Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Waama – Ben Jore

clip_image001There is so much to be thankful for! The corn and bean harvests are in.

The bean harvest is pretty bad, but the more important corn harvest was really good. Last year we harvested 102 sacks of corn and this year we harvested an estimated 125 despite the fact that everybody expected the harvest to be poor. We are extremely thankful. The blessing of this harvest is amplified even more when we look to many areas surrounding the school where the corn harvest failed completely because of a lack of rain. God has abundantly provided for Waama and we are very thankful for that.

Graduation came and went with plenty of work and stress, but otherwise without a hitch. On Sunday, June 28, all 61 students who started the year not only continued to the end, but all of them also passed. That is the first time we have witnessed this here at Waama. It was quite the celebration and it was fun to see many of our students' wives and children. It was a blessed day.

But perhaps the best news of all came the following morning, Monday. As Jesse and I were finishing packing up our house (which we had to vacate so it can be used while we're gone), news came that the power company had arrived and brought the much awaited transformer! So by the time we finished packing our house and left for Arusha the transformer had been installed, though apparently not connected (see picture)! That is great news. Unfortunately, this does no mean that Waama has electricity ... yet. They say that a new transformer has to be "primed" for a couple of weeks before it is operational. During that time the power company also has to run lines off the main "trunk line" to all the individual buildings and install meters. Once this is completed, the switch will be thrown and Waama should be online ... at least all the building which have been rewired and brought up to code. We have more good news about the rewiring too! Our electrician has made it through some health issues at home and is ready to do some more work for us. He is supposed to come today, Tuesday, to Waama and then continue to Arusha to purchase all the needed materials. Thanks to many of you, a lot of money has come through for this project and we think it should get us most of the way through our project. So Jesse and I are very hopeful that Waama will be "on the grid" by the time we get back to Waama in October. Praise the Lord.

Jesse and I have started our trek back to the States. We have made it as far as Arusha (a 2 hour, 45 minute ride from Waama). We have a little time here before we continue on our journeys. On Wednesday morning, I will catch a bus to Dar es Salaam, usually about a 10 hour ride. Then early Thursday morning (July 2nd) I will catch a flight to Minneapolis via London and Chicago. After about 24 hours I will arrive in Minneapolis. Jesse will leave from Arusha on Friday the 3rd. We appreciate all your prayers on our behalf as we travel. We both plan on being in the States for almost 3 months. During this time we will be working some, visiting friends and family, and sharing in many different churches. If you would be interested in having us share about our work, please let us know. I will send out a schedule later on. I hope to see many of you this summer.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. May God richly bless you,

Ben

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tomasz Chmiels

Dear friends,
clip_image007We are still writing to you from outside of Ukraine but that is soon to change! We are so excited to tell you that Hannah finally got her birth certificate so that means that we should be back home in Lviv soon! Tomasz will already be back in Lviv this Monday and there will again be a youth group meeting at our house on Tuesday! How exciting! After all these long weeks of being in Poland and Czech Republic, waiting for Hannah’s documents, it feels almost unreal to think that in just couple of days we should be back home and back to our ministry.

As we said, Tomasz will go to Lviv on Monday. There will be a youth group meeting on Tuesday and he will take our friend Lydia Johnson to the Lviv airport on Wednesday. He will also try to prepare our home for our return. After that he will come back to get me (Miriam) and Hannah and we will all return to Lviv next weekend. Unfortunately it is not possible for all of us to leave this Monday because there are still couple of last things that have to be taken care of for Hannah before we go back to Lviv for good. But the day for all of us to be back in Ukraine is coming up and we are praising God for that! :)

Hannah is growing so fast! She’s been lifting her head and smiling for a while now and each day we watch her learn something new. We love being her parents! What a gift from God she is!

clip_image001We also have Lydia Johnson with us these days. Lydia is Hannah’s baptismal sponsor and we are so thankful that there will be such a godly young woman like Lydia in Hannah’s life as she is growing up. Lydia has spent the last three weeks with us helping us and also getting to know the various ministry opportunities here in Central and Eastern Europe. Who knows, maybe one day God will call Lydia to come back as a missionary. :)
Tonight we are going to meet with a youth group in Oldrichovice, Czech Republic. The Lutheran congregation in Oldrichovice invited our Lviv youth group to come for a weeklong retreat in the fall so we are planning and organizing that. We believe that this could be a wonderful opportunity for our Lviv youth to meet young Christians of their own age who are on fire for the Lord, to see Christian families (because none of our students in Lviv have two parents who would both be believers) and spend more focused time in God’s Word.

