Stodghill – Bahamas February 2018 Update

Category : Bahamas

We had a new adventure during the holiday season this year, away from family, yet with many new friends and many new experiences!
 
new tradition for us here in the Bahamas is to attend a worship service on Christmas morning.  This year we invited two families to attend with us. I love how God works through song….. We sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.  After the service was over one of the ladies asked “So does this mean that Christ was born in England?” I was totally blown away by this question! First, this non believer was paying attention to the words she was reading and singing, as well as interacting with the message to come up with this question.  We are very thankful for how the Lord opens doors for us to talk about Him and share. We invited two families to our home for a traditional Christmas “American” Turkey dinner with all the “fixins” sprinkled with some foods from other countries.  We had great conversations over the dinner table.
 
 
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We have also had a new question of baptism of a young child and how this relates to the parents salvation, versus works mentality.
 
 On Boxing Day the Bahamians have a parade called The Junkanoo.  This new to us parade, Junkanoo, was a six hour parade that lasted into the wee hours of the night.      
 
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New Years Eve we enjoyed a beautiful fireworks show at one of the local resorts, then we went to the New Years Junkanoo parade downtown that started at 2 am and lasted until early afternoon New Years day.  (John and I could only make it until 3:30am before heading home.)  A large crowd was out for this too!  In this new to us culture, the outfits that were represented in the parade were very beautiful! You could tell there was much time put into designing and putting these outfits together.
 
 
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We have a new “scene” for church!  We are excited to see Covenant Life Presbyterian Church (CLPC) “go public” as of January 14, 2018.  With God’s favor we have been extended, beyond our 2 days per week volunteering educational assistance, the opportunity to meet at CW Sawyer Primary School on Sunday’s at 10:30am for public worship. Our first Sunday we had 13 people present and celebrated the Lord’s supper for the first time as a new church. Since the first Sunday we have had a few curious people come in to “check us out”.  Please continue to pray as God builds His church.  
 
As a church, we have also begun new men and women’s Bible studies.  The women’s group meets on Mondays and has consistently had 8 people in attendance. The men’s group meets on Friday’s and they have had about 6 in attendance. Both groups are going through the book of John. The women have been very impressed with God’s power He gives to us through the Holy Spirit, and that God chose to use ordinary people to build His church.  
 
As a core group of the church, we have enjoyed prayer time each Wednesday night.  We know that when we ask for wisdom from God, He promises to give. (James 1:5)
 
New at CW Sawyer Primary School- We are now offering help on Tuesday after school hours to assist with homework.  We also have new students this semester as we have had some of our students we started with last March “graduate” from requiring our resource help!! They have seen improvement in their assessment scores!!  Please continue to pray for these students as God is transforming them into something new!
 
New opportunities are opening in the medical field.  A real acceptance has been extended to John to teach some of the American Heart Association courses here on the island.  John has been encouraged to volunteer two times per month with the local emergency medical services.  They have also called on him to help with some Human Resource issues and lend advice in scheduling and positioning of resources throughout the island.
 
We thoroughly enjoyed the new experience of receiving and opening envelopes of mail!!  (insert happy face here! ) Thank you so much for taking the time and effort in sending us mail. The mail system works!!  It took all letters between 4- 6 weeks to get here.  We had great joy in hearing from our beloved friends and supporters!
 
 
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Praise: 
 
·        New babies are being formed! This year both our daughter in law and daughter are due for delivery in August.
 
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·        new daughter in law will join our family!  We will celebrate our oldest son’s wedding June of this year in Africa. We are so grateful for the Godly woman God has provided for our son!
 
·        Covenant Life Presbyterian Church is “public”
                                                                                  
 
Prayer:
 
·        Health for our daughter and daughter in law, as well as these precious new grand babies as they grow.
 
·        International wedding plans will go well.
 
·        Covenant Life Presbyterian Church’s Incorporation Papers would be approved. These papers were submitted March 2016 to the Attorney General’s office. We need this to be recognized by the government as a church.  Also, so we can open a bank account in the church’s name and able to purchase and receive items with no, or reduced customs and duties charged.  
 
 
Praying God’s blessings of grace and mercy for you in this NEW year!
 
 
Love in Christ,
      John and Karen Stodghill
US home number (803)795-4722 (number to use to call us while we are in the Bahamas)
 
Stodghill -Bahamas – MTW account #17065
 
Donations address: Mission to the World
PO Box 744165
Atlanta, GA 30374
 
OR
 
Online:   mtw.org
US mailing address:  702 Wren St., Sumter, SC 29150
 
 
Bahamas mailing address:  PO Box N4534, Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas

About the Father’s Business in Trinidad

Category : Trinidad

Dear Missions Partners,

Thank you for taking the time to read my attached newsletter about our first assigned team of 2018.  

