Just over a year ago I was asked to visit a project in South America that was nearing completion. We had a very hard time finding a good date for me to visit and I had suggested to try to work remotely but they insisted I do one final visit. Shortly before my departure I found out that one of the translators (Soeryanto) had heart problems and he was not going to be able to work. The other translator (his wife-Esther) still wanted me to come to help them finish.
When I arrived I got a call from Esther and found out that she was sick and it would be impossible to work the first day. I wondered if we’d be able to work the next day. I also wondered if I would get sick, since she had the flu. We got some work done those days and I did not get sick. But what I remember most vividly from those days is her request for prayer. They were getting so close to finishing the translation but struggle after struggle seemed to be upon them and seemed to be preventing them from completing the work. It did seem obvious that their were opposing forces in their life. One year later, almost to the day, I was back with them. They both looked great and were back to working full time in their church. It is always wonderful to connect with people I work with over the years. This time was extra special because on this occasion I was able to be there with them for the launching of their Bible. God supplied their needs. The translation was finished. There was a grand celebration.
The Bible for the Javanese people in Suriname was dedicated last month.
… ongoing work
Hundreds of projects around the world are in progress. Each is unique and while some march forward towards completion without too many roadblocks, the reality is that most have issues that cause them to struggle. In a week I will be visiting a dear team in which one of the translators has gone blind. Please pray for protection, understanding and endurance for the hundreds and even thousands of Bible translators around the world.
Change is in the Air
We are SO thankful for cooler weather. The European Heat Wave of Summer 2018 was challenging without the air conditioning that so many Americans enjoy. Temperatures were in the mid- to upper 90s F/mid 30s C many days and it was very dry. The cooler weather has been a huge relief.
Besides cooler weather, we are seeing changes in our own lives. Tom’s health challenges this year have caused changes in our eating habits as well as in our need for more use of Uber and other taxi services since we do not own a car. Tom is also traveling much less than he did over the last five years, but that is allowing him to do more from his desk.
Between now and mid-October, Leslie has more speaking engagements than usual, along with more travel. She is getting increasingly involved in the Daniel Movement in the Czech Republic (see June’s newsletter) which is expected to grow throughout Europe in the next few years. The Teaching Redemptively study group has also started up for the Fall.
In the midst of this, we are now planning on a HUGE change in 2019. Though we expect a lot of our work to continue, we plan to relocate to the US in June. Several reasons have led to this decision, two of which are:
Life in Prague is wearing Tom out. We have 29 steps in and out of our apartment if the elevator/lift is working. So just going out can cause Tom pain.
Aimee and her husband have invited us to move in with them to help with life, especially when her husband is away with the army. For example, he will be deployed for 6 months starting this fall. We just saw their active little boy crawling all over, and that made it more clear that she can use reinforcements when her husband is out of town for an extended time.
Living with Aimee’s family will help with transitioning to the US culture since we anticipate the change from European culture to American culture to be challenging. By then, we will have lived in Europe over 25 years.
As we said, Lord willing, our work will continue. It will just be from a different continent. We are hoping to get back to Europe once or twice a year to continue much of the work we are doing. When we are not in Europe, a lot of our work is done from the computer.
We are asking you, our supporters, to continue to:
Pray for us in our work and transition;
Support us financially as the Lord leads; we will still be dependent on your generous gifts to continue serving our Lord in our calling.
Tom and Leslie went on a “Daniel Week” in a cozy cabin, up in the Beskydy Mountains in Moravia (the east part of the Czech Republic.) It was a training time for Leslie, resting time for Tom, and the second half of the week was a retreat for everyone involved. We celebrated our 41st anniversary while there. Leslie got to go hiking with several of the participants and came to a chapel built in honor of Cyril and Methodius. We were thrilled that one of the speakers at the training was our friend, Jan Hábl.
An Update from Tom
In July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the first ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. More than 80 countries sent senior diplomats. US Ambassador for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback (in picture) said this was an attempt to launch an international religious freedom movement.
The World Evangelical Alliance sent me as an envoy to the event. We estimate that 400 million of the 600 million Christians affiliated with the WEA are experiencing discrimination, severe restrictions, or persecution because of their faith. I have to write a detailed report, for which we will plan to send you the link.
A different report, “The Relation of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance to the Roman Catholic Church,” has been published and is appearing on various websites. Here is the original place of publication.