Thank you so much for praying for us during these months. Please pray for traveling mercies for this week and for short waiting times at the Polish-Ukrainian border. We would also appreciate your prayers for the Youth Group meeting on Tuesday. Pray that even though we were gone for some time, that we would be able to pick up where we left off.

Blessings,
Tomasz, Miriam and Hannah

For those of you who would like to see more baby pictures… :) http://picasaweb.google.com/HannahJoyChmiel “First month” is updated and two more albums were added.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Darwin Jackson - Traveling

"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" Corrie Ten Boom

P1010018 This seemed a good thought on prayer since I'll be doing about 3,000 more miles this coming week. I sure don't want to wait until something bad happens and then cry out to God, I want grip Him, watch, and let Him lead. So far so good, only had a tire problem.

Tomorrow I head to Peace Lutheran Church in Sioux Center, IA. then to The Lutheran Church of Our Saviour in Toledo, OH. Pray for Gods inspiration as I share with these two congregations.

So far I've had a wonderful time visiting with so many of you in your congregations as last week at the Association Free Lutheran Conference in Fergus Falls, MN. Some I haven't seen in sixteen years!
Thank you  all so much for "getting behind the wheel" in prayer with us, your fellow workers,

Darwin, Mary Ann, Gracie, Cesar, Ernesto and Laura :-)

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kvale’s Prayer Letter

 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower.  The righteous runs into it and is safe”  (Proverbs 18:10, NASB).

2009 Family Photo Compressed Dear Intercessors,

Thank you for all your love and encouragement in the Lord.  We covet your specific prayers in the following areas.

Please Pray for: 

1.  Our stress level to be placed in the hand of God with our responsibilities and concerns at hand.

2. A steady pace in the current computer project Steve is on with the Wycliffe IT missionaries he works with in FL, NC, and TX.  They are focusing on the IT needs for the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project.  This links the bibleless people groups of the world to devoted intercessors in the world.

3. Glenda’s dad (Warren) as he has had some recent trail-some days in his walk with bone cancer.  And Glenda’s mom (Eleanor) as she continues to recover from her recent eye surgery.

4. Glenda’s family as they come together in care and concern for their parents and to celebrate a wedding.

5. Safety, blessing and anointing on Jason’s mission trip from June 20-27th(and the whole team he is with) under a YWAM ministry outreach to the devastation caused by hurricane Ike in Galveston, TX and any other opportunities to share the message of Jesus along the way.

6. Personal safety, health and stamina for our family and the team of volunteers helping with a big fireworks tent fundraiser at the Walmart parking lot in Marshall, MN from June 19-23 set-up, and June 24 through July 5th  for the fundraiser sale.  As we work, may we also be sparkling for Jesus! Pray for receptive hearts for any that visit our fresh water table with gospel tracks available in English, Spanish & Somali.

7. Wisdom in whether to receive this fireworks tent as an annual fundraiser opportunity or to pass it on to someone else next year.

Give God Praise for:

1.  The safe travels recently during harsh weather, health, and enough strength each day to serve Him who makes our joy complete.

2.  The fundraiser project (above) that was presented to us by someone that sees our commitment with Wycliffe as a vital need to the bibleless.

3.  The servant hearts and volunteers that God has raised up and are surrounding us during this fundraiser project.

4.  Praising God that Glenda’s mom and dad know the Lord and take each day as it unfolds.  He holds the future.

5.  Jason raised funds for his mission trip and is excited to go!  God calls and provides.

6.  George Cowan, former translator in Mexico and former director of the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project, began praying for the Sinte Romani speakers of Europe in June, 1983. There are 30,000 Sinte speakers in Serbia alone, with more than 250,000 living in a dozen other European nations. George has been praying for the Sinte speakers for 26 years, but they have waited even longer to receive God’s Word in the language that speaks to their hearts.  Praise God! On the very day marking the 26th anniversary of George’s commitment to pray, Wycliffe USA received word that the Sinte Romani New Testament will be published this year!   

“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24, NLT).

