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17 October 2015
24 September 2015
Sep 2015 Pastor Rene Gonzalez and his wife, Irene taught pastors and wives in Nicaragua.
Oct 2015 Dr. Shean Phillips will be going to Haiti to conduct our very first pastor training for that country
Oct 2015 Matt St. Clair and Don Updike will be going to Burundi, Africa to train pastors.
Nov 2015 Jim Warner and Brian Hoffman will be going to Nepal to train pastors.
26 August 2015
We are doing a project to make re-usable menstrual pads. We hope to provide them to earthquake affected women in Nepal and also a set for every teen girl in our sponsorship program in all of our countries.
The ground was rough and uneven. Muddy puddles formed both a safety hazard and a chance to spend the remainder of the day with wet feet. ( The blind cannot see the puddles.) There are other needs and projects waiting to be done, but it blesses me to see these permanent walk ways built. There are three of them-- to protect the way between each of the buildings.
02 July 2015
There is no obligation and no need to explain if you do not find a sponsor. No need even to send anything back. You can keep the photo and use it to pray for the child. Contact us!
During our visit to Nepal, it was easy to drive through parts of the capital city and forget that an earthquake happened here. But turn a corner and a reminder might loom before us-- a building crumbled to the ground or an empty shell dangling the reminder to all who pass. A five story building might have uprooted and now leaning against its neighbor building. Or-- it might be standing as if unaffected, but a closer look reveals frightening cracks, as if one more small shake might bring it down. People were still living in tents, whether their building stood or not. If it still stood, there was the fear that something might bring it down. The ground still shook almost daily. I was aware of some of the tremors and sometimes I heard about them from others or read in the daily internet news.
Outside the city, whole villages have been destroyed. Houses built from mud and stone went down with the first tremors. Some of them can be rebuilt from the same materials, but in other cases, the ground was left unstable. The people need to move to another place and start life again with nothing. The suffering is impossible to grasp, especially as rainy season is upon the land. The rains make shelter a critical priority and it needs to be more than fabric tents. The rains mean the time of planting -- and those who miss planting also miss reaping. The agricultural cycle is a fact of life in the village-yet the land that the family owned might be gone, or no longer habitable.
Please pray for our people in Nepal. Even if they have no personal loss, the suffering is all around them. Allow was able to help as we wired earthquake relief funds to four different areas. Our trusted partners carried food and water, tents and medicines to people that the government agencies seemed to forget. Now we are busy with plans for a new children's home to orphaned and homeless children from one village which was forced to move.
This is the house of one of the new children in our sponsorship program in the Amazon. Actually, it is a better house than most. It is the home of the pastor and his family for this village. The ministry in the Amazon is very much like our work in other countries. The people are poor. We want to disciple and educate children from believers' families to be the next leaders for the community. We want to support and encourage and enable the evangelism already in progress in the villages. Let the church in America and her resources stand beside these dear believers as they labor in the Amazon.
09 June 2015
22 May 2015
We had a special blessing a few days ago, when we received the photos of this church dedication in the mountains of Bangladesh. It is hard to describe the significance of this. The church is made of of mostly newly baptized (older) kids in our children's Home and it is built on the land purchased for the home. It is a light in a very, very dark place. It is a place so far up, that though Bangladesh is said to be 98% Muslim, the Muslims do not have a foothold here YET. These are tribal people who probably never hear the Name of Jesus, either. Our children are learning. They are getting an education and also a good foundation in God's Word. Our girls are already past an educational level that few women have obtained in this place. When we launch these kids they will be leaders among their people. Leaders prepared to reach others as no American ever could-- even more than a city Bangla missionary could do. They are tribal people. Some of them will fall away, just as happens in our US churches. But SOME of them, will be strong, growing believers and they will BE this church. They already ARE the church. Praise the Lord. Now another special blessing. This church building is not completed. It still needs the tin for the roof, a toilet, and some other construction things. It also needs overhead fans, musical instruments,.... A pledge came today from a donor who will provide EVERYTHING still needed for this church. He will also fund the dorm building needed to separate boys and girls and enable us to increase the number of kids in the home. This is a huge WOW.
