hope and they are not sure that the government will protect them.   When they hear the news that the homes of Christians were burnt and some of them beaten up they are feeling insecure. 

To protect them selves they are going back to Hinduism which is very sad.

Please continue to pray that our Lord would bring peace in that particular district in Orissa.

Luther Dasari, President


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Justo Pillman in Ecuador

Justo's Blog


Justo Pillman is working as an AFLC Short Term Assistant in Ecuador.  He has a number of new interesting posts on his blog at:


Greetings on another rainy day.  I haven't taken special notice, but it seems like it's rained every day this week so far and today is on exception.

On Tue. I had a good opportunity to talk with Pastor Santiago about his perspective on the retreat from the past weekend.  He knows more of the situations of each person who went on the retreat and it was exciting hear in more detail how the Lord was working. 

Justo Bus On the way down, I sat next to Giovanni in the bus.  He is responsible for most of the activities with the youth in the church.  We had such a sweet time fellowship in the Lord.  He has a passion for serving the Lord, and it was so encouraging to hear how the Lord has lead him and his young family.  He and his wife have a 1 year old son so far and are committed to having a godly family.  Even now, they are praying about homeschooling. 

While we riding in the bus and riding bike, Pastor Santiago was following behind in a pickup.  Santiago had asked JP to bring his pickup in order to carry the bikes.  JP has had many financial difficulties and struggles with thoughts of suicide.  During the many hours in the truck together JP and Santiago were able to have some excellent conversations and Santiago was able to give godly counsel.  Please pray for JP that he would find freedom in the Lord.

C is around 14 and lives with her mom and sister, but has never met her dad.  He lives in the US and has no obvious plans to return to Ecuador. She is looking for acceptance.  On the first day we arrived in the jungle, we went to a large stream and some began jumping off a rock into a deep pool.  C's desire for acceptance from people was so strong that she was one of the first to jump off the rock.  Unfortunately, she couldn't swim well, and Santiago had to jump into the water and rescue her.  Over the next couple days of the retreat, C's attitude began to change.  She realized the we accepted her as she is, and learned that she can find confidence in the Lord.  Please pray that the Lord would continue to work in her heart and that she would find her confidence, acceptance, and purpose for living in the Lord.

R is an exchange student from Germany.  She doesn't know the Lord, and has many questions.  During the week, Geovanii was able to have some deep conversations with her.  Pray the Lord would touch her heart.

J is about 15, and lives with his godly monther.  His dad died a few years ago.  During lunch one day on the retreat, I asked J about his goals for the future.  He said he wasn't sure what his goals were.  I encouraged him to consider making some goals.  I encouraged him to start with small goals and then consider more long term ones.  He seems to know the Lord, so I suggested a good goal could be to read a book of the Bible from start to finish, and/or memorize a chapter.  He likes computers, so I suggested a long term goal could be to learn a programming language.  I challenged him to look for goals that focused on serving the Lord and people.  Please pray that he would catch the vision the Lord has for his future and press on to the goal.

In Christ,


Monday, October 13, 2008

Promoting Missions

 ND 2AFLC World Missions Director Del Palmer and his wife Karen are traveling in North Dakota this week promoting world missions.  Winter came early this year as it started snowing on Saturday.  The Palmer's have the following schedule.

  • Sunday - Williston, ND
  • Monday - Taylor, ND
  • Tuesday - Brockton, MT
  • Wednesday - Culbertson, MT
  • Sunday - Tioga, ND

After Sunday they will travel on to Montana and Washington visiting churches and pastors.

ND 1

Convert or Flee


Hindu Threat to Christians:  Convert or Flee

The New York Times reports that the violence against Christians in India continues. 

Click here to read the story from the NYT.

Schierkolk's Current Newsletter Available

TS October NewsletterApparently someone had already been praying with me along the lines of the Apostle Paul’s request because it appears that a door has already been opened.

Over these past few years God . . .

Get the whole newsletter by clicking here.

Ben and Jesse at Home in Waama

STA - JL Greetings from the campus of Waama Bible College in Mbulu, Tanzania!  It took a few days but it is good to be back here and moved into our home.  As I stated in my last email, we continue to anticipate that classes will begin this coming Thursday (October 16th)…but that could still change.  Since we arrived back on campus, we have been busy sorting through our things, getting organized, doing fall cleaning, and getting connected again with the other staff.  We also had the chance this past weekend to compete for our second time in an annual volley competition hosted for our region in the town of Haydom.  We again played on the Mbulu town team…and again swept the competition.

