Monday, June 30, 2014

Mafú (Matthew Abel) on Mission


Hello Friends and Family!

    Ãcõreba bendesidia! (“God bless you” in the Emberá language.) It is great to be back in Brazil, and I look forward to some time at home.

First off,  thank you for your prayers and financial support. We found ourselves constantly depending on the work of the Holy Spirit in order to succeed in all areas - spiritual, emotional, relational, physical, financial. Your prayers helped us succeed and your financial gifts provided for our basic needs for transportation and food. We made it - Thank you!

As you may or may not know, I have spent the last two months, along with 14 others, among the indigenous peoples of Panama. Just being a part of our team  was a cultural experience in itself as we had young people from Canada, U.S., Holland, Nicaragua, Honduras, Brazil, Columbia, Panama and 2 different Indian tribes in Panama. We traveled by land and water from the northwest corner to the south side of Panama on the Pacific side and back up on the Atlantic side. Though we ministered to various people including Ngobe, Buglere, Emberá, Waunán, Afro-descendants and Latinos, the bulk of our time was spent with the Emberá Indians in the Darien rain forest near the Columbian border.

We spent time in churched areas, evangelizing and encouraging the church, loving and serving in Jesus’ name. We also went to where there are no churches preaching the Good News that Jesus paid it all and purchased our freedom from fear, sin, and damnation.  We entertained, we taught, we preached, we prayed for the sick, we cast out demons and we served in Jesus’ name.  

I have graduated from Discipleship Training School and am once again serving in Brazil.  As I reflect on this past semester I am encouraged to see how the Lord has used me in the building up of the Kingdom and how He has worked in my life, conforming me to Jesus.

Now I am at home with the continual mission of making disciples of Jesus by cultivating intentional relationships, pursuing Jesus, living the model life, preaching, teaching, loving, giving, serving, singing, smiling, submitting, encouraging, challenging, correcting, influencing, empowering ….. All for the glory of God, the salvation of souls and our joy!

    God bless you all.  In Christ, Mafú

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." Acts 20:2

Kvale Connection Prayer Letter - June 2014

imageJesus Christ is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever (Hebrews 13:8, NIV).
Since our visit to the Wycliffe headquarters in December to touch base with the team, the project on the new Wycliffe USA website has launched as of this week! This change is one we hope will render effective matching of willing servants of the Lord from many places to positions needing serving in to further the efforts of Bible Translation to all peoples.

  To read the entire newsletter, click here

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Update on flood

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement.  Thankfully, we didn't get any water in the house and the church fared pretty well.   No damage.  Most people in the neighborhood of the church had water in their homes but most escaped any major losses.  However, there are 3 families of children in our Tuesday Kids' Club that lost many things including clothes, beds and refrigerators.  Their homes are lower-lying and one of the mom's said the water in their street was waist-deep.  She also had a couple small snakes that she found in the house afterward as well.  Please pray for these families and for God to open doors for His Word in their hearts and to the ministry of our church as well.

Thanks so much!

Todd and Barb Schierkolk

Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Mission Social Media Editor

20140623_133113aAFLC World Missions has a new editor of our social media, Facebook and blog.  We say thanks to Matthew Pillman who volunteered as editor during this last semester of AFLBS.

Our new editor is Carol Knapp.  Carol lives in Willmar, MN with her family George and Helen Knapp.  Carol was born in Maringa, Brazil and has had a long term personal involvement and interest in AFLC World Missions. 

Thank you Carol for being willing to serve the Lord in this way!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby Levi


Introducing... Levi Michael Coyle.
Our sweet baby boy arrived this past Wednesday, June 18 at 7:14 a.m. He weighed 7# 3 oz. (3260g), and measured 19.25 in. (48.9 cm). We are so incredibly grateful for how God answered so many prayers. Praising God for this precious gift!

