I would like for the congregation to pray for my Karimojong friend who is very sick. I have asked her permission to have my family and church pray for her.
Anyakun was my first language helper and health teacher. I have known her since I first arrived here 8 years ago, but she has been living in another town after the first year, and comes back to the village regularly to visit relatives. I just saw her at the market the other week and she told me she has AIDS. I’ve known that she’s been sick for awhile, but not this aspect of it. She is now struggling with some secondary infections because of her weakened immune system. She has access to free ARVs, but still needs to pay for weekly transportation to the clinic outside of town and medicine for related sicknesses. She told me that she has no appetite, so the ARVs won’t work very well on an empty stomach. She is too weak to work or even to walk to church. She is taking care of around five grandchildren of three of her children (two which have died) and needs wisdom for these family responsibilities for the future. I hope to visit her again soon to encourage her. Please pray for wisdom as we interact and that her hope will be renewed as she draws near to God.
Bill Duffy was a pastor of St. Paul's, Ottawa for 19 years. He passed away on December 8. Sheila, a daugheter, was a long time member of Knox.
He was loved by so many, Bill was a loyal man who cherished his friends, a spiritual guide, a joyful, kind, and humorous father, friend of all chipmunks, pets and wildlife, a devoted husband and a passionate follower of Jesus.
19 Folger St
Kingston ON K7K 4Y7
Our new reality has definitely been a big adjustment for all of us. But we are definitely thankful that we can all be together now! Every day we have different nurses and therapists coming to the house, some days we have 3 come and other days we have two.
We are using the suction machine, the cough assist machine, we have feed bags full of food stored in the dining room, Dawna has to administer up to 9 meds a day thru the feed tube with water flushes, and then also has to ‘flush’ the feed tube every 4 hours to ensure Holley gets lots of liquids. At this point, she is having soft ice cream, puddings, Ensure, coffee and milk, but that is about it.
We are still having issues with food, and I am sure that will continue. Not sure how long Holley will want soup, but we are going to try and get creative.
Tomorrow the speech and swallowing therapists come to ensure she is doing okay with her taking liquids. They still want her to have 2000 calories a day as you need more protein to get her muscles working better and you need more calories to heal faster.
Holley and Dawna wanted me to thank all of you for all your prayers, support, gifts, cards, and emails that helped us all get through everything this year, including having Holley home for her birthday. I know we still have a long journey ahead of us, but hopefully we are all heading in the right direction.
Our super birthday party went smashingly—thanks to the piñata!
Hanneke cares for eight kids so having birthdays all year becomes a big drain on time and resources. As a family they hatched the plan to have one big birthday at the beginning of December—just a few weeks before the world’s most important Birthday.
Neighbour kids and families, mostly missionary workers, were invited. Preparation spread out over the week, involving getting enough sodas for 30 people, baking four cakes of various tastes including a carrot cake with cheesecake icing imported from Holland and a bright blue cake—Kiri’s all-time favourite colour. Everyone would bring extra food. Gifts were provided for all the kids.
Making the piñata was a formidable challenge—we sure could have used Xerggyo’s expertise. Hanneke got balloons and some heavy packing paper and paste and waited to see what would emerge. The closest thing that appeared was a bird—rather like a dodo. The paint was old orange, shiny and smelly. Hanneke found eyes and fabricated paper feathers. It really did have that extinct feeling.
A treasure hunt for candies hidden all around the outside, an oversized-dice toss game with fun rewards, then time to eat. Then the finale: the piñata! With the first blow, Hanneke’s broomstick was no more when the kid missed the bird and hit the wall a fatal blow. Other stick casualties followed. There seemed to be little that could get through the petrified skin of our famed dodo. Finally one crushing blow landed perfectly and our featherless, eyeless non-descript bird gave up, spewing candies all over. The kids all rushed to their reward.
The day got high ratings, but we do have to give much of the pleasure to some dozy Tanzanian dodo.
We are Not in the Midwest anymore!
Click to read the full story
While sitting in the foyer of HOH, the boys gather like flies, and they hear the angels declaration of Glory to God in the Highest………. in Arabic straight from the computer, which gives it an aura of authority. A girl sits down beside me and runs her fingers all over the screen and the keys.