By way of praise, the new dean of Waama has now arrived here at the school after completely recovering this past week from a recent bout with Malaria.  He was able to travel back to Waama with us yesterday from his home village where the volleyball competition was held.  With him here, we now hope to have a teachers’ meeting in the next couple days to confirm what courses will be held this year and divide up responsibility for each of the corresponding classes.  Until that time, we will simply try to anticipate what our responsibilities will be and plan accordingly.

As far as our residency situation, I don’t have much new to report.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to begin the application process before school starts as we had hoped but still anticipate no problems.  We have been delayed because most of the staff from the head office of the diocese are involved in meetings for the next several days.  These meetings involve all the various mission groups working in this area which are a part of the Lutheran Missions Cooperation.  This has prevented the General Secretary from having time to give attention to writing a cover letter for our application which is required since legally this diocese is the organization under which we are here working.  So, we appreciate your continued prayers for that whole situation and that renewal would be able to be processed before our current residency permits expire in mid-January.

I am going to keep this update short but wanted you all at least to know we are back home and getting settled in.  God is good and we are excited for all He has in store for the year ahead.  Keep in touch and let me know how I can be praying for you, too!

God bless you all!!

In His love,

Jesse Long

Mbulu, Tanzania

Update from Jacksons - Mexico

"If your faith does not make you pray, have nothing to do with it; get rid of it, and God help thee to begin again."

C. H. Spurgeon

Missionary On Loan - DJ Alfonso and I continue our fishing adventures in Buenos Aires; we are now seeking more aggressively a young man we can train to go with us. Alfonso gets so exited every time we go out that he knows this will really build up a young man for future ministry. We have our eyes on Edgar and Antonio.

Pastor Antonio, Alfonso and I are working closely with our brothers and sisters in Mascarenas to revive the work out there. So far Sunday school is now Sabbath school, because that's when they're able to lead it. Worship is now on Thursdays, again, that's when their able to  hold it.

Alfonso and I are going to begin visitation out there as well, to win new people as well as train some of the men. We sure need a lot of prayer for this, we all know by now that all of our efforts are in vain without it.
Our family has now almost doubled. We are now fostering Cesar and Fernanda a brother and sister from Obregon, Mexico. (click to google it) Gracie is in high heaven of course, as there are four kids now going to church with us. One of them is Nancy our neighbor.

We are going camping this week up to flagstaff AZ. We leave tomorrow and get back probably Thursday. It'll be a good time to get to know one another.

Pray in faith for our patiance, we're not a young as we used to be.

Your fellow workers,

Darwin, Mary Ann and Gracie Jackson (Cesar and Fernanda too!)

"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

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Update from Dan and Marcela

Danny Giles We are very happy, and also very busy with our daughters. We would like to share with you that there will be a new member to the Giles family!  This will be our 3rd baby.  We are very excited about that.  Praise the Lord!

Lord willing, We'll be going to the border for ten days because Danny and Ingrid's tourist VISA expires the 28th.  In order to get another tourist VISA, we have to be out of Mexico for ten days.   We are hoping to all go as a family this time up so please pray for that we can do exactly that this time.

We have a new girl coming to the youth group (Miriam) her family lived in Texas until about a year ago and her family now lives in Jerez. Guillermo Perez (Memo), a young man of the youth group is planning to go to AFLBS next year the same time as Rachel Schierkolk so we are encouraging him to go and to learn English in the time being. He studies English on Saturdays. Please pray that he will be able to go.  We know that he will be a big testimony for a lot of people, in his family and also in the whole town since his family is very well know in Jerez.

Abril and Cesar also need your prayers.  They are doing very very well. Cesar faith is growing a lot.  He wants to do things God's way even though his family is very hard on him for doing so.   His parents are not happy because Cesar brings his family to church.  Cesar's parents don't want their grandchild to attend to Church, and at some point hey even confronted him about that, but Abril and Cesar as a couple decided that they want their son, David, to grow in the Church starting at an early age. They are also expecting their second  baby.  We are very proud of them.  They are very young (Cesar is 19 and Abril is 18) but there faith is strong.
Marcela's Mom is doing much better.  She found a doctor who finally was able to treat her depression with the right medicine.  Thank you for praying for her.

