Monthly Archives: November 2017

Stodghill- November 2017 Bahamas Update

Category : Bahamas

Greeting from the Bahamas:  Only 25days left in the 2017 hurricane season!  Thank you for praying for us.  God has protected us incredibly.  This is our sixth update since arriving on the field February of this year and God has answered so many prayers. 
 
Ministry Update: 
Praise God!  On September 24 Covenant Life Presbyterian Church was born.  We held our first church service in the Russell’s home and have had four regular couples and a student intern from Texas in attendance.  It is amazing to see what doors have been opened in such a short nine month period of time.  Please pray for God to provide about two more core members.  With this group of 12-14 we would like to see the church move from a home setting to a rental place nearer the Yellow Elder area with a target starting date of January 7, 2018. 
Pray for Covenant life radio ministry where Dr. Russell has faithfully preached weekly for a year and half.  We are planning to invite listeners to a “meet and greet” in early December.  This will serve as a means of “seeing” how many are listening, and to get their feedback. This would also serve as an opportunity to invite them to the church starting in January. 
 
CW Sawyer update:  We continue to be welcomed weekly at the primary school.  CW Sawyer is one of two primary schools in the Yellow Elder area.  Last year we worked with nine third graders.  This school year we have over doubled the amount of kids the school has given us to work on reading with; but all with needs that only our Heavenly Father can fill.  Pray for us as we get more involved in the school and the lives of not only the kids but their families as well.  
We had the blessing of friends from Alabama come and visit!!  We put them to work…. Painting the class room we have been teaching in.  Their help was AMAZING!! The children from every grade wanted to watch and help! So much fun!
Love in Christ,
John and Karen Stodghill /Bahamas-  MTW

About the Father’s Business in EL SALVADOR October 2017

Category : El Salvador

Serving in the lab all week, I would greet our patients with a smile and, in Spanish, “Hello and welcome! I’m Betsy and, I’m sorry, but I’m the nurse with a needle!” My gentle jesting served to calm them a bit, but they chuckled and relaxed more when I said, “I have hugs, too, and if you don’t cry, you‘ll get a sticker when we’re done!” Sweet Ava, with me in the above photo, had her electrolytes, hemoglobin, glucose and kidney function tests checked, monitoring her Diabetes Type II in ways unavailable in Salvadoran rural clinics.
MTW is in process of estab-lishing a formal relationship with Mission to El Salvador (MTES), Director Jon Snyder. and his wife Danielle co-founded the ministry in 2009. With a team of national pastors, counselors and psychologists, they have a multi-faceted min-istry to addicts, the trafficked and the homeless… the least of these, as Jesus said. Medical Project Administrator Sally Mercer and RN Mary Fran Morris ably co-led, clinically and spiritually, our team of 10. Personally, I loved not being Team Leader, for it gave me constant interaction with patients I could “love on”! Pictured L to R: Sally, Jon, Mary Fran, with MTW’s ST Teams Coordinator Philip Ajamian.
Ada Guerra was an-other lady I loved on with another kind of needle for an intramuscular injection of Rocephin. Ada came to us with an infected leg from a mi-nor scratch a few days earlier. She returned for follow-up the next day with her leg much improved. Dr Bernard Hildebrand (TX) is my kind of MD… before I even knew that he was ready to change Ada’s dressing, I found them outside where he was being a terrific nurse—God bless him! And by God’s providence, our Medical Director Dr Ted Kuhn was with us that day and ruled out any leg clots using his portable ultrasound.

We cannot serve without the co-ministry of our interpreters. Dr Bernard was blessed with Alfredo, a brother-in-Christ who, because of his own testimony, not only empathetically communicated, but also shared the saving power and love of Jesus with them. By the end of our first clinic day, we were calling him “Dr” Alfredo because of the many joint-injections with which he assisted Bernard. While Bernard prepared the steroid and lidocaine mixture, Alfredo educated their patient by explaining the procedure and what to expect afterwards! What a team, relieving doz-ens of soon-grateful patients of their knee and shoulder pains. Alfredo was a good hand-holder, too! …see at right! ♥

Our patients were lovingly greeted at our initial clinic station, “Triage”, by RNs Edra Adams (GA) and Melissa Aguirre (CA). Salvadoran by heritage, Melissa was pretty fluent, but MTES intern Jenni Wegener assisted her, while Cynthia interpreted for Edra.