In His great love,

Steve & Glenda Kvale

AFLC Missionaries on loan to Wycliffe Bible Translators

Personal Website:  www.TranslateTheWord.org

www.wycliffe.org

Connecting the Church to Bible-less People-groups and Bible-less People-groups to the Church.

Hinrichs’ Newsletter

Future of the Bible School

TH Newsletter In our last newsletter, we shared about our intention to return to the US and hand the Bible school over to the Polish Lutheran Church. This has been our greatest prayer request in the past months and we trust God with the leadership of the Bible school since it is His. Unfortunately, the board which makes decisions about all the ministries of the Center for Missions and Evangelism (including Bible school) decided to close the . . .

Click here to read the entire newsletter.

Paul Abel's Prayer Letter

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; to declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness by night.”  Psalm 92:1-2 

clip_image002We are thinking of our AFLC friends in the U.S. as they gather for Annual Conference this week.  May their fellowship be sweet and their decisions godly as they give thanks to God as a church body. 

Our vacation trip was a blessed get-away, something totally new and different for us.  We travelled 5000 kilometers by plane to Recife and back, and another 3500 kilometers in a rented car. It was fun to travel with our friends Gerson and Indioara as we went to visit our missionary friends Gary and Sherry in Petrolina and Ken and Lori in Mossoró.  We passed through six states and had new cultural experiences with foods, language, and different landscapes.  clip_image004The northeast is usually very dry, but they have been blessed with rain to green things up.  Yet, the shrubbery is all very low, lots of cactus and desert scapes. Drivers need to be aware of goats and donkeys crossing the roads.  Our second week was spent on the beautiful coastal beaches, one more beautiful than the other.  We spent unforgettable moments snorkeling among the colorful ocean fish and taking in the splendid sights of God’s creation.  Our 30th wedding anniversary was well-celebrated!

Back at the ranch everything went well without us, but there was plenty of work awaiting us upon our return.  The weather has been extremely cold with hard frosts on many nights.  I am especially thankful for the fireplace in our living room which makes for a cozy spot on cold evenings.  I managed to catch a miserable cold which has been hanging on for more than a week now. Many others are suffering, too.

Paul planned an outing last week for the young neighbor kids who are always around here playing and helping out with odd jobs.  I made a big picnic lunch, a man from church made some fishing poles, Paul loaded up the canoe on the trailer pulled by the church bus, and off they went for a day of fun.  We hope these little investments in lives will help them feel loved and want to choose to follow the Lord.

clip_image005 This past weekend we had two special events.  Saturday was the Valentines Banquet at the ARCA for the married and unmarried couples.  Paul gave a very good talk on “Love and Respect” as part of the program. Then on Sunday we had an outreach event in Campo Largo.  We once again went around the neighborhood handing out invitations (as we have done on many other occasions).  clip_image007In the past we have had difficulty in getting people from this particular neighborhood to come to any events at the church.  So this time we decided to try a food event, and sure enough we had positive results. People came all during the afternoon to buy our Brazilian pastries and listen to live Gospel music presented by five young men from the Bateias church.  We had a drawing at the end of the afternoon preceded by a skit and devotional.  We were pleasantly surprised at how many people came and stayed and seemed to enjoy themselves.  Now we continue to pray that some “brave” souls will decide to visit our church again for spiritual food.  clip_image009       

Our family is well.  The boys are working for Paul’s cousin Tim at his farm in Stephen, MN, for the summer again.  They have special vacation plans for July which include the FLY youth convention in Estes Park, a fishing trip to Canada, and a week at the lake cabin in WI with the Dahlin family. 

We see our girls weekly. Christina was here for brunch today with some of her English students. She does not see much of her husband Daniel these days because of the demanding schedule of his residency program.  Joanna and the little girls were with us Monday night for a special celebration at the Gill household. Paul’s sister Deby and family (11 kids) have returned to Brazil to live. Family is special! 

Please join us in prayer for Joanna and her partners as they seek God’s will for Lighthouse International School.  They now have over 50 students and will not be able to continue on in the same rented quarters next year.  They need wisdom and provision for the next step.  Developing a Christian school is a big challenge, and Joanna would really appreciate your prayer support.

In July we will be traveling to Campo Mourão to lead two Bible Camps, one for children and another for teens.  Pray for us as we teach and bless lives there. 

Right now it is time to head off for church.  My group is leading the worship tonight and I need to get my children’s class ready, too.