The following are our prayer requests:

  1. Abril, Cesar, and David.  That they keep walking with the Lord, and their baby soon to be born.
  2. Marcela's health. She is pregnant with our third child.
  3. Memo's English and his plans to go AFLBS.
  4. Our trip to the border the 28th of October.  That the van permit would be "in hand" before the trip. Van hasn't been driven since July.
  5. The youth group. (Miriam, Paty, Jessica, Hilda, Oscar, Lizeth, Memo, Abraham, Omar, Megan, Rachel, Monse, Chayo)
  6. A digital video camera for the youth group.  We are trying to start a Christian Drama Ministry.  They have so much talent!


  1. We praise the Lord for our new baby! (Alexandra Natalia=girl, Robert Emmanuel=boy)
  2. For Miriam, the new girl in the youth group.  She already is a believer.
  3. Marcela's mom, Mrs. Lozano, healthy recovery.
  4. For the great fall weather in Jerez.
  5. We praise the Lord for His constant care for Us and our daughters.  We are all very healthy and happy.
  6. And for all of you Brothers and Sisters in Christ who pray and support us.

In His Mighty Service,
Dan, Marcela, Ariadna & Andrea Giles.

P.S. Check out our online web gallery of recent pictures of the Giles at:
       and of the youth group at:

Rudy Skogerboe Goes Home to be with the Lord

Medical Doctor Rudy Skogerboe, author of the book: Who Stole My Church, died at his home in Bemidji, MN.  on Saturday evening (Oct. 4).

For a number of years in the early 1990's Doctor Skogerboe represented the AFLC and its World Missions Department as its Denominational Representative on the Board of  The Global Health Ministries.  GHM is a inter Lutheran health ministry that provides funding, surplus medical supplies and technical expertise to Lutheran medical ministries.

Jerez, Mexico - Ingrid Giles

STA - IG Autumn is here!  The weather turned cold on the same day Marcela decorated her house for fall.  It was a nice coincidence.

Claudia Arcos and her four kids still need prayer.  Pray especially for wisdom for Claudia as she makes decisions, and for Karen (the oldest) as she balances schoolwork with helping her mom.

I've started a weekly Bible Study with Claudia Perez.  It is the same study that I finished last month with Claudia Arcos.  (It is an excellent study that my mom wrote about a year ago.)  Please pray that God would touch her heart as we study His Word together, and that it would make a real difference in her life.

I am thankful to announce that Bibi, who had a bad stroke in the end of June, is continuing to improve!  She walks around now and has even been to church a couple of times.  She still can't use her left arm very much, but that seems to be all that remains of her paralysis (and thankfully, she is right-handed).  Her roommate has gone to the States for three months, so she will be on her own for a while.  Of course, the people from the church as well as her friends are going to be looking in on her and making sure she has plenty of food and so on. 

Abril and Cesar need prayer, too.  They are determined to live and raise their family in a way that brings honor and glory to God, but they are very young and under a lot of pressure from both sets of parents. 

Don't forget to check my blog from time to time.  I don't update it as often as I would like, but at least it has pictures sometimes.

Here is my prayer list:

Please (requests):

  • Pray for my continued health.
  • Ask God to continue to provide Dan and Marcela's financial needs. 
  • Please continue to pray for Claudia Gamboa and her kids, and Nena and her kids.
  • Pray that God would give me the words and phrases necessary to do the best possible job of translating this Sunday School material so that it will be clear to children from all over the Spanish-speaking world.  Also pray that God would use these lessons to speak to the children and teachers who use them.
  • Pray that I'd do a good job as Sunday School teacher.
  • Ask God to help me be diligent and spend my time wisely.  Also ask Him to help me live and do all that I do in a way that honors and glorifies Him.
  • Ask God to keep healing Bibi and her family.
  • Pray for the Bible Study with Claudia Perez.
  • Pray for Abril and Cesar.