Both our sisters-in-Christ were eager to share the gospel after vital signs and other ’intake busi-ness’ was completed in preparation for seeing a doctor. Jenni and Cynthia used the Evange-Cube® (above left) or gospel bracelets crafted by children in Mary Fran’s Atlanta church. (above right). Prayer then often followed, as it did at each one of a patient’s team-encounters throughout their visit.
One of our sickest patients was Maria Magdalena, 57, who suffered with uncontrolled asthma. An initial aerosol treatment of Albut-erol® did little to alleviate her wheezing, so Bernard asked me to give another. Craig then supple-mented it with take-home oral medi-cation and MDI’s (‘rescue’ inhalers). We prayed, asking God to be her Great Pulmonologist and do more than we could with our limited re-sources.
Even-sicker Jorge Luis, 18 months, came into clinic with fever, wheezing and bronchiolitis. After our nebulizer treatment his oxygen saturation was only 90% (normal = >98%), and his breathing remained labored. Dr José Roberto Abarca, the rural clinic director, called for an ambulance, but when it didn’t come quickly, Dr. Roberto shepherded Jorge and his mother to the hospital by car for more intensive treatment. I don’t have his picture to share, but please pray for both little Jorge and sweet Maria Magdalena.
Four other gifted U.S servants helped care for our more than 360 patients: Sarah Beadles FNP (GA), Dr Craig Lem (NJ) and
Dr Mike Miller (OH). I’ve had the privilege (and fun!) of working with and learning from Craig and Mike in other countries, and I pray to serve with Sarah again soon, Lord willing!
Two Salvadoran MDs, also pre-cious sisters-in-Christ, Jenifer Ama-ya and Mirian Guerrero completed our providers. I delight in the rich fellowship of bi-cultural teams, but some very practical blessings in-clude:
1) local clinicians can follow-up with our sicker patients; and,
2) they facilitate patient-referrals with-in the national healthcare system.
Non-medical personnel are vital on our teams. Often working behind the scenes in important indirect patient care, they allow us to serve in our rightful healthcare capacities. Businessman Jordan Wilson (GA) was Mary Fran’s ‘right arm’ in pharmacy, smoothing the process of prescription-fills for all of our providers and their patients.
In some countries we have to turn away patients, but we were glad not to have to do so in either of our clinic locations: urban Santa Ana or rural Chalchuapa. Salvadorans are a patient and gracious people… very grateful, too, for what we could offer them. One after the other told me in the lab that they were not always used to such listening ears and kindness.
And we are grateful… for you our supporters, and that God is gracing us to spend our ‘retirement years’ in medical evangelism alongside some of the most spe-cial and gifted Christian brothers and sisters worldwide!
To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen.
Praise God …for His providence in putting just this exact team together ……for the leadership of Jon, Sally & Mary Fran …for an-swered prayer: team safety & health; all luggage arriving & relative customs ease; team unity, sweet fellowship & worship; and generous hospitality of Salvadoran siblings-in-Christ …for dedicated Salvadoran & N. American laborers with whom we worked.
Please pray for …the Snyder family & MTES leadership & ministries …MTW interns/missionaries to be called to El Salvador …Holy Spirit to draw many in Santa Ana & Chalchuapa to Christ because of our clinics & subsequent follow-up by national MDs & pastors …the trafficked, addicted & homeless who are as yet without hope, whose hearts are rebellious & unreceptive to Christ …our January 2018 Trinidad team—3 more providers (MD, NP or PA), portable ultrasound & 2 non-medical servants needed …balance in work, worship, rest, time with family & friends. …our health & our marriage to thrive …Romans 15:5-7, by grace, for all assigned teams!
Upcoming schedule …Nov.10-12 MTW every-3-year Global Missions Conference, Dallas TX …Jan. 20-28, 2018 Trinidad, West Indies team …Feb. 22-25 Mitchell Road PCA missions conference, Greenville SC …April 7-14 Costa Rica team (already full, PTL!)