Sure hope you have a great summer!  Take time to appreciate people, enjoy God’s creation, and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.

Thank you for your interest in our lives and ministry! 

Love, Paul and Becky

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thank You for Praying

P1010016[3][1] A few weeks ago there was a post on the prayer blog about a threat received by retired missionary Lois Raser who attends our church in Jerez.  I'm glad to report that Lois said nothing came of the threat and she can't even remember what they said to her.  Praise the Lord for His protection and care for Lois. 

Todd

Monday, June 15, 2009

Update on Nate Jore

Jores Dear friends,
I want to thank you so much for your prayers as I have been battling malaria this week.  God has been listening. I am far ahead of normal schedule in my recovery.  Let me share a little of my experience with you since you may be unfamiliar with malaria:

Wed: I first started feeling a bit "off" when I went to bed Tuesday night. I woke up Wednesday a bit more off, but still able to eat and do some things around the house.  I crashed on the couch at 6pm with a fever and was up vomiting later that night.

Thur: I spent Thursday in bed waiting and hoping and praying that I would start improving so I could go as planned to pick up the team the next morning.  I didn't realize it was malaria at this point. I went to the clinic at 4pm to test if I had a bacterial infection. I also got a malaria test, just in case, and it was positive. I took my first dose of malaria meds at 6pm.  Rough night: vomiting, high fever under a blanket followed by periods of sweating.

Fri: In bed the whole day.  Chris, the Ugandan pastor who is working with me in training in Butagaya picked up the team.  The first glimmer of recovery came when I left my room for 15 minutes and sat on the couch at 6pm.

Sat: I was up for 2 hours in the morning and got to meet the team and again send them with Chris for their first training day in Naigobya.  My fever was gone, but then returned half-strength causing me to sleep out the rest of the day.  I was up in the evening for a little while again.  Malaria has the potential to mess with the brain and cause hallucinations.  I experienced this as I rested.  Not fun.  Roughest night with more hallucinations and fitful sleeping.

Sun: Woke up feeling much better.  Ate breakfast after three days without eating.  I was able to participiate with the team and led them in a church service in our living room and some sessions in the afternoon.  Much rest still needed.
Mon: Today I feel almost completely well.  I am still moving slower than normal and my body tells me not to push too hard.  The team has gone for training in Butagaya today and will overnight through tomorrow.  I will be continuing to rest while they are gone. I anticipate feeling much better when they return and able to join them in the remaining events planned for the week.

A missionary friend of mine here in Jinja told me that his first bout of malaria was seven days of sickness followed by seven days of slow recovery.  Others have said that the first is often the worst so I am so thankful to be doing so well so quickly.  I was amazed by all the people Rhoda kept telling me that were praying for me.  Thank you and Praise be to our Great God!  I now have a greater understanding of suffering, though I praise God that it was very brief and did not linger with me.

The team is doing VERY well!  They have been very well prepared by Kevin Olson at AFLC headquarters where they had some training with him before coming.  Sam and Rachel Menge, the team leaders, have been here before and are confident to lead the youth out to the village without us.  Chris has also stepped up on this side and helped us out with transporting the team and hiring vans when I was going to be driving.  Rhoda has been the epitomy of a supportive wife through all this: spending a great amount of time on the phone calling the nurse and friends for medical advice, soliciting prayer support, changing diapers, setting up tripple bunks, spanking Judah, feeding everyone, giving me my next meds, washing dishes...  She had an incredible task of caring for me, the kids, and getting the house ready for the team (much of which was on my list). Some of you mentioned in your emails that you were praying for Rhoda's sanity through this crazy time - thanks! She retained it. :)
As I write, the team is in Butagaya village, about 45 minutes north of here.  They taught the training class this morning and will be visiting in the community in the afternoon.  After sleeping in the village tonight they will be sharing in three schools tomorrow morning before coming back to Jinja.  On Wednesday they will be visiting an orphanage, Thursday will be spent playing soccer and interacting with street boys, and on Friday they will be visiting the Children's Hospital in town to distribute blankets and sweaters, followed by a boat ride on the Nile in the evening. We don't go out to the village again until Saturday and I really hope to be strong enough by then to go with them.

Thank you for your prayers for our family during this time.