It serves as an opportunity to teach and prepare for what might result in a Christmas play complete with original script.
We have a slate of verses that we have taught to children in our elementary group: Luke 2:14, Luke 2:10, (interruption, another girl arrives and plops herself down) John 8:12, John 20:29, the hullabaloo going around me you wouldn’t believe, and the men care givers come up to investigate and make the boys return to their dorm, but everything looks normal, and so they stayed, and after some discussion of sheep and shepherds one of the girls decides to read on through John 10.
You never know when God’s Word takes over!
Getting the boys and girls to return to their boring dorms is a huge argument and effort. But Fadi with a lot of patience, succeeds in corralling them one by one. We’re still working on Abraham and Genesis 15:6, that great and redeeming accounting.
Pray for hearts’ response to the Holy Spirit calling them.
Now for lunch. Hope it’s good. Breakfast was bread with oil and herb, with sweet tea.
I’ve finally created a slideshow of our time in South Africa at the International Fellowship of Evangelical Student missions conference for Southern Africa. 300 students attended from 14 countries!
Thank you so much for your prayers, support and huge encouragement to me and the team.
Today, the pump that raises water to the upper tank—the one that gives the whole house pressure no longer does anything. Hanneke called her fundi. He came riding his pikipiki with his assistant and tools on the back. Turns out that the pipe in the well is riddled with rust holes. Now the fundi is digging up 10 metres of pipe and replacing it with new plastic. We are expecting up to 40 people this afternoon for a common birthday party—so it would be nice to have some water for that.
All houses have a tank, except of the smaller homes that still carry water from a common source and rely on the outhouse.
Naomi is so happy when I turned on the kitchen fawcet and a brownish feeble stream flowed.
Naomi is slated to go to Mwanza next week for more checks with a very qualified doctor. After recovering from TB, now she is experiencing a lot of should and neck pain. She smiles so much,,,such a blessing to Hanneke’s household.
The fundi's four hour job including parts for tow guys cost under $30 CDN. They putted off on their pikipiki, dirty and smiling and the first birthday guest has not arrived. This too is African time.
"The person who has not traveled widely thinks that his /her mother is the only best cook" African proverb!!
We are about to do tests at the university from Monday!
I am believing and trusting all goes well!
We are having a lot of presentations and individual assignments!! They challenge us so much but we use and need your prayers!!
David Holsten December 5 at 5:29am: We are grateful for the prayers of many of you on behalf of MAF! The past two weeks have been a challenging time for us, but we are seeing the Lord move on our behalf, and are being urged by the government to fly again for the communities we serve. The Ministry of Transportation is wanting us to work though the church for payment of our flights rather than receive funds directly from our passengers. This is requiring some quick redesigning of our current systems, but it's doable, and we're grateful to have been given that option. We hope to begin resuming flights this next week. Our mission partners will be relatively unaffected by this change as we already utilize a similar system with them. Unfortunately, the government has issued some press releases that implied that MAF has been sitting idly by in recent years rather than pursuing more sustainable models of operating. In fact we have been very proactive in our efforts to have a clear legal basis for what we do. And we have been complying, in a very precise manner, to the explicit requirements given to MAF by the Ministry of Transportation. As recently as July we met with the current Minister of Transport face-to-face to discuss the best steps for the future, and were told to continue to operate as we have been. Perhaps one of the most difficult things to face in recent days has been the criticism we've received from some of our national users, and even some members of our community, who have taken reports from the media at face value, rather than verifying the facts with us directly. It has felt like a very real spiritual attack in recent days. We want to be sensitive to the Spirit's leading, and we desire to bring glory to God in what we say and do. Like so many of you, we want to see the people of of this country impacted by the gospel! We covet your prayers as we continue to seek God's wisdom in all of this. David Holsten Regional Director MAF Indonesia Like Comment
This is my latest update. It includes a financial ask and prayer requests.
Thank you for your prayer support, it is greatly appreciated!
Tabora December 5
Hi. Greetings from Grazil.
