Jack & Mary Anne Voelkel, Arizona. “God is using the stresses of social turmoil and COVID to open hearts and lives in our world and yours. May He equip us to help seekers (like Adele & Yvonne) come to the assurance of salvation; help us to pray effectively for healing for those (like Marty & Deborah) who are freshly aware of their need of it, and fill us all with His Spirit and wisdom as we lead others in Bible Study and discipleship on Zoom. Praise God for online streaming!”
Click below for our most recent Prayer Letter.
Please pray for the arrival of the remaining two containers (about July 20 and July 27). Also for:
July 12 Evangelical Church of Aomori's special Sunday worship service at ACC
July 17~18 Father-son camp out night at ACC
Aug. 4-5 Teen Bible Camp
Aug. 6-8 Kids' Bible Camp
Tuesday, July 7th, 2020, Margy
turned 101 years young. This picture was taken
last week..wrapped in a lovely ‘furoshiki’ that a good friend gave her for her birthday. You can see the serenity and peacefulness with which Margy is spending her days.
When running a long race or climbing a mountain there almost always come a point when one reaches the “wall”. The desire to give up and find relief is normal. If this is so then why do runners still carry on running and mountaineers still carry on climbing after meeting this emo-tional block? What makes the difference is where they have their eyes set on. When they can see beyond their current circumstances and...
Hanneke is writing her memoirs. Here is an excerpt.
We arrived at the village and introduced me to my new home. After the pastors got out of the car, my new friend and I went into our huge mud-brick duplex house. Her half of the house had been fixed up and had smooth cement floors and ceiling boards. Then I entered my half! It was not a very welcoming sight: the roof had caved in, and one could admire the stars from inside the living room. Spiders, cockroaches, and even a scorpion greeted me on my first night. I called Mara and told her I had a scorpion in my bathroom. “Cannot be!” was her answer, but then she came and had a look. “Kill it, kill it! She shrieked, “no, wait! Let me take a picture first!” (My first introduction to Tanzanian wildlife!)
We appreciate your sensitivity to the issue of the wildfires. We can see the smoke from our house, and even in the evening, the flames. It has been a terrible fire.
The latest statistics we have as of today: 150,000 acres (234 square miles) have been consumed, the 5th largest in state history. It went from 40% contained yesterday to only 20% today. Over 700 firefighters are dealing with the blaze in rugged terrain that makes vehicle support virtually impossible. Air drops are frequent. The costs are becoming prohibitive. Over 700 people have been evacuated.
We are grateful that we are not in any danger, but we are concerned for those who have homes or cottages in the area affected at the present time by the fire. The fire crews are exhausted.
Thank you so much for praying for the arrival of Container #2of4. We are hoping to send out a Prayer Letter with photos today but would like to send a quick update for those whose prayers God answered.
It was a beautiful sunny day but not too hot. Thanks to one of our committee member's connections we were able to secure the use of a forklift. The American pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in nearby Misawa City had 6 years experience with forklifts so he was able to operated it for us (Luke will get his forklift license next month). We were able to safely unload the 2 crates of windows from the container. We had enough volunteers to carry the materials from pallets too heavy to be moved by the forklift. With the aid of the fork lift we were able to move all of the lumber to their outdoor storage spaces near the building site.
Please continue to pray for us as we set about finding the best way to break up the two crates of windows, transport the windows safely across the property, and safely store them in the decommissioned upstairs of the old main building. Also for the transportation and safe storage of the large (and very heavy!) gluelam posts and beams. This needs to be done by Tavi and Luke in ACC's mini-truck over the next week, and the rainy season will begin any day now.
Wayne (a loving father), passed away at 8 pm on fathers' day. Wayne and Diane were faithful supporters of KWM workers. Wayne worked at Knox as a janitor and was in charge of maintenance at Glen Mohr [PCC camp]. Remember Diane (wife), Andrew, and Timothy (sons) and Donnabel (Andrew's wife) as well as Aaron and Daniel, (grandchildren).
Diane Reid: 20 University, Baysville, ON P0B 1A0
In Lebanon thanks to a large donation from the folks in Dallas, there was funding for education of children. It was mistakenly placed in my private account which meant it took some research to find its source and amount, and get it out into general funding. This took the entire month of January, 2020, but once in hand, with trusted help from my Lebanese young people, funds were made available in local currency. (Read between the lines).