We praise God for you!
Nate Jore & family

Friday, June 12, 2009

Team Arrives Safely in Uganda

Thanks for praying for our team! They arrived safely this morning, exhausted but happy to be here. They spent the afternoon wandering around town, visiting the market and the craft shops and trying to stay awake. They lasted until about 8pm tonight and then went to bed when our kids did. We are so happy to have them here!

They will be updating their trip on their blog (http://www.aflcstudentmissions.blogspot.com/) if you would like to follow their adventures. Tomorrow they will travel to the village of Naigobya to teach a lesson they've prepared on Gideon. Nate is very disappointed that he will not be going with them. He is still quite sick with malaria. We haven't seen any improvement yet, but we have heard that it can take a long time to recover from a first bout with it. Some of our missionary friends have been down in bed with it for up to 2 weeks. Would you pray that his would not last that long? He has put so much into planning the schedule for the team and would love to be apart of it with them.

Thank you for all the encouraging emails! We are so thankful for your prayers.

Blessings,
Rhoda

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pray for Nate Jore

Nate & BoysWe found out a few hours ago that Nate has malaria. It's hitting him pretty hard, being that it's the first time he's had it. He's been in bed for the past 2 days now. Our team flies in tomorrow morning, so it's rough timing! We would appreciate prayers for a quick recovery for him so that he can take part in all that we have planned for the team. Please pray that the kids and I will stay healthy too. It's been a crazy week for all of us and we're not getting the usual sleep and good nutrition that we usually do. Pray for the team too as they are currently in the air traveling.

Thank you!
Rhoda and family

Student Mission Trip

Student Missions Trip

The 2009 AFLC Student Mission's Trip started yesterday (June 10).  Ten people left for Uganda.   

Keep up with their trip and pray for them as they minister in Uganda. A blog of their trip can accessed by clicking on the picture.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gospel Meetings in India

Inida Church PlantingDuring last month and up  to this week we have been very busy with conducting gospel crusades in many villages.  This year I have been invited to preach the Word of God by other denominations.  Praise the Lord, His name is glorified at all the meetings in villages.  I observed that many non-Christians have heard the Word.

Pastor Al Pinno from the AFLC-Canada has provided us very good sound system and some electrical goods for these kind of gospel meetings.  So will limited funds we have carried on these meetings in many villages.  In each of the villages we conducted meetings for three days;

These are the villages where we conducted meetings so far;

  • Bodapadu  
  • Govada
  • Vijaynagar Colony
  • Zillellamudi
  • Pothukatla
  • Komarnenivaripalem
  • Lodidalanka
  • Etheru
  • Bapatla

Please pray that these meetings would help people to know Jesus Christ and believers to grow in their faith.

In Christ,

Luther Sastry Dasari

Update from April Abel

Teen StreetIn January I was able to attend an event called Teen Street. It is a seven-day conference held at a college here in town, directed mainly to the Christian youth of Brazil. This year there were over 1,300 people. Kids come from all over Brazil to attend, and a few from other countries too. The speakers themselves were Irish that now live in America, and they come to speak at this conference every year. The first Teen Street started in Germany, which is where it is the biggest right now. And they also have it in other places like; Malaysia, India, South Africa, Australia and Uruguay. It was a lot of fun and I hope to be able to go again!

In February we had our annual Free Lutheran Carnaval Camp at the Arca. Since there were seven of us from Maringa we went with the bus from Campo Mourão, our neighbor town. It was a good week; I was very excited to find my friend Alisha there, who is doing MTI from Bible School.

A couple of weeks after camp I went to Campo Mourão for a program the Central church was doing at our Bible School with the youth. It was an afternoon with the orphanage kids playing games and stuff, and at night there was a church service. The intention of the day was to pray for and encourage the orphanage kids, but in the end I think they were the ones that encouraged us the most! It really showed us that we have a lot to be thankful for, and it got the youth excited about our program to bring over a kid or two to stay at their homes on weekends. The kids are really fun; some of the girls were sharing with me what their homes were like. Like my one little friend Jani, she just turned 12 this year, and she has had tattoos ever since she was 10! It’s just crazy. But we can see God really changing their lives.