First of all I went to Saneri's graduation at the Indian Bible School. It was lovely to see her graduate. Then right after that I came here to Brasilia. I will only have a week here because I have to join João Quadra way to the west of here to make a visit to a closed tribe. I am looking forward to this but not to all the travelling by bus and plane and truck to get there.
David was poisoned and left for dead but his friends from the orphanage found him and he is still weak but recovering well.
I am settling into my new, mostly slower, pace of life. However, never think that crossing any roadway allows you to not be alert or you do so at your imminent peril. Cars, bodabodas, bikes and huge, soot belching trucks swoop erratically toward the poor pedestrian. So far I have escaped being crushed.
Noise and smells are always changing. Oversized loudspeakers destroy the tranquility, even in the rural landscape. Some self-ordained pastors feel obliged to preach loud and long into the night No sure what type of witness that is.
Driving from Tabor to Mwanza takes at good 6-8 hours. Although the roads are decent, there are many unexpected deep potholes, the result of many heavy trucks. Hidden cameras photograph speeders, then you are pulled over further along. Although we were stopped four times, Hanneke was not ticketed. She observes the ever changing speed limit. The speed is 50 and then 100 and then 50 again, for no reason, changing about every 500 m. This can double the travel time and certainly triples the stress level.
Mahona proudly showed us around his sprawling university campus. Lecture halls are modern and beautiful. His dorm room is typical, tiny, yet adequate. He introduced us to many friends and his roommate—all really nice people. There are 8,000 students.
We visited the hardware to get tiles for the kitchen, bath and storage room floors. The shop walls have a haphazard arrangement of tiles, once it was necessary to climb over re-bars to get a closer look. When we decided on a particular pattern, we went to another store and to pay then returned to load the tiles into Hanneke’s van.
Although the new, Knox-supported clinic is completed, paperwork still prevents the actual use of the vital work some 15 km outside Tabora.
A heavy, refreshing rain is washing the landscape.
I am writing to give you a short update on my progress. Thank you for the messages and calls from so many that have assured me of your thoughts and prayers on my behalf. My successful open-heart surgery on November 20th resulted in the repair of two heart valves. In addition to the surgery, I was given a pacemaker due to a slower and somewhat irregular heart rate post-surgery. They could have released me without the pacemaker, but since they felt I would eventually need it down the line, I opted to have it installed now. Although open heart surgery is an intensive experience, overall it has been good - with competent and caring medical staff, supportive family and friends, and little pain. And how blessed I am to live so close to such a respected cardiac centre as St Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener.
I am now staying with Heather and Geoff for 1-2 weeks and am getting stronger every day. I hope to return to my own apartment as soon as it seems wise.
Once again, thank you so very much for your thoughts, prayers and kindness. I am most grateful to you … and to God.
May you experience His blessings and peace during this season of Advent and Christmas.
Two days ago we celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary! Thank you for your continued support of our life and ministry. Celebration Church continues to grow in attendance and to show signs of growth in Christ. We need new elders and are praying for those whom God will raise. Please pray also with us.
Don Nicol November 28
Slow learners must become fast runners
We touched down in Dar es Salaam at 1230 a.m. By the time visas were issued it was 0230. With less than three hours before my final flight I found a metal bench in a corner. Sleep still did not happen amid the constant buzz of passengers coming and going—including a soccer team brandishing their gold cup.
Finally, red eyed, at the departure gate I was told that my reservation needed to be confirmed to get a boarding pass…and that the flight was now in first and final boarding. I groaned with personal disappointment. Going all the way in reverse through security and back down a long stairway and through a congested check-in line would take forever. Finally an official agreed to allow me to leave my back-pack and run to see what might happen. I prayed desperately. After begging my way to the now closed ticket que, it was confirmed I was much too late. I begged for a boarding pass…and with it in hand like a white surrender flag, raced back up the stairs—this time my shoes set off all manner of beeping. Finally at the gate—I was again assured that the flight was ready to take off. Then an official took pity on the dumb gringo. We ran down a metal spiral staircase onto the tarmac. Regular passengers had boarded a shuttle to get to the plane. There were several planes and no one seemed to know which one was Tabora bound…finally about a half km away stood a plane ready for departure…and off we raced, dodging service vehicles with my heavy backpack swinging precariously. And I bounded up the steps breathless. The flight hostess who had watched my marathon welcomed, aboard her flight and shut the door…still smiling.