Thank you again for partnering with us in Christ’s work of medical evangelism.
May we be blessed with abundance so as to bless others with abandon!
Until He returns or calls,
Ash and Betsy
Home address: Donations Address:
1388 Keyhaven Ct Mission to the World
Lawrenceville GA 30045 PO Box 744165
betsy.c@comcast.net Suwanee GA 30374-4165
404 966 2971 Acct. #11214 Aeschliman


YOHANES JOURNAL

Category : Malaysia.

Well, it is official! Our Malaysian Pastor Franklin and his wife Jessie have joined us at the church plant, and they are settling in nicely. As we approach our first year anniversary since the launch, we have started conversations with our congregation, asking them what is working? What is not working? Is there anything we want to change? How do we see our Father leading us to impact our city in the years to come?
Please remember to pray for our young congregation. Two baptisms and counting! Each new person who joins brings a new set of gifts. Please pray for us as Pastor Franklin and I try to discover and hone the gifts of every person God brings our way.

Pastors Needed!
A few weeks ago I was an observer at the General Assembly of the English Speaking Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Malaysia. Sixty-six churches were represented — but about half do not have any ordained pastor. This is a chronic shortage, and a major topic of the assembly was how to encourage younger generations to enter the ministry. As I listened to the discussions it was borne in on me what a wealth of ministers we have in America: so many good seminaries churning out so many potential pastors there is actually a bit of a glut on the American market! And more than one Malaysian minister, in speaking to me about it, wanted to know:
“How can we get those young men and their wives to come here and help us?” Well, there you have it, dear reader: an open invitation. Any takers? If you cannot join us here on the ground, please remember to pray for the Church in Malaysia. In the face of rising economic and religious pressure, many young people are pursuing career opportunities in the West, and the pastoral shortage is being felt in every denomination.

Incubate
Over the last couple of years I have helped to put together an organization we are calling the Gospel City Network. GCN is dedicated to encouraging and supporting church plants and church planters in our city. Using a curriculum from the City to City Network (related to Redeemer PCA in New York), GCN is
hosting a two-year long training course in church planting which is accredited by a local seminary. We have thirteen students signed up — all potential church planters! Last Saturday, Dar and I taught the second module of the course, a segment called “The Personal Life of the Leader,” which
focuses on how to remain rooted in the gospel when the pressure to ‘succeed’ in ministry becomes overwhelming.
Please pray for the Gospel City Network, and the training/mentoring part Dar and I will be playing there in the months and years to come.

Rohingya
As many of you are aware, there is a genocide ongoing in Myanmar, where the Buddhist-majority government has turned against its Rohingya
Muslim citizens. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled across the border into Bangladesh where they are living in huge refugee camps. Our sister church there, the Presbyterian Church of Bangladesh, has mobilized to offer relief: food, clothing, and the gospel.
Our teammates Phil, Barb, and Sandy have been able to join in that work, making two trips to the camps in the last three weeks.
Please pray for the Rohingya refugees, living in tents beside the sea on the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Pray for an end to the killing. And pray that the servants of the Presbyterian Church in Bangladesh will have many opportunities to preach the gospel with their mouths as well as
their hands.

Family
Dar’s health continues to fluctuate: some days are better, some worse as she learns to live with Rheumatoid Arthritis. We are having to carefully restructure our lives to make room for chronic pain. Thankfully our two oldest are now driving (Nadi in a car, Myrddin on a motor-scooter), which means that Dar is able to pass off some of her Soccer Mom duties.
While we are confident of our Father’s love, and understand that this illness is the particular cross he is asking us to bear, I, in particular, am struggling to come to terms with discouragement and grief. I am reading a book called The Crucifixion (by Fleming Rutledge), and it has reminded me that it was through Christ’s weakness that redemption entered the world. It was the strangest, most unimaginable plan ever! So it makes sense that even today God should continue to choose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. We have been sown in weakness; we will be raised in power. But until that day comes, we could use your prayers.