This year I also started attending the cell group of the girls that were in my room at Teen Street. We meet once a week, and usually start out by each one telling how their week went. I joke and say it’s like a group therapy session, but we don’t say hi and then the persons name after it gets to their turn! A lot of the girls go to the same school, and this year one of them started a “prayer room” at their school. It has been a blessing; they started out with six people meeting to pray during recess, and now not quite a month later they have over 80 people coming to their prayer room! One of the teachers volunteered his classroom to them at the very beginning, and it has air conditioner! But now they are already getting too big for that classroom. I am excited though to see what God is going to do!

I also went to a camp with the girls this weekend. It was a camp to get the youth away from the partying of the city on Easter weekend, but I know we had way more fun!

Well, there is a little bit of some of what I’ve been doing lately, but I’ve still got busy weeks ahead of me! God bless you all . 

-------------

April is the daughter of missionaries Jonathan and Tamba Abel.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dan and Marcela Giles' Website

Giles Blog Dan and Marcela Giles have a new website.  Check it out by clicking here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ben Jore Update

Dear friends,

Hazabe hut Finals have started! Monday through Wednesday (June 8-10) are final examinations for all the students for the third and final semester of the year. That means that another year has come and all but gone already. Graduation is not until June 28 as the school needs time to harvest their corn and beans - a laborious process done completely by hand. This harvest will provide food for next year's students and hopefully provide a little profit when the excess is sold. As I mentioned in my last update, Jesse and I will be returning to the States shortly after graduation for a brief furlough before returning to Waama for the 2009-2010 school year.

We praise God for the good year of ministry he has given us this year.

It was by far our best year of teaching we have had. Not only are we getting more and more fluent in Swahili, but we have taught a number of our classes in previous years and can build on what we learned those years rather than starting everything from scratch. Since neither Jesse nor I are teachers by profession, it has also taken some time to figure out how to teach well, especially in an African setting. Teaching has been a huge blessing for us and we look forward to another chance to teach again next year.

Our Jesus Film ministry has also been a huge blessing. We are done for the year now, but had a very good year. Though we didn't have quite as productive a year as last school year, we feel that we accomplished more, especially during our seminar and preaching opportunities (during all of our weekend trips we get the opportunity to teach a seminar and preach - an incredible opportunity). God has been incredibly faithful throughout this ministry. Please continue to pray that God would water the seed that was planted and cause it to grow and bear much fruit.

**Electricity Update** Not much to update on... at least not much good news to update on. The power company's truck is still not fixed. But worse yet is that the transformer that was earmarked for the school has disappeared. So now the power company is trying to get another one from Dares Salaam. I have been tempted to get discouraged, but none of the locals seem to be concerned. Elections are coming next year and they say that all the incumbents would love to be able to brag that they brought electricity to Waama. In fact some say that they are probably slowing the process down so that we'll get hooked up closer to election time so that it will be fresh in everybody's mind. Who knows. In any case, money for the internal wiring continues to come in. No more rewiring has been done as of yet, mainly because the electrician has had some health problems - first his own health (we heard that he had to have surgery), but now his child has not been well. But the school is optimistic that he will soon be able to continue his work. This project has been a good "cultural experience" for Jesse and I. Thanks for your prayers and gifts on behalf of this project.

Please continue to keep the school in prayer. This summer (while Jesse and I are in the States), the school will be offering Accounting and English summer courses for the month of July. Then in August the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania will have their biannual conference on campus here. Then as soon as that is done the school will start getting ready for classes to start in early October.

Would you please pray for my financial situation? As you probably already know, Short Term Assistants (like Jesse and I) are not salaried.

Whatever comes in for a given month is the amount we are given. This is quite exciting as the figures can change as much as 10 times from one month to the next. This being said, the first 5 months of 2009 have been on the lower end of things. In fact, so far this year I have received only slightly over 1/3 of my estimated budget. I should probably be quite concerned about this, but I'm only mildly so. God has provided in the past, he is providing now, and I have complete confidence that he will continue to provide in the future. I would, however, appreciate your prayers on my behalf in this regard. Thanks.

Thanks to all for your partnership in this ministry. I hope to see each of you this summer. May God bless you,

Ben

PS If you haven't checked out our blog recently, please check it out!
The address is http://benandjesse.blogspot.com/

Chmiels' Spring Newsletter

Chmiels' Spring Newsletter We are also very thankful for what God seems to be doing in our friend Mrs. Tanya’s life. Mrs. Tanya always said she believed in God but . . .

Click here to read the newsletter in pdf format.

