Thanksgiving is a time to remember what we are most thankful for. So we wanted to share with you one of our huge reasons for being thankful. After a year that was really hard in more ways than one, God brought a tremendous blessing into our lives. Yes, He blessed us with a . . .
Friday, November 28, 2008
I am sure many of you out there wonder "whatever happened to the Lumppios?" "Did they make it back to Mexico?" As much as we'd wished we could say yes the answer is no, we didn't make it back…not yet.
We ended our furlough in June and made the decision to ask for a leave of absence for health reasons. Many of you are aware of our daughter Gracia's disability and her need for help in here. We understand we are called first to be parents, then missionaries, so we'll provide the help she needs for as long as it is necessary.
The last few months have been colored in many ways with grief for what we left in Mexico and with uncertainty as to what to do next. Tom worked as WMPL's properties' manager for the summer and part of the fall while he searched for work. Finding a job proved to be more challenging than we anticipated. Finally in November, Tom found a position at SUPERVALU where he is currently working. I continue to homeschool Cristina and Gracia both kindergarten and pre-k. I count it a privilege to be able to keep doing this and also to be a full-time wife and mom.
As far as plans for the future we don't have any. We have laid in the altar the dream of being missionaries and the ministry that got barely started during our time in Mexico. Two more couples were sent by WMPL this last summer to the Mazatlan area so we know that, in some way, the people we served will be looked after. In the mean time, as many of you do with us, we lift them up in prayer to stand firm in their faith and to be strengthened. We know that God is in control so we have surrendered our way and all we can do is wait upon Him.
We will let you know when things change. For now we only ask you to pray for us, that Jesus may shine through us and use us wherever we are.
We thank you for your prayer and financial support during the last couple of years. We couldn't have made it without you.
Our new address:
5234 Colfax Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55430
In His name,
Tom and Lidia Lumppio
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Steve and Glenda Kvale are AFLC World Missionaries on Loan to Wycliffe. They are still in their initial fund raising before they can start. Please consider helping with this important ministry.
Wycliffe’s purpose is to see that God’s Word is translated for people everywhere in the language they know and understand best. Translators, literacy specialists, pilots, doctors and many others all serve together as part of a dynamic team committed to the goal of Bible translation. Advanced computer support, software development and training are critical to the success of each of these tasks, not only for ongoing communication needs and infrastructure development, but also for developing and maintaining efficient and effective linguistic tools. IT professionals are one of Wycliffe’s most critical needs today, with more than 200 personnel needs worldwide. Specialists are needed in many capacities.
My assignment will be to serve with the computer missionary team in Orlando, FL at the Wycliffe Bible Translator’s headquarters there. To support the information needs of Wycliffe missionaries all over the world will help speed and accuracy in translation work, support their personal needs through tools as simple as email that enable communication and make the village stays for some seem shorter and easier to bear. I am excited to join this team hopefully in mid-January of 2009! The plan is to be orientated with them for 45 days building a relationship and developing my specific role. I would then return to MN and set up to work remotely where the cost of living would be much less but I may serve just as efficiently and effectively as an active, involved team member.
We are trusting God to complete our ministry team with the remaining 20% in monthly financial partners by the end of this year or first part of January 2009. As individuals, families, churches and groups interested in missions join us as team members with their financial partnerships; we are enabled to serve in this capacity for the long term.
It will be prayer that opens this last door as God rises up these remaining partners through the Holy Spirit that calls them. If you are sensing God’s call to participate in the great commission in this way and would like to join us in supporting the efforts of Bible Translation, please send a note stating your one-time, monthly, quarterly, or yearly gift plan for the ministry of Steve & Glenda Kvale, ministry account #200316 to: Wycliffe Bible Translators, P O Box 628200, Orlando, FL 32862-8200.
THANK YOU so much for the prayers that have brought us to this point and as we press on for the sake of spreading God’s Word to the nations!
