Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brandon Marschner–Missionary Candidate

IMG_0035The World Mission Committee has approved Brandon Marschner as a missionary candidate.  Brandon, from Dickinson, ND has felt a call to world missions for a number of years.  He graduated from AFLBS and Northwestern Collage and is now enrolled in AFLTS. 

Please pray for Brandon as he completes his educations in preparation to serve on the mission field.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Did You Know Cassie Nash is Married?

imageOur short term assistant Cassie Nash who works at an orphanage in Haiti was married and is now Cassie Jean Louis.  She and Almando Jean Louis were engaged last October and were married in Haiti on February 11. 

You can read all about it in her blog.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Date Set for Pillmans’ Departure

Pillman Prayer CardThe World Missions Committee has announced that the Pillmans can depart to following the AFLC Annual Conference in Thief River Falls, MN.

Please pray for the Pillmans as they have a number of things to accomplish before their departure.  Also pray for Patricia as she has been hoarse for a number of months.  She will be seeing a specialist in the next few days.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Traveling in Mexico


Missionary Todd Schierkolk and World Mission Director Del Palmer are traveling in Mexico.  They will be visiting pastors and people in churches.  Todd needs to renew his visa at this time.

Please pray for them as they travel.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Next New Thing

Almost everything new is exciting—and sometimes scary. That is most certainly true for the children of the Miriam Home! Today we have nine young people and only one of them was with us when school ended for the year, that means eight children are facing a lot of new situations.

Nearly all of the children in the Miriam Home today are 10 years old or over. All of them come from situations where they had to take care of themselves; now they have what probably seems like so many “aunties”. To begin with that is pretty hard all by itself - it feels less like being cared for and more like being bossed around, by everyone! The rules that keep the Miriam Home from falling apart feel very restrictive during the first few weeks. But the loving hearts of our house moms are quickly winning over the children.

The next new factor in the kids lives is a new school year! Soon classes will begin again and, believe it or not, the children are looking forward to it! Many are going to new schools and all in new grades and though summer vacation is fun for a while it is nice to get back to the rhythm of classes, sports and "normal" life.

The biggest “new” in the lives of all the children is the simple unknown. Every child arrives not knowing how long they will stay with us; most have no idea where they will go when they leave. This isn’t an easy “new” to deal with, even as adults. Imagine for a child be they 5, 10 or 17years old! One of the goals of the Miriam Home is to make this stressful time as easy as possible in the lives of the children. Your prayers make a huge difference! The precious gifts so many of you have sent, have eternal impact! We recently received a boxes of mini-quilts. We are in the middle of summer right now and no one needs help staying warm but the children, even the oldest, love these mini quilts! They hold them when they watch a DVD at night, or a TV program, and they feel loved. Sheets and used tennis shoes, Tootsie Rolls and stickers have all been amazing ways for kids to feel hugs from thousands of miles away! Bless you and thank you!

Editor’s note:  To read more about the new school year starting and meet some of the new children you can read Jonni’s entire newsletter here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

AFLC Jubilee–50 Years Slideshow

This is the 50th anniversary of the AFLC. Watch the slideshow of all that God has done. Click on the arrows to make it full screen.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Happy New Year from Ukraine

Christmas 2011The holiday season here was nice and long as both East and West calendars were celebrated, which means that we were able to celebrate Christmas twice. In many ways, this whole country shuts down during these days. During that time, we had the joy of hosting Monica’s parents for 10 days.

We are finding a new rhythm to life and ministry here in Ukraine, including some new opportunities. Among them is Moriah's new adventure, which begins today, in a Ukrainian elementary school. God has opened the door for her to to attend the only Christian school here in Odessa. Isaiah will also be spending a few mornings a week at a local preschool-type program at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. We are thankful for these provisions as they are comfortable places for our kids to learn language and interact with Ukrainian children. We ask for your prayers, especially for Moriah. She is really excited about this, yet nervous as well. She has been memorizing Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Experiencing new culture, language, and situations has been a wonderful opportunity for us to help our children trust in God’s strength, grace, and power in the midst of fear.

SAM_2678-1January has also been an important month for Bible School planning. We will be presenting our formal Bible School presentation to church leadership very soon. This planning has taken much time as there are so many issues to discuss. Please pray that there would be unity and fruitful conversation for our group and church leadership as we focus on this very important ministry. These next few months will also present numerous strategic opportunities to share this school with very important people. For example, in a few weeks, all the bishops serving Lutheran synods from across the former Soviet Union will be gathering in Odessa for a conference. We will be presenting the Bible School vision, as well as facilities, to them. We pray that they would be interested in this work and bring this vision back to their home churches.

Editor’s note:  To learn more about the Coyle’s Russian Language study, Youth Center Ministry and how you can pray for them, click here.

Friday, February 03, 2012

January Update from Paul and Becky Abel

Family_Christmas 2011There really is no greater joy than to know that our children are walking in the truth and serving God.  This is our prayer for all our spiritual children as well.  We rejoice exceedingly for the blessed privilege of having the whole family together for a couple of weeks to welcome in a new year and celebrate our great heritage as a family.  We each serve God in different capacities and in different places but we find strength and encouragement through our times together.

The past three months have been loaded with activities.  In both the Bateias and Mighty Fortress churches we formed an adult choir and a children's choir.  We practiced separately and then joined together for the Christmas programs in both churches.  I like trying to make Christmas special for others and always emphasize that our greatest desire is to honor and praise God for his great Gift to us - Jesus!

Editor’s Note:  For more information on the Abel Family Christmas, Bible Camp, Children’s Camps, please read the rest of the newsletter here.

A Visit from Kevin and Pam Olson

butagaya-dramaWe loved having Kevin and Pam with us for 10 days this month. What a blast of encouragement they brought with them!

While they were here, a special event was held in Butagaya with all 8 Ambassador Institute classes in attendance. Kevin and Nate both shared with the students (about 80 in attendance, along with many family members), and each of the classes shared a drama and/or a song. At the end of the day, we shared a meal together. What a fun day it was.

Pam taught a Bible class for kids on two separate mornings at a nearby apartment building. Both times there were about 60 kids that showed up, many of them Muslims. Pam was able to share the message of Christ with the kids in a very clear way, and at the end of the 1st class 10 kids prayed to receive Him as their Savior. We are praising God for these new believers! Please pray for them with us that they would be able to grow in their young faith, and remain strong in their commitment to following Christ. A few of them come from Muslim families.

Kevin and Nate took 8 of the Ambassador Institute teachers, along with Hans and Micah, on a 3-day trip to Sipi Falls, a beautiful area up on a mountain a few hours frosipi-fallsm our home. They enjoyed times of relaxing together (playing Dutch Blitz, eating good food, hiking up waterfalls), as well as times of teaching and prayer. We are grateful for the commitment of these men to teach the Word of God in their villages. Please pray for them - that they would grow in their love for Christ and they would stay strong in their desire to bring glory to Him alone.

Kevin and Pam not only blessed all of those they met with and taught, but they blessed our family in a great way. All of the time they spent playing and laughing with our kids was a sweet gift. And all of the time they spent encouraging our hearts as they asked us questions and listened and shared their wisdom while washing dishes or eating a meal together or sitting by candlelight... thank you, Kevin and Pam. We love you dearly.

Editor’s Note:  You can view a slideshow of their visit on the Jore’s blog here.