Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kvale Connection Prayer Letter-March

Awana presentation

Being invited to share at a local AWANA kids Bible club for their mission night stirred many things in us. It is interesting that when we are to plants seeds in the lives of young children eager for more of God, what challenges start to set attempted roadblocks. With discouragement, illness, setbacks, and stress knocking at our door, nevertheless, we made our date with these great kids and leaders! Sharing about all the different things people do to be a part of the translation process and hearing from the kids about their zeal and curiosity concerning missions made it a memorable and motivating night that wrenches our hearts with passion for God’s Word and compassion for His people, His children.

None of us know the future, whether today, tomorrow, next week or next year. And whether child or adult, we all have dreams, goals or things we hope for. He alone knows the number of our days and how much more valuable is our time and investment while spent with His guidance and direction. How much more urgent it is to get God’s Word out there where it has never yet been with its transforming power. Let us persevere in child-like faith!

So despite the roadblocks of any kind, the celebrating continues!


Glenda’s mother, Eleanor Aaberg (87) is busting her road block to pieces with a grin at what the Doc says was a miraculous recovery.  Praise God!

Editor's Note: You can read the Kvale’s prayer concerns as well as a wonderful story from Wycliffe Bible Translators here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bible Training Ministry in the Ukraine

Editor’s Note:  The Coyles asked for specific prayers concerning the ministry of the Bible school and here is their update on that:

We would like to update you as to what has been happening here the past few days. First of all, thank you so much for praying. We received many emails expressing your prayer support. I gladly relayed those messages to my co-workers; we were all grateful. Despite some difficult issues and high tension this past week, His peace was very near.

As of right now, there are no concrete answers. An extension was granted for further consideration until April 10. There was some negativity towards the documents, but as the meetings continued we heard more positive reports. Over the course of the next few weeks, additions and subtractions will be made, and the final document will be presented to both sides for agreement or rejection. Our Bible School team is generally more positive now as we look to the future. We sense that God will work this out that way He wants.

Prayer needs:
- Pray for the leadership of the host church (DELKU) as they analyze and work on the agreement.
- Pray for our Bible School leadership
- Pray that a fair agreement can be made between EEMN and DELKU for a solid foundation
- Pray for peace-making and unity in the midst of the details
- Pray that God's will would be done.

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

"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ." Colossians 4:3

March Missions Devotional

The following devotional was written by Glenn Mork

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

As we enter into the regional and state championships of high school sports, we are reminded of the intense competition. High school students train, compete and prepare for what seems like the ultimate prize, State Championship!

As our children were growing up, the pressure to prepare, practice and compete on Sundays was almost overwhelming. Choices were made to avoid teams that required practice and participation in games on Sunday mornings.

As our society further distances itself from the Triune God and the church, our future generation is steadily focusing on the wrong race. There are so many distractions. It’s so tempting to focus on the less important things in life. High school sports can be a wonderful experience. It can be a time of building character. It’s like so many other things in life. If our focus and drive are for the wrong reasons, the end results can be disastrous.

College costs rise at an alarming rate, many college loans are running at 11% interest. Taxes are on the rise and the cost of living is increasing much faster than our wages. Excel in high school sports, practice, practice and more intense practice. Strive for college scholarships and win the prize. Go on to college, prepare, practice and compete, strive for the prize, NCAA Championship!

Reality check, a very small percentage of high school students will ever get the prize. Even if they do, it’s a prize that will fade away. Yet, as parents, we strive. The more focused we get, the less focused we become. Sundays become more about sports and less about God.

Heavenly Father, give us strength and courage to strive for the race Paul is talking about. Help us Lord to focus on the race for eternal life! Help us Lord to speak your Word in such a way that youth will come to know you as Lord and Savior. Help us Lord to equip our youth with Your Word, Your thoughts and Your guidance as they share the gospel with their friends.

We give thanks to you Lord for the AFLC Bible School and Seminary, the students, the faculty and staff. May no-one grow weary, may no-one grow faint as we strive to fulfill your great commission.

We give thanks to you, Lord, for those you have called and sent out. We ask for your wisdom, your strength and your blessings to be upon them. We thank you Lord for those yet to be called.

May we continually be mindful of your call upon our lives, knowing that You have a time and a season for all that You do. Help us Lord, to remain attentive to You. Help us Lord to run the race well. Help us Lord to be trainers of our youth as all of us train for the eternal prize.