Numerous requests had been made for schooling funding, one by the aunt of a Syrian refugee living in difficult circumstances about an hour out of Beirut. Locating the family and then finding a school resulted in about $100 of taxi service. Once accomplished, the child, father and the school were connected, and one happy little girl was outfitted in a proper uniform, and the school provided school bus transportation. Mission accomplished. Three days later, the father withdrew the child from the school, and both the school and I were dumbfounded. No reason or recourse could be found. The aunt in Canada was apoplectic.
There wasn’t anything I could do. Separated by distance and language difficulty over the phone, another trip out to the school and it was arranged that the funding would be redirected to a Palestinian family already enrolled but having severe difficulties with payment. The balance of the funding (it had been designated to cover a full year, beyond the remainder of the current session) was withdrawn and redirected to three little girls connected to Beit el Hanane in Beirut. Much easier to do.
Although I had been asked to help manage the home monetarily and physically, because I was denied access to the home, I found residence at NEST (Near East School of Theology). A couple of emails from the owner of the home indicated I would be welcome “when I brought the money”. Two donations for the fees for the three girls’ schooling were made, but inexplicably, I was denied transportation to the school to make the donation. So I hired a taxi and went on my own.
The balance of the funds were donated through our Presbyterian Church (now called Lebanese International Evangelical Church) directly into the hands of our Pastor Habib Badr. We have a receipt for the funding of three university students connected to our church whose families have fallen on hard times.
I feel so much more comfortable with this source of helping.
Thank you for reading through this.
Some of you may be interested in missionary adventure, which is of no consequence. However you know that no US$ deposited to a Lebanese bank can be withdrawn. The country is recognized as having fraudulent government and total bankruptcy.
Some of the taxi rides threaded between tanks and soldiers, often through military check points. Try reading between the lines of some of Paul’s letters. How did he manage to not get robbed and lose his precious manuscripts?
In mid April 1973, we were surprised by a plane coming in with some men from a company bidding for the seismological contract from the CONOCO Oil Company. The company had decided to have a base at Senggo.
The Dresser family left for a year of furlough in June 1973, after turning responsibilities over to the Gilletts who moved into our house. Jim and Ruth Bruursma and a building crew arrived to build three missionary houses and the hospital.
One member of that building crew, Yos Ondy from Sentani, had a remarkable life. Orphaned at the age of six, he lived with various relatives and finished school at age 12. He found work in construction and gained some skill in several trades. However he found it was easier to make money stealing from stores at night with a gang he formed. He also did surveillance work for the Indonesian government, keeping an eye on the Dutch as they prepared to turn Netherlands New Guinea over to Indonesia. When he was 17 he was attracted to a nice girl, Klasina, who worked at a food stall where he frequently ate. They married in 1963 and Klasina was able to get a job with the Indonesian government doing secretarial work. Later Ondy joined the Indonesian army. With his gun from the army he could get what he wanted and continued his life of intimidating others for his own ends. He became unhappy, however, about things the army did, and used health as his excuse to get out of the army. After that his name was mentioned to the military along with known rebels. They were arrested, the known rebels were executed and Ondy was held in prison for later execution. Meanwhile Klasina had accepted Christ as her Saviour. She asked her pastor to visit him but even facing death, he was unwilling to yield his life to the Lord.
The day of his execution arrived. As he stood on the gallows with the noose tight around his neck. in his last fleeting moments of consciousness, he repented, confessing his sin to a loving God. The trap door opened and Ondy fell through. He was ready to meet His Saviour! The next thing he knew he was on the ground and someone was standing over him holding the broken ends of the rope. As he became fully aware, he realized that God had miraculously spared his life, and he promised to serve Him until he died. The army men were too superstitious to try again to execute him so they kept him in prison another year and then released him. Back again with Klasina and his daughter he asked God for work that would enable him to carry out his promise. Jim Bruursma had come to Irian Jaya to do a short term as a builder and started on a hostel for missionary children in Sentani and was hiring workers. Although the pay offered was low, Ondy agreed and when that project was finished, he went with Jim to work on building a small hospital in Senggo. Ondy felt that Senggo was the place God wanted him for the future, and in 1975 he asked Klasina to join him there with plans to learn the Citak language and serve the church there. [When I visited in 2014, they were still in Senggo, though Yos had gone to Sentani for medical care. Not much later Klasina went to Sentani for retirement.]
A ban on imported drugs was announced by the Indonesian Government, but then it was modified to allow drugs to come in for mission sponsored clinics. By the time we returned in August 1974, there were many changes. The airstrip was longer. The first wing of the hospital had a roof, with other things still to be finished. The oil company,ISSA, had moved in and put up several buildings of local materials at the lower end of the strip. They offered help with various things like picking up jeep parts for us in Port Moresby. The really exciting change was that there were now 350 new believers in the nearby villages. These folk all needed further teaching and training to tell others.
