Wayne & Helen Hancock, Threefold Ministries, Nicaragua. Pray for the meeting of the Board on Dec 21st as they review the past year of ministry and make plans for 2020. Praise God for amazing provisions in 2019.
Dr. Owen's [Knox former Pastor] wife, Pru, has been in poor health over the past year. Recently she has not been able to eat anything and is now being sustained by fortified liquids. Her condition deteriorates daily. Andrew their son manages to get her to drink. She is not able to talk clearly at this point.
I am in Mwana with Ngassa and Faraja to get a letter and stamp from our church's head office re. the old vehicle. I need this for the new owner to change his ownership.
We took a couple of boxes with clothes and other things to the orphanage where Sayi and Kashinje are. I left some money for the two of them to get a box with diapers for Sayi, who can move around with a walker and get him a coat. It has been raining nonstop and it is cold for everyone.
Kashinje [the orphan girl here in Mwanza that we help] was in a good mood and was happy to see us. She can get a new dress for Christmas and some other things she needs.
Yes selling the car is a real blessing. It sold today for $10,000.
I am so happy that Graig and Helen [my co missionaries who were attacked in Dar es Salkaam] are now together. She needs someone to help her as she cannot use her one arm. Graig was feeling terrible about not getting the ok from the insurance...Crazy as they had experienced such trauma and needed each other.
Tomorrow we are having a family birthday. Faraja helped cook and had fun with Cappuccino.
Baraka is now loved by all his teachers and fellow students!! ...talk about a change!
Pray for Christina who has been miserable and uncooperative ever since she came home. She does not talk but just sulks..it is a bit hard to take.
Pray for wisdom for me in dealing with her.
Remember Angela as she recovers from a heart attack. She received two stents and is feeling quite well.
I am doing well here in Nakaale. We have been struggling with the rainy season extending far into the dry season this year. We used to have very wet autumns, but in the past three or so years, it has grown hot around September. I hope the dry season arrives soon. I feel like I’m living in BC again with the constant rain. Our neighbours already harvested their crops so all the extra water seems like a waste. If they had known, they could have planted for another growing season. The rivers are full and the roads are slippery with mud which makes walking to some villages very challenging, but my team doesn’t complain too much thankfully. Please pray for the families of victims of a landslide a few hours away from us.
I have been meeting with Nurse Tinah weekly on Tuesdays to strategize about the Community Health Team (CHT). She has a lot of insight which has helped us to make a good five-year plan. Here are a couple highlights:
One of Tinah’s goal is to focus on solid waste management systems improvement. Up until a year ago, there were no personal latrines in our neighbourhood, only some at the mission, clinic, and schools. One village was given some money to build personal latrines in January this year. We are monitoring those latrines for use and whether they are cleaned and whether the accompanying hand-washing stations are kept filled up with water. Our inspections so far have shown that people are using and cleaning their latrines, but not using the hand-washing stations. We are eager to compare this village of Kopetatum with neighbouring villages that do not yet have latrines by looking at clinic data regarding diarrhoeal cases stratified by village.
One of my goals is to conduct more research. We hope to meet with the DHO (District Health Officer) in the district capital (Nakapiripirit, or Nakaps for short) soon to ask for permission to do research here and then also get ethics approval once we have done some more literature review. I enjoy learning more about how we can develop health lessons specific to our neighbours and it will be neat to formalize some of this learning. We are currently doing a pilot project with an Ideal Homes survey. We have observed 140 homes so far and we are not yet finished. We are then able to teach people individually about how to improve the hygiene and sanitation of their homes. This is also a good way for me to train some of my Community Health ladies on data collection and other research methods that will hopefully become handy in future research endeavours.
Tinah has also suggested that we conduct follow-up visits with some patients from our clinic if their treatment becomes complicated or has lapsed. When the dry season begins, we will have fewer patients at our clinic (currently over 2000/month), enabling her to move around to the villages with the CHT again probably once a week.
Tinah and I will continue to joint lead training days for the seven ladies on our CHT every two months. Around six times per year, we organize immunization outreaches to villages that are located beyond our usual walking distance. We will continue these in order to teach health while also bringing along someone from the ministry team to teach a Bible story, as well as to conduct some HIV testing and give counselling.
Praise God that my back has healed. The back strengthening exercises really helped and I have even stopped needing to wear my back brace, except when travelling on our unpaved roads. I am thankful to be able to return to the villages with my team. Thank you and Knox for all your prayers.
I wish I could come a give a report in person, but that will have to wait for the summer. Blessings to all of you as you celebrate God coming to dwell with us in bodily form in Jesus’ birth.
I wanted to let you know that I was invited to lecture to the business class on non-profit board governance at Redeemer University College, in Ancaster last week. I was also invited to dinner with the Women in Business group, to talk about being a woman in business to students who are doing summer placements and co-op terms and starting their careers. What a blast! The students had such great questions, and appreciated my content.
Here’s a pic with me and Laurie Busuttil, the business professor at Redeemer UC.
Fourteen blocks walk through a quiet morning to the nursing home, but Cousin Grace is not up and willing to go to church.
The ‘service’ (sairvees) cannot take the route to the church, as the area is restricted with razor barbed wire and armed soldiers at frequent check points. It drops me off on a main highway, distant from the Mosque Hariri. At the first barrier, the soldier points me further down the street, the next soldier agrees to let me cross a barrier, saving a further walk around a block. The third checkpoint lets me through and points out the stairs up the ridge: eight flights of 14 steps each. With all the walking this past month, I’m not even winded at the top. Ah, now I’m on the street where the ‘service’ usually lets me off. One last check point, and the soldier doesn’t even look me over.