With you and for HIM, Steve Kvale
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
My apologies for letting almost an entire month pass since I last sent out a general update. I don’t know if I am getting lazy, or if there is nothing to report, or maybe we are just too busy to report all that is going on? I will let you decide. In any case, I will try to concisely get everyone back up to speed.
Classes have been in full swing at Waama now for several weeks and we are so blessed by a strong enrollment of over 60 students so far this year. In all reality, there is much to be encouraged about. At the time of my last update, the school board was preparing to meet and we had not yet officially begun teaching for the semester. We praise God for His had of blessing on that school board meeting – not only for the issues that were dealt with but also for our new Dean, Pastor Zakaria Dallei, who seems to be doing all he can to lead the school with faithfulness and humility. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.
Ben and I are also very excited about the classes that we have been assigned to teach this semester. We both teach English and Computer to a selection of first, second, and third-year students. In addition to these, Ben is teaching Philippians and History of the Bible to the first-year students and I am teaching Evangelism to the third-year students. I think more than any class I have ever taught, I am enjoying this Evangelism class. Ben, too, has been thriving on his classes and his spiritual gifting as a teacher especially shows through in his History of the Bible class.
By way of a very practical item of praise, God seems to be doing what I previously thought to be impossible by bringing electricity to the school!! When I returned to the U.S. for break this past summer, I honestly saw no indication that Waama would ever get electricity. This was because the cost of simply running the power lines to our campus was more than the school could ever hope to afford (to say nothing of the necessary expense of bringing all the interior wiring on campus up to standard). Upon our return at the end of September, however, we found out that Waama was somehow able to get the attention of someone in government who was able to successfully designate “electricity for Waama” as a government project. This means that they agreed to finance the running of power lines to the school (previously estimated at US$70,000.00 or more) and requiring that the school is now only responsible for taking care of upgrading the interior wiring. The task of upgrading the interior wiring is still a significant project but we all feel that there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel.
Some of you may be aware I made trip to Dubai this past week to do some work for my previous employer, LEKTRO, Inc. This was a huge blessing not only for its financial aspect but especially because I was able to spend the week working again with my good friend, Eric Paulson. It also offered a good opportunity for drastic change of pace from village life. I praise God not only for his hand on the work that we did in Dubai but also for His blessing at Waama while I was away. Ben was gracious to cover for me both in Computer class as well as English and I was able to arrange for a guest teacher to come while I was away and give some special classes to my Evangelism students on “How to Share the Gospel with Muslims.”
The weekend prior to my trip to Dubai, I am also happy to report that we made a trip to the regional Immigrations Office to begin the renewal process for our residency permits which will expire in the middle of January. God seemed to really give us favor with the officials and we hope to have the new permit stamped in our passports by the 5th or 6th of January. We are requesting a two-year renewal but are seeking God with regards to whether or not this will be our last year here at Waama. Please pray with us about this as well.
As a final prayer request, please pray with us as we have an outreach event including a Jesus Film showing scheduled for this coming Friday in the village of Kainam. We will be doing this event in an area where there is an evangelist working on planting a new church and we hope to give him a boost in his efforts.
Thank you all for your faithful support and continual prayers as we work in this part of the world. God is doing good things and as Thanksgiving is celebrated this coming Thursday, we especially thank God for His love shown through each of you!
God bless you all!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
World Missions Director Del Palmer has been promoting world missions this week in Arizona. Time was spent in Nogales with Darwin Jackson, Ted Kennedy and Gabriel Mercado. Tucson held a Thanksgiving dinner preceded by a world missions update (see photo). Sunday Pastor Palmer spoke at Sunday school and the worship service. A fall breakfast was held after the services.
This week Pastor Palmer will move to Colorado. Please remember him in prayer as he continues to meet with pastors and congregations informing them about what's going on in world missions.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) on Luke 17:13, The Ten Lepers. "He lifted up his voice in his praises, as he had done in his prayers. Those that have received mercy from God should publish it to others, that they may praise God too, and may be encouraged by their experiences to trust in Him."