Andy, Monica, Moriah, Isaiah, Josiah and Levi

Flooding in Jerez

flooding in Jerez

Lots of rain last night (Twin Cities will sympathize) that resulted in a dam breaking just a few miles away from our side of town.  Last time this happened many people close to the site lost everything.  The attached picture is from the street behind our house.  People in the neighborhood of our church are battling with water either coming in through the door or up through the drains.  Praying that God will use this to draw people to Himself.  Haven't been able to get out to the church building yet.

In Christ,

Todd, Barb and Kirstie Schierkolk

Never heard this one before . . .

Kirstie and kidsWe were delighted last week to see this little group of 3 kidlets come around the corner to the new location of our Kid's Club at our church building in their neighborhood.  It was a couple extra blocks to walk for them and little Danny is prone to bolt out into the street without looking so we weren't sure they would be able to come.  But they did.  And they had some interesting news for us!  We've heard lots of different types of criticism of us, our church and what we believe; a couple examples . . . we don't believe in the Virgin, we don't believe in the saints or we don't believe in the pope.  But the oldest of these 3 kids told us that someone said that we don't believe in God!  Yup.  That's what they were told.  So, of course we were happy to see that they didn't believe what was said about us.  They've been coming to the club for over a year now and we're very grateful for the privilege and opportunity to continue to teach them about the God we very much believe in and the wonders of His love.

A couple quick prayer requests:

For Rachel as she is counseling with Teen Camps at her college.

For Megan as she travels with the South Barnabas summer team helping Home Mission congregations with their VBS's.

And for us as we get ready for our own VBS here in Jerez next month.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

New Church–Schierkolks

New church 2We're in a new church building now!  So grateful for the opportunity to rent this house and meet for worship here.  It had been available a year ago but someone beat us to it.  Then it became available again and ​we made the switch in March.  We were also just able to move our Kid's club to the new church as well.  God's timing is really wonderful because just after we rented the new building, the owners of the house with the garage that we had been meeting at with the kids on Tuesdays moved into it!   Most of the kids have made the transition but a number of the little kids still haven't yet.  Hoping that we can see some kind of arrangements made for them to come as well.

Kid's Club at new church​Thanks so much again for your prayers for us and this ministry.  We could not be here without you.  And for those of you who have been able and led by the Spirit of God to help us financially . . . thank you for your generosity.  We're grateful to all of you for your partnership with us in this ministry in whatever way that manifests itself.

In Christ,

Todd and Barb Schierkolk

​Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico​

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Amanda Bellefy - Ecuador

Amanda BellefyAs I'm writing this, I'm outside watching the biggest and prettiest hummingbird I've ever seen fly in front of me.  The school year is coming to an end here at the Bible school.  The students are taking finals this week and they graduate on June 14th.  Next week I will be going with them to Cuenca as they will have a week of practicals before they graduate. 

After they graduate, I will be moving to Cuenca for the summer and house sitting the Pillman's house as they are in the states until August.  I was in charge for most of May as the administrator was in the states, and praise God nothing too major happened and I think it went well.  I taught her literature class and a class on the book of Ruth during that time, which really helped my Spanish. 

I got a 6 month tourist visa, so I have until November to get my missionary visa.  I have all the papers that I need except one-the church's registration papers.  The place that has the registration papers is currently without a manager, and so I am waiting for them to get a manager so that they can sign the paper.  It sounds like such a simple thing, but I have been waiting for this paper for 2 months already, so please pray for this. 

Yesterday we had a fun adventure chasing our chickens-I have decided I never want chickens (unless I can watch the entertainment from a distance).  I have been working on a play based on the book of Hosea and the book Redeeming Love.  I just finished it and it will be performed by the students in August, I am told.  This summer I will be working in Cuenca, and Rachel (the administrator) and I are organizing a Kids' Camp for the month of July.  I will be working on making the Bible lessons for the teachers this coming week.  Thank you for all of your support and prayers.

Prayer Requests:

1. For the students as they graduate, that they would continue to grow in their faith after leaving Bible school (Pocho, Kevin, Taty, Johanna, & Raquel)

2. For future students in the fall

3. For my missionary visa

4. For the summer Kids' Camp

In Christ,
Amanda Bellefy