In July, Margaret Stringer had arrived to join the Senggo staff. Margaret had grown up in South Carolina . Her father died while she was eight and Margaret, her Mother, and her five siblings all worked hard to get a living from the land that belonged to the family. As a child she trusted Christ and by the age of 12 she felt God’s call to be a missionary. She knew she would need to go to Bible College. The family had no money and her mother forbade her to talk about college. Her mother said she would see her through High School and then she was on her own. When she passed her 18th birthday her mother went to town with Margaret, helped her register to live at the YWCA and left. Margaret worked her way through Bible School and other training in linguistics. After delays in getting a visa, Margaret had spent from 1965 to 1974 working in the Mimika tribe at Kokonao and then Amar doing language analysis and translation.r Her co-worker, Marge Smith, however was delayed in the USA to care for her parents. After she had lived two years by herself in Amar, the Field Council decided that she should not continue there alone and asked her to move to Senggo. Having mastered Indonesian and Mimika, Margaret tackled her third language, Citak. Initially she lived in the prefab building behind the hospital. It was not in good shape. One night Ken heard her shouting in the night and Ken shouted back to find out why. A man had walked into her house so Ken rushed over but he had gone. Margaret slept at our house until our outfit arrived and Ken put a phone in her house, for a little more security. Work was done to make her temporary house more secure until a house was built for her. Margaret enjoyed linguistics, and took over that responsibility from Bob Leland, since he was busy with training the new believers and church leaders.
Mother and child clinics had been started for the Indonesian speaking people from other parts of Indonesia. Shortly after our return, there was some excitement when a child fell on a sharp stick and came in with intestine poking out the hole, so again our dining room became the operating room. After doing the death wail on the first night, her family decided maybe she would live and stopped wailing.
With four carpenters on site from Sentani, the back part of the hospital was almost finished. To increase resistance to tuberculosis, a BCG campaign was started –500 people from Senggo got it. The first baby clinic for Tamnim village was held in the hospital. Ken and Bob Leland with Noak made a three day trip to visit six villages on the river to the north, with Noak preaching in each village and 200 patients treated. One village had not seen white people before.
Pat Moore’s parents arrived in November for a six month visit. He was a carpenter and made cupboards and other things for Pat’s laboratory. The Head of the Health Department requested Ken’s attendance at a reception on National Health Day in Jayapura to receive a letter of citation for the health care work all the missions are doing in Irian Jaya.
In November the oil company (ISSA) asked if Ken would go by helicopter twice a week to have a clinic in the Brazza River area as part of the pacification in their agreement with the government. A company employee had been killed up there in July. At the time, we didn’t know what language was spoken there, but it would be an outreach opportunity in a new area so Ken agreed to go once a week. The first trip revealed that Citak was the language of those villages, so on each visit one of the Senggo believers went to preach and Ken saw patients. It was a tremendous saving of time and expense for TEAM to begin reaching those people. Our area of responsibility had doubled! Bob Leland worked with Senggo church leaders to prepare some teaching on cassettes that could be left in the villages. What the company carefully concealed from Ken was that after the killing, several women from another village were taken to jail in Agats by police. This was very unjust as they had done nothing wrong, and cruel since they knew no language but Citak. Ken was concerned that the people would think we were the same as the company and police since he arrived on their helicopter.
The company helicopter brought us a challenging patient from Tiau a village to the north of Senggo. He’d been shot with an arrow and his intestine was protruding, but this time the bowel had a number of perforations and was gangrenous, with the patient in shock. We hadn’t yet unpacked all the instruments and suture needed but after IV fluids Ken went ahead, did the bowel resection and the patient survived. A few days later, Ken went to check on him and noticed a packet of opened suture in their room. So he checked the companion’s bag and found surgical scissors, basins, needles and hospital linens, some of
which had been cut up and sewn into pants! They had more suture, 24 flashlight batteries and the hospital keys. It was hard to believe that, after saving the man’s life, this was their response. However, it was an opportunity to talk to them about their need to have their lives transformed by Christ. I guess we needed some transformation too since we really didn’t take joyfully the spoiling of the hospital goods. They were sent to sleep in a bivouac after that.
A regular class started for clinic worker trainees, some to work in the hospital clinic and some to work in clinics in other villages. Each morning began with Ken leading a short Bible study. Then, as patients came in they were used to teach the new workers. Most trainees had minimal literacy so most teaching was oral.