This struck me as the exact mantra of the World Mission Prayer League, praise God! On Saturday the 22nd (today) we as a family are going to help the Crossroads Mission here in Nogales, serving a Thanksgiving meal to eight or nine hundred people who mostly come from Nogales, Sonora Mexico. We ask you to "lift up your voices" in prayer for me as I preach and for all the services that will be conducted there today.
Tomorrow Alfonso and I will visit door to door again in Mascarenas as well as start a Sunday service there again. So far there is a Thursday service led by brother Casimilo and the Sabbath school for children assisted by Pastor Antonio.
On the visits that Alfonso and I are making we have found a couple of fallen soldiers we really want to see restored. Both were once preachers and evangelists. Pray for Humberto from Buenos Aires and Ramon in Mascarenas.
We had a great time with Pastor Guadalupe and his wife Emilia from Mazatlan last weekend. Missions was the theme of their visit, and both the congregation in Mazatlan and ours here in Nogales have committed themselves to pray for and support financially Gabriela, a doctor from Ecuador, who wants to serve in the middle east (both have been giving ten % of the tithe for this cause for some time now).
Brother Del Palmer, director of World Missions with the AFLC was with us this week for a couple of days, and went with me to Buenos Aires. On the way I was telling him about Gabriela, and he said that sounds like the sister that is right now studying at the AFLC Bible school. She's from Ecuador... a doctor... wants to go as a missionary to the middle east... and whose name is Gabriela, coincidence? He tried to set up and conference call with her so, as a congregation, we could encourage her, but she wasn't there at the time. Anyway, we now have her phone number there in Mpls.
Thank you all for "lifting up your voices in prayer," that many more will be able to "lift up their voices in praise." Your fellow workers,
Darwin, Mary Ann and Gracie Jackson (Michelle, Cezar, 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
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Greetings from rainy Jinja! We have been enjoying the cooler days during this rainy season, as well as watching our garden thrive. These days we are harvesting avocados, lemons, papaya, & bananas (5 different varieties) in our yard. We love this tropical paradise that we live in.
Kalika Peske arrived last Sunday from snowy Minnesota. We are so happy to have her here! She is adjusting quickly to life here, and the kids are already quite taken with her. She's jumped right in to life here & has already seen much of Jinja by trekking to the open market with a neighbor, touring Main Street with me (Rhoda), riding on a boda boda (transport bike) across town, & visiting a nearby orphanage. She'll be with us until next May, Lord willing, primarily helping with the kids as I begin schooling Elijah next week, as well as getting involved in various activities/ministries outside our home.
In the past few months we have been made aware of some marital problems amongst several couples that we are close to here. Nate has spent hours visiting and counseling a few of them. Please pray for wisdom & perseverance for him. At this point it looks like 2 of the couples are heading for divorce, but we know that God can work miracles and we are not giving up hope. Please pray for humility & repentance for these couples. Pray that the evil one would not have his way in destroying their marriages.
A few days ago Chris (one of the single pastors Nate is working with) discovered a healthy baby girl on his doorstep. He had no idea who left her, nor did any of his neighbors, so he took her in & began to care for her, with the help of his Grandma. He thought the little girl to be about 2 months old. A widowed and childless neighbor lady came to him shortly after he took the baby in, asking him if she could have the baby. He didn't know the lady well, so he said he'd think about it. He is spending this week observing her, & finding out more about her from others. Child sacrifice is not uncommon here, so he is being cautious as abandoned children are often the target of the horrific practice. Please pray with us for discernment for him & for the life of this precious little girl.
Nate & the ELCU pastors are using this current school term for training one another in preparation for beginning the training program in February. They still have some work ahead of them in finalizing the curriculum and in selecting the students and meeting locations. Please continue to pray for them as they prepare, as well as for the students who are planning to attend.
