Saturday, August 30, 2014

News from the Coyles - Bible Training Ministry in Ukraine and Beyond

DSC_6540“But [we] trust in you, O Lord; [we] say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand… Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31:14-15a, 24

Dear Prayer Team,

We are back in Ukraine and have enjoyed the beautiful August weather here in our home. It has been very nice to get back into the rhythm of life. The past few months have been a whirlwind for our family. We really enjoyed our time in the States seeing friends and family, pulpit filling, participating in a family camp, and most of all welcoming our new son into the world. Levi Michael was born June 18, and his first two months of life have been filled with lots of excitement and travel. He never lacks love from his siblings either. Most of all, we are so thankful to our Lord who upheld, provided, and ministered to us through all the changes and challenges. God has been good.

Click here to read the whole newsletter

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mafú on Mission - August 2014 Update

Hello Friends and Family!

           I am happy to announce good news to the world! Usually that means the Gospel, but today there is another piece of news -  I am engaged! I asked my lovely girlfriend, Ednay Fernanda Rodrigues de Andrade, if she would marry me and she answered "Yes!" (Actually she said "Yes, a thousand times yes!" but that seems a bit too cheesy to put in an e-mail.)

            Yes, I know you all want to tell me how wrong I was when I thought I never wanted to get married. The truth is that I actually never did think of getting married, but now I do. #peoplechange #neversaynever

            Now that the breaking news is out of the way, let me tell you of some of the challenges, plans and changes in the past month.  Part of the challenge is that we (the Arca family) have been hosting large groups of students from the USA, and that modifies our "routine" quite a bit. Organizing and equipping 25-40 young people to be a blessing and have a great mission experience is no small task. I helped with organizing the work projects and translating.  We also had camps to organize during each group visit.

    Another unexpected challenge is that the ARCA bus rolled over and got wrecked. Then on August 16 my car (that I had just fixed up for sale) was stolen. In the middle of July my mom came up with a random idea that perhaps Ednay could study at AFLBS in the fall.  In a miraculous hurry God caused everything to fall into place. My mom travelled with Ednay to the U.S. yesterday to get her settled in for a time of learning and growing. My brother Andrew and I and our brothers-in-law, Silvio and Daniel, surprised my Dad (Paul Abel) by planning a trip to Alaska to celebrate his 60th birthday, so we are looking forward to a great "guy time" for the next 10 days, flying to AK on Thursday, Aug. 28.

            My plan for this semester is to stay in the USA as my fiancé is attending AFLBS.  We do not yet know about 2015. I will be driving truck in Stephen, MN, during beet harvest in October and am still looking for work for the rest of the year.

            In September I will be meeting with the AFLC mission board to discuss some options for my future. Both Ednay and I are looking forward to serving God and the Church in Missions, yet we do not have a specific vision and/or destination yet.

            Please contact me via Facebook or e-mail if you would like a visit (either personally or at your church) for me to share about missions (Brazil, Panamá, the world). I'll be glad to see what I can do in the time I have near you.

            I also need to find a place to stay, more job opportunities, and a car to drive. Your friendship, your prayers and your suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you for participating with me in the life of the Kingdom. May God Bless you. 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

Saturday, August 09, 2014

WAGNER UPDATE: Evacuation & Now What?

20140804_195635-2_medWE MADE IT! After three planes, four countries, and many instances of God’s hand of protection and leading, we’ve arrived safely in Chicagoland! My favorite example was when we stood at immigration on our way out of Sierra Leone. The man said Isaiah (3wks old) couldn’t leave Sierra Leone because there was no visa in his emergency passport (remember: the passport that came in one day instead of three weeks!). With some timely Isaiah screams and nudging from his coworkers (and maybe from the Lord?), the immigration officer grudgingly signed the passport and mercifully growled us on our way.

NOW WHAT? We’re back from Sierra Leone temporarily as we wait for the Ebola epidemic to be controlled in West Africa. Discussions for what we’ll do in the meantime with LBT are underway. In the midst of crazy packing and goodbyes, Josh was able to meet with the Themne translation coordinator, install Skype on his computer, and teach him how to use it. Having already received two calls from him since we left, we feel hopeful to keep in close contact with our team and get firsthand updates on the situation there! Please pray for all these details, for the translation work to continue, and for the epidemic to end quickly!

HUGS. Though many have expressed relief that we’re back in the USA, our hearts are very much tied to our work and life in Sierra Leone. As a precaution we couldn't even shake hands or hug our closest friends. We’ve left almost everything for our return. We are thankful that we didn't have exposure to any Ebola victims, but we ask you to pray for those in Sierra Leone who are helping and those who cannot leave.

Thank you, Team, for standing with us. ((Hug))

Many have asked how to help cover costs of evacuation (significant!) and unexpected living costs for this year. You can send a check made out to LBT and designated “Wagner Ministry.” Or even easier… hit the “Contribute Now” here:
Josh, Ruthie, Elijah (2yrs), & Isaiah (4wks)
Missionaries with LBT to Sierra Leone

Thursday, August 07, 2014

August Newsletter from Jonni Sliver - Saying Hello, Saying Good-bye

imageIn the last month we have had the joy of saying good-bye. That is notable because saying good-bye isn’t always (or often) easy. But this month we saw baby Nicolas return to his parents, and from all we can see, we are hopeful! The sweet little guy came to us because his parents had made some bad decisions, but losing him for nearly two months shook them to their roots. It honestly appears that they have made life style changes and understand that the most precious thing in their lives is this little boy.

Our second farewell came when Gabriel left to join his new adoptive parents! The relationship was love a first sight on all sides - Gabriel’s new parents came to visit him twice, and by the end of the second visit Gabriel was calling them mom and dad. He only went for one visit to their home before all three knew they belonged together. It is the happy ending we are always praying for.

Click here to read the whole newsletter.