The first baptisms in the area were on March 9, 1975. Two village men and a young woman from Biak were baptised. Other believers were unsure about some matters so they were taught further.
Does God chuckle sometimes? In January we had been told that the permit to import drugs for the mission clinics was not being followed and the drugs we had packed in our drums and a large order from England would be confiscated. Ken tried to get stamps and permits for it all but success seemed unlikely. Well, in mid March, Ken met a plane and saw inside one of our drums from Toronto. Apparently three ships arrived at once in Jayapura, and with a huge pile up of goods, the officials simply sent it all through without the usual delay in customs. Nothing was opened. Nothing was confiscated. I think God chuckled.
The Camat continued to hinder our plans. We had been visiting the village of Daikut and they wanted an evangelist teacher. They built a house for him, but the Camat put sawyers in it and persuaded them that they didn’t want our worker because he wouldn’t pay them with tobacco. He wanted to bring teachers from another denomination to put in the villages where we have been working.
Please pray with us for the arrival of container #2 for the delayed (due to pandemic restrictions) building project. There are difficult logistics to deal with. Will it be delivered on time (Tuesday, June 23) or will it be delayed because of paperwork and thus incur storage fees? Will we be able to get a forklift this time? (the uncertainty in delivery date makes arranging a forklift difficult). Will we have enough helpers to unload the container within the 2 hour limit (or incur high hourly rates for overtime)?
Please especially pray for protection from damage, especially all the glass doors and windows that will be arriving. Please pray for protection from rain. And above all else, please pray for protection from accidents.
Also, Mr A., who is on our ACC Committee and who also helps Luke construction related admin and networking wants Luke to meet today with his former school mate who is the CEO of the small local rental company that we hope to rent the forklift from. The reason is that Mr A. will be going into hospital for serious surgery on his hip on July 1 and will be out of action for at least 4 months and therefor wants to put Luke into direct contact with the rental guy. Please pray that the meeting goes well.
David, a close friend of Ruth's continues to work in a remote orphanage in Kenya. "We have 19 kids as for now. We had to limit due to resources then also others have grown."
The two meetings we host each week are now taking place in our carport. The outside venue is quite enjoyable if temperatures are warm enough and it isn’t too windy. It’s positively wonderful being back face-to-face with our friends and family.
Yes, CanIL’s online classes started this past Monday, June 15th. I haven’t heard how they are going as CanIL is still in lockdown mode and I’m currently working in the library only one day every two weeks. By the way, last month’s prayer request is ongoing for the whole nine weeks of Summer Term. Thanks to everyone for bringing it before the Lord when you think of it.
This Saturday is the annual Walk to End ALS nation-wide. Because of the coronavirus, everything is virtual. Dave and I have chosen to do the same walk we do every year, but in the afternoon instead of the morning. So far the weather is looking rather dismal, but we’ve not given up on it yet. There’s plenty of time for it to improve!
Thanks for your support of myself and the ministries of LAM. As you know, Covid-19 has put extra challenges in helping people living in vulnerable and precarious situation. This is the case of people in Ven-ez-u-elan refugees in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America. We support the ministry of Pastor Mauricio in Cucuta, Colombia. He runs a church called Iglesia en la Frontera, the Church on the border. This church ministry provides travellers with a shower and meals for families and individuals arriving from V and migrating to unknown places and cities in South America. You can see them on the roads and on top of trucks as they travel to unknown destinations where they could possibly settle. With the situation of Covid-19, many Vs began to return to their home country, on foot, because they didn’t have a home or employment in the countries where they were living on the streets as refugees. Now, they are coming back and their homeland border only allows a certain number in per day. As result you have now hundreds of people living in this area between two countries, a no-man’s land. Church Iglesia en la Frontera is there helping them and so are we. Here’s a video which show you a little bit of the situation.
The border is militarized, many people are trapped and have no place to go. They are living near the river. There are lots of children among them. Please pray for these families, pray for those serving them, pray for the generosity of God’s people and for extra resources.
I am finding it more challenging to coordinate more projects, fundraise, report, act upon daily activities of the Mission, and to keep up with the community at Celebration. God is good and continues to renew us on day at a time. Christina, the girls and I are together in everything. Your prayers for myself and my family are very much appreciated.
I'm thankful for passing the one-year mark without a case of malaria. I was supposed to visit Ontario next week, but my flights have been cancelled. I will not be able to reschedule a trip to Canada until Immigration offices and Interpol reopen to allow me to renew my now-expired work permit. Please pray for endurance during this uncertain time.