A few nights ago a thief attempted to enter our compound, but our faithful dog, Jethro, warded him off. We praise God for His protection! The thieves are always more active as Christmas draws near. Everyone needs a little extra money at Christmas time! A few of our friends have been broken into in the last month.
We have several fun events coming up around here. Next Sunday (the 23rd) Kalika & I will be running a 10K in Kampala, along with several other missionary friends. Then the next week we'll be throwing a birthday party for Judah (turning 3), as well as celebrating Thanksgiving with several other missionary families.
We are so thankful for your prayers!
Rhoda & family
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- Monday - Kernville, CA
- Tuesday - Salinas, CA
- Wednesday - El Cajon, CA
- AM - Camarillo, CA
- PM - Oceanside, CA
Karen will fly home on Sunday and Pastor Palmer will continue Arizona and Colorado on his way back to Minneapolis. Please continue to pray for their travels and openness to participate in the work of missions.
We had a bit of adventure on the way back. We pulled out of Melody Lane a little after eight o'clock Friday morning, thinking we'd get home about eleven hours later. At the border we applied for our visas and they gave them to us with no problem. However, when we got to "checkpoint Charlie" they turned us back. They didn't like the van permit. (The lawyer had assured us we were legal even though it was in Dad's name, but they turned us back anyway.)
At that point, we remembered that we hadn't prayed as we had known we should: against the spiritual forces that were going to try to block our return to Jerez. We prayed, and then we called Dad to get the lawyer's phone number. It turned out that Dad and the lawyer had already talked, so he was able to pass the message on to us in the two minutes that we had left on our phone card. Apparently the Mexican officials are being extra cautious right now because of the situation with the drug cartels, so they don't like to see anything out of the ordinary. We drove back to Reynosa, where Danny canceled the van permit in Dad's name and applied for a new one in his own name. The paperwork went smoothly and took about three hours. The girls were able to run around outside during that time, so that was an added blessing!
Driving around Reynosa, we noticed the town was swarming with soldiers (more than usual), and it seemed to us that they were looking for someone and expecting trouble. At one point, a vehicle merged into traffic ahead of us, full of masked men pointing guns out the windows.
Well, we got our papers in order and headed south once again. When we got to the checkpoint, the same officer who had turned us back before barely glanced at our papers and waved us on! Thanking God (and imagining that we would still get halfway home that day), we got onto the toll road and stopped to use the facilities at the first toll pay station. We pulled into a parking space and just as we got into position, the engine died. It did not start again that day.
There were a mechanic and a tow truck driver there. (Wasn't that nice of God to bring us to a comfortable place where there were a mechanic and a tow truck, and wait until we were parked before He stopped the car?) They told us we needed to replace the fuel pump and offered to tow us back to Reynosa. We felt strongly that God had brought us that far, and that we were not to go back even a little bit. (We weren't thinking of the men with guns -- we were just thinking that we didn't want to give up any ground.) We told them we wouldn't go back to Reynosa. So they towed us to a very small town that was just out of sight of the highway. The mechanic there had to send for the part, so they brought us to a hotel where we spent the night.
The next morning after breakfast, the van was done and we came home. We all three felt sure that God had allowed the van to break down for a reason, and Danny wondered if it had something to do with the violence that had been brewing in Reynosa. He thought that maybe God had decided to remove us from the highway to avoid some danger.
He was right! According to an online Mexican newspaper, there was a massive police chase and gun battle on the highway from Reynosa lasting two hours and covering an area of ten km. According to that source, at least one car caught fire and six cars were shot up. Here is a link to an English news source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/11/08/2414212.htm
I'm posting a photo or two on my website. http://ingrid.zrgtech.com/
Here is my prayer list:
- 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.
- God protected us on our return from the border.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Grace and peace to you from your missionary friends in rainy Brazil. Although it is now springtime, the rains continue to bring us cool temperatures. We have some bright, sunny days in between the rainy ones which I consider a wonderful blessing! The rain is making everything a lush green and the grass is growing like crazy.
