Friday, May 27, 2011

Our God Moves Mountains

Here is a teaser from  Steve and Glenda Kvale’s quarterly newsletter:  Kvale Connection. 

imageThis quarter’s prayer letter is opened with a word of praise to God who moves mountains. As you prayed with us concerning Steve’s computer project when our last letter was printed, we knew God was at work through the sleepless nights, extra hours of work on the project and the unity that grew in the team as communication increased to the benefit of the project. We needed to practice patience, understanding and cooperation to persevere in a project that seemed to be bombarded by the enemy with roadblocks. Victory is His as we persevere in trials. Steve felt stretched in this project for the Kingdom. We can say that through times like this, more equipping takes place to be even more effective for Him. Though we wish we could say the project was completed, it’s an even bigger answer to prayer at this point to say that the mountainous roadblocks to completing this project have been removed!  For this we praise God above! This project is in a vital restructuring mode with the team in Dallas, TX, for the time being.

Click here to read the rest of this informative letter.

Dear friends and prayer partners,

Twenty-one years ago, Dorothy began praying for an unreached people group in West Africa through the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project (BPPP).  During what seemed like years of  silence from God, she persevered.  In 1993, one man (we call Dalmar) from the people group accepted Christ.  He began working with Wycliffe Bible translators.  His cousin accepted Christ and soon two more members of the community became believers.  In August 2010, twenty-one years after Dorothy began praying, the complete book of Genesis has been distributed.   After reading it, a man who used to persecute Dalmar for his faith has come to recognize the truth of God’s Word.  Through twenty-one years of prayer, Dalmars neighbors are finally reading the Scriptures-words that are introducing them to their Savior. 

You play a key role as you pray for us in support roles for the Lord with Wycliffe Bible Translators and for Bibleless peoples of the world.  Thank you for your prayers and financial gifts as together we work to reach the least, the last, and the lost with God’s Word.

Serving Him with you,

Steve & Glenda Kvale Family
AFLC Missionaries on loan to Wycliffe Bible Translators

Check out these links:  Translate the Word and  Wycliffe Bible Translators

Monday, May 23, 2011

Palmers Traveling to India and Uganda

We are leaving to oversee and encourage the work in India and Uganda.  Would you pray for us as we travel?  Especially pray for our heath and that God would use us as He sees fit. 

We leave May 23 and will return on June 7, a few days before the AFLC Annual Conference.

Keep up with us and other AFLC World Missions happenings by becoming friends of AFLC World Missions.  Follow the link below.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Prayer Update from Darwin Jackson

"Lord Jesus, thou art the way, the truth, and the life; hear us as we pray for the truth that shall make us free. Teach us that liberty is not only to be loved, but also to be lived. Liberty is too precious a thing to be buried in books. It costs too much to be horded. Help us to see that our liberty is not the right to do as we please, but the opportunity to do what is right." Peter Marshall before the Senate.

imageOn Sunday Alfonso and I went looking for Marcos again. He came to church on Sunday so we wanted to repay the visit and try to share the Gospel with him to lead him to Jesus. Instead we found Baja, a man from Jordan who has only been in Nogales Sonora Mexico for about three months. He says he came here looking for work, but that he doesn't like it because of all of the violence. Plus, he's really struggling with Spanish (speaks Arabic and English). He asked me what I was doing in Nogales visiting the homes, which of course lead us to talk about the differences between what Islam teaches about forgiveness and eternal life, and what Jesus in the Bible teaches. Pray we can visit him again soon, and that the Lord will open his heart and mind to the Gospel.

Alfonso is still asking for prayer for his appointment in Obregon to have his pacemaker and heart looked at. The doctors here say the pacemaker isn't working anymore (11 years old!). He's been waiting for over a month for the appointment.

Brother Jose out in Mascareñas is in pretty bad condition. We went to their house to hold a meeting as usual and there were a couple of doctors there treating him. It seems he has had herpes so he has a huge gaping sore on his back and shoulder. He has fallen a couple of times recently, and on one of them he either broke, or dislocated his shoulder. Which is giving him a lot of pain. They say they can't treat the bones in the shoulder until the sore is healed up some. Pray for this dear couple, poor Chui his wife says the whole village can hear him at night. He moans, even wails because of the pain.

