She thanks God for Baraka's change...he is now serious about his studies and is so much more pleasant! God hears and answers our prayers! Kiri is enjoying her studies. Faraja needs encouragement as he has trouble with physics. Mfaume is doing well. Pray for everyone's exams! Daniel is doing great and Jacky is doing well and enjoys her studies. I am still struggling physically. God is good!
For the last couple of months it’s been a challenge to try to make my home service work—and now I’m already writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada! Things suddenly came together so quickly, including an incredible three-day layover in Iceland with friends of friends! After a whirlwind of providing for counselees and leaving my apartment, car and bike available to be used in my absence, I’m currently catching my breath and finishing up the last of my work from Munich as I transition into home service. In light of a number of constraints, including counseling, training and mentoring responsibilities, but also because of the Covid-19 regulations, I regret to write it’s been necessary to limit my home service to Canada. This is the “already and not yet” of home service… In the summer weeks remaining before Fall activities begin again in Munich, I’ll be making the most of my stay here—having to leave my travel to the USA for another time. I trust that it will be God’s will for me to visit Philadelphia next summer—it’s very disappointing not to make it to see everyone on this trip! So Philadelphia will be Home Service in Installment Two, regrettably…
Home Service schedule Installment One in Canada:
August 6th: Introducing myself to Christ Covenant PCA in Langely, BC.
August 7th: Meeting with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission (EFCCM) in Abbotsford, BC. (Since my last home service I transferred to this new Canadian mission organization and am looking forward to meeting them.)
August 14th: Introducing myself to Lighthouse PCA in Victoria, BC.
August 21st: New City PCA, Calgary, AB.
August 28th: Crestwood PCA, Edmonton, AB.
September 4th: Woodgreen PCA, Calgary, AB.
September 11th: Foothills Christian & Missionary Alliance, Calgary, AB.
September 18th: Visiting Grace PCA, Toronto, ON to introduce myself.
September 25th: Knox Presbyterian Church of Canada, Toronto, ON.
September 29th: Return flight to Munich, Germany
The Lord has wonderfully provided for me to stay with great friends in their lovely home in Calgary, as well as for the use of a car during the entire length of my stay in the West—thank you to the saints of Woodgreen Church!
I’m very grateful for your prayers as I travel and meet with pastors, missions elders, prayer groups and many individual supporters, as well as to continue some critical counseling long-distance. For the next 12 weeks I’ll be working across a few time zones!
Upon my return to Munich in October I’ll start training and mentoring a select group of five women and three men from our church. Besides seeing many individuals coming to Christ, some of these and others in the church are facing new and old challenges, so requests for counseling are increasing. Although I have been mentoring six individuals, we do not nearly have enough lay counselors to cover the requests for counseling, neither in the FeG nor in the other two churches with whom I’m working. With that in mind, together with the pastoral staff, we’ve been looking for other individuals with hearts and gifts to train and mentor in counseling. I’m excited about starting this group for lay counselors in the Fall! Prayers to train and mentor each in the group, and as they sit in on my individual counseling sessions, are much appreciated.
As you know, I’ve been working on a short course, Discovering Change, to generally help all members in their personal sanctification process. This course is to follow the other courses in the church, Discovering Christianity, Discovering the Church and Discovering the Bible. In God’s wonderful grace, the end of May four couples made a 10-day study break possible for me in a remote village high in the Austrian Alps, only a two hour drive from Munich, to complete work on the Discovering Change talks. I’m so grateful for this time of reflection, productivity and refreshment! This Fall I’ll start the course in one of our church plants, and then teach it also in the new year in our church and one other I work with. I trust it will be helpful to equip individuals very personally and specifically to “put off” their old nature, and then, by the “renewing of their minds” in the love of God, they may know how to “put on” more of Christ for themselves, to hold themselves secure in Christ and God in these turbulent times. Please pray for the launch of this course.
Isn’t it such a privilege to know our heavenly Father through Christ by the Spirit so that we can come out of the craziness of our secular, polarized context, and into the love, unity and sanity within the church! Because we have been given new hearts and a new spirit, we are able to think rightly and live united with God in His good order to be in the world but not of it! It’s in the church we can understand what true Love is, and know that we are so deeply loved! We can increasingly live in Love and are also enabled to unite and love one another—even deeply, from the heart! So we are so privileged to have the mind of Christ—to have sound minds—to think in ways that are renewed by God’s Word and live lives of goodness and fullness, even in our broken world. Although nowhere near perfect, isn’t the Body of Christ a wonderful oasis of love and goodness, wisdom and sanity, both a refuge from the craziness as well as a launching pad to be salt and light for it! May the Lord use all the challenges we face, both globally and personally, to bring revival, so that many may consider the meaning of life, to know what is truly important, that they may “seek Him, and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from anyone, for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28).
