“Jack and Mary Anne covet your prayers from October 7-10 as they facilitate four days of prayer for the students, faculty, and administrative staff of the Biblical Seminary in Medellin, Colombia. Pray for the visitation of the Holy Spirit and for God's direction and protection as we worship Him, place our lives at His feet, and seek His Face together. Please pray Isaiah 44:1-8.”
"Thanks for your prayers for us as we go to Colombia tomorrow (Monday)!"
L-R, Top: Norine Love, Sabrina Simmons, Nestor, Karen Williams, Wayne Hancock, Bill Fitch, Matt Bodkin, Gerri Rodman, Nick, Jack Voelkel, Nancy Howard. Don Nicol, Carly Shroeder.
L-R Front: Luke Elliot, Yuko Elliot, Ann Chow, Hanneke Cost Budde. Helen Hancock, Rani, Dave, Leah Hopp, Sylvia Dresser, Krista, Mary Anne Voelkel, Elizabeth Matthias, Carluci dos Santos, Mary Beth McLean, Paul McLean
We have just returned from a wonderful week in Toronto, Canada, where we stayed with our beloved friends Geri Rodman, Donna Dong, and Sue Elfeldt, visited many dear friends, and attended an historic missionary gathering at Knox, the church that has supported us over a lifetime! The Missions committee sought to gather as many of their missionaries (past and present) as possible for a week-end of fellowship and blessing. It was a great week-end!
One of our favorite meetings was on Saturday, when our prayer leader, Norine Love, hosted a wonderful brunch for all of our "prayer buddies," with whom we pray on zoom, week by week. We were able to meet several of them face to face for the first time. You can catch a glimpse of these precious friends below. It almost seems as if there is a sort of "glory glow" around us, and that so aptly expresses the wonderful time of prayer we had in Norine's back yard, praying for Knox as they seek a new lead Pastor and as they prayed for us on the eve of our departure to Colombia to lead the Prayer Summit.
We fly to Medellin, Colombia before dawn this coming Monday through MIAMI, FLORIDA. (How they need our prayers after the hurricane "Ian" ) Please pray for safe travels, protection (Ephesians 6:10-18) and God's direction and out-pouring on the 42 of us that will gather for the Prayer Summit, October 7-10. We have been experiencing some spiritual warfare on our end (Mary Anne had a terrible back spasm for the first time ever in Toronto.) and the faculty, students and staff at the Seminary in Medellin have also felt the pushback from the enemy.
We feel that God clearly called us to go and facilitate the prayer retreat through parts of Exodus 2, 3 and 4. The Seminary cried out to God for help and He heard their cries. (See Ex 2:23-25)
The Lord said to Moses:
"I have certainly seen the oppression of my people (in the Seminary,) I have heard their cries of distress...I am aware of their suffering, so I have come down to rescue them..." (Out of where they are and into all He have for them.!)
"No GO, for I am sending you...I will be with you! ...I AM WHO I AM." (Exodus 3:7-15)
The most beautiful thing is that God has already long been at work in the Seminary, including a beautiful "transformative preaching conference" led by Jorge Atiencia and his team a few weeks ago, and God is drawing them into these four days of prayer (October 7-10) but His end goal is all He wants to do in each of their lives and through them to the Church in Colombia and the world. See His great promises for them (and each of us) in Exodus 6:1-8
"Now you will see what I will do....I AM THE LORD ... I will free them and rescue them...and redeem them with a powerful arm ...I will claim them as my own people and I will be their God.
Thank you for your prayers, just now, and, if you feel so led, going forward
October 3: trip to Colombia
October 6: Jack speaks in Chapel at the Seminary
October 7-10 The prayer summit
October 12 Jack speaks to UCU Medellin
October 13-14 Rest and refreshment with Bev and Ruben Ramirez
October 15: The long journey from Medellin, through Miami and Dallas to Tucson.
After 16 rewarding years as Executive Director of Listen to Learn International, I recently stepped into a new role in June which means some big changes for the organization and good news for you as a donor.
I still remember the moment the idea for L2L came to mind back in 2004. It was simple - if I could enjoy and benefit from listening to spirit-filled Biblical teaching with a portable iPod why couldn’t the African leaders I knew? If my life could be challenged and changed by great teaching on the go, why not my friends Francis, Solomon, and Henry?
Within a few months, I was sending MP3 players with friends traveling to Africa to test the idea. And in 2006 I was on a plane myself to Rwanda and Kenya for the first time in my life with players loaded up with carefully selected teaching - and a ton of questions I needed answered.
Fast forward to 2022 and I’m amazed by how far we’ve come and how many students, churches, and communities have been impacted by the power of great audio Biblical teaching. This happened because of you and your generous heart. Thank you!
So, what about those big changes I mentioned?
First, in my new role at L2L, I’ll be spending the majority of my time building out our outstanding audio curriculum. This really is my sweet spot and I am very pleased to be focused on my favourite aspect of L2L. Our training library is a key foundation for us and having more time to plan and develop this area is good for L2L and our students.