Paul spent a good deal of time on the phone today, making contact with each family who will open their home to receive their invited guests for the televised Billy Graham crusade Thursday, Friday and Saturday. These programs will air at 9 p.m. (5 p.m. CST) on one of the major Brazilian TV networks. Rather than preaching in a huge stadium somewhere, thousands of Christians have been challenged to invite their family, friends and neighbors to watch with them in their home. Please join with us in prayer as our people reach out to the ones they love with the message of hope through Jesus Christ. Sunday we have planned special services in our churches to welcome new people who we hope will come as a result of this evangelistic outreach.
Last Friday night a group of twenty “missionaries” from Bateias travelled to the “back 40” to share Jesus with the people who are far from church and modern conveniences (a four-hour trip on dirt roads from Bateias). Most of the people do not have electricity and the water is drawn from homemade wells. The missionary team, led by Yara and Pastor Joel, divided up and visited many homes, sharing their testimonies and inviting people to the afternoon and evening programs. Men, women and children appeared from the simple houses hidden off the beaten paths. The team brought food and clothing to distribute and had special programs prepared to share the Gospel through drama, song, testimony, film and preaching. On Saturday night the film of the Bateias Passion Play was shown. Afterwards during the altar call almost everyone went forward to pray and receive literature to help them in their new relationship with Jesus. The missionaries returned home in our trusty mud-covered bus late Sunday night, tired but exuberant, as they realized that God had used their lives to impact others for the Gospel.
We stayed home this time to take care of other responsibilities. Paul preached at the Friday night Reformation service in São Braz, two weddings on Saturday, church in Bateias on Sunday morning and in Campo Largo Sunday night. The ARCA also hosted a camp with meals this weekend so there is extra work involved there as well. I have been feeling sick for ten days now with laryngitis and a cough but manage to keep going even though everything seems to drain away my energy. Yesterday the doctor encouraged me to rest and not talk (oh no!) Pray that I will be healthy soon.
Next week we head for Campo Mourão again, this time for the graduation. We will go a few days early so that I can practice with the choir (I need my voice!) A group of fifteen friends will travel to Campo on the weekend to be together for this momentous occasion in the lives of Adriano, Janicleia e Edival (our students from Bateais). The following weekend (Nov. 22) we head to São Paulo for our nephew Freddy’s wedding.
Through an unusual contact we have been ministering to a family over the past month. Yesterday we prayed with Adriana and Jessy to become Christians. Pray with us for them and for the millions of Brazilians who will be watching the Billy Graham programs on TV this week. We want our hope to be the hope of countless others as they learn to trust in Jesus.
God bless each one of you as you live out your daily lives in the hope of the life to come! “Those who seek the Lord will lack no good thing.” Ps. 34:10
I’ll try to send some pictures sometime soon!
Love in Christ,
Paul and Becky Abel
P.S. Just thought I’d let you know that our good friend Edson was re-elected mayor of our city by a large margin. We are very thankful! We are also remembering the U.S. in prayer as a new leader steps up to the presidency. It is a blessing to know that God is in control and works through earthly leaders to accomplish His purposes.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
God is good. I'm continually amazed at the many doors the Lord continues to open. I continue to enjoy working with the homeschooling families. I teach Bible and computer each once a week and fit in other times with the kids when I can. We've been having fun doing experiments together. Lately, we've been making lye soap together. In addition, I've been helping with the with the youth in the church. I brought down some videos in Spanish from Answers in Genesis. They have been just excellent!
There are so many opportunities to serve. I continue to seek the Lord's wisdom in the use of my time. Just last week, I was able to go flying with a missionary friend in the jungles. When I lived down here years ago, my parents taught us Jesus Loves Me in the Quichua language. What a joy it was to be able sing Jesus' praises with the Quichua people deep in the jungle. Below are a couple of the most recent posts from my blog.
I had another wonderful day flying today. Hugo Chaves and Corea where in town today, so the airport was shut down from 7-10 this morning. So we did some maintenance on the plane. We changed oil, cleaned spark plugs, etc. I really shouldn't say "WE". I mostly watched and asked questions.