It looks like our little Malina might be going to a family member soon. They have found a great aunt who is going through the hoops to try to adopt her. That is bitter sweet news. We have really gotten to love this little gal. We've had her for about five months now, since she was sixteen days old.

Thank you all so much for all of your prayers. They are deeply felt and appreciated. Your fellow workers in the liberty with which Christ has set us free, 

Darwin, Mary Ann, Gracie, Cesar, Racheal, Gabe, and little Melina

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jonni Sliver’s May 2011 Newsletter

imageI went to church last night and saw something I haven’t since the furnace went out at Emmaus in November - people sitting in the pews wrapped in scarves, wearing mittens. Winter is coming to Campo Mourão! No, it really doesn’t compare with the winter that was in the Upper Midwest but the cool nights in an unheated room makes me very grateful for many things - the lovely, cozy apartment that was prepared for me here at the Miriam Home and Bible School; the electric blanket that I inherited from Connely Dyrud; a cup of really good coffee on cold mornings. I am settling in to life in Brazil.


Lucas is 11 years old and his stay in the Miriam Home was a short one; he was only with us for a few weeks. Lucas is a happy young man who plays with exuberance and is
helpful around the house. He is a smart young man and is doing really well in the fifth grade. All of this is a little surprising for a few reasons, first because he has been going through a rough patch recently.

To read more about Lucas and Jonni’s ministry, click here for the PDF version of the newsletter.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Christ for the Nations

imageRachael Ballman recently wrote an essay for Global Encounters website.  here is just a small part of it.  Read it in its entirety here.

Missions is the very heart of God! It is the central theme of the Bible and gives Christian people purpose and meaning. Jesus sent out the first missionaries uttering the Gospel imperative, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”(Matthew 28:19‐20a). Missions, then, is fulfilling the command of Jesus to make disciples of ALL nations!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Greetings from Darwin Jackson

"Trouble is one of God's great servants because it reminds us how much we continually need the Lord." Jim Cymbala

imageWe had a great conference in Nogales Sonora last weekend with brethren from Puebla, Sinaloa and of course here in Sonora. The theme of the conference was "United in the Spirit." I took Gracie for a couple of days so that she could experience the joy of it all. She knew several of the brother and sisters, some hadn't seen Gracie since she was four or five years old. (see pictures on our blog) Brother Juan Fernandez came all the way from Bolivia to participate and help us to partner with other Latin American Lutheran bodies and the World Mission Prayer League in praying and sending Latin Americans out into the mission field. It is very exiting to see, hear and envision what God it doing today and how we can be co-workers with Him.

On Sunday Alfonso and I encourage a 17 yr old teen to come to church with us, and he did. So, we'll visit him again this weekend, pray for Marcos. Also, one of the Dad's of a couple of our Sunday school kids came to one of our house meetings. But our brother Jose is not doing good in that home. He just had his eightieth birthday, it seems he's going fast. We were able to serve him communion. But he's not able to walk. Pray for his wife Chui as she tries to care for him.

Thank you all for praying with us, your fellow workers.

Darwin, Mary Ann, Gracie, Cesar, Gabe, Rachael and little Melina

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pillmans Accept Call to AFLC World Missions

Justo and Patricia Pillman have accepted a call to be missionaries with AFLC World Missions.  The Pillmans will be commissioned at the WMF Missions Festival at AFLC Annual Conference in Sioux Falls, SD, June 14-17.

Justo and Patricia will be assigned to Ecuador after the details are worked out with the national church.  Before they were married, Justo worked as a Short Term Mission Assistant with the national church in Ecuador.  They will begin deputation in the coming year.

Refreshment in HARD Places–May Devotional

As I was thinking about Psalm 84 recently, and looking at verses 5-7 which describe those who believe in the Lord, I realized that v. 6 describes a unique way of doing the work of missions:

“Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;  The early rain also covers it with blessings.”

The “valley of Baca” is the valley of “weeping”, or the valley of “suffering”. It is a HARD place. We, as Jesus’ people, are intended to bring “refreshment” to HARD places.

According to Christian radio, May 1st was to be observed imageas “Holocaust Remembrance Day”, in order to remember the 6 million Jews (and others) who were put to death during World War II, by the Nazis in their concentration camps, etc. The Holocaust experience was definitely a “place of weeping”, a HARD place.