Victoria, a gifted young woman who brought ultrasound to our patients, posted this on FaceBook.  I hoped to have room in my report, but with her permission here are thoughts from a “newbie” to MTW’s medical-evangelism, mobile-clinics teams: 

…Betsy challenged us to find 3 words to describe our trip [to those asking about it when we get home].  After much thought, mine officially are:

1. Sobering 
2. Challenging
3. Rewarding

[Trinidad] is one of the “better off” countries MTW serves…  the majority of the island [is] broken, but still beautiful.  I could describe most of the patients I had in the same way [editorial: oh, aren’t we all broken and beautiful?!] … it was an honor to serve and love on them as much as I could.
…had electricity and (cold) running water …wifi a good bit of the time …police escorts everywhere …our bellies were always full of amazing local food …weren’t “roughing it” by any stretch of the imagination, but man, do I have a new appreciation for hot showers!
…an amazing mission trip to have as my first one …mostly easy, definitely worth it and absolutely life-changing.  The people I met there …impacted my life far more than I ever could hope to impact theirs.

 Again, thank you for your prayer and financial support, but above all for your friendships!   Ash and I don’t take any of you for granted.           

**Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you need to be removed from receiving our updates.**     betsy.c@comcast.net

 Until He returns or calls,
Betsy

 Ash (retired pastor) & Betsy Aeschliman (BSN-RN)
Global Missionaries w/ MTW-Medical

TRINIDAD January 2018


Serving the Lord in Panama

Category : Panama

We always try to send out a newsletter in January, which, among other things seems to coincide with a State of the Union address. When I think of it, it is timely as we begin a new year to take stock of where we are and how things are progressing. This year begins with much excitement in the life of the church and in our lives personally. As I write this we are on “baby watch” for our second grandson who will be born any day now. We are excited to meet this new little one and especially so as we will be returning for a six-month Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). We are grateful for time to spend with our family as well as reconnecting with individuals and supporting churches. We return to Marietta on February 5th and will take a couple of weeks to acclimate and spend time with our family (new grandbaby). After that we would love to get together with various people / churches to share what God is doing in Panama. If you are interested, please let us know and we will start filling in dates on the calendar.

Personally, that is our exciting news, but we are also so encouraged by what God is doing in the life of the church here. In two weeks we will have the first election of Elders. We have four candidates who we believe are ready to take on the role of shepherding the church. It has been a blessing to watch them mature spiritually and see their hearts to serve. Time and again, we are humbled by God’s faithfulness. Along with the excitement of electing elders is watching the church understand their role as members. Membership is a new idea for most, but they have responded with enthusiasm as they have understood their unique position as founding members of this church. God has been good to allow us to be here for this full cycle of establishing a core group all the way through to seeing a “real” church established and to be able to return to the US to share that story as well as look for new partners.

This term in Panama has been a great start, but the work here is in no way finished. We are still praying for a pastoral candidate, still working to get the church registered with the government, still looking for a more permanent church location and still praying for a church planting movement. Our desire is to see Christ’s reign extended to all parts of the city and to the nation of Panama. El Cangrejo has been a great strategic location but there are other areas of the city that we would like to focus on in the future.

Finally, to sum up for you the “State of the Church”, we would say that the most important thing we have seen in the establishment of this church is lives transformed by the power of the gospel. So many people have encountered grace for the first time and some have understood it more deeply in their interaction with the church. Grace is transforming marriages, the way parents’ guide their children, the way we interact as brothers and sisters in Christ and the way we worship. Apart from any number of members or classes that have been given, this is the true measure of the health of the church and we are amazed that God has given us the privilege of being a part of this work.
If you are interested in hearing more about ministry in Panama (or know someone else who might be) or are interested in partnering with us in this ministry please contact us, we would love to share with you how you can be a part of what God is doing. Thanks to those of you who have supported us in prayer and financially, we are grateful.

God has taken such great care of us through your faithful gifts and prayers. Thank  you ! ! !
Phil. 1:4-5
4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
We feel honored to partner with you.