The first flight today was a cargo run. We took out the two back seats and loaded up the back of the plane. Most of it seemed to be fuel barrels. After that we went to deliver some things to some Wuaorani villages. One of the places we stopped was right at Palm Beach. See here for more info on Palm Beach: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Auca At another village very near by we picked up a very sick lady. She had just delivered a baby and had complications after the birth. She was barely able to walk to the airplane. The mother lay down in the back of the plane and I got to hold the baby all the way back to Shell. The Wuaorani baby boy was only 5 days old. He was wrapped in a blue shawl and had jet black hair. He slept most of the way to Shell, but did wake up and look around for a while. He was just precious. It was by far the highlight of the day.
On arriving back to Shell, we helped the mother into the back seat of the LaBouef's pickup and Rick and I took her into Puyo for medical attention. We went to emergency and while others helped the mother out of the truck I kept holding the baby. Once we got into emergency, the baby began to cry. He'd been whimpering for a while and moving his mouth. I gave the baby back to his mom so she could feed him, and by this time I had to leave. May the Lord use this precious life, and may he grow up to serve Jesus.
Hello from Shell!
Last Friday I called up a missionary pilot. My family knew Rick and Sharon LaBoufe from when we were down here years ago, and they invited me to come right down and visit them for a few days. I jumped on a bus Sat. morning and 9 hour later, was here in Shell. (For more info on the history of Shell and Nate Saint see this link: http://www.plymouthbrethren.org/article/545) They are so welcoming, and have a beautiful house right next to the airport.
On Sunday Rick and I took off to do some preaching in the jungle. We loaded up the plane with an indian family and a bunch of luggage, and headed into the jungle. We stopped at two or three different villages. The first place we stopped was a very small village. We setup the video equipment in a one-room school and started the generator outdoors. There were about 10 people in total who showed up. They were all women and children. After showing a 20 video, Rick preached and then we sang a couple songs. This was a Quichua village, so I sang Jesus Loves Me with them in Quichua.
On our way to the 2nd village, it started to rain. Once we got there, it was raining steadily, and the airstrip was muddy. On touchdown, mud flew in all directions and we just managed to stop before the end of the runway. At this place, there were more people. We showed the video twice and I shared some myself. Many of the women and children do not know Spanish, so we had one of the men translate for us.
Two of the indians had asked for us to fly them out. We loaded all our equipment into the plane, and a bunch of things they were going to sell in the city. The rain had stopped by this time, but the runway was still soggy, and the plane was heavily loaded. PTL, we did make it off the ground, but Rick did describe the take of as "marginal".
Lord willing, I plan to be here in Shell until Wed. and plan to travel home on Thursday. Please pray for continued safety and boldness in sharing Jesus. Some of the people we were with yesterday had only heard the Gospel once or twice before.
Monday, November 03, 2008
This week World Missions Director Del Palmer and his wife Karen are promoting AFLC World Missions in Washington, Oregon and California. Sunday night they were at Astoria, OR. Pictured is Pastors Craig Johnson, Alvin Grothe and Del Palmer. Alvin Grothe was a missionary with the AFLC in Brazil from 1965 to 1967. He came home from Brazil due to his wife's illness. She died shortly after returning home in January of 1968.
The second photo is of Pastor's Del Palmer and John Mundfrom. Lorilee Mundfrom (center) is the National President of the Women's Missionary Federation.
The Palmer's will be visiting these areas this week:
- Sunday, Nov. 2
- AM - Lake Stevens, WA
- PM - Astoria, OR
- Tuesday, Nov. 4 - Eugene, OR
- Wednesday, Nov. 5 - Brookings, OR
- Sunday, Nov. 9 - Salinas, CA
Please pray for the Palmers as they travel.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Check out the current newsletter from Jonathan and Tamba Abel. It is now available by clicking here or on the graphic to the right.