When I think of that time, I always think of Corrie ten Boom (see photo on right) and her family who were sent to the concentration camps because they had hidden Jews from the Nazis in order to save their lives. On our return from India, a couple of years ago, Pastor Bob W. Lee and I had the opportunity to visit the Corrie ten Boom museum in Haarlem in the Amsterdam area. We were able to see the secret “Hiding Place” in their home where the Jews were hidden. When the ten Booms were arrested for their “illegal” activities, the hiding place was not discovered and the Jews hiding there were later let out by friendly Dutch policemen. The ten Booms were practicing this unusual missionary work of bringing “refreshment” to HARD places in their hiding of the Jews. They continued to fulfill Ps. 84:6 as they were sent to the concentration camps. Corrie writes in her “Tramp For The Lord”:

“When I was in a prison camp in Holland during the war, I often prayed, ‘Lord, never let the enemy put me in a German concentration camp.’ God answered no to that prayer. Yet in the German camp, with all its horror, I found many prisoners who had never heard of Jesus Christ. If God had not used my sister Betsie and me to bring them to Him, they would never have heard of Him. Many died, or were killed, but many died with the Name of Jesus on their lips. They were well worth all our suffering.image

They fulfilled both parts of this verse:

1) they made it a place of “springs”, a place of unexpected refreshment, like a spring of pure water bubbling up from the ground. A week after her sister died in Ravensbruck (see photo at left),  Corrie and the other thousands of prisoners in the camp were gathered in the cold morning wind for roll call. Corrie was called to stand apart and she wondered why? Was it for punishment?...or freedom?…or execution?...or to be sent to another camp? A young girl was called to stand beside her. The girl thought they were to receive the death sentence. Corrie prayed for the Lord to give her all the love and wisdom she needed for Him to use her to make use of this last chance to bring someone to Him before she arrived in heaven. She introduced herself to the girl and asked if she read the Bible and if she believed in God. When the girl wanted to know more, Corrie told her about Jesus who died on the cross for them and is always with them even in their suffering and who took away all her hatred and bitterness for her enemies. For the 3 hours that the roll call lasted, she explained many things about Jesus with the prisoners behind them listening. She told her how to ask Jesus into her heart and the girl did. The siren sounded and the prisoners left for work. Corrie was left standing alone and released to freedom due to an administrative blunder.

2) the early rain covered it with blessings. As they came to this HARD place, trusting in the Lord, He acted in their situation, answering their prayers, and bringing them a “SHOWER” of blessings. When they first came to Ravensbruck, Corrie was carrying a Bible, hidden in a bag on a string between her shoulder blades. They needed to take off all their clothes and walk naked past the guards. But they asked to use the toilets and were let into the shower room and they were able to hide the Bible in a pile of benches and retrieve it later. But then it made a bulge under her prison dress, so Corrie prayed the Lord to send His angels to surround them and be “untransparent”. The woman behind her and her sister after her were both searched, but they didn’t touch or even look at Corrie. They went through another examination line, but when Corrie slowed down for it, they moved her along. As a result they had God’s Word and held Bible studies in their barracks which became known as “the crazy place, where they hope.”

WE are also called to bring unexpected “refreshment” to HARD places, the valleys of our own sufferings, and the valleys of other’s sufferings. Are you refreshing, and being refreshed, by Jesus, today?

Editor’s note:  If you want to see a live interview with Corrie ten Boom on YouTube, please click here.

Craig Wentzel

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

“Pass It On”–Paul Abels Newsletter

"We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done." Psalm 78:4

imageWe took over 70 youth and adults from the Curitiba area to Carnaval Camp in Campo Mourão in March. We were happy to have 280 campers with representatives from all the Free Lutheran churches in Brazil for 4 days of spiritual fellowship. Paul translated for Pastor Mark Olson from MN who did a great job as our evening speaker! The theme "A Generation in the Hands of the Potter" was the basis for lots of great personal ministry in the lives of the campers.

imageWe've enjoyed having lots of company in March. The day after camp we headed to Campo Grande to spend time with our friends from the Mission Committee who spent three weeks in Brazil observing and encouraging the ministry efforts here.

Glenn Mork, Del and Karen Palmer, and  Bonnie and Paul Handsaker.

This is just the highlights from the Abels’ newsletter.  Please click here to read the entire document and know how to pray for the Abels.