The church is decorated for Christmas, and well attended this morning. (How did they all get there?) Communion bread is suffused with rose water, and the wine is wine. (This is a traditional Protestant Presbyterian congregation, established in 1869) Somehow the communion impacts my mind with the memory: “Do this in remembrance of Me”. Friends kindly drive me back to the nursing home, and we spend a couple of hours over the many pictures of the family remembered from former years.
Fourteen blocks walk back to the women’s shelter. Everyone’s napping this afternoon.
Yesterday I viewed an apartment I was very much hoping I could take—-smaller than I have now, but quite adequate and in my familiar, convenient to churches, lovely neighborhood, and not much more expensive (the prices have gone up...). Unfortunately it was a disaster—built-in appliances that were not working wouldn’t be repaired—the worst apartment I’ve viewed.
Yesterday evening I applied for two more apartments, one was taken by this morning already. This afternoon I was able to meet with the landlord of the other apartment to have a look at the outside—less than two kilometres from where I live now in a very nice area—and close to the bike path near the river that goes all the way downtown. The apartment has two bedrooms, so it’s larger and more expensive than what I’ve been looking at, but I would be grateful to be able to have an office, without my bed in it. Tomorrow at 3.45pm I can go and view the inside, along with four others who are on the short list.
This morning at church someone recommended that I check with the Catholic Church—they sometimes have very good apartments for less money. So I went to speak with my upstairs neighbors—he’s a priest. He’s going to make three calls in the morning...
The time is getting very short if I’m to be out of this apartment by the end of this busy month... I’m stretched...
It seems like we have been celebrating Thanksgiving ever since October and early November, when two of our precious granddaughters were married. (See enclosed letter and pictures)
Then last Sunday, we hosted a Thanksgiving Gathering as an outreach for 20 of our new neighbors. Together we hung leaves of gratitude on our "Thanksgiving Tree" and you were one of ouir leaves! You can see the "Thanksgiving Tree" and your part in it in the enclosed letter.
Finally, we are sharing in this attachment a word of praise and a very personal request for prayer.
My health varies a bit from day to day. Certainly better than 3 weeks ago, but still around enough that I'm very grateful I'm not travelling the world. Missing everything in Kenya terribly, though!
Yesterday at the downtown church members’ meeting—about 400 in attendance—the congregation confirmed that they hire me! I’m in awe of the Lord’s wonderful solution! I also have an apartment viewing appointment on Saturday—hopefully it’s the place God has in mind for me!
It's easy to get caught up and distracted by events around us over which we have little or no control.
The chaos on the streets has affected us very little, although one young woman staying with us has had her university classes disrupted.
We focus on bringing Gospel and Bible teaching to any who will receive it. Recently, another young woman with us has understood and embraced the love and salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amazing to watch.
Next week the plan is to find Hoda.
What you can do is help us with school fees, university, college and elementary school. We currently have one in university, three in public school and potentially our new young Christian to college.
Currently, this is coming out of pocket, but we could sure use real help.
Can Fish and Loaves offer a contribution for education of our girls in Lebanon?
It's so difficult not to stumble repeatedly over the culture in a home of uneducated
wonderful Lebanese colleagues. I'm SO self directed. Pray that I'll be humble,
and accepting of patterns that seem unproductive but are normal for this culture.
I don't even know how to express my dilemma.
Missionaries can be a real deterrent to the Gospel. We forget to just be servants and witnesses to what God has done for us.
"Bill has been unwell and unable to visit Africa as planned. Please pray for Todd and Iris Jones who are being sent by our Board in Bill's place, for a very sad burial of one of Listen to Learn's staff, to attend multiple happy graduations, the dedication of a well we've drilled in semi-desert Turkana, and the joyful wedding of one of our staff. Nov. 21 to Dec. 14."
I am thankful that missionaries have been safe in spite of riots in
Manokwari and Jayapura. The quadrennial gathering of the TEAM associated
churches was harmonious and the president of the past 4 years, a capable
and godly man, continues in the position. Visas that were near expiry
were renewed just in time. Pray that visas will be granted for 2 new
couples. The Savage family from Merauke have been in the USA for a short
furlough. Deborah had a knee replacement Sept. 9, and they return Dec.4.
Ask for continued good healing.
Many projects have been happening around Knox recently. Waterproofing of the foundation of the sanctuary has been the most visible. However, the century-old skylight in the Goforth hall ceiling was leaking and in great need of replacement. The too-long life-expired roof AC also was in a tired and energy extravagant state.
Please click below for our prayer letter with many pictures and few words.
Luke slashed the palm of his hand a few weeks ago (5 stitches the first time, which tore out, and another seven stitches a week later), putting him out of commission until now and delaying a great deal of outdoor work and correspondence, including this prayer letter. We are grateful to report that we have now been joined by Tavi, a SERVE Asia worker from Germany, who will be serving with us at ACC for a year.
We have been caught off guard by an early snow storm which has buried many things that ought not to be buried under snow but we are hopeful that, with Tavi's help, we can still get everything set in order for the winter.
Nestor Abdon has accepted our invitation to become our Pastor of Local and Global Mission at Knox.
Nestor grew up in the Philippines where he gained a Bachelor’s of Theology and master’s and doctorate degrees in Public Administration (MPA and PhD). He comes with significant pastoral ministry experience in multi-cultural settings, having served as mission facilitator for marketplace ministry (BAM—Business as Mission) and as an intercultural missionary developing a multicultural church paradigm. He most recently served with Peoples Church in Toronto as the Newcomers Network Pastor.
Greetings from Moscow!
Please pray for C & K and their Board, Executive and Management team meetings. C then travels to Central Asia with 2 others for training sessions with up to 90 local business men and women, and then to the US for board meetings for a company in east Asia. Thank you for your faithful support.