In counseling it is such a privilege to come alongside those who are facing overwhelming chaos in their lives and, by God’s Spirit, to help to order them in understanding the missing or distorted pieces of God’s love, to recognize and turn from idols of their hearts, and find life more abundant in a greater dependency on God, to walk in step with the Spirit, and to love others more. There is no greater joy than to see individuals strengthened in the Lord! I’m so grateful to God for the work He has given me to do! This would not be possible without all your support! Let me say a huge thank you to you!!!
May the Lord continue His abundant blessings on us all to know Him more clearly, love Him more deeply and follow Him more closely, Elizabeth
CanIL has just passed the halfway mark of its 9-week summer semester which concludes on August 12th. It is such a joy to have students back in person for a study term! Though the new ones are small in number—only 17 in person (with another dozen studying online), they still fill the halls and classes of CanIL rather well, no doubt thanks to a couple of dozen M.A. students and almost a dozen Grammar Workshop participants who are also taking courses. This is a transition time for the Grammar Workshop in that a new facilitator is taking over from the husband and wife team who have headed it up for many years.
CanIL held its camping weekend in Hope, B.C. in early July and I was able to participate, sharing a tent with two of my colleagues. This year’s campout was one of our largest groups ever (69 attendees). The fellowship was marvellous! The only downside to the weekend was the mosquitoes which have been hatching in record numbers due to the prolonged high-water season here in BC.
My work schedule is unchanged. I’m at CanIL on Mondays and Wednesdays and work from home for the equivalent of two more days in the remainder of the week. Monday and Wednesdays are chapel days so I have been able to attend. I have been so blessed by the messages which have been simple and to the heart. I’ve also participated in a couple of the Saturday hikes and two of the Sunday evening MFiles where a missionary speaker—almost always a graduate of CanIL—shares about their work overseas.
When I last wrote I was working on seriously reducing the size of the CanIL Depository collection because it was outgrowing the space available for it. My giveaways to staff and students found homes for 350 books. I planned to dispose of what was left at local thrift stores, but ended up shipping them to Better World Books for sale as used books and overseas giveaways.
I am currently cataloguing the feature articles of the WORDAlive magazines that Wycliffe Canada published up until mid-2019. A colleague makes regular reference to them in his work for CanIL and requested the cataloguing to ensure that the contents of these magazines remain accessible, but also to facilitate his finding what he is looking for quickly. In order to assign subjects to each article, I need to read it in its entirety. The work is slow, but the read is inspiring. Are you aware that cluster projects of trained mother tongue translators are making it possible to get God’s Word quickly into the hands of people being translated for, so that it can begin its transforming work in their lives? These strategies, combined with advances in translation software, are speeding up progress toward Vision 2025 (the commitment embraced by Wycliffe international leaders in 1999 to see Bible translation started for all the remaining languages that need it by 2025).
The last few months have been eventful in our family. Jonathan has left his work at the fish farm and begun working for a new employer in Port Kells, B.C. He and Leanne and Josiah are back living in Abbotsford again in a walkout basement suite that is 15 minutes east of where I live.
Robby now works two days a week from his office and the remaining three days from home. Bitsy signed up for a three-week summer school at her school (just finished) and has the rest of the summer off. She will be teaching Grade 2 (instead of kindergarten) in the Fall. Her new hobby is macramé. She’s selling her creations at various farm markets in the Lower Mainland.
Last but not least, Josiah is 8 months old. He’s working hard at cutting teeth and has two so far. He’s also enthusiastically adding grown-up food to his diet. His most endearing feature…beautiful smiles!
Items for prayer:
• Our current M.A. in Translation of Scripture (MATS) students in Ethiopia are all engaged in Bible translation and appreciating their program of study with CanIL. Two CanIL professors recently led a workshop for them overseas that was enthusiastically received. The students are committed to seeing their studies through to completion as this training will have huge benefits in terms of consulting capacity for their region of Africa. Please keep them in your prayers.
• Pray that a good number of our new summer students will feel led to enter one of our M.A. programs in Fall Term.
• Pray also for students willing to train as language surveyors. Language surveyors identify which languages need Bible translation if God’s Word is to be fully understood.
• Good health for students and staff. Current new strains of COVID are highly contagious and more serious in their consequences than their Omicron predecessors.
• Jonathan and Leanne have purchased a house in Calgary as a rental investment. Pray for good renters for its two suites and that their property management company will work well for them.
• Pray for Bitsy as she adjusts her teaching materials to suit working with her new class of Grade 2 students.