Wagner Updates

Joshua and ElijahMarch 14:  Please pray for our family especially during these next two weeks. Josh took a 13hr-bus ride early this morning to Accra and will fly to Sierra Leone in the morning (for 10 days). He's going to meet partners and scope out our living situation for later this year. Elijah and I are staying back in Ghana and already miss him terribly. Please pray for protection, good health, and comfort during this important time for us.

Day 42/90: Last week our orientation shifted from a classroom setting led by a Ghanaian man and Polish Father to seminars held in LBT missionaries' homes. The seminars are focused on practical living skills and dealing with issues common in the life of a missionary. Some of the many topics include:
- cooking & meal planning
- medical care
- shopping in local markets
- how to work with househelp
- dealing with corruption/bribery
- working with national partners
- spiritual warfare
- dealing with stressors
- crisis management
- driving
- African Friends and Money Matters (read this and you'll know better how to pray for us!)
- and much more!

March 24:  Josh is still in Sierra Leone until Tuesday (March 26). Right now he's actually in Makeni - where we hope to live! He's been able to meet the translation team there and even check out some housing options. He's been sharing some pictures with me via dropbox, but I don't know what they're of yet, so stay tuned... This is all very exciting for us, if you can't tell.

Thanks for your ongoing prayer support, team!
Ruthie and Joshua Wagner

Editor’s note:  You can also follow along with updates for the Wagners on their Facebook page here.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Cross of Christ and His Righteousness

In honor of Men’s Day (a Ukrainian holiday), the Bible School ladies made personalized t-shirts as gifts for the men.

imageA few weeks ago in one of my Romans classes, we were studying chapter five. I was highlighting verse eight which says, “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (ESV).” The simple connection that I was making was the inseparability between the love of God and the cross. So often we hear of God’s love, yet we don’t hear of the ugliness of the cross. Well, in the middle of class an unexpected blessing occurred to drive this point home. The Russian text for this verse (of which I had previously not consulted, which was the reason for this little surprise) creates a rather beautiful and profound picture. In our English Bibles, we read “God shows, or God demonstrates his love.” The Russian Bible uses the word, “доказывает” which means to prove, or gives evidence. It’s a much stronger word than to say He simply “shows.” Isn’t that a cool picture? God proves or gives evidence of his love at the cross of Christ.

How do we know that God loves us? Do we search for an experience? Do we look into our hearts? No, and definitely no! How do we know that God loves us? We look to the historical, objective event of the cross of Christ. There, in real time and space, we find God dealing with our sin problem. There, in real time and space, we find the merciful, passionate, and immensely intense love of God on display.

This is the simple truth that I need to hear every day. This is the simple truth that we have the privilege and responsibility to communicate with our students. Thank you so much for praying and supporting this very important work of transforming lives, one at a time.

We want to share with you another small sample of what God is doing here. What you will read was written by a Bible School student in response to the question, “What is the most important thing that you have learned about yourself?”

”I have realized that I am 100% sinner, but also 100% holy before God because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I must remember that I am a sinner, because when I see someone's faults, in my heart there is condemnation. When I think that I'm better than someone else, pride is the result. But I must remember that I am a saint. When it comes to judgment, thoughts like, "You're too evil, God will not forgive you," occur. I need to remember that I am a saint in the eyes of God, not because of my works, but through the righteousness of Jesus.
I have realized that I am weak and powerless against sin, and the only way to deal with it is to be open to God, to confess my sins to Him, and allow Him to change me.

I have also realized how important it is under any circumstances to seek God and praise Him. When I went to school, I imagined it as a place where it would be very easy to devote myself to God, seek His will, pray often, read the Bible, and that I will have no distractions. But I have now seen that the problem is not in the environment, but in me. I am just too lazy to pray, read the Bible, just as life is full of temptations. As it is written, "Behold, now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation." Our nature is such that we are always waiting for something in the future, some favorable circumstances, but we are already in the circumstances. The Lord has placed us at the right time and the right place, and has done everything that we find Him.”

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

Editor’s note:  To find out how you can pray for the Coyles, please click here.

News from the Coyles


Dear Prayer Partners,

This is a big week (specifically Tuesday and Wednesday) for us here in Odessa. The Bible School Staff are meeting with the National Church Council to present three important documents related to the present and future stability of the Bible School. Unfortunately, right now in the church there are huge personality conflicts and our Bible School Director, Pastor Alexander Gross, is facing strong opposition. Please pray for Pastor Alexander, that God would strengthen and guide him, and and bring comfort to him and his family. Please pray for Pastor Ole and I as we make specific presentations on Wednesday. Please pray also for the Lord's favor and grace in these decisions.

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

"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ." Colossians 4:3