In Him,
Ian Chris

 

 


Fall Update from the Hills of Cherokee

Category : Cherokee

The fall colors are appearing all around us here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. These colors bring beauty and spectacular sights for residents and visitors alike. Seeing this change never gets old, it never becomes mundane. For me, the fall colors are a reminder that God continues to work among His creation.

We wanted to take a moment and send out a brief update on the ministry here in Cherokee to let you know how things are progressing and how you can be praying for us. We are excited about the ministry here in Cherokee and the way we see God working in the lives of individuals here on the reservation. We have had an increase in the number of local folks who are joining us for worship on Sunday mornings at Grace Community Church of Cherokee. Our highest attendance thus far, without teams, has been 16. We have three local family units attending on a regular basis which is encouraging. We also have had visitors from the addiction recovery program we are involved in. One of the women from this group commented after one of the sermons Scott preached, “I realize now that one of my problems is that I have never repented for my sin.” These folks are hungry for the truth of God’s Word and Scott is seeking to faithfully proclaim the truth, trusting God to work through the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin, repentance, and faith to these men and women who are in need of salvation.

Scott, along with Norman Beck, is helping to facilitate an addiction recovery group for men while Tammy Jackson is leading a group for women. We are inviting the men and women who participate in these groups to worship with us at Grace Community Church. One of the issues these men and women face is the stigma that stays with them even after they have stopped using drugs or have been clean from their addiction.

We are using the Scripture as the basis of our teaching for these groups as we believe that true freedom from any bondage can only be found through a personal relationship with Christ. We encourage these individuals to get involved with worship, but one of the comments we have consistently heard is, “I will not go to any of the church’s here on the reservation because people judge me as soon as I walk in, and if the pastor knows me, I will become part of the sermon.” Grace Community Church is a place where they can come without the fear of being judged by those in attendance or being made part of the sermon. Would you pray with us that God would build His Church with these broken people whom He will draw to Himself and set them free from their bondage.

Along with the drug recovery program, Scott and Ruth are going to begin a support group for family members of those who are battling addiction. One of the truths that has been driven home time and again as we get deeper into the addiction recovery process is that addiction takes a toll on the entire family. We both knew this  mentally, but we have witnessed it first hand over and over. Pray for us as we put this group together, again with a Biblical foundation to be an encouragement to family members of addicts. The Life Recovery Groups and the Family Support Group will all be outreach ministries of Grace Community Church of Cherokee. Pray for God’s leading in all of this and that God would draw men and women to Himself and that He would build His Church through these and other outreach opportunities.

We also hosted a tailgate gathering before one of the Cherokee High School home games. We invited young people to join us for pizza and fellowship prior to the game. We hope to do more events like this in the future.

On November 18th Grace Community Church will host a Thanksgiving dinner for the children and staff of the Cherokee Children’s Home. The Children’s Home is located just across the hill from us, so we are asking God to open doors for us to minister to the children and staff there. We have also invited the staff to bring the children and join us for worship on Sunday mornings.
Ruth and Scott continue to be involved with the Cherokee Cancer Support Group. Scott has the privilege of serving as a chaplain for the group which affords him the opportunity to visit cancer patients and their families in their homes. One of the women from the group finally accepted our invitation and joined us for worship. She has told Ruth that she used to attend church, but left the church several years ago and has not been back. She is opening up her life to us a little at a time. Pray that God would use us to be encouragement to her and that she would see Christ in us and would be drawn back to God as the Spirit works to renew her heart and heal her wounds.
Scott has the privilege of serving as the chaplain for the Tsali Care Center which is the nursing home here on the reservation. We were both asked to participate in the volunteer training that is required by the nursing home and the state. While we were meeting with the Director of Tsali Care Scott thanked him for the privilege of serving as the Chaplain for the residents, but also mentioned that he would like to be available for any of the staff that needed spiritual counsel as well.

These are just a few of the ways we see God working in and through us here in Cherokee We want to thank you all for your prayers and your support for our ministry here. Without you we could not serve here. We believe God is building His Church here in Cherokee. It is a slow process, but it is a process that continues to move forward nonetheless.

Thank you for partnering with us!
Grace and peace,
Scott, Ruth, Johnathan, and Katie Hil