The flight was uneventful after that and we greeted Tabora early. How great to see Hanneke, Faraja, Kiri, Naomi, Mfaume and Ngassa…tomorrow we will drive to Mwanza.
If you only have time to read this short note, please join us in thanking God for answering prayer for Mary Anne’s teaching last month and our fruitful ministry to visitors.
Please take another moment to pray for Jack as he leaves on the 29th, Wednesday, to speak at a Student Staff Conference in Mexico and for Mary Anne as she participates in the strategic Gathering of our church this Friday evening, Dec 1, and Saturday, Dec 2. (There are more details and pictures in the attachment.)
You can catch a glimpse of us below in our office, working on all the Bible Studies, messages, and meetings to come!
Don Nicol November 27, 10 a.m.
Crazy, that is what I call myself! Each time I fly I promise never to repeat the ordeal again and then go back on my vow. Here I slump awaiting our outbound flight in two hours for Nairobi. My prayers turn to those held captive against their wishes...something they did not inflict on themselves
At YYZ there was a disorganized crush—a menacing indication of a –no spare seats here. As we boarded it felt like stuffing a meat-market sausage, with no room for extra filling. There must have been twenty people in wheelchairs—whether legit or not, boarding first. We left one hour late, but I have a three hour wait in Charles de Gaulle. My seat mate was decent enough, but liked to spread out and fiddle the night long with the inflight torment. One row in front was a poor kid announce in shrieks that he did not want to leave Canada. Directly behind was another suffering infant who wanted to share her displeasure to immediate neighbours.
Those annoying devices: a lady perched in the lounge is trumpeting into her phone to a friend who is two rows away. Maybe I am just too tired.
I have only finished one leg of my journey—I have three more to go, including a sleep on the airport floor in Dar before I see Hanneke and the kids.
A good friend asked me before I left whether I was eager to go or eager to get home again. He has suffered many long flights, so knew what he meant. Truth is sleeping in my own bed has a magical attraction right now, but I am excited to see my Tanzanian and T amigos so I am content to be in the state I am in , whatever that might be.
Later: It is a sweltering 40C here in the Dar es Salaam airport. Outside is not much better. It is three in the morning, our time, and the departure lounge is crammed full—maybe some are just here to wait the night. Had to give a sob story to get let in three hour before my flight. Considering the 200 or so souls here it is amazingly sombre and heavily burdened travellers wait patiently. Probably the stifling heat acts like an adult pacifier.
Numbers and Stars and Abraham?
Coming to age six and seven should be exciting. The ‘world is so full of a number of things’, you’d think we should all be as happy as kings. The wise bard who offered that insight had never encountered a child who had never heard of numbers.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, sweetly tuned by Mozart, is a favorite song from the youngest to the preteens, and can be heard at times all over the dorms. But have you ever seen a star? You need to go outside at night. Lately we’ve been taking the children out at night to the play yard, as it gets dark before supper time now in November. Counting stars can be a fun play if you know how to count.
One Sunday the children heard a story about Abraham, and so building on that knowledge, Abraham was introduced talking to God. Abraham wanted something more than protection, and reward from battle. He wanted a son, and he was bold enough to ask for one. God promised him to give him much more than just one son. He set Abraham up for counting the stars. (Check Google for the ancient Chaldean or Egyptian counting systems.)
As we lead the children to the God of Abraham, we tell them how important those stars are and how big the God is who made them. When we practice all day to count to ten, we apply our skill at night and find out that there are a lot of stars to count. Then we return to our dorm to learn that believing God, counted for Abraham as righteousness. That’s a huge accounting in which all believers in Jesus participate.
Interestingly, the children understood this quite well. The word for believe in Arabic is derived from the same root as Amen. So we invite the children to talk to God and say Amen to Him. The story began with Twinkle and was satisfied in knowing God. Pray that this knowledge will be imprinted in young hearts.