Thank you (praise):

  • God has been healing Bibi and bringing her family together.
  • I have been healthy.
  • Claudia Arcos is continuing to seek God and follow Him, and she has grown a lot spiritually.
  • God is continuing to provide our needs.
  • I get to live with Daniel, Marcela, Ari and Andi, and see them every day!
  • The climate here is lovely.  God made a beautiful world.


Ingrid Giles

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bringing Light to Darkness - Uganda

Nate sharingI'd like to update you on the Jesus Film ministry here and life in general. We put my brother, "Uncle Benny", on the bus on Sunday afternoon after a blessed 5 weeks together. He is now back in Tanzania preparing for his third year of teaching at Waama Bible School. While Ben was here we showed the film in seven village locations (an eighth one was rained out), two homes, and one sub-county prison to 30 inmates. An estimated 3,300 people saw the film in all! (If you are not familiar with the Jesus Film, it is a film depicting the life of Christ that follows the Gospel of Luke. It has been translated into over 1,000 languages including Lusoga, the mother tongue of our area). Whole villages turned out the see the film and to hear the words of Christ in their own language.        

             On Friday, September 19th, we showed the film in a village called Buudi. The following morning we were going to the home of Pastor Ludigo for our weekly pastor's meeting. Pastor Martin was with us and informed us that he had a relative that had died and was to be buried that day near where we were going. He explained that the lady had become a believer, but that the husband was a follower of the traditional religion of witchcraft. He had decided that the woman was to be buried in the traditional way with the witchdoctor overseeing. Martin explained to me that such a burial involves many sacrifices to the demons (goats, chickens, etc.) and that the demons are welcomed. There are many displays of demonic activity, he said, such as people rolling on the ground and crying out. In short, there was to be a lot of spiritual darkness there and Martin was suggesting we go there to bring the light of the Gospel. After finding the place, we went and sat down with the people and greeted them. There was a heavy spirit in the air. People seemed solemn and hopeless. The witchdoctor was just beginning to beat the drum in preparation for his rituals. After securing permission from those in charge, Martin gathered the crowd together and spoke to them. He introduced me and asked me to preach a message of hope to the people. (In seminary we had a preaching course that dealt with "impromptu" preaching. I think the seminary had ministry in Uganda in mind!) I preached the story of Zacchaeus who was a sinner who Christ loved. He repented and received salvation. It was simple and clear. As we were leaving, it was as if a different Spirit was in control of the place. The people were very happy. Many came to express their thanks for the message of hope they had received. Martin gave a Bible to one of the family members and we went away. What an amazing opportunity to share Christ in the midst of spiritual darkness.

Thank you for praying for the Jesus Film ministry over the past weeks. Pastor Ludigo has a ministry at the sub-county prison near his home and has been going there on Sunday afternoons to minister to the inmates. On Sunday, September 21, thirty inmates saw the Jesus Film. Ben and I were tired from the weekend, so we left the DVD player with Ludigo and came back to Jinja. After the film, Ludigo reported that three of the inmates gave their lives to Christ. Praise God for the power of His Word!

In our last update we mentioned that Elijah had a fever. It turned out to be Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease. Not real fun. He had a 103-fever for three days followed by inflamed gums and sores in his mouth which made it painful for him to eat or drink. It lasted about a week, then Jude got it. They are both better now and Hannah was spared. God is so good!

STA - KP We are looking forward to the coming of Kalika Peske from the U.S. on November 9th. She will be coming for six months as a missionary nanny. She will be helping out with the kids and home and possibly getting involved in a nearby orphanage. Please pray for her as she makes preparations to join us.

You are such a blessing to us!

Nate and the family

Randomness: I discovered this week that my sticking brakes were due to a genius "street" mechanic who used cooking oil instead of brake fluid! I'm expecting my kilometers per liter to improve…

Check out our blog for family & ministry pictures:

Ben and Jessie Back in Tanzania

Jesse and vista I am happy to report that I am back in Tanzania safe and sound and all my bags even made it!!  God really blessed my time in the States and I was so blessed to be able to see many of you and get caught up on what is going on in your lives.  Ben also had a blessed summer break spending the first half with his parents and younger brother in Brazil and the second half with his brother, Nate Jore, and his family where they work as missionaries in Uganda.  He returned here to Tanzania by bus this past Monday (September 29th) and was at the airport to meet me when I arrived the following evening.