Some possible options to become a Financial Partner for Panama and the Summers:
Mail a check, payable to Mission to the World, and include a note stating the investment is intended for Summers, # 16932 to:

  • Mission to the World PO Box 744165 Atlanta, GA 30374-4165
  • Make an investment online at the MTW web site, https://www.mtw.org/missionaries/details/marc-and-sam-summers You’ll find
    the donation tab at the top, and you’ll be able to designate your gift as you desire (our account # 16932 )
  • Set up a payment on your bank’s web site (One-time or Monthly) (Info for checks may apply)

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

 


Living Life in Bogotá

Category : Bogota

Dear Friends and Family,

This is our second week in our apartment. Yes, that’s right God provided us a wonderful apartment in October. It’s a 10 minute walk to United Church of Bogotá. We have space for hosting and a baby room. It’s a huge answer to prayer. We feel like grown ups! This past Sunday was our first Sunday at United. Andrew gave his testimony and was inaugurated as the youth pastor. He has already participated in high school and middle school youth group. He’ll be preaching next week.

Poco a Poco (little by little)

Bogotá is a huge, sprawling city and it’s divided into sectors. If you want furniture, you go to the furniture district. If you want a cute puppy, you go to the the pet district. What this means is that we can usually get about ONE thing done in a single day. We can take a taxi all the way to one district and order furniture. By the time we are done, it’s time to go home and we are exhausted. I’m sure you can imagine why this is difficult for efficient, fast-paced Americans. We are learning to adjust to a different way of life. Through tears and frustration, God is helping us accept and work through this slowly.

Counseling

Kelly has jumped into her counseling role at the church and is already seeing a client. She is loving being a counselor and is planning a weekend intensive group for women in the church to process their stories and how Jesus really intersects with their actual lives. Also, God has provided a male counselor in the church who specializes in work with addictions. It’s so neat to see God providing healing to His church in these ways.

Language & Life Update

We began private tutoring this week and it’s going well. We are able to speak more in tutoring and our errors are getting more fine-tuned. We have a long road ahead of us with Spanish but we are on the path! Next week, our host family is hosting an official Colombian baby shower for both of us. We are excited to see what this entails. Pictures will follow. This will be Kelly’s first live baby shower. Our baby looks healthy and is growing rapidly. He is already anticipated to weigh over 9 pounds. We are thankful for continued good news when we visit the doctor.

Praises and Prayer Requests

– We praise God for our new apartment. It’s even more than we expected it to be.
– We praise God we have had great health for over a month.
– Please pray that God provides Kelly with the right clients at the right time.
– Continue to pray that we would adjust to cultural changes and remained grounded and rooted in Christ.

– Pray for Andrew as he preaches next Sunday and begins to lead the youth group. Pray that God would give him favor with the youth and provide many opportunities to share the gospel with the believers and non-believers in the group.


October Agape Bihar Update

Category : India

We are thankful to God to share with you that Kevin and the backpack with the Je film made it safely to India!  Victor was so excited for this incredible resource that the Lord had provided to them that he barely slept after watching it!  Last night was the first day of the pastor training conference.  Kevin and Victor showed the film to the 20 attending pastors and taught them how to set it all up.  This will greatly increase the sharing of the gospel to the 85% plus illiterate people in Bihar!  Thank you to our donor and to World Mission for providing this incredible tool!
Over the next few days, Kevin will continue to teach lessons including the attributes of God, the Trinity and of the special creation of Adam.  We are excited for this training opportunity the Lord has given Kevin and for the opportunity to encourage the pastors and evangelists of Agape Bihar.  Thank you to all of you who have helped make this a reality!  Please pray that their sessions will be Spirit lead, for strength, renewal, growth and passion, and for protection from the enemy.
We have almost completed our 2nd and 3rd wells in Bihar.  Drilling was delayed because of the flooding.  But we are in the process now of getting water samples and determining the best filtration systems if they are needed.  Thank you to Zoe Waters for their great knowledge and funding of these life giving wells!
The church building in Pastor Chhotlal’s village continues to be built brick by brick as the Lord provides the funding.  We are thankful for His faithfulness to bring donations each month!  Donations can be marked Agape Bihar.
We are still in need of sponsors to support Victor and his family.  We are asking for at least $325 to add to the $225 he currently is receiving.  Victor has the incredible opportunity of travelling to Calcutta every couple of months to record Bible lessons in his native dialect to be aired over the radio.  This adds to his monthly living expenses.  Donations may be marked Kumar Family.
We are planning to return as a team to India next March.  Please pray for us as we prepare and continue to seek the Lord’s will in all aspects of this next trip.
Thank you to all of you that pray and give financially to the work of Agape Bihar!  Please have November donations in by October 29.  May God bless you richly for your willingness to partner with our brothers and sisters in India.
Blessings in Christ,
Cindy

Thorntons in Ukraine

Category : Ukraine

When are you returning to Ukraine?