Pray for the 150 students and young people who attended Live Called. They came from fifty different churches to spend a day with us being mentored by older believers and explore how their profession equips them to be part of what God is doing in the world. Pray for mentoring relationships and small groups that came out of the event. On November 30 we will host a Live Called follow up with a specific focus on the overseas opportunities.
Pray for the young people we work with. Five students who have applied for a short term trip and 30 people who are at different stages of an intentional discernment journey. Praise God with us for the missionaries who have been able to join us on Friday mornings as we prayed for the world. We are also praising God for our student mobilizers and their passion for missions. Chez and Katie were invited to present missions opportunities at five campus fellowship gatherings. More than 200 students will have been challenged to consider cross cultural missions for summer 2018. Pray that the fellowships would continue to grow in maturity and capacity and be inspired to send their peers.
I will meet David (my adopted son) in São Paulo where he will join me in the work. There are the Old Testament Scripture portions and primers to be printed, Psalms to be checked, and many villages to be visited. First on the list is Sanere's graduation from Bible School. Also please pray that while we are in Brazil David will obtain a visa to Canada.
MAF in Papua has been operating under a 'special ministerial decree' for
two years.It gave permission for MAF to charge users for costs like fuel.
It has not been renewed. Church leaders have gone to Jakarta to appeal to high level government officials, and MAF is negotiating with the Dept. of Transportation. Pray God will intervene so that they can continue to serve the people of Papua.
My Dad, Jim Mason, had successful open heart surgery yesterday (Monday, November 20th). Two heart valves were repaired – with neither having to be replaced in the end.
I have just come from visiting Dad. Today he is doing remarkably according to his surgeon and nurse - and he was very chatty. Hopefully this trend will continue and he will be transferred from ICU to the regular heart care ward soon. He will remain in hospital for a few more days and then will come to our place to continue recuperating until he is well enough to be back in his own apartment.
Dad, and all the family, want to thank you so much for all the thoughts, prayers, e-mail messages and other love we have been showered with.
"Trusting your well and the whole Knox Church
I have been busy with study's and Helping at the orphanage and hopefully am planning to come to Canada soon.
"I want to take this opportunity to Thank Knox church and whoever is supporting me financially , Your contribution to my life is of much help, Thank You so Much again.
"My prayer and dream is to see more people come to Christ and with Gods help I will achieve that ,taking the gospel to the world.
"May God bless you and Whole the people that support me in Jesus name"
--David, Ruth's African son
I took this picture of Kiri. She is taking care of the only surviving chick. The hen had trampled her other chicks.
Yesterday we hosted our new clinic grand opening party for all the mission staff, community, and district VIPs. Over 200 people attended and we all had a lot of fun celebrating the completion of this long-awaited project. May God be glorified through all the work of the clinic in our community.
Please pray for our mission retreat to be held from December 5-8th. Our mission is good at the theological teaching aspect, but I hope we can feel encouraged with some missionary care time too.
This is just a short note to let you know that, due to a cancellation, I am having open heart surgery at St Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener (to replace and/or repair heart valve issues) on Monday, November 20th. This has come a lot sooner than I had anticipated, but I am at peace and trust in God’s perfect timing.
When I get out of the hospital (approximately 5 days after the operation if there are no complications) I will be going to Heather and Geoff’s place in Guelph to recuperate for a while.
I will get back to my e-mail in due course, and will have my cellphone on me after I am over the worst (Tel: 519-880-5357).
I would be most grateful for your prayers.
Click below for teh rpayer sheet.
Just a note to assure you that I’m perking along happily back here in Montreal. Lots happening here.
Besides doing some translation into French for our web site, I’ve been:
tying up my Cup of Cold Water Project at this end and consulting with the church leadership in Bunia, DRC,
regarding the use of the final funds at that end,
updating lists and making calls relating to tomorrow’s 19th annual AIM Matinée pour l’Afrique.
helping organise and advertise the bilingual Christmas Fellowship of the Friends of Africa to be held here in Montreal on Saturday, December 9th.
seeing the doctor and getting x-rays after falling down four-five stairs the other day on my way to church (hands full). Not to worry, thought! I was really sore that day, but I didn’t even need to take an Aspirin! I’m
doing pretty well now, but am trying not to carry too many heavy things at once.