We could write you pages on the trainings which have happened over the past few months, but instead we want to highlight just a few answers to prayer and a key transition we are starting.
- In May, we hosted a training conference for all leaders.
-The re-start of in person classes means nearly 60 classes spanning Brazil and 3,000 students. I is now teaching again, sometimes three evening’s a week.
- Represented above is a central chunk of the 10/40 window, the region of the world which holds the most people who have the least access to the Good News of Jesus. We have been discerning a move to this region of the world for quite a long time! Please pray for us to see how God is leading throughout this process. We are hopeful to begin this move at the end of 2023!
- We are committed to leaving this team well; it’s still so important to us that Brazil keeps sending labourers! Gratefully, our first choice to replace I as director said yes! There will be a year to overlap with him to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Thank you for praying!
“Hil and I are in bed for the last two days. Headache, fever, cough and sore throat. Maybe it is dengue because of the thousands of mosquitos here. Tomorrow we will go for a blood analysis and see what happens.”
...to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven...
We have been delighted to hear from some of you, as you share in the joys of your summertime and the many simple pleasures this season offers.
Who can resist a yummy ice cream cone or jumping through a sprinkler?
May we share with you the news of a precious life that entered our lives this week!
Ben and Janelle (our eldest son and his wife who recently moved to Moncton, New Brunswick) welcomed their first born daughter into the world!
Skye Ariana. born July 26th. 7 lbs 11 oz arrived singing and quite pink! After a difficult and lengthy labour, the doctor determined a cesarean section was necessary for Janelle and the baby's well-being. Tender-hearted Ben expressed that they are overwhelmed by the miracle of life and the prayers of those who held them close from afar.
Don and I hope to travel to Moncton later in August to share in the joy and care of this little one.
We thank you for your ongoing prayers and interest in Don's progress, especially during the summer months when it is the season to rest and refresh!
In late June, we learned from the cardiologist that Don indeed has two holes in the wall of his heart,. Gratefully, they can be "sealed shut" by means of a procedure that requires day surgery only.
The doctors monitoring Don's health gave us a green light to go to the Maritimes to visit with Ben and Janelle (pre-birth/early July) and then on to PEI for a week on the ocean.
Jacob and Erin kindly joined us for the journey and chauffeured us there with great care and grace.
It was a memorable and lovely time away.
Upon arrival home, Don was feeling a little unwell. We had been quite cautious while away, however he did test positive for the covid. . Thankfully, none of our children whom we were spending time with contracted the virus, but Don and I both were weak and tired for about two weeks. We are fine now, with some residual fatigue, but understandably, his heart surgery, scheduled for July 18th was postponed.
...We trust the perfect time for the heart procedure will occur in the autumn.
In every other way, Don has made remarkable strides! His knee is strong and fully healed. Just last week, he began to slowly print with his left hand, completely unaided with special devices!
It seems the summer sun, walks along the ocean and precious time with family was truly good medicine.
We thank you for your sweet support through our journey as a family.
May you each know moments of rest, healing and restoration in this season in the sun!
with our love,
Don and Mary Jane
I am at the hospital since this morning with a new pastor and his wife and little one who was diagnosed with sickle cell. He is still on a drip. The pastor and family moved from Kigoma region. It will be another hour before we can get home.
Yesterday I came home to Naomi who was sobbing...I asked her what has happened...thinking someone died...Naomi was busy and had not noticed Daniel..
Little Daniel pulled down the water filter and broken 2 of the filters...I was relieved but Naomi felt so guilty that it took several hours before she could smile.
[The banner above is Naomi and Daniel]
July 27: P.s. the little boy with sickle cell is improving. Today I went with his father to help with health insurance for the child as he needs frequently to see a doctor and receive treatments.
David and Angela Morris have both tested positive for Covid BA-5 . This means That Angela will not be able to have her left hip replacement operation until she gets well and a new spot opens up.
Diana is looking forward to be over her Covid. She has had a fever, very hoarse throat, stomach irregularities, and sore stomach from coughing. It starred on Monday.
I am starting on a new role with LAM as of September 1, 2022.
It has been a great privilege to serve as the Executive Director of the Latin America Mission Canada since 2008. I also served on the board for about two years prior to that. It has been a real joy, a blessing, and a humbling experience to work with the Mission and come along every missionary and their ministries.
