Monday, February 11, 2013

Update on the Wagners in Africa

Editor’s note:  The Wagners have arrived in Ghana since this newsletter was posted.  You can see their entire newsletter here.  You can join the Wagner’s Facebook Updates group here.

Off to AfricaWe’ve got flights on January 30th from Minnesota » New York » Ghana, where we will attend a 3-month West Africa orientation. This will be training for missionary life in Sierra Leone—what to pack for initial three year term, what LBT translation and Scripture engagement projects look like, how to learn and communicate in West African languages and cultures, how to manage stress, etc. You know, just normal everyday stuff.

We had been sharing (with Skittles) that 471 languages of 6,900+ have complete Bibles. Well, the number is now 518 of 6,800+ (Yes, language are dying off). Here’s something to get excited about. Since 1999...
• 300 New Testaments have been published.
• Revisions of earlier work have been published in over 70 languages.
• New work has begun in over 700 languages. (Wycliffe, 2012)
If you saw our Skittles presentation, you know Skittles (a.k.a. languages) are on the move from jar to jar! Praise the Lord! If you haven’t seen it, head on over to
You Tube video on Skittles and Translations and check it out.  You’ll love it.

We are eager to setup our home in Sierra Leone and dive into our roles, Josh in Scripture engagement and Ruthie in Mommy-ing and translation.  However, we recognize this time of training and preparing is invaluable. Thank you so much for your prayers and support! Until next time...

❤ Josh, Ruthie, & Elijah

Friday, February 08, 2013

Update from the Coyles in Ukraine

Editor’s note:  The rest of the Coyle’s February newsletter can be found here.

Fellowship dayIt seems these days that time just flies by. Just yesterday I (Andy) stopped and considered how much busier we are compared to this time last year. Our family life is much busier with Moriah’s and Isaiah’s different school schedules. Our ministry life now contains various women’s groups that Monica participates in as well as all the activities, classes, staff meetings, seminars that fall under the ministry of the Bible School. Time continues to pass. One of our Bible School students sadly remarked that today (Feb. 7) is the half-way point for the Bible School. We have seen much growth and development in our students throughout these past months and trust that God will continue to do his work.

As time continues to pass, we as Bible School staff not only focus on the present, but also the future. There are many questions and opportunities before us as we look ahead. Stage One is complete. God has brought staff and students from many countries to begin this school. We praise Him for that. Right now we are looking at Stage Two. We are already hearing of students from Russia who are planning on attending next year. We believe that He is continuing to open up doors for this important ministry to grow. These next couple of months are very important for our Bible school, as a few crucial decisions will be made with the governing body of the Lutheran Church here in Ukraine. These questions relate not only to the stability of the present, but also for the stability of the future. I would love to share more details, but suffice it to say that we ask you to pray for this ministry. We really need God’s wisdom, guidance, and discernment as we discuss, plan, and present our vision. Pray for a common unity, understanding, and desire for the ministry of the Bible School here in Ukraine and this region.

Coyle family_Feb 2013We continue to thank God for you, and pray for you, too. Please email us how we can be praying for you. May you find strength and joy as you abide in Him (John 15:5).

In His Grace,
Andy, Monica, Moriah, Isaiah and Josiah

“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them." Isaiah 42:15-17

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

World Relief

FloodThe following news comes from World Relief the relief agency used by the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations.

World Relief Helps Flood Victims in Mozambique

Flood Waters Recede; Extent of Damage Devastating

Floods in Mozambique last week – some of the worst in 50 years – forced the evacuation of thousands of people near World Relief ministries in the Chokwe province. World Relief staff and church partners are on the scene providing assistance to families who have lost everything – shelter, crops, clothing.

But more help is needed.  At least $100,000 in immediate aid is needed now. Current needs, especially for the 75,000 people living in camps, include:

  • Emergency food – Prices for a box of tomatoes in the market jumped from $3 to $19.
  • Water – Most sources are contaminated.
  • Shelter – Thousands of homes were destroyed.
  • Seeds and tools – The destroyed crops of 1,400 families need to be replanted.