Happily, the translation is coming along, though slowly. I’m hoping to finish up the basics for our new French web site well before Christmas. Marlene is the greatest hostess, and a very good cook, too. I’m blessed and will be staying at her place in La Salle, just a few steps from the Lachine Rapids in the St. Lawrence River, until going to Toronto for Christmas with Dave. Prayer requests would be:
on-going prayer for my plans for next year, as I’m still waiting on the Lord for the green light to return to the Congo next year if this is His will.
I have received two notices from Bunia this week – one that one of my students was unable to complete her last year of teacher training due to lack of funds, the other that the son of a staff member in the CECA-20 Church offices (also one of my students) ill have to pay $476 US (about $500 Canadian) to fly down to university in Lubumbashi from Bunia, via Goma. If you know anything about the terrain and the distances in the DRC, you can be assured that driving is neither safe nor efficient (if it is possible at all). The young man was counting on getting an “air lift” with the UN, but that fell through. I have done my best since returning home to help two university students with their fees and also have sent a personal gift to the ISP (teacher training college), so it is somewhat distressing to hear of these further urgent needs. Your prayer would be appreciated for these dear people.
for our matinée tomorrow morning. It’s a ton of work for Dita Poenaru, the Provincial Mobiliser for Quebec, and the French and English AIM committee members, but they have a wonderful programme planned. May the Lord use it for His glory, both here and in Africa, and call new workers into His harvest in that needy continent.
The same kind of prayers for our annual AIM Christmas Celebration in Toronto next Saturday. I hope some of you can come.
Thanks to all who pray for and support me financially. I am a terrible communicator, but I couldn’t do a thing without your help – and the Lord’s help, too, of course!
Oh, I just remembered that it was November 16th, 1976, that I took off for Africa and the Comoro Islands for a short term with AIM. That means that as of yesterday, I’ve been 41 years with the mission. The Lord has been good and led me faithfully all the way. Ii praise and thank him for his faithfulness “through it all.”
These are dried fish from Kigoma. The kids wanted this for dinner tonight. Yummy???? I made Shepherds pie yesterday so I will have something good for dinner!
These fish are dried and rolled up.... I told them that they remind me of something that the dogs left in the yard. Mfaume couldn't stop laughing. No we won't treat you to this "wonderful " dinner!
Operation Mobilization, Miaoli County, Taiwan
Please pray that: 1. God will open the door for ministry opportunities. We need to get some permission from schools and local authority.
2. The unity of this outreach team.
3. The locals are willing accept Christ as their personal Savior and Lord
Last-minute applications are never fun... Expensive airfares, accommodations...
Waited for a whole month from OM between October and November, I finally got accepted for a 10-day mission trip to Taiwan on Dec 15 to Dec 25. We will be serving in a township called Tongluo (means "gong", the music instrument in English) in Miaoli County.
We will be participating in school visit, Christmas
event, street caroling, friendship evangelism, practical work, tracting, flea market, prayer night etc...
Mom, you told me in front of her to make friends before starting classes .
It seems like you created our friendship since that day!!!
My friend is in the same class with me, she likes to ask me if you are coming to see me!!
She likes to sit next to me everyday!! If she finds someone sitting next to me- she always ask him/her to find another place to sit!!
She took me to hospital today and paid for the appointment! We have an appointment to see the ear doctor on Saturday!!
Greetings from Washington, DC. Well, actually Arlington, VA where I can see the Pentagon from the 11th floor window.
Started working with International Justice Mission this week, for 9 months as they prep for their staff conference next fall in Dallas. They’ve never gathered their staff together, so it should be significant!
As I’ve worked on 4 conferences and visa applications, I have a unique skill set to offer them.
I’ve long admired their work as Christian abolitionists, so it’s an honour to join their team and meet their staff.
I’d love your prayers as we create the systems and structures to support their visa application process and build strong relationships based on trust and respect.
Getting back to Toronto on Thursday, so prayers for safe travels are also welcome.