We are thankful for God’s many blessings – for His protection and blessing over these past couple months, for the opportunities we both recently enjoyed to see family and friends, for all of you who so faithfully pray for and support us in this work, for bringing us back here safely, and for all He has in store for the year ahead.

ben and vista As some of you may know, I brought with me from the States a new piece of equipment called a Vista 444 which is part of a new work we look forward to launching this year.  The Vista 444 is a totally self-contained unit which includes a DVD player, video projector, speakers, battery pack, as well as a solar panel to charge the battery pack.  The unit weighs less than 20 pounds, can easily be transported by bicycle or even on someone’s back and most importantly is operated with virtually no expense.  In addition to all this, we estimate this unit is capable of film showings to crowds of as many as 500 or 600 people!  Our goal is to equip local evangelists or national evangelistic teams with units like this so they will be able to carry out (even without us) the type of campaigns and crusades we have been involved with over the past two years.  I could go on for a long time about why I am so excited about this project but I will save it for another time.  For now, please just pray that we would have wisdom as we embark on this new adventure and also check out our blog ( where I have posted some new pictures of us and the Vista 444.

In addition to this new project, we look forward to continuing again this year with our work of teaching at Waama Bible School and will also continue to use our own equipment to do village ministry and Jesus film showings on the weekends as we have opportunity.  It is going to be a busy year and we are so grateful for your part through prayers and support.

Since we arrived here in Arusha, we have been picking up supplies for the next couple months, organizing and preparing our things for transport to Mbulu (some was even sent today with a vehicle that was passing by where we live), and taking care of other necessary evils like renewing the license, registration, and insurance on my motorcycle.  We have also had opportunity to visit with several of our acquaintances in this city including our good Norwegian friend, Eivind, who we saw yesterday.  For those that don’t remember, Eivind is a missionary pilot here in Tanzania (working with Mission Aviation Fellowship) and was the one injured in a motorcycle crash shortly before we left on summer break.  It was so good to see him back at work and completely recovered, except for some minor stiffness.  He thanks you all for your prayers.  His motorcycle is for sale.

There is a new Dean at Waama!  Interestingly, he is also the one who originally invited us to come to work in Tanzania.  He has actually served in this position before but spent the past couple years finishing up his Master’s Degree so we look forward to formally working with him for the first time this coming year.  We have been in touch with him since our return and anticipate classes starting on the 16th of this month.  We plan to be here in Arusha until early next week finishing up our various projects.  At that point, we look forward to getting moved back into our house at Waama and, at some point, making the 2 hour trip from there to the regional immigration office to renew our residency permits before the school opens.  Our current residency permits are good through January but we do not anticipate having another chance to work on renewal before that time.

I am going to finish here for today.  Thanks for reading.  Again, I was so blessed over this summer by the love and generosity of so many of you.  I wish I could write personal letters like this to each one of you but we all know that is not an option.  In any case, please know that I am grateful for each one of you and cherish your friendship.  God bless you!!  You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Jesse Long

Mbulu, Tanzania

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Paul Abel's Current Newsletter Available

Abel's Newsletter Oct, The Lord has brought us to this land of Brazil to be a light to the
Brazilians. Probably the most important part of a missionary’s
work is to show what a Christian should be like—as different as
light from darkness. We show by our words and actions that a
Christian is kind when others are cruel and selfish, and truthful
when others tell lies, and self controlled when others lose their
temper. People start to wonder why we are different and many
times that leads to opportunities to tell them about Jesus. . .

To read the entire newsletter click here.

Find us Faithful - Paul & Becky Abel

Abel's 2           After our morning walk and devotional time this morning Paul and I sang a favorite song of ours called “Find us Faithful.”  It reminded me of the great number of people who have gone before us as wonderful Christian examples to encourage us.  The words of  the e song also encouraged Abel's 3me in being careful to leave a path of memories and examples that others can follow to find their way to fulfilling God’s will.  The chorus says, “Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful, may the fire of our devotion light their way.  May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe and the lives we live inspire them to obey. Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.”  May the next generation walk in the light of Christ, believing and obeying Him as the faithful Creator and Savior and Sustainer.