Please pray for our staff and church partners working on the scene.  One of our staff, Mr. Callanga, labors around the clock to care for others.  Like many others, he has been unable to find his family since the floods.  He knows they ran for their lives after the flooding but has not yet heard if they survived. Many other Christians continue to help others, hoping to be reunited with their families, too.  These brothers and sisters need our prayers and help now.

Please pray and give as you are able today by clicking here:  Give to Mozambique.

To learn more about this situation, you can read our blog (World Relief Responds) or follow World Relief Mozambique on Facebook.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

New Faces, New Hearts

Editor’s note:  Normally, I will give you a teaser from a missionary’s newsletter but this time, I just had to include all the children Jonni talked about here on the post.  You can read about Jonni’s prayer requests and her upcoming visit to the US here.

After a short lull the end of December and the beginning of January, the Miriam Home is once again full and hopping. We have 13 children in the house and with summer holidays in full gear, there is never a dull moment! Let me introduce you to the gang.

Let’s start with the youngest, they have also been here the longest, both arrived last year. Nicolas and Emily are both nearly three years old. Nicolas is with us because of extreme neglect and abandonment; Emily because of  regular abuse from her father, and the fact that her family wouldn’t or couldn’t defend her. This precious little tyke arrived not trusting in a single person,  today she has a beautiful smile and a ringing laugh - as long as she can see one of the house moms. If she can’t see them the fear and panic returns in a flash.

Next in line we have Emerson (5 years old), Lucas (8 years old) and his sister Sara (5 years old). Emerson was picked up at 11 p.m. wandering in the street. It is the third time in the last several months this has happened. Apparently when Emerson’s father drinks the little boy makes himself scarce. This little boy has been with us two weeks and has begun talking to us and the other children just  recently (the first days we thought he might have had autism because of his inability to connect with others, but that appears to have been more from fear than anything else). Lucas and Sara are the newest members of the Miriam family and we know a lot less about them and their family. What we do know, based on what we can see and hear as they interact with the other children, is that they have been exposed to much more of the things of the world than our teens should be, much less little children. These little ones desperately need healing of heart and mind.

Now we come to the pre-adolescent boys. Luiz (12) is an old friend. He was in the Miriam Home for over a year before he went to live with his grandparents, but old habits  returned and soon Luiz was running away from home to accompany his mother on the street. Since the street shouldn’t be the home of any child, Luiz came back to us. Daniel (9)  is a funny, affectionate child, but he really misses his mom and home. He doesn’t understand why he was taken from his home. Life with his mother was the only reality he knew and the fact that she would “rent him out” to anyone who would give her money for drugs was just a fact of life. Thaylon (12) is also new  to the Miriam Home. He came to us because his mother is in an institution because of mental problems and his father is a violent alcoholic. That being said, Thaylon is an bright, helpful young man who has easily fit into the house.

The pre-teen girls are Amanda (7) and Crislaine (9),  who have very similar stories - both were being abused by neighbors or friends of their families. Tragically, the impact on these very young girls is clear. At an age when they should be playing with  My Little Pony and Cabbage Patch dolls they have an interest in boys and sexuality that passes  that of most experienced teens. In the  same small group is Alicy (10), who came to us because her father becomes violent when he drinks, but it is clear from Alicy’s behavior that she has also been exposed to much more than her young heart can deal with.

The older girls in the house are Angely and Rebecca. Both are 14 and both are here because their families say they can’t control them. These young girls have taken on adult life styles and though both of them have at least one adult that is trying to provide the care they need, they haven’t found a way to reach the girls’ hearts. Here, in the Home, we see them, bit by bit, opening their hearts.

As you can see we have a wide range of amazing children in the Miriam Home, and in their own, individual ways, they each have broken hearts, with pieces missing. There is no doctor or psychologist who can fix them. The only one who can mend what has been broken is the One who formed them to begin with. Please pray for the Father Creator to bring His healing touch to each of our charges!