Friday, June 05, 2009

He Will Enable, by Jim Taylor

Whom God Calls to Serve,He Will Also Enable

visiting grandma When I was a young boy attending Sunday School we were often taught about missionaries serving in far away places such as Africa, China, and India. I wondered what it would be like to be a missionary and, quite honestly, didn’t want God to call me to serve Him in that way. I was afraid that I would have to endure many hardships as a missionary and really didn’t want to do that.

Scripture is full of stories of men and women chosen by God to serve Him. For the most part these men and women were common, ordinary people. They included fisherman, farmers, shepherds, prostitutes, tax collectors and even a Pharisee. Most of them, like those called to be disciples, immediately dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. A few however argued, cajoled, objected or ran away from God’s call, but like Moses and Jonah, when God made it very clear that He had chosen them, they responded.

All of them, in their own right, were inadequate to carry out the work God had called them to do. In general they all shared the same questionable character traits. They were stubborn, skeptical, rash, prideful, weak, impetuous, reluctant, (sound like anyone you know?) and sinners also, just like you and me. They were slow to understand and sometimes slower yet to obey. But God chose them to be earthly instruments of His will. God knew that He would have to empower them, teach them, care for them, and even give them the words to say in order that they might serve Him and fulfill His purpose.

God continues to use common, ordinary, sinful people to serve Him and He continues to enable them and care for them according to his will. He has a plan for how each of us are to serve Him. We may not all be called to the mission field or the pastoral ministry but we will surely be called and He will enable us through the power of His Holy Spirit to fulfill His purpose. As Christians our role is to remain open to God’s call and to trust Him. God’s love for us is inexhaustible and our very purpose for being is to serve and glorify Him. Whatever God calls you to do, He will also enable you..

Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

This devotional was written by Jim Taylor.  Jim is a member of the World Missions Committee.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

VBS Missions Projects

clip_image002A number of Vacation Bible Schools have a missions emphasis as part of their program.  We are more than happy to supply ideas, photos and other promotional materials to those desiring them for Vacation Bible School.

Again this year we have posted several ideas on our website.  There are downloadable resources on that page as well.  To go to the webpage click here.

Please contact the Missions Office if we can be of any help.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Nate Jores

Greetings from sunny Jinja!

Jore Boys In less than 6 weeks we are flying back to the U.S. for our first furlough. There is so much to do before we leave! After pursuing renters for our house for the last several months & not having any success, we have decided to stop renting this place and to find a new location when we return in January. That means that instead of just packing a few suitcases for our 6-month stay in the States, we now need to pack up our whole house & put it in storage. We're so thankful for wonderful friends here who have offered to let us store our things in their garage.

We can't focus on packing yet, however, because we have a team coming on the 12th to spend 2 1/2 weeks with us. Sam & Rachel Menge and their son, Jericho, are hosting the team of 7 youth from the Midwest. All 10 will be staying in our home. It will be tight, but I think we'll have a good time. :) We look forward to some late night "Settlers of Catan" games with them. The team will primarily be helping with the training that Nate does in Naigobya and Butagaya, as well as staying overnight in those villages and bonding with their host families. They will also be visiting an orphanage, sharing at a few secondary schools (high school), playing soccer with a group of street boys that our missionary friends work with, and going on a safari. Please pray for their protection as they travel here, and for a fruitful time while they are here.

After Nate's students took their 1st set of exams at the end of their 1st term, they took a 2 week break during which Nate worked ahead to prepare the stories that will be taught while we are in the States. Three of his students (Chris, David and Wilson) will be taking over the training during those 6 months. We are so thankful for these 3 men. They are humble & teachable, and we believe that they will do a wonderful job. Please pray that they would be completely dependent on the Holy Spirit as they prepare and as they teach, and that they would remain faithful and be given much wisdom.
Last night our faithful watch dog died, and we believe that he was poisoned. Some of our missionary friends down the street have also recently lost a dog to poisoning and have since had thieves trying to break in. We would appreciate prayer for protection during our remaining weeks here. We are feeling at peace because we know God is our ultimate Protector and will not allow anything to happen that is not in His plan. We are thankful to our friends who have allowed us to "borrow" one of their dogs for our remaining weeks here.

The boys are counting down the days 'til they can be reunited with their grandparents and cousins... 41 more days. :) We are so excited to return "home", and yet we know that we will also be excited to come back in January. Will you pray that we will finish well and that we will have good time management during our final weeks here so that we can finish everything that is important? Thank you!