Please keep a careful watch on the news from Burundi. Their elections are scheduled late in June. A recent government takeover was stopped, preventing what our missionary contact felt sure would be the beginning of another long, bloody war. He tells us that he and his family can hear gunshots at night, but they are still able to move about town. He has two tiny little girls and his wife is expecting another baby in the same week as the elections. I think that none of us would blame him if he got his family out of there, but he soldiers on-- doing the work he was called to do, and the Lord is blessing it. Read the words directly from him as he reports to us about the building of church building that we have funded there:
As far as the church plant on the property, that is having to be delayed a little bit, one factor is the political situation (in the current political climate it would be difficult to take large teams up from the city to help with the initial evangelism efforts etc...), The other factor is that the nearby village church that will be helping with the plant is in the middle of its own construction (currently like 30 people sit outside every week cause their building is packed and can only hold about 120). So the local leadership here in the city decided that it would be best for us to help that church finish its expansion project before working on building the building at the new property. They already have a new foundation and are hoping to start building the beginning of July. It would not be good to very quickly build a good sized building for the new church plant on the new property when the mother church is still stuck trying to accommodate the people they have!
Things are always more complicated here in Africa than I would like :) But I guess it is not just Africa.
15 May 2015
07 May 2015
God's people in the US gave generously, allowing us to send five emergency wires to our close partners-- quickly making a difference all over Nepal.
08 April 2015
The boy is Jesse, the son of a pastor in Nicaragua. He has been in our sponsorship program since we started on the Island of Ometepe. Like all of the others, his family lives on a minimum of worldly goods. Prices are high for anything brought to the island on the ferry. Fortunately, volcanic ash makes fertile soil and lots of good food grows almost year round. But the island cannot grow a wheel chair.
It was exciting for me as I watched the Lord answer each question-- that is, those about which chair, how to find it, how to get it back to the island..... One issue was already resolved-- that of how to pay for the wheel chair. Assuming that we could find the chair and resolve the logistic issues (which we did) the Allow The Children Urgent needs Fund exists for situations like this one. Many people give generous un-designated gifts which we use for needs like this one. During travel in country, we often come upon needs that just cannot or should not wait for fundraising or search for a specific donor. It is a joy to be ready to meet needs like this one and to know that the Lord has used many hands along the way to accomplish His provision.
03 April 2015
I do not know how our work with develop in Haiti. There are certainly plenty of opportunities. As we build these relationships with pastors, we may be able to organize medical clinics as an outreach tool or many of the other projects we are doing in other countries.
We took about 15 children of pastors this time. As we find sponsors for these and build the program, we will probably move up to at least 30 children. It is exciting to think of the new directions and the many new projects to come as we serve in Haiti.
On this day, one committee drug a table out to the beach and we had our meeting at the sea side. It was a wonderful reminder of the spectacular beauty of Haiti. Haiti is struggling with profound poverty, the devastation of the earthquake, crime, fraud, filth and drought. It would be difficult to find many places on the planet where daily life is more challenging than Haiti. At the same time, the Lord has blessed this island. There are little pockets of believers who are busy working for the spiritual harvest. It is a privilege and a joy to partner with them.
What was I doing in Haiti? I was visiting our children's homes, taking new photos and reports, talking with the leaders for the ministries for accountability, encouragement, trouble shooting future planning and assessments of the needs of the children.
The Hope for Life Children's home needs a new kitchen, but so many other things as well. Which project should have the priority? Which ones could be accomplished better or with less expense if pursued along with another? For example, should we build a kitchen or work on a whole house which would include a kitchen?
02 April 2015
08 March 2015
06 January 2015
Our Christmas trip to Nepal has become an annual scheduled event. The project is important because we make a visit to every sponsorship program to get progress reports and new photos of the children. It is a huge project because the Nepal ministry is huge. We have children sponsored in children's homes (which are not really orphanages). We have children, who live with their families, sponsored under churches. Some of the churches are quite a distance to travel. We need to take a 1 hour flight to reach the area of one of the programs. It takes about two weeks to visit them all. At each stop, we gather the children for the Christmas story. We distribute Christmas bags. We line the children up and take the photos--and each child must fill in the progress report that will be given to his sponsor. I talk with the leader of each ministry about any questions or problems he has had. We talk about children who are ready to "graduate" and finish our program and about new ones who need to come in. We take a team of women for this trip because we need many hands to complete all of the tasks. The Christmas bags are the first big task. By the time the team arrives in December, we have already gathered the items to make up the contents of the bags. I have carried the things to Nepal in previous trips throughout the year or they have been purchased in Nepal. Typical contents are toothbrush, Christmas craft, school supplies, candy. Some years they have received T-shirts, hats, shoes, Bibles, English- Nepali dictionary. All of these need to be packed individually in a bag marked with each child's name. Any letters from his sponsor needs to go into the bags as well. For Nepal, we need about 500 bags. Wow. We are grateful for our team.