Second, I am delighted to tell you that I have found someone to step into my role as Executive Director. Brian (Carney) has long experience with L2L as our first Board Chair, traveling companion with me to Africa multiple times, and a faithful L2L supporter. He is a big fan of L2L’s vision and mission and still sweeter, a good friend.
I would like to introduce Brian to you the first week of October and invite you to join me for one of two special zoom meetings on either:
• Wednesday, October 5th > 7 pm
• Thursday, October 6th > 7 pm
We’ll update you on our African team’s standout progress in 2022 and share our clear, achievable plans for the next two years.
To join, just click here, click the link below or copy and paste the link below into your browser.
I really hope you’ll join us on one of these nights. Looking forward to seeing your faces and talking together.
Even though my back is still a bit achy, I was able to go to all the lovely meetings at Knox, enjoy precious fellowship with Geri and her household, talk with many friends and fellow missionaries and meet with individuals as well. We fly home today at 5:30 PM and get home to Tucson about midnight.
We have five days to rest, wash clothes, repack, print materials, and pray over all the scriptures and the prayer retreat itself. We fly out to Colombia before dawn next Monday morning.
Please pray for good health, safe travel despite hurricanes, protection from the arrows of the enemy (praying the Ephesians prayers would be great)
Most of all pray that God would meet with all of us at the prayer retreat as we seek His face. Jack and I will go to the retreat center a day early to pray (October 6) and everyone will be there from the 7th to the 10th. Jack will speak to our student group in Medellin on the 12th. We will rest with friends on the 13th and 14th and we will fly home on October 15th.
My sister Carol Shank who now lives in the USA will be visiting me the next few days. Some of you will remember her during the days when she was nursing in Toronto General Hospital. I'm sure we will have a fun time although I have to make a lot of meals!!! Cooking is not my favourite task.
Six little Somalis aged three to twelve, reading Bible Stories and coloring Bible story pictures:
Fortunately, the resistance to reading Bible stories has disappeared, and some good questions come from the 12 year old. “Would God kill anyone?” Where did that come from? Perhaps a fear of God learned from Islam? Feeding the Five Thousand, obviously God overdoes it. And 12 baskets of leftovers…..’my Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is to follow. Strength for today, he gives all the way, and all that I need for tomorrow….. So when there’s a storm and Jesus is calmly asleep in the bow, it’s time to wake Him up. “Why are you so afraid?” “Who is this man?” “Obey” Oops, we’ve forgotten bread, Bread? Bread? Don’t you remember what you did yesterday???????
So we study the words again and again and again:
(around, ground, found, sound). Present and Past:
give/ gave, lose/lost (oh please, English is miserable).
We are so over supplied, and forget again and again what God has been supplying all our lives.
Who is this Man that even the wind and waves obey Him?
As I visit again and again my Islamic friends, and seek the opening for witness and the sharing of God’s unbounding love, I need your prayers not to get discouraged.
So this is my prayer request: That I have the strength to continue to visit and share and present the Gospel here in my apartment neighborhood. That God would release from my friends the islamic fear of the truth of Jesus the Messiah, and give them soft and believing hearts. I have been reminded of Paul's prayer that he would share in the "fellowship of Christ's sufferings".
Which are enormous as we live amongst the islamic unbelievers. It is so painful to watch them struggle in darkness when they can know "the Light of Life".
Here are some prayer requests for October.
#1. Brenda and I will be doing some ministry travel in October. We'll be attending Sonlife Disciple Making ministry staff meetings in Florida. Pray that this will be a good time of connection and planning as we seek together how best to serve youth pastors throughout North America.
#2. Following the Sonlife Staff meetings we'll be representing Josiah Venture at the Association of Youth Ministry Educators Conference in San Diego. This is an annual conference for Youth Ministry Professors and it gives us a good opportunity to stay up to date on the most recent youth ministry research with the side benefit of promoting Josiah Venture Internships for their students.
#3. Please continue to pray for our JV Leadership Lab as we begin to walk more closely with youth pastors across North America with the goal of helping them to become more spiritually healthy as they minister to the youth in their care.
As the world stopped to pay tribute to a monarch who served with mind, body and soul
we were humbled today by those, particularly in the medical world, who also continue to serve,
often unnoticed in the silent halls of hospitals and care settings.
Don and I entered Trillium Hospital in the early morning hours for his awaited heart surgery.
We were greeted with tireless caregivers who were both professional and kind.
The cardiac specialist himself took time to explain the procedure and offer respectful bedside care, in an setting that is understaffed and overworked.
Gratefully, the two holes in Don's heart were successfully sealed, and no further cardiac concerns were discovered.
However, the doctor determined it best that Don remain overnight for observation.
What a marvel, that skillful hands could guide a small probe through the twists and turns of a dark vein to a heart in need of healing!
As we approach the season of Thanksgiving,
we remember each of you sincerely,
for your gift of pray-filled hands and compassionate hearts.
....and the Hands and Heart that hold us all.
It is with hope in the resurrection that we learn of the passing of the Dr. McCombie, who was called to higher service early, Friday, September 16th. Please pray for Alex's family and friends and thank God for his life of faithful service.