The kids from my children's home go to Sunday school and other church services. Everyday we have morning prayer here. I have two days to lead the service each week. But I teach in the evening before they go to bed about the Word of God. Thank you very much for your prayers! Next month will be very busy for me here...! All children will be home for a month (holiday). Twelve children who know how to read have been given Bibles. I'm thankful for them to be able to read the word of God
Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts Zechariah 4:6
Just when nothing seems to be happening, the Spirit moves in a family to hear again God sharing His good news. With children milling around, a father picks up a booklet, randomly found by one of the children, and reads out loud the story of the Gospel from Genesis to the Resurrection, and asks questions about the crucifixion and the shedding of blood. When he comes again for help with truck driving license, perhaps it will be possible to add to the knowledge with the story of the paralytic for whom Jesus demonstrated His authority to forgive sins.
Returning from that encounter, a pleasant visit with two women revealed that the Bible taken by one of them is in purposeful use, with the book mark in place! That is one of two bibles in that language that are in full use. How encouraging; it has been a year of interaction in visits in the homes, or at the playground, waiting for the Spirit to show His work.
Every morning walking up and down the paths all over the complex praying for the homes to which God has led me, He is graciously answering.
War and disaster has brought so many people from the Middle East to us. May God reap a tremendous harvest to eternal life amongst them.
On a similar subject, from the archives of the history of war, II Kings is a great read. Ever heard of Iraq or Turkey, or Egypt?
King Hezekiah had and he tore his clothes: i.e. he was desperate. Enter Isaiah, of Isaiah 53 renown, and God, who has a few things to say about the official of Senacherib who is insulting him( II Kings 19:4) in Hebrew so that the crowd on the wall can get the full intent. Language as weapon: Let them hear the taunts in their own language. (II Kings 18:19) The Jewish officials try to shut them up. So God acknowledges that He has allowed Senacherib to destroy cities, towns and villages (II Kings 19:13-17), but not an arrow is going to fall on Jerusalem (II Kings 19:3). Through Isaiah, God assures: Do not be afraid, He, Senacherib, will hear a rumor, (II Kings 19:6) Zion will be rescued, I will rescue it for my sake. Then God lowers the boom:
The Angel of the LORD strikes dead 153,000 troops, (they wake up dead(!)). Senacherib packs up, goes home to Iraq, stays there, and is assassinated while at prayer before his God, Nisroc, by his two sons (!) who escape to Ararat Turkey. How’s that for filial loyalty?, and their lounger (presumably) brother assumes the throne
Unfortunately, several kings later, Nebuchadnezzar comes in to wreak God’s vengeance on His people for the sins of King Manasseh, which God refused to forgive.
Jerusalem was reduced to rubble.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.
So what else is new? “ If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves……….”
Pray that the right people emerge to join the planning team for the Asian Student Missions Conference. I hope the team will begin working with each other in August. In conversations with church leaders across Asia, our sense is the time is ripe to mobilize the church towards cross-cultural, global missions. For this reason, our goal is to gather students to learn from top experts in the mission field what God is currently doing in the world and inspire them to consider global missions for their lives. We believe this missions movement has the potential to change the landscape of the global church now and in the future. We are planning for this Congress to be held in July 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand. This will be our inaugural event for 2000 students to attend.
I am teaching this week and next week. Some students are doing much better. I do some of the notes with them and then make them read the book we are studying. I encourage them to think about what they are reading and write comments and/or questions. This is giving some improvement in their studies and exams.
We took Daniel for a checkup today. He is anemic and needs some extra vitamins.
Next Monday I am registering two pastors for a short computer course so they can work better and be able to study more. They are building our Bible school and the roof is up. It is just around the corner from me! I can walk to the school.
You may not be into running marathons, (we certainly are not!) but we’re guessing that you share our longing “to run the race set before us,” (see Hebrews 12) so that all of us can “finish well!” The COVID lockdown gave the two of us an unplanned sabbatical in which to recalibrate and ask the Lord to show us what He would have us do in these latter years of our lives. (Besides cultivating our relationship with Him, with each other, and with our beloved multi-generational family.)
What is He asking us to do? The list isn’t long, but it’s compelling:
• To keep leading our weekly home group, at least for now.
• To prayerfully serve Knox, the church that has partially supported us from the very beginning of our missionary career.
• To mentor, disciple and pray with others (in person, on Zoom, or via email.)
• To lead a four-day Prayer Summit in Colombia, this coming October 7-10.
• And to write and complete our Memoirs by the end of 2023.
To be honest, we’re facing some challenges as we seek to run this “race marked out for us…”
• We’re getting older and it’s harder for us to get things done on any given day!
• We are both utterly in need of God’s wisdom, love, strength, guidance, and anointing for our ministry to individuals, for our writing projects, and for the Prayer Summit in October.
• And finally, God is calling us to a new journey of faith, as we run these last legs of the race. We want to share these challenges with you in the one-page attachment below and invite you to kindly read on!