I think this is one of the best studies of Evangelical/Catholic relations to be published by a major Protestant organization, so I translated it from German and French into English, giving more readers access to it. Our attempt to upgrade the quality of Evangelical/Catholic discussions has a larger context.
Common problems of sometimes overwhelming persecution caused the WEA and the Vatican to increase communications about a decade ago. This led to the joint publication of “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World” in 2011 and then to the Tirana Consultation on Discrimination, Persecution, and Martyrdom in 2015. Now the WEA and the Vatican are working on a memorandum that will move us from individual joint events to a long-term process of cooperation. We cannot stop the persecution of Christians, but we can, I believe, restructure the pattern of the Christian response. It is my serious hope that our grandchildren can inherit a situation of global Protestant/Catholic cooperation in response to persecution. Please pray with me.
On a different note, I have added two parts of my personal testimony to my academia website. Both are short excerpts from my books. The first is “After a Cult: How I was forced to become a theologian.” It is the first text in the section about the Trinity. The second is “After the Holocaust: How I was forced to become a philosopher.” It is the first text in the section about persecution and human rights. Take a look if you are interested. In the last month I have had people reading my website from 407 universities in 102 countries.
Thank you for making it possible for me to do this type of work! Without your support, we could not do it!
Click HERE for the link to get to Tom’s academic website.
September and early October are a busy time for Leslie
There is a Christian educators’ conference in the Netherlands where they will be discussing religious freedom in schools.
I have been asked to lead another accreditation team for ACSI, this time in Ethiopia. I will need to go for 2 days in September and then again, Lord willing, in December.
The annual ACSI Europe Student Leadership Conference is at the end of September. I will be teaching two workshops for students and one workshop for the chaperones.
A Christian school in Poland is celebrating a significant milestone. Along with Alan Brown, the former director of ACSI Europe, and his wife, Malinda, I will attend their celebration and give a talk to teachers and two talks to teens.
I would appreciate your prayers for safe travels and for the Holy Spirit to be at work through my teaching and ministering to Christian educators and young people.
We thank the Lord for:
Tom’s time in Washington DC about religious freedom issues. It was a great time of connecting.
Tom’s health cooperating while he was in DC.
Leslie’s teaching going well in August and early September.
Safety for Leslie in her travels.
The new learning platform regarding freedom of religion or belief. (Click HERE to see it.)
The setting up of Tom’s academic website which has a lot of links to publications Tom has worked on and is growing in downloads regularly.
Please join us in praying for:
Tom’s trip to Geneva in November to meet with representatives of almost all the Christians around the world.
Continued improvement in health for Tom. He has a lot of pain in his hip, though it is not joint related. He also needs eye surgery sometime this winter.
Leslie’s work with Czech Daniel Weekend movement.
Leslie’s preparation for and teaching at the Student Leadership Conference late in September.
Persecuted Christians around the world who are suffering great loss.
Thank you for your faithful prayer for both of us during this time. Without the Lord’s involvement, all our work is a waste.
PO Box 12147
Overland Park KS 66282-2147
Attached you will find a combined August/September edition of the Prayer Warrior to this email.
Thanks again for your prayers and sharing our good news with others.
We do have some additional praise and prayer requests for you:
We are still in need of someone who can help us with web page design issues. Let us know if you can help. (We believe the help can be done online. However, visitors are always welcome.)
On campus this is a time of transition as we wind down from activities of summer and get ready for the fall/winter season. The last summer retreat at the campground was held this past weekend. The baseball and softball games will soon be over. The Christian Academy has been in operation for a few weeks and their enrollment has increased again this year. Soon we will be sending out registrations for our first session of youth basketball. The next “special” event on campus will be the SE Kentucky Veterans Health Fair on Sept. 8. Many have told us how grateful they are for this special place where working of the Holy Spirit is evident. The support that we receive from you and others like you help to make all the above events possible. Again, we thank you for your support and prayers.
Sharon and I thank you for your prayers that were made on our behalf. My heart catheter ablation procedure (that I mentioned in our last email) is now history and to date I have not had a recurrence of the A-Fib rhythm issue. The follow-up visit with the cardiologist last week was encouraging and we feel that we are indeed blessed.
It feels strange for Dave, Clark & I in our new lives as 3, but we are super happy for Reece to move into the dorm!! He is 100% excited for these next 2 years and EVERYTHING that God has planned for him. Classes start tomorrow!!