As of June 1st, we do not have a date of our  departure. We still have to find new supporters to join our team. Currently, we need approximately $750 per month to be at 100 percent. We are looking for individuals or churches to begin supporting us at $50 or $100 per month or more.

Our prayer is that we will have all our needed support in order for us to move back by August 15th. If you are praying for us, would you consider asking God whether you should also financially support us? Thank you.

Please note – MTW is changing where to send in your gifts of support. The reason is to align the donations receiving process with the best practices and to save money. This only effects donations that are mailed in, not ones already set up for automatic bank draft or credit card draft. The new address is:
Mission to the World
P.O. Box 744165
Atlanta, GA 30374-4165

Since we have been in the US for the year, we have to start the visa and temporary residency process all over again. Please pray that we receive a letter of invitation from the local Kherson office of the Ministry of Culture. Once we receive this letter we can apply for our visas. And then with visas in hand we will apply for temporary residency once we arrive which will allow us to stay in Ukraine for 1 year. When that year expires, we have to reapply to extend our residency status for another year but it is slightly less of hassle since we do not need to receive visas first. Please pray that we find favor with the government officials and all the letters and documents are received and accepted and we receive permission to live and serve the Lord in Kherson. Thank you.

Kherson Happenings

The news from Kherson is encouraging. We have several young men I mentor who will be busy with ministry this summer. Oleg will take a break from his seminary studies and travel to Russia for a month to volunteer with Wycliffe
Bible Translators in Khanty-Mansiysk in Eastern Siberia.
Vova will be serving at several Christian camps this summer.
Some of these camps minister to children in the various churches in the Kherson region and some of these camps
reach out to orphan children with the love of Jesus. He has
already served in 2 camps and will serve in 4 more this
summer.
Our church is busily planning for its annual outreach to
children. Oleg will be directing this week of crafts, games
and the story of Jesus. We continue to pray for children who have come in the past and pray for even more children to hear the Good News of Jesus this summer. Please join us in praying for the camp.
English club is winding down. The leaders are still reaching about 35 – 40 people every week. They will end sometime early in the summer and then we will start again in September. When we return, we will be able to increase the number of students that we reach out to more effectively.
We will also try to find new students through advertising
and passing out invitations at the local university. We have asked you to pray for Olga Kukushkina as she recovers from hip replacement surgery. The recovery has been difficult but God has been with her and she continues to make progress. She is now able to walk for extended
periods of time even without the aid of a walker or cane. She is close to returning to the place she was prior to the
flare up of pain and the need for surgery. We are thankful
to God for how He has taken care of her so far and hopeful
that soon she will be able to do her usual activities and
duties.

We are excited about new witnessing opportunities
connected with the 500th anniversary of Reformation. It will be a nationally recognized holiday in Ukraine, and we hope we can use it to share the gospel.

Our prayers requests:
1. Peace and stability in Ukraine. There is still fighting in the east and economic hardships.
2. Growth in the church – spiritually and numerically, especially for the teenage boys who have been coming.
3. For Olya Kukushkina as she recovers from hip surgery in the US and Pastor Sergey Kukushkin as he ministers and takes care of their children.
4. For new supporters to join our team so we can return in early August.
5. For our visas and, ultimately, our temporary residency permits.
Thank you again for your prayers, concern, and support. We are thankful for you all.

Family News
We have come to the end of the school year. It is amazing how quickly the time has flown. All kids did great and adjusted rather quickly. We continue to hear from the teachers and administrators of how smoothly they did in adjusting and fitting in at a new school. The school has told us that they will miss them next year and wish that there was a way that they could stay. Some have even asked if they have experienced transitions like this often as
the reason for their integration into the life of the school. We have come to further understand how God answers prayers – ours and yours. Thank you for praying for their transitions to living in the US for a year and for fitting in at school. Now we ask for prayer as we have to readjust to living in Ukraine and making friends in their extra-curricular activities.

How to Give

We can meet our need of $750/month if we find new supporters at the following levels: 1 at $200 per month, 3 at $100 per month and 5 at $50/month. Thank you for praying for us and supporting our work in Ukraine. Again here is the new donations address:
MTW
P.O. Box 744165
Atlanta, GA 30374-4165
If you wish to donate online, the address is:
http://www.mtw.org/ways-to-give

Our name and support account number, 17460, should be included in your correspondence to the donations address.