            The past month has been full of challenges (as usual).  Thank you for praying for us.  It is difficult to always preach the truth, even when it hurts.  Confrontation of sin is never an easy task, neither for us on a personal level, nor when it is necessary on a ministerial level.  Although we delight in sharing the love and mercy of God, we find it important not to neglect the preaching of the judgment of God concerning sin.  The longer we live in Brazil the more we discover the deep-rooted sin sickness within mankind that surfaces to turn people’s hearts away from God. We are by nature sinful and unclean and in great need of God’s mercy and forgiveness! 

 Abel's 1            We would ask you to pray for our congregation in Campo Largo.  This work started out so beautifully and God blessed us in so many ways.  As of late we have been facing many struggles.  One group of members decided to start a new work on the other side of town, leaving us with a small group in our relatively new outreach in the community.  The new group is small, too, and faces its own challenges.  We personally felt this was not the right time to start a new work.  Of those who continue with us there is a group of strong believers who want to make ministry happen, but there are others who have interpersonal problems and have been unwilling to resolve them.  Crazy work schedules make faithful attendance a difficulty, too.  We have had several visitors in the past weeks, but we are really struggling.  Please pray for the future of this congregation, for God’s leading and provision.

            Paul continues to be divided between three congregations.  The church in Sao Braz is looking for a fulltime pastor, but for the time-being Paul does the visitation there and preaches on occasion.  In Bateias Pastor Joel recently stepped down from his role as a paid pastor because of unfortunate comments from disgruntled members who don’t know how to value their pastor.  He is more than willing to continue preaching and teaching, but will no longer receive a salary from the church.  He is looking for secular work to help support his family.  So that’s one more place Paul is concerned about.  I share these things so that you can remember us in prayer in a more concrete way.  We want God’s answers to our problems, and we want to be used by Him to build strong churches. 

            On a happier note, let me tell you of some of the blessings! 

  • Marcia is home from the hospital – finally – and is recuperating after having another brain surgery.  The doctors believe she will recuperate in time.  At present she is having trouble with her vision and is not able to work.  She walks slowly and still has pain, but she is home with her two girls in the chalet behind our house.  We are all hopeful for a better future.  She still needs much support from us as there are no social programs to help her.
  • Last weekend the students from the Bible School and seminary in Campo Mourao spent the weekend here.  We had a group of 35 lay people and students together for a short course on Martin Luther offered at the Lutheran seminary in Curitiba.  Saturday evening we had a big youth gathering at the Campo Largo church with over 100 youth (a few adults in that count) – a very encouraging night!  The service lasted three hours and was a great blessing as we sang praises, heard testimonies from the students, listened to special presentations from each of the churches represented, and heard a challenging message from God’s Word based on II Tim. 2:15.  We are praying that God would encourage some of those young people to spend a year at our Bible School next year.
  • Five of our people were blessed by participating in the “Ancient Pathways” weekend seminar in September.
  • Plans are underway for a missionary trip to the “back 40” in October.
  • We had a successful clothing sale and the leftovers will be sent along with those going on the missionary trip.
  • Our churches are gearing up for the big Billy Graham crusade in November – MY HOPE.  Many of our families have agreed to open their homes to invite non-believers to come and watch the evangelistic outreach aired on national TV sponsored by the Billy Graham Association.  We are praying for great results as God’s people prayerfully reach out to the unsaved.
  • The regular church ministries continue to bless lives weekly.  I have started a weekly Bible Club for children in Bateias and in Campo Largo which has been going well.  I had left that ministry for awhile, but feel that it is time to invest in this area again. Pray for me as I prepare and teach these precious children.
  • Our good Christian friend Edson Basso is up for re-election as mayor of our city (100,000 population).  If he wins it will the first time in the history of Campo Largo to re-elect a mayor.  We feel he is doing an excellent job and hope the results are positive next Sunday on election day.  Our daughter Joanna has been involved in the campaign doing a radio program directed at the women voters three times a week.
  • Our family is all well and serving the Lord in their unique ways.  We are thankful that they are following in our footsteps and living their lives to make a difference for eternity.

Thanks so much for your continued support of our ministry! 

We appreciate you and ask God to continue to strengthen you for the ministry He has for you.

May those who come behind us find us faithful,

Paul and Becky