We updated our blog this past month with recent pictures. Check it out! (www.jorenews.blogspot.com)

We are so thankful for all of you! We look forward to seeing many of you very soon.

Blessings,
Rhoda and Nate Jore
Elijah, Judah and Hannah

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Latest Kvale Connection

Kvale Connection With gratitude for each intercessor in our Lord Jesus,

     Please continue to pray with us in serving the computer needs of Wycliffe Bible Translators full-time since January 2009.  God has faithfully enabled this to be possible for five months now!  We lift praises unto Him and pray we may serve for the glory of God in reaching the Bible-less for years to come.  We desire to see God’s Word be spread to all nations as we live each day as if it was “that day”!  (See Matthew 24:36 NASB).

     Recently, God's Word has impacted many hearts in the Caquinte language group of Peru. 17 people returned to the Lord. Seven children and three adults came to saving faith in Jesus. In another local area, one young adult, along with her husband and sister, were baptized. From that same village, news came of another young woman who returned to the Lord.  Pray against the stronghold of drunkenness among this language community. Pray that God will help Caquinte believers to take a firm stand, grow in their faith as they hear the Word of God and find new ways to celebrate events and experience joy in being with other believers. Praise God for the Caquinte New Testament, which was dedicated in July 2006. Pray that the translated Word of God would continue to transform Caquinte speakers now and into future generations.

     See our latest Kvale Connection Newsletter (click here) for an update as we serve in a support role praying that this service will aid in making more testimonies such as the above possible through the gospel which is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes”. (See Romans 1:16 NASB).

     We serve from our home in the SW MN area.  If you’d like our family to come and share at your church, Christian school, or small group please contact us and we’d be happy to set up a time that would work well with your schedule.

"The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God."

(1 Corinthians 1:18, NLT).

Monday, June 01, 2009

Ingrid Giles

Ingrid The last few weeks have been very eventful!

My uveitis (the eye problem I mentioned a couple of weeks ago) is slowly improving.  My next appointment is a week from tomorrow.  Please continue to pray for healing.

My nephew Robert (Danny and Marcela’s boy) was born a little over a week ago.

I went to the nearby city of San Luis Potosí this last week to get my visa, which makes me legal for another year. 

I'm not sure how aware you are of the situation in Jerez -- there are bad guys from elsewhere who moved in a couple of years ago and took over the town as they have done or are trying to do in many parts of Mexico, and things have been relatively calm for the last several months even though there are an awful lot of them here and the army is here, too.  If it's a battle zone, it's a very quiet one -- even the prison break about half an hour from here was done without a shot fired (apparently they just showed up with a convoy of armed vehicles and a helicopter, knocked on the door, and explained that they were there to remove some prisoners).  It's not like we're dodging bullets or anything like that.  Daily life is just as close to normal as it ever was.

However, Lois Raser, a friend of ours and retired missionary living in Jerez, had a phone call today apparently from the "bad guys", saying they want to talk to her.  We don't know if it was really them or some kind of practical joke.  When they intend to do something bad, they usually don't call people ahead of time to warn them.   In any case, we know that God is greater than any army, "good" or "bad"!   We are praying for his protection for her and her loved ones as well as all the rest of us, and we thank God that He has already freed her from the fear that she felt initially.

Here is my prayer list:

Please (requests):

  • Pray for my continued health, including full healing of uveitis.
  • Pray for safety for all the missionaries in Jerez.
  • Ask God to continue to provide Dan and Marcela’s financial needs and also mine. 
  • Please continue to pray for Claudia Gamboa and her kids, for Abril and Cesar, and for Oscar.
  • Pray for Nena and Fernando and their family, especially for full forgiveness and restoration.
  • Pray for Omar’s family; that they would come to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
  • 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 guide me in small and large decisions, and to help me spend my time wisely.

Thank you (praise):

  • I have my visa -- and it went well!  (Thank God for good lawyers!)
  • Robert is born!
  • Fernando is here and seems to be trying to follow God and to be a good dad and a good husband. 
  • We have a new family (Omar’s family) in church!
  • I have wonderful loving friends and family and I get to spend time with my nieces and nephew every day!
  • God is continuing to provide our needs.

Sincerely,

Ingrid Giles