Dorm Room leadership
Each dorm room has an RA, and they just finished a week-long leadership camping trip. We loved being able to join them and get to know these AMAZING men and women who are so in love with the Lord and love serving. We just shake our heads at their strong faith and love being able to know them.
Dave will continue his Masters degree
Last year was busy for Dave as he taught full time here at Bible School, oversaw the teaching team, studied for his Masters, and life here with the students etc. But we have found some ideas to add margin back into his schedule, while continuing his next class at Trinity. We will keep our eyes open for overload. Please pray for wisdom and strength as Dave and studies what he loves so that he can better teach the students here.
Clark is in 10th grade!
Clark will be doing on-line school at home this year and we are so thankful we get to have him with us! He is super excited to get to know the 15 guys and girls that are in our dorm family this year! Clark loves every chance he gets to hang out with the students! It’s going to be a GREAT year!!
What will I do this year?
I’ll bake cookies and text Reece that cookies are ready and to bring his dorm room down for coffee and cookies. 🙂 (It worked the 1st time:) I’ll also keep busy helping in child-care so student moms can go to classes, and I’ll help at the front desk answering phones. I also look forward to teaching Clark well, as these years with him home are priceless. I will also enjoy investing in my dorm girls.
We are off to a new year full of transition and excitement!! Thank you for being our friends and prayer warriors…we need it!! Dave, Kim, Reece & Clark Field
On April 4th, Leanna and I joined Carolee in the states–until August 29th when we return to Tenerife. We have been able to visit most of our 15 grandchildren with both Jenny (her fifth) and Hannah (her fourth) expecting again—both within one day of each other around November 22n
I would like to share some fruit that God has given since the last prayer letter. One week before we left Tenerife I met three new men in the prison who were extremely interested in the gospel and received Bibles, but since my time was limited that day, I was not able to talk to them about salvation. A few days later I only found one, Jonaton; but God had been preparing his heart, and he was ready to hear the good news. He couldn’t believe that I returned to see him and that I’d remembered his name. I assured him that I had much better news than that – which I did – and he was gloriously saved, as he had never heard about the truths of salvation and God’s grace! Please pray for him and the other two whom I did not get to speak to about salvation, Miguel and Burgos. I believe that they would be open to the gospel message as well.
We caught the tail end of our home church’s mission conference and I preached Sunday morning. After a few days back in Rochester N.Y. (and the culture shock of returning to overcast, rainy weather) Carolee and I were returning to our car in the Wal-Mart parking lot when I began witnessing to a young man attending to the grocery carts. It turned out that he listened attentively, and he called upon the Lord Jesus Christ right there to forgive his sins and to be saved! Please pray for Anthony.
When visiting Jenny and my son-in-law Michael in May, we went preaching door to door in Lebanon PA, and were able to witness to several Hispanic speaking people there. One of those was another young man named Anthony, who only spoke Spanish. God allowed me to witness to him for a good 40 minutes at his doorstep; and he gave his life to the Lord for salvation as well! Michael is the pastor of the Heritage Baptist Church in Manheim, PA, and asked me to teach two Sunday school classes for children. The first week two youngsters, Blake and Maddix, were saved after the class had ended. The next week, Brooklyn, a young girl who had come for over a year surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation as well!
While out on visitation with Parker Memorial Baptist Church in Lansing Michigan, God enabled me to lead a husband and wife to the Lord! They lived at the first door we knocked on, and we were there for almost an hour and a half explaining the true way of salvation. They had attended a Methodist Church but had never heard that salvation was by God’s grace, but rather were trusting in their goodness and church membership. It was wonderful to see them both accept the LORD into their hearts and to be born again! Their names are Jerome and Kknodou. Please pray that they would grow in the Lord and attend church.
We have been able to report to a number of our supporting churches and minister the word of God as well. What a blessing to see many of the churches again and to see them serving the Lord; and to meet again all the saints who are praying for us. We have heard some great preaching also on a number of occasions and have been refreshed and encouraged in the Lord. We were blessed to attend a Bible conference at our home church, Old Paths Bible Baptist in Holley, NY, and honor our three pastors as we celebrated our 25th year as a church. Thank God for his goodness!
Thanks again, Doug, Carolee, Rebekah, and Leanna Schwaderer